Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Already changing the Meal plans!!

Hello everybody!

Just popping by to say that my back is getting better (huzzah!) It must be dreams of Alan Rickman that did it!!
My fast day for Monday went REALLY well - I didn't feel hungry at all, but I didn't quite drink enough, so I had a headache yesterday. Otherwise I was really pleased. I'd taken an apple for emergency use, but didn't need it, so I fed it to the donkeys who were clustered by their fence when I went by. I feel sorry for them, as they don't have a very good shelter - it appears to be an open sided pergola with cling film wrapped round 3 sides of it. In the snow they must get very cold. They seemed happy to share the apple though.
                                            (this is a random donkey, not one of those I fed)

Yesterday we had a new door fitted in the kitchen, leading out onto the balcony. The cats are very excited &/or puzzled because they now have a cat flap! Pomme has already worked out what to do, and is popping in and out like a good 'un. Millie went out when I held it open for her and looked very confused to find herself outside. the other two are sniffing it and peering out but haven't quite worked out what to do yet. They keep approaching it and then backing away again!

We decided to treat ourselves so we went next doot for lunch - we both chose roasted camembert with honey and a salad. Yes, I'm sure we could have made it much cheaper at home, but it was pleasant to spend time together. Just soup for supper.

Tonight, we're having merguez sausages: I was rooting through the freezer to find the mince and couldn't; but I found sausages instead. So we'll have these with waldorf salad and lentil salad and green salad together with jacket potatoes. I bought a piece of gammon to roast (for sandwiches) so I'll do that at the same time. It's already coated in mustard, but, as we have far too many oranges that need using up, I'll add some orange juice (and maybe honey too) to the coating.

Chorizo risotto on Thursday, fast on Friday, jambalaya on Saturday and maybe Israeli chicken (from the freezer - planned for last week but not eaten) on Sunday.

I've lost almost 1 kg since I started the 5:2 regime. Not as much as I'd hoped, but slow and steady wins the race. My Kiné noticed today that I've lost weight. Only another 13 kg to go...

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Next week's Planning

I'm not very pleased with myself...a lack of early morning stretches and an awkward movement yesterday has left me with a lot of backpain and very minimal movement. Yesterday I could hardly move, today I can gingerly move around the house, but I'm better sitting than doing anything else. I hate asking MrFD to do stuff for me, and I feel guilty because I can't empty the dishwasher/take the recycling out/ carry my own tray etc.
Yesterday I couldn't do anything other than sit, and moan, and try to get comfortable, so to cheer myself up, I watched "Love Actually" (Sigh. Alan Rickman)

Thank you Mr FD for missing the first 20 minutes of the rugby so I could see the end of the film. And I had something in my eye, okay?! Today I caught up on the Corrie omnibus (all a bit depressing at the moment) and Waterloo Road (becoming more and more ridiculous as the series go on. Are we really expected to believe that people really want their kids to go there?!) (But having said that, I enjoy watching it in order to criticise!) But I've shifted chairs to upstairs now, and I'm writing my blog posts. Obviously.

Anyway. Food this week differed slightly from what was planned...due to MrFD being given some out-of-date food from ShCarrefour. So yesterday we had pasta and veggies in cheese sauce, with a piece of steak. We were going to have the long-planned jambalaya tonight but I forgot to get the prawns and chicken from the freezer; so I pulled out the also-long-planned-and-often-deferred Hairy Bikers' mince & potato pie instead. Stick in the oven with some squash and parsnips, plus the rest of the slightly shrivelled green beans and Bob is, so they say, your uncle.

MONDAY: Fast day. I found that the not eating until evening worked okay on Friday, but it does rely on being able to have hot drinks and low cal soup whenever required. As I'm working today I won't have that freedom to have a cup of fruit tea whenever, so I want to have a good brekkie to keep me going plus some food at midday, in case I go all wibbly.
Breakfast: porridge + agave syrup (126 calories)
Lunch     : hard boiled egg (80) biscotte (32) low calorie yoghurt (55) = 162 calories
Dinner    : Vegetable & Lentil Stew = 140 calories a portion

The dinner recipe is made up, so I hope it works:
Chop and sautée 150g onion + 1 garlic clove in a mist of oil. Add 100g chopped carrot and 130g chopped turnip. Then 1 tin of tomatoes and 20g tomato purée. Simmer with 100ml vegetable stock and herbs/chilli etc to taste. Add 50g cooked lentils at the end. Warm through.
It does take me a little over 500 calories, but not by much.

