Health Blog

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

Garlic Prawns

Ingredients: Australian fresh tiger prawns (peeled, deveined, tails intact) Fresh chopped parsley Glass of dry white wine (optional) Freshly chopped garlic Extra virgin olive oil Freshly chopped chili or dry chili flakes Method: In the pan add olive oil ,fry gently chopped garlic, add prawns, glass of white wine, chili. Keep stirring for 3-5 min. Remove from heat and add chopped parsley. Spoon prawns into serving bowls and enjoy with crusty bread as a dipper or on its own! Makes a great seafood entre, especially in winter.

Roasted pumpkin and quinoa salad

Ingredients: 500 g Butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2.5cm cubes... 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 2 tsp Moroccan seasoning 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained 2 tbs lemon juice 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves Method: Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan forced. Place pumpkin, oil, seasoning in a bowl. Toss to coat. Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast for 20-25mins or until golden and tender. Meanwhile place quinoa and 1 1/2 cups cold water in a saucepan over high heat. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-12 mins or until liquid is absorbed.

Grilled Salmon fillet

Ingredients: Fresh Atlantic or Tasmanian salmon fillets Extra light olive oil for cooking Dried Herb garnish: Pepper, dried parsley, powdered garlic, dried oregano Alternative Herb drizzle: 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped; fresh parsley, finely chopped; squeeze of lemon juice; extra virgin olive oil Salt to taste Seasonal vegetables steamed or roasted.   Method: Grill the fillet on a high heat grill or BBQ plate with the skin up. After a couple of minutes, gently flip the fillet skin down (if you grill it this way you prevent the skin shrivelling and curling the fillet). Remove from heat when a golden crust forms. Avoid cooking for too long otherwise the flesh will become too dry. Plate the fish on a pre-warmed plate and eother sprinkle the dry herb garnish or drizzle the alternative herb and oil mixture. Serve with seasonal vegetables and a salad for a quick and simple, yet delicious and nutritious seafood meal.

Veggie stack

Ingredients: Tomato, bocconcini, Asparagus For the dressing: Extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar Garnish: Salt & Pepper to taste, freshly chopped basil.   Method: Blanche or grill the asparagus till soft, then assemble the stack in alternating layers. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy as a light summer lunch, or entre.