A Week of Wartime Food

Throughout my time at school I hated history despite loving to watch documentaries and read books about history. Only now do I know that this is because history at school focuses on war and monarchy and dates whereas I’m more interested in the realism of social history. After watching the Back in Time for Dinner series on BBC2, I became obsessed with how the people of the past ate. I was interested in what ordinary people used to eat every day and how healthy they were as a result.

So, after doing some research and watching Back in Time for Dinner, Further Back in Time for Dinner, and The Supersizers Go Wartime, I came up with enough recipes to get me through the week only eating as someone would have done in the 1940s. My main source was the blog The 1940s Experiment, which is full of delicious hearty meals.

wartime breakfast

I started with a breakfast I would eat now. Porridge with water instead of milk and agave nectar instead of honey, an apple, and a glass of orange juice. I wouldn’t usually have the apple and the orange juice but I found that it filled me up so much more than just porridge and I enjoyed my breakfast more.

wartime oslo

For lunch, I was a bit more adventurous. I tried the Oslo meal, a meal designed to be nutritious and which was so successful in schools that parents started making it for children as a quick and easy lunch. I had wholegrain bread instead of national loaf and Sainsbury’s vegan cheddar instead of cheese but the rest of the meal is just tomato, lettuce, cucumber, and carrots. The meal would have been served with milk so I had soya milk and overall I was shocked at how wholesome the meal was. I would never imagine that such a simple salad sort of lunch would fill me up but it really did and I felt so healthy afterwards. I was initially confused by the cheese but I found that, because the rest of the meal was so healthy, the cheese was probably added as a bit of a treat and I enjoyed it so much more with the cheese.

wartime pasties

I tried a variety of different dinners throughout the week. The first one I tried was vegetable turnovers, which are essentially Cornish pasties. The pastry was easy to make as it was just flour, margarine, and water and the filling was potatoes, carrots, and onions. The turnovers were enough to make a full meal and I’ve made them a few times since as they’re a quick and easy dinner.

wartime supper 2

I also tried some simple light dinners which were surprisingly tasty. I got this recipe from Back in Time for Dinner and the family hated it but I tried it anyway. I found it oddly satisfying, almost like a simple chip butty with ketchup because I decided to put the potatoes and tomatoes in the bread to make a sandwich. I would definitely eat this again if I wasn’t very hungry but wanted something to eat before bed.

wartime pumpkin soup

Finally, my favourite meal of the week was wartime pumpkin soup. It was the most simple recipe: pumpkin, onion, and stock. I can’t remember ever eating pumpkin before but I loved the soup and I’ll be sad when pumpkins disappear from the shops again.

Trying these recipes has given me a new appreciation for those affected by rationing. It can’t have been easy finding ways to beat hunger during rationing but living off the land and focusing on nutrition meant that people were more healthy during the war than they were before or after it. I think we could all learn from the 1940s and eat more locally grown produce and make meals simpler. My food shops have halved in price since I did the week as I’m buying more vegetables and cooking more simple but tasty food. Shopping like this has also reduced the amount of plastic I buy because I can buy loose vegetables and I’m not buying pre-packaged vegan junk food. I just want my own vegetable patch now!




A Full Face of Lush Makeup

In a society that prizes appearance over personality, makeup is integral to survival. Some may escape the propaganda of the beauty industry but for those who don’t there needs to be a way to feel confident without being detrimental to the planet.

When I was 9, I first experienced the self-consciousness that results from being bullied for spots. So once I discovered makeup, at age 12, I thought I had solved my problems. A layer of slightly orange foundation protected my pale, pimpled face from childish ridicule but the older I got the more I questioned this. Why should I wake up earlier every morning to make it look like I was unaffected by puberty? Why should I suffocate my sensitive skin to deflect attention from my imperfections? Since then I have gone through periods of wearing makeup daily, periods of never wearing makeup, and periods of only wearing makeup for special occasions. When am I happiest? Probably when I only wear it for special occasions. Whilst I’d love to claim that I feel best without makeup, the energy and the self love it takes to consistently present your imperfections to an unforgiving world is beyond me. So I must find a way to make my cosmetic comfort blanket better for the world I love so much. I must find a way to wear makeup without having to pay for products that test on animals or pollute the environment.

