The Herald will follow well known Kiwis for five days as they attempt to 'Live Below the Line' - by spending just $2.25 a day on food and drink. Beginning today (Monday September 21), Petra Bagust, Ria hall, Eve Gordon and Holly Arrowsmith will share their thoughts, struggles and hunger pangs with Herald readers as they attempt to live off little to raise funds for and awareness of TearFund's fight against human trafficking.
Petra Bagust is a former New Zealand television presenter best known for her time on TVNZ's Breakfast. The 43-year-old has three kids - Theo, 8, Jude, 10 and Venetia, 12. She's been TearFund's anti-Trafficking ambassador for two years.
Ria Hall is a Kiwi singer from Tauranga of Ngāiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui and Te Whānau ā Apanui descent. Her self-titled album was named 2012 Maori album of the year at the New Zealand Music Awards. Ria sang at the 2011 Rugby World Cup opening ceremony and she has collaborated with artists including Fly My Pretties, Tiki Taane and Stan Walker.
Actress Eve Gordon is best known for her role as Stacey, a cycle courier and reincarnated Norse goddess Fulla in Kiwi fantasy series The Almighty Johnsons. The 33-year-old played roles on Mercy Peak and Shortland Street and is co-founder of circus theatre company The Dust Palace.
Folk and country singer-songwriter Holly Arrowsmith, 21, was born in the US desert city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and raised in the mountain valleys of Queenstown. She released her debut album For the Weary Traveller in July this year.
Vinnies Restaurant chef and owner Geoff Scott
Scott trained in London before working in Italy and France and finally landing a job at Michelin three star restaurant 'Le Louix VX' Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. He's owned Vinnie's since 2005.
Breakfast - Porridge with banana and cinnamon (50 cents)
Lunch - Omelette (65 cents)
Snack - Small bowl of brown rice with a dash of soy sauce (10 cents)
Dinner - glass noodle salad with citrus soy dressing (75 cents)
"I'm doing pretty good so far. I've managed to find ways to curb the hunger with snacking on a small bowl of brown rice at around 3pm when I normally start to hit the wall. Still early days so I'm anticipating it will get harder as the days go on! I can't believe people live on this amount of money per day. It makes my heart sore."
Lunch - carrots and apples.
Dinner - peanut butter carrots and crackers.
"I'm already desperate for a coffee! Oh my goodness this Is going to be the hardest week ever!!! I've not been too hungry today but I feel like later in the week I might be regretting my choice of food!!"
Breakfast - Dehydrated buckwheat muesli with yogurt. (69 c)
(1/4 cup of Buckwheat, 1/4 Milk, pinch of cinnamon, 5 peanuts, 3 dates, pinch of coconut, 3 TBSP Unsweetened yoghurt)
Lunch - Brown rice with egg and peas. (64 c)
(1/4 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup peas, 10g butter, 5 peanuts, 1 TBSP soy sauce, 1/2 Boiled egg
Dinner - Black beans on rice. (70 c)
(1/4 Cup Black Beans (Cooked from Dry), 1/4 Cup brown rice, 1/2 Onion, 1 Clove of Garlic, 1 tsp salt, Handful of spinach)
"It is the evening of day one and my stomach is rumbling. I hardly ever buy meat, and a lot of what I will be eating this week is not unusual for me- (Rice, beans, veggies) but the quantities are much smaller.
"What I really noticed today was not being able to snack between meals, and the mild case of 'Hanger' (hungry anger) which resulted. I found it difficult to focus on the tasks at hand, and became frustrated easily.
"Reading the '5 Day Reflection Plan' that TearFund have put together was a special moment in my day, and served as a strong reminder as to why I am doing this. We have so much excess in the West. This is a great challenge to be more aware of what we use or waste, need or want, hopefully allowing us to understand that our way of living is not in fact 'normal'.
"Perhaps we need to grasp this fact before we can reach out to help those with less. Bring on the week!"
Breakfast - A bowl of porridge. ¼ Kiwifruit. 38 cents. (I confess it tasted a bit weird without brown sugar - more edible than enjoyable.)
Morning Tea - Cup of tea without milk. 5 cents. Post my run - I have some nuts. 30 cents.
Lunch - Homemade bread, toasted with marmite and super thin cheese. Slice of pear. 52 cents.
(Feeling okay - baking Anzac biscuits with the children. Soaking up the delicious smell because that'll be all I get.)
Dinner - Carrot and Tomato soup. My budget won't stretch to garnish or toast. (The children get it served with sour cream and parmesan.) Soup for the soul hopefully...
"I am feeling okay end of day one - keen to have an early night - feel like I'll run out of fuel later tonight though. I'll be interested to see if I can handle not snacking each time I pass the kitchen, don't want to ruin my budget and end up going without dinner. Definitely need to pace myself."
Breakfast: I began safely with simple (my staple) weetbix, a reduced tiny sprinkle of muesli and half a bobby banana - ¼ cup milk + half a cup of water - No yoghurt!! Not quite as enjoyable with the watery milk!
Lunch: two minute noodles, I know cheating a bit but I was not as home (on the road) and it filled a gap.
Dinner: this meal I had planned last week and had my pearl barley casserole pre made ( a recipe I wrote for the TearFund cookbook - One Helping) Delicious, nourishing only 75c a helping it's the perfect meal for Live Below the Line. Even my kids, Sam, Oliver and Zara supported me by eating this for dinner with me tonight - Oliver and Zara - not as keen on it as me! Apart from not snacking between meals day 1 has been OK.
What a great feeling to start the week knowing that you are actually making a real difference towards stopping human trafficking. Although the week is going to be tough - it's still an awesome feeling! Part excitement, part nervousness, lots of unknown as well. Having a bit of a food plan written down certainly gives a little bit of guidance and structure to the week.