London Marathon – April 2017.

I’m sitting here typing this with three semi-detached toe-nails, a hip that feels like I’m on the orthopedic surgeons waiting list, and muscles that feel like I’ve been given a right good kicking but I’m smiling broadly because yesterday I finished the Virgin Money London Marathon in just under 7 hrs and 30 mins knocking off 1 hr and 15 minutes off my first and previous marathon time.

I’m really proud of this achievement as a morbidly obese 255 lbs woman who doesn’t fit the stereotype of an “athlete” but I think right now I have every right to call myself that. An athlete is someone who is proficient in a sport or physical activity. As a morbidly obese athlete I am proficient in completing Marathons and you can’t take that away from me! Not today anyway!!!

Let me tell you the crowds at the London Marathon make the event. I have NEVER been so moved, had such good fun, given so many high fives to English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Afro-Caribbean, Asian, Indian, Iranian spectators in my life. (sorry I have missed anyone out, am just giving you some visuals on the amazing crowds!). Kids were handing out sweets and along the way I ate bananas, orange slices, chocolate eggs, chews and anything else on offer that would keep me going as I walked and jogged non-stop! (apart from two pees).

The London Marathon has a cut off point of running it in a maximum of 8 hrs and 15 minutes, come in later than that you don’t get a medal and you don’t get a finishing time or a listing online. Although your race from the red start area (which includes all the charity runners) starts at 10 am it takes at least 30 minutes to even cross the starting line due to the tens of thousands of starters! The cut off time is 6:15 pm full stop. It was such a relief to cross the line at 5:58 pm!!!

Although I am now enjoying some naughty treats (I nearly burned up 10,000 calories yesterday!) my weight loss journey continues with much motivation tomorrow. I may not be doing any more long walks or vigorous exercise for a couple of weeks until everything stops hurting but am really going to concentrate on getting back to my vegetable based 1940s dishes and spend some time on updating the blog with recipes. So much has been put on the back burner to get myself fit enough to get the coveted “London Marathon Medal” that there has been little time for anything else.

I just wanted to say thank you to all the support you have given me and really hope I can start giving back very soon.

Just remember, never give up, persevere and have faith in yourself. Us ladies, we can do anything 🙂

C xxxxx

PS: How difficult it is to use a porta loo after the London Marathon – feel my pain!

My fundraising page is open until October 23rd. I will be releasing my own wartime recipe app and a series of keepsake full colour recipe booklets and the sale of each raises £1 for the Royal British Legion.


Update – March 2017

Am so sorry for the lack of updates and posts on my blog. I try and keep my Instagram updated though as it’s quick but my life at the moment (like many of you I’m sure) doesn’t have enough hours in the day. Am always on catch up and never quite catching up enough!!!

I hope everyone is well! Spring is in the air and it’s bringing with it feelings of a new beginning and hope for the future. A lot has changed here. My eldest daughter now works with me so we both commute every day. She’s doing really well! My youngest daughter is about to sit her A level finals at college and has been accepted into Reading Uni to do her Bachelor of Arts (she wants to be an English teacher). I’m struggling with my training to do the London Marathon mostly with some hip pain and my ongoing Plantar Fascitis problem but will be training like crazy these next 4 weeks. My weight is slowly still moving downwards and after putting weight back on towards the end of 2016, am happy to say that since January 1st I’ve lost about 22 lbs and am currently at 260 lbs. Am starting to enjoy cycling on the exercise bike at the gym and do 20 km regularly, and now also use the rowing machine and do kettle bell exercises at home and a bit of boxing (mostly punching the sofa pillows!). I figure it’s all going to help!

Once Em’s final exams are over and the London Marathon is done and dusted then we will be heading further North to live in Rotherham which will mean we save 2.5 hrs a day commuting as well as nearly £250 a month in fuel! Sending lots of love and hope everyone is happy and healthy. I really miss doing my recipes and updating the blog right now, if I had the luxury of working part time I’d be busy on it!! LOL xxxxxx C

Feature on my blog in Waitrose Weekend!


Waitrose have a FREE magazine/newspaper in store which is great because it has lots of recipes and food related articles in it every week.

This week until Wednesday, their weekly newspaper contains a double page spread on rationing during WW2, and my blog! I always like to do these things if asked as am passionate about getting back to basics and the promotion of food in its natural state rather than using processed foods for health and wellness. We all know how addictive processed foods and snacks are (am living proof of that!!!).

Anyway – it’s quite a good article with some factual information in it that you may like to read (I’ll try and take a high res photo later and upload it so you’ll be able to read it).

