Bluebell Wood doctor’s diet to support refugees

By Gareth Dennison | 05/07/2019

Bluebell Wood doctor’s diet to support refugees

A SELF-confessed foodie doctor swapped decadent dishes for meagre rations to experience the diet of Syrian refugees.

Paediatric specialist Archana Soman (pictured) lived on strict, small portions of rice, red kidney beans and sardines for a week.

The doctor, who works at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, took on the challenge to raise money for humanitarian charity Concern Worldwide.

And Archana (47) said: “My luxury is rich, decadent food. I love cooking and spend without really thinking on the best ingredients and eating out.

“I am really greedy, as families and staff who have shared a dinner table with me in the dining room at Bluebell Wood will testify. So it was no mean feat for me to take up the Ration Challenge.”

Archana had to live on 1,700 calories a day — eking out week’s rations of 1.9kg of rice, a tin of red kidney beans, a small tin of sardines, flour and 80g of dried chickpeas.

“I could only spice it up with chili and a bit of salt, no other spices, no herbs, no fruit, or vegetables,” said the mum-of-two. “The day I got to eat the sardines was amazing.

“It was much harder than I imagined. Although I was very hungry, it didn’t affect my work. But by the evening I was light-headed and heading for bed.

“The challenge made me realise what privileges we enjoy as opposed to a huge percentage of the world, and made me very determined not to waste food.”

Archana, who also works at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, lost nearly 2kg and raised £600. Visit to add to her sponsorship total.

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