On day 3 of my Ration Challenge I felt fine…but day 4 started differently. I woke up with a banging headache, which could be the lack of nutrition, or could be the fact that the baby was up for around 2 hours in the middle of the night. Who knows.
Either way, I downed a pint of water, and stuck with water to keep me going till lunch.
When the small person eventually went down for his nap, I used the time wisely to turn the rest of the red lentils, along with sliced onion, salt and paprika, into a dal that would hopefully last me a couple of days.
And at 12.45, I had the first portion, accompanied by some boiled rice. Well, overboiled, in all honesty, so most of it was mush…but there was no way I was going to waste precious resources. And it actually wasn’t too bad, which I think was helped by the fact that it was the first time I’d actually eaten plain rice all week.
In the afternoon, I needed to head out to do some shopping – a pretty normal state of affairs. And it’s also pretty normal for me to take a rucksack with me and lug it all home on my back while pushing a 10.5kg child in his pushchair – I don’t normally struggle.
But today, I did: my arms and legs felt like lead and I was exhausted by the time I got home, clearly missing the nutrients I need to keep my body functioning normally.
It was water and more water until 6.45pm, when making a cup of tea for Chris was far too tempting. I left my first teabag to brew for a good 10 minutes and it was still pretty weak, so into the bin it went afterwards. That’s now one teabag left to last me the remainder of the week.
7.10pm came around, and the highlight of my day: opening the solitary tin of sardines from my ration pack. They’ve only got a three day fridge life once opened, so I was keen to save them till the second half of the week for a change of flavour…and I’m so glad I did!! I tipped some of the oil from the tin into a pan, along with about a quarter of one of the sardines, crumbled up small, and added my leftover cooked rice from lunch, which I ate along with a few more spoonfuls of the dal. And, in all honesty, that added fishy flavour made it taste like a Michelin starred meal in comparison to the lack of variety so far this week! Note that that’s a small side plate, not a dinner plate – I can’t seem to stomach much more.
The toughest part of the evening? Cooking Chris’ dinner. Burger night for him, to use up frozen burgers leftover from a barbecue a few weeks back, along with homemade chips and salad. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was the salad that I was salivating over the most…I can’t wait to tuck into fresh fruit and veg on Sunday!
At 9.15, I’m embarrassed to say that I went to bed. Despite 4 pints of water throughout the day, that headache still lingered, and I was feeling weirdly bloated. But that’s over half the week done now, and I fell asleep pleased at the thought that the money I’ve raised so far can feed 100 refugees in a camp in Jordan for a week.
This whole Ration Challenge has been pretty sobering: I’m a lot more conscious of the food we normally throw away, and I’m a lot more aware of my body’s hunger signals. And while I’m pleased to be able to help at least a little, I’m saddened by just how many people live like this (and without our regular creature comforts) for several years on end.
If you’d like to do your bit, there’s still time to sponsor me – click here for my fundraising page, and to find out more about the Ration Challenge!