My Ugandan Venture – July 2015 to September 2015

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(Papa Fred, Myself, Ketty, Mamma Lydia, and the two sisters Patience & Precious)

Pre-Placement

I had always dreamt of going back to Africa after visiting Kenya back in 2007 with my Mum, for a two week holiday, it was such an amazing place with so many inspiring people so I wanted to go back and explore more and get more involved, rather than just being a tourist. This is why began I researching charity programmes and came across International Citizen Service (ICS) which are part of Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) and have many programmes placed all over the world doing a variety of things; sport, counselling, arts etc. However, I dug a little deeper and found a relatively new programme called ICS Entrepreneur (ICSE). Considering I studied Business at University I thought this would be a great opportunity to put my work into action and also my interests as I would like to even start up my own business one day. Within ICSE there were four programmes but I was immediately attracted to the Balloon Ventures programme.

Balloon Ventures initially started in Kenya but is now placed in Uganda and even expanding to Ghana later this year. It was founded by Josh and Doug, who were out of University travelling around realising the lack of job opportunity for young people and a desire to make a change. The three month placement enables a group of UK volunteers (UKVS) to work with in country volunteers (ICVS) from other parts of the selected country, to come together and work with local entrepreneurs. It begins by a week of curriculum training and then initially teaching the entrepreneurs this curriculum and then going out to test ideas together and in the end, if needed, help them pitch for a small and interest free loan to help build their business sustainably. It is also required to live with a host home for the duration of the placement!

After finding the Balloon Ventures programme it sounded perfect, so I applied straight away and waited nervously for a response. When I received the phone-call inviting for an assessment day I was extremely excited and began researching previous Balloon stories and further information on the programme and potential countries! I found the assessment day a great way to interact with likeminded people and also a good way to prepare a bit more for the possibility of living in a developing country for three months. The assessment day was over in a flash (even though it was actually a full working day!) and then off again to wait for a response – which came a week later informing I would need to attend a training weekend in two months time, along with fundraising £800 towards the charity to enable them to continue their amazing work.

Fundraising was a fun way to spread the word about Balloon Ventures and I completed many crazy challenges, including a chilli eating challenge and also a ‘dress ridiculous to work day’ with a cake sale. I managed to raise almost all of the target through these challenges, but decided to write to GIFT to apply for a bursary to help me reach my goal as I seemed to be a perfect candidate – and I so gratefully received a cheque and managed to even exceed my target!

The weeks leading up to the departure day were exciting but also pretty terrifying – where will I be living? What will my counterpart be like? What if I don’t get on with my working group team? What if the entrepreneurs don’t understand? And a million other questions. So when we arrived at the hotel to meet the ICVS, after an incredibly long 24 hour journey, it was so nice to instantly feel refreshed and excited to meet everyone. We were a group of 11 UKVS and 11 ICVS, 2 team leaders (1 UKV and 1 ICV) and a UK programme coordinator – so it was quite a big group, and definitely one of the largest that Balloon have had!

Placement

The first week we all stayed at a small hotel called Reliance, as we had a week of training to learn the Balloon curriculum and the team leaders had a task to select who to group together! The Balloon curriculum was interesting to learn and it was a mixture of practical and theory which I enjoyed, as I really like to go out and get things done and see a change – even though it was quite nerving to go out into town alone for the first time and complete the practical work with the locals, but it soon became an everyday thing and an opportunity to meet so many different people and their stories and soon feel like a local yourself! Hailing down my first Boda-Boda (a motorbike) was terrifying but we were equipped with helmets and safety advice and it soon became such a fun method of transport!

At the end of the week of curriculum training, we were able to have our first group social as it was a couple team members’ birthdays, so we took this opportunity to head to a local bar – it was a really fun night but my do these guys LOVE to dance!!! I’m not a big dancer myself but they did not let anyone stand still, it was crazy but a great way to socialise together. The day after the social, it was announced who we would be partnered up with to live and work with…. I was grouped with Geofrey and Mercy as a working group, and Ketty would be my counterpart at the host home! Now is where it really all begins!

