I started the 8 week Blood Sugar Diet on 17th October, with almost exactly 8 weeks until I go on my next holiday!
One thing I have noticed almost immediately (and other have reported similarly) is that my energy levels have risen. I wake in the morning at around 6 – 7am, feeling refreshed and wanted to get out of bed and start my day. My general aches and pains also seem to have subsided – which is a bonus. I am still in pain most days, but not taking any pain relief (paracetamol).
I have felt fuller for longer (one of the benefits of this way of eating). The diet is basically low-carb and restricts sugary foods (starches like pasta, rice, bread and potatoes) and I am increasing the quantities of “real foods”, including protein, natural fats and vegetables. I have reduced the need to snack in between meals and my snacking habit has all but disappeared. On the rare occasion that I feel hungry, I can eat natural yogurt with seeds, nuts (natural – brazils, almonds, pecans, walnuts) or a piece of fruit.
I’ve been drinking a lot more water and cutting down (but not excluding) the tea and coffee.
In my first week, I achieved a 6.4lb loss! I was astonished! I’ve never, ever lost that much in one week and I have only about 1 – 1.5 stone to lose to get to my goal weight.
Things I have eaten regularly: oily fish, regular fish, avocados, natural yogurt, olive oil, lots of fresh vegetables.
Here are some examples of some of my meals from the past week:
Butternut squash is low calorie, filling and so tasty!
Kale grown in our garden.
Onions are caramalised and translucent.
Feta cheese, cubed
Toasted seeds and nuts, be careful not to burn!
Butternut squash, roasted. Adds a sweetness to the dish
This stage can look quite messy, but it doesn’t matter.
Sprinkle the pie filling in even layers.
Sprinkled with poppy seeds.
Ready to serve!
Easter probably comes a close second to Christmas when it comes to over indulgence and food.
To keep my self from eating it, I tend to busy myself with cooking it!
Today I’ve adapted a recipe I found on-line to make this scrumptious looking butternut squash, feta and kale pie. It’s flavoured with nutmeg, red onion and toasted pumpkin and pine nut seeds with poppy seeds sprinkled on top.
One thing about attempting to lose weight is that pastry tends not to feature too often on the menu. However, filo allows you to indulge in a little pastry consumption!
The recipe serves 8 and is around 282 calories a slice. Perfect for a vegetarian menu and to provide a dinner party centre piece, which can be prepared well in advance.
I’ll need to add some pictures when I’ve cut into it, but as it’s not for consumption today, you’ll have to wait!
Butternut squash, feta and kale filo pie
Calories per serving:
Butternut Squash, Raw
Peel and de-seed the butternut squash and cut into 1.5cm cubes. Spread onto a baking sheet and spray with the one calorie spray oil.
Peel and finely dice the red onion and the garlic. Roughly chop the kale into bite sized pieces. Cut the feta cheese into 1cm cubes.
Beat the two eggs in a mixing bowl.
(1) Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
(2) Once the oven has reached the right temperature, put the butternut squash in to cook for 30 minutes, turning half way through cooking time. The butternut squash should be soft and just starting to turn brown on the edges.
(3) One the butternut squash is cooked, lower the heat to 180 degrees.
(4) Pour the sunflower oil into a small pan and cook the onions in the oil until soft and turning golden. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more. Transfer into a small dish.
(5) Add the seeds and nuts into the same frying pan and cook over a medium heat stirring frequently until the turn golden brown. Do not allow to burn! Immediately turn out into a small dish (so that they don’t continue to cook in the hot pan). When cool, add the nutmeg and stir through.
(6) Put the kale into a bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave to stand for about 5 minutes, and then drain in a colander, squeezing out excess water. Leave draining, as you want it to be as dry as possible.
(7) Melt the butter in a microwave or small pan. Use some of the melted butter to grease a non-stick loose-bottomed cake tin, about 20-22cm. Put the first sheet of filo in the tin and brush with the melted butter, letting the excess (around 7 – 10cm) hang over the sides. Keep going with the rest of the sheets, turning a little before adding each additional pastry sheet and brushing all over with the melted butter. It does not have to be neat! Retain any pieces of pastry that break off. Ensure that there are no gaps or splits in the base that will allow the filling to leak out.
(8) When all the pastry is used up, tip in the butternut squash cubes and arrange to evenly cover the bottom of the tin. Then add the kale, again, ensuring it’s evenly distributed. Add the fried onion/garlic and then the seeds/nuts.
(9) Pour over (evenly) about two-thirds of the beaten egg mixture, retaining the remainder to brush on the top of the pie.
(10) Fold over the excess pastry to cover, ensuring that the filling isn’t visible at all. You want to achieve a crumpled effect here, so add any of the broken sheets too. Brush the top with the remaining egg and sprinkle over the poppy seeds.
(11) Place the pie onto a baking sheet and then bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the filo is crisp and golden. Leave for 5 minutes before turning out and cutting into wedges to serve.