My 5:2 Diet Blog

A 2 days a week fasting Diet – and how I get on with it….

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Pilchards & Salmon

Week 13 – 19 April 2014

No not together of course – just the way the weeks menu worked out really.


We were a bit sh0rt of anything special for the meal but the store cupboard produce a tine of pilchards of long vintage for me. We have a store cupboard and freezer stacked with enough food to withstand at least a two week siege, thanks I think to my grandmas influence who, quite reasonably, took that approach during the war but passed on the attitude to me. We had plenty of salad items in stock so that was the meal sorted. The pilchards were quoted as 115 cals, and I had red onion, tomato, celery, spring onion and cucumber salsa plus some lettuce as the main meal.

Followed with a navel orange (of course!)

Pretty low calorie day really, the main meal probably only just over 300, so lets say 350 to be safe.


Slightly more organised, there was a pack of salmon ‘steaks’ in the fridge but being somewhat a creature of habit, and because it has worked so well previously, my wife cooked the fish with vegetable in foil in a steamer as we have had before. The veg included carrot, peas, courgette, sweet pepper, swede & broccoli with some balsamic vinegar over the fish before cooking as a marinade. In addition we finished off the salsa left over from Monday.

Guess what- I had an orange after!

The fish (at least the portion I had) would have been about 130 cals, so with the veg etc. can’t have been much more than 200 cals

Total cals – around 300 I guess.

I might point out as a follow up that the Easter weekend up to now (Sat night) has been one of eating as we visited my sister. However, I should burn off a few pound tomorrow as I have a half-marathon race…


Last Sunday I came in at 10st 13lbs after my run, so still around the 11st mark.

Amazingly despite the improved weather I did still feel cold on Monday at times, otherwise still pretty much as normal. I do need the ‘tic-tacs’ though to help me through the fast days (I only normally get through about 6 in the day, so they don’t represent any serious calorie input.

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Curry & Liver!

Week 6th- 12th April

Not together silly! Mind you I suppose a liver curry is possible…



Here’s the curry bit – we had a fish (cod) curry on Sunday, prepared by my lovely wife, to which I added a vegetable bhaji (using carrot, swede, celery and broccoli). There was enough for a portion left over, of both the curry and the bhaji so I finished them off, together with some mango and brinjal pickles. Curries are often actually better second time round we think anyway.

Followed by a navel orange – I do like them (had one today at lunchtime)

Now we come to the calorie calculation or rather in this case geusstimation. Well just being cautious and pessimistic I would put the main meal at 400 cals, plus the orange and teas etc. might bring up a total or around 500 cals.


We had bought a pack of lambs liver at the weekend from the supermarket that surprisingly stocks things like that (Both of us were brought up in families that eat plenty of offal, but it’s increasingly hard to find). So we had the simplest of dishes to prepare, fried with onion (I had cut it into strips and marinated  in some Kikkoman soy in advance). To accompany the liver? – Just a simple salad of tomato, celery, cucumber, green pepper, and red onion with lemon juice as dressing plus some salad leaves. I added some pickled beetroot and piccalilli plus a couple of pickled onions (the bottle needed finishing).

Followed with an apple.

Calories – My book of calories has liver and onions as 396 cals, which seems a lot, but the salad even with the pickles would have been less than 100 cals, so with the apple and teas would still have come in under 600 cals


Well, all a bit strange really – last Sunday after my run, I weighed in at 11st 3lbs, up a but but not too bad. The this morning (Thursday), again after a run, the scales got very confused and had me at 10st 4lbs, then turned off as it thought I was someone different (my scales has’profiles’ for different individuals). After several attempts to persuade the scales to come up with a sensible set of numbers, I gave up and had breakfast. I then tried again and I cam out as 11st 1lb! That was after a large bowl of cereal and a couple of mugs of tea – so I may well have been just under 11st initially, but not so low as to confuse the scales  – must have just had a bad moment I suppose.

