Sunday was the final day of my live below the line challenge. It’s probably been one of the toughest things I’ve ever done dietary wise, due to a number of factors. I think it was a big shock to the system going from post marathon eating to this, the lack of natural sugars has been incredibly hard, and the blandness of the food has been tough- mostly due to my poor planning. If I did it over I would definitely think more about the way I spent my £5 and plan it better.
I started the day with my porridge and then dashed off for a lovely 8 mile run along the canal, it was super early and as it was marathon day there were hardly any runners on the canal. It was so beautifully peaceful, I had a lovely run.
When I got back I had another bowl of porridge, with some carrot then dashed off to meet some of the Team Naturally Run girls and cheer the marathon. We got there around 10ish, and set up our cheering spot, we saw the wheelchairs, IPC, and Elites go through and it was amazing. Then we watched all the other runners come through and it was so great to watch and cheer them on. It was such a hot day, I felt really sorry for the runners, I was warm just standing there, and I got sunburnt on my nose! I had a banana while we were cheering- it’s exhausting work haha!
I left just after 1ish as I had to get home to watch the football- huge day as a Liverpool fan. I got home just in time, and it was a bit of a roller-coaster of emotions! At half time I had some rice and chickpeas- so exciting! The second half was one of the most painful things I’ve sat through, I think I did more shouting than I did at the marathon, it was so stressful! Thankfully we got the result, no idea how I’m going to sit through the next 4 games!!
For dinner I had some more rice, veggies and I made a dip with leftover chickpeas, roasted carrots and some onion. It was ok, would have been nicer with some salt, spices and some lemon/lime juice!
I think I ended up around 89p for the day, so under budget again. I also had a fair amount of food left over including a serving of oats, quite a bit of rice, some frozen veggies and some lentils. Maybe should have spent my £5 more sensibly.
I didn’t feel bad hunger wise throughout, and felt like I was eating enough, but it was just so deficient in minerals/vitamins, fat and natural sugar that I felt pretty rough throughout. I had horrible brain fog, and felt really lethargic and tired throughout. I actually felt ok during my runs, which I was surprised about, it was the time outside of that when I didn’t feel that well.
I was really shocked and saddened at how unaffordable fruit and veggies are when you are on a very tight budget. I felt pretty awful without the main staples of my normal diet, I missed fruit and veggies and smoothies and salads so much.
It has made me think a lot about my spending and unnecessary purchases. When you are spending £3 on a snack bar and people are living off the same amount for 3 days- it really makes you think twice. I’m definitely going to reassess some habits and try and change some things.
If you want to get involved and maybe try out the challenge yourself, then check out the Live Below the Line site. The campaign is all about trying to raise awareness of the issues facing those in extreme poverty, and it’s certainly opened my eyes. It’s a tough challenge, but when you consider this is actually people’s lives and you take away all the other luxuries we take advantage of on a daily basis it really makes you think how lucky we are.