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Day 5: We did it!

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Last day of the challenge and we have exceeded the target of £250!! I’m not sure of the exact figure because I am still collecting cash donations. I will let you know before Monday.

So, what have I learned from this? A lot actually. My daily budget was £1 (46NT) for food and water, and even in a country like Taiwan where groceries are cheap, it was tight and I used everything I bought.  1.4 billion people on the planet live on £1 for EVERYTHING!

I feel a little guilty about the amount of money that I spend, even though I would consider myself good with money. Especially where food is concerned, I eat out too often, I buy snacks and things that I don’t need. I will be making a much bigger effort to cook and to stick to a weekly budget. With my new found skills I’m sure I am ready to take on the Masterchef Invention Test!!

Here’s what I ate today;

Breakfast: Boiled egg

Lunch: Red lentils with eggplant and green papper

Dinner: Stuffed peppers, made with 1 cup rice, half an onion, one clove of garlic,  a little broccoli and eggplant

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I didn’t go hungry this week, in fact, I felt more energetic than usual. On a few occasions, I caught myself craving chocolate, red wine and other luxury items and immediately realised how lucky I am that my biggest problem this week was that I couldn’t afford a glass of wine. I have started looking at the price of things in terms of the budget, for example, something that costs 750NT is equal to 15days of food! In the West, and in developed countries, we take so much for granted. We are so detached from extreme poverty but I feel like this challenge has given me a better perspective.

I came nowhere near what it feels like to ACTUALLY live below the bread line this week but I hope that being even a little bit closer, and being able to share my experiences, I have helped highlight this global problem.

All the money raised will go to Restless Development, an organisation who empowers young people to life themselves, and their communities out of poverty.

Thank you again to everyone for your support and your donations. For those of you interested in donating here’s the link:

https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/leannecmcnulty

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Day 4! This has really gone very fast!

I had a few ups and downs today, its a long day for me so I was craving a snack at 4 pm between jobs but I managed to resist.

I still have quite a bit of food left, I’m just not 100% what to do with them for tomorrow’s meals! Carrots and potatoes are gone so its back to the google cook book for dinner ideas! I found so many yummy chickpea and eggplant curry’s but alas, I don’t have any of the other ingredients, just the chickpeas and eggplant. Another day….

Breakfast-Hard boiled egg (I vote to never eat a boiled egg again!)

Lunch- Red lentils with panfried egg plant, green pepper and onion.

Snack- hummus and carrot sticks

Dinner- Chickpea and eggplant salad. Here is the recipe I modified (no feta, no mint, no lemon and I added raw brocolli)

chickpea, grilled eggplant and broccolli salad

chickpea, grilled eggplant and broccolli salad

http://www.marthastewart.com/315720/eggplant-salad-with-chickpeas-and-feta

This is one of the best meals I’ve eaten this week, now I am excited to try it with cheese!

I’m really surprised at the amount of energy I have this week, I’m guessing a certain food I have cut out is the culprit, but I’m having a hard time figuring out what it could be. I’m going to re-introduce things slowly and see if I can pin down whatever usually has me feeling sluggish.

More donations today, we have definitely exceeded the target but I want to wait until I have all the cash donations in my hand before I update the page. Here is the link again for those of who need it 😉

https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/leannecmcnulty

So far, Live Below the Line has raised £ 56,521 for Restless Development, my chosen charity and around 700,000 in total (in the UK). This is fantastic news!

One day left! Tell your friends, share this blog and thank you all for your support so far!!! Enjoy Friday!

Its Wednesday evening, and I’m more than half way there. I am also pretty close to reaching my target of £250, which is amazing! If you want to help me get just that little bit closer, here’s the link!

https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/leannecmcnulty

Today’s post will be a quick one,

Breakfast: A boiled egg

Lunch: Leftovers from last night’s dinner, red lentils, pan fried eggplant, green pepper and onion.

Dinner: Same as Tuesday, sautéed potato, onion and carrot.

A huge thank you to everyone who has sent messages of encouragement, donated or shared my blog. Your help is greatly appreciated!

Now, to figure out tomorrow’s menu………

What a gorgeous sunny day! I woke up early and feeling great this morning. It was also payday which never fails to put a smile on my face!

