Losing the post quarantine weight: The Dukan diet

Losing the post quarantine weight: The Dukan diet

”Post-quarantine, I am the heaviest I’ve ever been yet the happiest. Still, happiness is not an excuse to double in size unless of course you’re training to be a sumo wrestler…which I am not.”

Monday, July 13th:

Post-quarantine weight: Undisclosed due to a massive amount of ego😎

Progress report as of as of July 13th: So far I’m down 5. 94 lbs (I am strongly tempted to round the .94 to 1 lbs 😋)

First stepping on the scale since quarantine: Monday, June 29th. 

On this diet you can eat as much as you want and being a natural-born glutton I find that comforting. There’s just one caveat…it’s strictly protein and veggies. To my knowledge most people are not inclined to overeat when carb and sugar are not the main ingredients. So skinnytown here I come!”

To be fair this post should be titled losing the pre and post-quarantine weight. As much as I would love to blame quarantine for my surprising (although I know exactly how it happened😉) weight gain, I still somehow feel the need to accept some responsibility for this weight gain🙄. 

Today marks three weeks since I’ve been on the Dukan diet. The last time I was on this diet I had about 10 pounds to lose which I lost very easily. Maybe because I wasn’t as fat as I thought…🙄. If you were skinny and you didn’t know it raise your hands🙆🏽‍♀️🙋🏽‍♀️.

Well, this time unlike last time, I am really overweight (About 20 pds overweight😶)

What is the Dukan diet?

It’s a high quality protein/low carb diet structured in 4 phases: Attack, Cruise, consolidation and stabilization. You can find more by following this link: (https://www.dukandiet.com/low-carb-diet/4-phases).

What I like about this diet:

  1. You can eat as much as you want as long as long as you stick with the list of food below which is pretty extensive if you ask me.

2. Since you’re eating strictly lean protein and veggies for a while, it acts as a natural appetite suppressant. Most people are not highly motivated to overeat where carb and sugar are not the main ingredient. 

3. You can go the the Dukan website and have an outline made for you using the 4 phases of the diet depending on your current weight, goal weight as well  as your true weight. The plan tells you how long each phase will last based on your ”predicament😉”

4. Have you ever had recipe books with ingredients so exotic, you’d need to travel around the world just to get them🙄? Well, not with their recipe book. But then again I could be wrong since dear husband cooks most of our meals. I am only the assistant chef after all. It may take a little time to get around but the ingredients used are easy enough to find and most importantly they are ”swappable”.

5. In the book, there are plenty of dessert recipes to chose from which is always a plus. As an example you have a cheese cake recipe that is not bad at all (food pic number 1).

And just in case you’re tempted to feel sorry for me, here’s a few pics of what I’ve been eating so far😁

Number 1 and 2 are from the Dukan recipe book. The fries are rutabaga fries and they were so good! I think I may turn this into a serie complete with food journal where I’ll report weight and observations while on this diet. What do you think? Let me know!

Gros bisoux!😎🐍

 

 

 

 

Acne be gone: 3 things to help manage acne

Remember in my previous post about acne where I talked about my holy grail products (Here)? Well, I m back again this time with a slightly different post. But first, let me tell you how I’ve been failing at taking my own advice. After finally realizing eternal beauty could be mine, I immediately dropped all form of skin care routine and started basking full time in my own reflection. And then it happened… I started skipping my nightly routine and going to bed with..GASP!…make-up on! (If you’re shocked by this revelation, just know I myself am so shocked I am shaking while writing this 😉). Such blatant hypocrisy should be punishable by law😋.

Unfortunately this is not the first time this has happened. It is a vicious circle and it goes like this: First, acne shows its ugly face. In return, I immediately hop on the acne-fighting bandwagon, 300-steps routine and all🙄. Acne clears up. I then start basking in my victory and immediately drops all form of routine. Acne quickly comes back with a vengeance which means I start all over again. This process has made me doubt my intelligence many times over🥴.

