Preparing for rationing.

With horror the scale read 284.2 lbs this morning, about a 30 lb weight gain since end of April after taking part in the London Marathon.

Over the past month or so the extra weight is making me tired, making me hurt again and I’ve stopped walking because its uncomfortable. A HUGE contrast to just three months ago. I’m disgusted with myself and have recently been feeling a little depressed about it all. My emotions are up and down right now in private. It’s easier to be my jolly self in public but outside of work I am a fairly quiet and private person needing time to think a lot and re-charge sometimes to the extent of being insular.

Although I’ve been continuing to recreate wartime recipes, it has been quite some time since I followed a rationing plan day to day but really feel it is time to live and breathe this way of life from now until Christmas to get my back on the straight and narrow. I’ve done this so many times and it works incredibly well and I need to absorb myself into something all consuming in my fight against obesity.

So today I’ve laid out my weekly rations (I have double the amount of cheese instead of my meat ration as I am vegetarian) and stocked my wartime shelves in my old larder and I will cook stew and potatoes later so I start tomorrow with food prepared and ready.

Food rationing started in January 1940. Not all basic foods were placed on the ration at one time, it was introduced gradually. Weekly allowances varied depending on the availability of foods but my diagram above will give you an idea of the amount of food an adult was guaranteed to receive on a weekly basis using a ration book.

There were extra milk rations for small children and expectant and nursing mothers and they also received cod liver oil and concentrated orange juice.

My weekly organic vegetable box will become my produce from my allotment/victory garden and be an important part of ensuring I feel full and eat healthily.

Thank you to all the lovely comments on here and on my Facebook page today… it’s helped enormously xxxx

C xxxxx

36 thoughts on “Preparing for rationing.

  1. You can do it! You’ve got 167 recipes to choose from at a minimum! I’m inspired by you! I too have gone up 30lbs in the last year. If I can get my husband on board, I’m going to start reducing our fat and meat intake and up the veggies. To victory!!

  2. I would love your larder Carolyn, I’m trying to create a recipe file for myself as I love anything and everything about wartime especially the foods and have tried a few of your recipes but my family are not as keen, however I have around 2 stone to lose and am going to kick my family into touch and concentrate on myself for a change haha. I look at your recipes everyday and think I could happily eat them all so here goes, hopefully I will work my way through each and every one of them!! 😋

    • I too dear Andrea have 2 stone to lose after having a warning by my Doctor that I was a Diabetic and was to lose weight and take more exercise. after arguing with her that my blood sugar was not that bad I WOULD TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE andI did lose a stone in a month but now have to carry on as I do not want to have the diagnosis of being a Diabetic. Having both brother(deceased now at 60 and a sister with bad side effects of being over weight and a Diabetic I am determined to carry on to prove my Doctor wrong!

  3. Here is some unsolicited advice from someone who struggles with their weight. Up your egg consumption to 1 a day. Eggs help me stay fuller/satisfied longer. I would also suspect part of your struggle to stay on the wagon is the starches and root vegetables. If I eat too much of them they cause me to crave more. Then I fall off the wagon and start putting the weight back on. Stress tears me up too, because I’m a comfort eater.

    The best part is you are aware. Hang in there! Tweak your diet to suit your body’s needs.

    • Yes I agree I too had to give up bread and any pastry or too many carbs.I found eating protein and vegetables good and to help with missing bread I found Ryvita very acceptable. I have had to be very focused and yes eggs are good and I still have some cheese and fill up with home made veg soups and salads of course!

    • Thanks for your thoughts and advice Judy… I’ll certainly keep that in mind as I try and work my way through this again! I comfort eat too…. take care C xxxx

  4. That makes two of us then. Like you I’ve done it before and like you it worked before. I love learning about the home front during World War II but never really got chance when my ex-husband was here to actually leave it. Well this time , I’m doing it properly. I go on holiday September 1 and when I come back I’m going to live the war right down to closing the “blackouts” or curtains, and observing rationing. I have a list that was given to me by the Imperial War Museum which details every change every Ration throughout the war, including the items on points. So for me September 2017 will be just like September 1939. We shall see how I get on, and more importantly how much weight I lose and how much money I save. One question though, I live in quite a Rural area, would they have had a yoghurt during the war? I would’ve thought that Rural areas may have got that but I can’t find anything about it. Any ideas?