It was also great to re-create an ‘Apricot Mock Flan’ for the photoshoot and I’ll post the recipe for that including the photos I took later.

I’m just off to the gym right now for a couple of hours. See you on the flip side!

Lots of love

C xxxx

£ for lb – The 1940s Ration Book Diet.


Did anyone watch “Save Money, Lose Weight” on ITV recently? Was anyone else SHOCKED how much money they spent in 28 days? Watch the episode HERE! 

Six overweight Brits were put through six off-the-shelf diets for 28 days. All of them successfully lost weight trying 6 different popular plans and were pleased with the results BUT HOLEY HELL – REALLY? How can someone afford a food bill for one person for one month of £400 – £500? Get real! In the real world many of us struggle and carefully budget so it did indeed seemed quite shocking to me the amount of money spent. Surely ongoing over a long period of time this wouldn’t be sustainable?


And then like a terrier down a rabbit hole I decided to break down my food budget based on rationing, and worked out how much it would cost to lose weight ration book style. I’ve also decided to eat 28 days purely based on 1940s rationing up to 1500 cals a day and see how much I lose and convert the total cost spent to £’s for lbs, just like they did on the programme!

Today I weighed in at 276.8 lbs (up 27 lbs or so since the summer) and in 28 days I’ll see how much I’ve lost.

Based on what I am eating today my total cost for food and drink is £2.50 and a total of 1450 cals.

Breakfast – 40 g porridge, 2 teaspoons sugar, 150 ml soy light milk – 30p – 250 cals
Lunch – Salad – 1/5th raw cauliflower, 1 stalk celery, 1/2 can kidney beans, 1/4 cucumber, 25g salad cream light, 1 apple. 90p – 300 cals
DinnerLentil curry £1 – 600 cals
Dessert – Mock apricot tart –  30p – 300 cals
By my reckoning this is
28 days @ 2.50 = £70 – CONSIDERABLY LESS than £400 – £500.
Let’s see what I lose!


I need a corporate sponsor..

carolyndonateI’ve started training for ‘The London Marathon 2017’.

I am part of ‘Team Legion’ at this amazing event and I have promised to raise £2000 for the Royal British Legion. For anyone who has done fundraising for a cause before you’ll know how difficult this is! I have some ideas I am implementing and am currently working on my first cook book (full colour keepsake recipe booklet with 40 pages and there will be a series of them) which will be on my blog for sale at the end of January (watch this space!). For every booklet I sell, £1 will be donated to the Royal British Legion. They called me today and are sending me bunting, posters and donation buckets so I do hope to get in a couple of fundraising bake sales before the big day in April too!

BUT what I REALLY need is a corporate sponsor who is willing to donate a good portion of the £2000 I am aiming to raise so I am asking you to please help me spread the word.

As a CORPORATE sponsor you will…

– Be associated with my blog for one whole year (there will be a colourful clickable ad that will always be displayed in my blog side bar top right)
– EVERY blog post I make until the end of April 2017 will contain your logo and link to your website.
– You will be personally mentioned in 10 blog posts on the lead up to the London Marathon.
– Your logo and link to your website and a personal mention in every newsletter I send out to subscribers (currently at 477).
– Your logo and link to your website will appear in all videos I produce and post to my YouTube channel until end of April 2017.
– You will be recognised via Facebook (2616 subscribers), Twitter (355 subscribers), Pinterest (1,100 followers) and Instagram (448 subscribers) every week on the lead up to the London Marathon.
– Your logo and website will be recognised on my Virgin Money fundraising page at
– If you sign up as a corporate sponsor before January 20th 2017 your logo and web link will appear in every copy of my first cook book that I sell & market from my own blog.
– I will create a t-shirt with your logo and website address and wear this to all gym and training workouts on the lead up to the London Marathon.


How popular is my blog, who visits it and will your business be a good fit?

The 1940sExperiment receives between 40,000 to 123,000 visits per month and on average about 850,000 visit per year with over 4 MILLION visits to date!

Females between the ages of 35 – 55 make up 50% of visitors.

1/2 of all web traffic is from the UK. Nearly 1/3rd is from the United States.

The 1940s Experiment is popular in the media especially in newspapers and magazines. CLICK HERE.

If you are interested in sponsoring me via my blog to raise money for the Royal British Legion please contact me ASAP on



Month without Money Challenge – Day 1


So it’s January 1st and the beginning of a New Year and the first official day for the “Month without Money” challenge. On my FACEBOOK page and here on my blog, let’s share our successes, struggles and ideas and see how we do spending as little as possible on groceries (using up as much stuff we have languishing in our cupboards and freezers instead) and in every day life and “mend and make do”! Personally I’m pretty broke until pay day (and I’ve been very frugal over Christmas!) So every penny not spent will make a difference!

