Thanks everyone for all the support I have received for doing the Live Below the Line Challenge. I made it!
And thanks to your generosity, I have raised £92 (so far, because you can still donate here).
I had a much better end of week. I think being very busy kept my mind off food during the day, and the evening meals were substantial enough to satisfy me and OH. Yes, he cheated - of course he did. I'm 5ft 2, female and was pretty sedentary over that week. He's a 6ft fella and needed more.
I happened to weigh myself on Saturday morning and the scales told me I had lost 4lbs in weight, but don't panic, I recovered the bulk of that over the weekend. This included a huge bowl of spaghetti bolognese, which may have been the size of the cow we were raising money to send to Africa.
Thursday night supper was a soup made with split peas, onion, cumin, a smidgen of passata and gravy granules, followed by liver and onions in gravy with 175g mash, the potato skin crisps (again) and 80g mixed veg. Offal-y good.
Friday night, we had spaghetti with split pea bolognese, using the rest of the passata, 200g mixed veg, onions and some basil leaves. I'd not though of using split peas as sauce-base for pasta before, but it worked really well and tasted really nice.
What I think I've picked up from this challenge is that I do not have to be afraid of feeling hungry; I do not have to overeat at one meal to compensate for eating light the rest of the day. I've learned the power of menu-planning, and I think I can be more resourceful now in my use of ingredients. On the not so positive side, I've learned that it's easy to under-eat too, and with me that leads to over-tiredness and lack of concentration. I do feel more empowered to get the balance right, though.
Why is LBTL important to me?
This week, European elections have been run, and I have seen a large number of commentators mention certain political parties' stance on the aid budget used as one of the reasons to vote in a particular direction. In this country, we have never managed to reach the UN Council's target of 0.7% of Gross National Income in donations. That was a target set in 1970! Of course, it doesn't help when one country in receipt of aid squanders budget on space programmes, that makes all of us wince. Does the aid budget end up where it needs to go? The government can't say. And no firm deadline has been set for recipients to respond on where that money goes. That might be shocking, but is that a reason not to give at all?
Guess what: I'm sensing a lot of protectionism in the air. If pressure is kept up the way it seems to be from those protectionist politicians, I can't see us ever reaching our promised target. And I do believe we have a duty, a responsibility, to give back to those nations that we exploited to get to be a rich country in the first place. Yes, we have our own poor, scraping by, dependent on food banks. That should make us angry. Because we're still rich as a nation.Why is there such disparity?
Having to give to charity to try to even things up feels like such a Victorian thing to do, but until we have people in power globally who are truly acting on behalf of their fellow humans to make things fairer, charity will be the sticking plaster solution.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. We all have the power to be kind. It doesn't have to be with money, but I'm so very thankful for your support.