Plant based food plan can be so satiating, rich in flavour and low in calories. I loathe calorie counting as it so often sets up an unhealthy relationship with food. However, it is well known that eating a diet rich in nutrients and keeping within a reasonable weight range promotes longevity so its important to strike a balance.
Using the 5:2 approach if you do need to lose some weight can work well as after a few weeks of counting calories on those fasting days it is useful to get to grips with how eating a plant-based diet allows ample food if we choose the right types. Then after a few weeks we can ease off with the counting as we become used to the types of meals that work.
Here is a typical autumn fasting day. Plenty of delicious food so hunger should not be an issue.
Breakfast – Greek Yogurt with fruit under 100 calories
1 chopped kiwi: 42 calories 3tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt: 24 calories 50g blueberries/raspberries: 29 calories
Lunch – 110 calories per serving
Butternut squash Soup – serves 4
500ml Vegetable stock
200ml Reduced Fat Coconut milk
1 handful Fresh Coriander (Cilantro) (Stems removed and reserved.)
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
500g Butternut Squash (Deseeded and cut into chunks. Peeled if you like)
100g Shallots (Peeled and quartered)
10g Fresh ginger (Peeled and chopped)
2 cloves Garlic (Chopped)
Pre-heat your oven to 200c. Place the squash, garlic and shallots in a roasting tin and sprinkle over the oil. Mix well. Roast for 45 minutes, reducing the heat if the shallot shows signs of caramelising
Once the squash is soft, put the content of the roasting tin into a large saucepan and add the coriander stems and ginger. Blitz well, if necessary adding a little water to the mixture
Add all the stock to the mixture and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and taste. Season with salt and pepper as necessary.
Serve with the fresh coriander leaves as a garnish.
Cod and Mango Salsa – around 300 cal.
2 x 125g skinless cod
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 small mango, peeled, stoned and chopped (or 2 peaches, stoned and chopped)
1 small avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced
¼ cucumber, chopped
160g cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
2 spring onions, sliced
handful chopped coriander
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the fish in a shallow ovenproof dish and pour over half the lime juice, with a little of the zest, then grind over some black pepper. Bake for 8 mins or until the fish flakes easily but is still moist.
Meanwhile, put the rest of the ingredients, plus the remaining lime juice and zest, in a bowl and combine well. Spoon onto plates and top with the cod, spooning over any juices in the dish.
This last one is from bbcgoodfood.com