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.
I LOVE olives, but I’ve never really thought about different varieties, ripeness and colour in any way, apart from knowing that green olives often taste more sharp, and black olives seem to have a ‘deeper’ flavour. So, what is the difference between black and green olives?
- The colour of an olive depends on how ripe the fruit (yes; an olive is a fruit) is when it’s picked. Green olives are picked before they’re ripe and black olives are picked whilst ripe.
- Most olives are not edible raw, so both green and black olives need to go through a curing process (such as being pickled or soaked in oil or salt water) before we eat them.
- Green olives are typically more dense and bitter than their black cousins; however, the taste is mainly dependant on how the olive was cured.
- From my research, there seems to be no nutritional difference between green and black olives.
What’s your favourite type of olive? Green? Black? Stuffed…?
I’ve had a slight change of lifestyle since embarking on the 5:2 regime. I sold my car to save money and to force myself into more walking. I was a little nervous about not having a car. I hate buses and my nearest train station is 30 mins walk away. But after selling Rust Bucket I’ve realised that a 30 minute walk (even in pouring rain) is much more enjoyable and healthy (mind and body) than sitting in a car for the same amount of time.
ANYWAY, with all this walking, I’ve found that eating just 500 calories a day was not much fun at all. I wasn’t really enjoying it. I had days of feeling weak and was finding it hard to concentrate at work.
I like fads. I get obsessed by things and think that I’ll feel the same way for life but, alas, this was another fad I had got bored of.
I’m not overweight. I’m walking way more than before. I have learnt a lot from the 5:2 diet and have also lost a few pounds. That’s good enough for me. I’ve learnt from it. I know that I’m capable of having a low calorie day (or two) next time I feel fat. I’ve discovered the wonders of porridge as a low-calorie filler-upperer. AND, most importantly. I’ve confirmed what I already knew and loved about myself – that I don’t like doing things as soon as I know everyone else is doing it too (Harry Potter, for example).
Plus, think about THIS: If you fast for two days a week that’s over 100 days of fasting per year! No thanks. I LOVE FOOD
Well done and congratulations to all those still on the diet. I still support it as a great way to shed pounds and improve your health in numerous other ways…it’s just not for me!
We Eat Things
Despite writing about the 5:2 Diet since August 2012, I had never wanted to try it out for myself until now. I’m 9 stone 2 pounds and would like to lose about 10 pounds. I’m 5’5″ so not fat at all, but I don’t FEEL particularly slim at the moment. The health benefits of being on the 5:2 diet seem too good to resist!
So, today is my third week of the diet and my fourth day. I’m doing Tuesdays and Thursdays as they’re the days I’m less likely to socialise.
On the first day I ate a chicken sandwich, a banana and an apple. It didn’t really work as I felt light-headed as early evening approached. This was most likely because I was having a more physical day at work than normal (working 12 noon until 9pm at an exhibition, on my feet all day and packing up the exhibition stand). I had a few black coffees and tried to drink lots of water.
The second fast day I was not in work and had literally nothing to do all day. This worried me as I had lots of delicious food in the house. I ate lots of celery, an apple, black coffees and a tin of broccoli, bacon and Stilton soup. The soup, which I ate at 3pm, was a tin for two people. The soup, for me, was a big mistake. I thought it would fill me up – especially as it involved cheese and bacon. No such luck. By about 6pm I was miserable, grumpy and wanted to go to bed. I ate a few more sticks of celery (only 6 cals per stick) and went to bed feeling moody and starving.
Day three of fasting was far more successful. In fact, I ended up eating just a little less than 500 calories. Porridge at about 3pm (183 calories) and then I grilled 250g of chicken breast (256 calories) for ‘dinner’ at about 6pm. I actually felt really full after this. I ate it on it’s own apart from a sprinkling of pepper to taste! I then felt full for the whole evening, and actually FULL of energy!
Today all I’ve had so far (it’s almost noon) is a bowl of porridge for 183 calories. Not sure what to have for the rest of the day. Should I stick to grilled chicken again if it worked so well? I’m going out at 5pm so would probably have to eat at the latest 16:30. I don’t know if it worked due to the protein or just because my body was getting used to the fast.
Have you found it easier as you go along? Have you found it easier with more protein? Let me know – I’d love to hear!
P.S I weighed myself after two fast days and I was down to 9 stone exactly. I have also been eating a lot of junk on non-fast days. So much so that I now refer to them as FEAST DAYS.
