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The FastDiet Cookbook: 150 Delicious, Calorie-Controlled Meals to Make Your Fasting Days Easy [Kindle Edition]

Mimi Spencer , Sarah Schenker , Michael Mosley
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.99
Kindle Price: $11.99
You Save: $8.00 (40%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc


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Book Description

The indispensable companion to the #1 New York Times bestselling diet book

The FastDiet became an instant international bestseller with a powerful, life-changing message: that it’s possible to lose weight, reduce your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, all while eating what you normally eat five days a week. You simply cut your caloric intake two days a week—500 calories for women, 600 for men. But as author Dr. Michael Mosely said, "It’s not really fasting. It’s just a break from your normal routine."

This fabulous new cookbook offers over 150 carefully crafted, nutritious, low-calorie recipes to enable you to incorporate the FastDiet into your daily life. Ranging from simple breakfasts to leisurely suppers, the recipes are all expertly balanced and calorie-counted by FastDiet co-author Mimi Spencer (a devotee of the diet herself!) and nutritionist Dr. Sarah Schenker. From soups to meat dishes to delicious fish-based meals, the recipes designed to fill you up and stave off hunger—even though none are over 500 calories. There are also detailed menu plans and plenty of encouraging tips, including kitchen-cupboard essentials, the latest nutritional advice and a whole section of speedy meals for busy days.

With an introduction to the diet itself—detailing its many scientifically-backed health benefits and the transformative results it’s already given to hundreds of thousands of readers—this book is an essential follow-up companion guide to The FastDiet. With The FastDiet Cookbook you will never have to worry about planning your Fast Days again!

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mimi Spencer is a journalist and author. A feature writer and columnist for newspapers and magazines, she is the coauthor of The FastDiet and the author of 101 Things to Do Before You Diet.

Dr. Sarah Schenker is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist who has served on both professional and government committees. She now combines her sports nutrition work, consulting for football clubs in the UK, with regular appearances on television and writing for scientific journals, as well as for newspapers, magazines, and websites.

Dr. Michael Mosley is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The FastDiet, published in thirty-two languages around the world. He trained to be a doctor at the Royal Free Hospital in London before joining the BBC, where he has been a science journalist, executive producer, and, more recently, a well-known television presenter. He has won numerous television awards, including an RTS (Royal Television Award) and being named Medical Journalist of the Year by the British Medical Association.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Fast Diet Cookbook



Some of the recipes are gloriously simple, others are more complex; some are favorites adapted for the FastDiet, while others introduce new flavor combinations. Some will get you walking or gardening. Others will send you to the cupboard for a bunch of cans.

• The book includes both simple recipes and leisurely recipes, allowing you to spend as much or as little time as you please preparing your fast day food.

• Each recipe has a clear calorie count per portion, with calorie contents increasing as you go through each chapter. The idea is that you can choose a breakfast and a supper, in whatever combination you wish, to arrive at your 500- or 600-calorie budget for the day. For good pairings, refer to the examples in the Meal Plans.

• Some recipes serve two or more—simply because the cooking method works better that way (it’s difficult to make a sauce work for one)—but the calorie count is always for a single portion.

• Feel free to bump up the leafy vegetables in most of the recipes; it won’t make much difference to overall calorie intake, but will add bulk and welcome nutrients.

• Each recipe clearly shows its Nutritional Bonus (look for NB), together with the GI or GL score where useful.

Finding Flavor Without Fat

We all know that adding a generous slab of butter to almost anything will make it taste fantastic. Our job here is to fill the flavor vacuum with something other than saturated fat. In this race, the humble lemon is in pole position: Lemon juice is a remarkable flavor enhancer, capable of lending goodness to countless slow-cooked savory dishes. Roasted garlic is similarly delicious. You’ll discover that plenty of the recipes in this book depend on the “fantastic five”—lime juice, soy sauce, fresh ginger, garlic, and Asian fish sauce—which deliver mighty bursts of flavor with the merest suggestion of calories. Herbs and spices also feature heavily in fast day cooking. Cumin seeds, cardamom pods, sweet Spanish paprika, dense green basil, delicate tendrils of dill . . . they are not garnishes here, but central to the proceedings. Chiles, too, are worth their weight in gold. Do remember to wear gloves when you slice or chop them—your eyes will thank you later.

