Last Friday started off as a usual day. I had my usual slice of toast for breakfast. Then my husband read an article about the 5:2 diet and the whole day changed into something strange. We watched the BBC Horizon ‘Eat, Fast, Live Longer’ documentary about fasting and the health benefits associated with it. Suddenly, we’re agreeing that this intermittent fasting sounds like a great idea and why not start right now?

The normal breakfast made it difficult to come up with two more meals in a day that were going to keep under the 600 (for him) and 500 (for me) calorie limits. So we decided to have just one more meal and I made a big pot of roasted tomato, zucchini and cayenne pepper soup which we ate in the late afternoon with one slice of bread each. Total calories for the bread and soup: 170.

I had one moment towards the end of the day when I came over a bit sweaty and dizzy, but apart from that, neither of us felt any ill-effects and we enjoyed our weekend of eating and drinking normally.

Recipe for roasted tomato and vegetable soup (serves 4)

1lb ripe tomatoes, quartered
2 small zucchini, cut into chunks
1 cayenne pepper, de-seeded
2 onions, peeled and quartered
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 pint chicken or vegetable stock
Herbs to taste: oregano, basil, thyme

Total calories per portion: 70

Method: roast vegetables at 375°F/190°C until browned at the edges. Blend in a food processor with the herbs. Tip into a pan, stir in the stock and heat through. Can be served hot or cold (we had it hot the first day and cold as our lunch on Day 2).

(I used the recipe calorie calculator at to get the calorie totals – it’s a really useful tool for estimating the calories in a prepared meal.)

We’ve decided to fast on Mondays and Fridays. Looking forward to it, in a perverse, up-for-a-challenge kind of way…