Hello Southern Hemispherites!!

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  • Good afternoon Neil and Cinque,
    hope you are both enjoying a relaxing boxing day.

    Jelly Bones. The best source of info would be one of Michael Mosley’s books. But these links may also help:
    an article about the book/program:
    the website that supports the 800cal program:

    The 800cal a day is a significant commitment that will drastically impact your lifestyle. However with such dramatic restriction to your daily calories, you will lose weight quickly. There is also research evidence that rapid weight loss combined with a Mediterranean program can reverse type 2 diabetes in some people. (This is a reason Michael Mosley gave for developing it.)
    Over a longer term 5:2 is very sustainable, but it will naturally have much slower weight loss as you are only cutting back on calories for 2 days out of 7. I think that’s why so many of us have stuck to 5:2 while in maintenance as it’s easy and help us keep our weight stable. How quickly you lose weight on 5:2 varies significantly and will depend a lot on how much and what you eat on the 5 days when you aren’t restricting calories. You need to be sure you having a bit more to eat on those 5 days to compensate for the 2 days when you cut back – it’s easy to do that without even realising. Just being aware is half the battle with this.

    I think Cinque’s idea is a good one. Try the different approaches and find a path you can stick to over the long term.

    Correction: the sentence should have read:
    “You need to be sure you are not having a bit more to eat on those 5 days to compensate for the 2 days when you cut back…”

    Thanks LJoyce & Cinque – Greatly appreciated 🙂

    Good morning, Lovely here at the moment and I have just watered my garden, which was a pleasure.

    I hoped to make veggie crust tarts, but missed my chance yesterday. I don’t want to put the oven on now, if I can avoid it. I’ll aim for next Tuesday when the cool change hits.
    I’ll make little ricotta balls with herbs, with the ricotta I was going to use as filling, to have with the eggplant bake I made yesterday.
    I also made a big batch of carrot dip, so I am set for some hot days.

    Hoping those of you in hotter and smokier places are bearing up.

    Also, I am hoping that everyone who has been overeating feast food have been able to have a couple of good big sleeps and are looking forward to leaner meals and lots of excellent fast days.

    Drink lots of water and remember ‘eat real food, not too much, mostly plants’.

    Cheers all

    Good afternoon all.

    Cinque, ricotta balls sound nice. As a fresh cheese, I tend to spread ricotta on raw veggie sticks, but combining with herbs and making little balls sounds like a good idea – I’d never considered that. I have stuffed it into cherry tomatoes, but that’s a very fiddly exercise.
    I have also planned how to get through the hot days without using the oven. Our cool change arrives Tuesday too.
    Hope you can stay cool until then.

    I hard boiled a dozen eggs last night and today I turned them into curried eggs – which I love. I wanted a tasty protein/fat snack on hand for my hot weather 800cal days. I tend to resort to slices of cheddar if I don’t prepare something else and that’s a bit too high in fat for a low cal day.

    I had some success at the retail sales today. I found 2 pairs of comfortable walking shoes, so my key exercise method for the next year is secured. I was getting desperate as I had worn the tread off of my two favourite pairs. Walking around the airconditioned shopping centre also got me to my steps target without having to deal with much of the heat.

    I am enjoying the new fitbit – I used to have to carry my iphone everywhere to track steps which was inconvenient with light-weight summer pants as most of mine don’t have pockets. I was wondering how to get my fitbit to give me accurate calculations for calories burned, because I know that my body burns calories at a much more economical rate than average and the standard formulas are not accurate for me. I know that if I am sedentary my actual TDEE is 1380cals. I used the TDEE calculator on this site and experimented with various options. I found out that if I list my weight as 20kg less than it actually is, it gives me my accurate TDEE, so I’ve put those numbers into my fitbit. I didn’t want it to keep giving me inflated figures for my calorie use as it might tempt me to eat a bit more if I though I was in significant deficit. Yesterday I did 9600 steps and it calculated my calories burned at roughly 1700. That sounds realistic and sustainable if I can keep moving enough – much easier to plan meals around than 1380cals is. Although the luxury of using those calories is a few weeks away, as I’m sticking with the mostly 800cal days for the time being until I get my weight down by at least 4kg. That will take me 1kg into my comfort range and any further adjustment I can manage more slowly with just 5:2.

    Have a nice evening all.

    Good morning from the week outside time, those days between Christmas and New Year.

    LJoyce, the fitbit sounds beaut! And hooray for good comfortable walking shoes.

    The ricotta balls, sigh.
    I usually buy ricotta as a fresh wedge and love it. I first made ricotta balls from Charmaine Solomon’s Indian recipes from the time before paneer availability here, and she used ricotta instead. I still prefer it when I make Matar Paneer. And I also use it often adding to veggie burgers.
    So I decided to do a sort of in between thing with a container of ricotta my daughter gave me, that she wasn’t using. Now I discover I don’t really like ricotta from containers, even when drained well and mixed with some yummy flavours. So there is a lesson learnt.

    I’m having a lovely breakfast, home made bread, toasted, with tomato slices, a little kimchi, homemade carrot dip spread over, parsley and some kippers on top. It may sound a strange combo but it is delicious. (+ one serve veggies)

    It is slow to warm up today, which is very kind, but it must be time to close up the house. Best wishes all.

    Cinque, I agree about the difference between the tubs of creamed ricotta and the wedges of ricotta from the deli – they are like different cheeses. The only use I can ever find for the tubs is as a spread for toast/crackers or as part of a baked filling, especially something with lots of eggs like a quiche or zucchini slice.

    I finally weighed in this morning. I’m still 400g up from the christmas excesses, despite 2 FDs. I shudder to think what I would have weighted if I’d hopped on the scales on boxing day. I will continue with my 800cal days and hopefully see a downward trend soon.

    I’m going to see the movie “Knives Out” with friends this afternoon. It has good reviews so I’m oping it will be enjoyable.

    Have a lovely day everyone.

