Day 1 of Living on $1.50 per Day

I started my Live Below the Line challenge today, eating $1.50 worth of food per day to raise awareness about extreme poverty and to raise money for UNICEF. I have raised $270 so far. Please click here if you’d like to sponsor me.

Today went well, especially considering that I have never gotten through a day with as few calories as I have today.

I can see that my husband and my friends are a bit worried about me, but they’re also being really supportive and encouraging.

I’ve had a mild headache all day, but it hasn’t been too bad. My stomach has growled between meals, and I’ve felt just slightly light headed, but it clears up as soon as I eat again.

I definitely feel less mentally sharp. For a moment, I couldn’t remember where I had put some of my food, and I was terrified that I had somehow lost it.

I’m hyper aware of food that’s nearby. I wished I could take food from kids at the park, or from my own kids, but I maintained my self-control. I wonder whether I will still be able to on day four or five.

I’m still hungry now although I’ve eaten all the food I allotted for today. I’m going to distract myself with videos and drinking water.

I have drunk a ton of water today. I’ve been drinking tap water, and I feel cold most of the time.

Because I was consuming so few calories, I couldn’t be my usual over-achieving, hyper, caffeine-fueled self. I will often run five errands in less than two hours. I knew I wouldn’t have the stamina for that today so I took it really easy.

I also walked much less than I normally do. I can walk up to seven miles in a day, as part of my exercise regimen. Today I walked only 2.5 miles.

A hardboiled egg maker

A hardboiled egg maker a friend gave me

This morning I had a hardboiled egg for breakfast, brown rice and vegetables for lunch, an apple for a snack, and some pasta shells with an egg mixed in.

All the portions were tiny. I cooked half of the rice I bought and separated it into four portions. I microwaved all 16 oz of the vegetables and also separated them into four portions. My thought when I look at the tiny containers in the fridge is “It’s not going to be enough!”

I cooked half of the 7.5 oz of pasta that I bought. I beat the eggs in a bowl and lamented that some of the egg stuck to the bowl, and I couldn’t get it into the pasta. Then some of the egg stuck to the pan, and I had to scrape every last bit of egg I could off of the pan.

I’m definitely feeling less wasteful. I ate every bit of the apple except for the seeds and the stem.

I’m very nervous that I will run out of food by day five, so I saved some of the pasta for later.

It’s so hard not to just go to the local Starbucks and get a mocha. I really miss chocolate.

The Live Below the Line challenge offers everyone participating in the U.S. $1.50 per day, but I suspect that $1.50 might get you more food in some areas than here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m going to stay within this budget as best as I can though.

One thing I’m really excited about is that I’ve reached and surpassed my fundraising goal of $250. I hope I will still be able to raise much more because there are so many people around the world living in extreme poverty.

The feeling I’m left with at the end of this first day is that I am dog-tired. I think I will be in bed by 9:30 pm at the latest.

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