Moving day from the hotel to the host home was scary but I had Ketty there to ease the nerves, although she was just as nervous as me to meet the new family and our new home!! As we pulled up to the house down a rather long dirt track, but with the most amazing view of the mountain, our new family were standing outside to welcome us with big open arms and huge smiles. Our home was very basic with a tin roof and wooden windows, but it was decorated artistically like a seaside house in the UK with its blue and white stripes and shells.

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(Our host home)

Our host Mamma Lydia was a primary school teacher, and also had a food market stall at the local market – she also turned out to be one of my entrepreneurs! Papa Fred was also a teacher at a private school and he also loved art – he was the one to paint the outside of the house! We then had two younger host sisters, Patience was aged 6 and Precious aged 5.

Ketty and I shared a room with two single beds and used another smaller room as a storage room for our belongings/walk in wardrobe! Ketty was initially quite quiet within the group, however as soon as we moved to the host home she opened up a lot more and felt a lot more comfortable and was always non-stop chatting with our host mamma.

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(Ketty in our room)

As our host home was quite a walk away from the main road, there were a lot of creepy crawlies that came to the house, mainly cockroaches and crickets along with the occasional mouse. So being from the UK I found this quite uncomfortable at times going to sleep hearing creepy crawlies around, but Ketty helped me get used to them and taught me how to kill them quickly – also earplugs were a great item to pack! Chasing a mouse around the house with Papa Fred at bedtime will be a memory I won’t forget anytime soon.

When it comes to food at the host home, or in Uganda in general, we had a lot of ‘Irish’ which were potatoes, matoke which is non-sweet banana and is a bit like potato which was delicious, posho which is maize flour formed into again a kind of mashed potato type food, and then rice and beans. We usually had it all together with some meat, either goat or cow I was never really sure which it was, or sometimes we had chicken as the family had a few chickens so Papa Fred would slaughter the chicken for dinner – I even helped to pluck and prepare it once!

One of the most odd dinnertimes has to be coming home to see a cow’s heel in a dish being cooked – apparently it is full of calcium – I tried a bit to be polite but they could tell I did not enjoy it and found it very funny. Another dish we had a lot is ginut’s, they are like peanuts but in a red shell – you could have them roasted or mashed into a sauce – the sauce was a really nice addition to the potatoes! I once brought home some fish from the market for us to have for dinner – it was incredibly tasty, think it was called a Tilapia fish. I did actually take some Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce with me as a UK gift which was a good addition for me but the host home didn’t really enjoy it much..

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(Mercy, Zam, Michael, Geofrey, Nasib, Lydia, Stephen, Myself, Rebecca)

So onto the next important part – our entrepreneurs! Geofrey, Mercy and I had six local entrepreneurs to work with for eight weeks, sharing some business models along with the thinking and testing of new ideas together in order to create more sustainable businesses, also with the chance to pitch for an interest free loan from Balloon in which we create pitching documents and evidence together.

Zam was a new start-up tailoring business lady who mainly needed help with cash flows, advertising and understanding her market and what they wanted. Michael owns his own metal fabrication business and has been successful for a long time he just needed help in trying to grow a little further without using a loan. Nasib had recently purchased his own mobile money point (a bit like phone top-ups which could also be used as a money transfer rather than a bank account which many people did not have) his business needed help to get off the ground quicker as he had some previous issues when initially starting up. Lydia had her own market stall, which she had recently given up on due to not being able to buy in bulk and make enough profit to continue. Stephen has his own bar, The Rock View Bar, his main issue was lack of space and daily recordings/cash flow, along with the expense of hiring all his furniture. And last but not least is Rebecca, she owns her own successful cosmetics and beauty shop and just needed help with trying to manage stock and use current resources more efficiently. We had a good bunch!

Initially before arriving and meeting the team, I thought that the entrepreneurs wouldn’t know very much about business and we would have to explain things quite a lot, however I couldn’t have been more wrong as they all knew and understood everything so quickly and even questioned us on a few details, the only help they really wanted was someone to work together with and give a fresh perspective in order to grow the business further. So, over the 8 weeks working in our working group, we soon grew to know their businesses well and attempted to add in new brainstormed ideas using a small testing budget – some which worked and some which failed, but all of them enabled us to learn and continue trying to grow towards a sustainable future.

