5:2 Drink ALL the teas!

Into the 3rd week of this eating regime, and I do like having a structure to the week, and the challenge of menu planning.
Monday’s menu was egg-white/banana pancake with raspberries (80 cals), lunch was miso soup (30 cals) and a beetroot and feta salad (140 cals), and dinner was a slice of ham (30 cals) with leek,  pepper and mushrooms done in the microwave (90 cals)
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I texted my husband as I was leaving the office to see if he needed anything, and to my horror he requested a steak! That was a tough ask, going into a supermarket surrounded by food, and choosing a juicy steak that I wouldn’t even get to eat. Lesson learned there – as well as menu-planning for ME on fast days, ensure there is something already in the house for dear OH.

What really gets me through the day is herbal teas. I have amassed a delicious selection, including green tea with cranberry, rosehip, rooibos Earl Grey, licorice with oriental spices, and good ole rosehip. My daughter often accuses me of always ordering “the most random thing off the menu” and I think she would be nodding her head in appreciation of this eclectic and random teas.
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On Tuesday, the day after my fast, I was feeling incredibly up-beat.  I could eat whatever I wanted, and was enjoying running various possibilities through my head.  Mmmmm chocolate!

My next fast day was Thursday.  I had 85g cottage cheese (85 cals) for breakfast with a few pickles.  Unfortunately these turned out to be garlic flavoured, so I was emitting garlicky-pickle burps all morning – lovely!

For lunch I had the beetroot and feta salad again, with a sachet of Ainsley Harriott hot-and-sour soup (65 cals).  For dinner, I found my new best friend  Aunt Bessie.  Specifically, her frozen carrot and swede mash, a mere 45 cals for 100g.  I had this with a slice of prosciutto (35 cals), and my leek/ pepper and mushroom saute done in the microwave. (50 cals)

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Overall, I’m feeling great.  The fast days take a bit of planning, but the pounds are coming off steadily.  All I need to do now is learn how to buy less food – we visited a lovely wee home bakery in Comber last Saturday, ate some of the gorgeous potato bread with peppers, and chees’n’bacon soda bread on Saturday and Sunday, I was fasting on Monday, we forgot about them on Tuesday and by Wednesday they had to be thrown out.

5:2 diet – all these little things

Monday – second fast day

Sorry, I forgot to take any photos today, but what I ate was:
Breakfast – half a banana and egg white pancake with blueberries and raspberries (130cals)
am snack – 2 crackerbread with laughing cow light (65 cals)
lunch – ainsley harriot hot and sour cup-a-soup and cottage cheese salad (145 cals)
pm snack – radishes and celery sticks (30 cals)
dinner – microwaved courgette chunks and pastrami (70 cals).

I find on fast days that it’s down to the little things that I can really scrape my calorie intake down to that 500. I normally take my tea with milk, but on fast days I’ll have it black (saving 50 cals). I explore green teas, herbal teas, and I have a real affection for rooibos Earl Grey.

I’ll have crackerbread at 19 cals per slice rather than rice cakes at 29 cals each.

I’ll go for the laughing cow light at 25 cals a triangle, instead of the full fat dairylea at 40.

I was a bit peckish in the evening, and did nibble on a dry oatcake.

My 3rd fast day was on Thursday. I’ve tried so far to have fast days when I’m not doing anything else, but on this day I was due to perform at a Scottish dance demo in the afternoon, and then my weekly Scottish dance class in the evening.burns 001

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The demo was cancelled as a result of the weather, but I found my energy levels in the evening class absolutely fine.

My menu for the day was;

Breakfast – egg white with flaxseed pancake, and blueberries. This was a bit bland.
am snack – the usual crackerbread and cheese
Lunch – Miso soup and mozarella tomato salad. Could have done with some lemon juice and black pepper.
pm snack – raw veggies. What a lot of crunchy goodness for 60 cals! A dip of salsa would have been lovely.
Dinner – griddled courgette slivers in lemon juice and pepper (oh yum!) and marinated mushrooms (recipe to follow, tweaks already being considered)

I also treated myself to a can of no-sugar shandy.  Normally I don’t like fizzy drinks, and I avoid artificial sweeteners, but as a “wee treat” to look forward to, this wasn’t bad.  Not overly sweet, not too fizzy, and only 10 cals.

