‘Below the Line’ wrap-up

May 20th, 2012 § 0 comments

It’s been just over a week now since I did the ‘Below the Line’ challenge and now would be as good a time as any to look back and see how exactly that was. To quickly recap, the challenge was 5 days of eating on only £1 a day.

Before actually diving in, I figured this wouldn’t be too difficult given the amount of food I was able to pick up for my fiver. I made the challenge about being more aware of what I ate but boy was I wrong. 


To be honest, the hard part wasn’t really not having enough food. What I didn’t expect I think, was that feeling of just not being satisfied. It’s amazing how much we take the nutrient content of what we eat for granted. For £5, there’s not a lot of room for high quality food and so I was down to pretty much carbs and really small helpings of fruit. I can tell you that this was not fun and I felt pretty weak for a lot of the week. 

What I also didn’t expect was how annoying it is to not be able to have something when you wanted it. The convenience of picking up something at the shop or popping something ready-made in the microwave or oven just wasn’t there, and having to stick to the times when you’d have meals so as to not run out was pretty inconvenient too. 

I’d say what was the most annoying was the shocking drop in productivity from having to think of food this much. I usually try to cram a lot of things into the day, but between planning meals and thinking about what I wanted to eat right then, there wasn’t a lot of room left for focusing on other stuff.


So what did I get from doing all this for a week?


Well first of all, I appreciate what I actually eat now a lot more than I ever used to before. I appreciate too, the luxury of not having to think of food that much during the day at all, leaving time for me to do so much of the other things I want to.

It’s also given me a little insight, however humble, into how people who actually have to live in this situation probably feel on a daily basis. This last bit is especially valuable since often a major problem is just that lack of having to really care about what happens to those outside our immediate influence.The experience though helps to bring that outside reality a bit closer to home.

If there are a bunch of people out there who also experienced this as I did, then you can be sure that some positive must come from it towards helping those who we set out to understand in the first place.


.. and it’s on this last point that I’m excited to see what comes now, both from myself and others who’ve joined in on this experience.


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