Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Category: do me a flavour (Page 2 of 3)

Portion Control Rebel

One of the main reasons I have been able to stick to the Dukan diet, aside from the obvious speedy results I’ve seen, is the fact that there is no portion control. So what you can eat is restricted as opposed to how much. I didn’t realise how important this was for me. I hate feeling hungry or unsatisfied and it makes me irritable. I end up feeling punished, and this is the worst feeling for when I am dieting. It means chucking the towel in, to be honest. So here I have been able to eat protein until I am full. And because protein takes the most effort for the body to metabolise it is absolutely ok to eat as much as you want. I end up experiencing a sense of absolute fullness, and it lasts a long time; often until just before my next meal.

It’s the kind of freedom that I need in a diet. I can’t stand weighing things and counting calories and measuring portions in the palm of my relatively tiny hand. No. I also can’t handle feeling guilty about the amount I eat, as if I was this giant, greedy pig. Not good for sticking to a diet with firm resolve. Here there is no problem with the feeling that I have a healthy, normal appetite. Here there is no need to fill up on junk, or sugar or carbs.

There is a small drawback to eating so much protein. Protein is the most expensive food. Being on this diet is not cheap. But I haven’t let that stop me, and the results speak for themselves.

The Trigger

I can pinpoint the exact moment I decided, that’s it. No more. I am done. We had gone to Reunion for the most divine improv festival. It was so, so hot and I felt like a whale in my body. But I managed to get away with not looking in mirrors, and wearing those huge Thai fisherman’s pants and vests. When I look back I remember a sense of overwhelming discomfort because I was so heavy and big and bloated. Eating all that fruit and bread and beer didn’t help either. And then we came home and I saw the photographs that others had posted of me, on Facebum. They were photos that I hadn’t chosen or edited or approved. And I was absolutely horrified and shocked. I couldn’t believe my eyes. That huge, fat old lady was me. Here is one of those photos. It’s not the worst one, but it is a good example.

That was it. And then the right thing happened at exactly the right time. We were walking the dogs and chatting to another dog walking owner and I suddenly realised that she was half the size she had always been. Christa told me what she had been doing; the Dukan diet. I went home and started doing the research. I bought oat bran and fat-free cottage cheese, and fish, and eggs. I bit the bullet and just dived straight in. I am not sure how many kilos I lost in that first week. My friend Peter Hayes died, on Big Friendly’s birthday. Things were not terribly normal. And I didn’t even have a scale to weigh myself. But somehow, for me, it was the right start; crazy, tempestuous, illogical and manic. By the end of that first ”attack phase” of pure protein (which I didn’t do properly when I think back) I had lost kilos, but I didn’t even know how many. And I had stopped carbs and sugar, and the cravings were gone.

I guess I needed a trigger. My weight had become a constantly creeping up problem. I was embarrassed, uncomfortable and resigned. Until the trigger. Here is a picture of me yesterday. Most importantly, I am 100% more alive.

Just Walk

One of the things Dukan insists on is walking every day. It’s not a lot of walking, only 30 minutes. I don’t always do it for that long, but I do walk the dogs every single day, which means I do some walking every day. Some days I walk a lot; like yesterday when my friend dragged me into the Newlands forest, from his house, in Rondebosch!I can tell you that the best part of it all (aside from the exquisite forest in our back yard) was that I wasn’t carrying an extra 17kg load with me. The beach walk on weekends is filled with energy, running and playing and physical fun. Because I can actually move.

My whole body looks and feels different, and I am enjoying it again. I want to boast and show off. How great to have turned into that from the, let’s be honest, embarrassment that accompanied me most of the time when I felt so fat, unfit and uncomfortable.

I remember, not so long ago, having to drag myself out to walk the dogs. Now I can’t wait. Even right now, while I wait for the sun to come up. The dogs and I are the same. We go and walk, and then come home hungry for breakfast.

The kids are playing in the street before being picked up for school. The sun is creeping into the sky. Time to get out there.

My (ongoing) journey to find my old, skinnier self

My facebum post about having reached my target weight was liked and commented on by over 150 people. This is what it said. “I reached my target body weight today, after four months of successful dieting. I have lost 17kgs, and feel like my old self. I still have a way to go, with disciplined eating to keep from piling on the kilos, but I am inspired, healthy and strong.”

And I got many, many messages, asking all sorts of questions more privately. Losing weight is a huge deal, not to mention a multimillion dollar industry. And everyone has a personal story attached to this whole body, weight, food issue.

One friend who messaged me suggested I write a book about my experience. My first thought was that there was nothing much to my story. I was very overweight and hating what I looked like, I got a tip from someone about the Dukan diet, decided to try it out, had great results, stuck to it for four months and lost 17kgs. Sounds easy. It has been. I was in the right space, and my almost zero tolerance policy to wimping out really helped. But there is more. Much more. And I am going to write about it here on my blog and see whether it helps others, or even just me.