Working daily with the group and our entrepreneurs never really gave a ‘work’ feeling and was more like meeting up with friends to discuss business, although don’t get me wrong – it was really hard at times, trying to get ideas to work and think of the best ways to improve a person’s business. We were only there for 8 weeks, but they were there to do this for the rest of their future and they all had lovely families to support with these businesses – so at times it did feel pretty daunting but by the entrepreneurs being so excited to see positive changes happening it enabled us to keep on working hard and improving each day.

As it approached towards the end of the weeks working together, we had to start preparing the pitching documents for those entrepreneurs that wanted to pitch for the loan. We initially wanted 3 of the group to pitch (Stephen, Nasib and Lydia) as we believed they needed it most, but understandably Michael and Rebecca wanted the opportunity too, Zam was the only one that did not pitch. On pitching day it was such a mixture of emotions, meeting and waiting with each entrepreneur before they faced the panel giving some last words of courage, and then seeing how excited they were when they came out was a very proud moment. I especially won’t forget Stephen’s ever smiling face and huge cuddle when he came out from facing the panel and telling me how grateful he was but also how sad he was to see the programme ending and us leaving town soon. Nasib also told me afterwards in a moment of excitement that his wife was newly pregnant – such an emotional day!! Anyway off to celebrate after the stressful previous week of pitching documents, and how do Ugandan’s like to celebrate? By partying and dancing!

After a few days off catching up with the rest of the group and having some chill out time with the host family, it finally came to pitching outcomes – just as we hoped Stephen was granted his loan to purchase his new fridge and furniture, Nasib was granted his loan to improve his mobile money limit and introduce more phone charging facilities and Lydia was granted her loan in order to improve her market stall storage facilities and stock! Unfortunately Michael and Rebecca did not receive the loan, but really this was a good outcome as we had proved that they didn’t really need a loan and could use their available resources in order to grow without borrowing so they weren’t too upset.

It seemed strange afterwards as all of the work leading up to pitching day was done, however we still visited the entrepreneurs at their businesses and socially as much as possible before leaving. We also decided to get more involved with the community and along with spreading the word recruiting new entrepreneurs and host families we volunteered with the local Ugandan Red Cross Society, visiting children’s orphanage and also talking at a local University.

The night before our host family had prepared a delicious leaving dinner, Papa Fred sacrificed a cockerel and prepared it with matoke, potatoes, rice, beans and spinach. They also gave me and Ketty some leaving gifts; Ketty got some earrings and I got a necklace and lots of local coffee which I loved! We also gave them some gifts; Papa Fred an Arsenal shirt, Mama Lydia a bag and the two girl’s cuddly giraffe toys which they wrapped in blankets and treated like babies, Patience even named hers baby Kara – adorable!

It was really sad to leave the host home getting picked up at 5am to head off to Entebbe for a couple of days of team debrief in order to reflect on the previous 9 weeks and spend some last quality time together at a full team. Leaving day soon approached and as expected it was emotional, most people in a puddle of tears! Saying bye to Ketty was tough and we gave gifts to each other (Ketty got me a bracelet and a local hand crafted bag, I gave her a bag to match her new outfit she purchased!). A few of the ICV’s that were able to, joined us to the airport to give us a big cuddle and wave goodbye – I think I must have hugged Geofrey a million times before leaving.

Post-Placement

Since being back in the UK I have continuously spoken to the team as we have a big WhatsApp messaging group with all 24 members – which I sometimes have to mute as it goes off ALL DAY but I love catching up reading all of the messages. I have also spoken to my host Mamma Lydia who updated me on her stall saying it’s still going really well and that they have new host daughters moving in soon which is exciting! All of my entrepreneurs are doing well and Stephen has kept me informed on his business, he has even managed to open up another bar and hire an employee to manage it! I’m also very excited to be a part of Geofrey’s new piggery project he is starting in his home village.

The thing about Balloon Ventures is, they say they want to ‘put you out of your comfort zone’ now this is not a lie, every day there was a new challenge to overcome with your peers, which makes it such a great programme for personal development as well as meeting some great friends and helping towards sustainable economic development in a developing country. I definitely feel more confident going for interviews and have discovered my passion for business and development.

