Vacation Time! (& Some Thoughts On Food and Culture)

Something you, my reader, get to look forward to: I’m going on vacation! You know what that means? I get some new experiences to share with you, yoopi!

I’m going ot Florida and Louisiana for a week and a half. I’m very excited, even though I have heard some amazing things about New Orleans food and am pretty nervous about being surrounded by all that delicious temptation…

So if you are following any diet and going on vacation, fearful for the temptations that lie abroad, it’s ok. I’ll try and walk you through it. Although you feel thta it’s your vacation, so you should be allowed to cheat a little, you shouldn’t. Why would you let food control your vacation like that? Get rid of that mentality.

I guess you have to shift your thinking. The food of the world is a part of the culture you are visiting. You want to try all the different stuff, truly experience the culture. This is the way I thin about travelling. It’s difficult to change your way of thinking. At least I am on phase 3 so I will get 2 celebration meals on vacation. If you are on phase 2 and are stuck with just meat and veggies I can see how it would be almost heartbreaking to not be able to eat and enjoy the different foods of the world.

I think it will be heard, but you can always experience the spices, the different cuts of allowed meat, the different vegetables grown. Why do we put so much importance on ingesting heavy or unhealthy meals just because they were prepared in a different country or region? Can someone have a good vacation by just experiencing the things the place has to offer, not the food? Why can’t I go to Universal on my vacation and have a great time even though I can’t sip on Butterbeer or eat hot dogs and fries?

So you have some interesting posts to look forward to: The Dukan Diet on Vacation. Let’s see if I can help guide you through your adventures abroad.

Also, looking forward to coming back with a tan. Oooh yea, this is a well deserved vacation.



Alcohol Throughout the Diet

You cannot drink any alcohol in the first 2 phases. Alcohol is packed with sugar and not allowed. This is very hard to deal with if you are in your twenties, like me, and are getting pressured to drink every single time you go out.

You go out with your friends to a bar, to a club. Not only do you feel the pressure from your friends who mean well and your ‘friends’ who don’t, but also yourself. It’s hard to be the only sober person. Anyone who has ever D.D-ed can attest to this. But what if you had to DD every single time? I have gone out to a bar where even the bartender tried to pressure me into drinking!
When you go out to restaurants with your family or girlfriends, you can also feel the pressure to drink. It’s a social thing.

I’ll tell you what is the worst though: House parties, ugh.

Because not only do you feel that pressure from everyone to drink, but you feel ostracised if you don’t. Much worse than if you were to go out to a bar in my opinion.

I know, people resist the temptation to drink every day. I’m not saying it’s incredibly difficult or impossible, but imagine, there is nothing medically preventing you from drinking, you don’t have to say sober to drive… you just decide that from now until next year you will not have any alcohol. Not a sip for New Years, not your birthday, not Christmas with your family. You wont have a sip of alcohol at any party, BBQ, any bar you go to, any event for the next year.

Now tell me you would totally be okay with not drinking. The only thing stopping you from being included is your willpower.

It has been pretty hard for me, to be honest. On the other hand it was super-easy for Prawn.

Alcohol and Phase 3

Now on phase 3 you can have “a glass of wine” with dinner during your celebration meal. After discussing this for a really long time Prawn and I decided that drinking alcohol would be the only thing we tweaked about the diet. So far we have been following the Dukan Diet to the letter, but since we feel it doesn’t really take into consideration our age group when it comes to alcohol we have made a few changes.

Since we are technically allowed one “glass of wine” or alcoholic drink a week, we have decided that we wouldn’t limit it to the day where we choose to have our celebration meal. If we do not have a drink with our celebration meal we can have that alcoholic drink (just one) during the week, so we can save it up for a time where we go out with our friends. If we do not drink it between the Sunday and Sunday, it doesn’t save up. It’s gone and we don’t get our drink for that week.

Now, we call it ‘binge drinking’ but what we mean is drinking until you feel drunk. We allow ourselves one ‘binge drink’ a month as a replacement to the one drink a week. So in the same week we can’t have a ‘binge drink’ and a weekly celebration drink. So that means every month (approximately) we have 3 single-drinks as well as one ‘binge’. This is to make sure we don’t set ourselves up for failure. We will be on phase 3 until August 10th 2013, there is no way during that period of time we wont be put in a situation where we are very likely to cheat, when it comes to drinking. So by making these rules we expect to save ourselves form the unavoidable, and instead prepare for the situations and create guidelines.

Our month starts on the first of the month and ends on the first day of the next month. So I can have a ‘binge’ drink on the first of September, but then I need to know that for the rest of that month, I can only do the one drink a week. So you have to think ahead and plan as well as you can.

