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(re-)learning to cook at home (long ramble)


Gold Member
One of the discoveries I've made on this diet is that I need to cook for myself if I'm going to be charge of my weight.

I've realised that the two great weight-related problems I've had in my life both came from not cooking or forgetting how to cook.

The first was when I left home for the first time (and was worried about leaving my mum and sisters in a bad place as well). I was sharing a kitchen with a kettle, a fridge, a single ring and a toaster with 20 other girls, had no pans, knives, spoons, and had never fended for myself. The only shop was a newsagents with a shelf of long life groceries. I tried to live on bread, marmite and apples, and surprise surprise - within 4 month I had shrunk to 6 stone. I looked like Gollum with pink hair.

Slowly, slowly I started to cook - eggs, tuna, pasta. Most of it tasted disgusting, because I had no idea what I was doing. But I also used to read about food - and on quiet afternoons I'd get so hungry I'd be inspired to try out something I'd read about.

After three years I was 8 stone and giving dinner parties (well, picnic parties, because I had no table and everyone sat on the floor!

All was well for the next 15 years - I had a job which didn't pay much, but left me free for most of the day - so I could visit street markets and discount stores, cook and keep stuff for later. I stayed 9 stone all that time.

Then I changed job so I was sitting at a desk 10 hours a day. I started eating biscuits, sandwiches and started drinking lattes. And I forgot how to cook - "no time, no time" - dash to the door at 7am, collapse back in at 8pm. Pasta, cereals, humus, crackers, ready made salads, takeaway treats. My knife got blunt, my saucepan stayed in the back of the cupboard...

And before I knew I was almost 14 stone, and still going up, up, up...

Discovering Dukan forced me to cook the way I used to cook 10 years before. Not fancy difficult food, not the stuff you see on Nigella or Jamie or Saturday Kitchen - just combining simple ingredients in simple quick ways that I liked.

(And yes, I'm still leaving the house at 7 and coming back at 9 or 8 - the biggest shock is that I can make an omelette or a gallete in the same time it takes my flatmate to microwave her instant porridge.
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Hey I know the feeling I love to cook tho as I live on my own and also have a working day just like you described I kinda got outta the habit! You're not alone but the way I feel now in Dukan and healthy home cooked meals.... Albeit cooked in bulk on the weekend n stuck in the freezer... Is worth so much more than a quick fix from the chinese takeaway!
Thank you do much for your post
Claire x


Dukan Ancestor!!
What a brilliant post and insightful analysis! thanks for sharing.

Yes this whole 'don't have the time to cook' always gets me. Of course there are things you *can't* cook in 10 mins but a lot of things are do-able. And yes of course I also use ready-made foods (like filled pasta or pizzas) to feed my family, but not all the time.

Personally I never forgot how to cook (but I only learnt from my mum and in retrospect she's not actually that brilliant a cook either....),
but I've always been too fond of the extras ;-) and I don't mean wine! Baking is my weakness - if I make it, surely I must be allowed to eat it...

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