Dinners on the Wall

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

In May of 2016, I went for a hike with our cousin and her son. Nothing much…just walking the Hadrian’s Wall Path in northern England. [84 miles in 7 days] This was not an ‘all-inclusive holiday’ tour by bus with a guide and meals provided. Cousin Peggy found the places to stay and we figured out on the fly where we would have dinner each evening. Walking an average of 12 miles/day sounds arduous — but it wasn’t really, if you trained for it. You might think that this was no place for a Fasting Lifestyle. With all those calories being expended daily, surely one would need to chow down like a lumberjack every day. Again, not so. A Fast Breakfast can take you a long way into a busy, active day. The remainder is up to mind-set [like any diet plan]. And don’t forget — this was only two days out of the week — the rest of the time I could eat what I liked.

So what did I eat?

At Bistrot 34 in Brampton, I enjoyed this plate of legumes and goat cheese. It was really delicious and full of protein to fight hunger.
At the Gilsand Inn, the meat pie beckoned to me from the menu. The pie was small and tasty and the vegetables were abundant. Without the potatoes and gravy, it might almost be a Fast Meal. Ordering from the menu has limitations.

The take-aways? 1] With determination, one can Fast on vacation. 2] One will not perish by exercising on a Fast Day. 3] It is possible to order off the menu and still be true to the Fasting Lifestyle.

Did I eat salads while suffering from hunger all week? No way! The last day, we walked 21 miles from Carlisle to Bowness-on-Solway. [The map says it is less, but taking the wrong turning adds miles!] We dined well that night at the King’s Arms. It was a Saturday so I could eat what I wanted. And I did.

The meal of fish & chips was delicious and I ate it all [I did share the chips with fellow diners]

Groundhog Day

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Monday, eat the meals that will be posted on Sunday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Ground Hog Day is a ‘cross-quarter day’ which falls equidistant between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.  In pre-Christian times [and even beyond] it was the occasion for minor celebrations.  Our myth of the groundhog being a weather prognosticator goes back to old Germany.  Then there is the Bill Murray and Andie McDowell film, in which the anti-hero is doomed to relive the same day over and over until he gets it right.  In that vein, I will repeat myself and give you 12 tips for getting on and staying with the Fast Diet.

1. Watch the video of Dr Mosley’s program  Eat-Fast-Live which we saw originally on PBS.   http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x18a1b6_michael-mosley-eat-fast-live-longer_lifestyle     This is what inspired us to start this Lifestyle and it might help you too.

2. Plan ahead. We write on the calendar what Fast meals we want to eat in a week. Nothing ruins a diet like coming home and having no idea what to eat for dinner. That’s when the default foods come out [carry-out or pizza]. You can avoid that by planning.

3. Prep ahead. You see in many recipe the HINTS about preparing food ahead. This is a real time-saver in the morning. Want your spouse to help you to stay on the diet when you get home late? Write out the recipe, leave it on the counter, include info about where to find ingredients, and maybe the meal will be in progress when you come through the door.

4. Shop ahead. Now that you know what you want to eat, have the ingredients on hand. When Fast Day comes, you want to be ready.

5. Portion as you shop.  A recipe calls for 4 oz chicken breast: so when you get home, cut the chicken into the correct size. Wrap and label the part you need, save the trimmings for another use such as Chicken Curry or Chicken Noodle Soup. The same goes for vegetables: slice and chop those 2 oz of bell pepper that you will need.  It takes moments to do this as you unload the groceries, so do it to save time later.

6. Listen to Diane Rehm interview Dr. Mosley.  http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows /2013-03-13/dr-michael-mosley-fast-diet  Diane asks the tough questions and ends the conversation by saying that everyone on her staff can’t wait to try the diet!

7. Make the meal setting special. Instead of eating on the run or while standing over the sink, make a Fast meal an occasion. Use the good plates and flatware. Put the sparkling water in a nice glass with a twist of lemon. See the demitasse cup in the photo?Entire Breakfast It is the only one I have and it makes the breakfast table so pretty that it is saved for Fast days only.

