Life after the Ration Challenge

It has been a week since I finished the Ration Challenge…I cannot quite believe it was only a week ago, that I did it or how much money I raised! (£440)

I was surprised that it affected me more physically than mentally which has proven to myself that I am mentally stronger than I thought, I was determined to do it despite the hunger and lack of food and as I have said before I do love food (and my cups of tea!).

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for the aching and painful legs to disappear and so I managed to sleep again therefore no more HANGRY!!

I had felt as though I was running on empty and didn’t feel as though I had a lot of energy so most nights I went to bed after my girls. I had also had a few ditzy moments of loosing my car keys and phone which are both normally glued to me and ended up looking in the most bizarre places!

The day after I finished the challenge, I ended up being full of cold …urgh typical…but it is a small price to pay.

The first thing I did when I finished was have a proper cup of tea…well one after the other. Then I decided I was craving some chicken and something spicy but funnily enough I wasn’t bothered by eating any carbs, I also wasn’t bothered about eating anything sweet which surprised me.

I had thought that I would want to work my way through a pizza but the thought of the carbs put me off so I challenged myself to have a go at making a pizza with a cauliflower base. I was dubious and admittedly it is not the same as a dough base, but it did end up almost like a dense omelette base with pizza toppings…even better was that the whole pizza was less than 400 calories!

It is safe to say that I have not eaten a grain of rice since ending the challenge and right now I do not want to see or eat any again!

I asked my Mum what she would have done if she had been given the contents of my ration pack and taking all the seriousness of rations aside her response had me in stitches. She said….

‘I’d make a collage out of them!’

I had not laughed so hard in ages particularly as I did not expect her to say that, but it should not have come as a surprise as my Mum is not someone who cooks. I do not know where I get my ability to cook from, it has certainly not been passed down otherwise I would still be living off fish fingers, omelettes, fried eggs, cheese sandwiches, toast etc! To be fair my Mum does make the best omelettes and she did teach me how to make amazing roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings when she used to make them once a year for Christmas dinner!


I put writing and submitting an assignment in one day down to the ration challenge because I didn’t have the energy to think too hard or over think but this seems to have continued for some reason. I am wondering if it will ware off or not…only time will tell. I had a presentation to prepare that has to be 10 minutes long and all we have been given is 4 learning objectives with 18 points to answer in total, but it is all very vague.

Normally I would panic as no one really knows what we are doing or what is expected and when we have raised this, we have not been given anything else to go on. However, I knew that I needed to get it done and so whilst I wasn’t feeling particularly sparkly, I told myself I had 1 day to at least get the bulk of it done and I did. I started and finished it in one day, and I am happy with it.

I wouldn’t say I am happy with the idea of delivering the presentation and in the past would have lost sleep over it but although I know I will be nervous I have just decided to go for it. (What has come over me?!)

Am I starting to have more strength and belief in myself? It would be nice if that were the case as it was eradicated when I left my abusive relationship. I will let you know how the presentation goes!

What my Mum would do with rice and grains!!!

Ration Challenge … Day 7!

Day 7 of the Ration Challenge is complete! I have successfully completed the challenge!! Yay!!! I’ve done it!!!

This has definitely been one of the toughest things I have done but also one of the most rewarding…when I signed up for this challenge, I was mainly doing it to challenge myself and experience a little bit of what it is like for refugees. I did not expect to raise much money at all as I do not know lots of people so when I reached my first target of £100, I was over the moon and so I increased my target to £150 never expecting to achieve it yet I did (which meant I could enjoy a cup of tea each morning – despite having to make 3 tea bags last the entire week!).

As the donations kept coming in, I tentatively increased my target again to £200 thinking I was pushing it, yet I pushed passed £200 and so I increased it to £250 with the hope of earning 120g of a vegetable of my choice and I did! The onion made such a difference to my week and was worth every penny! Because I like nice round figures, I pushed my nerves to one side and raised my target to £300 thinking there is absolutely no way I would achieve it, yet I did.

I do not like putting myself out there, I am not one for generally posting on social media let alone asking for sponsorship (albeit for an incredibly good cause), so this week has taken me out of my comfort zone in many ways!) I then increased my target to £400 (I do not know what came over me!) and as I sit here writing this, I have raised £440!!) Although I have finished the challenge people can still donate if they wish.

