I do the 5:2 thing. I call it a “thing” because I don’t want to use the word “diet”. Diet implies short-term and difficult to uphold, whereas the 5:2 “thing” has been a lifestyle change. I’ve been doing it for a year now, and I like it. I haven’t seen any obvious weight changes (because around the same time I started doing it, I also radically altered other parts of my health, so my weight loss was to do with everything), but many friends of mine have. However, the main reason I love it is how good it makes me feel the next day.
The 5:2 “thing” makes me feel the polar opposite of the binging “thing” I tend to do every now and then. When I binge I wake up the next morning with a food hangover. I feel nauseous, seriously bloated and a bit dizzy. On my fast-days, I feel light, energetic and sparky. The day afterwards I feel the same.
The 5:2 “thing” consists of you having 5 days a week where you eat normally, and 2 days a week in which you fast. This means eating only 600 calories if you are a man, and 500 if you are a woman. You can spread these calories out if you would like, but I find it’s best if you save all the calories for your dinner – this allows your body to have a complete break from digestion from the moment you stop eating the night before until the evening of your chosen day. The research that has been done into the benefits is absolutely fascinating, and you can read more about it here. Or even watch the Horizon documentary that sparked the trend here.
However, this post is not an advertisement for the 5:2, it is a recipe post. There are recipe suggestions for the 5:2 “thing” everywhere on the internet, and many restaurants now cater to people on it, offering delicious meals for under 500 calories. However, last night, on my fast day, I made myself an utterly delicious and enormous stir-fry, which came to under 100 calories! That means plenty of room left for popcorn, or a pear, or some carrots and houmous, or marmitey rice cakes, or all of the above. I wanted to share it with you.
Lucy’s fast-day stir-fry
200g mushrooms (sliced)
2 stalks of celery (sliced)
1 pack of zero noodles
2 cloves of garlic
1 red chilli
Heavy splash of soy sauce
Half a lemon
Firstly, just sizzle the celery and the mushrooms in the soy sauce and garlic, over the hob. The joy of these vegetables is that, not only are they very low calorie in themselves, but also they produce a lot of water. So there is no need for oil in the pan, because the vegetables will very quickly give off moisture and will not stick to the pan. Add half the red chilli and stir-fry until veggies are soft. Add your pre-cooked zero noodles (these things are amazing, and a fast-day addition to every meal! See here), another splash of soy sauce, and the other half of your red chilli. Finally add the kale and toss everything around for a couple of minutes (no longer, or the kale will lose its delicious crispiness) then finally serve. Top it with the juice of half a lemon, and maybe a little coriander.