The 5:2 Diet, Latest News and Recipes to Inspire on Fast Days
Welcome to a new week! I have been absent over the weekend, due to entertaining friends who are staying with us, as well as throwing a big party last night……from which I have just recovered! It’s always a hard call to follow a diet when you have guests staying; luckily Sarah and Jim are happy to join in with us for a couple of low-calorie days and after a weekend of excesses in the food and wine department, we are all abstaining today. I had a few recipes and photographed that I was going to share this week, but I am kicking of with a post about how well I (and my husband) have done on the 5:2 diet, as well as sharing some meal plan ideas and recipes. I always plan our two fast days at the beginning of the week, and we usually have one on Monday and Wednesday, with a low calorie day on Friday if we know we have lots of events and meals to attend over the weekend. I find that by starting off the week with a “fast day” it sets the meal planning schedule and we can then enjoy a glass of two of wine at the weekend knowing that there is an early fast day in the week……but, these are just our preferences, and everyone is different.
I always plan and eat seasonally too, so salads feature a lot during the summer months, although we do enjoy a “hot” diet meal now and then, and one of our recent favourites has been a plate of Minced Beef and Mint Kheema. Meal planning always includes breakfast, we prefer to have fewer calories for the rest of the day and start off with something to eat, and as I have two new hens, I often have TWO boiled eggs, as the eggs that they are laying are very small, so two small eggs are the same calories as a normal medium to large egg. Another seasonal favourite is Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad with Feta Cheese, which only has 200 calories and uses lovely fresh fennel bulbs as well as some exciting spices for a Middle Eastern flavour.
Even though we have been basking in sunshine lately, we still like to have soup on a fast day, and most of my soup recipes are under a 100 calories, so, they are filling but leave lots of calories left for the rest of the day. You can add herbs and spices to soups too, to perk them up a bit on the flavour front, and one of our favourite soups is Curried Carrot Soup, which only has 85 calories per bowl. A recent meal plan I scheduled had a low-fat yoghurt and small banana for breakfast (110 calories), with a bowl of curried carrot soup for lunch (85 calories) and a lovely fish dish for tea, Mediterranean Wild Haddock Gratin, which is only 270 calories. This brings in the calorie count for the whole day at just 465 calories, leaving some spare for me to have milk in my tea or coffee.
With lots of fruit being in season, we also enjoy fruit salads too; and my fresh fruit salad for breakfast recipe is always a hit - Fresh Fruit Kickstart (194 calories) Fruit can be quite high in natural sugars and therefore calories, so it is useful to know how many calories are in most fruits, which this handy list shares:
Calories in Fruit:
Apple raw, with skin, 100g = 1 small, 52
Apricot raw, with skin, 100g = 3 apricots, 48
Banana 1 medium, 94
Blueberries raw, 1 cup, 81
Grapefruit 1 medium, 82
Grapes 1 cup, seedless, red or green, 114
Kiwi fruit 1 medium, no skin, 46
Lemon 1 medium, 17
Nectarine 1 medium, 67
Oranges 1 large, 86
Peaches 1 medium, 42
Pear 1 medium, 98
Pineapple 1 cup, diced, 76
Plums 1 medium, 36
Raspberries 1 cup, 60
Strawberries 1 cup, 46
Watermelon 1 wedge, 92
Cheese is often a “no go area” on a fast day, but some cheeses can be incorporated into a low-calorie meal plan and one such cheese is Halloumi. I often make my Halloumi & Tomato Salad Platter Recipe, which is only 200 calories per person.
But, I will end with my three MOST POPULAR 5:2 diet recipes, Tiger Prawn Curry with Basmati Rice, which is only 250 calories…….
…….Cajun Chicken Kebab and Spiced Yoghurt Dip Recipe at only 215 calories per person……….
…..and my recipe for Low-Calorie Cauliflower Crust Pizza, (240 calories) which is suitable for Gluten Free and Paleo diets too.
For all my 5:2 diet recipes and meal plan ideas, you can visit them all in one place here: Lavender and Lovage 5:2 Recipes and Meal Plans. A brief update on my weight loss – I have lost over 10 kilos since I started the diet last year, and my husband has lost an amazing 14 kilos, with both of us falling off the wagon over Christmas, New Year and Easter. It ‘s a diet that fits in with our lifestyle and one that is easy to follow when you have social engagements to attend. We both feel more energetic, and I also sleep much better. I hope this post has given you some ideas and inspiration, and if you are stuck for ideas, just leave a comment below and I will see if I can help. That’s it for today, I’ll be back later with more new recipes and general news, Karen