I had a little bit of a slump during the afternoon. I went to the bank on my lunch break and was lusting after all the amazing food around me! Feeling bored of fried rice and having a small panic at the dwindling supplies in my fridge, I was beginning to foresee bowls and bowls of plain rice in the not too distant future. So, I went straight to trusty google for some inspiration for dinner and I was not disappointed. You just search the ingredients you have, and see what you can find.

I came across this interesting photo project recently too. You can see a stark difference is the amount of food a family buys per week in different countries around the world.

http://fstoppers.com/what-a-week-of-groceries-looks-like-around-the-world

So, heres what I ate today.

Breakfast was the same as yesterday, a hard boiled egg.

Lunch was fried rice again, but I added garlic and managed not to overcook the rice so it tasted much better!

I also made a small bowl of hummus and cut up some carrots as a snack since I worked til 7 today. I eat hummus alllll the time but I am usually very generous with the tahini, lemon and olive oil. This time round, I just added a really little dash of each. Its still tastes good, but not the same as my tried and tested recipe! It really kept hunger at bay, and I only ate a little so plenty left for another day or two.

my improvised hummus.

my improvised hummus.

Dinner: Red Lentils with pan fried eggplant, green pepper and onion. (1/4 of an eggplant, 1/4 of a green pepper, 1/2 an onion, 1 cup of lentils, a little salt and garlic for flavour). It was pretty good so I made extra for tomorrow’s lunch as a break from fried rice!

I usually put a LOT more vegetables in my meals so I think I’ll try some of these recipes again, without limits! 😀

red lentils with panfried veggies.

red lentils with panfried veggies.

Please sponsor me! Your money will go to a great cause, Restless Development. http://www.restlessdevelopment.org/

Here’s the PayPal link:  https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/leannecmcnulty

Good night!

Day 1: Let’s Begin

Day 1, Monday May 6th. Here is what  I ate!

       Breakfast

Hard boiled egg

Lunch

Fried rice: Made with 1 cup rice, splash of olive oil, half an onion, half a carrot, a little brocolli, and egg and a little salt.

Lunch: Fried rice.

Lunch: Fried rice.

Dinner

Sautéed potato, carrot and onion with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Made with half a carrot, two small potatoes and half an onion.

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I usually have a bigger breakfast so I was pretty hungry by lunch time today. Lunch was a bit of a disaster! I made the mistake of leaving my shopping day til Sunday and I was, or course, hungover after a friends birthday party on Saturday night! So, I finally got to RT Mart at 8pm, and when I got home cooking was the last thing I wanted to do! I overcooked the rice, and forgot to add garlic so it was pretty bland, and a little mushy. I’m glad I only made enough for one day-I’ll take my time tonight and cook something a lot better!

I feel a little tired today but I think that has more to do with my weekend antics than the food. I’m not too hungry, but I am missing a glass of red wine tonight! And fruit, fruit is cheap in Taiwan and I usually eat lots but on a tiny budget, it was impossible!

One day down-four to go!

Please donate and help out a fantastic organisation.

https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/leannecmcnulty

It’s time to get some shopping done. I have been keeping an eye on prices of things the past few weeks, as well as looking for ideas and recipes online. The hardest part is, the challenge is taking place in the UK, Australia, America, New Zealand and Canada, and the food available there is soooo different to Taiwan. However, I’m still convinced it is cheaper here, even with the lack of Tesco Value!

First things first. Rice! I bought a 5kg bag of rice for 119NT. I will use around a quarter of it. I’m going to make a big batch of fried rice to take to school every day for lunch.

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I have bought some eggs, which I will boil and keep in the fridge for a quick breakfast. ( I always get up about 5 mins before I have to leave for work, and something tells me this week will be the same!). I usually buy organic free range eggs and I felt awful buying these because I know that they come from horrible battery farms 😦

I usually buy nuts and seeds from a small store in Shih Lin, they also stock lentils, dried chickpeas and other dry food. I bought a bag of red lentils and a bag of dried chickpeas. The chickpeas are so much cheaper than a tin (about 50NT) from the supermarket and I have just put them in water to soak.