I had an amazing time in Uganda, even though at times it was tough being so far away from family and home comforts, it is such a beautiful place with so many amazing and inspiring people that you just had to look around and see the team and surroundings to remember what an amazing opportunity and experience it was and I can’t wait to go back and visit everyone in the future!

The biggest love to everyone that made this journey such a great one and I hope to see you all very soon ❤

Some favourite pictures from my journey:

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Fundraising update – GIFT bursary & Dare to Donate!

Hello all!

Apologies for the lack of posts lately, I have been super busy preparing for an exam (blergh) and also working full-time  – oh and also receiving ALL of my travel vaccinations (Yay!)

So anywho, I received a really exciting letter through the post a couple of days ago from GIFT – The Reg Gilbert International Youth Friendship Trust – accepting my application for a £300 bursary!!!

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GIFT supports outgoing young UK citizens to establish friendships and direct cultural contacts through ‘homestay’ visits with indigenous communities in developing countries. GIFT believes:

“Friendship and understanding between people and across different cultures is one of life’s most important objectives”

The process was quite quick, however the application form was a good 17 pages of information and questions to answer, which took me a while to write down everything I wanted in order to explain the ICS programme and why I was a good candidate to sponsor. I then received the congratulations letter 3-4 weeks after posting – so as you can imagine, especially me being slightly inpatient, I was quite worried for a moment! But now after receiving this bursary it has brought me up to 95% of my target!!!! – SO CLOSE!!

95% balloooon

Now don’t go thinking that GIFT just go around dishing out money to young people travelling around the country, I have to document my stay with the host family in Kenya and write a report about my learning and experience of living with another culture, as well as completing a presentation about it at my local Rotary club on my return! I usually hate presentations, but I think this one will be quite fun as I will be able to share my experience with others and hopefully enable similar minded people to take the jump that I am and sign up with a foreign charity!

On another note, I have also created a ‘Dare to Donate’ page which is a new and exciting website enabling you to pick some dares, put in levels of £3 for Mild, £10 for Risky, £20 for Extreme.

This is how mine is looking so far….

mild darerisky  dareextreme dare

How exciting/scary! It’s quite a good page as it makes it easier for the people who don’t want to just donate without making me work for it!

I have gotta get back to doing life things, so I will update when the voting ends and you can check it out/vote here:

http://daretodonate.co/dare/KaraBalloon-ICSE

Once again thank you to everyone that has supported me so far including the newbies:

  • Alice Bishop
  • Paul Duffy
  • Jez Clifford
  • Sam Abbassi
  • Hannah Harding
  • Marisa Wilson
  • And my mummy again!!

Big love to you all

Fundraising challenge #3 

So this weekend I was given another little challenge from my nanny:   

HOW ON EARTH WOULD I MANAGE WITH NO SOCIAL MEDIA FOR 24 HOURS!!!

– this was my initial thought process, but then I thought it could be quite interesting to see if I could manage and be more focussed on ‘real life’ considering the whole world seems to be obsessed with social media these days.

My Nan agreed to let me start the challenge the next evening as I needed my phone turned on for work, even though this would be on a Friday and a friend from Uni was planning to visit to go for drinks..

It was nearing to the end of the working day on the Friday so I had to make all of my evening plans set in stone before the removal of my phone at 6:55pm and meeting at 9pm. Luckily my friend lives near me so said she would pick me up the way at 8:50pm and head to the bar together – which in the end I was double grateful for as the rest of the gang didn’t even arrive until 9:45, now that would have been a nightmare and I probably would have had to speak to random people to pass the time (or probably get pretty wasted with the bar staff) as I wouldn’t have had my phone on me to browse Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc (god forbid socialising on my own with strangers….) 

As the night went on, it became obvious how much as a generation that we rely on our phones, I mean even if we aren’t using them they are out on the table for easy access and idle hands. But for me, it was actually really nice and enabled me to focus on catching up with friends without feeling the need to check my phone! Luckily we went to a small bar and then moved on to a small club so it was easy to stick close to everyone, unlike when you go to a bigger club and ALWAYS lose everyone at some point so spend ages on your phone trying to meet again! However, one friend did go missing somehow in this tiny place but he reappeared an hour later at the bar for a tasty gin&ting! 