Even though the weather has warmed into spring, I still feel cold on fast days. Apart from that I find the days pass fairly well and the odd tic-tac keeps me going….

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Cold Chicken & Hot Salmon

Week 30th March – 6th April

A week of meals on diet days determined by my wife’s shopping…..

After a wonderful Sunday dinner of roast lamb, with potato and fennel plus steamed vegetables followed by a bramble and apple pie (our own brambles) with custard a fast day seemed like a good thing…..


One of the purchases from the previous week still lurking in the fridge was a pack of sliced chicken (albeit supposedly ‘high quality chicken’) which needed eating – so the choice was basically made for me. I just had it with a simple salad of red onion, celery, green & red pepper, salad leaves with lemon juice and lemon flesh plus some grated carrot. I added some piccalilli and pickled beetroot.

Followed up with a cox apple.

Calories – Another bit of guesswork, the chicken was rated as 190 calories. So with the salad, teas and fruit I guess around 450 altogether.


Once again, decision made by what needed eating in the fridge – this time a pack of salmon steaks, which was shared with my wife, who prepared a dish similar to one we’d had before, but a bit freelance this time. Basically the fish was poached in foil with ginger and a mix of vegetables (carrot, leek, pepper, celery) plus some soy sauce and garlic. It’s a pretty simple recipe that works quite well, pretty tasty too.

I added some salad mix left over from Monday – see below:

Poached Salmon & Veg with added Salad

Poached Salmon & Veg with added Salad

Followed it with a navel orange.

Calories –  the salmon was given as around 200 cals for the portion I had. So as with Monday I would up the total calories to around 450 for the day.


I ran on Monday morning for a change, and my weight after that was 11st 2lbs, so keeping reasonably steady, bearing in mind that was after a weekend of good eating!

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Sort of Spicy Beef Plus

Week 23rd March – 29th March 2014


While searching for another recipe that my wife had cooked before in an old cookery book I’d not looked in for a while (Hot & Spicy Cooking – Ed. Jillian Stewart) I found a couple of recipes that suited what we had available and only needed a couple of items to be bought. The main was ‘Shredded Beef with Vegetables’ As the name suggests, it was beef, basically stir-fried with celery, carrots and leek spiced up with chillies, soy sauce and garlic.

The second dish, which I got to cook, was ‘Ginger Cauliflower’, this was partly stir-fried and partly sort of steamed in the covered pan and consisted of sliced ginger, a chilli and onion fried initially, then cauliflower added and cooked in the covered pan for a few mins, some chopped coriander added and finally sprinkled with lemon juice.

Both were very good and will go on our list of dishes to do again.

I followed these up with a ‘russet’ apple.

Calories, now this is tricky as the book gave no guide, so it’s a bit of a guessing game really but the beef dish was maybe 300 cals and the total with the cauliflower and orange, plus teas etc. would be around 500 cals


Just a simple salad based meal this time with a spicy chicken. A salad of red onion, celery, green pepper, tomato, cucumber with lemon juice and flesh mixed in and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Some grated carrot was separate with a little low calorie dressing on it and we had some salad leaves as well. I added some piccalilli and a bit of pickled beetroot.

Followed up with a navel orange – yes back to the staple.


Once again, something of a guess but certainly less than Monday. So I would guess a total for the day of about 400 cals.


Keeping pretty stable at 11st plus or minus 1lb

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Still Constant

Week 16th – 22nd March 2014


If you look back at last week, on Wednesday we had steamed fish ‘Thai style’, well it was nice and we had some cod fillets to eat, so my wife did the cooking again and we had the same dish with more or less the same mix of vegetables. Still pretty good as well.

Just to keep things the same, I followed it with a navel orange.

Total calories would be about the same, so around 400.


Another simple choice really, we needed to use up some food from the freezer, and there was some chicken breasts – so that was the basis. Once again it was my wife who was cooking, and as there wasn’t time to spend on anything complicated, she produced a stir fry with the chicken and what veg we had handy. Some red pepper, carrot, courgette, broccoli, celery and red cabbage (which coloured everything of course – see pic below)

Chicken & Veg Sir Fry

Chicken & Veg Sir Fry

Just to be really boring, I had another navel orange to follow.