    Cinque, I came across this no-knead bread recipe:
    https://www.notquitenigella.com/2019/12/28/christmas-leftover-recipes/ (you have to scroll down a bit to get to the bread instructions)
    I imagine that you could expand the roasted veg options to include pumpkin, sweet potato, parsnip or cauliflower. I know you often make a no-knead loaf and I thought this recipe might help you get to your 7 veg a day target too.
    I’m trying not to eat bread at the moment while on 800 cal days, but I’ve filed this away for later as I roast veg often.

    Evening all

    I’m off camping with my boys for a couple of days. We’re staying at the same place I stayed at when riding the cycle trail, so I’ll take our bikes and kayaks and do a bit of outdoors stuff (devices to be left at home!!)

    I’ve been really busy today. We got all our new furniture so we’re trying to get everything arranged and organised.

    LJoyce, 400 grams is nothing, that’s just a glass and a half of water. I’m sure you’ll be back down in no time. The curried eggs sound good, and it’s a great idea to prepare a big batch. My New Year resolution when I go back to work is to prepare my day’s lunch/snacks ahead of time so I’m not tempted to buy food.

    Cinque, the Ricotta balls sound interesting. I’ve been looking into making my own haloumi cheese, and the recipes say you can make ricotta as a by-product with the whey after you make the haloumi. I might give it a go once I’ve got our living room and kitchen sorted. I’m also looking forward to hanging Crazy’s painting now we’ve got the renovations sorted.

    Jelly, have you settled on a plan of attack with your eating plan? Let us know how you’re going.

    Have a great day everyone, and don’t you ockers give me too much hassle when you thrash us again in the cricket 😢

    Hi Neilithicman

    Thanks for asking 🙂 In answer to your question….I’ve decided to do the 5:2 fasting.

    I’ve done one fast day so far (Boxing Day, which was really easy, after being a bit of a glutton on Christmas Day), and another on Monday next.

    I’ve decided to make Mondays and Thursdays my fasting days.

    Happy camping 🙂

    Hi everyone im glad everything is getting back to normal, but must admit ive been good havent missed a fast day or been excessive

    Jelly, welcome i do 4.3 but started 5.2 i do absolutely nothing else just the fast days, its slow but its happening..

    Neil i wont even watch the cricket, but ive just finished the dragon painting for my grandson no idea how to post it so will probably just email you lol and i hope your painting gives you great joy…

    I hope you are all ok with the fires, hope you are ok weather wise in the UK and the States

    I lurk most days, have been busy with court duties and been asked to be support for mental health. It’s going to tie in with my court roster i thought i would slow down once retired its a joke i think lol

    Have a prosperous New Year every one in all ways take care

    Sunday 5am. Good morning all and welcome jellybones. Feeling drained by the ongoing heat. Sick of being inside under the aircond. Sleep has been restless, only managing about 5 hours per night instead of my usually 7 half hours so waking up feeling very lethargic every day.

    Have little motivation for cooking with tbis heat and my freezer stocks were all but depleted a few months back so meals have been ad hoc and at times have opted for the easier option rather than the healthiest. My weight is trending upwards again, feel bloated and as a result feeling very depressed with myself.

    Neil your time away with your boys sounds great – I love kyacking but haven’t done it for many years. Unfortunately MissD has spent way too much time in front of electronic devices lately but it is difficult not to be for a 12 year old when she’s stuck inside 24/7 for weeks in end.

    I meant to ask Ljoyce about the ricotta discussion. Wedges of ricotta ? I’ve purchased the tubs of creamed ricotta before and also the one that sits in a draining basket and is like tufts of wobbly cheese ( bad description I know but couldn’t work out how to describe it). Are wedges sold in the service deli of the supermarket ? Is it usually displayed like feta in large tubs in it’s liquid or is it pre-wraped individually ?

    We love eggs too and OH adores curried eggs. Now the chooks and ducks are laying prolifically it’s become a Sunday afternoon ritual to hard boil and peel 3 dozen eggs for OH and I to eat during the week for easy snacks and to add to our work lunches.

    Neil although I am on 5 weeks leave at the moment I always pre-prepare work lunches for OH and myself. Whether it’s leftovers from the night before or a simple salad with a bit of planning it’s easy to do. Although I understand that with 2 growing boys there may not be any leftovers in your household !

    Good morning all

    I continue to rely on the large shopping centre nearby to provide a venue for walking. It’s too hot to walk outside for any more than about 20 minutes even with a hat and shirt to keep the sun off. The only problem is the throng of shoppers that I need to weave my way around.
    I’ll be heading over again this morning with a friend as we have some shopping to do. I’m looking for a pair of black sandals as mine are getting too tatty to wear anymore. I also need to start looking for a bracelet for a great-niece’s 21st. Where did that time go – I have clear memories of her as a little girl and it doesn’t seem that long ago.

    GDSA, the deli counters in the larger supermarkets sell ricotta from a wheel that they cut wedges from. I think is made in a basket like the other one you described but it’s had time to drain properly and I suspect it’s been weighted too to press more of the liquid out. It ends up fairly similar in texture to paneer or greek feta. It still has the texture and flavour of a fresh soft farm cheese, but much less watery than the tubs. It’s always behind the counter, so you need to get deli staff to cut it and it’s usually next to the feta. This image is the closest I could find to what the wheels of ricotta look like: https://imgur.com/d333vbw
    My local supermarkets have two types: a traditional low fat ricotta – traditionally it’s made from the whey that’s leftover from making hard cheeses, so it is naturally low fat; and they also sell a full fat version which is just made from fresh milk – a nice cheese but not a traditional ricotta.
    To give you an idea of the texture of the ricotta I buy in a wedge – I can slice it or crumble it (like feta), but with a fork I can also mash it.
    If you can buy those baskets of ricotta but you can’t buy it in wedges, then you might be able to create a firmer texture by weighting it and then draining the whey out. To weight it you need a plate that is only just slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the basket. Place that onto the top of the cheese then weight it with a large tin or jar from the pantry (or old scale weights if you have them). Leave it in a cool spot where the liquid can drain away – I’m not sure how long it would require. I sometimes make my own paneer and I usually leave it like this overnight.

    CrazyA, it sounds like your life just gets busier. I hope you are enjoying it though.

    JellyB, glad you have chosen a path and also glad to hear that the first FD was easy. I think the idea of them is more daunting than the reality, especially in how weather when we are more likely to be thirsty than hungry.