TUESDAY: Using the portion of Froogs' mince still in the freezer (which incidentally worked brilliantly as a lasagne; I suspect the extra cooking time made all the difference) I'll make a cottage pie, with a topping of mashed potatoes + other tail end of veggies I've got (which includes half a sweet potato and some butternut squash)  Eat with carrots. As I'm not teaching today (half term) I'll be shopping on Wednesday, and don't need a quick-to-cook meal.

WEDNESDAY: Mushroom and chorizo risotto. I've got a packet of asparagus risotto, so I'll use that as a base and add mushrooms, chorizo and parmesan to oomph it up a bit.

THURSDAY: Lamb koftas, naan bread and cucumber/tomato/avocado salad. I've got a piece of lamb in the freezer which I can mince and mix with onion, chilli, ginger & garlic to make the koftas. It's not very big, but it's only for a midweek meal.

FRIDAY: Fasting again. Hopefully for the day, so
Breakfast: Hardboiled egg and biscotte (112)
Dinner: Moroccan Style Potato Bake (223) = 335 calories, leaving 175 calories for soup/milk and possibly a cheeky 60 calorie Options hot chocolate drink in the evening.

SATURDAY: Probably the often-planned jambalaya. The chicken thighs, and prawns are in the freezer; the chorizo is in the fridge. We only need the veggies.

SUNDAY: Fish pie made with salmon (in a butter sauce - already in the freezer) and sliced potatoes on top. Maybe seafood mix thrown in too, but I might use that in the jambalaya instead on Saturday.

What's this? No comments to reply to?! I'm missing you guys' supportive comments! I hope you're not tell me if there's something you'd like me to write about.
I suppose though, I've not visited a lot of your sites and left comments, so it's the same for you. I will try to visit some of my lovely followers in the next couple of weeks. Promise.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Fast Day 4

Today we're trying a new formula: reading various forums it seems that the informed wisdom is that one should have as long a fast as possible to gain the best results with the 5:2 (or IF) regime. Which means my breakfast - lunch - dinner form isn't necessarily the best.
So today we're trying breakfast - dinner. I've managed to delay breakfast until now (10.40 am) giving me almost a 15 hour fast between last night's dinner and breakfast (except for a cup of coffee at 8 this morning) I'm now eating a banana (100 calories) and a biscotte (35 calories) and then planning on trying to last through till dinner at about 6.00 (or later, if it seems possible) on liquids. I bought some miso soup and some other low calories soup last night (23 calories for 100 ml) so we can have one of these at about lunch time.

My main problem today is light headedness, but as I had a spell of vertigo at the begining of the week the two may well be connected, and nothing to do with the fasting. My blood pressure has been checked and is fine. The other associated problem is feeling cold - this is normal, and many people feel the same, but it isn't nice! I'm wearing several layers, two pairs of socks, fingerless gloves (which I don't really like for typing!), and I have a heated wheat bag at my back...but even with my petrol heater going I still feel cold!

At the moment, the fasting seems to be a Big Deal, which requires planning - and blogging! - but I hope that within a few weeks it will just become a normal way of life that fits into what we're doing, and has health benefits going way beyond just losing weight.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

One week into 5:2

and how has it been? Surprisingly easy, to be honest! Most of the comments I've read have said that 1 meal a day is the best way to go, but I don't think that would suit me. I'm happy doing 3 meals a day - and, if I'm truthful, I'm probably consuming closer to 600 than 500 calories. But it's a lot less than I was normally eating, and with good, healthy food the rest of the time, I think this regime is sustainable. I need to remember to keep drinking lots on fast days, but also on "feast" days too. Mr FD is managing to do his cycling (he got his new bike last Saturday and has only just managed to get out on it today - but he's been using the static bike in the meantime) but I've only done one walk this week. It was a 50 minute walk in the gap that I had when a student cancelled a lesson. I had to walk quite quickly to keep warm!

Last week's shopping bill was frighteningly huge - I really don't know why - so this week I'm going to mostly be foraging in the freezer.
The Israeli chicken from Wednesday was really nice. So much so, I'll give you the recipe, rather than the one I linked to. So, for 4 portions, mix together 1 tbsp mustard, 250 ml orange juice, grated zest of 2 oranges, 1 tbsp melted butter, 1 tbsp brown sugar. Marinade 4 chicken thighs in the mixture for about 30 minutes - 1 hour. Put in a slow cooker and cook for about 8 hours on low (I think I cooked mine for 3 hours on high, then switched to low before we went out). When ready to serve, remove chicken & keep warm. Boil up the sauce with a slake of cornflour until thickened. Serve over the chicken. It might be nice to fry some onions and add those to the casserole dish too.

