Well it has been awhile. It feels like the blink of an eye but it is almost three years since I last posted. That’s life in the fast lane for you. Working full time (and then some), running a household, raising a couple of teenager/almost teenager beasties and study leaves very little time for blogging.

Part of living this crazy lifestyle means that these days I do the bulk of the weekly cooking on a Saturday. That way when I get home from work late and I have a mountain of marking to do or a paper to write or Big needs to be rushed to soccer or Little needs to be picked up from her dance classes or all of those things simultaneously, people can feed themselves when they are ready to eat. Having said that, most nights we do still get to sit down at the table together and eat as a family.

Another lifestyle shift that I have embarked on is the 5:2 way of eating. Working full time for the last two years plus age related factors saw a waistline expansion that I am not prepared to live with. By the end of last term I had had enough and decided drastic action was needed. After some research I decided the idea of intermittent fasting and the 5:2 diet seemed sound and sustainable and well worth a try. I am very glad I did. It is exactly what my body needs at this stage of life.

The trick to this sort of change is making it a sustainable lifestyle choice. For a busy Mum this has two factors. Firstly, calorie counting is a pain in the backside. The solution to this is having a range of seasonal recipes for fast days that you know the calorie count for. The second factor is that fast day meals need to cater to the whole family to avoid cooking separate meals. This is slightly trickier as these meals need to not only meet the fast day calorie requirements for the intermittent faster but still satisfy the substantially higher calorie requirements of rapidly growing teens. I am aiming to find the time to provide you with a weekly post that meets those requirements.

With the warmer weather finally approaching, let’s start with a salad.

Tuna Bean Salad with Pita Chips. 

Serves 4.

I adapted the salad from


You should totally check her out, she has a huge range of awesome 5:2 meals that have been massively helpful in getting me going and keeping me inspired.

Tuna Bean Salad

425g can tuna in springwater (472 calories)

2 cups dry cannellini beans soaked and cooked or 2 x 400g tins (140 calories per 100 grams cooked – 525 calories in mine)

½ red onion, finely diced (34 calories)

1 cup chopped parsley (22 calories)


lemon juice and zest (14 calories)

2 cloves garlic (6 calories)

salt and pepper

1 teaspoon paprika


Cook beans if using dried or warm tinned beans for a minute in the microwave.

Flake tuna with a fork and combine with beans, onion and parsley.

Mix dressing ingredients together and toss through salad while beans are warm, this will enhance the uptake of the dressing.

Total calories 1073 calories

Makes 5.5 cups = 195 calories/cup


Pita Chips

30 mls olive oil (360 calories)

pinch salt

2 cloves garlic (6 calories)

1 teaspoon paprika

2.5 pieces wholemeal pita bread, cut into 1/8s (231 calories per slice – total 578 calories)


Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Whisk oil, salt, garlic and paprika together.

Lay pita wedges on baking trays and lightly brush on each side with the oil mixture.

Bake for about 10 minutes, turning once after five minutes. Ready when golden.

total calories = 944

20 slices @ 47 calories per slice

Garlic Pita Crisps