Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Our WWII rations(ish) healthy diet

Firstly, thank you very much for the comments regarding OH's angina/stent.  When words like angina, stent(s), 59% chance of coronary heart disease and possible bypass are bandied around, and you have no previous personal experience of all this, things can get a bit scary initially.  So I'm relieved to hear that stents are a common thing and your partners are all living full and healthy lives.

Anyway, we've decided we're going to do our version of the wartime rations, making adjustments so it suits our circumstances and preferences.  Our main reason for doing this is to cut down on portion sizes, eat less meat and fat but more veggies, pulses and wholegrains, in order to lose weight - and hopefully stop clogging up our arteries.  I'm sure it will save us money too, but that's a bonus rather than the main reason.

I've gone over (again and again!) the list of rations per person, per week or month, and the points system for other foods.  Some things we're not going to ration - tea and coffee e.g., as there seems little point from a health point of view.  I have 2 coffees and 1 tea a day (I drink water the rest of the time), husband has about double that, mostly tea though.  We only have a splash of milk and no sugar, so I don't really see any benefits in restricting them, as we both really enjoy them and I don't want us to feel deprived.  Eggs too, 1 each per week is a step too far as we normally get through a lot of eggs (I generally buy 15 a week), fried or scrambled for breakfasts a couple of times a week, a quiche or frittata for lunch about once a week, and cakes of course (oh, and Betty has scrambled egg once or twice weekly!).  However, we've chosen to restrict eggs to 8 a week for the 2 of us, that should enable us to have one cake, a quiche or omelette and possibly 1 fried egg each during the week.  And cakes can be eggless, of course.

On the subject of cake, I'm still going to make one each week, but using a wartime recipe....I'm going to start with Julie of KC's Court's Wartime Carrot Cake.  The sugar ration of 8oz p.w. each is way too much - the only sugar I use is in cakes, nothing else (well, other than a spoonful in rhubarb when we have it growing), so we'll restrict that to 4oz p.w. for the 2 of us.

2oz of cheese is another thing we're not going to implement, although we are going to substantially reduce our intake - we currently buy loads of cheese, all types, as we both love it.  We've decided on 6oz p.w. each, which is probably less than half of what we'd normally eat.  As for butter and marg....we always have butter, I rarely use marg, so we'll have 6oz each of reduced fat butter, rather than the full fat we have now.  Same for milk, 3pts a week each (we may not even get through that much) but it'll be semi skimmed instead of our normal full fat.  

As for meat, we'll have the set ration of 4oz bacon or ham each.  For all other meat, we've decided on 1 pound of meat, be it mince, pork, lamb or beef, for the 2 of us for the week.  Or we may decide to have a fresh chicken and have that as our only meat allowance for the week (I think Dc of Frugal in Norfolk may have done that?  Apologies if it was someone else, I've done so much reading the last few days I can't remember the source of everything!).

So here's the list of foods we'll be having on rations each week:-

For the 2 of us

8oz bacon or ham
1 lb meat (or a fresh chicken)
12 oz butter
4 oz lard
12 oz cheese
6 pts milk
4 oz sugar
8 eggs
1 lb pulses
1 lb brown rice (will be used for rice pudding as well as savoury)
6 oz dried fruit (for cakes and with yogurt for breakfasts)
8 oz wholemeal pasta
2 tins fish - salmon or tuna or pilchards
1 tin baked beans

As for bread, we make our own (and eat too much of it), currently 3 or 4 times a week....from now on we'll do 2 loaves a week.  Like Sue of A Challenging Year, initially it'll be a mix of wholemeal and white, reducing the white so eventually it'll be all wholemeal.

OH will have 1 piece of fresh fruit a day (he loves fruit), I rarely eat fresh fruit other than berries a couple of times a week with yogurt for breakfast.  On the subject of yogurt, I haven't seen any mention of it during wartime, but we'll be having a 500g pot of Greek yogurt each week, albeit the low fat version rather than our current full fat from now on.

We'll be having unlimited fresh or frozen veg, although not too many potatoes, also unlimited salad and tinned tomatoes.  I'll be using oats and wholemeal flour as required.

I think that's it.  I'll be working out meals today.


  1. It all sounds healthy and very workable which is what really matters. It's got to work for you or it won't last. A chicken sounds an excellent idea - they go such a long way and you can make so many good things with them.
    Looking forward to reading about it all.
    J x

  2. Let me know what you think of the cake

    Here is the recipe for anyone who want its, of "Wartime" Carrot Cake

    8oz Self raising flour, 3oz magering or cooking fat, 3oz Sugar, 4oz grated Carrot, 2oz Sultanas, 1 x egg, little milk or water.

    Rub the butter into the flour, then add sugar, carrot sultanas and egg and mix in.
    Mix in sufficient liquid to make sticky.

    Pour mixture into cake tin and cook on 180 degrees C until cooked through and golden brown. Test how you would test your cakes, I use a straight skewer

    Also there is a topping recipe and how I slightly altered the cake recipe on my blog which is here

    Julie xxxx

  3. Yes, it was me! Eventually cutting back your cheese more will help a bit. Cheddar is 416
    Calories per oz and almost 35% fat.

  4. A long time ago I changed our diet to a little meat and lots of veg it works like this. This is quantities are 500g mince is devided into four, a large chicken leg does the two of us and when we have roast I pop the plate on the scales and we have 100g each. The following weight is for two pasta 110g rice 80g. To make meat sauce for spaghetti etc put meat in pan add small tin tomato paste 20ml whole lentils half med onion. half green pepper, piece courgette all chopped add mixed herbs and salt.
    For curry 20ml red lentils onion courgette green pepper. As you can see half the dish is veg. My husband is 76 and I am 68 we do long distance walking and are not overweight. Also I only bake occasionally but usually have a home made pie once a week served either with salad or veg no starch as there is enough in the pastry. In recent years my daughters have come back to this way of eating. We also use wholewheat bread and full cream milk.

  5. A good plan, simple food cooked well, and few snacks sounds a winner.

  6. It sounds like a really good plan, well done on sitting down and planning it all so quickly. It should do you both the world of good.

  7. The only part of rations that would hurt me is the tea, I do drink a great deal of it but without milk or sugar. I know (from family history) that my Mother swapped her sugar ration for her best friends tea ration. There was lots of that sort of thing happening in the village. I am enjoying reading about all of this, many of the meals and recipes are in regular use here.

  8. sounds like a good plan, I will follow your progress as we are trying to adapt our eating habits !

  9. Consider switching over to decaffeinated tea and coffee to reduce any extra strain on the heart.Good luck with your rations diet.

  10. Instead of sugar in dessert pudding you could use some of the dried fruit to sweeten it.
    I have made bread with no white flour and it is usually so dense as to not be not really edible.
    Sounds interesting to me.
    I laughed a bit when you said you bought eggs by the 18 earlier this month. I buy 6 dozen at a time, they store fine in the refrigerator for a good length of time.
    I will be interested to see what kind of meals you come up with, so I can try them as well. Now to go look up what pulses are. :)

    1. 6 dozen!!! Blimey! Lol.

      Pulses are dried peas, beans, lentils, that sort of thing.

  11. Looking forward to the meal planning. Well done on sorting your rations.

  12. I made a smaller loaf to reduce calories, nobody noticed. The wartime loaf was a healthy wholemeal. It fits the toaster, and takes a bit less grated cheese to cover a slice.
    DH hasn't noticed the wholemeal flour in the fat free Barabrith fruit loaf.


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