And so it begins.
I have made it through day one of Experience Poverty. I think I’ve done quite well with my food calorie wise but I have, perhaps foolishly, ignored the advice on variety.
My shopping list
Here’s what I have bought for the week
0.65kg of onions – 45p
1.3kg of carrots – 75p
2 x can of kidney beans – 60p
5 x packets of basics “chicken” (suitable for vegans) noodles – £1
800g Mornflake Oatbran – £1.50
1 can of broad beans – 55p
500g brown rice – 95p
1kg bananas – 68p (most bought + 2 from home)
1/3 of my chilli powder – 33p
1/3 of my garlic powder – 33p
100g of sugar – 6p
So far I’ve cooked the majority of the rest of my food into two dishes (one veg and noodles, one veg and rice) to have as alternating dinner or lunch, depending on my mood.
The noodles are quite nice actually but the rice and oatmeal is pretty bland!
How many calories?
I’ve done the math on my own food for the week using MyFitnessPal to see how many calories I am likely to get each day with my batch meals.
I’m almost pleasantly surprised that it is about 1,600 calories. I’m quite small and female so this is almost about right for me if I do no exercise whatsoever. My normal exercise usually burns at least around 300 calories. Theaverage woman (so a bit taller than me!) should aim for about 2000 calories a day. So the average woman and me exercising are short over 2,100 calories a week on this diet. To put that in perspective the old adage is a pound of fat is about 3,500 calories. No our bodies don’t burn fat quite as simplistically as that but keep that up and you will lose weight.
That’s all very well if you’re overweight and looking to improve your health but for most people who can only afford the equivalent of £1.50 of food a day this can quickly lead to malnutrition and the loss of concentration, tiredness and increased risk of infection that go along with it.
Five days will be hard but it won’t cause me any lasting harm. What about a life time?