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Living Below The Line: Fail….But Not Entirely.

We figured it out, finally!
Well, mostly.
First: This is amazing. I walked around the yard a bit, surveying the raised beds and taking some pictures of a crow and a hawk. He was perfectly smooshed in there, no wiggle, no discomfort and my back wasn’t screaming. There will need to be adjustments made for nursing while walking around: but we’ve got this. Yay!

For the background, go here.  I will rant about the implications of this in another entry, I’m just putting the results out there- and some of you who are experienced breastfeeding mothers will know probably immediately where this is going.

I was attempting to live on $7.50 for 5 days as a part of Unicef’s Living Below The Line.

One loaf of Sara Lee Multigrain: $4.00 (It was actually on sale, even.)

Always Save Peanut Butter: $1.99

Bigalow Earl Grey Tea: $.99 (Also on sale.)

Sales Tax: $.34



My daily caloric need alone, as a very active nursing mother is 2125 calories. This does not take into account nutritional needs, which though breastfeeding exclusively as I do does draw from my own nutritional stores if I am malnourished: it doesn’t make for a very healthy momma.

The tea was on sale and purely for caffeine. I have a serious coffee addiction, and I am admittedly at a rather unhealthy point where if I get no caffeine, I get migraines.

I figured peanut butter was an undeniable way to go in terms of calorie-dense, high fat- both things I need to produce milk for my baby. I wasn’t focusing too much on nutrition because my primary concern was keeping my supply from plummeting: and here’s where we hit the first snag. Still, peanut butter’s not a bad way to go nutritionally, either:

One serving is 2 tablespoons: 200 calories and in that one serving I hit 4% RDI on Iron, 7 grams protein and of course, 25% of the total fat I’d need for the day. Peanut butter toast for breakfast also didn’t sound like I’d be wanting to eat my arm off by mid-morning. Plus, I figured if I got hungrier, I could eat a couple tablespoons here and there without killing the jar too quickly, so- protein rather than carbs for energy purposes.

Now, on to the bread, which I thought was an intelligent, albeit, expensive choice. One slice is one serving. Not much fat to it, honestly, but I figured the peanut butter had me set, there. 110 calories. 6 grams of protein and absolutely NO nutritional value apart from that.

Shit. No, seriously, I bought the hype on that one and was in such a hurry while shopping that I just assumed: which I know is stupid. Anyway, 18 servings (1 slice) per container. I figured:

1 piece of peanut butter toast for breakfast: 310 calories

2 tablespoons of peanut butter for a snack mid morning: 200 calories

1 piece peanut butter bread or toast for lunch: 310 calories

1 peanut butter sandwich for dinner, extra tablespoon of peanut butter: 510 calories

Which totals 795 calories less than I need. It is also horrendously boring.

It’s also one sandwich over how much bread I had.

But none of that really mattered because by lunch on the first day I was an exhausted, rattled mess. Emphasis on exhausted, because that was what got me the most. I hate being tired, I don’t deal with it well at all. ALL of my calories were going straight out of my breasts and then some. By lunch I was already dealing with dizziness, nausea and felt like total crap. For me, I gave up very quickly, but did so because I could not adequately care for my infant the way that I need to. That did not, however, prevent me from noting that: I could give up.

And of course this lead me to think,

What about those that can’t?

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