By Amy O'Connor
You Can Dukan To Your True Weight
Here’s something I never thought I’d say about a diet: I am loving being on the Dukan Diet! Because I’ve suffered through so many diets and inevitably gain back whatever I lose, I opened my copy of international best-seller The Dukan Diet – The Real Reason the French Stay Thin with a dose of skepticism. However, I quickly got excited about the Dukan Diet because it’s simple to follow and never means going hungry, plus it comes with a community of support. Designed by Dr. Pierre Dukan, a French doctor, The Dukan Diet is a high protein, low carb, low fat regimen with four phases that lead to lifelong weight loss without long-term deprivation.
First is the Attack Phase which lasts 2-7 days and involves eating only protein foods (but as much as you want) and 1 ½ tablespoons of oat bran each day resulting in quick, motivating weight loss. Next is the Cruise Phase, which lasts about 3 days for each pound you plan to lose and calls for alternating an all protein day with one that allows proteins and unlimited amounts of most vegetables. By the end of the Attack and Cruise Phases you will have reached your “True Weight” which is calculated for you online at http://www.dukandiet.com, and based on your answers to a few questions about your age, highest and lowest weights and desired weight. Third, is the Consolidation Phase, which involves only proteins on Thursdays but allows certain portions of fruit, cheese, bread and starchy foods like potatoes and pasta plus “free” celebration meals in addition to proteins and vegetables. The Consolidation Phase, which lasts 5 days for each pound lost, leads to the Stabilization Phase which will prevent you from gaining back the weight you worked so hard to lose. In this final phase you eat whatever you like 6 days per week and have just proteins every Thursday. I don’t even eat meat or chicken, but because of the terrific, simple recipes in the diet book, The Dukan Diet Cookbook, and on the web site, I’ve found plenty of ways to make eggs, fish and non-fat dairy products into dishes I look forward to — including tasty muffins, savory crepes, light cheesecake and cocoa meringue cookies. The website offers inexpensive online coaching with personalized daily diet and exercise instructions and a daily report submitted by the dieter, community forums, live chats and also Dukan Diet products for purchase. Losing weight without going hungry certainly inspires a certain joie de vivre!
Kundalini yoga power couple Ana Brett and Ravi Singh’s most recent DVDs, Kundalini Yoga Flow Boot Camp and The Body Electric All-In-One Workout can do wonders for your mind and body. Though the Kundalini Yoga Flow Boot Camp has no jumping jacks or push ups and many of the exercises are done seated, the sequence of yoga exercises, is really rigorous (some extended arm motions seemed to last forever), but the beauty of Kundalini Yoga is that even the toughest exercises only last a few minutes before transitioning to a resting posture that allows the body to assimilate the effects of the last efforts. The DVDs are easy to follow and can be completed start to finish in 90 minutes, or can be done in parts using the Matrix menu option, and require just a small amount of floor space. There are meditations and a “Breath Primer” for those unfamiliar with Breath of Fire, an essential part of Kundalini sequences. The Body Electric All-In-One Workout truly hit all my trouble spots from the delicious stretches and hip openers to challenging planks, chair poses and intensive core work. Ana and Ravi say encouraging things such as “do your best and be blessed” and “persevere and have no fear” to help you along. After doing these Kundalini DVDs, your muscles will be toned, your stress will decrease and your spirit will soar.
Rise Bar Raises the Bar
Energy bars, protein bars and breakfast bars are hugely popular right now because bars are so convenient for our busy lifestyles. Rise Bar makes all three kinds of bars with the best ingredients and most delicious flavors. Rise Bars are gluten free, free of GMOs, preservatives, dairy, soy and peanuts and full of antioxidants and all natural ingredients like nuts, seeds, amaranth and fruit and sweetened with honey and/or dates or brown rice syrup (and less than 10 ingredients per bar). Two favorite Breakfast Bar flavors are Crunchy Macadamia Pineapple and Crunchy Cranberry Apple. You may be hard pressed to choose between the Energy Bars in Cherry Almond or Coconut Acai or Apricot Goji but don’t forget to try the Protein Bars in Crunchy Carob Chip or Almond Honey. Rise Bars have just the right amount of crunch and chewiness without being too moist or too dry – they’re the pinnacle of healthy eating in bar form.