Which brings us to this all too-often forgotten piece of advice:

“As with may things in life, maintaining good skin is an ongoing battle (depressing…I know…😔). Just like you wouldn’t eat one meal and consider yourself fed for the rest of your life, you don’t just fight acne once and consider yourself acne-free for life.”

Since the fight is ongoing, we’re obviously gonna have to do a bit of “Expectation management“. I prefer to call it giving success a chance.

In my previous naive life, my definition of good skin was my niece’s skin which means someone with perfect skin as if it was a birthright. Someone who actually talks to the few pimples she rarely gets, if ever, and they actually listen!?!🤯(Read Acne begone: Biotherm two must-have products).

A lot of times we fail not because we’re incompetent but because we want to jump before we can walk.

Settle for good skin. Not glass skin, not dewy skin, not “shine bright like a diamond” skin. No! Just. Plain. good. skin.”

Following this revelation, I had to come up with my own definition of “perfect skin” based on what I feel I could achieve with a bit of effort. So I decided for myself that perfect skin for me was skin that looks healthy enough.  This could mean getting by with light make-up on a bad day and no make-up on a good day.  It’s okay to go make-up free with a few pimples here and there and dark spots as long as overall, my skin looks healthy. My skin does not have to be perfect to go make-up free (still working on this one).

Yes, I know, you and I probably know some people who can actually eat all the sugar and cheese they want and still wake up with a glow that would put the sun to shame. As if great skin was their birthright. Let us not waste time hating on these people (at least not full time🐍😉) and be comforted in the fact that sooner or later justice will be served 😂😎.

Know thyself: Drop the “300-steps skincare routine🙄”

If you know you’re lazy when it comes to skin care then please refrain from being excited at the next “300-step skincare routine” trend.🤦🏾‍♀️This used to be me and I am not even sure I am over it…🙈.

Now I don’t always follow my own advice nor do I always remember to practice those rules I set for myself when it comes to fighting acne but whenever I do remember them, it certainly help. Maybe they can help you too in your quest for “perfect skin” if you give them a try?

Bisoux and let’s talk soon!

Acne begone: Two acne-fighting products I use constantly!

”Whenever my husband tries to give me advice on skincare I shrug…I mean what can somebody with a one-step skincare routine teach ME, a person with a cabinet full of unused beauty products; about skincare?’

Following my previous acne posts (here and here) I want to introduce you to two other amazing acne-fighting products I’ve been using constantly these past few weeks.

Yves Rocher Sebo Végétal Pure 3-in-1 Cleanser Scrub & Blackheads and Neutrogena Deep clean facial cleanser normal to oily skin.

This combination is a miracle worker. I use the Yves Rocher Sebo Végétal Pure 3-in-1 Cleanser Scrub & Blackheads in conjunction with the Neutrogena Deep clean facial cleanser normal to oily skin (this one needs no introduction and is pictured below). I put a  tiny amount of each of them together on a cotton pad, add a tiny bit of water and start rubbing gently in a circular motion. The Yves Rocher Sebo Végétal Pure 3-in-1 Cleanser Scrub & Blackheads contains salicylic acid and doubles as both a cleanser and a scrub. I like the fact that it’s made of tiny little grains that really do an amazing job of getting rid of all the dead skin and extra sebum on a daily basis.

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Yves Rocher Sebo Végétal Pure 3-in-1 Cleanser Scrub & Blackheads

This little gem stayed in my beauty cabinet for quite some time before I even cared to look at it. Why? Because dear husband bought it for me and as a true self-respecting ”beauty expert”😌, I like to think I know better than my husband when it comes to skincare. I mean How can someone with a one-step- routine advise me about skincare? Hence this conversation:

  • Dear husband: ”Honey I have a surprise for you!”

