Culinary Adventures, Eats, Events
Comments 20

Didn’t we do well?

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It’s Saturday and I’m so glad the challenge is over. This week has been torturous, emotionally, physically and mentally draining. Here’s a rough visual on what I ate while living below the line this week. I didn’t take photos of every freaking peanut butter sandwich or toast, so each picture of toast is just a symbol for the slice/s of toast or sandwiches I ate.

I stuck to 3 meals a day over the first two days, but I soon found out that the portions were either too small or not nutritious enough and I wasn’t coping. So from day three onwards, I had more meals. Note a whopping five meals on day four!

I can’t get over how tired I was all week and even light headed and dizzy at times. I was super forgetful and felt stupid and foggy a lot of the time. It could be caffeine and sugar withdrawal as well as lack of nutrients. Most days after work, I ate something and then napped for a few hours, got up, ate a bit more and then went to bed early. It’s a sad existence. Still, when you look at all the food I ate in the week, it’s an impressive for $11.25.

What I still have left

  • 3 slices of bread including 1 crust piece
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups rice

Not much at all so I’m pleased with my rationing.

Would I do it again?

For fun? No. To save money? Not even. For charity? You betcha. I’ve raised over $500 for World Vision and donations are still coming in and in my eyes, it’s been worth while. Hopefully this will inspire someone else to do it next year.

You can read about the challenge and all it’s ups and downs here.


  1. Sandy Mandy says

    Excellent effort! You made us proud, two things in my mind – giving is better than receiving, planning is everything. Well done.

  2. WOW! Its funny, my boyfriend and I have been doing the exact same thing this week but only because we missed a paycheck and were Ultra Poor for about 9 days. It made me realize how if you’re trying to avoid eating starchy starches like rice and bread, its pretty impossible to feed yourself for such little money. BUT! We also ate a ton of eggs, bananas and beans.. lots of cans of beans. You are brilliant for getting so many lovely tasty dishes out of so little. Bravo, lady!

    • Thanks Kara. Eggs are great for protein, and while I didn’t eat any beans this week, they are a very popular choice for budget conscious. Are you still able to live off the land?

      • No, sadly, we’re off the farm now. We moved into Henderson. So we’re living off the beautiful land of Pak’n Sav. We do however have a lemon tree! Also, I wanted to tell you, all those duck eggs didnt go to waste. We gave them to our friend Elaine, who is making SALTED DUCK EGGS! Im so excited, now I just have to wait 2 months to eat them..

  3. theliftblog says

    Way to go! I’m glad that you were able to complete the challenge AND give us insight into how one feels when they are lacking a meal, nutrition, etc.

  4. I think I would have had to splurge on one nice dark chocolate bar to get me through the days. Hats off to you and a good cause no doubt! Have a restful weekend.

  5. Wow. Congratulations on making it through the week. Your food looks beautiful — but it always does 🙂 However, I believe it when you say that it just didn’t feel healthy to eat so little or so comparatively poorly. It is so sad to think that this is how too many people have to live. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and being committed to making a difference.

    • Thanks for your kind words baconbiscuit. I was really surprised at how I felt this week and I think having to go through it helps to understand the problem and highlights the fact that good decisions and pushing hard to get out of poverty is often not a reality. Working long hours on little nutrition to get out of debt for example would be super hard.

  6. Eva Taylor says

    Fantastic job, Genie! Youade us all super proud to know you!
    It seemed like few calories, did you lose weight? Just curious.

    • Hi Eva, not sure if I lost weight or not. I don’t own scales and forgot to borrow some before the challenge. Someone said that I looked thinner, but hard to tell if they were joking or not.

  7. You did an amazing job! Still managed to make it look delicious too! I love nothing more than charity work. It is a warm and fuzzy feeling that only charity and nuzzling a bunny face can give you. I am starting a diet with the people I work with today in a bid to compete for weight loss, I feel like I could learn a lot from your meal planning!

    • Good luck with your diet. I wouldn’t reccomend my week because I never had much energy. Without energy, you can’t be active and sedentary lifestyle isn’t a healthy one. Getting that balance of high energy and activity is the key. Hope your diet is delicious and filled with energy.

  8. You did do well with a very limited amount of food. Reminds me of my apocalypse diet where I didn’t buy any new food for 3 months but that gave me a larger range of items to choose from. Maybe I’ll try this next, but did you limit it to what you bought so you couldn’t use anything already in your place?

    • Thanks Colleen, I LOVED your apocalypse diet. I think about the apocalypse all the time actually. Maybe too much. Can’t wait for The Walking Dead to start up again this month! I’m actually kind of doing the apocalypse diet this week. I haven’t been shopping since the challenge ended last Friday and I’m still pulling out meals out of thin air. I used a couple of items I already had only because I thought it would be ridiculous to buy things like salt when my budget for the 5 days was just $11.25. So I sold myself 3 teaspoons of salt and took it off the main total.

I love your comments! Your comments are like extra melted cheese on top.

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