I am lost for words at how much I have managed to raise, and I could not have done any of that without the generosity of friends, family and those who wished to remain anonymous – I wish I could thank you individually as it means so much to me. Your support and messages have kept me going throughout this challenge so thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

This challenge has given me a little insight into the lives of refugees and never in a million years would I have imagined I would have chosen to live off rations for a week. I have cooked and tried recipes I have never tried before and although I never want to eat congee again, I am grateful for this opportunity. It has shown me how much willpower I have and that I can do anything I put my mind to it, no matter how hard. It has shown me how much support there is out there, and I have been touched by the messages I have received including…

‘You are truly amazing especially with all you have been dealing with over the past few years.’

‘You are an amazing inspiration to all.’

These are not things I would say about myself…but it is lovely to hear and wonderful to know that is what people think.


Here’s how much a year’s supply of rations costs…

£10.80 years supply chickpeas

£26 years supply of rice

£19.20 years supply of lentils

£15.60 years supply of kidney beans

£18.20 years supply of oil

£4 years supply of flour

£16 years supply of sardines

Total = £109.80 for a year’s supply of rations for one person

The average cost of food in the UK for one person for a year is £2100!

However, I have raised £440 which would buy a year’s supply of rations for 4 people!

I want to thank everyone who has supported me over this week, I am sending hugs to you all! When I have been really struggling, reading people’s messages of support, and seeing how much money I have raised has made me smile (be it often with shiny eyes!!). Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Finally, a reminder of everything I have eaten over the week….

L.O.S.T Mum • Ration Challenge UK 2021

Ration Challenge … Day 6!

Day 6 of the Ration Challenge is complete! I only have one more day to go! I can do this! (I keep telling myself this!).

Another restless night…I did not expect to ache like this from doing the challenge, all I expected was to feel hungry and hangry. I hope my legs will soon recover but it is a small price to pay as I know my life can return to normal on Monday.

Whilst I was tossing and turning in my sleep what struck me was how positive refugees seem to be from the stories I have read. Imagine if you woke up one day to find you had lost your home, you had to leave the place you called home including your job, your friends and family to live in a camp with no money and barely any food to live off. No internet, no TV, no phone, no car, no luxuries, no relaxing bath, no shower, no pampering, no meals out, no shopping trips…instead literally just the clothes on your back. Imagine how you would feel…. I imagine we would feel pretty awful…yet when I read refugees stories, they are smiling in all the photos, and they radiate positivity and are incredibly grateful.

One woman fled Syria with her children and although she is now safe, she has no ability to earn an income therefore she is reliant on rations, but their rations are constantly being reduced so they no longer have breakfast. She talks about how she lived in prosperity and dignity in Syria before the war and now she feels powerless. Yet she remains positive and determined to help other refugees and so she educates and powers other women with love and a smile. What an inspiring woman!

Another woman talks about her memories of life before she became a refugee and what she remembers most was laughter. Now she cannot afford medical care when her children get sick which breaks her heart, and she feels she is unable to care for her children. We are incredibly lucky to have the NHS as that would never happen…your children mean everything, and I know that my children come first, and I would literally do anything for them. I cannot imagine the pain and helplessness she must feel which breaks my heart. Yet everyday she makes sure that they sit down as a family to eat dinner together from the rations she is given.

When I first opened my recipe book which came with my rations, I was surprised with how many recipes there were using a limited amount of rice, lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, flour, and oil. Refugees have come up with some of these recipes which is inspiring that out of so little they have thought of different ways to use these ingredients.

I had to choose which recipes to have during this week as I didn’t have enough ingredients to make them all, but I could have also made falafel, crepes, kidney bean dip, mujadara (a lentil and rice dish), rice with milk, fasoulia (like a kidney bean broth/stew), fish cakes (rice, kidney beans and sardines), focaccia, rice crackers, kidney bean rolls and pizza (flatbread with kidney beans and sardines).

I take my hat off to them for having such little variety of ingredients and such small quantities yet making all these different recipes!

I have found the recipes I have tried to be quite tasteless but being able to add salt or a vegetable such as onion, makes a massive difference.

I chose to use my chickpeas to make hummus which admittedly tastes different to the hummus we buy from the supermarket as the shop bought one also contains sesame seed paste, lemon juice and garlic puree. However, I would consider making it again but with chickpeas in a can as it took a long time to make from dried chickpeas.

