Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Fast Diet: Bang Bang Prawns

I have been dieting my whole life. I was first brought to Weight Watchers when I was ten years old.  I have tried every diet under the sun multiple times. I've lost weight and gained it back plus more. None of them are long term for me. I can count calories and eat rabbit food for a few weeks but I inevitably give up or get frustrated and go back to page one.  Recently someone told me about the fast diet, a diet where you have a light fast twice a week and eat whatever you want on the other days.  I thought it sounded intriguing but left it at that knowing it was another diet and as such destined to fail.

Then I was placing an order on Amazon when it popped up with the book being on sale for three quid, so I thought why not and bought it.  I read it cover the cover and was waiting for the part that said, yes you fast those two days, but you have to only eat wholewheat and low fat the rest of the week, but it never did.  You really can eat anything on the other five days.  I figured it couldn't be that hard and gave it a try.  I am on week three and have lost ten pounds.  I cannot believe it.  It is the easiest thing in the world and so workable into your daily schedule.  You are allowed 500 calories on fasting days (600 for men) which is not a lot, but totally doable when you know you can eat a doughnut for breakfast the next day!  Being a good cook helps too as you can really make the most of those calories.  It's just gone twelve now and I've just had my first meal of a fasting day, I'll eat my second with the kids tonight.  I schedule my fast days on my busiest days, days when I have to run the kids places and barely think about eating, that way I won't get focused on any hunger I may feel.  I've found I tend to get hungry after they go to bed, but just sip herbal tea and do some crochet and it keeps my mind of it.  Going to bed early helps too!

The strange thing though is that you're not hungry the next morning and you are generally less interested in food as a whole.  Hubby brought me my favourite-sit-down-eat-an-entire-box-at-once chocolates on Valentine's day and they literally just sat there.  I had one or two, but had no interest in the rest. SO WEIRD!  I'm down ten pounds and really loving this plan, it's the type of thing I can do easily, without fretting and fit it into my life as it is now. No special shopping, expensive light foods, hell I haven't even done much exercise!  And did I mention how much more clear my mind is? It's insane, I'm on fire these days, the house has never been cleaner, I'm more cheerful, energetic, even the kids have noticed. I LOVE IT!

Anyways... enough proselytizing, fast diet or not, this particular recipe is bloody delicious for anyone!  It's 250 calories according to myfitnesspal which makes it a perfect fit for the fast diet fasting days.

Bang Bang Shrimp
(serves 1)
Adapted from: Skinny Taste

Ingredients:
  • 120g peeled and de-veined raw prawns
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Cooking spray
  • 1.25 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 cup shredded ice berg lettuce
  • 1/4 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
Coat raw prawns in cornstarch and fry over a high heat about 1.5 minutes each side until cooked through.

Meanwhile make sauce by mixing mayonnaise, sweet chilli and sriracha.

Toss prawns in sauce and serve over the cabbage and lettuce mix.  Sprinkle with scallions to serve. 
Friday, February 15, 2013

New Mama Fuel

Some of the members of the Irish Parenting Bloggers Group are throwing a virtual baby shower in the form of a Blog March for the group’s two leaders, Lisa & Áine (who is on a well-deserved blogging break). Áine had a baby girl in January and Lisa is due to have her baby girl in March.  We are taking turns to do a post a day. Yesterday's post came from Jane at That Curious Love of Green and tomorrow will be from Laura at My Internal World.  Today it’s my turn to lead the celebrations with a little help from the letter Y.

I spent some time reflecting on some of those early days with a new baby, hard to believe it's been almost a year since my wee man was born at home. My dear husband took two weeks off to help out afterwards and kept me well fed and the older two looked after as I tried to overcome my breastfeeding issues and make the most of what I was able to produce.  It was only when he went back to work that I realised how hectic things could be with two school age kids and all the extra-curricular goings on and trying to manage those while constantly hooked up to a baby or breast pump.  It felt like there wasn't enough time in the day and I found myself often neglecting to eat!  For those of you who know me, you'll know that's a huge deal, as I never forget to eat or even forget to think about eating, but alas I did.  A few weeks in I knew things had to change and I took advantage of hubby's home days by making some quick and healthy snacks that would be ready to just grab as needed.

These mini-quiche's were a god send.  I would make a few batches on the weekend and freeze them and when I got hungry I would just throw a couple in the microwave and voila, a healthy well-rounded lunch!  You can use any veg you have on hand or just broccoli and cheddar is delicious too. I used a combination of egg whites and whole eggs to keep fat and calories a bit lower, but you can certainly use a dozen eggs if you want that extra punch. They work out at about 100 calories each.

Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup egg whites (+/- 9 egg whites, I used the Two Chicks liquid ones)
  • 1-2 cups steamed chopped vegetables (I used leeks, broccoli, peppers, onions, tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • herb and salt and pepper to season
Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.

Beat the egg whites and eggs together with the parmesan, olive oil and any herbs you would like to use (a teaspoon of pesto is great too!)

Toss in the steamed veg and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray (or butter them if you're not concerned with fat) and pour the egg mixture into nine of the holes.  Bake for twenty minutes.

Pop out of muffin cups and either serve immediately or store in zip-loc bags in the freezer once cooled.