To do this, I have been researching zero/ low waste, vegan, cruelty free makeup and have now tested a full face of Lush makeup.

Makeup pic

PRIMER – Aloe vera gel or Lush Amazon Primer

As someone with skin that is both oily and dry, I rely on primer. But my current primer is in a plastic tube so I need to find another way. I spent a long time researching and I came up with aloe vera. If you get aloe vera gel from the leaves of the aloe vera plant then there is no plastic involved and you just get a nice feeling from cultivating a plant. Unfortunately, I found that plants actually take time to grow so the aloe vera plant I got for this post is still too small. However, I then found Lush had brought out a primer and this is what I have used to create and test a full face of Lush makeup, all of which is zero waste and vegan except for the mascara (low waste recyclable packaging).

Aloe vera plant

FOUNDATION – Lush Slap Stick

As much as I’d love to DIY all of my makeup, many products are simply too difficult to make yourself. So the only option is to find the companies that provide zero waste, vegan, cruelty free products. For me, that company is Lush. Lush is known for being a cruelty free company but has also made a variety of its products zero waste and vegan. Lush offers solid foundation in a wide variety of shades and undertones, dipped in peelable wax and delivered in recycled and recyclable packaging. The foundation went on smoothly and I couldn’t even feel it on my skin.

CONCEALER – Lush Trix Stick

I chose a lighter shade for the concealer as the shades made my skin tone when mixed together. Both the foundation and the concealer felt very nice on the skin and only failed a visible mark appeared on my nose just under the bridge of my glasses. However, this is a pretty common issue with any concealer and foundation when you have glasses so it just meant I had to dab under my glasses with a tissue occasionally.

CONTOUR – Darker concealer

Contour may be a fairly modern trend but its appeal is undeniable. Being able to change the shape of your face is attractive to any of us who dislike our natural face shape. I use it to give my highlighter a bit of structure and mark my jawline because that’s my insecurity. I have only ever used powder contour but its so much easier to make cream contour zero waste and I found this in the form of Lush concealer darker than my skin tone. It wasn’t quite as strong as my usual contour but that may just be because it wasn’t as dark a colour and that’s easily fixed.

BLUSH – See lipstick.


HIGHLIGHT – Lush Glow Stick

Highlight is another modern trend which it would be hard to say goodbye to. Personally, I love looking in the mirror and seeing my face glowing! The lush glow stick Linnet surpassed my expectations. It was reflective and glittery and  I can’t wait to try some other colours.

EYE SHADOW – See lipstick


Eye liner and mascara go hand in hand. You can use cake mascara for both with the help of a small angled brush for eye liner and a recycled mascara brush for mascara. You can buy cake mascara on Etsy but you can also get mascara in recyclable packaging from Lush. I chose not to get a liquid eye liner from Lush because the applicator was the sort that I know I wouldn’t be able to do from years of trying and failing.


The mascara was very wet so I had to be careful for a while before it dried. Otherwise, it didn’t clump at all and was actually very good at separating my eyelashes.


Lipstick can have a variety of uses. Lush makes lipstick in a multitude of colours but no eye shadow or blush so why not use the lipstick to fulfil all of your colour needs? I got lipstick in the shade Haarlem and it worked perfectly for the blush and the lips. For the eye shadow, it was very light and I’d probably only use it in the day. Maybe Banjul, the darkest shade (purplish black) will create a better night look?


When thinking of how to replace beauty blenders I hit a complete blank. I looked into natural sea sponges only to find that they are categorised as animals and therefore not considered vegan. I came across luffa, a plant (like a cucumber or a marrow) that can be dried and then the husk can be used as a sponge, but it didn’t look quite right. Eventually I discovered the Korean konjac sponge, a plant sponge which looked much more like the face sponge. However, none of the options were especially promising (importing from Korea is hardly environmentally friendly) so I used my beauty blender and will continue to research alternatives or return to brushes, which Lush also makes.

