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Charlotte’s Dukan Diet is moving!

Hi folks!

I have made the move to fully self hosted blog, over at As a part-time web developer geek, I was getting frustrated with WordPress not letting make the tweaks to my blog as I wanted.

Also (as you’ll read in the latest post on my new blog) I’ve been really crap with Dukan lately. I’m hoping that having my own self-hosted blog will help get me enthused about the diet, especially at this time of year.

So head on over to my new website. I’ll be shutting this blog down for business soon. Closing off the links, seeing if I can arrange redirects for a while until Google learns what to do.  All my content from this site has been exported over there, comments, photos, everything, so there’s nothing missing. It’s the same experience, only better, cause I get to do fun things like design my own swirly backgrounds… 🙂

Go to


(See you there?)


I’m sorry, no weigh-ins or blogging these past few days. I’ve had the double whammy of being off work sick, and of course the inevitable lady times… This has lead to a bit of naughtiness, I’ll admit. J and I had an indian the other night, and I’ve had the odd cookie and chocolate over the past couple of days. Bad girl.

But that all ends today. I’m back to being determined today. I had an OK day – I ate a good PP day, except for one stray Oreo biscuit. Back on things properly from tomorrow, including a good walk. 🙂

Recipe: Carrot Cake Muffins

Suitable for PV (or leave out the carrot for a PP version)
Makes 12 medium muffins
4 muffins = 1 daily allowance of oatbran on Cruise


  • 3 tablespoons wheat bran
  • 6 tablespoons oatbran
  • 9 tablespoons skim milk powder
  • 6 eggs (leave out 4 yolks and just use the whites if you’re worried about your cholesterol. If you’re doing strict Dukan, definitely leave out 4 yolks)
  • 300g fromage frais or plain natural yoghurt
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • 10 drops liquid sweetener (basically add sweetener to taste. Remember, powdered spoon for spoon sweetener is higher in digestible carbs than liquid!)
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • plenty of cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • pinch of salt


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • Grease muffin tins with a little oil
  • Grate the carrot, and use kitchen paper towel to squeeze all the liquid from the grated carrot.
  • Combine all the ingredients except the sweetener.
  • Add sweetener and cinnamon to taste
  • Pour evenly in muffin tins
  • Cook for 20-30 mins. I have a fan-forced oven so I have to rotate the muffins trays every 10 mins or so.

These are loosely based on Gentlemonkey’s moist vanilla muffin recipe, but I really wanted carrot cake one day, so I changed it all around. Also, I don’t like to use vanilla yoghurt in anything, as the only stuff I can get here is half-sweetener, half-sugar. No thanks! 🙂

*update* I just took them out of the oven (the non-carrotty version). Pretty tasty, but I might try next time with less egg – they’re a bit rubbery! If anyone else tries it, please let me know how it works out! I’ll continue to refine this recipe!

Reaching threshold

What is it that makes us want to lose weight – and keeps our resolve strong after the first week?

So Robs left a comment yesterday that made me start thinking about what it was that makes us successful on a diet? She said,

“Can’t take this extra weight ANYMORE!!!”

In other words, she’d reached what I’ve heard called “Threshold” – that point where you’ve had enough, where you’re suddenly jolted into a sense of awareness of all those pounds which might have been creeping on gradually for months, years, decades.

It could have been a pair of jeans that used to fit but don’t anymore. Maybe it was a number on the Scales of Woe that you’ve never seen before (and had hoped to never see). Perhaps it was catching a glimpse of yourself in a window at just the wrong angle, or a particularly bad photo that you’ve had to untag on Facebook.

For me, last year, it was this photo:

To say I was shocked to see this photo was an understatement. It was taken in about May 2010, when I was at my all-time heaviest – around 114kgs. When I think that right now, I’m carrying 18kgs less than I was back then, it makes me wonder how I managed to get around at all.

18kgs – that’s the equivalent of one of those great big bottles of water that goes in the water cooler in the office.

Those things are bloody heavy to lug around. And I was lugging an extra one of those around 16 months ago.

Anyway, I saw the photo, at around the same time as I had been reading about the Dukan diet. It all just kinda clicked into place – threshold.

