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:
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
If 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.
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.
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.
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).
Love this woman! Based on her Edinburgh gigs, this album should be pretty special. You can buy it here.
Very close to my heart – this was one of the readings at our wedding after we heard Mark perform it at Latitude in 2012.
Amazing to see it visualised like this!
I am a bit obsessed with this – they were amazing at Maida Vale…
Have been playing this on repeat!
Wow, I LOVE THIS
I feel a bit behind the times with this one…!