I summon all the excitement I could muster on such short notice 🥱 and profusely thank him more to convince myself than to convince him. Of course he saw right through me and continued:

  • Dear husband: ”You’ve been complaining about your pimples so I bought you this”

The man could barely contain his excitement and for a brief moment I felt a bit ungrateful. That din’t last long though but it’s worth mentioning…

  • Me (eyerolls): ‘‘But I already bought some stuff, you know…”🙄
  • Dear husband: ”Listen to this: the sales lady was black like you and I made sure to specify that I needed products tailored to your skin tone…not just acne, you know” 

Hearing that I almost cried😳. I was as proud as a mother on first day of kindergarten. How did I get so lucky? I became riddled with guilt, guilt for all those times I laughed at his advice because well, what can somebody with a one-step skincare routine teach me about skin? As it turns out a lot. But since we’re not here to bash ourselves, we won’t talk about that.😋

What about you guys? Do you have any products that you consider a miracle worker when it comes to acne? Let me know!

 

 

 

 

Acne begone: Biotherm two must-have products

Biotherm: The key to eternal beauty

“With these two products, I can finally accomplish my lifelong dream of being a respected member of the #Iwakeuplikethis# crowd😎”

Lately, I have been dealing with a bunch of those awful skin deep big bad ass bumps that never seem to go away, 😐hence this past convo with my niece:

Me: Looking at a few tiny pimples on my niece’s face “Hey, you have some pimples!“🐍😈

I regret to admit I almost jumped for joy. I finally have a common misery with someone with perfect skin!

Niece: “…Oh yeah…but they won’t last.” Literally the picture of cool, calm and collected.

I ignored her answer thinking I’d gained a friend in my fight against acne, I immediately launched into elaborate explanations and methods for getting rid of said acne.

Niece: “I’ll talk to them tonight and by tomorrow they’ll be gone”.

Me: “!!!????###!!..You mean you talk to your pimples and they actually listen!!??”

Niece: “Yep

Me :”Some people are truly born lucky“🤷🏾‍♀️

Since I like to think I make my own luck, I frantically went into researching mode for the best way to deal with my sudden bouts of acne.

ENTERS BIOTHERM: YES! I HAVE DISCOVERED THE KEY TO ETERNAL BEAUTY…

AQUA bounce super concentrate

While researching I remember reading that Hyaluronic acid helps strengthens the skin barrier so it can better defends itself against aggressors. it’s basically nourishment for your skin, allowing it to fight inflammation which is the main culprit behind those a God awful pesky bumps!

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AQUA pure super concentrate

According to dermatologists, salicylic acid helps to unclog the pores and eliminate dead skin cells, leaving the skin looking clear.

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The best part, contrary to most acne products, these two products are so gentle on the skin. You just wake up with those bumps getting smaller and smaller.

Now that you know all of my secrets, I hope you won’t mind sharing yours! Stay tune for part two of the acne begone serie! Bisoux

Sticking to an exercise routine

Will walk for a double espresso with 3 brown sugars.

How many times have you tried to encourage or enforce a certain behaviour simply with fear of punishment?

In my case, plenty of times. In fact me think self-flagellation may be my default-mode😫. You can read all about my torture chamber here and I can’t even promise I won’t be back Workout that delivers: 30 min hit

The carrot and stick method

According to Wikipedia The phrase “carrot and stick” is a metaphor for the use of a combination of reward and punishment to induce a desired behaviour.

An example of “stick” I’d try to beat myself with in order to exercise regularly:

Me to myself: “Do you want thighs that look like Swiss cheese?”😛

The vision of a future me with “Swiss cheese thighs” kept me motivated for like 5 seconds after which I ate an enormous piece of french toast.  Plus it’s not like I walk around with my thighs around my neck where everybody can see them, so that wasn’t motivation enough.

“With the proper carrot, there’s absolutely no need for a stick of any kind. It’s a simple case of something to look forward to VS something to be afraid of.”

Instead of a “stick” (punishment), I decided to use the “carrot” (reward)

Lately, I’ve been averaging 8,000 – 10,000 steps a day…effortlessly…no matter the weather.

My secret? There’s a little coffee shop located in the bus station nearby our house so to motivate myself to walk for 45 minutes every morning, I decided that instead of taking my morning coffee at home, I’d walk 20 minutes back and forth (total 45 minutes) to go and get my coffee at the said coffee shop.

Since I am addicted to my morning coffee anyways I might as well couple it with something  healthy and beneficial, like walking.