So it got to nearly 4am, & hometime was approaching which then came the decision to walk home 15 minutes up the high street filled with weird drunk people or fork out and extra £10 for a taxi (extortionate!!!) but I decided this was safer to pay than walk alone without a phone to call someone just in case, as Stokes Croft can attract some real strange characters even in daylight!

The toughest time of the no phone challenge has to be the morning after as I usually always text friends about funny points that happened throughout the night, and always sit and scroll through Facebook being nosey looking at everyone else’s photos and updates! Luckily I live with my boyfriend so I had him around to annoy and keep me company without feeling too unattached from the world – we also done lots of productive things like watch Luther and have a nice walk (to the shops to buy dinner…..) haha! 

It soon came to 6pm on Saturday nearing my challenge end and it was slightly terrible how much I began to crave clicking on the ‘F’ tab on my laptop.. IT IS SO SAD! The moment it reached 6:55pm I was back on there and was greeted to a measly 4 notifications (including those frequent event ones!!!) and aimlessly scrolled through looking at people’s updates (mostly of people that I hardly even talk to or like!).

Morale of the challenge: we rely on social media way too much and I apparently waste a lot of my time on there, which I don’t like to admit, however in this day and age we do tend to need it all to make plans and change these plans because there is always so much going on and everyone is dotted around the world travelling in different places that it’s pretty hard to keep in contact with friends and family without these methods! I remember the days of using a landline phone plugged into the wall arranging to meet friends at the park to play after school and you had to be there on time or miss out on the fun! 

So as mentioned before, things are a bit different now and I’m glad we have the technology that we do, so I probably will not be turning my phone off again out of choice but definitely will be more conscious of time wasting (except from when I’m bored at work and need a little break – that’s okay right???!!!)

Thanks for the challenge nanny!

Fundraising update – challenge #2

Unjambo dunia! 

(Hi world)

So I was given another challenge yesterday in return for a £50 donation from my lovely new step-granddad (which I’m pretty sure he will love hate me calling him that haha) the challenge was a bit more friendly compared to the insane chilli challenge previously completed, however that did get me a good few donations! (thanks mum!)

So this was the next challenge:

Initially I thought it would be quite easy as there is a thing called Google translator, however I thought that would be cheating plus it’s also not very reliable which would be a nightmare as Paul is very well traveled and knowledgeable with these things as he is a keen Professor of Geography; so this is why I found an online Swahili dictionary and started thinking what to write!

In the end I went for this:

Which was trying to translate to this:

Hi Facebook world.
This is to give you some information on my progress to volunteer in Kenya. So far i have managed to raise 35% of my target within 2 weeks which is great! I have completed a chili challenge and plan to do many more in the near future to raise further awareness and donation, i also plan to carry out an obstacle run.
Thank you for the support – together we can help tackle poverty.
Big love!

It turned out to be pretty tough, as it isn’t very straightforward because many words can be phrased in different ways depending on their use in a sentence! In the end I typed the above into Google translator to see what it thought I was saying and it came back with this:

Hello Facebook world .

Here is to give you some information about my, developed by volunteers in Kenya . So Kilembe me and we manage to additional thirty – five per cent to focus on two weeks my, that is great ! I ‘m wrapped peppers challenges and plan to do more abundantly on almost time for overtime and then experience and contribution, I also ran a done deal Ukwu . Thanks for the help – together we can service emigrated to poverty .

Big love !

As you can see from above, it comes out a little different to what I was meaning to write due to different uses of the words, BUT I think I done pretty well if I say so myself – as did Paul, who has now donated £50 to my account 🙂 (THANK YOU!!)

This is what my fundraising page it currently looking like:

41% already – pretty good right, especially considering I still have 2-3 months to raise more money.

I hear there is a heatwave coming over Easter so I can use this to go out street fundraising as more people will be wondering around in town when the weather is nice, and sunshine makes people happier so maybe people will feel more generous to donate to a stranger with a great cause too!!

Again, if you have any ideas you think would help me raise donations or fancy giving me a challenge – feel free to comment or send me a message – much appreciated!!

