Tag Archives: Domaine des Hauts de Loire

The 5:2 fast diet – fast and feast and still lose weight!

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Success at last ! I can now wear most of my summer clothes again! I just love the 5:2 eat fast diet that I told you about last week. I’ve had two more fast days and lost a kilo in weight and 3 cm at the waist in 10 days. Also I am no longer getting headaches.

Celebrating our annivesary at Domaine des Hauts de Loire
Celebrating our annivesary at Domaine des Hauts de Loire

After celebrating our wedding anniversary in style at Domaine des Hauts de Loire on Thursday night, we thought Friday would be a good day to fast. Not only did we have no problem skipping breakfast which we ate at 2 pm, but we also cycled 40 K in the afternoon.

Ok, it was flat ground but we still cycled for 2 ½ hours, drinking lots of water of course. We stopped  at a little café in Muides for a cold drink but they didn’t have any zero Coke or zero anything, for that matter, so Jean Michel had a normal one and discovered how much sugar it contains while I drank an unsweetened expresse for the first time in my life – not great but no way was I going to use up 139 of my 500 calorie allowance on coke.

Poppies along the bike path
Poppies along the bike path

For dinner, we shared a small tin of tuna with a raw fennel and mushroom salad which, as Jean Michel pointed out, had the advantage of giving an impression of quantity. We finished off with an orange and, surprisingly, did not feel hungry.

I had no hunger pangs, even though I went to sleep quite late and, better still, NO HEADACHE like the first time. And the great thing is that next day, I didn’t feel particularly hungry and ate a normal breakfast and light lunch.

We cycled another 30 kilometers in the afternoon, with lots of hills this time and didn’t even have our usual (healthy) biscuit snack halfway through although Jean Michel claimed it when we got back in the car.

A wall of roses at Château de Cheverny on our bike route
A wall of roses at Château de Cheverny on our bike route

For dinner, we ate côte de bœuf, baked potatoes and our favourite eggplant, zucchini and bell pepper bake  plus a couple of glasses of wine each. On Sunday, we had oysters as usual and it was wonderful to be able to eat bread and butter and drink wine without having to worry about the calories.

I scheduled the next fast for Monday but Jean Michel is doing his roster this week, which entails a certain amount of stress and more physical activity than usual so he declined.  I decided to try the no-breakfast system again as it seems to suit me better. The only thing I can’t do is drink tea because it always makes me feel nauseous on an empty stomach.

My overall impression was not of hunger but of a certain lightheadedness which first peaked around 11.45 am. I had my usual high-protein breakfast at  12.30 (280 calories) and began to feel seriously lightheaded again about 5 pm. I had a black coffee with sweetener and felt instantly better.

Oysters on Sunday in our little house
Oysters on Sunday in our little house

By 7.30 pm I was feeling hungry, but not inordinately so. We had dinner about 8 pm (220 calories – cucumber, white fish, spinach and cherries, which are still horrendously expensive but I reckon you should treat yourself on fast days!).

I started feeling slightly hungry around 11.30 pm, but not enough to bother me and went to sleep around 1 am.

I woke at 7 and couldn’t go back to sleep so got up and weighed and measured myself – down 400 grams and 2 cm at the waist since the day before. I had my usual breakfast, then fish, vegetables and some quinoa and more cherries at lunch. I had no desire to eat any more.

I joined a friend for an aperitif in the evening (a glass of white wine) then an Asian meal including dim sums, kebabs and rice. Once again, I didn’t have a very big appetite.

Next morning, I had lost another 300 grams! I’ve had several exchanges on Facebook concerning the 5:2 diet and have learnt that it is becoming increasingly popular and most people seem satisfied. So, who’s game?

Other posts on dieting

The Natural Skinnies and Us
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good: Part 1
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good: Part 2
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good: Part 3
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good: Part 4
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good: Part 5
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good: Part 6
How I lost 20 kilos after 50 – for good – well, almost: Part 7
Where do all those extra kilos come from?
Appetite suppressants anyone? Some natural solutions
Intermittent fasting – for better health and less fat

Domaine des Hauts de Loire, Onzain

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Little did we know when we celebrated Relationnel’s birthday at Domaine des Hauts de Loire in Onzain in the Loire Valley last October that in June we would have finished furnishing a 400-year old house for rental just 15 minutes away! We had decided to come down for a week at the beginning of October to start looking for a place to retire in October 2014 and didn’t imagine for one minute that the first place we visited would be our dream home.

It was already cold in October and when we arrived at Rémy Giraud’s 2-star restuarant at Domaine des Hauts de Loire, an elegant 19th century hunting pavilion in a 70-hectare park, we were delighted to find ourselves in a beautiful drawing room with a log fire. There we were served amuse-bouches with our traditional glass of champagne, based on truffles, basil and red mullet. We were given the menu to peruse and decided to take the wine pairing menu. I had told them in advance that it was “madame’s invitation” so Relationnel was given a menu without prices.

After finishing our apéritif, we were shown to our table in the beautifully decorated dining roof next door. I can only say it must have been a very luxurious hunting lodge in its day! The pikeperch mousse with a crustacean sauce and the caviar and crayfish blancmanger were served with a local chardonnay 2007 from Oisly. This was followed by foie gras with shallot preserve and truffle shavings, lobster with chestnut ravioli and green apple jelly with rosemary and lime. And they were only the starters!

As becomes a hunting lodge in autumn, the main course was fillet of doe with parsnip and cardomom croquettes and mushrooms. To accompany it, we were served an excellent cabernet sauvignon made from the grapes of very old vines. After goat’s cheese with paprika on capsicum, we had peaches in basil with a sorbet in filo pastry and a chocolate sphere with the name of the restaurant in gold letters served with pears.

Of course, I only know what we had to eat and drink because I noted down everything in my trusty iPhone. What I do remember, however, was that each dish was an artistic marvel that tasted as delicious as it looked and that the service was impeccable. Next time, we’ll go there on a fine day so we can eat on the terrace that we tantalised us from our inside table. A perfect venue for a special occasion!

You can order à la carte (starters about 35 euro and main courses about 55 euro) or choose a set menu at 160, 96 or 77 euro at night or a special “express” menu at lunchtime Wednesdays to Fridays for 49 euro including a main course, dessert, glass of wine, bottled water and coffee.

Domaine des Hauts de Loire, Route de Herbault, 41150 Onzain 02 54 20 72 57, hauts-loire@relaischateaux.com, www.domainehautsloire.com (the English version of the site doesn’t seem to be working at present).
There is also a hotel with 25 bedrooms and 11 apartments but I haven’t tried them!
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