    Neil, enjoy that time away on the water with the boys. Sounds like fun.

    Time I got moving. Have a nice day all.

    Good morning from Melbourne. Hot today, but it will be ‘Gday hot’ tomorrow.

    Fast Day for me! I must make the dashi for my miso soup.

    LJoyce, Thankyou so much for sharing that recipe. Such a good idea, and I can imagine it going so well accompanying a stew or soup, or fresh with cheese. I do sometimes get veggies into my bread, my favourite being mashed pumpkin or sweet potato, and potato is excellent too. They give wonderful texture and flavour,but I hadn’t thought of putting them in in lumps!

    Sending best wishes. Hopefully another couple of 800 days will rid you of that Christmas excess, and have you heading down to your new goal weight. I hope it is a quiet day at the shopping centre so you can get your steps in unimpeded. Good luck finding those sandals.

    Neil, what a wonderful trip. And getting into cheesemaking too! Haloumi and ricotta would be just wonderful. I have made ricotta/paneer a few times (with whole milk) and it is so delicious. The whey left over is wonderful too!

    JellyBones, congratulations on your first fast day. Haha, yes, being full from the day before does help!

    Crazy, isn’t it nice to get through Christmas without overdoing it. And you didn’t even lose track of the days like I did.
    How glad people with mental health difficulties will be to have someone who understands the system giving them support. It is so important, but I hope you still get plenty of painting in, and time to look after yourself.

    Gday, I have so much sympathy. Life just goes on hold with the hot weather doesn’t it. I am glad Miss D has those electronic devices to help her through.
    Hooray for the eggs, will you get a chance to sit down and work out meals for the next little time? When you are exhausted and depleted everything is hard. A fast day will be an easy day! (she says hopefully).

    I loved LJoyce’s run down of fresh ricotta. If SA is like Victoria you just ask for 300g (or whatever) of the fresh ricotta at the deli and they cut it for you. (Always a bit over of course!). I like using it the day I buy it, or the next, as it does go off quickly.

    I also love baked ricotta, always savoury these days (Oh I miss ricotta cheesecake) and I use it in quiches too which is why I was going to make those veggie crust tarts with it.

    I’m tired today because:
    5am Miso the cat: “I want to go out now, the birds are waking up”
    Cinque: Shush!
    5:20 am M: How about now?
    C: Shush, not til 6am!
    5:30 am M: Is it 6am now?
    5:34 am M: Is it 6am now?
    5:46 am M: Is it 6am now?
    5:48 am M: Is it 6am now?
    5:58 am M: Is it 6am now?
    C: Ok close enough. Let her out.
    6:05 am M: I’d like to come back in now and have a bite to eat!
    C: Grr, ok.
    6:12 M: I want to go out again now!
    C: Grr, ok.
    6:18 M: Help! The grey cat is here!
    C: Ok I’m getting up

    Cinque, I had quite a giggle at your description of Miso’s morning pestering. Had me rethinking whether I really do want a cat!
    I have only made bread with veggie chunks in it once before and I cut my pieces a bit smaller than the recipe I posted – mine were roughly 1-1.5cm cubes.

    Good morning, it is our ‘Gday hot’ day.
    Such an enormous evacuation of East Gippsland, I’m hoping so hard the day goes much better than feared.

    I had a good fast day yesterday and, yes, it is my lovely morning after fast day. Such a good feeling.

    LJoyce, re the vegetable bread, the big chunks look wonderfully rustic, but I think little ones would work better!

    Miso was well behaved this morning, thank goodness.
    I’m going with my daughter to take the littlies to see Frozen 2. I think I might find it hardest to last it out, it is long, but the cinema will be cool.

    Sending good wishes out to everyone, JellyBones and maybe Thin will be fasting, cheers to others who are too.

    I’m off to cover my basil seedlings (they are settling in nicely) and get my glad rags on, Best wishes all.

    Hi Cinque, you’re dead right! I’m fasting today. I made The Hairy Dieters’ chicken tikka masala for dinner, tiny portion for me, that’s all I’ve had besides tea and coffee. And I’m feeling a little hungry tonight. Thinking about breakfast …. I also fasted last Sunday which set me up for Christmas indulgences so I’m doing OK but I need to stay vigilant on the 6:1 regime. We spent several days over Christmas with DD and my brother – which he says was the first time in 48 years!

    We’re heading over to Spain next weekend for a few weeks. Get this antipodeans – flights are £20! I have to keep pinching myself that it will take 2-3 hours, not 23 hours and we don’t have to spend $1000! I don’t suppose you want to hear how cold it is here.

    Welcome JellyBones. It’s never too late. I found out about 5:2 when I was 58 (years, not kilos). After battling my weight most of my adult life, I’m now 63 and 25 kgs lighter. Good for you for joining us on Christmas Day!

    Happy, Healthy New Year everyone.

    Actually Thin, I would be happy to hear about your cold weather – it’s the closest we are going to get to it any time soon! I do envy those of you in Europe who have a dozen countries that are just a short flight or train ride away. Enjoy Spain – I assume you are looking for a reprieve from those cold temperatures.

    Enjoy the time with the grandies Cinque. If it gets to be too much, just have a nap in the airconditioned comfort of a cinema seat.

    After looking in all of the jewellery store at the shopping centre I did manage to find a silver bangle with a row of tiny diamond chips in it that was within budget – thanks to the boxing day sales cutting the price in half. I thought it would make a perfect 21st gift so I’ve bought that for my great-niece.

    I have done a little grocery shopping this morning – mainly things I need to make a birthday cake for new year’s day – I’m thinking a raspberry and passionfruit layer cake.

    The nurse is coming this afternoon to do my infusion, so I tried to stay as close to 500 cals as possible yesterday. I don’t normally do 500 cals days when I’m on daily 800cals but I didn’t want to risk any side effects from the infusion.

    I’m feeling a bit stiff and bruised today as I fell over when walking home from the shopping centre yesterday. I tripped over my own feet – I kid you not. (I had a PE (gym) teacher in high school who said I was a danger to myself and others – maybe she wasn’t just being mean.) My ribs are a bit bruised but not painful enough to be broken so I’m sure it’s ok. I wish it wasn’t such hot weather – I think a soak in a hot bath with epsom salts would help but I can’t face that on a hot day.

