Saturday, June 16, 2012

Advantages To Traveling Solo'

It has been one year since my trip to Paris.  I suspect I will be doing much reflecting this upcoming week on that wonderful trip and what made it so wonderful.  Seven years ago  I set up my own personal "Paris fund" to save for a trip I didn't know when I was gonna take.  I knew I was gonna do it and was hoping I would find someone to go with me.  I knew the hubby would never go, hes not a fan of cities and will not fly, so I knew it would have to be a relative or friend to go with me.  At the time I gave it little thought.  I just new someday I would go.

Last year when I knew I had enough saved up, I started to get serious about making the trip.  There was no one I knew at the time that was interested in going so I started to do research on going solo.  I really figured I could do it after spending countless hours reading the forums on the Foders travel website.  There were dozens of entries saying that Paris is one of the best cities for solo travel.  Especially for women.  There were women  writing about going to Paris multiple times by themselves.  I wanted to go bad enough that I didn't care.

Making a long story short I ended up going by myself but with a tour group, which made my hubby feel better.  He had suggested it after seeing a TV add with our local news anchor Erin Davisson hosting a trip.  It was a perfect idea and I signed up.

I went on that trip not knowing anyone.  Ten years ago I would have never dreamed of doing something so crazy. Its amazing what you can do if you really want something.  Here's some of the benefits to going solo.

You can do what you want-Okay, I LOVE shopping.  Not everyone does (I have a hard time understanding this!!). Solo travel gives you the opportunity to do what you like.  If you are an art lover, you can spend all day gazing at that Van Gogh if you like.  There's no one to worry about.  Everyone has unique expectations when they travel.

You are on your own timeline-Some people have to have a strict itinerary when they travel.  Others are happy just strolling along to discover hidden treasures that the usual tourist misses.

You may be more open to meeting people-This is very true in my case.  When I am with a friend or my hubby, I tend to "hide" behind them.  I can be more reserved and usually will not initiate a conversation with someone I do not know.  Alone I am more outgoing as long as I feel comfortable with the other person.  On my Paris trip I was with 42 strangers and by the end of the trip I think I had talked to almost everyone. Course they all made it so easy for me to feel comfortable with them.

Solo travel may be more cost effective-Especially true if you would otherwise be traveling with a spouse or child!  Some travel companions like to eat all their meals in fancy restaurants.  You may just be happy grabbing something cheap and quick from a convience store or a crepe from a street vendor!

Lastly, traveling solo gives you a boost of self-confidence-Try it and see what happens!  After doing this for a first time you may just feel like you can accomplish anything and there is nothing wrong with that feeling!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Dukan Diet Supper

What to have for supper?  This question is one that is sometimes easy to answer and most times it leaves me clueless.  So I ask the hubby and daughter to give me some suggestions.  They usually look at me with the look that you are talking French to them.  Total bewilderment.  Yah, big help they are.

Meal planning is especially hard when one member of the household is trying to follow a diet.  So when I opened my new Dukan Diet Cookbook for ideas I was pleasantly surprised to see many recipes would work great for the whole house.  

My first recipe I tried was the Chicken With Mushrooms And Asparagus.  What a hit.  The only thing I tweeked was I added a one pound bag of shirataki noodles.  This was also the first time I used these high fiber, low carb and calorie Asian noodles.  They were great and took on the taste of the dish. The great thing is, is that my local supermarket has these noodles. You can order them through the Dukan website also. All three of us loved this dish and I am happy to say there were no leftovers.

Try out this Dukan recipe and let me know what you think!  I think I will love this cookbook.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Back On The Dukan Diet Bandwagon

As you may know-last September/October I started the Dukan Diet to much success.  I shed 11 pounds on it and felt great!  Then the holidays and my busy life got in the way (along with my sugar habit) and the weight slowly crept back up.
Two weeks ago after a terrible Memorial Day weekend I decided enough was enough and I had to jump back on the diet.  I did 6 days on the attack phase and managed to drop 6 pounds.  I also downloaded two apps to help me out.  One is called Slimkicker for my Ipad and Map My Walk for my android phone.  I did blog about Slimkicker in a previous post.  Map My Walk uses the GPS on my phone to track my route, MPH, time, pace and you can share your success to Facebook and Twitter.

I am now on the Cruise phase and have dropped another 3 pounds according to my scale this morning.  The thing is, is that I have been doing great during the week.  Being on a strict schedule with work works well.  Everything is timed.  I pack all my food the night before.  I am on a great schedule with walking our great trail system in town almost every weekday when I get home from work.  It works great having a teenage daughter who is now home for the summer and helps me out doing chores which frees me up to get my daily walk in.

The trouble is weekends.  My Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays are a REAL challenge.  We tend to eat a couple meals out which is disastrous for me.  Portion control is painful since I am a lifetime member of the clean plate club.  I'm busy doing cleaning , gardening and getting leisure activities in with friends and family.  The last thing I have on my mind is planning meals and exercise. I try to make sure I have plenty of Dukan approved food in my fridge.  If you peek in my fridge now you would see a supply of cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, boiled eggs, and lean meats.  Plus some fresh cut veggies for veggie days.  I have not been perfect on the weekends, and that is where I need to improve.  Why is it so hard to remember how great you feel when you are eating right and working out?

So here we go again...but this time I will do it.  How is it that I have traveled half way around the world without anyone I knew and yet I have such a hard time trying to lose 20 pounds?  Gosh, losing weight and staying healthy is hard!  Hopefully with the help of writing this blog and sharing Dukan recipes plus support from friends and family, I will be a diet success!