Now, I feel like this needs a bit of an introduction. I’m not on a diet, I don’t intend to go on a diet (even though Facebook seems to think I should, this morning it recommended a diet website to me. They have to learn a lot about advertising, whilst making me aware of a new diet website might help somewhat (although probably not, because it’s still poor targeting) it wouldn’t offend me as much as having it recommended to me. You’re not the new Google, Facebook, deal with it!).
Whenever it comes to weight loss discussions, I’m always a big ambassador of changing your whole diet, rather than going on a fad diet. Yo-yo and all. I don’t think that changing your food intake to a bare minimum for a couple of weeks and then going back to just Pizza and Ice-cream will do you any good. BUT having said this, I actually think this “diet” sounds really good (the concept is explained at the beginning of the book).
The basics are that you eat normally (emphasis on normal, not binge, although you’re supposed to just not think about it much) for 5 days a week, and to fast for the other 2. You’re not supposed to not eat anything, you’re supposed to eat around 500 calories (600 for men), which is where this book comes in (and we will talk about the book in a moment, just bear with me for another second). I think this is great, because when you’re very conscious of your food input on particular days, and eat less, your body will become used to it more and crave less food on the other days. The authors raised this point too, and I’m very sure this is true, because when I started eating healthier, it actually transformed which foods my body would crave (ok ok during weeks of coursework deadlines and exams it’s still cookies a lot of the time, but in general). When I’ve not eaten well for a couple of days, I’ll actually feel like a healthy option, which in my opinion is great, because it makes eating healthy feel less forced.
Anyway after a very lengthy introduction, here’s the deal with the book:
You might remember the photo of the Shakshuka I featured in one of my #VegBoxChallenge blogposts (the one above). It’s from this book. The author of the initial diet book joined up with Chelsea and Spurs registered nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker to create a recipe book with lots of low-calorie and nutritious recipes to make the two fast days interesting rather than boring. There are also menu planners and lots of encouraging tips – including kitchen, cupboard essentials and the latest nutritional advice, as well as a user-friendly calorie counter and a whole section of speedy meals that can be quickly made for those busier days.
Anyway, I have to stress that I didn’t review it from a 5:2 point of view. I did it from the point of view of someone who likes to eat healthy food, but sometimes struggles for ideas. And I really really like it. There’s lots of easy recipes that you can use as part of a healthy diet. Some are creative (Spiced Baby Aubergine with Pomegranate Yoghurt and Walnut Rice anyone?) and others just remind you of very simple, yet delicious and healthy meals you could have (like Apple slices with Crème Fraiche, Honey and Cinnamon). I used a couple of recipes from the book and they were all very tasty, I especially loved the Shakshuka (which I made with coriander instead of parsley). Even Daniel liked it, so that’s a good sign that it’s not just healthy but also tasty (I like to fool myself into thinking things are delicious when they’re not, just because they’re healthy sometimes).
For many recipes there’s little notes at the bottom of the page that tell you for example about the vitamin c content of the dish, which I personally find very motivating, particularly because I’m not a huge calorie counter, but I do care a lot about what I put in my body and ensuring that I get enough vitamins.
Overall I think it’s a great little recipe book for everyone, whether you’re actually following the 5:2 diet or whether you’re just looking out to incorporating more and more healthy dishes into your diet. If you’re interested, you can order the book here for £8.39.
Note: This book was sent to me as a PR sample, so I could review it on my blog. Second of all, it’s still my own opinion, I’m not paid to say anything positive or something.