I have to admit that I do not have a desire to go to Jordan (where a lot of refugees live), however part of me would like to go and see the refugees although I imagine I would find it upsetting as well as humbling. I have had times when I have struggled to afford enough food, but I have always been able to feed my children. It is hard to feel positive when you are struggling yet we have so much help and support available to us…. I am in awe of refugees, and I am so grateful that thanks to everyone’s donations I will be able to help them.

L.O.S.T Mum • Ration Challenge UK 2021

Ration Challenge … Day 5!

Day 5 of the Ration Challenge is complete! There’s only 2 more days to go!

I had another rough night last night and my legs are still aching and feel almost bruised, but I woke up to a lovely surprise. When I checked my emails, I saw that I have now raised £400! Wow! I cannot believe it! Not only is this amazing but it also means that I have earnt a reward of 120g of protein which will definitely help get me through the last couple of days! I decided to choose eggs as it means that I do not have to have congee for breakfast so this morning I had a fried egg! Although that is all that I had I enjoyed every mouthful!

Lunch was another bowl of fried rice with onion and tea was supposed to be rice and bean burrito, but I couldn’t be bothered to make the flatbread so thin and wrap the rice and beans inside, so I made an open burrito!!!! (Basically rice, beans, and onion on a flatbread!).

Originally, I was going to complete the challenge in June because this is when Concern Worldwide have decided to do the ration challenge but when I saw that we are allowed to do it whenever I decided to move it. If I had done it in June, I would have been going to college and practising my counselling skills, but this week is a reading week which meant no college. I know I would have managed anyway but judging on how I am feeling, I imagine I would have either been a bit out of it (clumsy, forgetful etc) or my filters may not have been working at optimum capacity due to the lack of food and hangryness! I am normally quite reserved and keep my thoughts to myself, but the hunger has brought my thoughts and feelings to the surface, and I imagine I may be capable to having verbal diarrhoea!!

Having said that, rather than put things off and hesitate about getting in touch with people I have taken the bull by the horn and done lots of jobs that I have been avoiding! I am not a fan or ringing people or emailing people as I tend to feel that I am bothering people. As I mentioned in a previous post I also wrote and sent off an assignment whereas normally I would normally start by making notes and then do a skeleton draft, then add more words than necessary, spend a couple of days editing then when it is finished, I generally leave it at least a day before proof reading and then send it off. This time I wrote it and sent it off in one morning! Let’s see if it passes!!

Today is the first day that my stomach is not constantly rumbling despite eating less than 700 calories…during my sleepless night I was wondering how on earth the celebrities manage in the jungle (I’m a celebrity, get me out of here) as they generally live off beans and rice and they are also taking part in bush tucker trials. My energy levels are definitely pretty much running on empty although I am still running around after my girls!

Worldwide Concern emailed me to tell me that I had raised £400 and how that is enough to provide food for two Syrian refugees for an entire year. Refugees have already been living a nightmare; and now, because of the coronavirus pandemic, many more will face devastating hunger. This is an incredible gift for someone who has been through so much.

I was also touched by someone who sponsored me who said that this challenge has reminded them of times when their family struggled on a daily basis…no one should have to struggle like that.

L.O.S.T Mum • Ration Challenge UK 2021

Thanks to everyone who has supported me…everyday despite the hunger, I have smiled!

Ration Challenge … Day 4!

Day 4 of the Ration Challenge is complete…I am certainly counting down the days until I have completed this challenge. It is starting to take its toll on me, physically and emotionally. Last night my legs started to really ache and despite having a warm bath and stretching, nothing seemed to ease them and so I didn’t really get much sleep as I couldn’t get comfortable. The last time I remember my legs feeling like this I was pregnant…and no, there is absolutely no chance that I am pregnant! The only explanation I have got for how my legs feel is the drastic change in diet.

Magnesium is essential to many functions in the body, including the metabolism, the physical and chemical processes in the body that convert and use energy.

To maintain healthy magnesium levels, we can generally obtain our daily amount through food sources such as green leafy vegetables, avocado, bananas, tofu, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Magnesium is also added to some breakfast cereals, and other fortified foods.

I am finding it frustrating that I cannot eat a banana in order to try and help my legs, which as still aching now, and I am anticipating another rough night’s sleep which is not what I need!

Being tired and hungry is not good!

I am surprised that I haven’t thought of what food I would like to eat once this challenge is over, I imagined I would want to surround myself with lots of naughty treats but all I can think about is having a proper cup of tea and not having to eat rice again!