    Time for a bit of lunch I think.

    There are a couple of recipe sites I check regularly. I found these soup recipes on one of those sites. https://organic.riverford.co.uk/january-soup-19
    (There’s a pdf file for soup recipes for butternut, tomatoes, cauliflower, beetroot – each pdf has a basic recipe and several variations)
    Although it’s not soup weather, some of the veg they use is in season, so I’m thinking it’s a good time to make and freeze for autumn.

    I was just looking at pictures a friend posted on FB of their holiday in New Zealand. As I write they are at Milford Sound. It’s cold, raining, overcast, misty…..it looks absolutely delightful and I soooo want to be there right now. We are about to have a dry thunderstorm here….perfect conditions for a lightning strike fire.

    Ljoyce thank you for the ricotta info I will look next time I’m at the supermarket.

    Cinque I absolutely loved your morning cat ritual description. Gave me a good belly laugh indeed.

    LJ, sorry to hear about that fall. I took a tumble a year or so ago in Perth when a shoe came off while hurrying across the road to beat a traffic light. It was spectacular. Although painful, it was the embarrassment that hurt the most with so many people watching and wanting to help. I just wanted to hobble home.

    Yes, we’re going to Spain to thaw out although today’s something of a heatwave at 10C. As penguin mentioned, the weekend before Christmas, there was some serious flooding further south. DD has a week off and she’s chosen to embrace the cold further with a trip to Reykjavik. The cold weather doesn’t stop us getting out and taking long, bracing walks whereas I remember being held hostage to the air-con during Perth’s stifling summers.

    Christmas in England has been a delight. I feel as if we’re living in the idyllic picture often painted by penguin at this time of year. Although the boat is toasty warm, it’s definitely not cruising weather. Your hands just won’t co-operate. So we’ll winterise it and resume in a couple of months. After 3 months aboard, we will miss it.

    Cinque, I hope you enjoyed the movie. Cold in the movies and cold subject matter.

    My FD paid off with a handsome 900g loss this morning. Yeah for fasting.

    Thinking of you all and hoping things cool down soon.

    Morning all.

    First up here’s Crazy’s cool dragon painting that she did for her grandson


    Back from Central and had a great trip, lots of kayaking, cycling, swimming, cherries and cricket. We went out to Pinder’s Pond, and it was ridiculously full. This was the picture I took at the end of October when I went up on the cycling trip https://www.flickr.com/photos/43493775@N06/48972642627/in/album-72157709225372313/

    I took that photo while sitting at the table shown in this picture that I took this morning, and when we went up a couple of days earlier even the seats were underwater, just the table top was showing. https://www.flickr.com/photos/43493775@N06/49301698176/in/album-72157709225372313/

    Also I think they have a bit of a bunny problem there. I took this pic about 7am this morning. These were just the bunnies that didn’t take off when I cycled up. There were about 5 or 6 times as many in the field beside the path that scarpered when I was cycling up https://www.flickr.com/photos/43493775@N06/49301698066/in/album-72157709225372313/

    Have a great day everyone.

    LJ, I’m sorry to hear about your fall. It’s funny you would mention soaking in a hot tub because that’s what I did this morning – the first time in the new bathtub. And I used the new shower two days ago. This tub is sized so that it doesn’t take as much water to fill and fills much faster, so I may actually use it. It has probably been a few years since I took a bath rather than a shower. https://imgur.com/a/P56lvTP I hope your ribs and knees feel better by tomorrow.

    Thin, have a lovely time in Spain and enjoy the warm weather. We’ve been around 3 – 12C here the past couple of weeks. I always seem to feel cold anyway, so all bundled up in layers. After seeing some of the record breaking temps in Aus, I shouldn’t complain. We saw pictures on the news of a koala who stopped bicyclists to beg for water. It’s heartbreaking to see the koala climbing up on the bike when I know they aren’t normally very sociable with humans. I’ve read that Australia has lost millions of animals already. Whoever is in charge of weather needs to make this stop!

    Cinque, I loved your description of Miso’s morning routine. That’s just the way cats are, too. Ours stay indoors but are constantly demanding new or different food and lots of pets.

    I haven’t seen ricotta here in blocks, only in tubs. It sound like it would be better in a block. Gday, I made curried deviled eggs a few days ago. Love them!

    Jelly, welcome to the forum. I do 5:2 as well. It may make weight loss a little slower but I think it’s easier to stick with it. It doesn’t feel like dieting. Please let us know how you’re going.

    Stay cool and stay safe everyone!

    Hello everyone.

    Thin, hope you have a lovely few weeks in Spain. I think it will makes your boat-home feel even more special when you return to it. Hope your daughter enjoys Iceland – I’ve always wanted to visit there too.
    I’m the same with being outdoors – cold and drizzle won’t stop me walking but extreme heat will (and heavy rain). Not sure about snow – I’ve never had the opportunity to test that one.
    Well done on that FD loss.

    Neil, I love that lake photo, even if the water did swallow up the seating! What lot of rabbits. We don’t see as many here as they there has been some serious efforts put in to reducing the numbers of wild rabbits.

    CrazyA, I hope your grandson loved his dragon painting.

    GDSA, I agree NZ south island has a climate that I hanker after – not sure I’d want to deal with all those rabbits though!

    Cali, such a lovely bathroom. I hope you are happy with the work the tradespeople have done and think that the disruption has been worth it.

    My plans to stick to 800cal every day is proving a struggle. I keep having the odd day where I just can’t do it. So I have decided to be realistic and set a pattern that matches what I’m able to manage. I’m going to aim for 2:5 weeks where I do 5 x 800cal days and the other 2 can be normal eating. I think that will make it more sustainable as I can’t get into the right headspace to do 800cals every single day. Yesterday started as an 800cal day but did not end as one – hence the rethink. I tend to eat in a more controlled way if I plan these things ahead of time rather than just eating lots of things in the last couple of hours of the day – which is what happened yesterday.

