I said no to a muffin

I just went to get a coffee – my second for the day. I haven’t had breakfast, and I’m hungry. I strongly considered a muffin, then a pastry, then a piece of slice, and then I said no. No muffin.

So I ate a whole lot of chocolate over the Easter weekend, and I also ate a bunch of other stuff I shouldn’t (hello McDonald’s dinner while driving on Saturday night), but today I’ve had a victory. No muffin.muffin

Workout 12/02/2016

Leg day! My first morning workout in a long time where I haven’t eaten/had a coffee beforehand, so that was interesting. It’s hard to tell how much it effected me though – could have been a bad sleep last night too. I did pretty well, it was mostly that I felt sleepy!!

3 sets:

  • 10 x straight leg deadlifts (50 kg, 50 kg, 60 kg)
  • 45 second wall sit
  • 2 x 15 metre duck walk

3 sets:

  • Speedy hurt terminal sled push (50 kg added weight)

5:2 fasting day #10 – when calorie counting goes wrong

sad panda coffeeYesterday was my 10th (full) fasting day, which means I’m about to head into my sixth week of 5:2. Hooray! Yesterday was a great fasting day – I actually didn’t feel hungry, nor did my brain start to fade, until 4 pm – so I didn’t eat anything (besides a cup of coffee) until 4 pm. Unfortunately my morning didn’t start off so smoothly though. Yesterday, I learned what happens when calorie counting goes wrong.

When I first started considering 5:2, the very first food I checked on CalorieKing was coffee. After all, a day that starts with coffee is manageable no matter how few calories you can have. A day without coffee… not so much. So I distinctly remember looking up the calories of the coffee itself, and being surprised to find that there’s pretty much zero calories there, then looking up skim milk. A 220ml (small) coffee with skim milk is approximately 70 calories.

sad_coffeeUnfortunately for me this seems to be the point where I got myself confused. At home we always have Paul’s Pure Organic Unhomogenised Full Cream Milk in the fridge. It’s delicious, and from the start I assumed I couldn’t have it on fasting days- but I looked it up anyway. I think what I probably did at this point was get the 70 calories confused with the milliliters of milk in the drink, thus looking up 70 ml of milk and finding it had about the same number of calories. Which means for the last five weeks I’ve been consuming an extra 100 calories each fasting day, bringing my total to somewhere around 600 calories. Bugger.

Anyway, the fix to this is easy – switch the full cream milk for skim in my morning coffee on fasting days. Done! That’s an easy 100 calorie swap, and without even noticing it (I normally order skim lattes when I’m buying them anyway) I’ll have dropped down to 500. The interesting thing will be to see what effect taking that extra 100 calories out has in terms of weight loss. The 5:2 is definitely having an effect, although it’s very slow. Don’t get me wrong, slow and steady is great, especially because it’s sustainable, but I did think there might be some faster changes at the very beginning. Maybe this change of 100 calories will make the difference!

5:2 fasting day 9.5 – my day on a plate

After I wrote my blog post on Friday, my fasting day took a bit of a change of path. By change of path, I mean I decided to go out for dinner, halt the fasting day, and recommence (re-do) the following day. I was completely fine with the decision – it meant I’d still done a solid portion of the day with minimal calories and no refined carbs or sugars (just a coffee and some raw veg), on top of my full fasting day the next day.

That meant that yesterday was my first attempt at a weekend fasting day. I wasn’t nervous about it, but I also wasn’t sure how I’d go. Turns out, if I have a (reasonably) busy day, the weekends are a great time to fast. I got to eat different food to my normal fasting lunch, I didn’t get hungry, and at the end of the day I still had leftover calories for some fruit. Here’s my Saturday Fasting Day on a plate:

lunch

Lunch: chilli tomato and mushroom zoodles

dinner

Dinner: green veg stirfry with soy and red onion sauce

pearblueberries

Dessert: a medium pear and a punnet of blueberries

At this point in time I’m still triple checking my maths to make sure everything I’m eating is actually keeping me on track – I find it hard to believe sometimes that I can eat this much food for only 500 calories. The pear and the blueberries last night felt like a treat – it’s the first time I’ve had fruit on a fasting day, and I could only have them because I skipped the morning coffee. Given that that’s something I can do on weekends and can’t do on weekdays, it’s a good incentive to keep trying weekend fasting! Another plus was the massive plate of zoodles I had for lunch – well worth it, and much more satisfying than my normal ‘grazing box’ of raw veg at work.

