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Since coming off of the Dukan Diet proper, Steve and I observe a ‘Protein Day’ once a week, normally on a weekday. This apparently keeps our set point in check and, believe me, it’s no great hardship to spend a day devoted to protein. The other thing we’re ‘supposed’ to do, in perpetuity, is have 3 tablespoons of oat bran a day. (I believe that Dukan has shares in the stuff). We haven’t stuck to this on a daily basis, but I have oat bran on our Protein Day.
This morning I made a Dukan version of my favourite childhood hot cereal, Chocolate Malt-O-Meal. I mix together 3 tablespoons of oat bran, a teaspoon each of Stevia and Cabury’s Bourneville Cocoa Powder and ¾ cup of skimmed milk.
And cook it over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Yummy and a nice start to the day, especially in wintertime.
Alternatively, I have the oat bran mixed into non-fat yoghurt.
Lunch was leftover grilled chicken breast cut into chunks. I can graze at my job, so it’s very handy to have close to hand (and mouth). Sometimes I have ham and/or beef jerky.
Tonight’s dinner was a beautifully marbled piece of rump steak,
grilled, with some onions cooked in beef stock.
Our weekly Protein Day is a moveable feast. Tomorrow is Spinning Wednesday (I go to a spinning class at the gym, so need my carbs) and Thursday is Cupcake Thursday (more on that later!) so this week, Protein Tuesday it is.
For today’s post we have an etymology lesson, a Dukan recipe and self-portraiture rolled into one.
Fighting fit, which seems to have originated as a military term in Great Britain, means to be “very fit; in the peak of condition.” The following newspaper article is from the Fielding Star, 24th February 1916.
I’ve been feeling extremely fit, not only having lost 6 kilos/1 stone/14 lbs on the Dukan diet, but I’ve been going to the gym three times a week. And not just because of the diet. I’ve been lifting weights for 30 years, since I was 18. I was a tomboy when I was a kid, so was always healthy and strong. The weight lifting started out partially from there and in part because I was obsessed with my weight and body image to an unhealthy degree in my teens and early 20′s. By my mid 20′s, when I came to terms with my eating disorder, I still enjoyed exercise and working out, so that has pretty much carried on since. Some years, I take a few months off and I only go when I enjoy it. Oh yeah, I took a nutrition class when I first started college and learned that one of the best preventions for osteoporosis (porous bones) which affects post-menopausal women is weight bearing exercise before the age of 40. That was another reason for weight lifting.
So as a result, when I shed my layer of excess adipose, my muscles popped back into the fore. In addition to lifting weights twice a week, I’ve been going to a Kettlercise class, which is about an hour of 60 second resistance exercises using a 4 kg weight.
Anyhow, I had one of my favourite dishes for breakfast – Little Joe’s, which is one of our staples on the Dukan diet. It’s a beef and egg dish, supposedly from San Francisco, with hazy origins. I felt like a prize fighter when I was cooking it. They eat a lot of protein and eggs, right? So I dreamt up an alter-ego called Little Joe Dukin’. A bantamweight boxer who goes to her favourite diner for breakfast after an early morning workout in a sweaty, Mission district gym. I don’t box, by the way, yet! So I pulled on pair of oven mitts for the photo shoot.
I was inspired by Sonny Liston, an American professional boxer known for his toughness, punching power and intimidating appearance, who became World Heavyweight Champion in 1962 by knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round.
I also found a Photoshop tutorial on how to make a retro boxing poster and thought it would be fun to make one of my own.
- ½ onion, chopped
- 200g lean ground beef
- 2 big handfuls of spinach, steamed and chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Tabasco sauce
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Put the spinach on to steam while you sweat the onion in a little oil. Add the beef and cook ’til brown. Stir in the chopped spinach and season. Add some Tabasco sauce to the eggs, stir them in and cook it all up until it’s set. Top with Parmesan cheese.
This recipe can easily be scaled up to feed a boxing gym full. If anyone is on the Cruise phase, just omit the Parmesan.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary:
anomalous, adjective, 1640s, from L.L. anomalus, from Gk. anomalos “uneven, irregular”. Inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected.
We’re having a Pan-Asian Stealth Dukan Dinner Party tomorrow night. Nothing too special. Just some new friends to dinner and they won’t know (until we tell them) that they’ve been gently Dukanised. But we are offering wine with the meal even though we’ll only have a glass each.
It’s this Australian Dry Reisling we had on St. Patrick’s Day when we served homemade Corned (for 3 weeks in brine, no nitrates) Beef, carrots, cabbage and potatoes (not Steve) and Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp (not Steve), but he did have a glass of the red Sancerre which was AMAZING. Not only because it was RED, but it was delicious. I only had a sip, but it was like a Beaujolais with surprising, hidden depths. Our good friends with excellent taste brought it to dinner along with some Irish Cream Lindt truffles.