    We finally have a nice mild day here so I’m going walking with a friend after lunch.


    Quick note, busy morning and I must get up the street for a few essentials.

    Dr Mosley’s ‘Eat Fast and Live Longer’ is on SBS tonight at 7:30. Watching the documentary, that started 5:2 off, again to bring in the new year may be just what we need.

    Thin, nice work, have a wonderful time in Spain. How come that is cheaper than me going to visit Tasmania?
    Hooray for your lovely Christmas. Strange to read of floods when everything is tinder dry here. (I did think that when you first mentioned it Penguin, but forgot to respond).

    LJoyce I hope you are feeling okay after fall and infusion, I’m another one who can trip over my own feet.
    What a lovely jewelry find for your neice.

    Miss 3 didn’t like the dark loud cinema so we bailed before the movie started. She says she only likes films when they are on dvd. But her big sister and mum had a good time.

    Lovely soup site, thankyou! I love soups in summer, I guess it is all the liquid is so good for me.

    Oh Gday, you deserve some misty moisty weather.

    Neil wonderful pics, such beautiful water. That dragon, Crazy, brilliant. Yikes though, it is a plague of rabbits.

    Cali, aren’t baths lovely, just hard to get around to. Hooray for being able to use your shower.

    Betsy, did you get a scare yesterday with the Bundoora fire? (Melbourne suburb with bushland, near where Betsy lives). By the time I had heard there was a call for residents to evacuate, it had been downgraded (thank goodness) but I immediately thought of you.

    The horrible fire stories are closer to home today, although the real worry is in the far east of the state. Terrible times.

    Must go, it is after three already. Glad you enjoyed Miso being a pain, bad times make the best stories.

    See you next year!

    Neil, we must have posted at the same time and I just saw your pictures. Beautiful lake area but you must have had lots of rain. The dragon picture by CrazyA is amazing. Such imagination!

    It’s the end of my Monday FD. I must be careful with my food intake tomorrow so I don’t undo my fast today.


    Morena and happy New Year everyone. I hope 2020 will be as good to you as 2019 was to me.

    As Wednesday is my regular weigh-in day, I jumped on the scales this morning and I’m down 900 grams from Christmas morning. I’m sitting at 87.4 kilos for the start of the year.

    So let’s hear those new year resolutions everyone. Mine is to try to get out on my bike more often, and to try to be more organised and prepare my work lunches and snacks ahead of time, so I’m not tempted to pop off to the shop and buy food (something I was guilty of a lot this year)

    Have a great day everyone.

    Happy New Year 2020, may wisdom prevail.

    It is a daunting first morning of the new decade here, with dreadful morning news of death and destruction from the fires. Kiwi friends, I gather you are getting lots of the smoke.

    Well Neil, My main resolution is around eating nutrient dense food. I am thinking of how concentrating on 7 serves of veg a day has changed my diet for the better, and then I did re watch ‘Eat Fast and Live Longer’ last night and paid most attention to the first interview with the guy who ate an (unattractive) enormous breakfast of frozen berries and apple peel, sprinkled with something like protein powder. But somehow I am inspired anyway. So my resolution is to cut down on foods that are not nutrient dense.
    And yes, being more organised is my resolution every year! Haha, I will get there in the end.

    Thanks for your cheer Crazy.
    It is day before fast day for me.

    Best wishes all.

    Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to a new decade.

    My new year’s resolution is to get back to my goal weight and to get more exercise. Cinque, I like your plan to eat more nutritious food.

    So much death and destruction from all of the fires in Australia. It seems like no state is untouched. I pray for rain and calm breezes. I hope everyone checks in soon to let us know you are ok.

    I lost a kg over yesterday’s FD. New Years Eve food will be cold broiled prawns, a few sautéed scallops, crab cakes and pickled herring and a big salad here at home. So far I’ve only eaten an apple, banana and a single piece of sour dough toast. So this should be a low calorie day.

    I hope everyone who hasn’t posted for a while will be back in the new year. Stay safe.

    Happy new year everyone.

    Congratulations to those of you who registered a weight loss this week – exceptionally well done.

    I spent the morning making a birthday cake for my nephew’s wife, then went for a walk with a friend – we cut it short as the fire smoke was debilitating.
    I’ve spent most of the afternoon at my nephew’s place – eating cake!!
    https://imgur.com/a/ELd2erA It’s a raspberry and passionfruit layer cake with white chocolate ganache. I flavoured the cakes with fruit that I’d pureed and strained and I think it works better than artificial flavours, although the colours didn’t turn out being yellow and pink as I expected – more like purple and beige.

    Now I’m hungry – I think I’ll just have a 5pm dinner.

    LJ, that’s a gorgeous cake! You are such a talented baker and cake decorator. The flavors sound wonderful – and natural.

    With all that smoke it sounds like indoor walking might be a better option for a while. It can’t be good for your lungs.

    Less than an hour left until midnight, New Years Eve.

    Happy New Year everyone!

    We attempted to see it in dancing to a live band at a local pub but, by 11.30pm, we’d had enough of the dodgy acoustics and walked home to watch the fireworks on TV.

    CalifD, good job on the nice FD loss. And a healthy NYE dinner.

    Cinque, Neil, lovely goals. LJ, lovely cake.

    Once I made a NY’s resolution that I’ve managed to stick to all my life – never to make any NY’s resolutions. As I was drawing up my 7th Excel spreadsheet since starting 5:2 (yes, tragically I still weigh/record daily), it gave me an opportunity to look back over my weight on all the 1 Januarys since 2014. And I’m 3kg down on last year’s 1 January so I’m very happy with that considering I wasn’t even trying and was practicing 6:1 for at least 4 months of the year.

    Obviously, everyone posting here is committed to fasting so no need to preach to the converted. But, if there’s any doubt from any lurkers out there, I really encourage you to embrace this WOL. The sacrifices are minimal, the rewards huge and, in time, you’ll be thinking like the slim person you’re concealing.

    Morning all.

