Well, I’ve had a fun two weeks!

RadioTalk Social Media Special… hosted by me?!

BBC Bristol Spoken Word Project

Michael Sheen’s 80s (28th Dec 2013)

Did the social media for this one:

Sir Cliff Richard on BBC Radio 2 (24th Dec 2013)

Another one of mine…

Jon & Miranda on BBC Radio 2 (23rd Dec 2013)

Wot I did produce and do the social media for…

The Best Cheap & Cheerful Christmas Jumpers

As part of my its-a-real-job-honestly job as a radio producer, I recently asked for some cheap and cheery Christmas jumper suggestions on Twitter. People were not backwards about coming festively forwards, which makes me think that all this chat about Christmas being more traditional this year might be right on the money.

Anyway, here is my pick of the best cheap and cheerful winter knits of 2013:

Peacocks Retro Skier Jumper, £12.80
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TK Maxx Blue & White Hairy Reindeer Jumper, £16.99
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Select Red Reindeer Snow Jumper, £12
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George Mens Ski Scene Jumper, £12
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Peacocks Mens Hoho Knitted Jumper, £17.60
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The 5:2 Diet – Easy Lunch and Dinner Options

I’ve been doing the 5:2 diet on and off for the past year, having watched Michael Mosley’s Horizon programme towards the end of last year, Eat Fast and Live Longer.

I was surprised by how easy it was to stick to, but mostly by how much better I felt after a diet day – so much so, that I would find myself almost looking forward to Tuesday and Thursday (my chosen days).

The main issue I had with the fasting diet / 2 day diet / 5:2 diet cookbooks or other blog posts is that they seem to assume you have endless time for preparing and cooking meals. As a freelancer, I can’t guarantee what I’ll be up to on any given day, so the most important thing to me was to find some options that worked whether I was out and about or at home.

I haven’t found anything online that suggests really easy meal options, so I’ve come up with a couple of my own. Whenever I meet someone who is doing the 5:2, it’s great hearing what they do to make the diet work for them, so if you’re looking for some ideas, I hope this is of use!

Here are the main meals I end up eating on any given diet day:

5:2 Diet Lunch

39322011_HIf I’m working from home, my go-to 5:2 diet lunch is Heinz chicken noodle soup. The recommended serving size of just half a tin is 62 calories, so I eat the whole thing for 124 calories.

If I’m eating out, I tend to look out for a plain side salad with a light dressing, such as the Marks And Spencer Side Salad with Lemon Dressing for 50 calories (I tend to add a Fruit Salad for 75 calories). An alternative is Pret’s Tuna Nicoise Salad (without the dressing) for 168 calories.

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5:2 Diet Dinners

Evening meals are far easier. I tend to save up my calories during the day, keeping it below 200 and then have a proper dinner of around 300 calories.

Fish is a favourite, as its low cal, but satisfyingly flavourful and filling. The Saucy Fish Co or similar supermarket fish and sauce packs work well on top of a simple salad, for a 200-300 calorie feast.

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Or for an even quicker tea, there are a couple of good ready meals out there with a calorie count of below 300. This one from Waitrose, Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni is pretty good value too.

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5:2 Diet Puddings

At the end of a Diet Day, I like to treat myself, even in a small way, so it’s great to have a couple of low calorie treats around. We like the Activia 0% Raspberry Yogurts (68 cals) and mini meringues (25 cals).

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Enjoy!