Fast 800-4-1: Week 1

I’ve been trying to follow the Fast 800 style of eating for a while now. I did the original 5-2 back in the day, and managed to get through a day on 500 calories based around fish, veg and eggs. Since then the diet has become more popular and has evolved into what is now Fast 800, where it is 800 good quality calories per day every day for up to 12 weeks. It gained even more popularity when a TV show Lose a Stone in Three Weeks was aired during 2020, and of course a whole series of books have followed.

For ease of typing, I will refer to the books as O (the original guide) R ( the first red recipe book) E (the new blue topped Easy recipe book) and BSD (the Blood Sugar Diet book).

I have a number of issues with the books. I don’t eat meat but I do eat fish, and I find the veggie recipes can be quite high calorie (600 cals for a curry?) and have a sizeable carb content. But the biggest issue I have is that I am often just cooking for myself. There are a few recipes my husband also will eat (the halloumi ratatouille R212 being a favourite), and there are a handful of recipes for one (miso soup, omelettes), but more often than not I’m making adjustments to the quantities to either have a portion leftover for lunch, or to freeze. Having single portions of something suitable in the freezer is great, but can be limited by the availability of suitable containers. This also leads to the problem of how to use up half tins of coconut milk, or an opened jar of pesto.

So this will be a blog series looking at how to get a week of recipes using up what needs using, without too much repetition or saminess.

So. This week’s stuff that needs using: tofu, half an aubergine, half a pepper, half a block of halloumi, end of a cabbage, pak choi, spring onions and coriander. Smoked mackerel, mushrooms, kale, beansprouts, half an avocado.

Sunday: I made little aubergine halloumi and pepper stacks, and served them with a quick salad with yoghurt dressing.

Monday: I got creative with the smoked mackerel. Half of it I made into pate (BSD 73) which did 2 lunches, and the other half I made into fishcakes (E 110).

The recipe served 4 but was simple enough to halve, served with sesame stir fry veg, and I cooked and kept a portion to have cold with a salad.

Tuesday: Loaded miso soup with tofu and mushrooms.

These little mini snack packs of dried seaweed are great for tearing over Japanese dishes.

Wednesday: I’d used a stuffed butternut squash dish for my Christmas centrepiece, and had chopped the remainder into chunks and kept in the freezer. I used some to make a Red Thai curry with the coconut milk, made 2 portions and froze one.

Thursday: stir fry with tofu, beansprouts, and some frozen stir fry veg. These packs are very handy when cooking for one, as you just use as much as you need.

Friday: The rest of the squash roasted with sage, and served with a portion of veggie bolognaise (R194) that I had in the freezer.

Saturday: The coriander is really getting past it now, but used to garnish a shakshouka

Sunday: Another use-it-up stirfry.

Overall verdict: This was pretty good, I had a colourful array of vegetables, but I always struggle with using fresh herbs before they go off. I may revert to buying them frozen. What would I do without my freezer!

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