Saturday, 3 January 2015

happy new year, new beginnings, and the 5:2 diet...

Delicious homemade Christmas breakfast, thanks to Simon's mum.

Happy new year!

After the gluttonous indulgences of the Christmas season, we are finally ready to tackle a new routine.

As regular readers will know, we have recently returned to Australia after nearly 5 months traveling through Asia - we set foot on Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Taiwan during this time, and had adventures that we will remember for years to come. I will be sharing some of these memories with you over this year as I sort through my thousands of photos, but for now, let's get back to food blogging.

As our journey neared an end, Simon expressed an interest in trying out the 5:2 diet. Many of you might have heard of this diet, which employs intermittent fasting to achieve weight loss (and potentially other health benefits as well). Basically, for each week you choose two days in which you you consume a very limited number of calories (500 for women, 600 for men), and the other five days you may eat normally.

While I am not terribly interested in following a diet, personally, and often find them a bit gimmicky, I have heard good things about the 5:2 diet from people who have personally tried it. Plus, I do enjoy crafting meal plans and recipes, and of course, I fully support Simon in his endeavour and I hope he succeeds.

A salad appropriate for the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet.

I made this salad for Simon's lunch on his first day embarking on the diet, after meticulously researching the calorie contents of various foodstuff the night before. It was made based on what I found in the kitchen, and, other than the egg and some red oak lettuce leaves, by chance it turned out to be made entirely out of green ingredients.

P.S. I'm not doing the 5:2 diet. My support is solely in preparing the appropriate food for Simon. I eat whatever I want while he suffers, hahaha! (Though actually, he has been coping alright, all things considered. I like to think that it's thanks to my wholesome meals.)

P.P.S. If you're interested, on that day, he had a banana and a coffee for breakfast. For dinner, he had another salad (slightly different to this one).

a green salad recipe for the 5:2 diet
(Serves 1.  Each serving = 136 calories.)

50g mixed salad leaves (16 kcal)
4 broccoli florets - raw, steamed or boiled (28 kcal)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (5 kcal)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves / cilantro (4 kcal)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce* (10 kcal)
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil (10 kcal)
1/8 teaspoon chilli powder (2 kcal)
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste (0 kcal)
1 hard boiled egg (61 kcal)

Put all vegetables and herbs in a large salad bowl. Combine the condiments and add into the bowl. Toss everything together till thoroughly mixed. Taste and add more condiments if necessary, but remember to factor in the added calories if doing the 5:2 diet. Top it all off with the egg.

*Traditional Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies, however, there are vegetarian/vegan versions on the shelves these days. Some contain gluten, while others are gluten-free. Please remember to check the labels if you have specific dietary requirements.


  1. Hi there and happy new year to you and Simon! Peter and I embarked on the 5:2 mid-late last year and found it excellent... we stopped for a while when we travelled interstate and really need to get back onto it again just to shed a few kg... it's manageable and works. Happy cooking xo

    1. Happy new year, Lizzy! Good to know that the 5:2 diet worked for you, too. We are looking forward to seeing the results, hopefully there will be promising signs soon enough. :)

  2. Wait, didn't you take off just the other day? Where has the time gone?!
    The Sparky and I started 5:2 just over a year ago and found it to be really good, unfortunately health issues got in the way after a few months. The book by Dr M Mosely actually has some really good scientifically based comment on the potential benefits. I'm currently on a very restricted diet anyway but as soon as I've dropped a few more kgs I'll be going back to 5:2, not as a diet as such but simply as a healthy way to eat and look after my body and brain.
    Best of luck to Simon with his venture ... with salads like that on the menu it should be very easy to stay on track :)

    1. Eek, I just found your comment in my spam folder, sorry! Thank you so much for sharing your insights and giving your support. x

  3. I have heard good things about that diet, and it seems reasonable. I've overindulged myself these holidays and could use a kick start. I'm jealous you can eat anything! Can you come over and prepare my food so I don't nibble as I go?

  4. Hahah your P.S. is great. I'm not into dieting, but after hearing about some studies on public radio, I've recently tried to start eating all my calories within a twelve hour timeframe. Given the long hours I work if I eat breakfast at 6am I end up eating waaaay more than I need. Waiting until 8:30 for breakfast has really changed how much I'm consuming - I think!

    1. Oh that is interesting! It makes sense that with your long hours that you may have to adjust your food intake for the situation.

  5. This looks like a tasty lunch (though as a non 5:2er I would have a large slice of bread too!) I can't wait to hear more about your adventures.


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