    • Mass produced yogurt in pots wasn’t available until late 50’s early 60’s when they started blending it with fruit too but yogurt has been around for thousands of years I believe especially in warmer climates. I think there may have been a possibility that some farmers may have been making yogurt for their families during the 1940s but I don’t think it became popular with the public until about 20 years later xxxx

  5. Good luck Carolyn the battle is so worth it, you are an inspiration to all of us and using rations is very sensible, we shall be joining you on this journey. I even try to walk to the shops as a women of that time would have had to do. best wishes from Judi.

  6. Oh, that’s super-clever with your weekly produce box standing in as your “garden allotment”! I’m tempted to try something similar with my local CSA. Great idea!

    • I think also because the veg box is quite seasonal I get to make different dishes using different vegetables, I always get potatoes in my veg box though which is good because lots of recipes call for spuds! XXXX

  7. Can I do this with you? I desperately need to lose weight, and it will help my back pain with 3 slipped discs too. Is it too much to ask for you to put your daily menu on here so it can be followed? Thank you, Julie x

    • Dear Julie…. that would be fabulous! I will try my hardest to regularly update my blog with what I’m eating. I can’t promise every single day but will update 4 or 5 times a week. I tend to eat much the same for my breakfast mid week and lunches don’t change much but my evening meals I tend to try different things that were typically popular during WW2 on the homefront. I hope you will be able to alleviate the pain in your back… back pain is horrid. Thanks for posting your message C xxx

  8. Isabella I also have a family reason for finally taking time to think about my own health, my mother passed away 6 years ago from renal failure and my brother has just had 2 heart attacks at 50, I am 45 so time for action! I have lots of wartime recipe books and adore Carolyn’s website but really struggle to put it all into practice, unfortunately the disadvantage we have now that the wartime strugglers didn’t is there’s too much food available now for temptation and I love food! It’s a good job I don’t live near carolyn or I would be round every day haha x

    • Sorry to hear of the health problems in your family Andrea…. I think when we get to our 40’s a beyond something kicks in where we think more about our mortality and how we value our life and try to start and turn things around. You are so RIGHT about the temptation…there is NO getting away from it. The shelves would have looked so different on the homefront during WW2. It is also a lot more effort preparing food most days from scratch…its certainly not easy but I think once we keep on doing it, it becomes a habit and becomes easier. Take care xxxx

  9. Hello there,

    I just wanted to say, please don’t feel disgusted with yourself, you are fighting a hard battle, and I know it must feel disappointing but at the same time it is even more inspiring that you are picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and starting again.

    I think (as a fellow sufferer) obesity is one of the most misunderstood and littlest sympathised with disease as well as being one of the hardest to conquer. Those addicted to smoking can just stop smoking and use nicotine patches. Drinkers can go cold turkey if they need to. Drug addicts have methadone. All of those have so much counselling and support available, but for the obese, we still have to eat every day. Every day we have so many choices and temptations. We can’t just say we are never going to eat again like the smoker can fore swear tobacco.

    You probably don’t feel inspirational right now, but you really are. My husband and I have decided to join weightwatchers and see where we get to by Christmas. I have a longer journey ahead of me, but we want to see progress. I am planning to think if it like wartime rationing to get me through.

    Anyway, please don’t feel you need to reply, and please don’t feel too despondent. I just wanted you to know that there are lots of us out here inspired by you and wishing you well xx

    Sent from my iPad

    • What you are saying is so true. It really is a constant battle as with any addiction… and you are right, we still have to eat! Good luck to you and your husband at Weight watchers, I think being able to talk with others and relate to their battles is really helpful so I’m sure you will get a a lot out of your classes. You will have to let us know how you get on! Thanks for being so supportive xxxxx C

  10. Oh yes I would love to see a daily menu too just to give me something to guide in the right direction, particularly I struggle with breakfasts and snacks as I have a bit of a sweet tooth! It’s a pity we couldn’t start up a new venture, instead of weight watchers or slimming world etc it could be “the ration club” hahaha I wish x

  11. Hello Carolyn

    I have just started a new mailbox to add all your wonderful posts to. You should be so proud of yourself – you are honest and open about all you struggle with but your courage and optimism shine through every single post which is inspirational. I am a great admirer of Marguerite Patten and indeed all those fantastic housewives during the war who kept their families fed and healthy with such a restricted availability of food. It is embarrassing today the amount of food we waste. Our=r church ( Wesley Methodist at Christs Pieces) hosts Foodcycle which accepts left over/out of date food from the supermarkets and creates a three course vegetarian meal every Saturday for free for anyone in the Cambridge area. Keep going Carolyn – every day is a new day so you can have a fresh start as often as you like.

