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bleudauvergne

The Montignac Method

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Why I am doing this and links to the books

The other day, on the way to work, I caught a glimpse of my own silhouette in the reflection of a shop window. It was a reminder of a reality I can't put off much longer. I have put on weight, enough to cause concern. It's not comfortable. My clothes don't fit anymore. I won't get into the nitty gritty details. I have got to do something about it.

How did this happen? I have simply made some headlong passionate choices, in the midst of a whole lot of good sensible choices, mind you, in combination with some events that I won't mention here, and my weight has crept up in the past couple of years. Now I need to get back on track. I have gotten the o.k. from the doctor and agreement from my husband to follow the same plan (he can stand to lose a few too) to go ahead and get started on the Montignac plan.

Diets are not my cup of tea. And since cooking and research into all things food related are my hobbies, it's been pretty much impossible to find one that won't infringe on what I love to do most. I can't accept cutting anything out, either. I love vegetables, fruits, bread, meats, pasta (particularly making it, thanks to MobyP), I love to eat and to cook - traditional regional recipes are my passion, I am passionate about French cheese. Most of all I cannot follow a strict regimented menu made by someone who does not know my tastes and my passions, and how much time I love to spend in the kitchen.

The good old hunter/ gatherer instinct for me is alive and thriving. The hunt is for me, absolutely one of the most important factors in many of my food / pleasure experiences, and without it, I would not derive such pleasure from food and cooking as I do. I sometimes do a lot of research into a region, history and traditions behind the dish I’m planning to prepare, I gather information, I look for the best source of ingredients for a particular dish, I make special plans to go and score that special thing that’s essential to doing justice to it. It’s my hobby. It’s my passion. I do not consider these activities a chore or something that has to be done before I can get to the pleasure of cooking, which needs no explanation.

For that reason, I have chosen to turn my attention to a healthy change of habits based on the method developed by Dr. Montignac. I hope to come out of this able to fit into my clothes again, with some better eating habits. I am in France it's logical that I follow a French diet.

You are welcome to join me on this journey! I hope to post along the way, my progress and the major themes involved in getting started. I also will do lots of cooking along the way.

You do not have to be in France to follow this diet, there are US, UK, and French versions available of the book. I have not seen the other versions and since the French version costs so much less here in France, I'm following the French edition. I have already got it and read it. Maybe some of the recipes are different, etc., I know that there are some Montignac cookbooks available too.

US version

UK version

in French

OK, I'm off to get started!

-Lucy


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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STAGE I

As time goes by I will discuss the many aspects of how to put Montignac meals together and the principles that underlie them. However, if anyone wants to follow this plan with me, I urge you to buy the book, which explains things in much more detail than I will ever be able to do. You really have to read the book to fully understand what the principles are.

I also heartily invite anyone who wants to follow this plan with me to post to this thread: discuss the details, offer your own tips and suggestions, and ask questions as you go along. I weighed this morning and will chart my progress daily during stage I. I haven't figured out how I am going to best show my progress, though. :cool:

Back from the market on my first day of the Montignac plan.

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What we got today: Lettuce, trout fillets, fillets of a fish called "lingue", a smoked herring of which I bought only one because I want to try it out, 2 jars of pure tomato puree from the guys who grow the tomatoes, cerfeuille, tomatoes, cauliflower, oranges, chicken legs for stock, whole wheat bread containing no white flour (only farine "integrale bio", which is organic whole flour) from my regular boulanger, 2 mackerals, mushrooms called "lentin", 6 eggs, 3 large champignons de paris for stuffing, cheese: St. Marcellin, Charollais, St. Nectaire, and Bleudauvergne, nectarines, parsley, thyme, cherries, organic strawberries for jem, a celery root, and cherries.