8. Slo-o-o-ow down the meal. The other reason for the little cup at breakfast? By putting the coffee in a pitcher, I frequently have to stop to refill the cup. This bit of fussiness slows down the process. When you put food in your mouth, put down the fork. You don’t have to chew 30 times, but don’t simply cram the food in your mouth — savor it, taste it, and make it last.

9. Set goals by the clock.  After breakfast, vow not to put any calories in your mouth until noon. Then at noon, tell yourself that you can hold out for another 2 hours. Maybe setting a timer will help you: while the timer is ticking, don’t eat. This does not mean that you will eat when the timer rings! No. Set a new goal.

10. Distract yourself. After breakfast, I pour a large [1.5 cups] glass of water which I sip on until 2 pm. Then I have earned a hot cup of tea — something bold-tasting or soothing as mood dictates. A touch of honey in the drink provides a real lift. Mid- to late afternoon is difficult for me. Go for a walk [not to the kitchen or break-room!] or get involved in a long project to take your mind off eating.

11. Hide the temptation.  I stash the bowl of pistachios in the cupboard on Fast Days. Yes, I still know they are there, but out of sight, is out of mind.

12. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow. This has a double meaning. 1] If you yearn for something on a Fast Day, tell yourself that you can have it tomorrow. It is not a promise that you have to keep. Tomorrow it might not be calling to you.  2] Tomorrow is the day that you will weigh less. Tomorrow is also weeks from now when you will be slimmer and thinking about new clothes. Tomorrow will come.

Ingredients for next week: breakfast, single portion

Mediterranean Vegetables [See SIDEKICKS II posted on Oct 4, 2017] next week you will see recipes for bread-stuffs suitable for a Fast meal
1.5  two-oz eggs
tuna  Browse the archives for a breakfast menu
frozen spinach
clementine
Whatever you need for your smoothie
Whatever you need for your hot beverage

Dinner, single portion:

 3 oz cooked or raw fish, two varieties
 shallot  +   Spinach  leaves, fresh  Browse the archives for a dinner menu
 Swiss chard leaves
 egg    +  cream
 canned white beans
 granulated garlic   +  nutmeg
Sparkling water Sparkling water

“C” is for Comfort

How this Fast Diet  Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                          Welcome to Kristen who is now Following.

This is a continuation of the posts which show, I hope, that Fasting meals are as easy a A-B-C.  How to begin the Fasting Lifestyle?  From this blog site, choose your favorite 2 breakfast menus: have one on Monday, one the following Thursday.  Then find your favorite 2 dinner menus: plan on one for Monday, one for Thursday.  Repeat the following week, or choose a different breakfast and dinner.  Plan 1st, then eat.  Then weigh and repeat. Soon Fasting will become your new comfort zone.

Cheesy-Bake:   144 calories   7.8 g fat   1 g fiber   12 g protein   7.3 g carbs [5.7 g Complex]  183 mg Calcium NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF  This is the baked version of a cheese omelette that thinks that it is a cheese souffle! Delicious.

cheesy-bake-w-apples-r-bs

One 2-oz egg                                                                                                                                                           ¼ oz cheddar cheese, grated                                                                                                                                1 Tbsp reduced fat ricotta cheese                                                                                                                             ¼ c raspberries, fresh or frozen [When I use frozen fruit, I portion it into its dish the night before, so it will be thawed by morning]                                                                                                        ½ oz apple, sliced                                                                                                                                 Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Spritz a ramekin with olive oil or non-stick spray. Set the toaster oven at 350 degrees F. Stir the two cheeses together with a fork until blended and whisk with the egg. Without waiting, pour into the ramekin and bake for 12-15 minutes, until puffed and beginning to brown. Prepare the fruit and optional beverages, and enjoy a cheesy start to your day.

Chickpea Ragout with Cod:   213 calories   3.6 g fat  5.3 g fiber  25.8 g protein  20 g carbs  44 mg Calcium  GF PB   This is from Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way. Although he doesn’t mean my kind of ‘Fast Food,’ Pepin has long been a proponent of healthy cooking. He presents this as a side dish, but for our purposes it is best prepared as a main course with seafood for more protein. 

