Recipes to make the following 5:2 delicious and easy
Live longer, stay younger AND lose weight? This is the claim of 5:2 Intermittent Fasting. I originally heard about this through a Michael Mosely documentary, then read a few books and embarked on the 5:2 eating plan just prior to turning 50. With great results. Not only did I lose weight, but I felt better. Slept better. Looked better. But looking after others sometimes means not really looking after yourself, and the 5:2 eating plan slipped into the background. A few years later, and it’s time to start again. Not only to shed those extra kilos that have crept on but to get back to “feeling better”.
Notice I’m calling it a “lifestyle” not diet. I hate the “D” word for a start, but this really is about changing your life, for the better. No gimmicks, no pills, potions or shakes. Just two non-consecutive days a week where you restrict your calorie intake to 500 calories for women and 600 for men. The other five days? Eat and drink what you like! Based on scientific research, the underlying concept is that our bodies were not meant to eat as much as we do. Our ancestors would have had more of a feast and famine diet, based on what they were hunting and what was in season. So we are overloading our systems with food. Making our organs process more, and often more of not really healthy stuff. Leading more sedentary lives.
Studies are showing that intermittent fasting is increasing longevity, and reducing the impact of diseases associated with aging like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Worth a try. So, after a bout of feeling “blah” which cannot be explained by Western medicine, I started back on the 5:2 lifestyle last week. And I will be honest, for someone who thinks about food from the time her fake eyelashes flutter open until the snoring starts, the first few weeks are hard. Partly because I have not been as organised as I should be and am reading cook books on fasting days (a bit disordered I know). So trialling and posting 5:2 recipes is a way for me to be more organised, experiment a little, and perhaps help others who are giving it a go.
And the progress at the end of week two? Some weight loss, more energy. Hooray for me! And I am hopeful to make the change permanent by increasing the variety of what I eat on fast days. A little sample of one of this week’s dishes:
Quinoa and Pea Tabbouli – just 242 calories, filling and delicious. Herby and crunchy with the sweet pop from the peas. Fasting makes you more mindful of what you are eating. Joyful about each bite. Hope I can tempt you to have a try by posting a recipe a month.
I use Calorie King Australia to calculate the calorie amounts. Find one you like, and stick to it; I found that the calories vary widely. I will include individual calorie amount for ingredients in these recipes so you can swap around easily and calculate your changes.
- ¾ cup cooked quinoa (178 calories)
- ¼ cup peas (24 calories)
- 1 small (100g) tomato, finely chopped (18 calories)
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley (10 calories)
- 2 tbs mint leaves (5 calories)
- 1 tbs lemon juice (7 calories)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cook peas until just tender - about two minutes. Refresh under cold running water.
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and toss to combine. Season to taste.