Friday, 5 April 2013

5:2 Friday

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I need to lose some weight and to do this I have embraced the 5:2 approach. I won't bore you with the details of this diet - you're either interested and therefore know all about it already, or you're not and will shortly be off looking for some of my more calorific posts (there are plenty here). What I will say is that it's working, and I have managed to shift at least half a stone since the middle of February. And you know, the fasting days haven't been so bad. Yes, I am hungry, but I've found that drinking a lot of water or green tea can help. And it's made me think a lot more about what I'm eating on non-fasting days. It's not that I'm not eating cake any more (don't be utterly ridiculous - I would rather die) - but I'm better about portion control, and not finishing up what the kids leave on the name of 'not wasting food' (!). That sort of thing.

Up until now, I haven't really blogged about the food I have been eating on my fast days (the days when I am only supposed to eat 500 calories), other than to make throwaway comments about mushroom omlettes. I wasn't reallyintending to either, but then I came across a post on another blog that I follow sporadically, I'm Counting UFOs, where she has started to do a regular 5:2 Friday post, documenting what she ate for her fast days, and I think this is quite a good idea, as it will give me (a) something to aim for (no fast days, no post) and (b) some inspiration. Up until now, I have pretty much been eating the same meals, adapted from a newspaper magazine supplement that I nicked from my mum when we were staying at half term, and the only adventurous meal I have worked out for myself is a small baked potato, with the insides mashed with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a massive plate of salad.

The hardest thing has been fitting it in with the rest of the family so I'm not cooking different things all the time. While the kids have been at school ithasn't been so hard - we don't eat the same for breakfast anyway, and I can do what I like for lunch. The evening meal has been harder, partly because by 4 o'clock, when I'm starting to cook for the kids, I am ALWAYS hungry, and temptation is strong. I've found that if I can prepare the meal for everyone else early in the day, when my resolve is strong - something like pasta bake - I can avoid the 'little tastes' here and there that would inevitably slip in if I were making it later in the day. I can also just cook less and do extra veg for me - you can eat almost limitless steamed veg, I think - well, may be not quite but you'd get full before you hit your allotted calorie limit. This week was extra hard. After eating a disgusting amount of chocolate on Easter Sunday, I decided I'd have a fast day on Bank Holiday Monday - with the scent of chocolate still lingering in the air, cake in the tin, and everyone at home. Breakfast and lunch weren't too bad, but dinner was tricky - roast chicken for everyone else, and for me, well - see for yourself. Needless to say, I didn't make pudding. It was also hard because Thursday, my second fast day was a cold day even by recent standards. It snowed most of the day, it was bitterly cold, and all I wanted to do was sit in a corner with the jar of peanut butter and a spoon. But I managed to stay strong.

Monday 1st April (and yes, it did feel a little like a joke)

Breakfast: grated apple, 100g 0% fat Total Greek yoghurt, 10g chopped walnuts - 168 calories; Green tea with lemon

Lunch: smoked mackerel salad - just less than 50g smoked mackerel broken into pieces, watercrss, salad and spinach salad, 30g cucumber, diced, 1 spring onion, chopped and 2 small pickled shallots, lemon juice squeezed over, salt & pepper - approx 175 calories (I couldn't be bothered to weigh the pickled shallots or the spring onion, but really, I think the amount I had equated to minimal calories).

Tea: Roast chicken, broad bean & pea salad with mushrooms & parsley - 52g roast chicken breast (don't laugh!), 50g frozen broad beans, 40g frozen peas, 56g (4) mushrooms and a load of chopped parsley. I cooked the beans and peas as usual, the mushrooms were dry fried ( I have a pan which will tolerate this) and I mixed the whole lot together and squeezed over some lemon juice, and then some salt and pepper. Not a roast dinner, certainly, but not bad. What I counted was  grand total of 160 calories - but iIdidn't include the handful of parsley because by then I was too darn hungry to weigh it...

Thursday 4th April

Breakfast: 1 medium banana, sliced into 170g 0% fat Greek yoghurt, with 1 tablespoon (10 g) chopped walnuts sprinkled on top and a teaspoon of honey drizzled over it - 150 cals

Green tea

Lunch: Skinny Thai vegetable soup. I made a big vat of this the other week and froze portions of it. It's basically veg stock which you flavour with lemon grass, garlic, ginger and lime juice, and then cook sliced mushrooms, frozen peas and broad beans, and sliced chilli in the stock. The flavours are lovely and zingy which makes up for the fact that it's basically flavoured water with some beans in it... I did take a photo of it, but it really didn't look that appetising - probably because having been inthe freezer, some of the fresh colour had disappeared. if i make it again I'll take a nice pretty photo, I promise. It was 150 cals anyway.

Tea: Mushroom omelette - 64g sliced field mushroom dry fried, then omelette'd with 2 large eggs, beaten and poured over the mushrooms, sprinkled with chopped parsely, some salt & pepper. Eaten with loads of watercress, and coming in at about 200 cals.

Yes, I know. It's not pretty, but I was hoping for peanut butter

So there you have it - my fast days this week. Not sure it's going to be particularly inspiring for anyone else, but especially on Thursday, in the freezing cold, the thought that I was going to have to post something today about it definitely kept my resolve firm.
 And now, I can concentrate on the weekend. Hooray!


  1. You hang in there RJ! Well done on your willpower. And I actually think that mushroom omelette looks lovely :)

  2. This is VERY inspiring! I have made a Chinese soup that sounds a bit like your Thai creation. And parsley comes in at 22 cals/60g - so you can probably not weigh it and still be well under :)

    Thank you for linking up!

  3. Hiya, another blog I read is following the 5:2 diet and posting a few recipes, if you want a bit more inspiration: Best of luck :)

  4. That breakfast looks delicious!

  5. Thanks for posting this - I tend to throw in a few fast days, and this is great inspiration.

  6. Good luck with it! Half a stone already, it's working alright! x

  7. Your meals look great, it's so inspiring to check out other 5:2 meals as I tend to do the same thing unless I'm really really organised. I also had a fast day on Easter Monday... It was a tough one as we spent most of it on the M5!

  8. Good luck with this RJ, well done. The omelette does look lovely.


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