Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Day 15

Brunch - 260 calories

1 Itsu Spicy Tuna Maki box - 151 calories
1 Itsu Frozen Yogurt with Strawberries - 109 calories

Dinner - 237 calories

Stuffed Mushrooms 

   - 200 grams of Mushrooms (40 calories)   
   - 3 slices of Wafer Thin Ham (30 calories)   
   - 45 grams of Goats Cheese - (157 calories)
   - Salt, Pepper, Chives and Gralic Granules (10 calories)

Grand Total - 497 calories

Exercise - 40 minutes of Boxercise

And how did it go?

I had the inspiration to have stuffed mushrooms from this blog, but I used different ingredients. This is a very quick meal, yet tasty and filling. I preheated the oven and washed the mushrooms and placed them on a baking tray and then seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic granules. I then added the goats cheese and the ham (I used 3 slices, cut in half) and topped it up with Chives. Before putting the tray in the oven, I wrapped it with foil for  the first 5-7 minutes. I then removed the foil and left it to cook for a further 5-7 minutes. 

I am loving Itsu at the moment, it being very 5:2-friendly, and I even managed to squeeze in a tasty little treat, in form of a no-fat frozen yogurt with fruit. Guess what I will be having on my fast days throughout the summer?

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Day 14

Brunch - 235 calories

1 Scrambled Egg - 71 calories
1 Scrambled Egg Whites - 17 calories
3 Ryvita Crackerbread  - 57  calories

2 Streaky Bacon Rashers - 90 calories

Dinner - 268 calories

Red Pepper Risotto 

   - 100 grams of Red Pepper (37 calories)   
   - 30 grams of Basmati Rice, uncooked (123 calories)   
   - 50 grams of Onions - (21calories)
   - 13 grams of Parmesan (52 calories)
   - 350mls of Chicken Stock (35 calories)

Grand Total: 503 calories

And how did it go?

I could have sworn that I had Arborio Rice at home, turns out I didn't. Anyone in London today would've forgiven me for refusing to go out again to the shops in this cold weather so, fighting against my very Italian blood, I made this tasty little risotto with Basmati Rice. I didn't turn out as creamy as it would've been with the Arborio Rice and I also didn't have the budget to add the white wine, but nevertheless this dish was a success, even though the portion was on the smaller side. I used Chicken Stock, but for all of you vegetarians out there, this is easily done with Vegetable Stock. I have also given up on the Fry-Light thing and have fried the onion and the pepper with a bit of stock, as per Camila's suggestion.

To be honest with you, I find fasting on a weekend day a bit of a drag but, if you're like me and enjoy a spot of lying-in on the weekends, it has the advantage that you sleep through most (or all) of the morning. I wouldn't choose Saturday or Sunday - or even Friday for that matter - for a fast day if I had a choice, but my weeks have been a bit mad and sometimes I don't manage to find two non-consecutive days to fast from Monday to Thursday. It is a pain in the neck, but it also passes quickly. As with everything about the 5:2 diet, it is a small concession to make to feel better and be healthier.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Day 13

Brunch - 219 calories

Day 10's French Onion Soup - 123 calories
4 Ryvita crackerbread  - 76  calories

1 Extra-Light Laughing Cow Cheese Triangle - 20 calories

Dinner - 275 calories

140 grams of Chicken breast strips - 160 calories
1 teaspoon of Olive Oil (to grill the chicken) - 40 calories
1 Steam Bag of Mixed Vegetables (carrots, peas and sweetcorn) - 75 calories

Grand Total: 494 calories

Exercise - 70 minutes

10k Bike

1.3k Swimming

And how did it go?

Cooking a bigger portion and then freezing half of it for a later day is definitely a good idea. Just be sure that you are deviding the portions right. I have used my kitchen scales for that and I think that it was as accurate as possible. The Bird's Eye Steam Bags are quite convenient, but for 75 calories I could have gotten more vegetables than that if I had prepared them myself. As it was, I got home at 8.30 and needed a quick fix.