Now we didn’t do this during our weight loss phases (one and two). We were very strict and worked very hard during those phases, as I said above, following Dr Dukans instructions to the letter. Don’t think you can drink alcohol and still have weight loss results like us, that just doesn’t happen.


Portion Control and the Dukan Diet

Your results may vary, I’m talking specifically about Prawn and I and our experience with the diet. You need to remember that we did lose over a hundred pounds each and have been following the diet for almost 9 months.

In the beginning of our dieting journey we would eat a lot. I’m talking a lot of food here: 6 whole eggs a day, a full roast to ourselves for dinner or two steaks, kosher beef hot dogs, and turkey burgers. We went from overeating bad foods to overeating allowed foods and we were dropping weight like crazy. I could eat so much, late at night, and still lose weight the next day and it was this way for months.

At this point I would tell people following the diet that it’s not all about portion control. I would tell people it was all about what foods you ate, eat until you are stuffed and lose weight. Sounds amazing doesn’t it?

To everyone I mislead with this information… my bad. Having followed the diet for a while now and gained some experience I can tell you that there gets a point where yes, portion control matters. Maybe we would lose so much weight even though we were stuffing outselves because we were both so big to start, maybe because in the beginning of the diet your body hasn’t had a chance to react to portion sizes… I don’t know. All I do know is that around month 6-7 of the diet I started noticing that portion control was the only thing making the scale move any further down… and having not controlled my portions the entire diet I was kindof thrown for a loop.

I thought my weight had slowed down because of an extra-long plateau. This is possible. During the last month of phase 2, however, I tropped weight almost as rapidly as during the beginning and what did I do differently? I cut out dairy, stopped snacking after supper, and controlled my portions. The weight was just melting off.

I think it’s important especially in the beginning to make sure you are always full. You don’t need hunger pangs to make you feel any worse when on this diet. It’s very strict and if you were to restrict the quantity of food you eat I feel like there would be an increased risk of cheating. So eat until you are full, but if you see the weight loss start slowing down, cut down on your portions! Never so that you are hungry, just cut down slightly and see how you feel.


Julie and Julia? Not a Crazy Idea…

Have you ever seen the movie Julie and Julia? Maryl Streep is in it and I absolutely adore her. Good movie actually.
Anyways what she does is create a blog, following Julia Childs and cooking all the recipes in her cookbook.
Obviously I’m not going to re purpose this blog. This is not a cooking blog, never has been. But offers a couple of pretty cool tools, one of them shows me what people Google to find DukanDietress.

Interestingly enough, most of the people who are using Google to look me up are searching for Dukan friendly recipes.

So, here is what I think I will do. When I come back from my vacation (more on this later) I will try cooking every recipe in Dr Dukans book as well as the actual recipes that are posted on the Dukan Diet website weekly. I will tackle them and give you all the feedback I can possibly give. Even if you are not on this diet, these might be healthy and delicious alternatives to your current meal plans. If they turn out good you should give them a go!

I am aware there is an actual cookbook available with Dukan recipes. I’ll try and look for a copy while in the US but from what I have gathered it is only available in the UK… I have not seen it here.

So what do you think?

Looks like you have a lot to look forward to after March 15th (when I return from my vacation) :)
Anyways, just a thought. More on this cooking-craziness later.


Alterations to the Dukan Diet – How to Follow it Without Really Following it

I have had this conversation with a few people. Now the diet works as a whole. You can’t really nit pick and choose what parts you want to follow and what parts you don’t.
But how could you follow the Dukan Diet, kindof?

To some people it’s a complicated diet, and I understand that. Are there general guidelines you can follow to get healthy that aren’t as severe or strict as this diet? Of course. Following the ‘teachings’ of the Dukan Diet, there are some alterations you can make to your lifestyle that can get you losing weight, although not nearly as fast as you would lose strictly following the diet.

If you were to follow the Dukan Diet, kindof, you would:

  1. Cut down on your carbs. Every couple days just cut them out completely. When you are planning your meals cut down to maybe only 2 slices of bread a day. Try to make meals that aren’t centred around pasta.
  2. Eat out less. It is so hard to eat right when you aren’t the one preparing the meal. It’s hard to control what you eat, what goes into your food. Try to avoid eating out or eating fast food. Plan your meals in advance and bring lunches.
  3. Cut down on sugar. That means no pop, less dessert, less fruit. Skip out on juice, switch to sweetner. Make conscious choices.
  4. No deep fried. Just cut that out of your life completely and you will notice the pounds dropping.
  5. Seriously consider cutting sauces out of your life. That means no dressings, no sauce. they are full of sugar and empty carbs. I find that after months of eating salad with no dressing and only tomatoes and other veggies to add some moisture, I prefer my salad that way and don’t miss dunking my veggies in dressing at all. I think you just need to change your habit. Use spices instead of sauces.
  6. When it comes to cheese, use sparingly and switch to low-fat dairy products. I don’t find you sacrifice in taste by going low-fat or non-fat when it comes to dairy products.