I had a glass of the Dry Reisling (some food/wine pairing website recommended Reisling or Gewürztraminer with Corned Beef). I bought one bottle of each of those and found the Lodge Hill Dry Reisling at our Co-op market. Doesn’t sound quite right, because as you know young Reislings can be on the fruity and aromatic side. What grabbed me was the word minerality on the back of the label. I love a good bottle of white Portuguese wine from the Douro area, which has a cool mineral taste not unlike having a river stone in your mouth. This Aussie Dry Reisling was incredible.
Lodge Hill Dry Reisling. Ask for it by name.
‘Lodge Hill’ produced this gold medal winning wine as well as the 2010 vintage which was awarded the Douglas Lamb Perpetual Trophy at the 2011 Sydney Wine Show. These back to back wins demonstrate the consistency of this vineyard.”
So anomalies are a goof thing. Ooops! Meant to say a “good” thing. But that would be waaaay too Martha Stewart. But then I did use her Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp recipe. I’ll write that up later on. Steve’s just back and has me otherwise diverted.
But read on for a moment, so I can share a pearl of wisdom with you.
Since I’ve moved onto the Consolidation Phase and Steve is still on the Cruise Phase, we’ve been coordinating our meals together. For instance, last night, I had a Patty Melt and Steve had a Patty with Grilled Onions. A Patty Melt, for those of you who don’t know, is an American diner sandwich consisting of a grilled hamburger patty, grilled onions, melted Swiss or Cheddar cheese served on toasted rye bread. I grilled the burgers and onions together, then used my daily ration of bread, butter and cheese to complete my Patty Melt.
Today, we’re having a Protein Day. I’m down to one of these a week and Steve is still every other day. I let my Protein Day float around a bit so that Steve and I can share them. Sometimes I even have two a week. What the heck, it’s a movable feast and I’m very happy to graze on meat.
We’re having Asian Meatballs from the Dukan Diet Recipe Book for dinner. Only they came out shaped more like dodecahedrons and didn’t want to roll around in the pan, so I turned them with a pair of tongs to brown them evenly.
- 500g minced beef
- some cooking oil
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or Madeira
- ½ beef stock cube
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- ½ grated ginger
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
Shape the meat into small meatballs and brown on all sides in a non-stick skillet over a high heat, then put them to one side. Deglaze the pan with the water, then add all of the other ingredients, except the cornflour. Mix well and return the meatballs to the pan, adding water if necessary so the meatballs sit in the sauce, but are not completely covered.
Cook for 10 minutes until the meatballs are cooked right through. Blend the cornflour with a little lquid and add to the sauce to thicken it it.
In case you don’t know, a dodecahedron is a mathematical shape with 12 sides. I know this from reading The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.
“He was constructed (for that’s really the only way to describe him) of a large assortment of lines and angles connected together into one solid many-sided shape—somewhat like a cube that’s had all its corners cut off and then had all its corners cut off again. Each of the edges was neatly labeled with a small letter, and each of the angles with a large one. He wore a handsome beret on top, and peering intently from one of his several surfaces was a very serious face.
Perhaps if you look at the picture you’ll know what I mean. “
“My angles are many.
My sides are not few.
I’m the Dodecahedron.
Who are you?”
I’m having Grilled Rump Steak and a Baked Potato tonight. CAPITAL LETTERS because this is the first potato I’ve had in 5 weeks. I reached my ‘Ideal Weight’ of 54 kilos last Sunday! On Monday, I entered my 60 day Consolidation Phase, wherein I can start to add “fun foods” to my diet such as:
- Whole wheat bread (2 slices per day) w/ a scrape of fat-reduced butter (I use Lurpak Lightest),
- 1 piece/serving of (most) fruit (except bananas, cherries, nuts (?) and avacados (sic)),
- 40g of hard cheese,
- 2 servings of carbohydrates per week: (preferably whole wheat) pasta, brown rice, polenta, or baked/steamed potato with it’s skin, and
- A celebration meal per week to include one appetizer, one main meal, one dessert and a glass of alcohol.
I’ve heard about people in the 40′s and 50′s saving up their Ration Coupons to make something special like a cake. After I scrubbed my huge potato, I rubbed it with vegetable oil and sprinkled it with Maldon sea salt. Stuck a skewer in and baked it for about an hour. I split it open and used my daily ration of Lurpak Lightest Butter and I grated my 40g of Cornish Yarg cheese on top and popped it back into the hot oven until it melted. Then I finished it with some fat free Fromage Frais mixed with fresh chives and some Phat Free Philly. A bit more Maldon salt and some freshly grated black pepper. I served it along side my grilled rump steak and washed it down with a glass of diet Canada Dry ginger ale.
I’m very proud to have reached my goal of losing 6 kilos. I feel svelte and a have real sense of accomplishment. I was out shopping for an outfit to wear for my Private View and Open Studio this weekend and found these cute lilac-pink silk damask, cropped trousers at a vintage shop and a floaty, layered, lilac top at a boutique.