5:2, fasting day #4 – and a dinner recipe

So here I am at the start of fasting day #4. When I say start, I mean it’s 12:47 pm and besides my morning coffee I’m yet to eat. I’ve just made myself a cup of green tea- the hope is that if I have that, I might actually put of eating for a little bit longer than usual. Ultimately I think it will depend on how my brain goes- I can fill my stomach with water, but if my brain fades then I’ll need to eat.

5:2 so far has been an interesting exercise in reflecting on my usual eating habits, and what my body wants vs what my mind wants. Do I, for example, need to be eating breakfast on non-fasting days? If I’m fine up until 12:30 ish without food, then is breakfast just extra calories I don’t need? My PT says no, I should be eating breakfast. A high protein breakfast at that. I’m not so sure – so I’ll keep listening to my body to figure it out.

So, day four of fasting, and I’ll be eating the same dinner for the third time. I’ve tried two different dinner recipes so far – I’m in search for some more! I need to refine my second one a bit before I post it here, but for now I thought I’d share my stirfry recipe that comes in under 250 calories.

raw veg

Ingredients

  • 90 g red/spanish onion, sliced into strips – 22 calories
  • 150 g (1 bunch) asparagus, ends trimmed off, cut in half – 32 calories
  • 150 g mushrooms, ends trimmed, cut in half – 38 calories
  • 100 g snowpeas or green beans – approx. 35 calories (depending on which ingredient you use)
  • 124 g zucchini, cut in half lengthways then into 1.5 cm chunks – 19 calories
  • 100 g broccoli, cut into small florets – 30 calories
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce – 4o calories
  • 1 tsp cornflour – approx. 36 calories

Method

  1. In a frying pan or wok, cook onion until well cooked (if you’ve got some calories to play with, use a very small amount of oil for this)
  2. When onion is well cooked, add all other veggies (if you prefer non-crunchy broccoli, add this first for a few minutes)
  3. Stir cornflour into a small amount of water in a glass, then add to the pan (this will give you a thickened sauce)
  4. Add soy sauce, and salt/pepper to taste. You won’t need much/any salt, but go to town with the pepper!
  5. When veggies are cooked to you preferred softness, serve.

This recipe makes two decent-seized bowls. Depending on how hungry you are, it’s more than one serve- have a play with it, and adjust according to what works best for you. If you’re not so much of an end-of-day eater, you could easily have half of this portion for lunch and half for dinner, freeing up extra calories for snacking.

Note: when I’m not fasting, I make this stirfry with chicken. I just brown off the chicken before cooking the onion, remove it from the pan, and add it again to finish cooking with the rest of the veggies.

stirfry

(excuse the horrible pictures, but it gives you an idea!!)

A day in the life of a 5:2 faster – my third fasting day

A fasting day on a stressful and busy day at work is a funny thing. In some respects it’s  lot easier – the more time I spend thinking about my work, or stressing about deadlines, or muddling over what my manager’s email might have meant, the less time I spend thinking about the food I’m not eating. Equally, the busier I am, the quicker my morning goes which means I start the ‘eating’ portion of my day later. On the other hand, the things I’d normally turn to for stress relief or to break up a busy day (chocolate, coffee, anything from a vending machine) aren’t available to me on fasting days. But then again, I suppose that’s a good thing. So on the balance of things, fasting day + busy work day = positive.

I mentioned waiting until later in the day before I start eating- this is really, really important for me. Once I start eating, I think about eating a lot. I guess this goes for fasting and non-fasting days. And once I start thinking about eating, I eat more (duh). My fasting days so far have all looked pretty similar:

  • 9 am – small coffee (latte)
  • 1 pm(ish) – pull out my massive container of chopped veggies and start chomping
  • 3 pm (ish) – finish chomping through massive container of veggies
  • 3:10 pm – start thinking about eating. Tell self that I’ve just finished lunch, and don’t need food right now
  • 3:20 pm – tell self that I should hold off until 4 pm to eat my cottage cheese
  • 3:30 pm – decide that I CAN hold off until 4 pm to eat my cottage cheese
  • 3:40 pm – ponder that if I hold off eating my cottage cheese util 4 pm, then I won’t eat my apple at work – I can save it for dessert!
  • 4 pm – consider getting cottage cheese out of fridge
  • 4:10 pm – decide to hold off on the cottage cheese until 4:30 pm. I’ve got to be at work until 6, after all.
  • 4:30 pm – begin to eat cottage cheese, veeeeeery slowly
  • 5:15 pm – finish cottage cheese (yes, really. I can make 100g of cottage cheese last 45 minutes)
  • 6:30 pm – get home. Weigh and chop up veggies for dinner, so I know exactly how much food I can look forward to for dinner. Marvel over the amount.
  • 7:00 pm – consider cooking dinner, after tummy rumbles. Have a cup of tea. Muse that if I can hold off on dinner I might not need the apple, and that would save me 50 calories!
  • 7:15 pm – decide to cook at 7:30. After all, the later I cook the less time I have to try and resist food post-dinner
  • 7:30 pm – cook dinner, eat straight away
  • 7:45 pm – have second bowl of dinner (I told you there was a lot)
  • 8 pm – decide I definitely don’t need the apple. Feel awesome about not eating the apple, and therefore being closer to 500 cal than 600 cal in my day.

So there you go. You can probably see from that run-down why it’s important that I hold off eating lunch as long as possible, because it’s definitely all down-hill after that point! And that’s ok, it’s not supposed to be easier, and it could definitely be a lot harder too.

It’s 4:17 pm currently, so you can see what my inner dialogue’s got planned for the rest of the evening- a lot of self-negotiation! I’m trying a new low-cal dinner tonight- if it works, I’ll put it up here. Actually, I’ll put up my stirfry recipe at some stage too. Hopefully someone will find it useful!

My first weekend

Well here I am, on day six of my 12 week challenge. My first five days actually went really really well- and I suspect that’s because they were weekdays. On weekdays I have near complete control of what goes into my mouth, and the exercise I do. Breakfast, lunch and snacks all happen at my desk, and dinner is pre-planned, as is exercise. When I have my gym gear sitting underneath my desk, it would be silly to carry it home rather than heading to the gym if I’ve planned a workout.

But on weekends, things change. I wake up later, which means I don’t want to eat as big a breakfast (after all, lunch is just around the corner). Another factor for me on weekends is that I spend a fair bit of time with my family. By no means do my family eat unhealthy (in fact they eat really healthily)- they just eat differently to how I’m trying to at the moment. Today for instance, my mum made a delicious vegetarian cauliflower crust pizza for lunch. I was pretty excited about the prospect of this (lots of veg to be had here!!) but it turns out my mum’s recipe contains quinoa and chia seeds- both things which, honestly, I have no idea if I’m supposed to be eating right now. Given that I’m trying to make a complete break from most carbs right now, the pizza base combined with some fetta cheese on the top of it made me feel like I was eating a massive cheat meal, without really wanting to.

How crazy is that?!?! I’m sitting there eating a delicious cauliflower base pizza, and I’m feeling kind of like I’m eating a huge hamburger with fries, and I’m feeling that guilty about it. Cauliflower pizza. All veg.

If I reflect on today, my logic tells me I’ve had a really good day of eating. A long black with a dash of  milk, a few mouthfuls of a couple of raw vegan desserts my mum was trialling (mostly nuts, dates and fruit in these), the pizza, and some cherry tomatoes (dinner’s still to come). It’s a day lacking in protein, but besides that it doesn’t look too bad at all. Except that I feel like I’ve had a ‘bad’ day.

I think it’s all a matter of perspective. I’ve had six days of (dare I say it) ‘clean’ eating, and that’s a huge achievement for me. I’ve lost weight- a lot more than I’d hoped I would in my first week. This time two weeks ago, my idea of an unhealthy lunch was a pile of lasagne with some chips on the side, and today it’s a meal that contains anything other than meat, veg, herbs and spices.

I’ve had a really good week, and next week’s going to be just as good. If I can just get through tomorrow (which I will), it’s all downhill until Saturday rolls around next week. At least that’s what I hope. And intend.