    I’m hoping that some of the rain that we’ve been having the last couple of days will head over to the regions in Aussie that need it with all the forest fires. We did get a lot of the smoke over here. When I woke up I didn’t know what it was. I was googling “yellow vision” because everything looked yellow and I thought there was something wrong with my eyes. I had just decided that I had developed Xanthopsia caused by diabetes when my oldest son woke up and said “Whoah! everything looks yellow” and I realised it wasn’t just me 😀

    Someone sent me this satellite picture of the smoke https://www.flickr.com/photos/43493775@N06/49312707556/in/album-72157709225372313/ With enough smoke to cover the entire South Island I can only imagine what it’s like at the actual fires. I hope everyone over there stays safe and well.

    Good morning,
    Middle of my fast day and waves of hunger remind me my body is doing good!

    Cali, happy New Year! Your wishes were answered for some areas in NSW that got their first rain for a long time. The general outlook is still terrible though, only hope is that it is bad enough to kick the lawmakers into gear.

    Neil, so sorry for NZ getting all the smoke, especially as an expert said it will even work to make glaciers melt more. 🙁

    Oh well, the relief is in the everyday good things and kindness and hard work of people doing all they can.

    What a beautiful cake LJoyce! I love the gentle colours of natural flavourings, let along the beautiful taste.

    Haha Thin, it’s got to be good to keep us up to midnight these days. Love your rallying message.

    I wonder if we will get a flood of newbies this year, or if times are changing and 5:2 isn’t noted as the option is once was (and should remain!).
    Mind you, this has been posted a bit on twitter and fb (sorry for the long url) https://scontent.fmel5-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-0/p526x296/81078401_3002458349816307_3415276007148486656_o.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_eui2=AeG1idoALNKIz_zS3PfobWpj9gGIkyyMEfcWzbdYgOzBwFmGJTlD-hkqytdXDCz5qcavoOnsoMi2akmZNjQrABL6z2pntRhvGyzqU4emXPpqhg&_nc_ohc=lsa9oulOAQkAQmlnHryLL82_SjjjzvYUu8Bdk9dcXxMAb6b6OTLLaWWMg&_nc_ht=scontent.fmel5-1.fna&oh=48397f959c2442320d0aec979d1c92de&oe=5E9DA944

    Cheers all, see you on my lovely ‘morning after fast day’.

    Happy New Year to you all.

    I’m too old to be making resolutions and have just decided to be true to myself and continue to be the best me I can be.

    My weight has been up, down and stagnant but I have always tried to maintain some level of moderation and adhere to 5:2. My journey started in 2015. Last year was not a good year. I had a wedding, two overseas trips and the passing of my mother. So this year I am going to get back to my lowest weight and try to move a few extra kgs into the bargain. Had my first FD for 2020 yesterday so it’s back on the horse.

    While the country burns, homes and lives lost, trying to limit our eating patterns seems so trivial but each day is a new day filled with hope and determination.

    All the very best to everyone for a healthy 2020.

    Happy New Year my dear friends! Greetings from beautiful Florence.

    I can’t believe what I’m seeing leading every news bulletin here as well as accounts from friends and family. The fires are horrendous and unprecedented and we are sick with worry.

    Our trip continues to be completely incredible and I feel so fortunate. We loved Venice and are loving Florence too. We had a spend at a leather factory today – the owner is a friend of a friend and he gave us a very generous discount that we weren’t expecting and were grateful for. It’s all packaged up now but I’ll post some pics when we get home. My bounty is a red suede/leather reversible jacket and a gorgeous and unusual handbag. OH bought a leather bomber jacket and two wallets – one for our wonderful neighbour who is looking after our garden (using buckets due to water restrictions)

    Sorry to hear about your fall LJ 🙁

    More soon, take care all…

    Hi everyone
    Haven’t had a chance to catch up on all your posts. It’s been a crazy couple weeks. Just wanted to let you all know I’m ok and I hope you all are too. Xx

    I am sitting watching the TV news. I have just seen a graphic showing the size of one fire – an area about a quarter the size of this country. There is nothing I can say. Take care is so feeble.

    Good morning, I had a fasty fast day and didn’t break my fast until 9:30 this morning (which is late for me!) so feeling pretty pleased with myself.

    Now for a couple of good, 7 veg, non fast days before my Sunday fast day.

    Haha Intesha, I think the older we get, the more our New Year resolutions are along the lines of being true to ourselves, isn’t that wonderful.
    2019 was such a hard year for you, I am glad it is over and hope this year brings some gorgeous stuff.

    Anzac, just wonderful to see your post and know you are enjoying your trip to the full. Ooh those leather things sound beautiful.
    What a great neighbour you have.

    Quacka, thankyou so much for popping in, I’m sending you all good wishes and hoping you have time soon to catch us up with what is happening for you.

    Penguin yes, isn’t it awful, and they expect the fires will still be burning in three months. The big fear is that several fires will join up and become even fiercer. It is good for the heart knowing there is care and concern coming from good people all over the world.

    Neil, I didn’t mention yesterday how I was amused and horrified by your story of googling because everything is yellow. I do hope it is clearer today.

    Sending out good wishes to everyone.

    Cinque, I saw this post on imgur from an unknown person and thought it might bring a smile: https://imgur.com/gallery/yni0jdV

    LJ and I had a nice visit on the phone this afternoon (her morning). It’s amazing how well we get to know each other here on the forum. We spoke for over an hour and a half and still had more things to talk about!

    The pictures on the news of all the fires make some of those areas look like the end of the world. The pictures of people on the beach with fires all around are horrifying. It’s good to see all of you here and to know you’re all safe. One of the news announcers was talking about the lack of climate change measures around the world and how most countries are doing very little about carbon emissions and such because making changes is costly. He showed showed pictures of Australia burning and said, “This is the cost of doing nothing.” I hope it makes people think. Most of my country seems to be moving in the wrong direction.

    Anzac, so good to hear of your travels in Italy. It sounds like you purchased some beautiful things. Italy creates such beautiful leather goods. Can’t wait to see pictures when you get back.

    Quacka, it’s good to hear from you and know that you are safe. Hope to hear more from you soon.

    Penguin, are you back home in the UK now or still enjoying warmer climates?

    Neil, Googling about the yellow haze and thinking it was your eyes sounds like something I would do. Glad your eyes are fine. It’s amazing that the smoke is so strong across such a distance.