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Will walk for a double-espresso with 3 brown sugars. I feel so accomplished I could cry😎!

Doesn’t matter if it’s windy, slippery, rainy, cold, humid, I’ve got to get my coffee so I’ve got to walk. Period. I am not even doing it for my health, as sad as this sounds, I am doing it for a double espresso with three brown sugar. Yes I know sugar! the shame of it all! BUT it gets me walking.

I forbid myself to take my first cup of coffee at home.  At first it was a bit difficult since I usually take my morning coffee with dear husband. So I’d leave the house before dear husband wakes up so I am not tempted by seeing him drinking his coffee.

It’s been working pretty well so far and I intend to keep going. I suppose you have to know what motivates you and try a few things before settling on anything particular.

Anyways, I hope I was able to motivate you even if briefly to try and stay active any way you can during those quarantine times.

If you have something that’s been working for you, please do share. I’d love to hear it! Bisoux!😘🐍

What to do when you’ve blown your diet

The goal is not to beat yourself up but to find out what went wrong and prevent it from happening too often.

“Forgive yourself and resist the urge to stick to plain water for the next 100 years.”

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Surprisingly, the day we ate two pizzas, one entree and 16 wings started well enough. As usual I woke up, showered, got dressed, pat down a cocktail of serum on my face until it became numb and put on some bright lipstick. I also went for a 45 min walk. I know I should be awarded a medal😎. On top of that, I made some quinoa and black beans for lunch. Had I just ran a marathon, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have been any prouder.

But then it started to go downhill from that point on…We’re in the kitchen getting dinner ready. We’ve prepared a chicken dish and it’s in the oven and getting crispy. But somehow a little demon started whispering “pizza” in my ears😈. First, I tried to ignore it. That lasted about 5 seconds, then I heard myself saying “Well, if it wasn’t such a bad idea, we could order pizza”. Dear husband didn’t answer at first. I took that as a chance to get back to my senses. Just when I thought I’d successfully crossed that bridge with minimum damage to my waistline, I heard him say: “what kind?”

Me: “What do you mean what kind?”

Dear husband: “What kind of pizza?”

While I am a woman of my words, dear husband is certainly a man of his actions. He’ll only discuss something while doing it or once it’s done. So we had pizza while our healthy dinner was practically done!

FOR HAVING BEING THERE DONE THAT, HERE’S WHAT I DO WHEN I’VE BLOWN IT:

  1. Forgive yourself and resist the urge to stick to plain water for the next hundreds years.
  2. Rewind and look at the whole sequence of events leading to that point when you went hog wild:
    • I was in the basement which is very comfortable – I had been hungry for more than 2 hours – I wasn’t particularly hungry for what I was going to eat for super
  3. By the time we got down to cooking dinner we were already too hungry. Don’t wait till you’re hungry to make make something to eat. Prep all food in advance and get them ready before you get hungry so that by the time you’re hungry you have something ready made. As a matter of fact, plan all of your meals for that day as soon as you wake up.
  4. Watch out for those moments when you’re particularly vulnerable and plan for them. Sometimes it’s not always between good and bad. It’s between bad and worst.
  5. Make it easy to do the right thing. Make sure your environment support the healthy habit you want to promote. I know if I am watching TV late at night, there will be some serious damage done to my diet.
  6. Make a food journal

For me personally, I feel like it’s important to try and maintain some kind of discipline (After 2 pizzas and 16 wings that is😏), specially during this quarantine. Yes, we’re inside now for the most part but at some point we’re gonna have go out and I don’t have money to buy a new wardrobe to accommodate quarantine weight gain so I got to deal😛.

THINGS I’VE DONE TO AVOID DEALING WITH REAL LIFE PROBLEMS

In this week’s episode of things I’ve done to avoid dealing with real life problems…

🙈

“The following could easily be filed under “new low” BUT is it really a low when you know upfront how low you’re willing to go?”

 

First, let’s weed out the “tackle it now” crowd with a couple of meaningful questions😉.

Has your shit hit the fan and people are dropping like dead flies but somehow you still can’t smell it?