One last shout out to everyone that has already donated:

  • James Shaw
  • Jayne
  • My Nanny Lynn
  • Kacy Stuart-Mason
  • Cat Manaei
  • Adam Withers
  • My Mummy Lisa
  • Kirsten McAuliffe
  • Teeside Industrial (courtesy of my auntie Ailsa!)
  • Paul Shaw (as spoken about above, new granddad of the family)

It means a lot for your support & without trying to sound cheesy – together we CAN make a difference.

Biggest love ❤ xxx

Challenge #1 – Fundraising for ICS! – UPDATED WITH VIDEO!!

Hi guys!

So, to update you, I have decided to accept dare challenges from friends/family/ANYONE in order to get some more donations rolling in for my fundraising target of £800 for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), which if you are wondering is the well known development charity that leads the ICS programmes, any-who I have had my first couple of dares including a tin of beans over the head (which will be coming soon) and more scarily a chilli challenge – from my not so lovely mother I might add!!

These are the details for the chilli challenge:

I dare you to a Chilli challenge, 5 bites of chilli’s of increasing heat – will donate:

  • £1 for a sweet pepper

  • £2 for a mild chilli

  • £3 for a jalapeño

  • £6 for a birds eye (piri piri)

  • £10 for a scotch bonnet (ahhhh)

I plan to complete this challenge over the weekend and will upload a video for proof, and everyone else’s entertainment of course!! But who cares, it’s for a good cause – so wish me, and my tastebuds, good luck!

If you would like to contribute to this challenge or have any challenges you would be willing to donate for, just leave a comment, OR if you just want to be nice and donate without a dare you can go to Justgiving.com/Karaduffy or you can even donate by text by sending a msg with KDBV90 and how much you wish to donate (eg. KDBV90 £5) to 70070)

Thank you! 🙂 ❤

PS. Thank you so much to everyone who has already donated – it means a lot!

*****************************

SO, the night is here for the chilli challenge, ingredients purchased:

All that is left to be done is to down this wine and do it!

WISH ME LUCK – VIDEO UPLOADED AFTERWARDS!


SO HERE IT IS, THE DREADED VIDEO:

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3jqOFOMcAs)

THAT WAS A TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE – THE BURN LASTED FOR A WHOLE 20 MINUTES AFTERWARDS AND IT TOOK A WHOLE TUB OF YOGHURT TO SOOTHE!!

HOWEVER, MUM HAS UPPED HER DONATION SO IT MAKES IT ALL THE MORE WORTH IT 🙂

THANKS EVERYONE!!

Here are some photos of the aftermath:

Hello world!

Welcome to my brand new blog! I’m pretty new to this whole blogging malarkey, however I wanted somewhere to document my process of volunteering with Balloon Ventures on the ICS Entrepreneur development programme later on in the year, which is all very exciting!! I shall be flying to Kenya in June/July for 10 weeks to work with local entrepreneurs and develop their business ideas into reality – helping to combat poverty and lead sustainable economic development. This is part of the government funded International Citizen Service (ICS).

ICS Entrepreneur brings together young people aged 18-25 with an aptitude for business or a specific skill to fight poverty and make a difference where it is needed most. I’ll be working alongside volunteers from the UK and Kenya, on a project that supports entrepreneurs and small businesses in the local community. ICS works with communities that have specifically requested their help. It also aims to inspire young people in the UK and overseas to become active citizens who are passionate about long term community development. 

I will no doubt use the blog for other random things that also interest me – usually food…

The 3 Day British Heart Foundation Tuna Diet

So, I recently came across a diet called the British Heart Foundation/Tuna diet (I’m not sure it is actually anything to do with the BHF) which is a three-day strict planned diet with a rather strange bunch of ingredients, claiming to help the dieter lose up to 10lbs – I was totally sold after gaining a few extra pounds over the Christmas period, so off to the shops I went and purchased the required ingredients down to a tee – it wasn’t the cheapest trip either!