But by Christmas, I was looking a bit more svelte. I was down to about 88kgs, I was fitter, happier, healthier, but I tell you what, I was looking forward to those Christmas Carbs. I’d decided I was going to allow myself a lovely big celebration meal at Christmas. Late November rolled around, and I started thinking, “och well – it’s holiday season. Let’s have a mince pie.”

By the time Christmas drew near, I’d gone from the odd carb-indulgence, to having carbs every day. It’s what them’s in the low-carb world term, “carb creep”. One little bit of carbs leads to a little bit more. You justify a little jump on the scales, by saying that you’ll do better tomorrow. But tomorrow comes, and that little bit of carbs yesterday didn’t hurt that much, so you have a bit more bread, or another biscuit, or another mince pie.

And before you know it, the scales have gone up by 12kgs and you barely even know how it happened.

So how did it happen? Gradually, that’s how.  Over the past few months, I’ve found myself making a few desultory attempts at “getting back on the wagon” but it never lasted. I never had that “threshold” moment which really galvanised my resolve to make me resist the biscuits in the kitchen at work. Plus, I was so embarrassed at having put all the weight back on again, I didn’t really want to admit it to the world at large.

So what’s different this time? I think for me, the threshold has been a more positive experience – a couple of the bloggers who I used for support last year (most of us had gradually stopped blogging – and Dukanning – for one reason or another) have come back. Re-enter Gentlemonkey in particular – I’m holding onto her as my own personal “threshold” champion. When she does Dukan, she does it really well. She and I have kinda followed similar paths – perhaps via different routes – but the destination has been the same. We both did really well on Dukan, then she moved to Japan and I … well, I just enjoyed too much junk food. And so we both gained back some of what we’d lost.

It helps to know that I’m not the only one who fell off the wagon and is willing to admit it. So thanks Lauren. You totally halted my upwards spiral. Seriously, I owe you one. If you and your man ever need a bed to stay in when you visit Edinburgh, you’ve got one. We’ll have a high protein, low carb BBQ.

What about the rest of you? What were your threshold moments in deciding to go with the Dukan Diet (or any diet) with gusto? Blog it, tweet it, Facebook it, comment it – share your stories! 🙂

Love to you all – WE CAN DO THIS!!!


Recipe: Stewed Rhubarb

Super easy recipe devised to help me wean myself off the desire for sugary fruit Yoghurts

Suitable for

  • PP (100g tolerated on a PP day)
  • PV (unlimited on a PV day!)


  • 2 cups of raw diced rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup water
  • (UPDATED:) a pinch of salt, which helps to deepen the flavour and counteracts the “empty sweetness” that comes with using sweetener instead of sugar.
  • Sweetener to taste


1. chuck water and rhubarb in pot

Halfway to cooked

2. put pot over stove
3. turn heat up to Ludicrous Speed
4. stir occasionally, until it goes gloopy:

5. Add sweetener to taste. I had to put in a fair whack – it was pretty TART! But bear in mind what I said about sweeteners – the spoon for spoon ones are not really very good, as they bulk the artificial sweetener out with maltodextrin or dextrose – both of which are easily digestible carbs. Bad bad BAD spoon for spoon. No cookie.

6. Serve with fat-free natural yoghurt. NOM! 🙂

A note about sweeteners

Lauren, this one’s as much for you as for anyone else – I saw you mention spoonfuls of sweetener so I thought I’d let you know what I found out while you were in Japan! 🙂 xx

I’ve been reading lots about sweetener lately, and I thought I’d share my findings, as I understand them.  DISCLAIMER – I’m not a scientist, so be sure to do your own research before following my lead! 🙂

There are many different types of sweetener – aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, sorbitol, acesulfame k, erythritol, xylitol – the list goes on.

The ones that end with “-tol” are generally what’s known as “sugar alcohols” – they’re made from a sugar base, and have the same amount of carbs in them but a lower amount of absorbable carbs (that’s my understanding, anyway.) They affect everyone differently, so some people’s bodies will get kicked out of ketosis with them.

