07 April 2016

Elly Pear's Fast Days & Feast Days

Elly Pear's Fast Days & Feast Days*, RRP £20

I felt very privileged to have the opportunity to read and review Elly Curshen's debut cookbook before its release date today (quite fitting, as today is World Health Day!). Elly owns and runs the very popular Pear Café in Bristol (on my to-visit list!) and has done so successfully for over nine years!

The book focuses on recipes aimed at people following the 5:2 diet, where you feast on whatever takes your fancy for 5 days of the week and fast on healthy, nutritional dishes for 2 days of the week, with an allowance of 500 calories only. The 5:2 diet allows you to enjoy all of your favourite things, while teaching you to become more mindful of what you consume and more resourceful on your fast days.
The book is aesthetically-pleasing, colourful and has an air of "real-ness" about it. Not every recipe has an accompanying photograph, which is quite refreshing - after all, it's not all about looks, is it?! Elly comes across as really down to earth, with a feel-good, can-do attitude. She shows us how to incorporate healthier dishes into our diets, without too much fuss and with a feasible approach. With recipes suited to pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, you're sure to find something you love. My favourite features from the book are the 100kcal snack options, the calorie index and, of course, the puddings & cakes section!

I've enjoyed trying out some recipes from the book - it's a great motivator for encouraging a healthier diet. Here are the recipes I've made, so far:
I made the Pear Café frittata base, adding red onions, garlic and mixed peppers. I roughly halved the recipe, as there was only two of us. It didn't turn out exactly as it was meant to, but it tasted delicious!
I made the Banana and oat bars, which are vegan, wheat-free and sugar-free! I added walnuts and cacao nibs to the base recipe - it's really versatile, you can add whatever you like! Mine were a little on the dry side, but otherwise they tasted pretty good! Plus, they are surprisingly filling, so great as a snack to keep you going till the next mealtime.

I love the idea of the 5:2 diet, but I haven't decided whether I am going to try following this way of eating. I don't need to lose weight, but I understand that the 5:2 is more of a way of living, rather than a short-lived diet to drop a few pounds. Perhaps I'll give it a try - what do you think?!

*items kindly sent for review purposes; all thoughts and opinions are, and always will be, my own.

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