1) Yes, bread is permitted in the Montignac plan, but I will go into that in much more detail later. The most important thing to note right now is that it has to be bread that contains not one iota of refined white flour. Because of Montignac, some boulangers in France now carry their version of "pain integrale", which is bread made with only whole wheat flour which integrates the entire case of the wheat. This is the best kind, and is also the hardest to make look and taste good, which is a reason why some boulangers don't bother with it. You can also get by with "Pain Complet", whole wheat bread, although it's not the best for stage I. Because most insecticides are found on the outer wheat casing, Montignac recommends that the flour be grown under the strictly regimented "BIO" label, which assures no insecticide. We know of three places not far from where we live in Lyon that carry this type of bread (pain integrale BIO). One of them happens to be our regular boulanger! :smile: We will be having him put aside a loaf aside for us every couple of days.

2) We are going to be eating more fish, because it is recommended during Stage I of the plan. Fatty fish are recommended. (I'll talk about that some more).

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3) Note no potatoes, carrots, or parsnips. Soups are going to be thickened with celery root and cauliflower puree.

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4) I will be using mushroom paste and spread for various purposes throughout stage I. I and will make a small batch to use during the week.

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5) Although there are plenty of "all fruit" "sugar free" jams out there, they are really pumped up with fructose - which is allowed, but I personally don't need it so sweet. I have decided to make a batch of strawberry/cherry confiture spread, using only a very small amount of fructose if necessary, to enjoy with my bread at breakfast. Thus a kio of strawberries and 700 grams of cherries.

6) Cheese is allowed in unlimited amounts with the meat meals, although of course it's best to stay "reasonable" with the amounts I am eating. I won't cut down, as I already eat a fair amount of cheese. The only thing is that I won't be able to have bread with it during stage I.

7) Having a good supply of stock available for soups, sauces, and braising goes without saying, and I immediately filled the stock pot.

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Our lunch today was rather rushed since I cleaned the regrigerator, and wanted to get to organizing the ktichen shelves, and realized that it was late already.

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Sauteed shrimp, and radishes with a little bit of butter.

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Salad with olive oil vinaigrette.

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Cheese: in the center a Charollais, 2 o'clock St. Nectaire, moving clockwise a slice of Tomme de Savoie, St. Marcellin, and a large wedge of Bleu d'Auvergne (only the crust showing).

My next few posts will document the process of getting my kitchen equipped: which products in my fridge and in my kitchen cabinets are off limits and I have had to either toss, give to the neighbors, or put in storage out of temptation's reach (like the masa harina which I would never give up). :smile:

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! :smile:

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I can't even begin to comment on the real content of this thread. I'm left breathless by your beautiful photographs!

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Thank you so much for the exquisite photographs .. they increased my appetite for the real things pictured ... that isn't very diet-friendly though!! :rolleyes: but I do have, and can't control properly, lustful thoughts about those shrimp!! :laugh:

Will watch with interest how this diet progresses! And, all things being equal, if it is successful for you personally, may also consider it as a strong addition to my diet repertoire! and, yes, buy the book!!

The prices from Amazon are a little confusing, ranging from $19.95 to used (?) $29.95 and then $58 (?) ... other than that, this looks quite interesting ... his theory being similar to Atkins and the other diets of that ilk ....


Edited by Gifted Gourmet (log)

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Your photos are so delicious as to make the food itself almost superfluous! Now, that would be a very effective diet indeed.

Montignac participated in one of the panels at Raymond Blanc's American Food Revolution event and I went to his press conference that afternoon. On both occasions he was an uninterruptable monologist, ignoring both questions and comments (even at a round table with less than a dozen people). His books are so dense with detail that they demand a cult-like dedication. He told us at great length that he was the best-selling author in several East European countries.

However, the diet itself is sound and much easier to follow than his line of reasoning. It is in fact in the tradition of moderate low-carb diets than started with Banting in the 19th century, and it is very close to Barry Grove's Eat Fat, Grow Thin At his press conference he generously acknowledged Atkins' research contributions to the tradition.

If you are ultimately and permanently successful, you will belong to that small minority, variously estimated at between one and ten percent, who do not put back everything they have lost. :sad:

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If you are ultimately and permanently successful, you will belong to that small minority, variously estimated at between one and ten percent, who do not put back everything they have lost.  :sad:

Ah, yes, the diet recidivists are rampant in their numbers .. and more than a little ravenous ... :laugh:

but it is no laughing matter in reality ... :hmmm:

Thank you, John Whiting, for your personal impressions on this author ... will read his book with those in the back of my mind.

