Home Alone Cooking 7: 5:2 noodles

I used to be very good at following the 5:2 way of eating, but have got out of the habit lately. However, the mental attitude of KNOWING that I can get through a day on less than 500 calories makes it pretty easy.  I tend to base low-cal meals around fish and veg, and whilst they are not to everyone’s taste, I don’t mind these konjac slim noodles, which are around 10 cals for a whole packet.

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I had the rest of my smoked salmon to finish, and there was still plenty of veg in the drawer, include these cute mini-peppers.

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I rinsed and dry fried the noodles, and set them to one side,

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while I sauteed the veggies in lemon juice and tamari, with a splash of water.  To be honest, I didn’t cook them for long enough, as they were still very crunchy in the finished dish.

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I stirred the noodles back in, and added the smoked salmon in shreds, as well as more lemon juice. I get through a lot of lemons!

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Result – a big satisfying bowl for around 150 calories.

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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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