I could go on and on about about sugar alcohols – but wikipedia says it so much better.

All of these sweeteners also react differently to heat. Most, if you put them in cooking, will break down and lose their sweetness – they have no “heat stability”.  Some are what’s known as “heat stable” – ie they are perfect for baking! The number one heat stable sweetener in my book is sucralose.  Sucralose is 600 times as sweet as sugar, twice as sweet as saccharin, and 3.3 times as sweet as aspartame. So it’s pretty hefty stuff.  You can find it in things like Splenda.

However, there’s an issue with sucralose (and a lot of other “tabletop” sweeteners) – in order to make them “spoon for spoon” as sweet as sugar, they have to bulk them out with a bulking agent.  Most of the time, they’ll use Dextrose or Maltodextrin. The problem with these bulking agents is that, according to wikipedia, they are “easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose.”

So, ok.  You’ve got your sucralose.  It’s super sweet, so you only need a tiny bit, and it doesn’t kick you out of ketosis. But to help you measure it with a teaspoon like you’re accustomed to, they bulk it up with a bulking agent that has the same effect on your body as sugar!!!!

What the hell?

“What’s the solution?” I hear you ask.


Get yourself either some sucralose in tablet form (ie splenda tablets, but make sure it’s Sucralose) and crush it up for you cooking, or get it in liquid form – my new favorite.

I hopped on eBay the other day and ordered myself a tiny little eyedropper of liquid sucralose – all you need is one drop in your coffee.  I put it in my porridge before it goes thick for perfect mixed-ness – and because it’s heat stable, it won’t break down and lose its sweetness on the stove or in the oven.

But get rid of your spoon-for-spoon, because it’s pretty much just as bad as sugar if you’re watching your carbs.

Restart prep

I’m getting kinda excited now too…

Today our Tesco order arrived, delivering the following:

Fresh fruit & vege

  • 5 onions
  • Bunch of spring onions
  • packet of cherry tomatoes


  • Lean smoked bacon (for quiches)
  • 2kgs lean steak mince (for burgers and taco mince)
  • 1kgs lean pork mince (for burgers)
  • Roasted salmon fillets (for thai salmon fishcakes
  • 2 venison burgers (for trying out)
  • 3kg chicken fillets

Dairy & eggs

  • Skimmed milk
  • 48 free range eggs (yes, you read that right. We loves our eggs, we does)
  • 500g fat free fromage frais – stacks better than any other kind of yoghurt, I’ve decided

I already have things like spices, garlic etc. The last thing I ordered that’s Dukan-related is, of course, freezer bags – essential!

I spent the afternoon cleaning and cooking.  I’ve prepared the following:

  • 5 servings of chicken breast and 4 of chicken thigh (chopped into nugget sizes & marinated)
  • 3 servings of taco mince
  • 6 servings of beef & pork burger mince
  • 48 mini quiches (we ate 8 of them while they were still hot and juicy – YUM! I hope they freeze well…)

Edited to add: I also cooked up 5 days worth of oatbran porridge and packaged them up in tupperware containers. 🙂

Bloggers unite!

OK, so as you can probably tell from the lack of updates, I’ve not been doing so well on the Dukan thing recently.  I let it all go last December and never really got back into it.

However, recent return of Gentlemonkey has helped coalesce my determination, and I’m taking some inspiration from her.  She and I started the diet not too far apart, last year.  We both lost about the same amount of weight, and then she went to Japan, and I stopped watching the carbs, and we both put on the same amount of weight. Eeek!

She’s restarting tomorrow. I’m going to follow her very good example, and restart tomorrow too! We have a Tesco order arriving today with a whole stack of MEAT! A five day attack later, and we’ll be back to Cruising altitude (or rather, Cruising ATTITUDE! YEAH!)

I’m feeling much more organised today than the last time I tried to re-launch the diet.  I’ve put together a meal plan for this week (and have run it past J to make sure that he’s happy with it) and it even includes things like what evening prep I need to do to prepare for lunch the next day.

