Back on Dukan

Yep it's true. I'm at it again.

{mother's day 2014 vs. mother's day 2015}

Last year I started the Dukan Diet right after Mother's Day and this year, I coincidentally found myself feeling ready to start again at the exact same time. So this week, I've been hitting the attack phase hard and I'm happy to report that so far it's been going really well.

When I first started this diet last year, I didn't know what to expect. It seemed really hard and scary and like I'd never get to eat 'real food' again. But over the course of the summer I lost and kept off 10 pounds. It may not seem like a lot but it was. I felt great and thought I looked great too. I was able to get into clothing sizes that I could barely wear even before I was pregnant with Penelope. I could wear anything. I wore a semi-backless romper, a tube top, short shorts in sizes that I hadn't seen in years. And well, I'm ready to go back to there!

My feeling with Dukan is that the first three days are always the hardest. There are no veggies allowed and so it's a lot of protein and dairy. This makes it a little tougher, however, when there are no salad options for lunch time. I've found that prepping is key. Having a fully stocked fridge and lunch bag each day makes it way easier. And my favorite thing about this diet? I can eat as much as I want. Sure it's approved-foods only, but there are no restrictions on quantity. And so if I feel like I need a snack every hour in the afternoon, then I eat a snack every hour.

Today is day 4 and I've lost 4 pounds. Not too shabby, right? Today I can also begin incorporating vegetables and I see a cauliflower pizza in my future for dinner tonight, which feels downright decadent. Tomorrow I'll be heading to Dallas for my friend's wedding, and while I'm super duper excited, I am a little worried about how I'll do with sticking on plan for the weekend. I have lots of plane snacks planned and from there, I'm just going to plan to do my best and not stress about it.

So here's a peek at what I've been eating this week:

Breakfast: 0% vanilla Greek yogurt, iced coffee (with cream! never giving that up)

Snack: string cheese & babybel light cheese

Lunch: 2 chicken sausages w/reduced sugar ketchup + yogurt, if needed

Snack: reduced fat cheddar cheese cubes + turkey pepperoni; 2% cottage cheese w/cinnamon & sweetener

Dinner: Dijon mustard chicken kebabs (grilled)

Snack: oat bran w/skim milk + sugar-free syrup

I've mixed up the lunches and dinners, but the snacks pretty much stay the same. This was not much of a change for me since I usually eat this things as snacks anyway! There is a lot of dairy here, but again, it's just for three days. Now that I can have veggies, I'm dreaming of carrot sticks and snap peas!

Another thing that has really gotten me through is diet soda, hot tea and iced tea. Flavored drinks feel like such a treat and have really been a crutch to get through not eating for the sake of eating. If I want to eat, but know it's not because I'm actually hungry, a flavored beverage has really helped. Sometimes I think it's just the ritual of drinking or eating that I'm craving, and a flavored beverage hits the mark!

So that's what I've been eating lately.

Have you ever done a diet like this before?

What have you been eating lately?

 

psst: your Dukan questions answered/traveling on Dukan/Dukan day plan ideas

Chopped's Best Bloody in America Brunch

 

 

This past weekend, my co-worker & friend Allie and I scored tickets to the Food Network Wine & Food Festival here in New York. And not only tickets to an event, but a Bloody Mary Brunch where chefs from around the country competed for title of Best Bloody and judged by the Chopped judges. We both brought our husbands to the event, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super duper excited to have a day out in New York City like an adult and at a super cool event to boot.

 

 

There were 12 stations of bloody marys sampling concoctions from all over the country. I'm not actually a particularly big fan of bloody marys, but I could certainly appreciate the art of making a great cocktail that not only delighted, but tasted wonderful. Oh and there was food. A lot of really good food.

 

It was really fun to walk from station to station and see all of the ways that people have reinvented the bloody mary. I had no idea that there could be so many interesting twists on a classic!

{clockwise from top: Iowa, Florida, Texas, Lousiana}

Absolut sponsored the brunch and also had some non-bloody drinks which I enjoyed. My favorite of the bloodys was from Pennsylvania {the one pictured all the way at the top of this post} and featured a blended bread and butter pickle in the bloody mary! It was so, so good. I never would have thought it was a pickle that made it so tasty, but there you have it! I took so many photos at the event, so I'm going to let those do the talking.

 

{mom + dad's big day out}

 

{bloody with mango + prawns}

 

{new york!}

 

{mixing up the havana mary; florida}

 

{raspberry vodka doughnuts from leske's in brooklyn}

 

 

{allie & me. i think we both enjoyed the accoutrement more than the bloodys...} 

 

{prepping some awesome pork buns}

 

{this guy with his havana mary}

 

{candied bacon aka one of the best things i ever ate...}

 

{another amazing leske's treat: chocolate frosted doughnut with peanut butter + goat ricotta filling}

 

{the chopped judges}

 

{our group at the brunch!}

 

We had so much fun and it was great to have a day in the city, sans Penelope. Of course, Grandma and Poppy had her ready and waiting for us when we arrived home. We brought her home a Magnolia Bakery cupcake for dessert, so I don't think she minded too much that we were gone all day...

 

Do you like bloody mary cocktails? How do you take 'em?

Dukan Meal Plan: Attack Phase or PP Days

Though I know I've been frustrated with the Dukan Diet lately, I'm certainly not giving it up. I might be so over eating meat all.the.time., but at the end of the day (or I should say in the early morning when I weigh myself), I continue to lose when I stick with it...and noticeably gain when I don't. And since I like fitting into my clothes more than not, I'm sticking with it as best I can.

One of the key things I've learned about this diet and lifestyle change is that I need to meal plan. When I leave it up to spur of the moment decisions, well, I often don't make the best decisions. Like an Eagle Scout, it's best to always be prepared. The next key learning on the list is to be creative! That is also the only way it doesn't feel like deprivation or straight boredom.

So for myself and for you other Dukaners out there, I'm going to do a series of meal plan ideas. And even if you aren't on Dukan, well hopefully you will find some other foodspiration from it.

I think the hardest days on Dukan are the Attack Phase days, or Pure Protein (PP). Below I've created a 3 day Attack Phase plan, which can also be used for any PP days! Most of these are staples in our house and we eat some variation of these plans at least once a week. The best part about Dukan is that you can eat as much as you want of the approved foods, so if the below isn't enough, then go ahead and add some more! I hope you find this helpful!

 

 

 

The Day 1 plan is really the most typical day for Shaun and me. I almost always eat string cheese and cottage cheese as my snacks, and most often, grilled chicken and/or chicken sausages grace my lunch plate!

Shaun absolutely loves this mustard roasted fish (and please forgive my badly lit photos...). It's so easy too! Perfect for quick weeknight dinners. And once you're in the PV (Protein/Vegetable) phase, a side of veggies makes it even better.

 

 

I typically save my pancake for dessert at night. It's like the final, sweet food that my body needs to go to bed satisfied. Shaun, however, doesn't care for the sweet version and prefers a more savory style.

I created this one for him to bring to work for lunchtime, and I think it keeps him more satisfied than solely protein. The savory pancake is also a great vehicle for smoke salmon and fat free cream cheese...like a healthy blini!

 

Steak is definitely a 'treat' for us, but makes the whole meal feel so special. I certainly never feel deprived when I have steak for dinner! Diet, who?

So that's my 3 day Attack Phase/PP Day plan. What do you think? Could you live on that? What additions or edits would you make to these meal ideas?