Dukan Diet

What is it? The Dukan diet is a four phase plan that is essentially a variation of the low-carb and high protein diet philosophy. There is no limit to the volume you can eat during the four phases, as long as you stick to the foods prescribed on the plan. In phase 1 (the attack phase), you undergo a strict, lean protein diet comprised of animal meats, fish, eggs and low fat dairy foods. Some allowance is made for fibre by allowing 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran per day. This phase runs for 5 days and is meant to shed weight quickly. Carbs are off limits. The difference to the Atkins diet is that Dukan bans all vegetables and seriously restricts fats in phase 1 Phase 2 (the cruise phase), non starchy vegetables are re-introduced every second day. This phase is meant to last as long as it takes for you to reach your goal weight (weeks or months). Phase 3 (consolidation phase) sees the re-introduction of fruit, cheese some starch foods and the occasional treat Phase 4 (stabilisation phase) allows you to return to eating whatever you like, as long as you keep one day per week as a high protein, no carb day. To summarise: Pros: Can shed weight very quickly No need to count calories No restriction on how much you can eat, so long as you stick to the plan Cons: The first few weeks are not nutritionally balanced and can lead to deficiencies (hence the requirement for supplements) Can lead to constipation early on (hence the oat bran) Doesn't change the long term nutritional food balance of the individual (i.e. returns to "normal" eating) The focus on high amounts of animal protein are not healthy over the long term  

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5:2 Diet

What is it? The 5:2 diet became popular in 2012, and is based on the idea of intermittent fasting. This means that you eat normally for 5 days a week and then restrict your intake of food for two non-consecutive days a week (less than 500Cal or 2100KJ for women and 600Cal or 2500KJ for men). A simplified way of describing the diet is "feast and famine". It is claimed that this diet helps in weight loss, reduces the risk of mental decline (such as Alzheimers) and aids longevity. There are also claims it can help in diabetes. The idea of fasting in our culture is usually tied to religious reasons, but biologically, our species has a long history of surviving hunger and deprivation. It may be that many of our diseases are caused by excessive eating and constantly full bowels, so it makes sense to allow some "purge time" to allow the bowels to empty. However, the problem with this diet is the other 5 days of "normal" eating, which can undo the benefits of the fast days. If your diet is otherwise unhealthy then the long term benefits of the fasting days may be neutralised. So with the 5:2 diet it is critical to make sure that you are not overeating on your feast days, nor eating unhealthy foods. However, given its simplicity, this diet may be suitable for people who otherwise eat well and just that little extra boost for weight loss. To summarise: Pros: Fairly easy to do Self-administered Can have wider health benefits Cons: There is no guidance or restriction on feast days (relies on common sense) Can lead to overeating on feast days Short term fasting side effects such as headaches, light headedness and dehydration can be a problem

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White bait, Flathead fillet and spinach

  Ingredients: Purchase some white bait and flathead fillets from your local fishmonger. Fresh white bait should still have firmness and not be too soft or squishy. Flathead fillets are a lovely soft white fleshed fish to use when feeding fussy kids. 1 bunch Fresh English Spinach 1 cup of either flour or almond meal (if you want to avoid gluten) 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt and pepper to taste   Method: Wash, then roughly chop the spinach and put into a steamer. Generously coat a large pan with oil (extra-light olive oil is good) so that there is a 5mm layer over the bottom, and place it on the stove When the pan has heated sufficiently to crisp and bubble a pinch of flour, place the flour/almond meal into a ziplock or other plastic bag along with some salt and pepper and put the fish into it, sealing the bag and shaking the contents until they are nicely coated. Don't leave them in the bag too long or they will go sticky. Remove fish from the bag and fry them in the pan, being careful not to put too many in at once. Turn them over when golden underneath. It should only take a few minutes to fry the fish to a golden colour, then remove and place them on some paper to drain off. As the last batch of fish is set to fry, steam the spinach and then season with some freshly crushed garlic, olive oil and pepper. Plate the fish, using the spinach as an accompaniment. Add a squeeze of lemon juice over the fish as a final enhancement and garnish with some parsley or sliced shallots.

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Bunless Burgers

Bunless burger 250 grams grass fed beef mince meat 250 grams of pork mince 50 grams of pork liver cut finely (optional)... 2 celery stalks chopped finally half a medium size carrot chopped finely bunch of parsley chopped finely Portobello flat mushroomsPut all ingredients into a bowl and mix it together until the ingredients are all combined. Make hand size patties and fry them in a shallow pan with 3 tbl spoons of olive oil. Alternatively, grill it on a BBQ or a grill pan. Grill or pan fry the Portobello or any large flat mushrooms to warm them up being careful not to overcook them to avoid their going overly soft Your mushrooms become your BUN, between which you can add the patty and any other burger ingredients you prefer (such as pineapple, beetroot and lettuce). Enjoy your healthy version of this grain free Burger !

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Agave Nectar- to eat or not to eat…

Among the many natural sweeteners gaining in popularity nowadays is Agave nectar. The Agave plant is a spiky desert succulent related to the Yucca, whose sap has been boiled down into a sweet edible syrup by Native American peoples for millennia. In recent decades, industrial processing has enabled the manufacture of stable Agave syrup for commercial production, but this process is rather more complicated than traditional methods, with the resulting product being neither natural, nor particularly healthy.

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