The whole point of the long Consolidation Phase (10 days for each kilo lost) is to re-introduce carbs in a structured manner so that I don’t immediately gain back the weight I lost in the first phases of the Dukan Diet. Makes sense to me. So I’m gradually re-introducing things into my daily fare. Really appreciating them and getting re-acquainted with heretofore familiar tastes.
For instance, I sliced an orange that had been in the fridge the other day. It was so juicy and delicious, like walking into a cool, adobe room from a hot summer day in the desert. It added to my pleasure and appreciation to use my green cutting board and red paring knife when I prepared it.
In addition to following the Dukan Diet, I’ve been dipping into my copy of ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat’. Part of the French aesthetic which I love is seduction. Mireille Guiliano writes:
“For us French, Colette put it best when she described the table as un rendez-vous d’amour et d’amitié (a date with love and friendship). And it’s not a purely figurative description, because we tend to see our pleasures as being interconnected. We can’t imagine anything more boring than to live with someone who doesn’t care about food or eating or sharing meals. One passion goes hand in hand with another.
Sensuality is vital to our ideas of seduction, and seduction figures prominently in the French woman’s sense of herself. We have always known one doesn’t have to be a great beauty to seduce, but one does have to be sensual. A mannequin may catch a man’s eye, but a sensually abstinent woman won’t hold him for long. Style, a sense of taste and elegance can go far, too, but pure arm candy is an unsatisfying supper. It’s not that French women are not assaulted with as many unnatural ideals of womanhood presented in glossy magazines; we just don’t take it personally. No matter how well turned out or fit, if one is not bien dans sa peau, one can never project that certain état de grâce. This is something every woman can learn to achieve, and French women channel more intuitively than most. For all her attention to what she wears and what she eats, a French woman is most defined by ease in being herself and the attractiveness of taking her pleasures. It has little to do with weighing a certain amount. And it doesn’t come upon you through avoiding food.
Au contraire, the meal itself, in all its splendor, has been a scene of seduction since the grand court dinners of Versailles. French women seduce with the way they order and savor food, with the sly complicity of stealing a taste from the other’s plate or feeding our lover a particularly choice morsel. And just as certain formalities at the table can heighten the psychic zing of the food, so, too, can setting, presentation and ambiance intensify the mood of dining together.
For the French, the sex appeal of eating is second nature. Perhaps this is why so many erotic blandishments refer to food: mon petit canard (my little duck), mon chou (cabbage), ma tourterelle (dove), ma caille (quail) . . .”
Steve didn’t marry me for my housekeeping skills. Cooking, yes, cleaning, no. Yet, he’d been away all week for his work and was due back by mid-evening on Friday. Our salon and kitchen were still in studio mode. I’d been working all day on the edges of my quilt in preparation for quilting it over the weekend.
So by 7pm, I decided to do a quick tidy up of the kitchen and get a hot meal on the stove. We were on a protein vegetable (PV) day and the temperature had dropped more than a few degrees. I was in the mood for something beefy, hearty and spicy and I figured that Steve would concur. Remember those ‘man pleaser’ dishes from the 1950′s?
I concocted a hot vegetable sauce to serve over grilled beef burgers and Portobello muchrooms. Apparently Dukan says it’s OK to have 1 teaspoon of oil a day, so we don’t get too crispy. I use mine for cooking.
Burgers Portobello with Red Hot Mama’s Pepper Sauce
- 500g packet of lean beef mince
- Jalapeno peppers to taste, chopped
- Spring onions, diced
- Salt & pepper
- Portobello mushrooms, 2 per person
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper/capsicum, sliced lengthwise
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 fresh medium spicy chili peppers, sliced thin
- Crushed red pepper, to taste
- 1 can/pack chopped tomatoes, undrained
For the burgers, mix together the beef, chopped jalepenos and spring onions. Mix with the egg and shape into patties.
Spray a frying pan with little oil and sweat the onions and peppers.
Season with crushed red pepper and stir in the tomatoes. Let it simmer and thicken for a while.
Steve usually rings when he leaves the motorway, at which point I heated up the grill. I drizzled the mushrooms, gill side up with balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil. I grilled them alongside the burgers for about 4-6 minutes on each side, and sprayed the mushrooms with oil when I turned then over. By this point, the balsamic had insinuated itself into the gills, so didn’t drip out.
I served it with some Tabasco and Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce on the side.
Steve was pleased too.
Over the meal, I reminisced about some other good hamburger based dishes. It turns out that Steve’s never had a chili omelette, an American breakfast favourite. The next day was a Protein day, so we started with a huge omelette stuffed with scrambled hamburger and Red Hot Mama’s Pepper Sauce. I slipped in some non-phat Philly to give it some creaminess.