& That’s all! Easy enough. If you make some conscious changes you can eat healthier a-la Dukan without actually doing this diet. Instead of cutting out, simply cut down. Eat out every once in a while, know that the weight wont fly off but it will slowly start budging and you will be eating healthier.


Losing Your Breasts

Went down from a 40E (Beige) to a 36B (Black)

This is a huge concern for a lot of bigger-breasted women who are gaining weight or have gained. They don’t want to diet because they are afraid of losing weight in their breasts. I will tell you my story:

Being a bigger woman with tiny friends, when we went out dancing, or to bars, I felt like they would get hit on, danced with. I would not. Makes you feel really unnattractive. When guys would take notice of me, anywhere, it was because of my breasts. The only compliment I would get paid is that I had ‘nice tits’ or ‘Woohoo Double Ds!’ I am saying here, that these were compliments, but really… they weren’t. Those aren’t real compliments… anyways.

When working out, when I was larger, I was really reluctlant to do any chest exersises because I didn’t want to lose any of my only good feature. I would wear clothing that showed it off, I would strut around because I had the DDs and eventually E cups, so I was pretty too.

While losing the weight I was petrified of losing my breasts, and of course, they started shrinking, along with the rest of my body (if not faster). I was really upset in the begining and only recently came to terms with my new flat-chestedness.

When I was fat I associated myself with my breasts. These were the only things I liked about myself. Now that I have lost the weight I can say that I am not my breasts. I like my new body a lot more than I ever liked my breasts. My collarbone shows and I think that’s really sexy. I can feel my bones, my face is much prettier, I feel healthy and good looking (when I’m having more confident days).

& the ‘compliments’ have also changed. Although not a single person would tell me I have nice tits… ever again (thank goodness), I have been called ‘stunning’ (something, let’s be honest, I never in my life thought I would be called by anyone), gorgeous, have beautiful eyes, tiny waist, skinny-mini, pretty, slim, beautiful, the list goes on and so does my ego. ;)

These are all so nice to hear and you know what, they beat out ‘nice tits’ anyday.


The Dairy Challenge

There is a ‘Challenge’ I have seen a couple times on a few blogs dedicated to the Dukan Diet, the Dairy Challenge. This involves cutting out dairy products for 30 days while on the diet.

It seems to be generally accepted that when you cut down on dairy while on this diet, you lose more weight. In fact, during the last month of phase 2, I cut out dairy completely to ensure I would lose the weight faster, and it worked.

Of course, when I went onto phase 3 I had a dairy-free-for-all the following week, I celebrated by eating as much yogurt as I could and eating snacks after supper.
I had decided I wouldn’t weight myself once I got onto phase 3, but I did. On that 8th day I weighed myself and, to my surprise, had gained 7lbs. Woah.

Realising I need to make a change, so that in 110 days I wouldn’t have gained back my 110lbs lost… I decided to start a little Dairy Challenge of my own.

So, after a week of following the challenge I am back down to almost my start weight for phase 3. So that means I have lost 7lbs in 7 days by following this Challenge. I really would like to continue, so I will chart my progress here and you can follow me along! :)

I am really not a person of great willpower, and I would use yogurt as a sweet treat, as an easy snack, and as a way to tell myself I was not being deprived on this diet. I will still eat my portion of cheese a day, since I am on phase 3 and it’s important that I follow Dr Dukans instructions for this phase, but I will not touch any yogurt, no greek, plain, or flavoured. I will also be trying my best to not eat a single snack after supper, no food at all just water and diet pop. All this for 30 days.

Wish me luck!

February 15th – Start Date.
February 25th – 1/3 Complete.
March 4th – 170g of yogurt at my grand-mamans request.
March 5th- 2/3 Complete.
March 10th – 2x 170g of yogurt at my grand-mamans request.
March 11th – 170g of yogurt at my grand-mamans request.

As I’m sure you can imagine, The Dairy Challenge kindof went bottoms-up after March 10th, I ate between 170g of yogurt and 340g of yogurt every day between March 10th and March 15th.

March 15th – End Date.

So I guess you could say I was successful for 22 days of the Dairy Challenge (with one cheat). I’m ok with this considering I originally only wanted to do this Challenge for 21 days. Also, I was on vacation begining the 3rd March and ending the 15th, so, all in all, a success.
Now to not go overboard while returning to my yogurt at home.
Maybe I will limit myself to only one 35 cal tub a day. Maybe I will restart another Dairy Challenge.

I’ll keep you posted as always.