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Back from the market on my first day of the Montignac plan. 

IMG_0116.JPG

Only in France would this be considered a dieter's market basket. :raz:

By the way, the radishes look wonderful. I can almost taste the butter and the salt.

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Ah, yes, the diet recidivists are rampant in their numbers .. and more than a little ravenous ... :laugh:

but it is no laughing matter in reality ... :hmmm:

My observation was far from idle. It's a depressing fact that at the very most only ten percent of dieters are ultimately successful. No one has been able to explain this away by any argument except the innate moral corruption of the human race, a position I'm not prepared to take just yet.

One unfortunate fact not often acknowledged is that when people get fat, new fat cells are formed which in subsequent dieting are not lost but merely starved. This makes it even easier to regain weight than to put on virgin pounds. I've been fighting this battle for over seventy years and count myself lucky that I'm officially just below the edge of obesity (at least according to the current vacillating orthodoxy).

EDIT: But this is no more than a footnote to your extravagantly illustrated epic. If one must diet anywhere, France is the place to do it!


Edited by John Whiting (log)

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I know whereof I speak as well, John .. a Weight Watcher recidivist as well as an Atkins recidivist (beginning to sound like a job description!!)... and I fully concur with the "fat cells are starved" concept .. is that a re-working of the body's "set point" idea so popular some years back? and then there is the all encompassing excuse: blame it on your genes. Nothing more than a full fledged uphill battle in all respects. :hmmm:

If one must diet anywhere, France is the place to do it!
Vraiment!! :biggrin:
Edited by Gifted Gourmet (log)

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If one must diet anywhere, France is the place to do it!
Vraiment!! :biggrin:

Carry on! Yours is a wonderful thread! I would follow it even if it were a guide to adding weight rather than subtracting it.

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Thanks for the encouragement, GG Mora, Gifted Gourmet, Bux, & John.

John - I have no doubt that Dr. Montignac is full of himself. However, I have absolutely no interest in his personality.

I have two choices, lose the weight or keep it on and possibly keep gaining. I'm choosing to lose it, and perhaps I'll keep it off. :biggrin: I have no reason to doubt that I am one of those 10% you speak of.

I had a chinese co-worker in Beijing, who was fabulously skinny. She said the way she kept the weight off was to stop eating rice whenever she felt the pounds creeping on. It worked for her.

We'll see. I'm already committed to this project so there's no turning back now. I think my habits have been alright as far as taking in the right kinds of nutrition, etc. It's just that in the past year I've found myself doing things like keep cookies and candy at the office, take a sugary cappuchino, etc. Sometimes sandwiches took precedence over a real meal at lunch, during a period a few months ago. I love to bake and since moving into our new apartment I've been undertaking a whole slew of baking projects. And I took to experimenting with various cocktails involving liquors and sodas and syrups. Not to mention the ice cream. And the tamale period. So it's begun to show. And I'm determined to mend my ways.

Edit to add I am at the age when I can feel that my body is beginning to slow down. I need to instill good habits now or else I will never get it under control.

:biggrin:

L


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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Good luck, Lucy!

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With the exception of the bread (for which we have substituted oatmeal and musli), your photograph perfectly illustrates what my husband and I have been eating for the past several months. Foods taste delicious, clothes are loose and energy is soaring! I would like to add, since this is a travel/food forum, that during this time we have visited France for two weeks and spent a week each in Massachussetts and Pennsylvania. It is very easy to eat this way, both at home and away once one begins to pay attention to food choices. The only thing I would add to your market basket is extra dark chocolate. :wink:

Do keep us informed, and do enjoy your new life!

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Thank you Margaret and Pan! :smile:

Dinner last night was perch in a papillote. I cut a large perch fillet into portion sizes of about 200 grams each, pressed a clove of garlic into about a tablespoon of olive oil, added salt and pepper, and painted it on the fish fillets. To that, I piled on a few herbs: fennel greens, thyme flowers, parsley, and cerfeuille.

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Then I wrapped them in baking paper:

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and baked for 15 minutes in a 160c/300f oven.