With working towards spending as little money as possible in January, I am using up veggies in the fridge (that have passed their sell by date and need using up), stuff that has been in the freezer for several months, and whatever pulses, beans and grains I have in cans and bags etc. I’m also on ‘toilet paper’ rations (does anyone know if toilet paper was rationed? I am thinking it was!) and seeing how little I can get by on so really being careful with what I’ve got!

Veggie mince with some frozen yorkshire puddings that had been in the freezer for several months. I also found an old packet of stuffing at the back of the cupboard. This is for work lunches…

Had a productive day…

For breakfast I had 30g of porridge oats with some ground flax seed and soy milk.

For lunch I had one a meal prep meal of chilli which I made this morning. I had run out of rice so luckily found some pasta and used that instead.

For dinner I had one of the meal prep meals from yesterday with the lovely root vegetable mash followed by a slice of ‘mock apricot tart’ that I found in the freezer when I defrosted it yesterday. I served that with some custard.

I found some slices of ‘mock apricot tart'(made with carrots) in the freezer so had some for pudding with a little custard

I’d imagine I’m now up to about 1500 cals for the day but I may sucuumb to some tinned peaches this evening!

How have you been doing? What triumphs have you had today?

Money spent on Day 1 – £0.00

C xxx


1940s Meal Prep – 7 days dinners for 32p


Yes that’s right – 7 days dinners for 32 p each. And I’m going to tell you what I used, what each item cost, AND how much fibre and protein per serving!

There is quite a group of us on my blog starting off the New Year with really good intentions to have a “Month without Money” in January (grocery money) by using up stuff we have been hoarding in the cupboards before buying more. Spending as little money in January is something we are all trying to achieve to help us get over the lean month but also be mindful of waste and of what we spend, just like our families had to do during rationing in WW2!


I decided today that I would use up the post Christmas reduced veg I bought the other day. I bought some bags of parsnips for 9p a bag, some sprouts for 10p a bag, some carrots for 19p a bag and potatoes for 29p a bag. I then rummaged through my cupboards and found a can of tomatoes, can of kidney beans, can of chick peas, a large onion, 2 courgettes, few teaspoons Bisto powder, dried mixed herbs, salt and pepper. The total cost of all the ingredients actually used was about £2.25 and I was able to have one meal for lunch and fill 6 meal prep containers to put in the fridge and freezer (it also spurred me into defrosting the freezer!).

YES, that’s right…..£2.25 for 7 days’ dinners, that’s 32p per meal!


So here’s what I made and how…although these are not 1940’s wartime recipes that you’ll find in a book any cook during the 40’s would have thrown stuff together to use up stuff and not waste it!

Root Veg Mash

1.5 lbs parsnips
1.5 lbs carrots
1.5 lbs potatoes
1 onion or leek finely chopped + garlic (optional)
Butter or margarine
Salt and pepper.

Cut up carrots small and parsnips and potatoes in slightly larger pieces.
Add to boiling water and simmer until soft.
Meanwhile add all your butter or margarine (according to how much you like) into a saucepan and peel a clove of garlic or two and add that into the saucepan with the chopped onion and sauted until onions are soft (remove garlic cloves when ready)
Place drained veg into a large bowl, place butter and onion mixture on top and mash all up together.
Add salt and pepper liberally until your own desired taste is reached.

Will be enough for 7 days meal prep plus a portion of pre mashed veg to add to stew recipe below.

PS: It was DELISH!

Meal Prep Bean Stew

1 can kidney beans
1 can chickpeas
1 can tomatoes
1 onion or leek
2 or 3 courgettes or a small chopped marrow
Portion of pre-mashed cook veg from recipe above.
Bisto powder
Salt and pepper
Dried mixed herbs
Spoonful of sweet chutney (optional)

In a large saucepan, saute chopped onions or leeks until browned and soft
Add chopped courgettes or marrow
Add all cans and pre-mashed veggies
Thicken with Bisto powder
Add chutney, herbs, salt and pepper.
Cook until stew has reduced a little and thickened.

Will be enough for 7 meal prep portion sizes.

Fibre and Protein Boost!

I even worked out the fibre and protein content of each meal. Each meal provides a whacking great 20g of fibre!! (daily recommendation is 25g – 30g) and protein was 18g (daily recommendation is about 55g) so that’s pretty good too!

With hindsight I would have thrown another can of kidney beans in or thrown in some dry lentils and boosted each meal by another 5g of fibre and 5g of protein!

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