I was, however, dissappointed in Frugal Queen's bolognaise sauce...To be fair to Froogs, I added 1/4 red cabbage to the mix as well as the other veg, which might have made a difference, but I didn't think the sauce had much flavour in the end. I've frozen 4 portions, so I'll try it in a lasagne next week, and maybe as a base for a chilli another time.

This week's menus (red for fast day) look like this:
MONDAY Breakfast:Scrambled egg + 1/2 slice of toast (113 calories)
                   Lunch: Hairy Dieter's minestrone soup (129 calories)
                   Dinner: Griddled courgettes, with feta, lemon, mint (except I don't have any) and puy lentils (250 calories)  This comes out at 492 calories for the day, but if I add my 50 calories worth of milk for the day, and maybe 32 for a biscotte, I'm edging towards 550.

TUESDAY: Lasagne made with Froogs' bolognaise sauce & a cheese sauce. I'll have to prepare this on Monday, when I'm fasting, so it may be a bit of a challenge, but I'm sure I'll cope!

WEDNESDAY: Something from the freezer, which Mr FD will be charged with putting in the oven. I'm not sure what it will be though!

THURSDAY: Hairy Dieters' Minced Beef pie - this is also in the freezer, and Mr FD will also be charged with putting this in the oven and preparing some veggies to go with it, as I'm out teaching on Thursday.

FRIDAY: Breakfast: 30g porridge + 1 tsp agave syrup (125 cals)
                  Lunch: Tomato & cous cous soup (186)
                 Dinner: Squash & pineapple curry (200)
Plus the 50 cals for my milk, this takes me to 561 calories for the day

SATURDAY: Vegetable tagine (in the freezer!) plus cous cous/ rice. I think this is a Hairy Dieters' recipe (or possibly Slimming World)

SUNDAY: Israeli chicken (again!) from the freezer, plus veggies and maybe a baked potato.


1 large onion , chopped
·  2 carrots , diced
·  3 stalks celery , diced
·  2-3 tbsp harissa paste
·  1 tsp ground cumin
·  1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
·  2 tbsp tomato purée
·  500ml vegetable stock
·  1 x 400g tin chickpeas
·  2 tbsp couscous
·  ½ small bunch parsley , chopped

Heat tiny bit of oil in a large pan and cook the onion, carrot and celery for a few minutes until softened. Add the harissa and cumin and stir. Tip in all the other ingredients except the couscous and stir well, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the couscous and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the parsley before serving. 


½  onion , chopped
2 tsp Thai red curry paste
250g butternut squash
100ml reduced-fat coconut milk (or 50ml full fat + 50ml water)
200ml vegetable stock
70g frozen green beans
100g can pineapples chunks in natural juice, drained
coriander leaves, chopped, and leaves to garnish
Heat a mist of  oil in a wok or pan. Fry the onion for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the red curry paste, then add the squash, coconut milk and stock. Simmer for 15-20 mins until the squash is tender. After 10 mins cooking, tip in the green beans. Stir in the pineapple and coriander, cooking for just a few mins until the pineapple heats through. Sprinkle with the coriander leaves and serve the curry in bowls with noodles or rice.

PomPom: I'm glad you enjoy reading about our planned usually is as good as it sounds! I enjoy providing good food for Mr FD and me - and we both enjoy eating it too!!!

Angela: I understand what you say about finding a day to fast on - although several people on the forums say that they are doing their usual energetic days when they're fasting. I'm not sure I'm up to that yet...not that I'm ever that energetic!!

Angela: I agree! Harissa is a favourite ingredient in this house - it even went in the tomato sauce on our pizza today! It adds a little je ne sais quoi!

Jane & Chris: Did Snow Shovel Cat arrive chez vous? He did a fairly good job here, so I hope he helped clear your snow!!! 

Anne: I think I would recommend the 5:2 regime. The forums   are quite informative if you want to find out more, & there's a link to the official site too. Although I do get hungry, and there's no denying that, the fact that it's only for one day seems to make a huge difference to my mindset.

Denise: Well done on your weight loss. I certainly found Slimming World worked for me in the UK, where it was easier to get hold of some of the tinned goods that SW use in their recipes, or as free foods...I used to use so many tins of baked beans! The support was great too. Here in France, doing SW by myself, I found it harder. So now, I use a lot of the recipes from Fast Food recipe book, but this 5:2 regime is working (I hope) for me. But keep it up - whatever way we lose weight, it's a great thing to do!