5:2 fasting day #11 – catering for many diets [5:2 recipe: creamy broccoli and garlic zoodles]

Yesterday’s fasting day came and went without much fuss. I had a late coffee (nearly midday), drank a heap of black and peppermint tea, and didn’t eat lunch until 4pm. For dinner I tried a new recipe, and it worked out really well. In my household at the moment we’ve got three different diets to cater for, depending on the: 500 calories, LCHF (low carb high fat), and “22 year old boy give me carbs and meat”. So cooking on low calorie days tends to be a fun experiment in creativity! Here’s what everyone at last night:

  • 500 calorie: roast broccoli and garlic zoodles with creamy carnation milk
  • LCHF: roast broccoli, garlic and chicken zoodles with cream-based sauce
  • 22 yr old boy: roast broccoli, garlic and chicken wheat past with cream-based sauce

Putting these meals together is pretty easy – firstly I prepare my own sauce in a different pan to everyone elses. I then pull out the required sauce for the pasta eater once it’s cooked, then add the zoodles to the pans of sauces to cook. I reckon it only adds 5 minutes to the total cooking time.

broccoli zoodles

Creamy Roast Broccoli and Garlic Zoodles

Ingredients

  • 200 grams broccoli (35 cal)
  • 3 tsp garlic (15 cal)
  • 100 ml Carnation Light and Creamy evaporated milk (98 cal)
  • 1/2 cup Campbell’s Real Chicken Stock (20 cal)
  • 250 g zucchini, spiralised (35 cal)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees (ish). Place broccoli florets on tray (give very light spray with oil if you have the extra calories available). Roast until soft, approx. 25 mins
  2. Fry garlic on a medium heat in a pan until fragrant and soft. Add cooked broccoli and stir through gently.
  3. Add Carnation milk and stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer gently for a few minutes until hot.
  4. Add zucchini into pan, stir through and cook until soft and hot
  5. Serve!

If you’re cooking for other diets:

LCHF: cook bite-sized pieces of chicken in the pan before cooking garlic. Remove the chicken and place aside, then cook the recipe as above. Use full-fat cream instead of Carnation milk. Add chicken back in when adding the cream and stock. Add a big handful of parmesan cheese at the end of the cook and stir through.

22 yr old boy: Cook required amount of pasta as per instructions on the packet. cook bite-sized pieces of chicken in the pan before cooking garlic. Remove the chicken and place aside, then cook the recipe as above. Use full-fat cream instead of Carnation milk. Add chicken back in when adding the cream and stock. Add a big handful of parmesan cheese at the end of the cook and stir through. Serve with sauce poured over the pasta in a bowl. Stir well.

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Eating like and Adult

Recently J and I have been considering and discussing each of our respective gym, food and body goals. He wants to bulk up, and I want to slim down. By which I mean he wants to gain muscle, and I want to lose fat. While both of us are reasonably (reeeeasonably) happy with our exercise regimes, we both know our food needs to change in order to see the results we want. The question is- can we eat the same things, and still achieve our (very different) goals? We’re going to give it a shot.

We’ve got a window of opportunity coming up which provides us with a neat two months to makes some changes. It’s not a deadline, nor will life particularly change in any other way during this time- it’s just an opportunity to measure some time in ways other than setting deadlines. So yesterday J suggested we use this time to really bunker down and commit to some new habits. The question was, is there a set of new habits we can both commit to, that will help us achieve our respective goals?

I’ve played with the idea of Paleo for a while. Pete Evans’ The Paleo Way certainly seems appealing, with its many positive Facebook testimonials and its daily meal planners and recipes. But J isn’t sold on paleo as a way to bulk, and I’m not sold on the idea of ridding my life of dairy. I’ve also played with the idea of Cyndi O’Meara’s Hunter Gatherer Elimination Protocol. I like the idea of elimination foods then slowly reintroducing them to see how my body feels when I consume them. But even Cyndi admits that this protocol is, at its heart, a paleo diet. Then there’s Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar. I’m coming around to this one, although I haven’t read terribly much about it yet. But I do think there’s elements in there I could adopt. Then of course there’s Low Carb High Fat, which is the lifestyle of choice for some in my household at the moment. I could write a lot about LCHF, but I’m not going to. It will turn into a rant, and I’ll start arguing for and against it at the same time.

I’ve written before about how I’m confused about what I should or shouldn’t be eating, and which diet is best, so when J suggested we start down this path I was worried that I was heading towards another slippery slide of confusion. Then he suggested that we eat like adults. We. Eat. Like. Adults. At first I thought this wouldn’t work for me. It’s too broad, there’s no parametres, and I can talk myself out of/around it too easily. Who knows- maybe I will. But I’m going to attempt a list of what eating like an adult means to me, and once I’ve got that then J and I can figure out what it means for us. For this to work we both need to be doing similar stuff. Really similar stuff. Preparing two different types of meals won’t work, and handing him a big plate of processed carbs while I suck up the green veg won’t work either. My Eat Like An Adult list will come later (maybe later today). This will be interesting.

A slightly delayed update

There’s a distinct possibility that I wrote this post on Friday and forgot to hit publish. Oops.

 

I’m 6 kg down. Booyah!! That means I lost 450 grams between Monday night and Thursday night- and I’m really really happy with that. If I can keep that up, I’m going to keep kicking goals in a major way! I think the major factor this week has been an extra high-intensity workout on top of what I normally do. Sure, I ate an icecream sandwich on Tuesday night, but besides that my eating’s been great. Add onto that an extra workout and it seems my body is very very happy.

It really confirms what I’ve known all along, but haven’t been actioning- that changing my diet is a huge contributor to weightloss IF (and only if) I do the right exercise along side it. Every time I add an extra day of exercise my weight drops at a greater rate, so the lesson here is that I really need to keep that up. These new exercise sessions with colleagues at work are going to make it a lot more simple to get my extra high-intensity workout in each week- I don’t go as hard as I might with my PT, but by the same token I also work a lot harder than if I go to the gym by myself.

So, 6 kg down, and another 7 kg (ish) to go 🙂

In other news, today I registered for The Stampede, which is an obstacle course/mud run similar to Tough Mudder. I’m registered for the 10 km event, which is a bit scary- I can’t even run an entire 5 km fun run, after all!! But I’m assured by those who have done it before that you don’t run for long patches at all, and you then spend time standing around waiting to have your turn on the challenges/obstacles. Besides which, it’s the obstacles I’m doing it for, not the running! Being able to do those obstacles (or most of them, at least) is really going to be a measure of how far I’ve come since I started with my PT, especially in terms of my dodgy shoulders.

It’s also proof of how far I’ve come mentally in the last 12 months or so. I’ve gone from having very little confidence in my body (for good reason!) to feeling capable and ready to give stuff a shot. I also know where and when to push myself, and how far is too far when it comes to preventing injury in my shoulders.

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.