    Today is my Thursday FD and it’s gone well so far. Between Monday’s FD and being careful yesterday, I’ve lost 1.7 kg so far this week. I think my metabolism must be moving at high speed after all holiday dessert eating these past weeks. It feels good to be getting back to my normal fasting.

    Keep checking in everyone, and stay safe.

    Hi everyone, belated happy new year to everyone.

    Yes, the fires are horrific. As Cinque noted, even some on the verges of Melbourne. The one near me moved in a south-easterly direction, exactly opposite to me, so fortunately not too close. However, it did lead to a concerned conversation with a friend as to whether I had a fire “action plan” and would be ready to leave my home if I had to. There is a strip of grassland behind my property plus I have 2 large gumtrees in my small yard. If there was a fire and embers being blown, my trees, and then my house, could go very quickly. Just praying it won’t happen.

    In the midst of the horror, there have been wonderful stories of people helping people, and I’ve been really impressed that the tennis players are rallying to help, as well. As well as a planned “Rally for Relief” exhibition tournament, various players are pledging money for every ace they play over the summer season. Nick Kyrios pledged $200 per ace, and has played 20 already, so will be donating $4000 at a minimum. Others have stepped up with that, as well. John Millman is another. There will be so much rebuilding needed, and I grieve for the loss of wildlife, as well.

    Okay, on to happier posts. It’s been great reading of everyone’s progress and happenings over the past week, even if I’ve not been posting. Your purchases sound very plush, Anzac65, what a blessing to have a “friend of a friend” who was willing to give you such great deals.

    Thin, enjoy Spain. Will your DD be plunging into the icy water when in Iceland? Isn’t that one of the things tourists do there?

    Good that so many of you are progressing so well on 5:2. I’ve be regressing over the past few months, regaining about 8 kg of the 13 I lost. But, now the “eating” season is over, tomorrow will be my first FD of the New Year. Actually, as I disposed of the majority of my “fat” clothes, losing the regained weight is vital, just so I have things to wear!

    Okay, more next time.

    These fires are beyond comprehension. Woke up this morning to the thick smell of smoke. For South Australia there’s fires on the upper Eyre Peninsula about 150kms away from me, Adelaide Hills (again) and our beautiful Kangaroo Island (again). Looks like the majority of KI is under threat.

    For some context on the scale heres an extract from a news article this morning –
    Some international context: In terms of area, Kangaroo Island is three times the size of London, over 1000km2 bigger than Rhode Island, and just over three times the size of Phoenix, Arizona.
    It’s not just some tiny island off SA’s mainland.

    I’m off to check the Country Fire Service website just to make sure the smoke I can smell is blowing from the EP fires and not somewhere closer. The weather is significantky cooler, extremely windy and supposed to be getting rain late tonight and tomorrow – fingers and toes crossed

    Good morning all. Gday thank you for the geography lesson. I for one was ignorant of Kangaroo Island’s size. The fires defy belief…it seems much of Australia is burning and we are helpless to stop it. Apart from donating, there’s so little we can do except watch this horror play out and hope it rains soon.

    We went to the tennis last night. Excellent to see the much maligned Kygrios lead the charge on donations for fire relief. He was his wonderful, entertaining best, but it was Alex de Minaur who showed us what it was like to never give up. Down a set, he looked outclassed until he pulled some magic out of who knows where, and just powered home.

    In all the sad news about wildlife, my son sent me this pic, taken on New Year’s Eve, of a koala that’s taken up residence in our mango tree on Stradbroke Island. (I think I’ve mentioned before that we’d seen a koala eating the young mango flowers). https://imgur.com/CITuBVf

    Betsy I’m in the same boat – too frequent holidays (can there be such a thing?) throw my program way out of sync, and I’ve gained too. I started back on the program on 28th December and am now feeling I am in the swing again. I took a salad to the tennis last night, determined I wouldn’t be embarrassed eating my own food as all around me ate fried snacks. Then I saw another couple of women with their own meals too …I know what their new year’s resolution is!

    Penguin how nice to see you post. I get quite concerned when I don’t see long-time posters on the site for a while (I was about to say ‘old posters’ but of course we are none of us old).

    Thin good to hear from you ….your plans to go to Spain sound like fun. And btw, what an inspiration you are. Through thick and thin (and now, always thin), you’ve embraced this WOL without waiver.

    Ditto Neil – what a change you brought about in 2019.

    Anzac, is there anything better than a good piece of Italian leather. Lucky you! You’ll have wonderful memories each and every time you use your lovely bag and jacket (and red, too. The best colour of all….right Cinque?).

    Intesha being true to yourself is the best resolution of all. Hope 2020 is kinder to you. You had a tough year.

    How are you going JellyBones? Finding the program manageable? And seeing early results?

    I’m soooo hungry this morning, but need to wait another 5 hours in my 16:8 window. No FD for me today …we are going to a blues concert at a club tonight, and who knows what food will be available. I’ll save some calories, but will have my favourite brunch of all….grilled haloumi with salad….at around 11.

    Hoping for better conditions today, and some rain.

    Hello everyone, it is a bit tricky to say good morning when things are not good in so many places.

    I have to write quickly, so I won’t try to respond to everything.

    Cali, that picture did bring a smile. And a chuckle. So cat!
    And a lovely phone call.

    It is good to hear people getting back to 5:2 and the end of feasting, you’ve got a good ten months to prepare for next year’s feast season!

    Betsy, that was a fright. It is a bit of a shock to think you need a bushfire plan in the suburbs.

    Gday, the last thing you need. I hope the fires don’t come any closer.

    Lindsay, hang in there, another hour must be gone by now. You will feel so good.

    Must go, see you on my fast day tomorrow.

    Hi Folks – And a belated Happy New Year to all.

    VERY smoky here in Hobart today. We’re copping the smoke from Victoria, according to our Weather Bureau. We had fires here ourselves last summer and we were engulfed in smoke for weeks, so this time round we’re counting our blessings that our fires are all but under control compared to those on the mainland. But sending all our good wishes to those poor folks who ARE affected 🙁

    FD for me yesterday and it was a wee bit challenging to get through the day. But I did, of course 🙂

    So far (since starting on Boxing Day) my weight loss is 1.7kg so I’m very happy with that (but just between you and me, my darling husband just advised me that “That’s not going to make much difference”, which was a bit of a slap in the face to be honest) 🙁 Nothing like a bit of moral support on the home front, is there – particularly as HE’S just started on the 5:2 himself!

