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Back to Basics – 5:2 Diet – my Lifestyle Choice:
One of the reasons I think I’m still happy to be following the 5:2 diet is that unlike many diet regimes it seems to be flexible enough to enable me not to change my lifestyle for a diet. Well, not too much anyway! I haven’t needed to buy a recipe book up till now, but I am delighted with my copy of the Ultimate 5:2 Diet Recipe Book by Kate Harrison because it really does have some great new ideas for me to try.
Up to now, those changes I have made are ones that haven’t caused too much pain. This Chicken Parmigiana dish for instance tasted very like the version I normally cook. But, by baking the aubergine rather than frying it in olive oil and by using low fat mozzarella instead of the full fat version, I found I could include it on a 5:2 fast day. The whole dish, served with a generous helping of courgette noodles was around 300 calories.
You can find my recipe for 5:2 Diet Chicken Parmigiana on Yahoo if you’d like to try it for yourself.
Back from a week of travelling around Croatia and sampling some wonderful food and wine, followed by a brief trip to Barcelona, I felt really bloated and tired when I got home a couple of days ago. Yesterday was my first fast day for at least two weeks and I was slightly apprehensive about how I might survive. But, I’m pleased to say it seems to be a bit like riding a bike. Once you get the idea of how a fast day works for your own metabolism, it is easy enough to re-start if, like me, for some reason you have a temporary break.
My menu for yesterday was kept deliberately simple because I have felt a little overwhelmed, with too much to write about and too many overdue chores to spend much time in the kitchen at the moment. But I did want to cook rather than buy ready meals – I really miss my own food when I am away, no matter HOW delicious the meals out are!
Fast Day Meal Plan
Breakfast: Coffee with milk
Mid morning: Coffee with milk
Lunch: Simple home made spinach and lentil soup (soften an onion in a heavy based pan, add a bag of washed spinach, a litre of water and a teaspoon of bouillon, cook for 10 minutes then add a tablespoon of pre-cooked puy lentils. Blitz and adust seasoning to taste. About 40 cals a serving (enough for 2-3 bowls)
Mid afternoon snack: 10cal jelly.
Supper: Seared Salmon (125g) with puy lentils (75g), tomato and spring onion. Just seal the salmon in a heavy skillet, add in the lentils with a little wine or water and cook for 5 minutes. Then stir in the chopped fresh tomato and spring onions. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and serve. Delicious and around 300 calories a serving.
I allow myself up to 140 calories for skimmed milk to go in coffee throughout the day. So, yesterday in total I had 490 calories. Success!
My salmon came from John at DelishFish and I recommend his fish for this type of diet. It is all fresh Scottish fish from sustainable sources and comes in convenient one person portions. And it is so fresh when it arrives that you can easily freeze any that you don’t want to eat immediately.
While I was away I finally got a chance to browse through Kate Harrison’s ‘Ultimate 5:2 Diet Recipe Book’. Of course I’m thrilled that it has a contribution from me – and also from my friend Jac at Tinned Tomatoes, who produces some amazing vegetarian dishes, but I was really impressed to find such a rich variety of recipes. I know that Kate has taken contributions from her 5:2 Diet forum as well as creating her own unique dishes and that really seems to have paid off. The book is a rich set of dishes by people who are following the 5:2 diet themselves. It has treats for times when you are really craving something sweet (I’m now itching to try the chocolate jaffa cake mousse recipe which has just 152 calories per portion) and some really innovative ways to create delicious food. I really do recommend buying the 5:2 Diet Recipe book and joining Kate’s facebook group if you are thinking of starting the diet or just want a little inspiration. Leave me a message if you need help to find the group on Facebook.
Of course, I’ll keep posting recipes on here too. And, I’d love to hear how the 5:2 diet is working for you, so leave me a comment and let me know what your tips are for eating on a 5:2 diet fast day