Calories, well a few more than the fish dish I would guess so I would think the total for the day would be around 500 cals.


Sunday – the scales sowed me at 1ost 13lbs, and on Friday morning (for various reasons my usual Thursday routine was disrupted) again I was 10st 13lbs, even after breakfast! So it looks like I’m keeping pretty constant as the moment – not entirely sure why, maybe I’m just being more careful about what I eat on the non-fast days.

Even though the weather has been getting warmer I still feel cold on the feast days, it’s quite noticeable, I often have to put a pullover on when on non-fast days I don’t need to. Apart from that it doesn’t affect me too much.

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Weight Up but Constant

Yes, curious really, my weight has been constant this week down to the tenth of a pound but still around my preferred weight – see later.

Anyway on to the diet – a fishy week it was as well.


We had some smoked salmon ‘steaks’ (M&S) waiting to be eaten, so we kept things simple and had those with salad – which I prepared suing a mix of celery, mixed salad leaves, sweet pepper and red onion with a half lemon squeezed in and the chopped flesh added. Some grated carrot separate as well. I added some low calorie ‘chilli’ dressing and balsamic vinegar. Very nice it all was.

Followed with a large orange.

Calories – in theory the salmon was only about 100, and with the salad etc, the total can’t have been more than about 400 I would say.


My wife had spotted a recipe on the BBC website for ‘Thai-style steamed fish” for which I needed to get the lime, pak choi and the fish – two fillets of trout, but I needed to go to our local supermarket which has a good fresh fish counter and a good selection of veg, so no problem. To go with it my wife just prepared a simple stir fry of bean sprouts (grown at home), carrot, celery and peas. Should have taken a photo – but forgot, but I should think we’ll have it again….

I had an apple (Cox of course) after just for a change.

Calories – the calorific content of the fish dish was supposed to be only around 200 calories per portion, but I had slightly more than half. The stir-fry may have added another 100 at most, the apple 30 and the days teas etc. another 50 or so making a total of around 380, so I would make it 400 to be safe.


After the new low record of last week I wasn’t sure what my weight would be – but on Sunday after my 14m run, I weighed in at 10st 13.8lbs, a bit surprising but what with several beers while watching the rugby internationals and the rather good slow cooked leg of lamb with potato and veg plus and apple cake pudding with cream I guess I had taken rather a lot of calories….

Thursday, after my 6m run the scales they said exactly the same 10 st 13.8lbs! so at least I’m keeping steady. Sunday will be interesting, it’s another weekend of rugby internationals and I’m planning steak and kidney pie for Sunday as well so Thursday might see the effect of that as well. We’ll see….

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New Low Weight!

Week 2nd – 9th March 2014

As the title suggests my scales revealed a new low weight this week – but first the food:


We had a large piece of beef – (roasted with Yorkshire puddings and mashed potato of course) on Sunday and had plenty left over. So my wife decided to cook up a stir-fry using a mix of veg and the beef – with garlic ginger and a finish of rice wine. My wife added rice to hers of course, but nevertheless I had a decent plate full.

I followed it up with a large navel orange, yet again!

Calories – hmm well, it’s a bit finger in the air really so I’d better give the day around 500 cals just to be safe.


Well to be boring, but saving any hard decisions about what to eat, as we still had beef left and wanted to finish it off we had another stir fry with veg this time finished with sukiyaki sauce. Once again a navel orange finished off the meal

Calories – so I’d better award 500 cals to the meal again.

Scales data

The payoff for the week was the weights I registered on Sunday and Thursday, which were 10st 7lbs and 10st 4lbs respectively. 10st 4 must be the lightest I’ve weighed for many a year. It’s been reflected in my running as well, Thursdays morning 6m run was a fast time compared to recent runs which is good. I just need to keep the weight down as my first half-marathon is in a month.


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