Well, tomorrow's the Big Day - Live Below the Line begins! For the next five days, I will be eating and drinking only as much as I can buy for £1 a day.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please click on the Live Below the Line tab above, where you can find out why I'm doing this, see how I spent my £5 budget and follow my progress.
Tonight I'm feeling a bit apprehensive, but also excited to see how it goes. This afternoon I spent some time cooking ahead for the week and packing up a lunch for tomorrow. My rations for the week included lentils, because they're a cheap and filling source of protein. I got two kinds for variety and plan to use them in different ways through the week.
A few days ago, I took a handful of the whole green ones, washed and soaked them and put them in a jar to see if they would sprout - and they have wooHOO!
This might not look too exciting at first glance, but these sprouted lentils will give me a bit of something fresh and crunchy as well as some extra nutrition.
The rest of the whole green lentils I cooked with one of the veggie stock cubes from my rations, plus a generous handful of thyme from the garden - these I will add to rice and maybe to tomato sauce for pasta.
With the orange split lentils I made a sort of spicy stew, which I will dip into throughout the week. Luckily I had used my last 20p to buy some salt, chilli powder, ginger root, coriander seeds and cumin and all the spices went into this stew, along with a couple of the carrots and some of the onions ...
They taste a lot better than they look, honest!
It took me quite a while to work out how to portion out my pasta and rice, but I got there in the end - a portion will be a half-cup measure (uncooked) - which is plenty for rice, but not so sure about the pasta.
My last job today was to pack up some food to keep me going at work tomorrow. I cooked a portion of the rice - the cheap Basics rice I got came out a bit stodgy and tasteless (quite different from the fragrant Basmati we usually take for granted), but I dry-fried a chopped onion and grated carrot, added one of the eggs from my rations and made a kind of fried rice. It made quite a generous portion and I sprinkled it with chopped sorrel and chives from the garden ...
There's also a handful of the sprouted lentils, some carrot sticks, a banana, a yoghurt and another veggie stock cube from my rations - I'm really going to miss my coffee and I reckon half a stock cube will make an alternative hot drink.
So, that doesn't look too bad, does it? I'll still be getting my five a day; I can't see that I'll be hungry with all that rice; and it's all free on the Slimming World Extra Easy plan if I have the yoghurt as my Healthy Extra (and let's face it, there won't be any other extras!)
Well, as I've been typing this, it's just turned midnight so I am officially Living Below the Line!
Wish me luck and watch this space :o)