Thursday, 7 May 2015

Live Below the Line Challenge- My Nutritional Results and What I Gained

Day 4

Well I guess you already know what my days meals look like, but I’m sure people are wondering if I’m getting enough nutrients and vitamins. I wondered the same thing myself.

On my Live Below the Line diet I’m consuming about 1,100 calories a day with most of my protein and carbohydrates coming from eggs and oats. 

1 cup of oats will provide you with 17 grams fiber and 26 grams of protein.
1 medium egg has approx. 6g protein 5g fat (the good one) and 70 calories.
Kale is very high in vitamins K, A & C and is also rich in manganese that helps with nutrient absorption, wound healing and bone density. Carrots are a great source of vitamin A and potassium. But how does this weigh up? 

According to a Medical Institute study, women should have about 50 grams of protein a day, and more when exercising. By consuming 1 ½ cups of oats daily I’m already in my healthy range for protein as there is about 26g per cup.  Add my 1 or 2 eggs at 6g of protein each and it brings me up to about 45-48 grams of protein.

Carbohydrates should make up about 45-65% of your daily calorie intake.

My servings of porridge give me 40.5g and 2 corn thins per day have 8.7g carbohydrates.

I’ve used the nutritional values from USDGuidelines to put together a percentage chart. My carbohydrates are a little under what they should be but I’m very happy with the amount of protein, considering that I’ve still been doing some light training. I'm still boosting my body with the vitamins from kale and carrots so have felt pretty energetic rather than sluggish and tired. 

Although I havent included the lemon in my tally as it was such a small amount- I added it all week to some of my water and as a dressing for my vegetables. I thought it was important to incorporate some lemon juice into my diet for so many reasons! Check out my Health with a Twist post to read more about the health benefits of lemon.

My average daily intake of calories for the week has been 1184:
Here’s the rough breakdown

Carrots 41 calories
Kale 33 calories
Egg 78 calories
Oats 907 calories
Corn Thins 47 calories

My exercise over 5 days has been

2 x 5k runs (Monday & Friday am) 
3x hot yoga classes
1x weights & cardio gym session 
Walks with my dog twice a day.

So although my diet has changed I have still managed to maintain a healthy balance on just $2 a day. I have done a bit less exercise this week to let my body adjust to the challenge diet but it's been feeling great. I've got one day left and am down to 2 carrots and some oats so Day 5 will be the toughest one yet, but the end is in sight and I'm really appreciating everything about this challenge so far! 

Day 5

I had to be extra organised today because of my travel plans to Melbourne and that I had very little food left. I packed my porridge and my carrots which was a good lesson, both on money saving and also healthy eating when travelling. So often we waste money on food that isn't very good for us due to limited options at airports. However packing my own snacks solved both of these problems and I won't hesitate to take some nuts or carrots on my next flight too. 

I made it through Live Below the Line!

I have learned so much from this challenge- mostly about how little we really do need to get by. With another 2 or 3 items I can happily create many more meals on a budget of $15 or $20 for the week instead of my usual $100 grocery bill. I missed green tea but was sleeping so well that I've decided to cut out even my occasional afternoon coffee at work. 
Health wise I actually feel great, which just goes to show how overindulgent we are with the richness of our foods. My first piece of food was a banana, which Id been craving all week and the texture and taste was like experiencing it for the first time. I ordered a Greek salad for lunch and couldn't believe how oily it was, I was so sensitive to the texture and flavouring of meals. I rely on fruit for my natural sugar and as a treat and I've realised not only how expensive it is but also that I don't need to have it everyday. Believe it or not I still love oats and porridge but will go back to enjoying them in moderation rather than as an everyday staple.

I'm so proud of my efforts and extremely grateful to everyone who donated- My fundraising goal was $400 and I raised over $500. The support was so positive, I couldn't believe how many people were interested in what I was doing and wanted to contribute to help people living in extreme poverty. I gained so much from the challenge; it opened my eyes in so many ways and created conversations about the cause. I hope that readers of my little blog have gained some insight into my experience and may consider some changes in their own life or even trying the challenge themselves next year! Donations are still being accepted until June so please feel free to chip in a dollar or two if you can spare it. For more information on Oaktree and what the donations can provide click here.

Thanks again for all the support! Live Below the Line has been an incredible experience and it has changed my outlook on so many aspects of my life, financially, nutritionally and emotionally.

Love Jade