Yesterday I made these really simple Tomato, Feta and Olive Tarts with added pesto. They were really easy to make and tasted delicious. I found the recipe over at the Good Food website.
TV Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has this week written an article for The Guardian, about his recent experience on the 5:2 diet. He explains that fasting for two days out of seven has resulted in him losing an impressive eight pounds since the new year.
Hugh refers to it as The Fast Diet (I see it as more like The Eat Diet as you can eat more most of the time rather than less most of the time) and says, “…The Fast Diet says I can continue to butter my bread, cheese my butter, and raise my glass – at least for five days a week. It also promises much more than mere weight loss. It will reduce my bad cholestrol, protect me against cancer and even sharpen my mind. It pretty much promises that I will live longer, and healthier. As my half century approaches, that’s quite a punchy proposition.”
He then goes on to say, “could this diet, and the knowledge that underpins it, be harnessed to make a genuine impact on global health and the obesity epidemic? In principle, the answer would seem to be yes. (Though it wouldn’t be popular with the supermarkets, would it? Imagine if we all started shopping for a five-day eating week. That’d be more than 25% of Tesco’s turnover down the pan.)”
“So I believe in this fasting thing, I really do. With my strictly non-snacking version, I’ve lost eight pounds already, and I find the whole thing rather exhilarating. I feel I might just be part of a health revolution. But is it really sustainable, for me or for significant numbers of others?”
His article refers to a book written by Michael Moseley and Mimi Spencer. Michael was the guy in the original BBC Horizon documentary about the diet and Mimi Spencer is a columnist for YOU Magazine. The book is currently a UK bestseller on Amazon, so this whole thing is obviously catching on.
…if only I’d written that book! 🙂
- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: Why I’m on the Fast Diet (guardian.co.uk)
- TV chefs’ recipes may be less healthy than ready meals, study finds (guardian.co.uk)
Back to a normal fasting pattern this week with mixed results. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days Hubby and I have chosen to fast this week.
I do some voluntary gardening on a Tuesday and I was feeling quite positive at the start of the day, my mind was distracted and my tummy was quite full from the day before. By break time I was starving so I decided to have a banana, I was quite conscious though that those calories would come out of my total later on. I started to struggle when I got home because I would usually have had a decent lunch and even a treat on a Tuesday. Instead I had a roll, a small slice of cheese and some salad. For dinner I had baked trout and salad. Normally after gardening I feel pleasantly tired and pretty hungry, today I felt wrecked and absolutely starving. Once again a headache was hard to shift and made it tough to stay positive.
We decided the following day would be a feed day as it was my birthday and although I had a good day I felt a bit under par. The next day would be a fast day but unfortunately I woke up on the Thursday with a really stiff and painful back. I have been having niggly back problems but this was something else. I felt like I wanted to continue with the fast day as usual but in hindsight I should probably have just given in and eaten normally. Hubby and daughter stepped up to the mark and waited on me hand and foot but I had a pretty miserable day coping with pain as well as hunger.
An issue that has kept cropping up has been what to do with my daughter on fast days. She is 13 and I am naturally conscious of the fact that she needs her full quota of vitamins and nutrients. Left to her own devices she will gladly feed herself all day with cereal, chocolate and preferably chocolate cereal. When not at school she will normally make her own lunch with me prompting her to eat some protein etc, fast days are therefore much the same. It is dinnertime that starts to pose a problem. On feed days I will usually make a meal for all three of us but on fast days Hubby and I have been dropping potatoes or other carbs and having a very scaled down meal for dinner. On these fast days I have had to make her a completely different meal from scratch or have resorted to a cook/chill option, a boiled egg, or beans on toast. So far I don’t think I have succeeded in maintaining her diet to the same level as before we started fasting and I haven’t solved the problem of not wanting to cook someone else a full meal when you are fasting. A friend suggested cooking and freezing some favourite dinners in advance. This may be the answer as long as that cooking and freezing goes on on a feed day. I don’t think I could stand the temptation!
Juliet – Guest Blogger
- The 5:2 Diet: Juliet’s Journey (weeatthings.com)
- The 5:2 Diet: Juliet’s Journey Continued (weeatthings.com)
- The 5:2 Diet: Juliet’s Journey (Fasting on Holiday!) (weeatthings.com)
I’ve always wondered whether being a vegetarian is much healthier than being a meat-eater. After a little research I found these pros and cons of having a vegetarian diet.
The positive aspects of being a vegetarian are:
- Vegetarianism has been linked to reduced risks of obesity. Of course, being a vegetarian doesn’t mean that you just eat fruit and veg, but you’re more likely to eat less saturated fat than meat-eaters.
- Fruits and vegetables aren’t injected with the same growth hormones that are sometimes added to meat. I’m not sure what’s bad about injecting growth hormones into meat, but it doesn’t sound too pretty.
- Increased energy levels: the body takes up more energy when it has to digest animal proteins.
- On average, vegetarians spend around 25% less than meat-eaters on their shopping bills!
- Meat eaters who eat a lot of fatty meats are much more at risk of cancers and heart disease than vegetarians.
- Vegetarian diets can contain less protein .
- Vegetarians are more at risk of being anaemic than meat-eaters, due to their lack of iron intake.
It seems that being a vegetarian CAN be a lot more healthy than being a meat-eater. However, some vegetarians eat loads of cake and cheese and never exercize, whereas some meat-eaters grill or poach lean meat and go to the gym every day.
The We Eat Things verdict is that if you love eating meat (like me), then try to have a balanced diet, do plenty of exercize and aim to stick to the British Nutrition Foundation‘s guidelines of no more than 90g red meat per day.
Here’s a great article from Delicious Magazine, with more information about vegetarianism – including some great recipe ideas.
After today’s post about what foods are good for our teeth, here’s a little list of what not to eat and drink if you want to maintain toothy-perfection (this post was due tomorrow, but I couldn’t wait):
- Carbonated drinks like cola and lemonade can be highly acidic – even diet drinks. This means that even though drinks with no sugar won’t cause cavities due to their lack of sugar, they can damage tooth enamel.
- Chewy vitamins are especially bad for your teeth, as they contain high amounts of concentrated acids, which can erode the enamel on your teeth.
- Dried fruits like raisins and prunes contain non-soluble fibre which can trap sugars around your teeth.
- White bread, crisps and pasta don’t taste sugary, but they can become lodged between teeth and the starches they contain can start converting into sugars almost immediately!
- Citrus fruits and fruit drinks contain lots of acid, so although things like apples and lemons can be healthy in many ways, you should drink water after eating them so that the acid doesn’t start to decay your teeth.
- One great tip for maintaining healthy teeth is not to brush your teeth straight after eating acidic food. After eating anything acidic, tooth enamel is more vulnerable to damage. I usually wait at least half an hour before brushing.
If you have any tips for maintaining great dental health, please share your ideas!