To accompany the fish papillotes, we steamed fennel, zuchinni, and winter melon, and cooked up some peas. Drizzled with a little olive oil and seasoned, it was plenty!

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Then out came the cheese.

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I enjoyed a small glass of Clairette de Die (dry sparkling white wine) after the meal.

---------------------------------------

Compote Maison

One of the first things I did was to make the strawberry compote yesterday afternoon. The principle is simple. I think the fructose pumped "all fruit" jams are just too sweet for my taste. So I got a kilo / 2 lbs. of "second rate" confiture strawberries yesterday at the market at about 1/2 price.

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I am experienting, so I took a stab in the air about how much fructose to add to make it sweet, but not too sweet. I added 50 grams, 1/4 of a cup of fructose.

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And cooked it down until it was thick. Then I took the strawberries off the heat and dissolved 6 grams of "gelatine alimentaire (sans origine bovine)" (not from cows) to a couple of tablespoons of cold water and added it. I put it in a jelly jar, and once it was cool, I put it in the fridge. It yielded one jar of about about 400 mls of compote. I feel confident that I can eat one jar of this a week.

Giving up Coffee

One of the biggest adjustments for me, during Stage I, will be giving up coffee. I normally cannot function until I've had a cup. This first morning, we were trying to get up early, I was tired. My husband, however brought me a piece of fruit, which is recommended at least 15 minutes before breakfast. Loic brought me a nectarine, and it worked just as well in getting me going. I am having coffee withdrawl. It comes in the shape of a headache for me. I hope that goes away soon.

Morning Routine Change

Everyone always reads that diets are no good unless they incorporate some kind of fitness plan. Therefore one other major change we are implementing is that we are getting up one hour earlier than before, in order to fit in some physical activity. After my piece of fruit, we got up and hit the stairmaster:

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We climbed the stairs for 15 minutes. Luckily the city of Lyon has many many stairs. Then we walked down through a public garden and through vieux Lyon and back home again.

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It took us about 40 minutes total.

Breakfast

There are three types of breakfasts you can have on the Montignac plan.

1) Fresh fruits and all fresh fruits.

2) Glucidique - A grain breakfast, with pain integrale BIO, sugar free cooked fruit spread like "all fruit", and plain nonfat yougert. (I think that oatmeal or musili as Margaret has been enjoying could also be possible, as long as the musili does not contain any fat. The granolas we find in the store are often laden with sugar and fats. But if I were to make it at home...)

3) Lipidique - Eggs and meat (this is to be kept to no more than twice a week)

Today I chose to have a glucidique grain breakfast. You can eat as much as you want, but not have any fat with the bread. I had my first serving of the strawberry compote I made yesterday, 2 nonfat yougerts, and a hunk of whole wheat bread. My husband and his sister ate most of the bread yesterday!

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Recommended drinks are: decaf, nonfat milk, light tea, chicory, soy milk, almond milk.

:smile:


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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The city you live in is so beautiful! I've never been to Lyon. Someday.

Do you know what the principles are behind this diet?

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Those pictures are incredible!! The closeups might best be considered true "food porn" for appealing to one's most prurient interests!!

What a diet this is! Keep journaling and we will follow with rapt attention! :biggrin:

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Bleu,

I want to do this diet also, but would like the French version. Can I buy the book at FNAC in Paris? I travel to Paris 3-5 times per month and will bring back the legal ingredients...and maybe some not so legal.

Your photography is stunning. Those stairs with the grafitti, is that Vieux Lyon going towrds the church on the hill. I thought I recognized the grafitti on it! (not mine:) ).

Which bools of all that he has published would you recommend? I see he has one specifically for women.

I cannot imagine giving up my French food! So Please help!!!!

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What is "cerfeuille"?

I think it is chervil.

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What is "cerfeuille"?

I think it is chervil.

Yes it is, although I seem to recall cerfeuil as a more common spelling. Photograph here, although the scale may be deceiving. In Lucy's photograph of the fish, the large leaf appears to be parsley and the sprig with the smaller leaves is chervil. Lucy will us if I'm wrong.

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Might this be allowable?

La Recette

It does look incredibly good!!

