Cookbook Conundrums | The Fast 800

This Geeky Tangent This Geeky Kitchen

Food is one of my favourite things, and my biggest daemon. I am a stress eater, and a boredom eater. Over the last few months (I can pretty much pin-point it to March, when my trousers last fitted) I’ve been stress eating to the max and not moving nearly enough!

My mum, the fountain of all knowledge and the recommender of good things (when I decide I’ll actually listen) told me all about the Fast 800 recipe book when I was last home. Now, I’m not a dieter, I love food, and this concept appeals to me – it’s not removing any food groups. It’s based around a Mediterranean-style diet, subtly lowering your calorie intake, but ultimately leading to an all round better way of eating by simply being mindful of what you eat for the long-term goal of all-round better health.

I am in no way a calorie counter, but I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Now I’ve only semi-embarked upon this – I got the book and promptly got sick – but my mum cooked a few things from the book when I was home, and I’ve cooked three recipes from the book, plus used other aspect of it for inspiration. I’m on week two of my mindful eating kick and feeling great.

Before I run through all the recipes I picked, I’m going to introduce a couple of infographics I’m going to start using for my This Geeky Kitchen posts. They’ll give you a general idea of calories per serving, if you’re into that sort of thing. In the future, I’ll put the recipe key at the bottom of each TGK post!

This handy little key will remind you what each colour means when attached to the per serving graphic on the right.

For breakfast, I picked the Chocolate Granola (page 20). The per serving details are in the example post above, but I’ll throw it in here too!

With only six ingredients (five if you take away the milk), this is simple and delicious. Melting coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder together makes a mixture that looks just like melted chocolate, and it’s vegan to boot! The mixed nuts add instant variety, and the above calculations are based on using full-fat milk (I use almond milk, because it like me better than regular milk does!!)

I have enjoyed this so much that I write this with a second batch in the oven!

Next up, we have Spiced Bean and Spinach Soup (page 59).

This soup was hearty, spicy and warming. The recipe said it serves three – I made four portions, but should have double checked the three. Nice as this was, three goes in a week was definitely my limit for this one. That said, I’d make again!

Last but not least we have Dan’s Veggie Bolognese.

OK. I confess. I’ve never actually made a bolognese before… I remember watching my flatmate make one on the regular at uni, and it always smelled incredible. Making this really reminded me of her.

This one, made with lentils and quorn, and eaten with courgetti spaghetti, was filling, moorish and smelled divine. As with the soup, after three rounds I’d had my fill (this one feeds four) but again, I can see myself making this again.

The courgetti spaghetti was such a success I’ve been throwing together a pasta and pesto hybrid this week – so easy to make on the spot!


Overall, the general concept I’m going for here is portion control and being mindful of what I’m eating (aka cutting out as much sugar as possible). So far, this has gone pretty well. I feel brighter, more alert and am slowly feeling more myself in my body again.

No one expects this to be an overnight thing, but feeling this good, this quickly, has been a fabulous confidence booster, and as I said earlier, I’ve not exactly been sticking to this 24/7. I would gestimate that I’m doing more a rough 4:3 (four days more mindful, 3 days more ‘free’), than the 5:2.

At the end of the day, it’s about finding what works for you, and without a doubt this book has been the launchpad that really is helping me feel significantly more me – and I can’t really ask for more than that!


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