5:2 Fasting

I have been back to 5:2 Fasting for this past fortnight with a vengeance!  It works… as simple as that.  I love the “freedom” it gives me, both on my fast and non-fast days.

Fast = freedom?  Of course!  Just one main meal to plan, log, prepare, cook, eat and clear away.  By “log” I refer to having to weigh every single item that I eat each and every day.  It becomes a way of life, and however tedious it is, I know that it has to be done if I am to lose weight and that this has been the key to my weight loss success.

Being just 4ft 9″ and fairly sedentary most of the time, there is little room for compromise when it comes to the amount of calories I can consume.

I usually stick to a single meal comprising of a combination of low calorie and filling ingredients.

Courgettes, aubergines, butternut squash, spinach, rocket, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes.

I add to that some sort of protein – fish, chicken, cheese, ham.

Tonight was one of my favourites – “Cheats Meatballs”.  Cheats, because I chop up sausages to act as the meatballs.  Hecks chicken chipolatas – now at this point, I’d have really liked to put in a hyperlink to them, however, it appears that the Heck website is…. not working this evening.

Hecks chicken chipolatas are just 72 calories for two!  TWO whole chipolatas.

Cheats Meatballs (Serves 2, 204 calories)


100g onions, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

400g tin of chopped tomatoes in juice

2 tsps Herbes De Provence

100g Chestnut mushrooms, sliced or diced

5 x Heck Italia Chicken Sausages

100g Carrots, very finely diced

1 x stick of celery, very finely diced

20 x sprays of one calorie spray oil (I use Groovy Food Company Virgin Coconut)


Preparation: Finely dice the onion. Finely dice the carrot and celery. Crush the garlic cloves. Chop each sausage into quarters (it doesn’t really matter if the skin comes off, just try to keep the meat in “balls”. Wipe and chop up mushrooms.

1. Spray the coconut oil into a large pan and heat over a medium heat. Add the onions, celery and carrot and turn down the heat. Stir over a low heat for about 5 – 7 minutes until translucent (don’t allow to brown) and then add the garlic.

2. Continue stirring for 2 – 3 minutes and then add the sausage pieces. Turn the heat up to medium, and continue to stir over the heat until the sausage pieces are browned and mostly cooked (about 15 minutes). If the mixture starts to stick or the sausage pieces start to disintegrate, move on to the next stage of the recipe.  The sausages will cook through during the long cooking time.

3. Add the tinned tomatoes and a little tap water (about 50ml) the the herbes de Provence. Lower the heat and stir for a further 10 minutes.

4. Add the mushrooms and a little more water if required. Bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and leave to cook for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes and adding more water if the mixture becomes too thick or starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.

5. Serve with spaghetti or courgetti.

2015-11-19 17.03.35

I served mine with 550g of butternut squash, roasted in one calorie spray for a huge 412 calorie meal.


How did it go…???

I’m back.

The restaurant/bar we headed for close to the London Eye was jam packed, so we continued walking (well, wheeling in my case) for several more minutes. Lots of theatre events meant that the whole of the Southbank was chocka.  The area was beautiful though, as it was a fine night and there were Christmas lights and stalls – already!  Close to County Hall, they’ve set up an ice-skating rink.  It’s not yet open to the public, but it is a lovely setting with the London Eye illuminated in the background.

Crossed over the river and ended up at the Charing Cross Hotel, where there was plenty of room. It was very location indeed and not too expensive (for a central London hotel). £30 a head, 2 courses including a drink. I had a meal of pork loin with pureed potato and broccoli and “jus”. Beautifully presented, but not a huge quantity. Unfortunately, I did cast my eye at the dessert menu and there WAS something that appealed to me – apple tarte tatin with ice cream!  I also had a glass of rose sparkling wine with my meal and finished off with a latte.

I hadn’t eaten anything apart from a bowl of home made vegetable soup at 4pm, as I knew we wouldn’t be eating until late.

The next morning, we woke 30 minutes later than we had planned at 7.15am – the alarm hadn’t gone off.

We DID go for our walk, and I think we were meant to wake later.  The sun was up and the weather was gorgeous. Any earlier and the sun would still have still been rising. We walked for 35 minutes, which was enough.  My average heart rate was 154bpm during that time, reaching a maximum of 178bpm! That means that in just 35 minutes, I had burned just under 400 calories.  This demonstrates how hard my body has to work just to walk, and why I get exhausted so quickly when I do. It’s probably the same as anyone else going for a run!

I really didn’t feel hungry at all after the exercise, but managed a breakfast of  yogurt with melon and a boiled egg, orange juice and coffee.

At lunchtime I stuck to salad with a small amount of smoked salmon. I also had mussels and other fish (salmon, white fish) from the hot buffet and a tiny amount of butternut squash risotto. Not as tasty as hubbie makes mind you.

