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)  .  .  .”


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