Exercise has been a great part of my life since I started on this diet. I have, in a fit of madness, enrolled myself on this year's London Triathlon and this summer I will be competing in the Sprint category, together with my boyfriend. Since I have to train to do the combination of 750m Swim, 20k Bike and 5k Run, I have been going to the gym at least 3 times of week and have been training with a Personal Trainer as well.

Some of my training days fall on my fast days, same don't. For me, it feels like I have more energy when I'm fasting, but I understand that it may not be so for everyone. This was the first time I have gone to the gym after work on a fast day and I was somewhat expecting it to be difficult, but it wasn't. I think it is because I am now quite used to the fasting days and don't feel as hungry anymore, I'm not sure how a trip to the gym this late in the day would have felt in the early days of fasting. So people, it does get better. Just remember to follow your own rhythm when exercising.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Day 12

Brunch - 287 calories

100 grams of Smoked Salmon - 180 calories
1 boiled Egg - 71 calories
1 boiled Egg Whites - 17 calories
1 Ryvita crackerbread  - 19 calories

Dinner - 215 calories

230 grams of Broccoli - 78 calories
20 grams of Stilton - 82 calories
2 teaspoons of Boullion - 20 calories
100 grams of Leeks - 25 calories
10 sprays of Fry Light - 10

Grand Total -  502

And how did it go?

I had been thinking about making this soup for a while and I roughly followed this recipe here. Just a little advice: before adding the Stilton I added some salt, and after I put in the cheese, the soup was too salty, so I had to add more water to the mixture. So be careful with your seasoning. Apart from an annoying headache in the evening, probably caused by the vast amount of salt I had ingested with the soup, this fast day was pretty much smooth sailing. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Smoked Salmon with Lettuce Wraps

This was my lunch on what was supposed to be a fast day, but then after work I bumped into an old friend that I hadn't seen in ages and we went for dinner. And here's another reason why this diet is so great, you can do this sort of thing without feeling guilty. All you have to do is fast another day.

Smoked Salmon with Lettuce Wraps - 269 calories

100 grams of Smoked Salmon - 180 calories
100 grams of Light Cottage Cheese with Chives and Onion - 75 calories
90 grams of Little Gem Lettuce - 14 calories

Easiest thing to make and take to work. I would change a couple of things, though. I wouldn't use the Cottage Cheese with Chives and Onion again, as I found that it was too strong when combined with the already strong taste of the Smoked Salmon. I would also make a smaller portion of this and team it up with a low-calorie soup instead.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Day 11

Brunch - 155 calories

30 grams of Wild Mushroom Antipasto - 24 calories
Omelette - 131 calories
   - 1 Egg (71 calories)
   - 2 Egg Whites (34 calories)
   - 2 slices of Smoked Ham (24 calories)
   - 2 sprays of Fry Light (2 calories)

Dinner - 347 calories

3 Grilled Lamb, Garlic and Rosemary Chipolatas - 165 calories
50 grams of Petit Pois Peas - 34 calories
50 mls of Beef Gravy - 15 calories
Potato, Carrot and Spring Onion Mash - 133 calories
   - 100 grams of Potatoes (79 calories)
   - 100 grams of Carrots (41 calories)   
   - 1 Spring Onion (5 calories)
   - 15 mls of Milk (8 calories)

Grand Total -  502

And how did it go?

Having gone out on Saturday night and having a little bit too much Prosecco, I woke up on Sunday feeling like having some comfort food. Too bad I was fasting. However, after a mathematical exercise, I managed to come up with a 5:2-friendly recipe for Sausages & Mash. Was it really comfort food? Not reaaally. Do I still want Bangers and Mash? You bet. I am not going to lie to you, it was no substitute for good old pub grub, but it was really delicious, nevertheless. 

After spending approximately 45 minutes looking like a mad woman on the sausage isle at Tesco's, checking every single label while clutching at the calculator on my phone, I ended up picking some Lamb Chipolatas which were alright. For the mash I must admit I was tempted to get something ready-made, but decided to cook it from scratch and it turned out great. As with everything, it would've benefited from a knob of butter. Next time I'm having mash, I'll make sure it is on a feed day.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Day 10

Brunch - 234 calories

3 Ryvita crackerbread - 57 calories
1 boiled Egg - 71 calories
1 boiled Egg Whites - 17 calories
50 grams of Fromage Frais - 23 calories
1 teaspoon of Mustard - 10 calories
Half a Banana - 56 calories

Dinner - 268 calories

1 Slice of Wholemeal Bread - 83 calories
15 grams of Gruyere Cheese - 62 calories
French Onion Soup - 123 calories
   - 150 grams of Onions - (63 calories)
   - 25 sprays of Fry Light (25 calories)
   - 12.5 mls of Red Wine (10 calories)
   - Half a Pot of Beef stock (25 calories)

Grand Total -  502 (naughty again!)

Exercise - 30-minute running session with the Personal Trainer

And how did it go?

I love French Onion Soup and I always make it at home, so I decided to see if I could do a light version of it for dinner and it worked really well. Instead of frying the onions in butter (nham!), I used Fry Light but, having gained know-how from when I cooked the onions for Day 9's Strogonoff, I planned for a lot of it. Turns out that Fry Light is not so great to fry after all. Anyway, this soup is really easy to prepare, but it does take a bit of time, around 40-50 minutes. Again, I have made double the recipe above and kept one portion in the freezer.

Fry the onions - with a lot of Fry Light - on a very low heat for about 20 minutes, constantly stirring so as not to burn them. Ideally, once they are softened, you would crank up the heat and caramelise them, but I didn't feel confident in the Fry Light to do that, so I just added the wine  and after a minute or two, I poured in the stock. After seasoning, I just let it simmer for another 20 minutes or so. In the meantime, I toasted the bread  and after adding the cheese, I finished it off in the oven. Not a lot of cheese in it and only a small slice of brown bread, as opposed to one (or three!) massive crouton, but we are supposed to be fasting here, people!

As for lunch, I have learned that inspiration for the fast days come from sources you would least expect to inspire you in your diet. I have taken the recipe for this egg-mayo deliciousness from a BuzzFeed post. There are a few other 5:2-friendly ideas there, so I might be preparing some of that soon.

As you might have noticed, after a bit more research I have decided to change my meal pattern during the fast days and have abolished both breakfast and snacks and it hasn't been horrible at all. I now eat lunch at around 2pm and dinner at 8pm and then break my fast only at lunchtime the following day. This way, I created longer actual fasting periods, while still continuing to fit the diet around my life and not letting my life be dictated by my diet. I have never been a breakfast person and have now found the perfect excuse to skip it altogether on most days. I still have energy, my mood still hasn't been affected and my skin and body continue to improve. It certainly looks like this 5:2 thing is a keeper!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Day 9

Brunch - 298 calories

100 grams of Honey Roast Ham - 110 calories
36 grams of Sundried Tomatoes (canned, drained) - 55 calories
28 grams of Artichoke Heats  (canned) - 30 calories
2 Ryvita crackerbread  - 38 calories
1 pot of Strawberry Yogurt - 65 calories

Dinner - 200 calories

60 grams of boiled Basmati Rice - 78 calories

Mixed Mushroom Strogonoff - 122 calories

   - 150 grams of Mixed Mushrooms - Portobello, Shitake and Baby Button Mushrooms (24 calories)
   - 50 grams of Onions (21 calories)
   - 100 grams of Fromage Frais (46 calories)
   - 30 grams of Tomato Puree (14 calories)
   - Half teaspoon of Mustard (5 calories)
   - 7 sprays of Fry Light (7 calories)
   - Vegetable stock - (5 calories)

Grand Total - 498 

And how did it go?