That link takes me to the cerfeuil page where there are links to three recipes. I believe they use frames so that the URL displayed doesn't change for each recipe.

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I interviewed Mr. Montignac a few years ago and I didn't think he was all that full of himself. What I did encounter was a man who was very angry about Suzanne Sommers stealing his ideas as well as the authors behind the Sugar Busters diet who, he claimed, asked him to write the book with them, but went ahead and lifted all his research when he refused. He also claimed to have reinvested all his money in his clinics, restaurants, and research.

The Montignac diet was HUGE here in Montreal years ago, so much so that restaurant goers were ordering fruit salad before dinner. I know many, many people who lost a ton of weight on his diet. I'll never forget a woman I know at Thanksgiving dinner trying to decide whether to go for the turkey meat or the stuffing (she went for the stuffing).

Montignac also encourages the consumption of dark chocolate, which more or less started the craze here for high-percentage cocoa chocolate bars. We also have a superb bakery that sells Montignac bread. We also have Montignac mayonnaise, bagels, jams, fructose and peanut butter in all our local supermarkets.

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Selfishly, I'm so awfully glad you're blogging your Montignac efforts...because it means I get to see more of your beautiful pictures and read more descriptions of the delicious food you eat on a DAILY BASIS...aw man...ferrets are legal in Lyon, right? We could just pack 'em up and fly over...

How many times a week are you exercising? A couple of months ago, when my pants got too tight for comfort (damn that slkinsey and his cooking), I started working out six times a week using three dvds (each twice a week with one day break), one Pilates/ballet/yoga, one an intense workout for the "core" (the abs, the stomach, the glutes, the thighs), and one Pilates with weight training added (light weights, 5 lbs), for anywhere from 40 minutes to 1.5 hours per day. I didn't really change my eating habits, just cut down the between-meals snacking, and here I am about 12 weeks later, no weight gone but I look very different and my clothes fit comfortably again. I'm shocked at the difference it makes and how much more flexible I am.

I'm tempted to try Montignac, though, just so I can eat like you do.

K :cool:

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Lesley, thank you for your input on your interview with Montignac. It's pretty clear that there has been a great deal of controversy between researchers about who had these types of ideas first. I have also seen the montignac products which are great for convenience. I'm going to do my best to do this stuff on my own in my own kitchen using basic ingredients.

begerka - your idea of pilates is a good one and I have heard from many people that it does wonders. I have not been able to find a dvd here in France yet, but I did try one workout once, and although it seemed very benign and low impact it really works the bod right down to the tendons. I should really do it but for now it's the stairs every day. We just started today but I feel like 15 minutes on the stairs should not be entirely too much, it was just enough to get me feeling like I'd done something but not too much. Back in my gym days the stairmaster was one of my favs.

Do you know what the principles are behind this diet?

Hi Pan - What I hope to do along the course of this project is to explain the principles by doing. I guess for me it's not just that I don't like being overweight and want to look better, but the fact that weighing more and more is taxing on my body and unhealthy. I have not been feeling healthy lately.

It's been established that this is one of those diets that uses food combinations to get the pancreas back into a healthy state -

The problem is that the sugary and refined foods I felt like I needed to get through the day and had begun to crave all the time was causing huge spikes in insulin production, which then consequently caused a crash later. These constant swings were overworking my pancreas, and another consequence was that I was gaining weight.

But I'm not explaining it very well. Sorry. Anyway. The point is that by following some basic rules and controlling what foods I combine during meals, I can eat everything, including chocolate, bread, pasta, lots of fruits and vegetables which I love, etc. while at the same time gaining healthier habits.

That's the basic principle but it's explained in all of 300 pages in Montignac's book.

Rachel, raisab. Bux, Giftend Gourmet: Thank you for the clarification, as usual, I was mispelling chevril! Yes in French it's cerfeuil. :blush: I pick it up whenever the person I buy my herbs from has it. It has a faint taste of anise. Please don't hesistate to give english names for the things that don't come out in English sometimes!

raisab: Yes, the book is available at FNAC, you can get it on line or in the store. If you go to the amazon links and search on Montignac's name, you'll see he has written quite a few books.

Thanks for your input!


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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