Halibut w: Chickpea Ragout

½ tsp olive oil                                                                                                                                                            ½ cup diced onions                                                                                                                                                 ½ cup scallions, chopped                                                                                                                                     1 Tbsp garlic, chopped                                                                                                                                           2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned and drained                                                                                                  1 and ½ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed if canned                                                                                                  ½ cup chicken stock                                                                                                                                                        ½ tsp salt   +   ½ tsp pepper                                                                                                                                 4 oz cod** fillet. fresh or frozen

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the onion, scallion and garlic. Stir briefly over the heat then add the tomatoes, chickpeas, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat until liquids are mostly evaporated. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Divide it in 4 portions, each about 3/4 cup. Keep one portion aside for today. TIP: Cool the remaining ragout and freeze it in serving portions.

** If you can’t get cod, use one of these:    4 oz swordfish               4 oz salmon           4 oz halibut            4 oz smelts         2 oz shad     4 oz haddock         4 oz tilapia          4 oz flounder

A Fresh Start

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow. On Thursday, eat the meals that will be posted on Wednesday.  Eat sensibly the other days of the week.  That’s it.  Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.                                                                             Welcome to BeBlogger who is now Following.

This blog is about Fasting, aka: 5:2 Diet; IF.  “I’m not giving up eating!” you sneer. “Fasting is for ascetics who don’t enjoy life.”  If you really think that, then I want you to understand that this Lifestyle does involve eating [some really good food] and that there are many benefits beyond weight loss.  While on this Lifestyle [WOL], my husband and I have enjoyed lots of delicious food while losing a combined total of 50 pounds.  This Lifestyle is sustainable: you can do it week after week, year after year and not feel deprived.                                                                                                                                         What do you eat on the Slow [non-Fast] Days? What you want — WITHIN REASON.  Pigging out is not approved, but we go to restaurants and eat all sorts of foods. The key is learning the number of calories that you can ingest [TDEE] to get to the weight you want to achieve. This diet is not about counting calories, but you need to get a realistic sense of how much you are eating daily.  Weight loss comes with less food taken in over time and a resulting decrease in appetite.

WHY FAST?                                                                                                                                             “We all know how you are supposed to lose weight: eat low-fat foods, exercise more… and never, ever skip meals. This has been standard dietary advice for decades and though it may work for some people, levels of obesity continue to soar. So is there an alternative? We think there is. Intermittent fasting. Based on the work of leading scientists from around the world, this is an exciting new alternative to standard dieting.

“Intermittent Fasting does not mean stopping eating entirely. It means reducing the amount you eat, but only for quite short periods of time.

“In The Fast Diet book I outline my experiences of trying different forms of intermittent fasting, before settling on what I called a 5:2 regime. With 5:2 intermittent fasting you eat normally five days a week and diet two days a week, cutting your calorie intake for those two days to a ¼ of their normal level. This means that on, say, a Monday and a Thursday you will eat 500 calories if you are a woman, 600 if you are a man.

“If you stick to this plan then you should lose around 1lb (0.46kg) a week if you are a woman, slightly more for a man. Success also depends on not over-eating on your normal days.

“You should not only lose weight but also enjoy a wide range of health benefits. Studies of intermittent fasting show that not only do people see improvements in blood pressure and their cholesterol levels, but also in their insulin sensitivity.

“As one of the medical experts I interviewed put it: ‘There is nothing else you can do to your body that is as powerful as fasting.’

“Welcome to The Fast Diet and to the community on this site. We will keep you up to date with the latest in this exciting new field. You can read how others are managing this way of life and pick up lots of helpful tips. We hope it works for you.”                                              — Michael Mosley, originator of the Fast Diet

This blog is about recipes to eat on Fast Days.  Some of them appear in our regular diet on Slow Days because they are so yummy. Throughout 2018, I will be posting recipes which I hope will make following the Fasting Lifestyle as easy as A-B-C. There will also be tips for how to stock your freezer and your pantry to make it convenient to prepare the healthy, home-made food that we eat every week.

If you want to improve your health and lose weight, I recommend that you follow the Fasting Lifestyle. The New Year is a time for a fresh start.  Try Fasting.