Here is ze menu:

DAY 1

Breakfast:

  • black coffee/tea/water
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana

Lunch:

  • black coffee/tea/water
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 226g of tuna or cottage cheese

Dinner:

  • 2 hot-dogs (without the bun)
  • 64g of carrots
  • 71g of broccoli or cabbage

Dessert:

  • 1 banana
  • 68g of vanilla ice cream

Diet day 1

As you can see by the photo, I was very strict and stuck to the guidelines for day one 101% which was not actually that hard – except the lunch of tuna on dry toast (I chose tuna steak as I dislike tinned tuna with a passion – especially after the weird fish head found in a tin which was all over the media recently #VOMIT), the ice cream with banana at the end of the day was also a lovely treat to look forward to.
My intake for the day totaled to: 1266 calories!

DAY 2

Breakfast:

  • black coffee/tea/water
  • 1 slice of toast with 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 grapefruit

Lunch:

  • black coffee/tea/water
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 113g of tuna

Dinner:

  • black coffee/tea/water
  • 85g any lean meat
  • 110g of green beans
  • 128g of carrots

Dessert:

  • 136g of vanilla ice cream
  • 1 medium apple

Diet day 2

So, day two is a bit more colourful as I just had to add some salad to my lunch (a tiny bit of salad can’t really hurt anyone can it??!!) so that was nicer. The breakfast was also GREAT as I love pink grapefruit and peanut butter!! Dinnertime was a small lean steak from the butchers, my boyfriend had also arrived for dinner and he decided to add some oven cooked sweet potato wedges to his dinner – I then obviously had to add a few as they are so yummy and also low-calorie, especially as they were cooked without oil etc (maybe I cheated a tiny bit there but I needed something to help down the mountain of green beans!!). To end the day was yummy ice cream and apple.
My intake for the day totaled to: 1334 calories!

DAY 3

Breakfast:

  • black coffee/tea/water
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 28.35g of cheddar cheese
  • 1 apple

Lunch:

  • black coffee/tea/water
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1 egg

Dinner:

  • black coffee/tea/water
  • 226g of tuna
  • 128g of carrots
  • 100g of cauliflower or broccoli

Dessert:

  • 160g of melon
  • 68g of vanilla ice cream

Diet day 3

And finally, day three! As you can see I melted the cheese on toast for breakfast (which I was very happy with as cheese is one of my favourite unhealthy things). Lunch I cheated a bit as I was using extra small pieces of bread so I had two (I had taken my Nans dog out for a long morning walk and was absolutely starving so don’t judge me here). Dinner I mixed up a little and added some mustard for flavour (I didn’t realise this was the only sauce you were actually allowed to use throughout, slightly annoying that I went two days without sauce as it was pretty bland!) I also added a few sweet potatoes as my boyfriend made them again – he was a bad influence wasn’t he! However, for dessert I skipped the ice cream and just had melon as I was already pretty full!
My intake for the day totaled to: 1060 calories!

(After the three days of dieting I’m not going to lie, we did have pancakes the moment I woke up as I stupidly decided to complete the diet over Shrove Tuesday!!!)

The outcome:

I did manage to lose around 3-4lbs over the course of the few days, which is really quite good for a quick diet, however, I will stress that this is not a method to abuse because it is a very low intake and almost considered a fasting method – and as you can see the moment I finished the diet I instantly stuffed my face with unhealthy food and this is how people end up putting more weight back on – so you do have to be careful and strict with yourself afterwards too. If you are looking for a more long-term weight loss solution then this is not the right diet for you; you need to change your lifestyle of eating habits and moving more, rather than fasting for a few days a week!

Pros:

  1. I found it quite fun to go out and buy all of the items and prepare the meals (sad, I know)
  2. You’re eating proper food rather than a quick smoothie or baby food diet!
  3. Pretty easy to stick to and not snack as you have four meals a day – and can look forward to the ice cream (unless you have a boyfriend around adding sweet potatoes)
  4. Lost a few pounds quickly

Cons:

  1. Very bland at times, even with some mustard
  2. Pretty low-calorie so you may get more tired than usual, especially if you have long days out etc
  3. Rather expensive if you don’t like tinned tuna!!
  4. Feel like eating everything in sight the day after finishing!

All in all, I would definitely recommend doing the diet if you have a spare three days to chill out and need to lose a few pounds in a few days 🙂