    Bless you Tricia Graves

    Sent from my iPad


    • What a lovely idea that is Tricia! Food waste is horrid when so many people can be fed. My son used to work for Tesco and they had started to donate their waste food every night to charities and causes who would come over to collect. It was still difficult to give it all away though. Well done to what you and your church are doing with the waste food… that’s fantastic! Thank you for your support xxxx C

  12. Hi Carolyn You have every right to feel down because of weight gain. But that does NOT make you a failure-OK? I have said it before and I will say it again: Your story is really interesting and encouraging. It makes me tired just to think about what you have achieved. Once again I can imagine you writing it up as a book and it would probably make a good film too, or a TV series. I have lost your blog but Carolyn- its all THERE, it just needs putting together. Oh and WHO ran a MARATHON????? Not me but YOU. WOW! Best wishes John

  13. Oh Thankyou for your kind words Carolyn, I could spend 24 hours a day just reading your blog and drooling over your recipes 😃 I am currently watching the 1940s house on DVD, I look forward to reading again tomorrow. You certainly are an inspiration to many of us.
    Sorry but I am a chatterbox haha xxxx

    • Hahaha – I am going to buy the 1940s house on DVD next pay day. Used to have it but with all the house moving over the years it has gone walkies… its such a good TV series. C xxx

  14. Hi Carolyn. Good luck with your plan. I’m curious to know what you eat for breakfast. Growing up, breakfast always included bread or toast but recently I’ve noticed that after I have toast in the morning I start to feel tired. I’ve started experimenting with reducing bread intake and it seems to be helping my energy levels. Muesli (or granola) is one of my favorite things to have in the morning (and fruit) and if I do have some bread I’ll balance it by having it with cheese rather than something sweet like marmalade.

    • Monday to Friday I’m normally a creature of habit and nearly always have organic porridge oats made with water and I’ll add some dried fruit, or fresh fruit or a teaspoon of jam to sweeten 🙂 At the weekends I enjoy jam or Marmite on toast for breakfast on one day and on the other a cooked breakfast which might be marmite mushrooms and spinach on toast, or bubble and squeak. xxx Its funny how different foods can effect us… I wonder what it is in the bread that makes you feel that way? xxx

  15. That sounds like a good weekly plan 🙂
    I’m a big believer in oats.
    I don’t know what it is about the bread. I suspect that it could be something simple like a sugar crash (especially if I have sliced bread – even though it’s whole wheat with lots of seeds – I think it’s too sweet these days). It’s possible that it’s gluten-related. If I have veggie sausages that are made from gluten I find them hard to digest. Have a nice weekend!

  16. Yes it’s brilliant I love it, also love the wartime kitchen and garden with Ruth Mott and Harry Dodson but unfortunately that’s not available on dvd😟 Am literally addicted to the wartime farm at the moment too! If I was put on a deserted island I would have to take my wartime memorabilia hahahaha xxx

  17. Caroline keep it up you can achieve your goals. We are going to do this but i need ideas for hubbies packed lunch. But he has to be able to eat on the go. He doesn’t stop for lunch he is either in the truck driving or on the tractor so must be able to eat on the go!

  18. I find your blog so unique and well put together. Can’t tell you how much I enjoy the videos.
    Weigh is my bugaboo as well and it’s easy to get discouraged but you are an inspiration and I’m counting on you blog as encouragement.
    If anyone can do it you can and I will be cheering for you
    By the way , your accent is lovely , your blog is first rate and I look forward to watching you succeed.

    Your follower in the USA….Adele

    • Dear Adele – thank you for your words of encouragement, you have encouraged me too! I wish I had more time to spend updating my blog…I long for the weekends when I can get stuck in after doing all my catch up chores that have accumulated during the week! Will be doing more video recipes starting towards the end of September and hoping to include a lot more information from the rationing era. Thanks again C xxxxxx

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