Elly Pear's 100 Calorie Lunch Boxes: For Anyone SERIOUS About Doing The 5:2

Elly Pear's 100 Calorie Lunch Boxes: For Anyone SERIOUS About Doing The 5:2

Anyone who's done the 5:2 diet will know that lunch times at work can be a bit tricky. Not anymore! Get organised with InStyle's food writer Elly Pear and you'll never break your fast early again…

100 CALORIE PACKED LUNCH BOXES

Each box serves 1

I understand that (especially) when you first start the 5:2 and you’re finding your feet, there’s quite a bit to learn. However, I BEG you not to fall into just eating ready meals and convenience foods. The whole idea of cooking properly on fast days is that you’re educating yourself and learning how to make better, healthier choices on feast days. Understanding what goes into your food is essential. 

Getting organised really helps. Before starting the 5:2, I’d suggest really trying to clear your fridge out. Make space for what’s going to be your new way of eating.

Go shopping. Invest in (or dig out) some Tupperware and zip lock bags. Come home and prepare all the fresh stuff. This is what we do at my café and it’s definitely the way to go. If all your veg is washed, trimmed and prepared, you can make healthy meals really quickly and it takes up less room in the fridge. I’d suggest, for example, going shopping at the weekend, doing your meal prep on Sunday night and doing your fast day on the Monday. Remember – you are going to measure and weigh everything REALLY carefully for your fast day meals but on your feast days, you don’t need to calculate anything at all. The clever thing is though, if your fridge is full of lovely fresh stuff, you’ll eat well anyway. As you make the 100cal boxes, put any leftover bits into a Tupperware or in a zip lock bag. Look at my Fridge Forage salad guide (link here) for guidance on what to do with all the bits and pieces you’re left with. Nothing will get wasted, trust me.

These boxes have been carefully calculated to equal exactly 100 cals each. Women are allowed 500 cals on a fast day and men are allowed 600. The best way to do it would be make four boxes, take a couple to work with you and leave a couple at home. If you only feel like just eating one during the day, bring the second one home for later. Until you start the 5:2, it’s hard to know what will work best for you with regards to how you lay out your day. I generally save most of my calories for the evening but I know others who choose to ‘front load’ and prefer to eat earlier. If you have four prepared, you’ve still got 100 cals (or 200 cals, bros) left for drinks, snacks etc. Just don’t screw it all up. Weigh and measure everything out carefully. It’s just for today, for tomorrow we feast!

All recipes are fine made up to 24 hours before you want to eat them. Any longer and they’ll go a bit sad.

SMOKED TROUT & CAULIFLOWER RICE SALAD

INGREDIENTS

100g cauliflower
40g smoked trout
4g coriander, finely chopped
½ lemon
1g spring onion
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

To make the cauliflower rice, first cut the whole of your cauliflower into florets. Blitz the florets in a food processor until the size of breadcrumbs, using the pulse button. Tip 100g into a dry, pre-heated non-stick pan, season well and cook, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula until the cauliflower starts to catch and brown. Add two tablespoons of hot water and cover with foil. Turn the heat right down and allow to steam for 3-4 minutes, or until the water has evaporated. Turn the heat off and remove the foil.

Tip into a bowl and let cool then fold through the coriander, spring onion and flake in the trout. Fold gently so it doesn’t end up a big mushed up mess. Taste for seasoning. Bag up the remaining raw cauliflower rice into portions and label and freeze them.

Wipe out the non-stick pan and put back on the heat. When it’s hot, put the lemon in, cut side down and hold in place, keeping it totally still. You want to hold it down until it starts to blacken. Caramelise the lemon and you get a nice smoky flavour when you squeeze it over the salad. Once it’s done, fill your box with the cauliflower/trout mixture and tuck the lemon in the corner. Refrigerate until you’re ready to eat but try and take it out half an hour before so it comes to room temperature, it’ll taste much better if it’s not fridge cold. Squeeze the lemon over and eat.

RAW WINTER VEG SALAD

INGREDIENTS

50g fennel
50g blood orange
40g chicory
40g raw beetroot (I used golden but any type is fine)
8g rocket
5ml sherry vinegar
5ml extra virgin olive oil
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Wash the fennel. Cut in half from top to bottom. Use a mandolin or very sharp knife to slice very thinly. Put 50g in a large bowl. Wrap the rest and stick it in the fridge.

Cut the top and bottom off the orange and stand it up on the board. Using a sharp knife cut the skin and pith off, running your knife in small sawing movements from top to bottom, working your way around the fruit. Cut the orange into slices and weigh out 50g. Add to the bowl. Wrap the rest and stick it in the fridge.

Cut the base off the chicory and separate the leaves. Wash and dry. Weigh out 40g. Add to the bowl. Wrap the rest and stick it in the fridge.

Peel the raw beetroot. Use a mandolin or very sharp knife to slice very thinly. Put 40g in a large bowl. Wrap the rest and stick it in the fridge.

Add 8g of rocket to the bowl. Season well. Toss well and tip into your box. Add the oil and vinegar.

Refrigerate until you’re ready to eat but try and take it out half an hour before so it comes to room temperature, it’ll taste much better if it’s not fridge cold.

PRAWN, MANGO & JALAPENO SALAD

INGREDIENTS

60g (king, preferably) cooked prawns
30g mango cut into 1cm dice
10g pickled jalapenos from a jar, very finely chopped
20g baby spinach, washed and dried
15g rocket, washed and dried
7g china rose sprouts (or use 25g alfalfa)
1tsp lemon juice
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
2.5ml (½ tsp) extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

Simply combine all ingredients in a large bowl, except for the olive oil.

Toss well and taste for seasoning. Fill your box and then add the oil. This stops the precious drops getting wasted in the mixing bowl!

Refrigerate until you’re ready to eat but try and take it out half an hour before so it comes to room temperature, it’ll taste much better if it’s not fridge cold.

BERRIES, YOGURT AND MERINGUE

INGREDIENTS

150g Strawberries, tops trimmed off
80g blackberries
1 mini meringue (available from M&S)
25g 0% Greek yogurt

METHOD

Chop any large strawberries in quarters, the smaller ones in half. Keep the blackberries whole.

Fill your box with the fruit and add the yogurt to the top.

Refrigerate and then crumble over the meringue when you’re ready to eat. Adding the meringue before it goes in the fridge will make it lose all its crunchiness.

Oh, and take a picture, post it on Instagram and tag it #ellypearfastdaysbyme. I’ll be reposting the best ones!

 
Back to Top