Ration Challenge 2020: Day 5

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I’m taking the Ration Challenge and eating the same rations as a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Jordan for one week. Find out more and sponsor me here! And read previous Ration Challenge posts here.


I woke up on the morning of Day 5 of my Ration Challenge in two minds about how I felt. On the one hand, I knew that I was over halfway through the week – I was on the home straight. On the other hand, I knew it still meant I had three rice-based days left to endure – and my lower back pain had kept me awake for much of the night.

Nevertheless, I soldiered on, taking another 1/7 of my vegetable ration (I’ve chosen shallots) out of the freezer, ready to use for what was to be a meagre first meal of the day.

I managed to wait until 12pm until I had this meal – for much of the last few days, I’ve genuinely not been feeling hungry at all. This challenge has certainly been making me think about how often I probably don’t actually listen to my body when eating: I’m going to try and be more mindful to eat only when hungry – and enough just to satisfy me – once this week is over.

Lunch wasn’t anything to get excited about. After the failed mujadara of the last few days, a bowl of plain boiled rice was the preferred option, sprinkled with paprika and topped with slivers of fried shallot.


Ration Challenge - Rice and Shallots


The day before, thanks to a few kind friends, I’d managed to earn a “reward”: by hitting £600 of funds raised, I was entitled to have a 330ml hot or cold drink added to my rations for the week. I had every intention of making myself a coffee this afternoon…but I didn’t feel that I actually needed it. It’s good to know, though, that I’ve got it there should I need it in the last two days of the challenge.

I spent part of my afternoon making a beef stew, with buttery mash and green beans on the side…not for me, of course. The smell of it wafting through the flat was unbearably tempting, but I’d planned in something I thought I’d enjoy for my own evening meal…

And it didn’t disappoint. I combined half of my remaining tin of sardines (and their oil) with some of the mujadara that was still lurking in the fridge, plus salt and 10g of flour. After mixing, I shaped the mixture into four patties, and put back into the fridge to chill.

When it came to dinner time, I sprinkled both sides with a further 10g of flour (seasoned with salt and paprika), and cooked them in a hot oiled pan until they were crispy on both sides. And they were absolutely delicious: the taste of the sardines took away the flavour of the rice, and I could almost pretend they were real fishcakes. I was going to cook some rice to have on the side, but the four of these filled me up – my appetite has shrunk so much this week.


Ration Challenge - Sardine Fishcakes


I’m excited about Day 6 – only because I’m using the first half of my 120g of protein (another fundraising reward). I’ve chosen halloumi – one of my favourite cheeses – and I genuinely can’t wait to get stuck in!

The end is in sight. Not for those that Concern Worldwide helps, sadly – but every single pound raised through the Ration Challenge will make such a huge difference to some of the hardest-hit communities across the globe. I’m proud to be playing a part in that.


Learn more about the Ration Challenge here.


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