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Shopping List

5kg bag of rice 119NT / 4 =30NT

10 eggs 42NT – I will use 8 of them 34NT

Bag of garlic 49NT for 400g, I have taken out 25g to use 3NT

1 bag of dried chickpeas 30NT. I have used half 15NT

1 bag of red lentils 50NT. I used half 25NT

Vegetables 110NT..Green peppers, eggplant, carrots, potatoes, brocolli, onions

Total Spend: 217NT which leaves a little wiggle room for oil, salt and pepper. Very little!

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Please sponsor me and help out Restless Development! All dondations great and small are welcome, and will go a long way to help people living in extreme poverty.

https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/leannecmcnulty

There are 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty right now. For these people £1 a day is not a challenge, it is a daily struggle. They have £1 for EVERYTHING, rent, food, transport, medication.

Live Below The Line works with around 35 charities. I chose to raise money for Restless Development, a youth-led development agency. So far, £ 44,792 has been raised for this organisation! (As of 7pm May 2nd).

60% of the population in the 60 poorest countries is under 25. This means that young people are most affected by extreme poverty and hunger. Yet, young people are too often excluded from or overlooked in the decision-making processes that directly impact their lives, communities and countries.
If you choose to sponsor me, the money will go to projects in India, Nepal. Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Restless development believes that young people are the most energetic of people in the world. They train, educate, support and inspire young people to lead development in their countries and communities.

They help young people make responsible choices about their health and their livelihoods.

They give young people the skills they need to contribute positively to society.

They create the opportunity for young people to play active roles in policy and decision making.Image

And if I can’t convince you, maybe Hugh Jackman can!!!! This is his promo video for Live Below The Line

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2qPhwFokkA

Its easy to donate, here is the link to my page. You can donate via PayPal or in cash. Happy Friday!

https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/leannecmcnulty

Due to having a lot of commitments this week, I have had to push the challenge back by a week. It is open until June 30th, so it’s not too late to join me! In the meantime, here is some information about Restless Development, who I will be raising money for. Image

http://www.restlessdevelopment.org/about-us

I chose this particular charity because I feel very strongly about organisations empowering people, rather than sending volunteers in to “educate” them. Of course, education and training are key elements in development projects, but in my opinion jobs and training positions should be locally sourced and run. This particular charity puts the focus on young people, allowing them to take charge of their own future.

So far, I have raised £20 of my £250 pledge, please help me to reach my goal! You can donate via PayPay or in cash, which I will then transfer to the PayPal account before June 30th. Its a great cause, and every little help!

https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/leannecmcnulty

Thank you for reading 🙂

imagesLiveBelowTheLine

Next week, April 29th to May 3rd I am taking part in a challenge called “livebelowtheline”. I am required to eat, drink and travel for just £1 a day.
Two things;
 1) In Taiwan, I cant drink the tap water unless it has been boiled so that will definitely make this much harder!
2) Since my commute to school in 30 mins each way and i already use the cheapest method of travel (my scooter) I will not be including travel costs. Usually, 150NTD a weeks is more than enough. ( around £3.29)
So 5 days food and water total budget £5 (227NT).
The first thing people ask me is, why don’t you just raise money? Why put yourself through the hassle?
Heres why. Firstly, I know that I spend too much money on food. Especially in Taiwan, because compared to home, it is miles cheaper. We are spoilt for choice here, and I love going out to eat! I most definitely spend a lot more than the average Taiwanese person, and I know I need to cultivate better shopping habits. I am currently saving money for university and I’m sure if I cut back on my food budget it will be much easier.
Secondly, I think it is important to experience poverty. By restricting my budget to that of someone living in extreme poverty, I can share my experiences and hopefully inspire people to help. I expect to be tired and hungry all week, at the very least. In extreme cases, people living on this amount of money would likely be walking great distances daily too.
In the real world, people who survive on £1 a day, need to budget for rent, bills and very often their children too. So, its a huge challenge for me, but the comforts of my home and the great standard of living in Taiwan will make it much easier.
For more info on the challenge please visit https://www.livebelowtheline.com/ and to sponsor me click here: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/participant?lang=en