MAKEUP REMOVER – Coconut oil

Coconut oil is truly versatile. How can one thing be used to both moisturise and remove your makeup? To remove the makeup, you can even make or buy reusable cotton pads. These are simply cotton circles sewn together to make cotton pads that can be washed and reused until they decline in quality. I simply massage the oil into my face with my fingers and then rinse. It removes mascara better than any makeup wipes or miscellar water I’ve found, possibly because you can get right into the water line without pain!

Coconut oil


Overall, I’m happy with the Lush makeup collection and will be using their naked products from now on. I did have to add eye makeup for my night look but with more shades of lipstick I’m sure I could create a darker look.

Lush Tutorial_Moment2

A Week of Meal Prep

Recently, I’ve fallen back into old habits. I’ve been eating toast for breakfast, which leaves me hungry and unsatisfied, I’ve been snacking at midday and losing track of time so that I miss lunch altogether, and I’ve been forgetting about dinner until my mum makes it for me.

From day one of my week of meal prepping, I had to get out of these habits and I felt so much better for it.

For breakfast, I found that I still had time to spare in the morning but I also had a delicious, nutritional breakfast. All I did was top the oats with chopped almonds, raisins, desiccated coconut, almond butter, and agave nectar, and my breakfast was done. I ate this breakfast for 5 days and at no point did I stop enjoying it.

For lunch, I just toasted some almonds and then microwaved the butternut squash and couscous, finishing the meal off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. This salad continues to be one of my favourite meals and I would recommend buying Áine Carlin’s Keep It Vegan just for that recipe! It is also transportable as all you have to do is heat it up for 3 minutes in a microwave and its ready to eat.

Dinner was still ready-made but by me. It may not have looked very appetising but it was healthy and the marinated tofu was unlike anything I’ve had before. As time went by, I found that the tofu really didn’t last very well and I now know that I should have just marinated it for the meal prep and left the frying until the day. On the last day, instead of heating it up, I cut it up and put it into some wraps and it tasted so much better!

At the end of a week of meal prepping, the only thing I would do different would be to change it up a little and provide some small alterations. When I went out for dinner, 4 days in, I couldn’t tell if the burger and chips I ordered were the best I’ve ever had in my life or whether it was just the novelty of different tastes!

Now that food prep isn’t a part of my day, I have so much more time. I’m a meal prep convert and look forward to a fridge full of aesthetic jars of overnight oats!

Meal prepping?

I have been wanting to try meal prepping for so long but had no idea how to start. What meals were the best to make? Should I keep them in the fridge or the freezer? What if some foods don’t do well when kept in the fridge for week after cooking?

Meal prepping is a pretty modern take on batch cooking, which is a normal part of family life for many people. I have never cooked my meals in batches. I’ve reheated leftovers but never set out to make more food than I need. But meal prepping is a great way to save money and to lose weight so it seems worth a try.

To start, I found 3 recipes I like from Áine Carlin’s recipe book and bought all the ingredients to make 5 portions of each.

This week, I won’t have to cook in order to eat which hopefully will stop me from grabbing snacks (which tend to be crisps or ice cream in the summer) when I’m hungry because I can’t be bothered to cook.

My menu this week is:

Breakfast: Cocoa and almond butter overnight oats

Lunch: Winter (yeah, I know) squash and couscous salad

Dinner: Sweet and sour marinated tofu with stir fry vegetables

If I get bored, I can change the toppings on my oats, add vegetables to my salad, and change what I eat with my tofu. As I failed to properly cut my tofu, the last portion is pretty measly, so I may cook up some really quick tofu scramble on the last day to go with my vegetables. But this way of eating should allow me to get all that I need as everything is decided beforehand and I know what nutrients and what portion sizes I will be eating.

meal prep intro