Sunday, 13 April 2014

My School Holiday Kitchen - Beginning the 5:2 Approach to Food

If you've been reading here for a while you may have noticed that my kitchen gets an extra workout over the school holidays.  Usually it's because I have more time, although that hasn't been the case this past week.  This past week it's simply been that I've been in the same building as my kitchen and I've been able to spend a few minutes here and there at a time of the day I wouldn't normally be able to if I was at work.

After our massive 3-week fast in February I began a new relationship with legumes.  I discovered my aversion to them is largely about the  affects we suffer when using the tinned version of any type of legume.  It's just nasty and not terribly comfortable either.  I figured if we were going to be fasting animal products we needed to get acquainted with legumes to keep our protein up so I dragged my copy of Nourishing Traditions out from under a layer of dust and found the section of legumes.  Did you know when you soak and cook them for long enough none of those nasty side-effects accompany consumption of legumes.  Ha.

This week I made a recipe I found in an AWW Vegie Cookbook which uses French-style lentils.  What a find!  This is meant to go with wholemeal pasta, but I like it perfectly well just as it is, maybe with a piece of buttered toast on the side.

It only took a few moments to put the lentils in a bowl to soak.
French-style lentils soaking

It only takes about 20 minutes to boil these after they've soaked for a day...something that can be done while you're making breakfast or doing some other kitchen task you need to do anyway.
Cooked French-style lentils

I ended up cooking my lentils at breaky time and then stored them in the fridge til I was ready to saute the mushrooms, garlic and spring onions and put it all together at lunch time.  With the 1 cup of dried lentils I've managed to have three lunches.  Brilliant!

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You might remember at the end of our fast I mentioned hearing about Intermittent Fasting (IF).  I finally got around to buying the book The Fast Diet by Dr Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer.  Often also called the 5:2 Diet, the authors offer up a very convincing argument to practice calorie restriction on two non-consecutive days a week.  They outline more than just weight loss as a good reason to practice IF.  Things like lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and delaying the onset of Alzheimer's.  It's worth thinking about. I've spent some time thinking about how it would suit me best to distribute my calories over a day - the recommendation is 500 on a fast day for women.  I've made some lists and figured out the calories for some family-favourite vegan meals and I gave it a go yesterday.  It wasn't that hard.  Whenever I thought I wanted to snack on something 'just because' I had a cup of tea or a drink of water instead.  Honestly that was the most difficult thing...the non-hungry snacking.

Vegies ready for making pasta sauce

Yesterday I had a poached egg on toast for breakfast, which began a quest for how to make a poached egg look like a restaurant one.  More on that another day perhaps!  I had some Premium crackers (like salada crackers) for lunch and we had pasta with a vegetable sauce for dinner.  It came to just a couple of calories under 500.  I think, for me, it will work best if I can have three meals in the day.  That means some careful and judicious planning but I think it's do-able.  Particularly as winter ushers in comfort in the form of thick, hearty vegetable soups.

If you're an Intermittent Faster I'd love to hear about your experiences.


Left-Handed Housewife said...

I've read about the 5:2 plan and will be interested to see how you do with it. I'm a little scared about fasting--I get so cranky! But many people say this approach works well for them. Keep us posted!


P.S. I remember when you blogged about Nourishing Traditions oh so many years ago!

Angela said...

A friend has lost 2 stone over 1 year using the 5;2 and looks really good. I couldn't manage it myself - but I wish you every success. Just read your later post re soup bible - that will help!!