Well, let me first get this off my chest: I am such an amazing cook! There, I said it! Seriously, the Mixed Mushroom Strogonoff came out really good, by far the best dinner so far. I had made two portions, as I was again planning on freezing one for a latter fast day (even though I am not completely sure you can freeze Fromage Frais), but my boyfriend asked if he could have a little taste and ended up eating the whole thing. He has even made me promise I'd cook this again.

To prepare the Strogonoff, simply fry - as well as you can with that Fry-Light thing - the onions, add the mushrooms and some stock and season well with salt, pepper and parsley. Throw in the puree and the mustard and let it cook for 5 minutes or so. Finally, turn the heat down and stir in the fromage frais. You might need to adjust the seasoning, as the cream tones it down a bit. And it is done!

Switching to two meals a day has its advantages, so I was able to eat bigger portions when I did get to ingest something. Lunch was dead easy, pretty repetitive of previous days, but this is what you get when you don't prepare the day before. Apart from the lack of meal planning, I was absolutely fine with just the two meals a day and don't foresee any problems to continue with this. 

Monday, 4 February 2013

Day 8

Brunch - 318 calories

1 boiled Egg - 71 calories
1 boiled Egg Whites - 17 calories
2 Extra-Trimmed Smoked Bacon rashers - 70 calories
180 grams of Mushrooms -  25 calories
50 grams of Baked Beans - 35 calories
1 tomato - 15 calories
3 Ryvita crackerbread - 57 calories
1 cup of English Breakfast Tea with semi-skimmed milk - 28 calories

Dinner - 198 calories

300 grams of Covent Garden Leek and Potato Soup - 108 calories

3 Ryvita crackerbread - 57 calories
1 Extra-Light Laughing Cow Cheese Triangle - 20 calories

Grand Total - 503 (naughty!)

And how did it go?

This is the first Weekend Edition and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. True, I did wake up quite late, so when I had the brunch it was well into the afternoon, so after my 5:2 Full English I wasn't hungry at all until dinner time. Speaking of which, it was by far the bigger meal I had on a fast day and it was delicious. Of course I would've loved to have cooked the mushrooms with butter, but I settled for a bit of stock and some extra seasoning. I would've also loved to have some proper toast, so I guess you can see why I need to be on this diet, right?

A few adjustments, though... Two tomatoes was definitely overkill (I was lured by the low calorie count) and I just couldn't eat both of them and ended up having the Cheese Triangle with dinner, which explains my 3-calorie indulgence. I also can't decide whether the Extra-Trimmed Smoked Bacon rashers are really worth it. They don't taste really bad, but they were quite dry and I am thinking I might have been better off with some Ham slices.  

On another note, I am looking into changing the way I do this 5:2 diet. I am doing some extra research, so stay tuned!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Tuna, Horseradish and Cucumber Sushi with no rice

As I am having a very challenging week on the social front and I will only be able fast on Sunday, Camila has kindly sent another contribution for the blog, and this time she event took pictures! She had this on her fast day on Tuesday and it only cost her 204 calories (more if you add soy sauce).


130 grams of Tuna Steaks (canned with spring water, drained) - 155 calories
5 grams of Horseradish Sauce - 5 calories
60 grams of Fromage Frais - 30 calories
50 grams of Cucumber - 5 calories
1 tablespoon of Chives - 1 calories
2 sheets of Seaweed - 2 calories


Put the Tuna Steaks, the Horseradish and the Fromage Frais through the food processor until it is reduced to a paste. You can add the chives to the paste or do as Camila has done and keep them whole. Once this is done, place the sheets of Seaweed on a sushi mat and spread the paste evenly throughout. Place the cucumber and the Chives in the middle.

Roll it up using the mat and seal the roll with a bit of water. Slice it up and voila!

I don't know about you guys, but I will be trying this very soon!