Here, then, are the basic ingredients for a fast day cupboard.


For an alternative to pasta or wheat noodles, try shirataki noodles. Made from a water-soluble, plant-based fiber called glucomannan, they have no fat, sugar, gluten, or starch. No flavor either, so call upon the fantastic five. If you need a bread substitute, have a thin rye crispbread. But as a rule, avoid white carbs on a fast day.


Though carbs are necessarily limited on a fast day, those you do eat should be whole grains, not refined ones—they have more fiber, B vitamins, and other nutrients, and take longer to digest. Quinoa is a great source of protein, as is bulgur, while the best fast day rice is brown basmati. Old-fashioned oatmeal outranks the rest: less processed, more bulky.


Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, split peas, and a whole world of beans are excellent sources of plant protein and fiber, and rank low on the GI scale. Toss cans of pintos, borlotti, or butter beans (experiment—you can’t really go wrong) into your shopping cart—you’ll find plenty of recipes here to turn a can into a dinner.


You won’t get far around here without a can of diced tomatoes, so always have one or two on hand (plus a tube of tomato paste to add bass-note depth to all manner of savory dishes). I particularly like fire-roasted tomatoes, which are especially tasty. A couple of cans of tuna (in spring water to minimize calories) and a jar or can of anchovy fillets? Vital.


Choose “smart fats” over saturated fats, which means butter must take a backseat. Instead, use

Olive oil A monounsaturated oil that is more resistant to the damaging effects of heat than polyunsaturated oils such as corn oil. A recent study from the University of Munich found that olive oil keeps you feeling fuller longer.1 You need expensive extra virgin olive oil only for salad dressings and drizzling; use standard olive oil for cooking.

Unrefined flaxseed oil Flaxseeds are rich in alpha linolenic acid (an omega-3 fat) and are a condensed source of antiviral, antioxidant lignans. Use cold-pressed flaxseed oil for salad dressings (don’t cook with it or you’ll annihilate the goodness).

Coconut oil Slower to oxidize and less damaged by heat than other cooking oils; a good source of heart-healthy fatty acids, and it shouldn’t your raise cholesterol.

Canola oil Only 7 percent saturated fat (butter is 51 percent), and unlike olive oil, it doesn’t degrade at high heat, so this is one for the wok.


Steer clear of heavy dairy on a fast day. Some recipes in this book call for crème fraîche or unflavored low-fat yogurt. It’s worth noting that certain cheeses are lower in calories than others: Feta, for example, is made from sheep’s milk and is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B12. Low-fat mozzarella is a handy staple in the fridge.


Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are nutritious additions to morning muesli and salad suppers, bringing good plant fats to your diet.

Nuts are satiating, full of fiber, and handy to have around when hunger calls. Though they are generally calorific, it’s worth keeping packets of pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts (rich in omega-9s) to add to salads and oatmeal.


Your own tastes will dictate exactly what you keep on this shelf (in the cupboard and in the fridge).

Bouillon cubes and powders, including Vegeta

As many spices as you can usefully own without anyone complaining

Red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and smoked paprika

Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces

Garlic, lots of it, preferably fresh, but also pureed or chopped (in a jar) to keep in the fridge

Fresh ginger to slice into pretty much anything, from stir-fries to tea

Mustard of any and all varieties; they do different jobs: spiky yellow English; ochre, rounded Dijon; grainy Dijon for mellow bite and texture

Onions, shallots, green onions or scallions—the last gives you onion flavor with minimum fuss

Asian fish sauce, soy sauce (choose a low-sodium version), and mirin

White wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and rice vinegar: like mustard, vinegars have subtly different roles to play

Canned diced green chiles, for days when you can’t be bothered to chop

Avoid refined sugar on a fast day. Honey, though natural, will spike your blood sugar. Rather than using lab-developed sugar substitutes, try adding a sprinkling of coconut to breakfast porridge, or use a touch of raw agave nectar: known in Mexico as aguamiel, or “honey water,” agave is a low-GI sweetener produced from a cactus-like plant.
Salt and Pepper

I would always use glittering coarse sea salt or flaky salt, and peppercorns to grind fresh in a grinder, all of which have a glorious fragrance and texture.

