Could you live on £12 a week?

The link above will take you to a BBC article discussing how little people on benefits may have to live on after all the cuts and caps which are being brought in by our current government.

With careful planning, an adult could spend as little as £12 per week on a healthy, balanced diet, says Tom Sanders, a professor of nutrition at Kings College London.

I’m am skeptical that anyone can have a healthy balance diet on so little. So I’m going to plan a little experiment where next week I will be living on a diet of £15. Now I don’t want to just buy £15 worth of super noodles and a loaf of bread. I genuinely want to see if I can have plenty of fresh, tasty, healthy nutritious ingredients and eat well.

I’m lucky enough to be able to afford a well balance diet. I live with intolerances and so do have to buy premium products such as Goat’s milk and cheese. I say ‘have to’ but of course I could just not have them in my diet.

Sad times.

Food is such a huge part of who I am. I realise I do take for granted how lucky I am to be able to choose what I buy without really thinking about the cost. I’m not extravagant by any means but I enjoy what I eat.

I don’t eat processed sugar, I only get my sweet fixes from fruit and occasionally honey. I don’t use sweeteners and I don’t eat a lot of meat. I don’t eat out often and think of it as a special treat or save it for socialising. I make my own sourdough bread and now I make my own yogurt. (Yes I am practically a sprout growing, home-brewing hippie)

The above factors I think will help me but, I am a food snob. I don’t like to eat processed food, I like to recognise the list of ingredients on a packet. I never purchase smart price/super value/basics labels for this reason as very rarely do you get much nutritional value from this stuff. This is of course my opinion and it applies to most processed food.

The BBC article tries to promote starches as the bulk of meals, I think after this little experiment I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d added a few pounds. I do cycle every day to work and build up quite a sweat but I’m in rehearsals, so pretty sedentary most of the day, and carb loading at lunch means I will be asleep by 2pm so I need to look at how to factor in more protein. If I can afford it.

So goodbye avocados, adios chorizo, see you later brazil nuts, get tae flaxseed and a bientot coffee. These are a luxury.

Hello pasta salad, lentils, pasta bakes, soups and more pasta.

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