Five days and a new perspective – Live Below the Line 2014

Live Below The Line 2014 - Ingredients for the week.

Live Below The Line 2014 – Ingredients for the week

Live Below The Line was a Big Success!

Gosh. Living on $2 a day was tough and much more difficult than I thought it would be. The thought that some people live with this much or less breaks my heart. I’m really thankful that I completed this challenge because I learnt many lessons along the way.

I shopped at various stores to find the cheapest yummy foods for the week. The promising ingredients that made the final cut were:
$0.75 – Pasta spirals
$0.69 – Can of baked beans
$1.00 – Block of caramel-chocolate
$1.00 – 5 x fresh tomatoes
$1.10 – Bag of baby carrots
$0.47 – 1 onion
$0.15 – 2 cloves of garlic
$2.69 – Dozen eggs
$1.00 – A loaf of bread
$0.99 – 5 x chicken 2 minute noodles

$9.84 – Total spend for one whole week eeeek!

There were some trying moments and times where I had a big case of the grumpies (hangry) but overall it was an enlightening experience. Here was what I ate for the five days.

I cut up the baby carrots into sticks to snack on during the day. I also brought slices of plain white bread to snack on. Before this I had never realised how sweet white bread is. It’s actually yum on its own (but better with generous amounts of butter or nutella of course).

Live Below The Line 2014 - Egg on Toast

Live Below The Line 2014 – Egg on Toast

Sometimes I made egg on toast in the morning or the evening if I was feeling particularly peckish.

Live Below the Line 2014 - Lunch

Live Below the Line 2014 – Lunch

For lunch I had pasta with some baked beans, cooked tomatoes, onion and garlic. It sounds better than it was, It was mainly just boiled pasta. Sometimes on a special day I would add a boiled egg. Mmm. On the first day I was hating lunch but by the third day I had adapted and the pasta was delish (and by delish I mean not so bad).

Live Below the Line 2014 - 2 minute noodles.

Live Below the Line 2014 – 2 minute noodles.

When I got home I would eat a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Yum! I would dip bread soldiers into the soup, which was pure heaven. Truly, on a cold day, warm soup is perfect.

For my evening treat I had chocolate. I had to ration the block so I was able to eat three squares of caramel chocolate per night. I savoured every bite.

The people around me were very supportive and made the challenge easier. The first day was challenging. I didn’t bring enough snacks so I was starving by the time I got home. On the fourth day I was really feeling crappy in the morning and  I just wanted it to end. I ate the rest of the chocolate to feel better (Thursday AND Fridays portion oops). And by Friday I was running out of food. It was a tough five days but I made it. At 12.01am on Saturday morning it was time to feast.

Live Below The Line 2014 - Saturday 12.01am Time to feast!

Live Below The Line 2014 – Saturday 12.01am Time to feast!

Ding! At exactly 12.01 I open the microwave, and starring back at me is a reheated Huxtaburger ready to be eaten. YUM! YUM! YUM! It was so indulgent, so delicious. I couldn’t believe the intense flavours coming out of this little burger. My taste buds were on overload. It was magnificent.

Live Below The Line 2014 - Microwaved Huxtaburger

Live Below The Line 2014 – Look at this shady character – The Midnight Huxtaburger

Also I had half a kilo of my fave icecream from Geletello. Dark chocolate and Blood Orange yum yum yum! (don’t worry I didn’t eat it all at once).

Live Below The Line 2014 - Dark Choc and Blood Orange Gelati

Live Below The Line 2014 – Dark Choc and Blood Orange Gelati

I’m glad I participated in Live Below the Line this year because it has taught me to see the world as a whole and that together we CAN make a difference. Live Below the line had over 10,000 people participate this year and raised over 1 million dollars which is pretty damn awesome.

Here are a few gems I learnt during the challenge:

Don’t take food for granted – I thought about the masses of food that is wasted every day. I know a lot of vegies that perish right before my very eyes in my fridge each week. Not any more! If I buy them, I’ll eat them.

Money should not be wasted – I thought about where my money could be better spent. Hmm should I buy that sweater that looks similar to another sweater I already have or should I spend that same amount to help a less fortunate young person buy uniforms and text books for 3 years? I realised that I spend money on too many unimportant things.

Be grateful for what you have. I had boring pasta every day for lunch, which was frustrating because it didn’t have much flavour but then I thought about how some people would be grateful to have any food just so that they can survive. That single thought made my pasta instantly taste better.

I’ve managed to raise $348 so far. And you can still donate until the 30th June 2014. You can donate through the following link

Live Below the Line 2014 - Donate to a great cause!

Live Below the Line 2014 – Donate to a great cause!

Life is too short to be complacent.

Spend your time on things that matter!

Thanks for all your support x

I heart Live Below The Line!

Olives x


Live Below The Line 2014

Live Below The Line 2014.

Live Below The Line 2014.

This week I signed up for Live Below the Line, which is a campaign where thousands of Australians eat on $2 a day for five days to support people living in extreme poverty. This amazing initiative helps raise funds for quality education for people in East Timor, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea.

At first I was hesitant to participate because I love eating. I spend a lot of my time eating and a considerable portion of my income is spent on food. The minimal budget of $10 over 5 days is a definite challenge considering I would probably spend about that amount on one meal alone. I was thinking it would be too difficult for me, but then I realised this is actually a challenge that some people face everyday without the option to do or not to do. The suffering of people in poverty is unimaginable and the determination these people have to lead their communities out of poverty is admirable.

Help the fight against extreme poverty!

Help the fight against extreme poverty!

I read this article in ‘The Weekly Review’ on Viv Benjamin from Live Below The Line and Chief Executive of the Oaktree Foundation, and this was something that hit home for me, she said:

“We have more than enough food in the world, we have more than enough money in the world, but the distribution of both is out of whack. We have the resources to end this, we just need to be the generation that says it’s not acceptable.”

This rang true to me and so I decided to join the campaign to raise funds for this amazing cause. It starts on May 5th-9th so If you want to take part and make a difference you can sign up or donate here

Check out this video, it gives you a visual overview on Live Below the Line

Now to organise a meal plan for the five days. Any suggestions? My bf thought he’d help plan but his idea seemed a little too repetitive. This was his plan: Our pizza place does a special deal of $10 for 2 large pizzas. 2 large pizzas means 16 slices of pizza (3 slices per day) plus one bonus slice for when I’m really struggling. So that means each day I would eat one pizza for breakfast, one for lunch, one for dinner and one slice to eat in case of an emergency. It was a good suggestion but hmm just not for me.

Stay tuned for meal plans and updates.

Thanks for your support!

Olives x