The 7500 Challenge By Glowhealth – Day 1

The 7500 Challenge By Glowhealth – Day 1
In my conversations about the nature of my profession with people I encounter, there’s almost never a week that goes by without hearing the sentence, “Eating healthy is too expensive”. I’ve heard this statement from people in the States, but a lot of people in Nigeria seem to think it’s almost impossible with our diet.
Can it be expensive? YES and NO… but I’ll touch more on that on a blog post this week.
I created this challenge to prove that it IS possible to eat healthy, delicious and filling meals with a small budget.
Why N7500?
N7500 for 15 meals means that I have to spend an average of N500 in groceries per meal. On a good week, I can easily spend 5x this amount or more. Let’s not even touch on how much I spend eating out… I chose N500 because it seemed almost impossible. But I want to prove that if this can be done with N500 a meal, an amount that seems impossible. Imagine the meals that can be created with double or triple that budget.
The Stores
I normally shop for groceries at a few specialty stores in Lekki, VI, and Ikoyi and also online. I chose to buy my groceries from 3 stores – SPAR in Lekki 4th Roundabout, Prince Ebeano Supermarket in Oniru, and HUBMart in VI. I chose these stores to make this challenge as accessible and replicable as possible. I had a few things on my list that I couldn’t find in both stores but I improvised instead of going to multiple stores to find them — knowing that someone who is a novice to the art of meal prepping/planning will get frustrated and give up before even starting if they couldn’t find ingredients easily. I decided not to buy anything from the market. Here’s why:
1. I needed receipts for the credibility of this challenge
2. Prices vary by seller, location, if the seller thinks you have money, etc.Grocery List
I’m sure all the staff at the grocery stores were looking at me like I was crazy with my pen and paper calculating what I could afford. As you can see, some of the foods I initially thought I would include were out of the question when I saw the price. For example, I thought I would include a salad everyday for either lunch or dinner. Then I went to the store and saw that ICEBURG LETTUCE IS N4,800. N4,800?!!! FOR LETTUCE… When my budget is N7,500?!! HOW?!
Still mad about that. Crossed it off the list ASAP
Here’s what I ended up getting:
1 Watermelon
1 Bunch of Bananas
2 Grapefruits (approx. 300g each)
2 Mangos (approx. 150g each)
9 Apples (approx 70g each)
2 Cucumbers (approx. 375g each)
4 Onions (approx. 125g each)
3 Red Peppers
300g of Tomatoes
360g of Garden Egg
Spinach
Basil
4 Plantains (approx. 230g each)
2 Sweet Potatoes (approx. 345g each)
500g box of Ofada Rice
140g of Quaker Oats
1kg of Bean Flour
500g packet of Whole Wheat Spaghetti
6 Whole Wheat Bread Rolls (approx. 100g each)
1 Dozen Eggs
400g of Mackerel Fish
500g of Chicken
Cost Cutting
The total price came up to N9408.50  A lot of the items I bought were prepackaged for a set price so I couldn’t pick the exact quantity I thought I needed (this is where the market may have worked to my benefit). So, I decided to cut off some items to make sure I was under my budget. I cut the following items:
Watermelon (half) – n300
1 Cucumber – n200
180g Garden Egg – n150
2 Eggs – n107
2 Plantains – n350
750g Bean Flour – n810
Total Price = N7,491.50

Food Selection
I wanted to prove that healthy, nutrient dense meals are possible and doesn’t necessarily have to be boring with a tight budget. This took a lot of planning before my first grocery store visit, but since this is actually a service my company offers, it wasn’t very difficult for me to come up with meals. My next tasks were then to show variety and package our local foods in an appealing way. My food selection was guided by making sure all foods were nutrient dense, meaning they were whole grains and included a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean and plant based proteins. It was also guided by my dietary preferences. I love fruits and eggs and I can’t survive without them so that was a given. Since my salad dreams were cut short by lettuce, I moved on to spinach and basil for my leafy greens. Another thing I learned is meat is a luxury (more on another blog post during the week) so I also had to ration my proteins. I don’t like beans (plain, stewed, porridge), but I really like moin moin and akara. I couldn’t find blackeyed beans in both stores so I decided on trying bean flour.

Meal Prepping and Planning
The only way I can successfully complete this challenge was by prepping and planning ahead of time. My grocery shopping was completed on Saturday, and 70% of meal prep was done on Sunday. The only meals I didn’t prep ahead of time were breakfast and snacks. See videos below:

I’m going to be honest and transparent with this challenge, keeping my followers updated every step of the way. This isn’t easy, but I hope to prove that it is doable. Blog posts with recipes, macros, calories, struggles, and professional advice will be posted on www.glowhealthnigeria.com/blog daily. Make sure you’re following @GLOWHealthNG

Day 1 Monday June 19th
Breakfast: Banana pancakes and 1 fried egg (205 calories; Carbs: 34.6g, Fat: 5.2g, Protein: 7.9g)
20170620_181250
Lunch: 140 grams Chicken with 1 serving of moin moin and 1 handful of sauteed spinach (581 calories; Carbs: 40.4g, Fat: 24.8g, Protein: 36.8g)
20170620_181228
Dinner: 1.5 cups Whole wheat spaghetti with stew (314 calories; Carbs: 59.6g, Fat: 1.3g, Protein: 12.1g)
20170620_181359
Snacks: 1 cup of watermelon and 1 medium apple (116 calories; Carbs: 25.4g, Fat: 0.5g, Protein: 1.2g)
 
Total Calories: 1,181
Total Carbs: 160g
Total Protein: 58g
Total Fat: 38g
Written by Adanna Monde (@AdannaJazmine) is a Public Health Consultant and Certified Nutritionist based in Lagos, Nigeria. Her company GLOW Health (@GLOWHealthNG) helps people adopt healthier, sustainable lifestyle changes.
All Photo Credit: @GLOWHealthNG

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