Ten Things Slim People Keep in the Fridge

1. Lemons

2. Free-range eggs

3. Reduced-fat hummus

4. Nonstarchy vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, radishes, cherry tomatoes, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, lettuce, sugar snaps, snow peas, and a bag of young spinach)

5. Feta, cottage cheese, and low-fat mozzarella

6. Sprouts (alfalfa, mung, soy, and all their friends)

7. Pickled guindillas, jalapeños, and cornichons (or small dill pickles)

8. Fresh strawberries

9. Fresh chiles

10. Unflavored low-fat yogurt

And in the Freezer . . .

1. Ginger; easier to grate from the frozen root

2. Sofritto, aka mirepoix (finely diced onion, carrot, and celery in a 2:1:1 ratio), to save time and energy when cooking any number of recipes

3. Homemade vegetable, chicken, and fish stock, frozen in ice cube trays and transferred to heavy-duty plastic bags, and in 1- and 2-cup plastic containers

4. Fresh herbs, frozen with a little water in ice cube trays

5. Soups: double the recipe and freeze for another day. Thick soups freeze best; you may want to loosen with more stock once thawed.

6. Frozen peas, edamame, and fava beans. Toss them into soups, stews, and (after blanching) salads

7. Frozen blueberries, for a cool little snack (strawberries do not freeze well without added sugar)

The Fast Day Kitchen, Equipped

The recipes here require little expertise and even less equipment. You may, however, find it handy to have the following stashed somewhere in the kitchen.

• Stick blender or canister blender for pureeing

• Food processor

• Multilevel steamer (bamboo or stainless steel), a saucepan with a steamer insert, or a steamer basket

• A mandoline or julienne peeler for shredding vegetables

• Mortar and pestle or mini food processor for grinding spices

• A cast-iron grill pan, to allow fat to run off meat

• Nonstick cookware, including a nonstick wok and nonstick foil (such as Release) to reduce the need for oil

Product Details

  • File Size: 97371 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1 edition (July 2, 2013)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C4GJ9SC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,315 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Recipes too complicated for Fast Day. July 19, 2013
I love the fast diet! I have been following it for 6 weeks now. I couldn't wait for this book to come out.
I love Gourmet food, and enjoy cooking, however I find on my Fast days I like simple easy recipes that are in one or two portions so I can save one for my next fast day. This book has recipes for up to 6 people, I find it difficult to then to measure out my portion. Some of the ingredients are difficult to locate.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Principles and Recipes; Seems to be Working July 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like this and the "Fast Diet" book a lot. I feel good after following it for three weeks and can't wait to get to a scale to weigh myself. My pants are looser.
Both books, though, are rather confusing in their layout (this one IS better than the diet book). It's so cumbersome to sift through all the testimonials, promotion, and selling of the diet to get to the nuts and bolts that I almost gave up. There are facts and tips embedded on those segments. I don't need twenty different stories about the fact that the diet works. The diet sells itself; just stick to the facts, please. I rate it four stars for its' usable content.The FastDiet Cookbook: 150 Delicious, Calorie-Controlled Meals to Make Your Fasting Days Easy
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This informative, inspiring cookbook chronicles how to incorporate this diet into your daily routine, how to prevent the risk of heart disease and other diseases, showing us how easy it is to cut-down on caloric intake. There are 150 simple, easy-to-prepare recipes on a friendly budget, designed for our busy lives. This cookbook is a follow-up of the Fast-Diet, offering several helpful tips on recipes and a more healthy life-style. I have followed the Fast-Diet, and found it very useful, and easy to follow. The recipes include breakfast, lunch, and dinners. There are salads, soup, fish and several recipes to choose from. All recipes are low-calorie, and nutritious. Information is provided on the impact of high-caloric intake in relation to disease as the author highlights the crucial importance of a low-calorie diet on the road to better health in maintaining discipline, and in preventive medicine. As we try new recipes, I will leave updates. We are going to select different salads and soups for starters as many of these recipes are inviting. Interesting, educational,and extremely useful. Highly recommended!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great weight loss program July 20, 2013
By Chris
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So far, I've lost ten pounda in three weeks. Most recepies leave you feeling full. The non-consecutive fast days are easy to follow because you know tomorrow (non-fast day is coming).
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars unavailable ingredients July 23, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We live in a small town in Southern Illinois, and our major shopping is at a Super Walmart or small Kroger. Some of the ingredients are not sold in these store, but may be readily available in a metropolitan area.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing March 20, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First the good: the recipe instructions are clear, and relatively easy to follow; the photographs, although not present for every recipe, are abundant and well done.