We’re off to see the solicitor later on today to talk about finalising missives on the house purchase (did I mention we got our mortgage approved? We’re gonna be homeowners!!!) and then I’m coming home to:

1) tidy the kitchen and clean out the freezer
2) tidy the house while waiting for the Tesco order
3) take delivery of the Tesco order
4) cook and prepare a LOT of food, and package it up in the freezer
5) tidy the rest of the house (for some reason dieting is easier in a house that’s not messy. It makes me feel like less of a slob…)

Here’s my food prep list:

  • Cut up chicken breasts into Chicken Nugget sized pieces, marinate, package up into single servings
  • Cook up a large batch of Taco Mince
  • Prepare mini quiches en masse and freeze most of them, apart from the ones we’re having for dinner tomorrow night
  • Cook up 5 portions of oatbran porridge

It’s Festival Time in Edinburgh right now, not easy at all for a Dukaneer, and I have stuff on EVERY night this week – taking in 2 shows, dinner with visiting relatives, meetings with Roller Derby committees (I’m totally getting into the admin of Roller Derby) and I’m giving a database training session after work too.  The weekend is taken up with a Tea Party on Saturday and a friends BBQ on Sunday, followed by Roller Derby on Sunday afternoon.  I don’t know how I’m going to fit it all in, but knowing that most of the food we’re going to be eating this week will be pre-prepared will be a weight off my mind.

I have the week off next week, which is actually going to be a bit problematic – my number one response to solitude is to EAT. Hopefully a meal plan will help circumvent that one.

Right Gentlemonkey – are we ready? GO GO GO!!


Is anyone else in the UK having difficulty getting hold of oat bran? I just went to put in a Tesco order, and they say they’re out of stock, and my local wholefoods store has been out of stock for months now.

Is it just my bad luck today, or are other people experiencing the same issues?  I’d have thought that a retail giant like Tesco would at least be able to get their paws on some…

Dukan Diet – Year Two

Well… as of yesterday, I’ve been on (and off!) this diet for a year.

Let’s see how things have gone.

Days 1-130 – rapid weight loss.  Loving the Dukan Diet. Very committed. Lost more than I thought was possible in such a short time

Days 130-160 – much slower weight loss.  Losing the battle against the Carb monster.  Darkness falling, interrupting my intended walking regime.  Finally got down to the high 80s before the tide turned against me. Lowest weight I can find recorded is 88.5 kgs on my last birthday.

Days 161(ish) – 365 – up-down-up-down-up-down.  I’d gain a bit, get scared, lose it all, gain a bit more, lose it again, absolute yo-yoing.  But the average has been creeeeeeping up, to the point where I’m embarrassed to admit that I was too scared to step on the scales this morning.  I’ve been eating absolute crap. I’ve not been exercising. I’ve been feeling too guilty to post anything, cause you people keep leaving all these lovely messages like “you’re so inspiring, Charlotte!” Not a complaint, you’re all lovely, but I’ve not been feeling very inspired.

I think having a blog like this is a bit of a mixed blessing.  It’s been really good to keep track of my progress, but as the number of daily hits and subscribers grow, I get more and more self conscious, and more aware of the fact that if I post an absolutely honest account of what I’ve eaten in a day, there’d be a lot of people out there who’d either say “she’s not doing the Dukan Diet!” (which I’ve not really been consistently since November) or “oh, it’s ok that I eat Bad Food X on Dukan, cause Charlotte’s doing it.”

DON’T follow my example! If you want to see a proper Dukan Diet, go look at what I was doing pre November last year.  Please ignore the floundering I’ve been doing since then. It’s really embarrassing.

So.  A warning.  Tomorrow I’m starting this diet again. I’m re-starting my numbering system.  I’m resetting my starting weight.

It’s gonna be Dukan Diet, 2.0.

Dukan Diet, the Reboot.

In the spirit of the restart, here’s what I ate today:


  • Flaxseed & oatbran bread with extra light philly and vegemite
  • Mug of tea


  • Chicken with Nandos seasoning
  • 1 microwaved egg

Afternoon snack

  • 2 microwaved eggs


  • Chicken with Nandos seasoning
  • Shapers fat free chocolate pudding
  • 25 mins cycling to and from work
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