Friday, August 13, 2010
Thoughts: About 20,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every three and a half seconds. Unfortunately, it is children who die most often. There’s not much you can do with $2. In fact, you can’t even buy a beer, a burger, or a bus ticket. Shockingly, the 1.4 billion people currently living below the Extreme Poverty Line survive on this small amount every day. Nick Dale took on the challenge of eating for less than $2 per day to understand the obstacles faced by those currently living in extreme poverty.
This is what Nick said previous to his challenge, "Since deciding to take on the $2 a day challenge, I have become more aware of what I eat and how randomly I will buy food without thinking much of it. Going to the supermarket is a chore, a hassle, and yet I'm privileged enough to be able to go on a whirlwind rush through the aisles, throwing whatever tickles my fancy on that day into my basket. Hmm...lots of vegies today, yep! Yum, some cookies! Yogurt, organic too! I think I'll get some brie cheese for tonight. Blueberries! Frozen ones, all packaged nicely for me! The choices! And we don't think anything of it. Its just a weekly (or daily) chore! And its so convenient. ....or hell! I haven't had time to get to the shops...Pizza it is! And some ice cream, oh look whatever the hell i feel like!...
This is the day to day privileged existence we live.
Or at least, this is how I live. And its just the norm for me. Simultaneously, across the world, thousands of people don't even know what a supermarket is! Their lives consist of a day to day struggle just to GET some food to survive. ..while I'm complaining of having to do the weekly grocery shop? What a massive in balance this is!
But as I bring awareness to all this, it does make me appreciate food so much more.
"I cant believe how unprepared I was. It has just served to show me where I'm at in my life. How much I take for granted....how caught up I am in this fast-paced society of rush rush, achieve achieve, buy buy, more more, give me more!!
I thought it would be a cinch....I decided to do all my shopping for the 5 days early Monday morning (due to a very busy weekend combined with lack of organization).
The supermarket trip was a whole feat in itself. I thought, I'll just go for the cheap stuff, the homebrands...should be fine! But then it all became a big mathematical dilemma (no wonder I never ended up becoming that accountant!)..i became really aware of keeping it under $10...so the pen and paper was out, calculating everything to get it right. ...wow! What an exercise in mindfulness! Normally i would just throw stuff in the basket, with a rough idea of how much i wanted to spend, but $10 for 5 days!!...Harder than i thought!....to ration it all so that i could have a balance of protein, carbs and some veg/fruit.
It takes real discipline to live like this. What ive noticed mostly after one day...is that it clears the head. All the stuff i thought i needed ...a chai latte out here...salt and pepper on my meal, a cup of tea and a biscuit....a chocolate snack...and other stuff too...a magazine, a video to watch ...fancy smelling body wash...top grade laundry powder...its all just stuff! Stuff to crowd the mind, and the moment.
Breakfast - Boiled Oats (Oats, Coles homebrand, 90c for 750g)
Lunch - Pasta and Peas (Coles Homebrand Pasta, 59c) Frozen peas, (Coles homebrand 1.99 for 1 kg)
Dinner - Lentil Dahl with cubes of potato and pumpkin and some peas
(Red Lentils, 1.60 for a bag. Potato, 2.48kg (only bought one potato)..Pumpkin, 81c)
"Its amazing how the mind comes into play, if you just stay calm and present, you are fine. I'm amazed at how much water i thought i had to drink all the time, and snacks here and there!...This challenge is really waking me up, making me present."
This is a tough one. The first two days were fine, it was kinda fun...but started to feel the effects of living below the line yesterday and last night... Have been pretty vague and starting to salivate over the hamburgers on tv and smells of pizza on the street!...feeling kinda lethargic and slightly faint at... times....down to my last rations....really makes you empathize with people living in conditions of poverty, the strength they must have...
It also makes me think of anyone in suffering, not just physical, but emotional too, which can be just as bad, in a different way. People who feel isolated and alone in their feelings and situation..trapped and unable to reach out..
Was the toughest, by far. My menu for the day was oats, oats and oats!. Basically all I had left.
Stripping back everything, limiting yourself to the basics, it really cuts away all the extraneous crap we crowd our lives with. It brings it all down to the essence of life, whats really important. Ive been so much more conscious of how I communicate with people and treat people this week. Ive been more aware of my own thoughts, what I say to myself and the power that has. Its given me confidence in that i can be resilient and strong if i have to...that there's even more i could do....
And for a couple of moments, I started to see, if only on a much lesser scale, how people living in poverty might feel..and to imagine how they survive, in much worse conditions, on a day to day basis...that at that extreme, the suffering is real. The pains, the physical effects...the desperation..It's minute to minute survival...
So far Nick has raised $840 from his $2000 goal. If you would like to contribute to raising money to go towards poverty visit Nick's page at Every Day Hero.
Quote: “When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another - and ourselves” Jack Kornfield.
What I Ate Today:
Meal 1: A beetroot (beet), carrot, celery, ginger juice.
Meal 2: A avocado.
Meal 3: Spring Vegetable Stew. Created with baby carrots, parsnips, turnips, baby onions, artichokes, himalayan salt, peppercorns, tarragon and basil, and parsley!
Meal 4: A salad with green lettuce, carrots, cherry tomatoes, lemon, hemp seeds, green beans, himalayan salt and pepper! Healthy and light :)
Meal 5: Raw Chocolate Icecream!!! I couldn't believe it, tastes exactly like ice cream when I used to eat it! Created with cocao, dates, water and cashews! The bets thing about raw ice cream is that nothing is cooked, processed, no sugar, no added chemicals or preservatives, and it is gluten and dairy free! Delicious AND healthy!
Recipe: Recipes for Raw Chocolate Icecream and Spring Vegetable Stew are available on The Earth Diet website www.TheEarthDiet.org
Exercise: A bike ride to the supermarket, some ab work at Big Al's Family Fitness and stretching in the sauna!
81 days to go!!!