Tracy’s Challenge – The Results!

Tracy Norton's Challenge

Tracy Norton’s Challenge

A huge thank you goes to Tracy who raised over £2,000 for Destiny Garden School – this will be enough to provide a nutritious school lunch for all 420 children for 11 weeks.

Tracy raised these funds by challenging herself to “live on £1 a day” for 21 days. We asked her how she achieved this:

What made you decide to do this particular challenge? Why Destiny Garden School?

It was completely spontaneous! I have supported the school for a few years and always look forward to the newsletters and updates. When I received your email about the funding problems DGS were having due to the drop in the exchange rate and how Destiny Children might not be able to fund the school lunches beyond March or April next year, I felt compelled to do something to help. I spent a few hours racking my brains thinking of things I could do (sponsored run, cake bake etc) then decided that given it was all about providing food for the children, I would repeat a challenge we did in the office last year to live on a pound a day and this time, extend the time from 5 to 21 days and see if I could get people to sponsor me. I never expected quite so much support and it has been a very humbling experience.

We are very lucky here in the UK. We have unlimited clean drinking water and the shops are crammed full of every type of food we could ever need. To think that the money we have raised (about £2,000) will help to feed the beautiful children at DGS for an extra 8-10 weeks is such a great feeling and I am hopeful this will help the school through a difficult patch and the exchange rate will level out in the meantime. What I love about supporting Destiny Children is that I know for sure that all the money raised goes directly to DGS and that it makes a real difference to the lives of the children at the school. That’s so important.

What was a typical day’s menu?

Breakfast – a pear or a banana or a small bowl of porridge oats (made with water and a small handful of frozen berries)
Lunch – lentil, tomato and potato soup or  instant noodles or split pea soup
Dinner – veggie chilli and rice or veggie curry and rice or stir fried rice and veg

Did you suffer from lack of energy or fatigue?

Not at all. I actually ate very well for the whole 21 days.  I think it helped massively that I eat a mostly vegan, gluten free diet normally anyway so I didn’t need or miss expensive products like meat or cheese etc. I ate a LOT of lentils, potatoes and rice!

Did you lose any weight?

Yes, I lost a total of three pounds in weight and to be honest I felt great. I ate very healthy food for the full 21 days and drank gallons of water.

What did you miss most?

The biggest thing I missed was my coffee.  I had a few days of caffeine withdrawal headaches in the first few days and I got really fed up of drinking plain water in the last week.

veggie shepherds pie

veggie shepherds pie

How difficult was it?

I would describe it as challenging rather than difficult. I really had to think it through and plan what I would eat.Everything was cooked from scratch and I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen prepping and cooking. I cooked big batch quantities at the weekends (veggie chilli, soup etc) and froze individual portions for lunches and dinners in the week.

I got a bit bored with the restricted range of ingredients – it all became a bit ‘samey’ after the first 10 days, but I certainly didn’t go hungry and it really opened my eyes as to what’s possible on a limited budget (with a bit of creativity!).

I absolutely couldn’t have done this if I hadn’t used the dried herbs and spices from my cupboards – I’m no good with bland food!

Would you do it again?

Yes definitely! If I thought it would help, I wouldn’t hesitate, but unfortunately, I think I have may have exhausted my pool of sponsors as I approached absolutely everyone I could think of.  I was blown away by everyone’s generosity.

I know you did one large shop at the start of the challenge – what was on your shopping list ?

  • Tinned tomatoes x 3
  • 1kg bag of frozen chopped mixed veg x 3
  • 750g baby potatoes
  • Baked beans x 2
  • 1kg bag of cheap rice x 3

    Veggie Chilli

    Veggie Chilli

  • 1kg porridge oats
  • 500g dried green lentils
  • 500g dried red lentils
  • 500g dried split peas
  • Supermarket own brand decaffe coffee
  • 400g frozen mixed berries
  • 250g dried marrowfat peas
  • 2.5kg potatoes
  • Bag of onions
  • Bunch of spring onions
  • Fresh ginger
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • Soy sauce
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 red pepper
  • A bag of pears, net of satsumas and a bunch of bananas
  • And 5 packets of 18p instant noodles!

Total : £ 19.92

I used my own cooking oil plus various dried herbs and spices from my cupboard.

I also spent another £1.05 in the last week on a small bag of potatoes (69p) and a sprig of broccoli (36p) leaving me with 4p over!

Can you let us have some of your recipes?

Unfortunately, I am not sure about the recipes for the veggie chilli and the lentil soup as I generally make things up as I go along and am notoriously bad at trying to write recipes down for people (I never measure anything and I just kind of throw things in whilst going along!).

I managed to make lentil falafels, home made ‘chips’ (technically chip shaped roast potatoes!) and some home made veggie sausage or burgers made with left over veggie chilli or veggie curry mixed with mashed potato, onions and bound together with oats.