I think this challenge has put me off food, but I am not sure why…maybe because of how unjust and unfair it is that in 2021 there are people in the world who do not have food yet in the UK food is everywhere. You walk down a street and there are numerous shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, bakeries, butchers, takeaways etc, then there are billboards, adverts in magazines, on TV, on the radio, on social media…you cannot escape food.

We are almost made to feel as though we should be revolving our day around food, from grabbing our morning coffee from some ghastly chain to having food delivered, giving food or alcohol as gifts, having people round to eat, or going out to eat. Socialising even generally revolves around eating or drinking and it’s left me feeling rather sad, especially as most of us take it for granted and as we know, so much food gets wasted. I know that I will have to find a way to manage my frustrations as I cannot control or change how much food is wasted.

This morning I was struggling after my rough night and when I sat down to eat my portion of congee, despite it being the same as yesterday, I could not stomach it…I could not get past the fact that it felt like it had the texture of sawdust and despite making myself eat some, it was hard work. So, although I was hungry, in the end I couldn’t eat it all.

Tonight, as a half term treat, my girls had their favourite ‘naughty’ tea whilst I sat with my bowl of rice, and we finished our evening snuggled up watching a film whilst they devoured popcorn.

If nothing else, I am impressed at my willpower!!

L.O.S.T Mum • Ration Challenge UK 2021

Fried rice, beans and onion with flatbread
Fried rice

Ration Challenge … Day 3!

Day 3 of the Ration Challenge is complete! I am now nearly ½ way through which is helping to keep me going. It is tough going, and today I don’t feel as though I have much energy and have felt as though my brain has gone to mush – maybe today wasn’t the best day to write and submit an assignment??? At least it kept me distracted from the hunger, distraction seems to be key, almost ignoring those pangs of hunger.

This morning started as usual with congee blitzed with a splash or milk and cinnamon, lunch was a portion of fried rice which was a lot tastier for being able to add some fried onion thanks to everyone who has sponsored me! Then I had hummus and flatbreads for tea which is still my favourite meal so far. I cannot imagine I will be reaching for rice anytime soon after this challenge!

There has been a lot less cooking today as I have been cooking in bulk, when possible, which has made a pleasant change. It certainly takes some planning and organising as the meals do not really lend themselves to being things you can grab and take with you as you dash about.

My 2-year-old told me that my stomach was growling and that means that I am hungry! I think I have stopped listening to my stomach as it is growling most of the time at the minute. This may explain why the ‘hangryness’ has set in! My patience levels are not as high as normal, and I feel as though I may not react as calmly as usual. I take my hat off to those doing the challenge who are working full-time as I do not know how they do it without being sacked!!

I received an email from Concern Worldwide today saying that thanks to a group of extremely generous Ration Challenge partners, every donation received in the next 24 hours (until 12pm 27th May, or until the funds run out) will be matched, pound for pound!   

It is lovely to know that there are extremely generous organisations out there who are making this possible.

Last time I checked I could not believe my eyes when I saw that I have now raised £345! Wow! Thank you again to everyone who has been generous enough to sponsor me, I cannot tell you how much it means to me!

The money I have raised can provide Covid-19 kits for 10 refugees – containing essential hygiene items to help protect their families against the spread of Covid, including face masks, soap, and hand sanitiser.

I was very touched when I saw a post on social media from Concern Worldwide…

When you think back to your childhood, what did you want to be when you grew up?

For young refugees living in camps, the future is filled with so much uncertainty and challenges many of us will never see in our lifetimes. Access to education is often hard to come by and the future is unknown.

Through it all though, they are optimistic about their futures – and it is thanks to your support that we are able to keep their dreams alive. Thank you!

L.O.S.T Mum • Ration Challenge UK 2021

Ration Challenge … Day 2!

Day 2 of the Ration Challenge is complete! I wasn’t particularly looking forward to today as I found yesterday quite challenging, mainly due to the hunger and I ended up not feeling great by the end of the day. This resulted in me having an early night and hoping I would feel better this morning.

Fortunately, I woke up feeling fine, I think I had a boost of positivity from the messages of support and amazingly I was incredibly surprised to see that I had raised more than £250, meaning that I had earned 170g of a vegetable of my choice! I could not believe it! So, I decided to swap my spice of choice to cinnamon in the hope of making congee a bit more bearable seen as I now had 170g of onion to add to my recipes throughout the week.

