I love this book and I love this plan. I went from an unbeliever to a convert after my own success story.
Okay, let’s be real here: most of us looking at diet books are probably doing so because we love our chocolate (or other sweets) too much. True? So any diet plan that includes chocolate brownies has gotta be either a bunch of baloney or a really well-thought out plan.
When I first sampled The Fast 800 back in March 2019 I was quite dubious, but after losing 9kg in 6 weeks, and not feeling sick or hungry because of it, the book became my new bible for weight loss.
Sadly, like most people, I was called away by the lure of temptation but the principles of the diet plan stayed with me and despite losing my way a few times, I managed to end the year with a loss of 13kg. That’s pretty darn good, thank you very much.
The sight of a second book in the series was a true Hallelujah moment for me because, after a quick 8-page refresher, The Fast 800 Recipe Book dives straight into divine, wholesome goodness suitable for intermittent fasting and praise-worthy meals and snacks of all kinds. There’s 150 recipes which can be used for fast weight loss or intermittent fasting diets, with 9 weeks of calorie-counted meal plans to help you on the way.
For those unaware, The Fast 800 diet plan is a VLCD (very low calorie diet) plan that severely restricts your calorie intake, but does so in a way that ensures you are eating healthy and getting the right balance of nutrients in your day. If you’ve ever resorted to meal replacement shakes, you may notice VLCD on some of the packaging – these shakes the same principle without the fresh food.
This book also provides a toolkit that comprises: Easy ways to maintain your protein intake, Ways to jazz up your greens and non-starchy veg, How to embrace healthier carbs, Resistant starch or the cook-cool-cook approach, and Good hydration with minimal calories. The Index comes in two varieties – a standard alphabetical listing, and an index of recipes by calories – the latter being extremely useful when counting calories.
The colour photos by Smith & Gilmour complement the overarching colourful design of The Fast 800 books. They’re inviting and well laid out with easy-to-follow recipes that, for the most part, don’t take too long to make but are full of taste and healthy goodness.
I love this book and I love this plan. I went from an unbeliever to a convert after my own success story. Try it out and I’m sure you’ll see the light too… or at least, see the lighter you.
Edamame and Tuna Salad (page 83)
I love a good salad and this one is particularly tasty and filling. I used frozen edamame soy beans from the supermarket. Combined with the tuna, the flavour is subtle but satisfying, particularly because of the amount of protein in it. I served mine with some Afghan chicken kebab meat on the side but the salad would have sufficed on its own. There’s a good range of textures in this salad too, thanks to the combination of the smooth lettuce, gritty onion, flaky tuna and firm beans. It is so quick and easy to make, and it lasts a few days in the fridge too.
Classic Burger with Celeriac Chips (page 182)
Let’s face it – a burger without buns is just a meat patty with salad, but hey, I’m up for being a yuppie and calling it a breadless burger! This recipe is two-fold – there’s the burger and the chips.
My first impression of the meat patty was that it was nice but needed a lot more flavour for my tastes. The small amounts of mixed herbs, onion, garlic and grated carrots didn’t seem like enough. Once combined with the other foods on my plate however, the burger was just right. Any more flavour would have overpowered the meal. Furthermore, the leftover cooked burger meat tastes even better the next day.
The Celeriac Chips were a complete disaster – in that it’s a seasonal vegetable that is no longer available. I tried a few supermarkets and fruit/veg shops with no luck. A quick Google lead me to discover the idea of Carrot Chips however, so I used the Celeriac recipe and just swapped over the vegetable. Hello! What an idea! Whoever thought of it – I want to marry you! I’m a chip-a-holic. Hot chips are my great downfall in life. The surprising crunchiness and burst of flavour found in these high-temperature roasted veges was fantastic. I added a sprinkle of rosemary to mine on top of the suggested flavours, and wished these chips would never end!
Chocolate Beetroot Brownies (page 237)
Beetroot. Prunes. Dark Chocolate. No extra sugar. Blah! I couldn’t think of an odder, blander recipe but a dessert was needed and once again, I was surprised by the outcome. I’m not a fan of dark chocolate so blindly bought an 85% cocoa block – perhaps more bitter than I would have liked. This recipe was so easy to make it and only needed about half an hour in the oven to rise beautifully. The texture was soft and fluffy on the inside but firm on the outside. My guests enjoyed it with cream and/or ice cream and, even after being told the ingredients, they couldn’t believe what was in it. I served mine up as a cake rather than cutting it into brownie squares, and the left-overs were taken home by a very grateful choc-a-holic. This one is best served warm and is a great idea if you need to whip something up in a hurry.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Book Distributed by: Simon & Schuster Australia
Released: June 2019
- Read our review of The Fast 800 diet plan