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.
- 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
- 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)
- When onion is well cooked, add all other veggies (if you prefer non-crunchy broccoli, add this first for a few minutes)
- Stir cornflour into a small amount of water in a glass, then add to the pan (this will give you a thickened sauce)
- Add soy sauce, and salt/pepper to taste. You won’t need much/any salt, but go to town with the pepper!
- 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.
(excuse the horrible pictures, but it gives you an idea!!)
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!