Marinated Mushrooms:

Half a pack of small mushrooms, cleaned and cut into quarters.

one shallot, or half a red onion finely diced

one crushed clove garlic

one teaspoon wholegrain mustard

one teaspoon cumin seeds

one teaspoon onion seeds (nigella )

handful of chopped coriander

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Mix everything together in a container and leave for a few hours in the fridge, overnight if possible.

5:2 eating plan

This is often referred to as a 5:2 fast, but it isn’t really a fast. For 2 days a week, you eat about 500 calories, 25% of your normal intake (600 for men). I watched a Horizon documentary on this last year, and then read an article in last week’s Sunday Times, and decided to give it a go.

The theory is remarkably simple – no special foods or additives, no counting carbs, up to me how I spread the calories. Now, I know me. I know that I do NOT function well without breakfast, and that I tend to be a grazer. So I wasn’t prepared to go with only tea or water all day and have a 500 cal dinner. Instead, I ate this:
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Breakfast = 100g cottage cheese with a handful of blueberries (110 cal)

Morning snack = 2 crackerbread with a dairylea triangle (80 cal)

Lunch = tin of chicken noodle soup with a large salad of little gem, cherry tomatoes and cumber (160 cal)

Afternoon snack = radishes and sugar snaps ( 30 cal)

Dinner = soufflé omelette of one egg, 2 egg whites, mushrooms and spinach, with steamed courgettes (120 cal)

Now, I was expecting to feel hungry.  The odd tummy rumble didn’t bother me.  To be honest, the fact that this is only for one day. tomorrow I can eat what I like, got me through any odd feelings of hunger.  I didn’t experience any headaches – I switched my usual 7 or 8 cups of tea a day for black tea or herbal tea.  And it was a day when I didn’t have anything else planned.

So…..so far so good!  I will be trying this for a month at least before I give any verdict.  But the scale was down this morning, let’s see if that’s still the case by next week.

Half-Marathon: 1 Starting Out

Well, having come to running late in life, I managed last year to complete and enjoy a couple of 10ks, as well as a relay leg of the Belfast marathon (about 6 miles). So I set myself a greater challenge this year – a full marathon is beyond me yet, I’m sure, but I think I could have a go at a half-marathon at 13.1 miles. I found that entries for the Lisburn half-marathon opened in January, and so I have duly paid my fee and downloaded the training plan!

Another of my resolutions is to average a mile a day, which really translates to a pretty feasible couple of good 3 mile runs per week. And with a half-mar in June that average should be as good as in the bag. I’ve just completed my 3rd run of this year. I actually ran on New Year’s Day, which was a great start to the year! And last week I found a new route which I absolutely love – it’s nice and quiet, mostly footpath when its on a main road, not too many steep hills, is part of the half-mar route that I’ll be doing later, and is only 400m from my front door (out the back of Dobbies car park, for any locals.) I ran it again today with one minor change – I’d cut through a muddy field on the way home last time, which was a mistake, so I wanted to do it properly again to set a base time against which I can measure my improvement.

I’m using MapMyRun to record my routes, speeds, pace etc, and I find it excellent. The only thing is I cant work out how to automatically tweet or facebook after the run, but I shall investigate the settings.
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I invested in the January sales in a proper running top. The temperature is barely above freezing out there, and I wanted something that would keep me warm. This grey and pink number from MPG is great – the long sleeves have little thumb hooks to keep hands warm, it’s really light, body-contouring, and most useful of all it has a little zippy pocket on the back for keys, phone, some change etc.

It’s a real motivator to see my pace getting better each time, even if only by a small amount. I’d love one day to run 10k in under an hour, which would be a pace of 6.00 min/km. I’m a bit off that so far, but heading in the right direction. My last 3 runs were:

1.1.13 7.19 min/km

5.1.13 7.15 min/km

9.1.13 7.12 min/km

I have my iPod shuffle on to keep me motivated – today’s surprisingly upbeat track was The Feeling “Fill my little world”.

And my big dog Max is a brilliant running mate – not much in the way of witty conversation, but unbeatable at pulling me up hills!