Life Health & Wellbeing

Thursday 21 February 2019

Week 5 on the LBD challenge

Leslie Ann Horgan
Leslie Ann Horgan
Leslie Ann Horgan

Leslie Ann Horgan

I have officially fallen off the wagon. Well, in a manner of speaking. Alcohol is the last thing on my mind this week, but so too are healthy eating and exercising. The cause is a throat and chest infection, which dragged me down until I ended up a coughing, shivering, voiceless shell.

I only managed to complete Siobhan's workout once in the week, and I was encouraged by the fact that, with some determination, I was able to push myself to do all 20 reps of each exercise. My push-ups are noticeably improving too - I no longer approach them with a sense of dread - so it's a pity that I wasn't able to build on that further.

Trying to stick to Orla's food plan while feeling downright miserable has been a challenge too. The sensible part of my brain knows that eating nutritious foods right now will aid in my recovery. The sick part, however, seems to believe in feeding a cold and craves sugars and carbs and strong flavours for taste buds dulled by antibiotics. I had a ready meal when I couldn't summon up the energy to cook on Saturday. Yesterday, at my lowest point, I had a slice of cake for dinner.

If there's anything good to come of this experience it's that I am missing being able to exercise, and I wish I had the energy to cook a nice dinner. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, and I genuinely feel as though I have formed some good ones through the last month of the Little Black Dress Challenge. I fully intend to get back to them once this dose has passed.

Leslie Ann Horgan is editor of Weekend Magazine. Check in next week to see her progress in the LBD Challenge

A sample of Leslie Ann's food diary


Breakfast: fruit pot with apple, grapes, pineapple, strawberries and orange Orla says Don't forget to include some protein at breakfast time. Fruit tastes delicious with Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, quark, natural yoghurt, soy yoghurt or fromage frais.

Snacks: pecans, banana

Lunch: pea and mint soup, wholemeal pitta

Dinner: scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, 2 x Ryvita Orla says Do try and include some colour with each meal. Spinach would be lovely with this combination.


Breakfast: banana Orla says A higher protein breakfast can be helpful when trying to lean up. If you're in a rush, perhaps grab a large glass of milk with your banana or a latte on the go.

Lunch: tomato soup, wholemeal pitta Orla says Don't forget to have protein with your meals to preserve your muscle mass when losing weight. The majority of your muscle is internal which includes your heart, so don't scrimp on this important food group at meal times.

Snacks: Pecans, carrot sticks, apple

Dinner: Beef burger (with bun) and guacamole


Breakfast: none Orla says Skipping breakfast isn't healthy for the body, so do try and have something.

Lunch: vegetable soup, 1 x slice brown soda bread, tuna, tomato, mixed leaves Orla says A fantastic balanced lunch.

Snack: Apple

Dinner: 2 x soft boiled eggs, tomato, ½ avocado, 2 x Ryvita Orla says Excellent!


Breakfast: banana

Lunch: ham, cheese and onion omelette with mixed leaves, seeds and broccoli salad Orla says Be cheese aware! A low-fat hard cheese is still a high-fat food. In fact, a match box-size of cheese contains the same amount of fat as one pork chop. Nonetheless, there are healthier versions of cheese. If you're aware of what they are, you can enjoy cheese in moderation.

Snacks: Apple, cashews

Dinner: Starter: 4 x king prawns; mains: monkfish with cabbage and peas

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