The Live Below The Line Challenge

Live Below the Line: Day 2 Diary

5 days, two people, £10 for all our food and drink.

Yesterday was day two, which means I’m writing this on day three – halfway, woohoo! I’m still pretty darn hungry, and I have to tell you that working in the food business whilst eating hardly anything is a bit of a challenge. Obviously I’ve had to put the restaurant reviews on hold for the week, but the food writing goes on, and it’s making my stomach feel seriously hollow! Please sponsor us if you possibly can, to help keep us motivated – click here to visit our page & donate to Against Against Hunger.

Royal Crescent Afternoon Tea
One of the things I’ve been writing this week is a review of afternoon tea at the Royal Crescent. It’s a special kind of torture.

One thing my husband and I have both noticed is that we’re lacking in energy, and not feeling so good, with headaches and tiredness our constant companions. Of course, this is only the tiniest taste of what it would be like to live like this every day, but it’s made me realise properly how such a poor diet can affect your whole life. It would definitely make it much harder to do well at work, and if you were unemployed, I can imagine how hard it would be to summon the energy to keep looking & trying for work – a process that’s soul-sapping at the best of times.

Yesterday I joined in with a Twitter chat about food, one of two that I usually participate in weekly, and we were talking pantry essentials – quite appropriate really. I realised that my view on what was essential had already changed, which was a bit of an eye-opener. To be clear, we weren’t talking about what you’d need purely to survive, but the little extra things that you’d find it very hard to cook without. So far this week, curry powder has been my ingredient hero – we’re eating a lot of tomato-based dishes, as it’s cheap, and curry powder adds a beautiful depth of flavour to tomatoes. You can also use it (of course) to make a curry paste with beans or pulses, to rub into meat in order to improve the quality of the taste, and add it to soup as a catch-all seasoning.  If I had to pick just one ingredient from my (admittedly enormous) range of herbs & spices, it would be curry powder. Another thing I’ve really been loving is garlic, which adds a huge flavour punch for very little money.

Finally, we are of course looking forward greatly to the end of the challenge on Friday, but that makes me feel like a bit of a failure. After all, for most people who live like this, things to look forward to and get you through the week are pretty rare.

For all my Live Below the Line recipes, click here.

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