Saturday, June 25, 2011

what i learnt - the more of less


the photo above: the first meal that kick started my LBL challenge which ended 2 weeks ago. a hard boiled egg and plain porridge mightn't sound like the most satisfying breakfast on a chilly winter morning, but surprisingly - without salt, without any fancy condiments, without much colour - it was satisfying, in an bizarre sort of way. the blandness somewhat made me appreciate every mouthful of the porridge. there was something wholesome about every precious bite i took.

these two weeks since LBL, i've been reflecting a bit on my experience...

LBL was a springboard for conversations; friends and family would ask me about how it was going, wishing me good luck with the challenge, and then mum would be offering me food because she kept thinking i wasn’t getting enough nutrition from my $10 of groceries (and i kept having to convince her that i was ok, and probably was even healthier than I usually ate). during those five days i felt like i was more connected to a bit more of the world, to those who are stuck living below the line everyday and to the community of people campaigning and supporting LBL.

[our world is full of compassionate, kind and loving people, and what really makes life sweet isn't so much the sugar we add to our chocolate, cakes and desserts, but rather: the relationships that we share and the love and care that we give genuinely - not only to those we know, but also to the wider world around us.]

although i did have moments of hunger pangs and odd cravings, i didn't really starve as such - i mean, i even had oats, some frozen vegies, half a carrot, plus an egg leftover. but having a limited range of food supplies, and limited access to food (not being able to buy food on the go, not being able to eat out with friends) did pose some difficulties. even when i was eating at home and talking over dinner as normal with my family, it felt like there was some sort of imaginary line drawn between me (plus my vegie porridge) and the rest of my family at the dinner table because we weren't sharing the same food.

[food is an integral part of our society - it is strongly tied with sharing, with celebration, with tradition and culture. food is often a part of those happy moments we share with one another, and can often bring back happy memories of people together. for the millions who don't have enough to eat, food is survival]

when friends and relatives asked me about what i was eating for the week, many seemed quite suprised with the nutritious range of groceries that i bought for under $10 ( oats, soy and linseed bread, eggs, mixed vegetables, apples and milk ) when you only have a $10 note to spend, it makes you think more and plan more about what to eat, all of a sudden $10 was worth a lot. i feel very lucky to know about what's important in a healthy diet, which low GI foods for longer lasting energy, where to get protein from instead of from meat etc etc. without education, books, the internet ...i wouldn't have had a clue. and without access to a variety of supermarkets and the local market, i wouldn't have been able to buy all those groceries under the budget.

[unfortunately, not only is money a issue for those living in impoverished communities, but access to food and education also play a significant role in their wellbeing. we really are blessed, but what's more, we can share this wealth with many more people so that they too can benefit from it]

i've learnt more from eating less, than i would've if i had been stuffing myself buffet style everyday. if we can take steps to making more out of less, then we can give more to those who have less. less is more. isn't life contradicting is so many odd ways?



mamoomi said...

:) what an insightful post, sand!! so proud of you and what you've done :)*big congratulatory hug!*

indeed we are so very blessed... with family, friends, shelter, food... of things that make life worthwhile.

to live more simply, so others can simply live.