I decided to blitz the congee this morning and added a splash of my milk ration and a touch of cinnamon and it turned out resembling baby rice – not the best as those of us who have had children know that unless we add some flavour to it most babies will turn their nose up at it or spit it out!! However, it was a definite improvement from yesterday’s breakfast of watery rice!

My final portion of lentil soup was for lunch (as I haven’t enough lentils left to make anymore after working out my meal plan for the week). As much as it was fine, I have to say that I didn’t find it very filling.

Then more slaving away in the kitchen making lentil and bean burgers (aka mushed lentils and kidney beans), with the added joy of some chopped onion! I cannot tell you how great the onion smelt as I was frying it! I was so grateful to be able to eat some onion, I cannot tell you…which I am guessing is how the refugees feel. We take so much for granted, we have food available all the time and such a wide variety. We are lucky that we do not have to spend hours in the kitchen to end up with a small portion of hummus or lentil soup as it is readily available from the shops.

This afternoon we went to an indoor play venue where of course all the other grown ups were tucking into fancy coffees and slices of cake the size of their faces, meanwhile I am sat there with my tap water! I have to admit that I struggle drinking water as I have always been a big tea drinker but recently as part of my efforts to eat healthier and try and lose weight, I have been drinking flavoured water which I can hack but this week only being able to have a very weak cup of tea once a day and tap water is challenging.

I would say aside from the hunger (which as you know can make me slightly grumpy – oops) the biggest challenge is the temptation – temptation to reach for something in the fridge or cupboards that you know you cannot have or temptation to eat the girls’ leftovers but I adamant that I will not give in! This will be a huge accomplishment for me, and I am so proud to have raised so much money for Concern Worldwide.

I am trying to focus on getting through the week and I am now nearly 1/3rd of the way through! I cannot believe that I have nearly raised £300, for that I am eternally grateful to each and everyone who has sponsored me. I want to give you all a hug because without you I would not be able to have my morning cup of tea or be able to add some flavour to my meals with the money raised for me to be rewarded with an onion. It certainly is the most expensive onion in the world at £250 but it is worth every penny!!!

My morning cup of tea and congee (aka baby rice with cinnamon)
Lentil soup
Flatbreads with bean and lentil ‘burgers’

Ration Challenge … Day 1!

I have made it to the end of day 1 of the Ration Challenge! I have found it very challenging and know that I am going to find it hard to make it to the end of the week, but I will, I have to, for myself, for all my supporters and most importantly for all the refugees and the amazing work of Concern Worldwide.

I planned my meals for the week but having read that congee is best eaten straight away I didn’t make it until this morning, well it took over an hour to make and what was supposed to taste like porridge tasted more like mushy watery rice but if I closed my eyes, I could try and imagine it was rice pudding (although that’s pushing it).

Last night I was lucky enough to have raised £150 which meant that I had earned 210ml of milk for the duration of the challenge and aside from feeling incredibly happy at this milestone (which I never imagined I would reach) I was so grateful that I would be able to have a cup of tea each morning. Despite having to make 3 tea bags last a week (1 for every 5 sponsors) I managed to have a cup of tea!

By 10.30am I was hungry and counting down the time to when I could eat lunch, hoping to feel fuller after eating lentil soup (which was cooked lentils and water) but I was shocked by how little the portion size was and it did not even fill one of my small bowls. Safe to say it did not hit the spot!

I still had my daughters to entertain and feed which I think made it more challenging as I was surrounded by nice food. I am so used to eating their leftovers and really struggled not being able to do this, mainly because I hate waste and this challenge is about refugees who have very little food, so it felt even worse to be throwing away perfectly good food (however little).

After going for a treasure hunt with my daughters through the woods I was feeling rather weak, but I knew there was nothing left to eat until teatime.

It got me wondering if refugees are used to eating such little amounts or if their lifestyles reflect how little they eat?

I know quite a few people who happily go all day without eating anything without it affecting them, but I am similar to a child in that I need feeding as soon as I wake up and then again at lunch and tea and quite often eat snacks in between. Without regular food I become hangry, so this challenge is definitely tough for me.

By far the best meal so far was flatbreads (flour and water) and hummus (cooked chickpeas and water, blitzed) as it felt more satisfying although I could not believe how long it took to make the hummus.