Do you routinely give advice you don’t even know how to apply in your own damn life?

Do you look like you always have your shit together even when you’re basically walking around in a deep state of coma?

If so I have a list of small changes that you’re gonna love. These are things I’ve personally done instead of tackling real life problems. Thank me later.😼🐍

  1. Shaving my head hoping it’ll uncloud my judgement🙄. The minute all my hair’s gone I morph into a puddle of regret, despair and bad decisions.
  2. Make a five-year plan for my husband hoping he’ll make it big and I, yours truly, can finally shop all day. Conniving and delusional…an unbeatable combination, if you ask me 🐍😏
  3. Call my niece and give her “life advice” I myself never practice. Luckily for me she’s a very polite young lady: She just answer the call two weeks later.
  4. Go shopping with money I don’t have hoping a new look will give me a new outlook on life. It’s all about “investing in yourself”…you know…new look, new attitude…😔
  5. Paint my nails a bright colour hoping it’ll bring clarity and direction into my life.
  6. Revisit a 5-year plan and pretend it’s a brand new one. Well, technically yes, since I don’t remember doing any of it.😝
  7. Call a long time bestie and speculate on the meaning of life without ever mentioning any action plan. We usually finish by rounding up the usual suspects: our parents.

Of course, all of this could be filed under “new low” BUT is it really a low when you know upfront how low you’re willing to go?

Now that you know all my secrets, I hope you won’t mind sharing yours😛. Go on and share! I won’t tell!

Gros bisous and talk soon!😘🐍

Things I do to avoid writing on the blog🙄

In my blogging journey, I’ve had days when I was so excited to write a blog post my hands could barely keep up with my thoughts. I’ve also had days when I’d gladly chose to be a loser for the rest of my life than sitting down at my computer and write a simple blog post.  So I thought I’d give you a glimpse into my “thought process” or the lack of it when inspiration and motivation have left the building without as much as a fair warning.

In this week’s episode of things I’ve done still doing to avoid writing on this blog😏🙄

  • Call a long time bestie to discuss the latest skin care hacks and compare notes. Believe it or not beautiful, shiny skin can and will make you look more successful than you actually are…thank me later😎
  • Review my vision board and double-check if having a blog really fit into my plan for my life🧐
  • Nag my husband about something that happened way before we even met and hold him personally responsible. Unbelievable, I know…Dear husband has recently stopped falling for that one. Now he patiently wait until I finish rambling, opens my computer, pulls out a chair and instructs me to start writing ASAP.🤦🏾‍♂️🤷🏾‍♀️
  • Paint my nails a bright colour to get in a “writing mood” except nail painting is usually closely followed by full-face makeup plus a couple of YouTube videos on how to “sort out your life”. At this point I am officially down the rabbit hole and there is no turning back…ever.😵🤪
  • Wake up at 5:00 o’clock specifically to write but first start by watching a movie to relax. Promptly fall asleep and wake up just in time for work.😴🤤
  • Make myself a coffee. Once coffee’s ready, realize I really want a latte. Makes latter and go watch 30 minutes of something…anything…
  • Go through contact list and see who I haven’t called in a while and promise myself I’d start writing as soon as I give them a call. By the time I am done, it’s night time.
  • Briefly check the same Instagram account to see if anything has changed since the last time I checked which is probably half a second ago.
  • Write a list of things to do that should have been done 10 years ago.
  • And the list goes on….

Of course while I am doing all this dear husband is patiently observing and trying to gauge when I might exactly…finally…start writing that long-awaited blog post until of course he loses patience and instructs me to start writing now.

As you can see no stone is left unturned in the war against productivity.

Now that you know all my top tips for the most unproductive day, I hope you won’t mind sharing some of the stuff you do to avoid doing things that you know you have to do. Please do share! Bisoux😘🐍

 

 

 

Quarantine: The weight gain is real!

“If this quarantine doesn’t end soon, I may need a second quarantine to sort out my weight.”

