The 5-2 Diet, Meal Planning and Leftovers
Back to the 5-2 Diet for me this week with a 5-2 fast day today and on Saturday. One of the biggest challenges for me at this time of year if I’m trying to lose weight is that my fridge and store cupboard tend to be overful with Christmas leftovers. I know, for example, there’s a whole box of stollen in the cupboard, a LOT of smoked salmon in the fridge and even chocolate!!! And, I suspect that one of the reasons the 5-2 diet works for me is that it lets me work through leftovers of nice things just taking a couple of days out a week for 5-2 diet fast days.
Although I am not normally keen on meal planning, on 5:2 diet fast days I do find it helps a LOT to work out what I am going to eat (and at roughly what time!). The last of my family left after the Christmas break today and so I had a fairly late start at my desk. I seldom eat breakfast and I certainly have no intention of starting on a 5:2 fast day, unless I happen to be feeling particularly hungry. Today I wasn’t…so the morning was nothing more that coffee. Mid morning I was firmly reminded that I needed to get back on track with the 5:2 diet when my pre-Christmas order from Holland and Barratt arrived. I’ve bought more of the shirataki noodles I tried a month or so ago…and a ‘rice’ substitute made with the same yam (a large portion of ‘rice’ for 7 calories!). But today was already half planned out in my head this morning.
I’ve made a spicy tomato and lentil soup but cut the lentils down to 15g and included an extra stick of celery. I also used dried chilli flakes because I didn’t have a fresh one, and added a bit of smoked paprika. Using low calorie vegetables to thicken your soup is a very good way to fill up, increase the amount of fibre you are eating and reduce the calories a bit more. Reducing the amount of lentils should have cut 10-15 calories per portion from the soup, although I did end up eating a couple of bowls (total 120-130 calories) for lunch.
Today’s 5: 2 diet supper is an attempt to use up some of the smoked salmon I had over Christmas. Now, while smoked salmon isn’t really a low calorie fish, it’s quite rich and just a little can work very well in conjunction with the right flavours. I made a lovely fennel and smoked salmon pasta dish last year and I was keen to see if I could make a low calorie version, using courgettes sliced to make a healthy ‘pasta’ (that’s courgetti to you!)
- 1 bulb Fennel
- 1 Small Courgette
- 50 g Smoked Salmon
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil Best possible quality.
- 1/2 Lemon
- 1-2 sprig Mint
- 1 Small New Potato 60-80grams weight
Make the courgetti by topping and tailing the courgette, then shaving fine ribbons using a potato peeler. Place in a jug or bowl of chilled water
Slice the fennel as thinly as possible and remove the core. Save any fronds for garnish
Zest the lemon and squeeze the juice
Cut the potato into small segments.
Place the fennel and potato in a steamer and cook over boiling water for about 8 minutes
Drain the courgetti
Heat the oil in a non-stick wok, then add the courgetti and stir gently till they start to go translucent
Add in the potato and fennel and stir through. Then add the salmon, torn into bite size strips if necessary
Stir in the lemon zest and juice and season well with salt and pepper
Allow the mixture to cool just a little and the flavours blend. Serve garnished with mint and/or fennel fronds
A small potato will add texture and depth to the dish. Depending on the calories you have left you can add more than one (allow 75cal per 100g)
Tonight’s supper totals about 250 calories with one small potato and 50g of salmon. It is reasonably filling and leaves me enough calories for a bed time snack or even another bowl of soup!
I’m looking forward to getting Michael Mosley’s book The Fast Diet which I’m hoping will help with the meal planning. And to trying some more recipes with the Shirataki noodles I’ve got.
And, just for laughs, I’m going to review a restaurant on Monday which serves a three course menu with a calorie count under 500!