5:2 Tom Yum Yum!

Just finished week 3 (in fact today is the first fast day of week 4 for me)

I’ve easily lost a pound a week, my mood is really bright and chipper, I enjoy the menu planning that’s required for 2 days, and then love having fewer restricitions the rest of the time.

I had my cholesterol checked this week – 5.2, spookily enough, but the pharmacist said that while ideally you’d want it under 5, the ratio of my good cholesterol to the bad stuff is spot on.

My fast day heroes this week have been:

1. Tom Yum paste. A tablespoonful is 15 calories, made up into a soup with loads of veg (sliced mushrooms, shredded cabbage, spring onion etc) takes it up to about 40-50 cals.

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 I added in some cold slivers of beef, which made it 123 per portion. Served with some finely chopped red chilli, coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime. I’m going to try variations with chicken or shrimp. You could leave out the meat for a vegetarian 50-cal soup, or bulk it up with a nest of egg noodles (mind you, 170 cals for one nest!) for a more substantial bowl.

2. Anchovies. These pack a taste punch way above their weight. 2 anchovies are about 13 calories, and are plenty when snipped into a salad, or to nicoise up some steamed veg with a few black olives as well. Also good for your oily fish omega oils, but really high on the salt/ sodium scale, so dont eat the whole tin.

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3. Microwavable saucepan. I use these to prepare my evening meals. A chopped leek, some baby courgette rounds, a few mushrooms, half a pepper, diced. Add a splash of water and a few herbs, and blast in this baby in the micro for a few minutes.

4. Aunt Bessies frozen carrot and swede mash. 45 cals for 100g, great substitute for mashed potato.

5. Grapefruit.  Half a grapefruit is about 50 calories.  I found little ready made pot of grapefruit in juice at Tesco, which are much less fiddly than a real fruit, so I shall keep some of those on standby.

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6. Smoked salmon.  Really decadent, but a 30g serving is about 50 cals.  Add a few capers and a wedge of lemon.

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I’ve found that it helps to have something similar to what I usually eat – soup and salad is my normal lunch anyway, so keeping that pattern means I don’t feel deprived.

Summary menus this week:

Tuesday – Half grapefruit (54) and boiled egg (70), crackerbread and laughing cow light (65), tom yum soup and salad (150), sauteed veg with anchovies and olives (90). I was really headachy in the afternoon and so added a Babybel Light (50)

Thursday – Half grapefruit (54) and smoked salmon (50), rice thins and laughing cow light (60), tom yum soup and rocket-berry salad (170), souffle omelette with spinach and mushroom (110).  Sadly, my Graze box arrived today rather than yesterday, and I was unable to resist the cute little afternoon tea for 84 cals – a lovely assam blend with a gorgeous lemon and poppy seed cake.

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Rocket-berry salad

A handful of rocket leaves (5 cals)

A splash of fruity balsamic (5 cals)

Berries – raspberries and blueberries are about 1 cal each, so 20 of each is generous (40 cals)

I don’t usually like fruit in salads, but the syrupy balsamic goes really well with this.

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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.