An Update of Progress on the 5-2 Diet and a Slimmed Down Leek and Potato Soup!
The 5-2 diet is becoming a lifestyle diet for me. It seems to enable me to VERY SLOWLY lose weight without too much pain. OK, for 2 days a week I really do have to eat carefully and not drink any alcohol. But the rest of the time I follow my normal, rather eccentric lifestyle, eating out a lot and (probably) drinking too much wine as well. So, I’m very happy to report today that I’m now 63.5 kilos. That’s almost a 10kg loss since I started doing the diet in September last year and given the press trips and holidays, I’m very pleased with myself. I haven’t given up anything completely and for the most part, the food I eat at home is very similar to the food I was eating BEFORE starting on the 5-2 diet.
There are some changes though.
- I’m a lot more conscious of portion size. On 5-2 diet fast days, I weigh everything, even celery. And I think that’s made me more conscious of how to keep the calories low on non-fasting days.
- I am using 1 cal spray a lot on fast days, and where I don’t need to add ‘flavour’, quite regularly in my normal cooking. I still prefer to cook with olive oil and butter, but for me, I’ve discovered that it is very easy to add more than might be good for my waistline. So, even on non-fast days I generally measure out my fats rather than just happily pouring in a glug of oil.
- I’m replacing some of the high-calorie foods I used to eat with ingredients that are lower in calories. The recipe below is a really good example. I’ve been using celeriac as a substitute for potato, and although my Leek, Celeriac and Potato Soup has 100g of potato for texture, most of the ‘thickness’ of the soup comes from celeriac, which has half the calories. Of course, you could make a thinner soup without the celeriac at all, but during winter I quite like 5-2 diet soups that have body.
- I’m making more tomato-based sauces and fewer creamy ones.
- I’m using a lot more spices in my recipes. I do like hot and spicy dishes, and I’ve found that the low-fat recipes I’m making at the moment often need more in terms of seasoning with herbs and spices. Since it is winter there are not so many fresh herbs around (mine seem to last about a week on the windowsill).
- I’m eating less meat but more white fish and vegetables. In particular things like a vegetable curry, which I probably wouldn’t even have tried to cook. I’ve discovered I actually rather like homemade vegetarian food.
- I’m trying a lot of different high fibre foods as a way to bulk out my 5-2 diet recipes and stay feeling full for longer
Anyway, the point of this particular 5-2 diet soup is that by replacing most of the potato with celeriac, you can enjoy a thick, comforting soup for around 70 calories a bowl. Use potato instead of celeriac and the calorie count goes up to around 100. While that might not sound so serious, I’d rather save the 30 calories for a treat, especially as I like the slightly aniseedy taste of celeriac. DO weigh and measure the ingredients you use, both celeriac and potato are quite dense, so you might be surprised that what looks like a very small potato is actually 100g.
- 2 Medium Leeks Cleaned, trimmed and sliced into 1cm chunks
- 200 g Celeriac Root Peeled and chopped into cubes
- 100 g Potato Peeled and chopped into cubes
- 700 ml Stock Fresh chicken or made with a good quality stock cube or bouillon
Melt the butter in a heavy based pan
Gently soften the leeks in the melted butter for 3-4 minutes
Add the potato and celeriac, then pour over the stock and bring to the boil
Simmer gently for 15 minutes before blending with a stick blender or in batches in a liquidiser. If you prefer a chunkier soup, just use a slotted spoon to remove 2 spoonfuls of the vegetable mix before blending.
Check and add salt and pepper as required (this will depend a lot on the stock you use, so it is worth leaving it till the soup is cooked.
Serve with a teaspoon of low fat creme fraiche and/or fresh parsley chopped over
I’ve added a dollop of creme fraiche to the soup in the picture, which will add 15 calories or so. Served with a parsley garnish the calorie count is as shown below:-
For those of you who haven’t found them yet, there are some great 5-2 diet resources – forums and various facebook groups. If you are interested, leave a comment below and I’ll post the links.