    Ah well…on wards and sideways, as I always say 🙂

    Hello all

    It was weigh in day for me and I was a bit disappointed at my loss of just 0.2kg. I deserved better than that – despite the slice of birthday cake that I ate. I also did 4 800cal days, have averaged approx 10000 steps per day and also done 3 strength building exercise sessions. Hopefully it will show up on the scales next week. I’m trying to be content with it at least being a loss and not a gain.

    The fire news just gets worse each day. More lives lost overnight – 2 people were killed in their car on Kangaroo island trying to get out of the fire zone. The only safe place now is the eastern end of the island. I just hope they have plenty of boats on hand, because there’s no other way out.
    However there is some promising news. There is some rain forecast for SA today and tomorrow – although it might just turn out to be showers and not useful rain. The sky is full of clouds here but no rain yet. I just hope those clouds get heavier and heavier as they head east from here – we all need some good news.

    GDSA, I hope you also get some of this rain. I can feel and smell it in the air – just waiting impatiently for that first raindrop.

    As Cali already said, we had a lovely chat yesterday. It’s the closest I’ve gotten to meeting anyone on the forum yet. I am planning a trip to Canada and the US this year and catching up with Cali in person is definitely part of those plans. When I got the prognosis on my back I decided that I need to aim for travel each year now, even though it means paying out the mortgage much more slowly. It makes sense to do it while I’m physically fit and mobile enough to participate. I do not want to see everything through a bus window, I want to be able to walk, hike, paddle etc. So no more waiting, it’s time for travelling. I can pay off the mortgage when I’m too old to do those things!

    Betsy, glad to hear the fires moved away from your home. One thing I learned the hard way is that you need to have that fire plan sorted out as you just can’t think clearly when the fire is at your door.
    I am in almost the same boat with weight gain – I’m still at least4kg up on the highest weight I’m comfortable with. I also refuse to buy clothing in bigger sizes. You aren’t alone in needing to undo the damage of recent weeks/months. We will do it together.

    Anzac, glad to hear you are enjoying Italy. Also glad you found some lovely leather goods. I think clothing is a great memento from a holiday as you think of the places you went to every time you put it on – usually much more often than you get the photos out.

    Lindsay, good to hear from you. Some morning are just like that and you count every moment until that first food. Glad you are back into 5:2 and well done taking a salad to the tennis – you avoided the food queues too.

    I’m just about to head off for a walk with a friend – hopefully before it rains, so I’ll just say hello to Cinque, Intesha, Quacka, Neil, Thin, CrazyA, Penguin, JellyBones, and anyone else I’ve missed.

    Have a nice day.

    LJ, you should weigh yourself again tomorrow. There are so many “fluke days” when my weight is up several grams for some unknown reason. That’s why I weigh every day. I hate being a slave to the scale but I see lots of ups and downs over a week and some of them aren’t due to eating more. Or what about doing a follow up day only when your weigh in seems unreasonable? With all of your walking and the 4 800 calorie days it seems like you should have lost more. I guess it could be a plateau though.

    Cinque, I knew that picture of the pie crust with the paw print on it would make you smile. Aren’t cats always trying to get into the middle of whatever it is we’re doing? Ask anyone who has ever tried wrapping a gift while sitting on the floor!

    Betsy, the stories of people helping people are one bright spot in all of this. LJ emailed me this morning that over 1200 people and 250 pets had been rescued from that Mallacoota beach by the Navy carrier. The video of all those people trapped on the beach a couple days ago is an image that I will never forget.

    Lindsay, is Stradbroke Island ok? I love the photo of that koala in the tree.

    Intesha, you’re right, with all the horrific fires, trying to limit our eating patterns may seem trivial, but at least it’s something we have control over. And sometimes having control over a few things when there are so many others that we can do nothing about is comforting in its own way.

    Jelly, glad that 5:2 is working for you. It’s the most sustainable way to lose weight if you stick to it.

    Gday, are you still experiencing the high temperatures?

    For those of you experiencing a lot of smoke from the fires, I wonder if something like this would help when you’re outdoors:
    I hate wearing any type of face mask but the carbon helps get rid of most of the smell and give some protection. And they can be used when painting or doing other household tasks using chemicals, like stripping furniture.

    It’s good to see everyone checking in here. I worry about all of you with the fires in Australia being so widespread. Please keep posting, even it’s just a couple of lines to let us know you’re okay.

    Update from the other hemisphere. We have been back in UK for nearly six weeks. After four weeks in daily sunshine and 27 C I wasn’t ecstatic about arriving home in the late afternoon in the dark, wind and the rain, but I’m getting used to it. Actually it isn’t really cold by our standards. We have just finished one of the warmest years in one of the warmest decades ever. Our summers are hotter and our winters are windier, wetter and warmer than they were. It is already showing in my garden – I have flowers in bud outdoors that should have been taken into the greenhouse a couple of months back and we have migratory birds here that shouldn’t be. Parts of the country are flooded. Compared with what is happening to you this is trivial, but it seems symptomatic of a general change.

    OH’s foot, damaged about nine months ago, has not mended. She has another X-ray on Monday and the medics are considering surgery. In the interests of family harmony, I managed to damage my knee whilst in Portugal and that has limited my activity. I was not sure how to take it when my doc (who is one of the good guys) said “you ask a lot of your body”. OK, I’m old, but it still works. The restricted activity and Christmas festivities have added about nine pounds/four kg to my weight. That will go, just as soon as we have finished all of the unconsumed Christmas goodies/booze.

    The family is well. The older grandchildren are now as tall as the adults. (6ft 5″ or 196cm for the lad, 6ft for the girls. ). The significance of this hadn’t really registered until I realised that I had just had an adult conversation with my grandson.

    An interesting year ahead. The ultimate cliche I know, but I don’t know how I ever found time to have a job.

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