Photo courtesy of kelliesfoodtoglow.com
This month’s Blog Of The Month goes to Food to Glow, written by Kellie – a Floridian living in Edinburgh.
“Who am I ? (semi-short version): I’m Kellie, a food-obsessed Floridian living in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, Scotland for more years than I care to admit. I am blessed with a gorgeous family who willingly eat almost everything that I make, although they aren’t too keen on starving as I faff with my camera and moan about the lighting (our northerly latitude is a new pet hate). Growing up I loved eating Cuban and Florida-style foods – plenty of grouper sandwiches, hushpuppies and my mother’s piccadillo.”
Kellie posts amazing recipes, gorgeous photos and all alongside witty, intelligent writing.
I particularly like the look of her Cauliflower and Green Olive Tapenade Gratin. Mmmm!
Should you be exercising on the days that you fast?
SOON after my colleagues at work discovered that I was doing a “fast” (eyes rolled every time the word was mentioned), there was an office sweepstake to guess how long before I fell off the wagon. This was followed by even more incredulity when I said that I actually worked out at the gym for about an hour on both of my fast days (technically referred to as training in a fasted state), in addition to a couple of other days in the week.
Logic dictates that on the days you are fasting, with as little as 500/600 calories consumed, the last thing you want to be doing – or more to the point ought to be doing, is working out at the gym, or going for a run or any other form of exercise. Well, the great thing about intermittent fasting is you do what feels right for you, and if doesn’t feel right for you – you don’t. Admittedly, I too was slightly sceptical about the idea about working out on a day when I was mostly going to be hungry, but like with other things related to IF and the 5:2 programme I thought I would try it, and see how I felt.
For the first couple of weeks I worked out at the gym near my office at lunch-time. The thinking here was that I would keep myself busy at lunch, and therefore not feel too wretched watching my colleagues eat, or make plans about what they were going to eat, and then after lunch discuss what they did eat! When the lunch-time workout proved more time consuming than I thought, I switched going to the gym to the end of the day, and knew I had hit on a winner.
My little secret, even after all these months of intermittent fasting is that I still sometimes struggle with the last couple of hours in the day with a combination of hunger and boredom before I sit down to eat dinner at 7.30 pm. I found that going to the gym at the end of the day and before dinner did a couple of things for me: one, it gave me something to do; second, and rather miraculously, instead of feeling hungry as I would otherwise at about 5 in the evening, the work out gave me a renewed burst of energy and I felt a lot less hungry even as I sat down to dinner. Result!
On the more general point of exercising, the motivation I got from losing a few lbs. from IF spurred me on to the gym, and I am currently working out between three and four times a week. I could probably do more, but that would be really dull!
Finally, and on an unrelated point, I invested in a rather clever piece of kit, which is a weighing scale that also measures BMI, fat, water and other stuff. Rather unhelpfully, the scales came with the wrong set of instructions, and I am still trying to figure up how to set it up. That said, I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who has recently switched from the scales that only measured weight, to one of these new-fangled scales. Is all this additional information helpful? Has it spurred you on to lose even more weight, or like with lots of other things are you staring down at more information than you know what to do with. Let me know.
Till next time.
P.S. Did any of you catch the Horizon programme, produced and presented by Michael Moseley (of 5:2 fame) on exercising on Wednesday night on BBC2? Fascinating, as we have come to expect from him. I am very new to the ideas of high intensity training, but if any of you have any thoughts, do send them my way.
© Shiv Taneja 2013
I’ve searched high and low so that you don’t have to (you’re welcome). There are loads and loads of delicious 5:2 recipe ideas out there. Women are supposed to eat 500 calories or less on a fast day, and men 600 calories or less.
You can of course snack on a handful of 100 calorie things throughout the day, or you can save yourself for one main meal. This post details recipes for meals that are 500 calories or less.
Their Steamed Fish with Lemon, Ginger & Chilli recipe is just 153 calories per serving.
Love pizza and can’t even resist it on a fast day? Why not try this 316 calorie Smoky Corn and Black Bean Pizza over at Eating Well! Or how about these Turkey and Lettuce Wraps at just 285 calories. Amazing!
If you’re in a rush or just aren’t a fan of cooking your grub from fresh, why not try a low-calorie ready meal? Marks & Spencer have a low-calorie range called count on us…™. They’re a selection of ready meals all under 400 calories and less than 3% fat.