Well, I've just had dinner, such that it was, and thus ended Day One of the Living Below the Line challenge. If you haven't read that post, it's right here.
It's only 6pm... I have about five more hours before bedtime... and a kitchen full of food. Mind you, last week I would have scrounged the same cupboards, looking for something appetizing, likely not finding much... but tonight?
I would eat baking soda right out of the box at the back of the fridge.
I feel like a slug. Of course, I've had no caffeine or sugar today, which is not at all a bad thing. But I've had little in the way of good healthy, energizing food, too. I realized that while being hungry is not necessarily new to me (hello, I've been on lots of diets in my lifetime), not being able to eat anything, including a piece of fruit or a vegetable, is. Also, when I'm on a diet and I want something to drink other than water, I could have tea (and hot tea always soothes and fills me).
Not so today.
I floated through the day today, trying to keep full with water. It helped a little. Then I thought about those people who live like this daily and I wondered how many of them don't even have access to clean drinking water. I wondered how they try to feel full when there is no food to be had.
It must be really and truly awful.
While I was making my Ramen noodles for dinner (I ate my two carrots while waiting for the noodle water to boil, as I didn't think I could wait), I read the back of the package. I was about to fill up on 2 servings of starchy noodles with virtually no nutritive value but, for the same basic calorie count, I could have had a serving of salmon or chicken breast, a small serving of potatoes, and a big serving of broccoli, meeting pretty much all of my dietary needs, filling me up, keeping me healthy.
But you can't get a serving of salmon, potatoes, and broccoli for $.25.
And that one meal?
Would have been about half my food budget for the week.
Something to think about.
To recap my day, my $1.50 fed me the following:
2 eggs, scrambled (with no oil or butter, as I couldn't afford that)
1/2 a small banana (and I can't tell you how much I wanted the other half)
1 1/2 cups brown rice, black beans, canned tomatoes
2 medium-sized carrots
1 package of Ramen noodles
Up until the noodles, it wasn't too bad health-wise (though missing an awful lot of the recommended daily allowance of fruit and veg).
Now, the words I'd use to sum up my day are as follows:
I suspect those words will be magnified in the next few hours. I suspect I'll go to bed hungry.
We'll see what living below the line brings tomorrow...