The 5:2 Diet; One I Can Finally Stick To?

I’m sure you’ve all heard about this diet that is everywhere at the moment, a bit like the Atkins diet was a few years ago now. It’s essentially the one where you eat normally 5 days a week and practice some sort of fasting for the other 2 days. I’ve heard it called loads of different things and have also read about quite a few variations along with it so I’ve kind of created my own version and I think it could be the one for me!

Based on what I have most commonly read, I will be eating “normally” for 5 days every week and consuming just 600 calories for the other 2 days. I think “normally” means you can have anything within reason but no binge eating so I will carry on as I am but just cut out some of the excessive amount of chocolate I usually consume. As for my 2 days of “fasting”, I will be separating those out and they will fall on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Some argue that there are a lot of health risks associated with this diet but so far most of the evidence suggests it could actually be good for the body to eat this way and can reduce the risk of some cancers and diabetes. I’m working on the basis that it will reduce the amount of sugar I consume and force me to increase the amount of veg. I eat in order to stay within my calorie limit and also feel full.

Today is my first 600 calorie Tuesday and considering I usually eat like a horse, I really don’t think it’s going to badly. I had a carefully weighed out portion of porridge this morning which I made with water and flavoured with cinnamon. That kept me going until lunch when I had a large tuna salad… even including some low fat salad cream and for dinner I’ll probably do myself some roasted veg. with gravy. All in all, that’s a far healthier menu than I would normally work to and because I know it’s only for 1 day, I can easily push my cravings to the side. That all-too-familiar panic of wondering how I will keep this up for months hasn’t set in.

For the first time in ages, I actually feel like I’ve found something I can stick to that will make me just that little bit healthier and shave a few pounds off my thighs and I have just the right amount of time to do this before I go on holiday…perfect!

Have any of you tried this diet? Did you find it easy to stick to it? What were the results like? Let me know! x

Where to Eat (Posh Pub Grub) – Berkshire

I’ve had an absolutely fantastic couple of weeks and finally I have internet and TV again so I can finally update you on what’s been going on and pass my recommendations on to you!

Last week my lovely dad took me out for dinner, partly just because he could and partly because  he was lonely while my step-mum was away. It was kept secret from me until we arrived but his destination of choice was Anthony Worral Thompson’s The Greyhound which is just outside Reading, Berkshire. I’ve heard from friends and family before that the food there is good but had never got round to actually going myself so I was quite excited.

The Bar Area Where We Sat (Taken from The Greyhound website)

Once inside, the venue is split into a bar area and a restaurant area; we were sat in the bar area because they allowed dogs in there so we took my parents’ little bear with us. (He was missing his mummy even more than my dad was!)

Firstly, I must say the service was fantastic, our waiter was really friendly and attentive from the moment we walked in the door. Although, and I must make this clear, I didn’t feel like I was being watched or under pressure as I sometimes do with waiters who are overly attentive. Not only that, but a plastic tub of water was brought out for the dog almost immediately which is a thoughtful touch; often you have to ask for that.

Secondly, we had AWT himself in the kitchen which was nice to see. So many celebrity chefs open establishments and I always wonder just how often they even get round to visiting them. Thirdly, there was live music; we had a singer with a beautiful voice singing Nina Simone, etc. which really added to the atmosphere, making it really relaxed and also ensuring you could have a conversation without feeling everyone else was listening.

Finally I must of course mention the food! There was a set price menu which you could have 1-3 courses off, all 3 was only £14 which is great value. That’s a bit of an early bird deal before 8pm though. There is also the proper restaurant menu and then there is the pub grub menu. Sadly I didn’t think to take any pictures but I can remember what we had and it was delicious!

To start we shared the Chilli-Salt Squid with Spring Onions from the main menu which was amazing! The squid wasn’t chewy at all, the chilli was strong without being overpowering and there were a lot of other flavours also thrown in to make it just that bit different to everywhere else. I highly recommend!