Now the bad: too many of the recipes are what I would call "exotic" (at least for American tastes), with hard to find ingredients. Things like: tamagoyaki, shiitake noodle dashi, calabaza con acelgas, tomato dahl, sashimi, bagna cauda, cottage fish, etc. Ingredients like pomegranate molasses, harissa paste, celery root, gravlax, mirin, and cavolo. Also, very, very heavily weighted towards vegetarian dishes. Look, I wasn't expecting meatloaf and fried chicken, but I was hoping for a better mix than what I got.

I'm also really disappointed that the only nutrition information provided is the calorie count. No indication of protein, fats, carbs, sugar, sodium, cholesterol, etc., that would help one to create a balanced fast diet day, especially for those of us who really like to keep track of one or more of those things.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed September 30, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been following the fasting diet for months and have lost weight slowly but surely. However, this cookbook was a disappointment because there was practically nothing suitable for a vegan. I could figure out substitutes for some things, but it is still too meat and cheese centered for me. The second area of disappointment is simply that if I'm only having 500 calories a day, I really don't want to go through a whole lot of trouble to prepare a recipe for a few measly bites. I was hoping the book would have more quick and easy ideas.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You don't need it. July 19, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You can figure out the 500 calories for the day by yourself. The recipes are simple but odd. And very very bland. I don't think 500 calories has to be bland.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great diet
very good information! The diet has been effective and quite easy to do-no starvation feelings noted!!!! I have started losing the weight they state.
Published 7 days ago by Carol Schroeder
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising diet with good recipes
Just a few weeks into this diet and I can attest that it does work and is much less complicated than any other diets I have tried. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Jeff2468
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Help on Your Weight Loss Journey
The book is very clear to follow and brings lots of tips to help me on my weight loss journey.
Published 27 days ago by Fran Macri
4.0 out of 5 stars Innovative recipes
Much better than your average diet cookbook. Some really novel and tasty combinations of ingredients. Useful calorie range to choose from.
Published 1 month ago by Dr BF Murphy
4.0 out of 5 stars given as a gift
I ordered 2 sets of these to give as gifts, and the recipients have had great results following the books. I think that anyone that tries these will like the results they get.
Published 1 month ago by Fred
3.0 out of 5 stars book
i am still working on trying some of the food so far its ok. husband is going through it also
Published 1 month ago by cindy snyder
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Concept
I have tried some of the recipe's and they are easy and taste good. I have started the Fast Diet and use this book to help me stay within my calorie count.
Published 1 month ago by H MAC
4.0 out of 5 stars nicely presented
Good recipes, some common ingredients and some unusual ones for the gourmet. I think most will find recipes they will like to use.
Published 1 month ago by Alice M. Steuck Konkel
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast Diet cookbook just OK
Recipes had too many hard to find ingredients and were disappointing. The preliminary explanation of the diet plan was good.
Published 1 month ago by Martha C.Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Great companion book
Good recipes for your Fast Day meals (500 calories or less). Preplanning meals for this diet is essential - in the middle of your fast, you need to have your food ready so you... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kathleen
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