Can You Eat Clean on £1/day Part 4: The Verdict

Well that was a long old week!  I have lost 5lbs in 5 days. To catch up with what I have been doing read:

Can You Eat Clean on £1 per Day?

Can You Eat Clean on £1/day? Part 2 – the shopping bit!

Can you Eat Clean on £1/day, Part 3: The Eating Bit

And now that you get the gist of it, here is the verdict:

£1 / day is not enough for any diet, let alone a healthy eating one.  So in short I managed to eat all natural ingredients but:

  • I was not eating enough
  • I was not getting my 5 /day
  • I was not getting any calcium (as I am lactose intolerant my alternative milk was too expensive for this budget)


Had I doubled that budget to just £2/day it would have been much more comfortable. Which just goes to show that we do not necessarily have to spend as much as we do on eating healthily.

What I should have done differently:

The garlic granules and tomato puree were a waste of money – they didn’t really add flavour to anything.  That money would have been better spent on bacon which makes everything taste nice!

I wished that I had bought potatoes instead of pasta. I’m not sure if I could have afforded them but they would have been a healthier option.

This challenge highlights that for the majority of us in the western world “not being able to afford to eat healthily” is an excuse.  I was spending less on my total meals in a day than the cost of a big mac or a  bag of chips.

So I think we need to put into perspective what eating clean is.  For me it is eating natural ingredients with minimal processing and no added artificial ingredients.

It does not have to Bee Pollen, Matcha powders and Super Green Supplements.  If you can afford them that’s great and if they make you feel better then go for it.  But if you can’t it doesn’t mean that you cant jump on the clean eating bandwagon.

I am definitely going to cut down on my food expenditure and opt for some more simple but healthy meals a few night per week. I am also going to cut down on the amount that I eat as I have definitely been over eating.  I am going to use My Fitness Pal again to make sure that I am getting enough but not too much.  This has worked really well for me in the past.

But lets not forget the real point of this challenge.  The point was to raise awareness of what its like living in poverty and to raise money for Oxfam who aim to eradicate poverty throughout the world.

It was actually really depressing waking up in the morning not having a nice breakfast and a cup of coffee to look forward to.  I usually bounce out of bed but I found myself dragging my feet and  feeling unmotivated.  I felt very energy less, needed more sleep than usual and found it difficult to concentrate. The food was repetitive because I had to use up what I had instead of buying something different and apart from satiating hunger I did not really want to eat it.

Its been a tough week with my Dad seriously ill in hospital. I had some emergency calls when I had to rush in and be there for long periods of time.  I wasn’t always able to cook up some food to take with me and because of the challenge, technically I didn’t have money to go to the hospital shop to buy coffee and a sandwich so had to go without.  Yesterday having only eaten half my breakfast before the emergency call came I was incredibly hungry but was determined to experience the life of someone with no money.  I actually considered shoplifting something because it was the only way I would get food and it was that or faint. (Just to be clear I would have gone back and paid for it next week)! I also had my eye on the banana that belonged to George in the bay opposite.  But George slept with one eye open and didn’t look like the type of guy who shared bananas!   The combination of fear and desperation about this was very stressful, and highlighted that people steal food because they are desperate not because they are greedy.  I managed to power through the hunger. Whilst for me I was sticking to a challenge and had the thought of raising money for a good cause to motivate me for others this is not a choice and is something they are forced to endure.

In summary:

  • Yes you can eat a natural diet on a low budget although you may lack variety and flavour.
  •  It is possible to reduce the amount that we spend on a healthy diet.
  • Food plays a pivotal part in our physical and psychological health and I believe that everyone has the right to good nutrition.

If you are impressed by my challenge and would like to help make a difference to people living in poverty and help me reach my target, you are welcome to make a donation here and it will be very much appreciated

Help me make a difference here

You may be wondering what I had for breakfast this morning!  I thought about a big dirty fry up but actually what I was craving was fresh fruit, fresh veg and protein so went in with one of these – a Strawberry, Avocado and Cinnamon Protein Smoothie with Hidden Greens.  And it was perfect and delicious!  The recipe will be on the blog next week and you can click the follow button to sign up for email alerts so that you do not miss a single, amazing post!

Strawberry and Cin Protein Shake


For some adhoc insights as to what I am eating, clean eating tips, wisdom and wit (note the sarcasm) you can follow me on:

Twitter and Pinterest (where you can store your favourite recipes so that you know where they are) @cleanleanbeanie

Facebook and Instagram cleanleanbeanblog

or just click on the “lets get social” buttons on this blog.

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