There were plenty of tasty morsels on offer for dessert.  I managed to limit myself to a small dish of chopped fresh fruit with raspberry coulis – but then did succumb to a mini frangipane blueberry cake. It was the size of a small cup cake. I resisted all the cookies and other edible temptations that were outside of the meeting room.

Got home at 7pm and hubbie (Andy) had made a very nice vegetarian chilli with rice.

Today I am doing a few jobs before we head out at 3.30pm to collect my elderly Mum and step-dad and taking them over to my sisters in Oxfordshire for the weekend. Andy has been hard at work cooking a lovely smelling beouf bourguignon which we are taking for this evenings meal.


So all in all, I believe my evening and day went pretty well. I certainly count it as a success and it does show the value of planning.  I didn’t allow my plans to be totally thwarted at the first or second hurdles… I just accepted that some small changes were necessary.  I did give in to temptation here and there… but each time it was in a controlled manner.

The plans I had made for my trip were a semi success. I am pleased to report a 1.2lb loss at this weeks weigh in (WI) this morning.

Back to it!

I’m still here.  Life just got in the way.  I’ve had many holidays and various trips away since April.  Brussels for a night, Tenerife for a week, Dubrovnik for 12 days, several short overnight trips to London for meetings, Stockholm for four nights to speak at a conference, Durham for four nights…

It’s been wonderful, especially as we were unable to take any holiday last year because of our caring responsibilities.

It’s not been so great for my weight loss and exercise regime.

I haven’t stressed too much about it, because I needed this break and the various trips were enjoyable.  I have to accept that whenever I am away from home, it is impossible to eat as carefully as I do normally.  It’s impossible to control my calorie intake as rigidly as I know I need to control it (being a short, disabled and fairly sedentary woman!)

The additional stone I have gained isn’t bothering me at all.  The extra aches and pains I’m experiencing ARE bothering me, and on a fairly regular (if not daily) basis.

My exercise regime with all the stretches and movements I did as part of the lengthy warm up most definitely helped me with pain and flexibility.  I’m not in overwhelming pain – it’s not stopping me from getting on with my life, but it is nagging me in the background.

The great news is that the “home gym” is now cleared.  It had been full of things from our front room as we were redecorating and came across a rather large damp problem that needed to be sorted out.  There were also several boxes of “stuff” that we brought back from Cumbria following preparing mother-in-laws house for sale.

Hubbie has worked very hard to sort through and re-home or dispose of these things.  It just needs a jolly good clean (vacuum, dust and floor mop).  It looks rather sad and neglected at the moment.

I’m going to London tonight ready for a meeting tomorrow morning. I have planned to do a “semi-fast” day, so not eating anything today until I have my meal tonight.

Albert Embankment

Hopefully, as long as the traffic isn’t bad, that should be about 6/6.30pm. I have selected where we will eat – AllBarOne close to the London Eye. I have looked at the menu, and decided that I will have peri-peri grilled chicken breast marinated with lime & garlic, with coleslaw and grilled corn with the house salad (instead of fries). That’s about the healthiest option. 

Briefly looked at the desserts and there is nothing there that is likely to tempt me – mostly sickly sounding chocolate things – which just isn’t what I go for. But I may have a coffee. If I drink it will be gin with slimline tonic….

I have already packed my “kit” – trainers, joggers, HRM… and told my sister (who’s accompanying me and very active and sporty anyway) to bring hers. I’ve checked the forecast, which is lovely actually! Around 8am, there should be sunshine and no cloud and it will be about 11 degrees.

We will get up at 6.45am and go for a walk along the river from 7am – 8am.  Probably heading towards Battersea (as likely to be less people, I am hoping than if we head to the Southbank). If we get as far as Vauxhall Bridge, I’ll have done about 0.8 miles. If I get as far as the American Embassy at Elms Lane, I will have walked about 1 mile. So hopefully can get there and back (with stops, if necessary).

THEN, have a nice shower and dress and go for breakfast at about 9am…. I will do my utmost to stick to something healthy. So yogurt and fruit or egg with a slice of toast. 

I will do my best to stick to a healthy lunch (there was a pretty healthy hot and cold buffet at the hotel when we were last there….

SO THAT’S THE PLAN!!! Wish me luck. My sister can be quite pushy (sorry, maybe it’s “encouraging!”) and loves it when I make an effort.  Praise is always nice,  but can sometimes make me feel less inclined – I have plenty of determination.

Next year, there’s a rather special event coming up for which my weight and fitness need to be absolutely at their very best.  It’s towards the start of the year, and between now and then, there’s Christmas and another (two week) holiday….  BUT I am taking my exercise “gear” on holiday with me and am full of good intentions.