For mains, dad had a fish curry which had fish cakes and big juicy prawns in it. Even the rice was really well flavoured! I had a steak and ale pie with mash, veg. and gravy and it was divine. The pie had a lovely, rustic, homemade feel to it and tasted like love had been put into it. I can’t find those on the website menus so not sure which menu they came from – I think it was the pub grub menu which is only available for lunches or on Wed and Thurs evenings.

I’d like to say we stopped there but we did have dessert. Again, our menu differed slightly to what’s on the web but dad had an almond panettone type thing with custard. Not the sort of thing I would ever order but it was fantastic. It was sweet and full of homely flavour whilst also remaining quite light so it didn’t sit too heavy.  I however, went down the fully chocolatey route: chocolate brownie with chocolate tart and chocolate ice-cream! It was rather rich but all very tasty; the tart was my favourite as the base was really sweet and cut through the richness of the chocolate somewhat.

All in all, it was a very pleasant meal and somewhere I would love to go back to for a lazy Sunday lunch. If you are in the area, I would highly recommend a visit. For the quality of food, the pricing is very reasonable so you should definitely check it out. Oh and don’t forget, it’s dog friendly too! x

Where to Eat – Fordingbridge, New Forest

Finally I am writing this hugely overdue post and it’s all about food, glorious food. I’ve made it my mission to visit as many new places as possible in 2012 and report back on what I find and that has been inspired by my week in the New Forest. The bf and I had some truly scrumptious food, though typically the best meals were both on the same day and I want to share with people who might be visiting the area. I’m going to start with where we had lunch and once you’ve seen how cute it is, you might want to make a pilgrimage there!

The location was Bridges Coffee and Dining in Fordingbridge in the New Forest, you can find it here. It’s essentially a tea room but with a much bigger menu and the food we had was delicious. I love it even more for the fact that it’s independently owned and just co cute inside; the pics on their website do not do it justice. Check out the adorable little cubbyhole where the bf and I sat for our lunch:

To celebrate the fact that it was a beautifully fresh day outside, (I love autumn and winter) we picked some winter warmer dishes for our lunch. He had a lasagne and I went for a cottage pie. Both were delicious and mine came with a generous portion of veg and loads of gravy. Not only that but my pie was super creamy and had just a fantastic flavour…I think they must have watched Phil Vickery talking about mashed potato on TV that morning!

We were then so super stuffed that we couldn’t fit any dessert in so we took a huge wedge of carrot cake and a sizeable chunk of chocolate fudge cake away with us for later – both of which were also very tasty.

I’d highly recommend making a pit stop there, the staff were really friendly and the atmosphere relaxed so all in all for a lazy lunch, I’d definitely give it a 10 out of 10!

In the next post, I’ll tell you all about the delicious dinner we had on the same day 🙂

Be Off with You!

This week I have started yet another crazy diet in my bid to eat better and rid myself of my horrible tummy issues and also of those excess pounds I seem to have gained over the last few months. (I am currently tipping the scales at over 9st 7lbs which is insane given that my target weight is 8st 7lbs!)

The thing I have found challenging in the past is that “normal” diets are not extreme enough for me to really register that I’m on a diet and therefore I just eat normally. The main problem with this is that it hurts my gut. However more extreme healthy diets are too extreme and I just can’t stick  to them so I end up over compensating by bingeing which undoes all of my good work!

This time, I may have come up with a solution. It starts off with a week of following this diet and then I will see how I feel. It should allow for a more gentle candida die off as well (see my Candida blog).  I am eating raw for breakfast and lunch and then having a normal dinner. I have included fruit, herbal tea infusions and humous in the “raw” in order to make this bearable and so far, so good. It is Monday and I am not starving at work! I will update you about the weight loss on here and about the candida effects on the other blog.

Recently I’ve been lacking energy so I have also added probiotics, Vitamin B complex and Korean Ginseng supplements to this and already I am feeling slightly more alert than usual. However, I do expect the candida die off to kick in soon which will not be fun.

Anyone just looking to lose some weight, this might be a great, healthy way for you to diet as you can eat as much as you like so long as it’s good stuff. Oh and you HAVE to include veggies, just fruit will not make for a healthy balance!

Let me know your thoughts people! x