It has certainly felt as though most of the day has been taken up with cooking only to be left with small portions of very plain and unfulfilling food. Refugees must be constantly cooking.

My four year old daughter said that the money I raise will mean that everyone will have enough food to eat and that they will be able to eat whatever they like. If only this were true!

However, even if I cannot provide enough food to feed every refugee, I am incredibly touched by everyone who has sponsored me so far. When I signed up for this challenge, I never thought I would raise more than £50 let alone £150 which meant I earned 210ml of milk. However, as it stands, I have now raised £271!!! This means that I have now earned 170g of a vegetable of my choice so I will be able to add an onion to my recipes from now on!

This means that I have raised enough money to provide a refugee woman with the training she needs to start her own business or enough money to provide a refugee with a year’s worth of food rations.

Thank you once again to everyone who has donated, I cannot tell you how much it means to me!

L.O.S.T Mum • Ration Challenge UK 2021

Morning cup of tea!
Porridge?! (Congee aka watery rice!)
Lentil soup (aka lentils and water!)
Flatbreads and hummus

End of lockdown…week 1

This week saw the beginning of a return to probably pretty much the new normal when it comes to day-to-day life in England. We have adjusted to having a mask with us everywhere we go and wearing it pretty much all of the time when out and about. I remember when shops opened for the first time after the first lockdown I daren’t touch anything unless I was buying it but how can you sift through clothes without touching them? Now we use more hand gel than you can imagine regardless of if we have touched anything or not!

I have to admit I quite like having to book to eat out or to go to the cinema or indoor play etc as it makes me feel reassured regarding how many people will be there. Not just because of Covid but also because I have never really been one for crowds. It is a much nicer atmosphere and far more relaxing to be somewhere that isn’t rammed and incredibly noisy.

I know some parents were counting down the days until they could go back to soft play, but I was never a fan anyway let alone now, I mean everyone knows all the toys particularly the ball pools are a hub for every bug going! It’s like taking your children to a chicken pox party! How on earth soft play centres can make sure everything is clean I do not know.

As soon as cinemas announced they would be reopening I have to admit that I booked tickets for myself and my eldest daughter as she has been wanting to see Peter Rabbit 2 since it was first meant to be released last year. It was good though as you booked online, selected your seats which showed the seats around you that would be blocked off and there was no waiting around.

I also ventured into a bar for the first time since last year – aren’t I a rebel?!

I think there is still a lot of confusion around what we can and cannot do and trepidation with the Indian variant taking off in England. I know it was part of the plan for restrictions to be eased this week, but it does feel odd how last week we could only eat or drink outside yet this week we can be inside and not always sat 2 metres away from others. It’s also odd that in college we have had to wear masks all the time yet this week we didn’t. The main thing that boggles my mind about this is that colleges are predominantly filled of 16–21-year-olds who haven’t had either vaccine yet and cases are increasing again but the rules regarding masks and social distancing no longer exist. When I was in college this week 17 adults were sat in an average sized classroom with no ventilation, no masks, and no social distancing for 4 hours, I find it bizarre that that’s now ok. I suppose people at work are there for longer and with more people, but I don’t understand the change of rules when we’re not out of the woods yet.

As I have said before I believe that people should do what feels right for them. Just because we are now allowed to do more does not mean we have to. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask at all times, that’s ok. If you feel safer being sat outside even though we can sit inside, that’s fine. If you would rather still do shopping online, go for it. If you would rather wait until you’ve had both vaccines before you dish out hugs, fair enough.

I have noticed a lot of people have been saying how tired they are feeling lately, and I read an article about how people may feel fatigued as life returns to ‘normal’. This makes perfect sense to me as the majority of us have had a more subdued life for months, we’ve not been going out socialising or dashing around as we’ve not been allowed. Suddenly people are generally doing more (even if it’s on their own) and this will make you tired, just being in a busy environment may affect us as this isn’t what we’ve been used to.

However, you are feeling after this week I’d just like to remind you to be kind to yourself and not pressure yourself to do anything that you don’t feel comfortable with.


I received an email this week from Concern Worldwide that said I have raised more than £75 and earned salt for the duration of Ration Challenge week. Even more importantly, £75 is enough to provide medical referrals for six refugees. Because of you, refugees will have access to life-saving treatment. We cannot thank you enough.

This made me very happy, to be making a difference however small it may be.