So let’s start with the facts.

1. In a slow build-up over 11 years (since I gave up smoking) I managed to get 17kgs too fat. This is far too much for somebody my height.

2. I was never successful in sticking to an exercise or diet programme.

3. I was shocked by a photograph of myself in December. And that was the trigger.

4. I found the diet that worked for me.

5. I wasn’t scared that I couldn’t do it.

6. I lost my carb and sugar cravings after 48 hours, and never really got them back.

7. I have been cheating, mostly with alcohol, but in moderation, so I don’t feel punished, ever.

8. I have been encouraged by how fast it has been. 4 months. 17kgs.

9. I have been open to all the praise and compliments and words of encouragement, and that has kept me motivated.

10. I have dispelled my personal myths. It is not my ‘body type’ to be thin, I am getting too old to be thin, I have always been overweight (not even true), I have a slow metabolism, I am obsessed with food, I comfort eat (I really don’t, and never have, I just have portion control issues which isn’t a problem on this diet because you can eat us much protein as you physically can).

I will be writing about this for the next while, spending more time on issues as they arise. If you want to check out what I did, start here at My Dukan Diet. I read the actual book in fits and starts, I have the summary of the various phases handy on my computer and I worked out my target weight and converted the lbs to kilos for my own easy use.

Oh, and I bought a scale and I weigh myself every day. And it is fantastic.


Best Winter Barley Soup Recipe

All my soups are one-offs because I make them up. Big friendly always says to write them down, but I don’t, and then when he asks for the ‘one like the last time’ I have no idea what I did. But yesterday’s barley soup was too good not to make a note of, so here goes. I made a nice big pot, but it is almost done!


2 leeks, sliced

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

2 chopped celery sticks

3 diced carrots

2 diced parsnips

5 skinned fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 cup pearl barley

A kettle of boiling water

1 Knorr veg stock pot

crushed cumin, turmeric, chili flakes, crushed coriander, salt, pepper

1 tsp tom yum paste

Worcestershire sauce

Sweat off onions, garlic, leeks and celery in a splash of olive oil. Add all spices, salt and pepper and cook until onions and leeks are tender and glassy. Add carrots and parsnips, stir and add water and the stock pot and the barley. Then add the tomatoes. Finally, add the tom yum paste and Worcestershire sauce. Let it cook gently for a good hour or so and add more water if the barley absorbs too much. It is delicious. And even better the next day.

Sorry. No pic. All eaten.



30 Exciting things before the year ends. And after. And latkes.

So Christmas has just been, and in a special twist of lucky fish fate it was a divine family one, with Big Friendly’s true blood in the Cape to celebrate. It was delicious, and seven year old Kai crowned me the best cooker. What an award.

But before I even relax a teeny bit I am getting ready to jump into a few things before the year is out. I am in the recording studio over the next two days, directing voice overs for GreatGuide, who have more than one or two projects on the go that I am involved with. And tomorrow (Thurs 27th) w are performing our first monthly long form experimental improv show called Jam Sandwich, at The Alexander Bar. The teeny theatre above the bar seems to have taken off with wings, and we are delighted to be part of it. I think we are all sold out for tomorrow night. How cool? Cool.

Then, rehearsals are under way for Fully Committed. I worked on directing this show at the very beginning of the year with Pieter Bosch Botha, who performed this decadent marathon of a one-man-playing-37-characters, before he took it to the Festival of Fame in Jozi. Well, now on the first two weekends of 2013 it is going to have its first showing in Cape Town at The Alexander Bar. I can’t wait. Pieter Bosch Botha is inspiring. It will be on on Friday and Saturday the 4th and 5th and again the following weekend of the 11th and 12th. Book here now because the small venue sells out fast.

And then, on the 9th of January I am winging my way to Prague, of all places, for two weeks. It’s also for GreatGuide. We are going to be designing and writing commentary for walking tours of Prague and I cannot wait! Prague. Winter. Oldness. Eastern Europe. 1st time.

I come straight back and jump into our most exciting Improv Festival at the Kalk Bay Theatre from 30 Jan to 9 Feb.

Gung ho for next year I tell ya.

But right now it is latke time with our favourite family, the Noodles. Here is my made up recipe for the most flawless, delicious latkes. Grate peeled potatoes on the fine grate. Do an onion too. Squeeze out as much juice as you can. Mix in an egg and some flour. Put blobs of the mixture in hot oil. Turn them often and try your hardest to wait until they go a delicious golden brown. Eat with sour cream, apple sauce (apparently), marmalade (not my cuppa) or even dijon mustard. Yum.

Page 2 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén