For FIVE Days, living on 15HKD each day for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner...... will you support the cause? Although not in the UK with the team, I will also be supporting the cause of fighting World Poverty from HONG KONG!
So what will I do? It's simple...
For a FIVE day period I will spend no more than 75 HKD on food and drink, calculating all that goes into my meals.
This works out to 15HKD/Day for three meals.
No sneaky snacks or treats.
No freebies from 'charitable' friends.
No skipping meals to save money
15 dollars may not sounds like much to you or me, but over 2 Billion people across the world live off less than that each day. So, challenge yourself. Next time you look at your plate, count our blessings and how we can share and bless others.
If you want to know more or show your support by donating then you can visit the following pages :)
I'll be updating to keep a record of costs and stay on track of the challenge, maybe show off some (if I do) creative recipes from a limited supply of base ingredients. Stuff in HK aint cheep...
To my friends who know me and my stomach, you'll know that I like to eat. borderline love. Just last night I had some friends over for some delicious Coq au Vin with some roast taters... delish. I wouldn't say I am over indulgent in my eating. I do count the costs and even calories, but 15HKD!! Today is the start of a real challenge.
Breakfast (1.2 HKD)
Most important meal of the day as people say. I kicked off with a big bowl of porridge. Mixed up with freshly boiled water. No condiments. Not too tasty but I can't argue. It's healthy, filling and does the job.
Lunch (5.5 HKD)
I cooked a simple tomato and garlic pasta the night before with a few left over ingredients. Taking into account even the oil and herbs used, a moderate sized plate cost less than I expected.
Hit the gym after work and then went to the market to buys some groceries. Found a gem of a buy, a veg stall was selling discounted and then BOGOF veggies! Bought a kilo of Chinese spinache for only 5 dollars! Also procured some beans, eggs and some bananas. Should last the next few days.
So for dinner cooked up a bean omlette and boiled spinache on rice. made enough for tomorrow's lunch box too. nice.
Breakfast (2.5 HKD)
Started off like yesterday, big bowl of oats, but this time added a banana. Really tasty and filling actually.
Brought in the extra portion of dinner i made last night. Impressed a couple of colleagues with the price of it all and also had to fight off the snacks.
No rice left in the house so went for a big bowl of veg. Boiled up with ginger, white pepper and sesame oil, served up with a poached egg.
I thought I'd be OK but the lack of rice is affecting me. A late night snack of Porridge oats with a dollop of peanut butter from the cupboard. Tomorrow's a public holiday so will get a rest and can also buy some much needed carbs.
PS: Sorry for no pics, keep forgetting to snap some.
Dragon boat festival so day off, woke up around 1pm :) had a relaxing day and a big brunch of noodles, boiled veg and a couple of poached eggs. Went out and did a bit of shopping before going to Granny's house for dinner... AYAH! I had forgotten i promised to go to Gran's for a festive family meal T___T So I had to cheat a meal and will compensate by adding a 6th Day to the challenge. I'm sorry team if it's cheating, but it would be rude not to go and eat together. On the plus side, told my family about what and why I was do the challenge and they were very surprised. ''How can you eat off 15 dollars a day!''. Still, they were supportive and told be to get back on track. PS: I ate like a king!! We had fish, chicken, scallops!! WOOHOO!
So, back to plan after a devious day off work and a cheated meal. Back to the challenge.
Breakfast (2.5 HKD)
Same as before, a big bowl of oatmeal and a banana to go with. The weather was a tad cooler the morning so the hot porridge was quite nice.
Lunch (6 HKD)
Despite last night's hoo har, I was able to cook up a tasty bacon pasta for today's lunch. A couple of rashers with plenty of herbs and garlic and then some wilted Chinese spinach. Yum yum.
Dinner (6.5 HKD)
Using all the available fund for dinner and cooking extra for tomorrow's lunch, a bacon and bean omelette wth spiache on rice. Big portion.
Yet again it's banana and oats. Getting used to and quite enjoying this healthy breakfast now. No morning cravings for a fry-up... yet. Early day at work since it's exam period, so had to make sure i was full up till lunch.
Lunch (6.5 HKD)
Same as last night's dinner, i made sure that there was good protein and plenty of rice since i would hit the gym after work!!
Dinner (6 HKD)
Getting better with the maths now, only the second day where i've spent all the allocated money. This night i made a bacon and onion spaghetti, nom nom. Again, made some extra for tomorrow since I'll embark on a special 6th Day.
Extra day since i had a cheat meal with the family during th Dragon boat festival. Saturday morning and off to church. We've got some exam prep classes with students, so i pack my meals as usual.
Breakfast (3 HKD)
You know the drill, big bowl of oats and a banana whilst preparing some English work. Also nabbed a couple of sweets during class to perk me up.
Last night's leftovers. had a sneaky free period in the schedule to wolf down more lovely bacon pasta. Got a few looks from church kids too as they were intruigued by what i was eating and then the challenge i was taking.
Dinner (1 HKD)
Got home late after cell group and wasted no time grabbing a quick bowl of oats. nothing big or special, just really hungry.
Supper (5 HKD)
Whilst munching oats i prepared to roast some potatoes and carrots. Bag was a little too big so portioned myself and saved up the rest for an other time. Something tasty for the last meal of this week long challenge.
Having completed the challenge I've thought and experienced many things. At first i expected to find the shopping and cooking an arduous task since groceries are getting more and more expensive over here. This fear grew when coupled with my appetitie and taste for flavoursome food. However, i was plesently surprised by what i cooked up in the kitchen and how full or at least satisfied i was with portions. A couple of nights i did feel a little hungry before bed but that also got me thinking. How would someone living like this every day of the week cope? Would hunger become a regular ocurance? or would they simple eat more heap foods, cutting out fresh fruit, veg and meats?
The more I counted my consumption the more i questioned my choice in the matter. My shopping was thrifty but limited in choice as many things were well above budget. I began to realise the everyday choices that people in poverty face, to eat better, or maybe save those few dollars or pence for the future. What if one day the money i used for food was needed for somehting else? new clothes? increased rent? medicine?
It really was an eye opener for me to see how blessed we all are in our safe, warm homes. Food on the table, rooves above our heads and beds to sleep in. And i dont have to look far to see people not so blessed. In Hong Kong more than 17% of people live in poverty, calculated at an income of 3000HKD/Month (around £250). Even paying half their wage on the cheapest rent to live in crapped apartments or even cages! It's true.
I never really knew or even thought about the oxymoron of the poor and rich in Hong Kong.
I've been stretched by this challenge, physically, mental and emotionally. At a spiritual level i am also questioning how ignorant and apathetic I am towards poverty and other social injustices. This week has helped focus some of my vision away from myself, my friends and family, towards a larger family. Not only a family of Christ through brothers and sisters, but through God. As we are all children created by the Lord, we should learn to care for each other. Jesus taught many times on loving and giving to those in need, but i rarely ever saw beyond my own circle.
I'm not sure of my future direction in relation to the challenge. Will i become a rights activist and fight for the poor... most likely not, but i have learnt an invaluable lesson on the reality of poverty and the problems it involves. I hope to take part in similar challenges and also share will my local friends and families in time to come. Little by little we can help to raise awareness and fight poverty. Who will join us next time?