I also received my ration pack and although I have read what would be included, when I opened the box, I was shocked at how little there was and worked out that under normal circumstances the ingredients would probably make no more than around 5 meals yet these rations (+ a bag of flour and an extra bag of rice) have to make 21 meals!

It is going to be tough, but I know I only have to do it for 7 days unlike refugees.

I have decided to start the challenge tomorrow (24th May), instead of 13th June as it feels as though it’s hanging over me, with the anticipation building up. So, rather than worry how I’ll manage, I thought I’d just go for it!! Wish me luck!!

Thank you to those who have sponsored me so far, if anyone wishes to donate (there is no minimum amount) I would be incredibly grateful.

L.O.S.T Mum • Ration Challenge UK 2021

Ration Challenge…

I have decided to set myself the challenge of taking part in this year’s Ration Challenge with Concern Worldwide. I have never heard of this before, but it popped up on social media not long ago and I thought I would have a go. So, between 13th-19th June I will be living entirely off the same rations that are given to refugees in Syria with the hope of raising money and helping to save lives.

I will be sent a ration pack containing a one-week supply in almost the same quantities as given to Syrian refugees and so from the minute I wake up on the 13th June until I go to bed on the 19th June this is what I will be living off…

White Rice: 420g

Lentils: 170g

Dried chickpeas: 85g

Tinned sardines (or tofu): 120g

Tinned kidney beans: 400g

Vegetable oil (self-supplied): 330ml

A single dried spice

And that is it! People can earn rewards the more they manage to raise such as salt if you raise £75, 210ml of milk if you raise £150, 170g of 1 type of vegetable if you raise £250, 120g of protein if you raise £400 and one can of tinned tomatoes if you raise £600.

At the minute I have raised £62 so I am hoping I might get to add some salt otherwise I will be in for a very bland week!

We are not allowed to add any extras, no garlic, herbs, extra spices, fruit, vegetables etc and we can only drink tap water!

What a time for people in England to be taking the challenge, just as restaurants and pubs have reopened! I love my food and struggle to function without my morning cup of milky tea and I am known to get ‘hangry’ when hungry! I will still be cooking my two daughters their usual meals, but I won’t be able to eat any leftovers or even lick the spoon! However, this is a small price to pay as I know at the end of the week, I will be able to eat whatever I want, unlike refugees who often have to live off the same rations for a lot longer than a week.

Refugees are already living a nightmare, and the impact of covid means many more will face devastating hunger.

All the money raised from people completing the ration challenge will help bring emergency food, healthcare and life-saving support to people who need it most.

According to Concern Worldwide I am likely to find the week physically challenging and may experience caffeine withdrawals, hunger and be ‘hangry’ (uh oh!!).

They also warn of how emotional people may find the challenge, stating that it often highlights the huge contrast between our lives and the lives of those living in refugee camps.

Whilst completing the ration challenge I will still be living in my home and be surrounded by my family and loved ones, whereas refugees have lost their home, loved ones and livelihood whilst not knowing what the future brings.

I am shocked and saddened to learn that there are almost 80 million refugees in the world and that this is the largest number ever recorded. Not only are they living a nightmare but now they have been affected immensely by covid-19 by losing casual work and aid being disrupted which means so many more are starving.

The pandemic has affected everyone, and many people have struggled but I cannot imagine living through the pandemic whilst being a refugee. It is heart-breaking. All money raised through the Ration Challenge will fund programmes to provide emergency food, healthcare, and other essential support to the people hit hardest by this crisis.

£14 can provide one month’s worth of food rations for one refugee, ensuring they have enough to eat.

£34 can provide a family with a Covid-19 kit including essential items like face masks, soap, and hand sanitiser.

£75 can fund a visit to a medical centre for a family, giving them all access to life-saving treatment.

£130 can fund a referral to a medical centre for 10 refugees, enabling them to access life-saving treatment.

£165 can provide a year’s worth of food rations for one refugee, ensuring they have enough to eat all year long.

£340 can provide Covid-19 kits for 10 refugees – containing essential hygiene items to help protect their families against the spread of Covid, including face masks, soap, and hand sanitiser.

£993 can provide food rations (the same food you will be eating during the challenge) for a refugee family for an entire year, ensuring they have enough to eat.

There’s still time for people to sign up to this year’s ration challenge or to donate to this very worthy cause! L.O.S.T Mum • Ration Challenge UK 2021