Tuesday, 14 August 2012

5-2 Diet

There was recently a Horizon Programme on dieting (with Dr Michael Mosley - love him) in which he explored various versions of diets incorporating fasting or calorie restrictions.
The one that he found most workable was the 5-2 diet, where you restrict your calorie intake for 2 days, but then eat normally on the other 5.

My sister and niece have both been doing it for a while, and I thought I'd give it a go - not only to lose weight (I've still got a few holiday pounds to shift) but also because it reputedly has additional health benefits, such as lowering blood sugars and chloresterol levels.

I've decided to do my low (500) calorie days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the main, as these are days when I'm least likely to go out or have other committments. Today is my first day.

There are several options on how to distribute the calories during the day - some people have all 500 for breakfast or dinner, some spread them out.

I'm spreading mine out, and it's surprising how far they will go!

So today is stacking up like this:
Breakfast = 1 grapefruit, 90 cals
Lunch = turkey salad, no dressing, a few boiled potatoes (see pic) 130 cals
Afternoon snack = pineapple and melon, 80 cals
Dinner = veg stir fry, with soy sauce and rice wine vinegar, 120 cals
After dinner = activia fat free yoghurt, 70 cals

Total calores = 490 - and I've had 4 meals

I'll keep you posted as to how it works - but so far, so good.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Full of Beans

It's summer (finally) and that means that mum's garden is now producing an abundance of fruit and veg. I called in on my way home from work tonight and came away with this bounty.

So, for my tea tonight, I'm having a medley of beans (french, runner and broad) with some pancetta and a bowl of lovely raspberries.


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Running about

Today I ran for a train. You did read right, I RAN for a train. I haven't run in about 30 years, not since I dislocated my knee in my teens, but we were in London, held up on the tube and only just got to Euston in time - in time for a quick sprint that is. Up escalators and across the concourse and everything. We caught our train with seconds to spare, and although I was hot and tired, I didn't feel like my lungs were going to burst. Progress indeed! So, the losing weight and recent gym sessions are clearly paying off. And now I'm looking forward to (another) salad for tea - at mum's and with an omelette. Happy days!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Discovering Music

I recently bought myself an iPod (I know, finally I joined the rest of you!) and have just come back from my first gym session with it. Yesterday, I made a playlist - mixing some really fast tracks with some other upbeat ones - with a slow starter (to get me in the mood as I climb the stairs to the gym!) and one to cool down to on the way back down.

Can't believe how much harder I worked, or how much less effort it seemed - I think my iPod will be an essential part of my gym kit from now on - along with big knickers and structural underwear!

Tuna salad

OK, so this might look like the tricolour salad I made yesterday, but it's completely different!

Mostly, it tastes very different because instead of fresh herbs and lemon I made a Chinese inspired dressing. I used almost 1 Tbsp each of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and sweet chilli dipping sauce. Mix well, and pour over the salad. The dressing makes enough for two or 3 - I'll keep what's left for later in the week.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

One of your Five a day

I've become a bit obsessed with books and TV programmes about healthy living, food and exercise. This is partly to educate myself about what's happening to my mind and body, and also so that I can separate myth from fact when it comes to claims and hype.

I watched a program last week about the "5 a day" claims that many manufacturers use on their packaging. Now I'm a big advocate of getting my 5 a day getting all of mine from fresh fruit and veg, so imagine how horified I was to find out that chocolate biscuits and fruit bread could be labelled as a portion!

It appears that the government logo for 5 a day (shown here) is very restricted in its use - the food must contain at least the equivalent of 80g of fruit or veg from the prescribed list, and only limited amounts of fat, sugar and other calories, whilst there is no restriction on manufacturers making up their own logos and adding them to any food containing fruit or veg - and they can label anything from 1/2 a portion (i.e. 40g fruit or veg) and can disregard the sugar and fat content.

So a manufacturers' claim that something "contributes to your 5 a day" doesn't mean it's a whole portion, or even that it's good for you! Very much a case of buyer beware.

If you want to see the program, it was in the Dispatches series on C4, and you can find out more here: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/articles/myths-about-your-5-a-day-reporter-feature

Well done to Jane Moore for brining this to our attention.

Salad days again

At last! The sun has come out and it's begining to feel like summer is here. And the things I love most about summer are fresh fruit and salad.

So here's tonight healthy dinner - tricolour salad. Not intentional, but most of the things in my salad drawer turned out to be red, white and green. If only there was more blue food, I could be more patriotic in time for the Olympics.

Tomatoes, red and green pepper, lettuce, cucumber, radish, spring onion, avocado and some fresh herbs made the bulk of the salad, with a little lemon juice and some chicken breast. Again, no carbs tonight - I think having carbs at luchtime rather than the evening is working, I'm certainly not hungry and don't feel full or bloated at bedtime.

Now I'm off to find some water - I'm sure I'm not drining enough anymore, ever since I stopped measuring my water intake it's been getting less and less, and I'm now probably having less than 1 ltr a day, so that has to be increased again!