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To all the people who knew me pre-quarantine, don’t be surprised if you fail to recognize me post-quarantine.🤦‍♀️

Last week, knowing I was probably gonna be working mostly from home, I made a very serious eating plan for quarantine life. The kind of plan you make when you have no intention of sticking to any plan: Drastic and vague (No point writing a book about it since we’re not gonna do it, right?).  

Like I said: Drastic like “I vow to stay away from all carb from now on and eat extremely healthy however long this quarantine may last”🙄. Of course no precision was given on what I was going to eat to achieve this lofty goal of mine. Why? Because a clear list of food would have made me realized the real cost of my outsized ambition so instead I decided to feed my delusions. 

In fact, right after I made that wonderful plan I came home to this: 

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Turns out dear husband went grocery shopping and brought home three packs of bagels (shown in the pic above) plus a boatload of croissants (not pictured here since we ate it so fast that by the time this article was written, there was none left!).

“It’s clear dear husband did not get the memo of us munching on celery sticks while sipping lemon water. He’s on a different program. The carb overdose program.”

Imagine starting your quarantine with a boatload of croissants and bagels? It literally felt like a set-up. The croissants only lasted three days. The logic being the sooner we ate it all the sooner we’ll get to go back to our diet. I am not proud of us people, I am definitely not proud of us. To tell you the truth, I feel like I am in the backseat of a speeding car with a dead driver at the wheel.

If this quarantine doesn’t end soon, how am I going to explain all the weight gain? Well, if it’s any consolation most people are going to gain weight. I suppose I could become the only person who refuse to leave quarantine due to weight gain.

As proof, an excerpt of a recent convo with dear husband:

Me: “Oh my God! Look at that pic I just took of myself. I feel like I doubled in size!”

Dear husband: “Yeah…you definitely gained…”

At this point, my eyes are like daggers pointed directly at him. Only a person with foot in mouth syndrome like dear husband would ignore the silent warnings…

Me: “My belly is determined to go North while my butt insist on going South.”

Dear husband: “Yeah, you’re sticking out in all directions..”

The double-headed snake!🐍🐍🐍

The nerve of that man! He’s the one who went grocery shopping for “healthy stuff” and came back with a boatload of croissants and 3 packs of bagels. The thing is though, he’s close to 6 ft tall and I am only 5’2 so the risk of me looking like a can of tuna is getting very real. But then again with this quarantine stuff, the low mood and lack of motivation is real…

Bisoux and keep your social distancing!

 

 

Covid-19: The difficulty of remaining civilized…

Whether you’re a Zen master or a messy ball of stress,  the current Covid-19 climate does get to you little by little…

Me and my husband went to Costco a few weeks ago and were shocked to see people behaving with a complete absence of logic and humanity, grabbing everything they can get their hands on. We looked at them like a Zen master would a worrying wart: with love and a heavy dose of pity; just like someone who’s found the light would look at a person still scraping in the dark. We are different I thought to myself. We are civil. Or so I thought…

“It’s very difficult to remain civilized when competing for the last loaf of bread with people who think they’re out on a supply run in a walking dead episode…”

First of all, just as usual, we went to grab a shopping cart. There were none. After careful observation, we had to accompany a person with a loaded cart to their car, wait for them to unload it while throwing menacing glances around to discourage anyone to try and grab it before us.

Once inside, we were shocked to see empty rows on empty rows of food while people could barely push their overloaded carts around. I deeply resent the fact that we had to rush in an uncivilized manner to grab the last loaf of bread before someone with a cart full of bread could grab it. This enlightened Libra is still under shock. Let me tell you: It’s  very difficult to remain civilized when competing for the last loaf of bread with people who think they’re out on a supply run in a walking dead episode. In case you’re wondering, we did our best to calmly rush (if it’s even possible…) to essentials without giving the impression we’re lifetime members of the “toilet paper- crazy group”.

“This gives way to an essential question: How long is it possible to keep our civility and humanity during such time of crisis?”

If walking dead is any indication. Not long…but I am sure it won’t get to that point..

In the meantime, let’s try and stay isolated, hydrated and civilized! Gros bisoux!