$2 Day – Live Below the Line – the Challenge is over

So, my Live Below the Line challenge ends at midnight.  And just in time.  What food do I have left? Not much.

A plate of sultana scones with jam and cream
No, I didn’t eat this on my Live Below the Line challenge – one of the many temptations I said no to this week

Actually all I have left is around half a stick of butter and a bit of chicken broth.  No more eggs, rice, apples, tomatoes or potatoes. Nor condensed milk, which I missed as my sugar sweet treat on the challenge.

As I type this I am waiting eagerly for midnight.  Waiting for the pumpkin hour so that I can eat some food. I am surprisingly not nearly as hungry as last year (although I have reduced a least 1 1/2 kilograms and my Dad, visiting tonight, commented on my glowing skin – note to self, eat more brown rice and avoid caffeine).  But I had one of those awful work days and I would really, really like some chocolate.

The last three days were both easy and hard on the challenge.

Brown rice filled me up.  It was a surprisingly good food choice. I worried about it using up such a large allocation of my diet, but in the end it was a good staple choice.

On Wednesday I had three challenges.  Firstly I went to a big la-de-dah cocktail function for a farewell.  I avoided the alcoholic drinks and stuck with water.  I also left straight after the speeches, in part to avoid the buffet banquet (the smell wafted throughout the room and smelt soooo good). I hope people didn’t think I was rude, but I thought it best not to be around such lovely food and drink.

My second problem was that my pumpkin friend forgot the pumpkin (again). I don’t think he quite realised how little food, or variety, there is on a $2/day challenge. I substituted 50c worth of potatoes.  This then threw out my menu planning, as I had planned to make pumpkin soup and pumpkin congee.  The potato also wasn’t quite as nutritious.


My third issue was that I decided to make a simple dinner with someone else  – who wasn’t doing a $2/day Live Below the Line challenge.  I was going to cook two separate meals, but that seemed silly.  So I opted for a potato, tomato and egg omelette/frittata. I ate a two-egg portion for dinner, and the rest for breakfast.  My portion did not have grated Parmesan cheese on it.

I had brown rice and potato fritters for lunch on Thursday, which I had prepared the night before.  They weren’t as delicious as freshly cooked, but weren’t too bad.

That evening I decided to experiment with potato gnocchi, bound together with rice bran.  I made the rice bran by putting the rice in a food processor, and then sifted the bran away from the white rice. It took ages to pulverize.

Potato and rice bran gnocchi
Gnocchi made with potato and rice bran

The potato gnocchi looked pretty, but they were a disaster!  They started to disintegrate into the boiling water rather than float to the top. I rescued some and ate with butter. I then sliced a potato and fried in butter to eat (OK, not healthy but my overall calories are way down).

This morning I was on a training course and was tempted with freshly baked scones, jam and cream.  My, they smelt soooo good. I managed to avoid temptation though.  Doing this challenge has made me realise how much food related hospitality happens on a regular basis.  No wonder I have trouble controlling my weight.

My last dinner on Friday was a simple dish of stir-fried egg and yellow cherry tomatoes, served on white rice (the leftovers from the rice bran experiment). I was generous and gave some of the rice to my kids. I was surprised how hungry I was and how much I ate.  White rice did not fill me up the way that brown rice did.  It was really yummy, though.

Stir fried tomato and egg on rice
Stir fried tomato and egg on rice

I would like to thank everyone for their support.  The Live Below the Line challenge is never easy.  Your support helps me to keep going.  So far I have raised over $577 dollars to support the work of Oaktree in reducing global poverty.  And I have learnt a lot about living on less.


    1. Thank you. I think the gnocchi concept was sound. I have made them before – just with plain flour rather than rice bran flour. Doh! I did manage to dredge a few out and fry in butter. Maybe they would all have been better done this way.

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