Sunday, October 28, 2012


It's been almost 9 months since our Europe trip and I have been wanting to write about it but I'm not really a writer and afraid I may not give justice to the experience but I'll try anyways;)
After months of a very detailed itinerary planning which included - waking up sked to having breakfast, walking from hotel to and from the tour site, to having lunch, to riding the bus and train - name it, our dream trip finally pushed thru on a cold February winter.
At first, I had a hard time choosing among which countries to go to since I've been actually wanting to go to Romania to experience the Dracula castle tours and see all of Eastern Europe - Austria, Berlin Germany, Budapest Hungary, Prague Czech, Warsaw Poland - so I was torn between Western Europe(UK, Italy, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium) and Eastern Europe. But of course (after getting tips from friends and visiting so many travel forums, I have decided) for first timers (and last?) I know it is a no brainer so I chose the bigger and more fab cities - the Western :)
I was sooo lucky to chance upon Emirates airlines sale, we got our tickets for almost half the normal price and it was already an open-jaw ticket, SG-Switz, Rome-SG. My cousins and officemates who had been to Europe prior to our trip were so shocked upon hearing the price and I felt so proud of my resourcefulness. Lucky us, aren't we?
Enough blah!

Stopover: Dubai airport

We had a stop-over in Dubai airport. 3.5 hours. I was kind of disappointed coz I expected more. It was very chaotic. If you've ever been to LAX airport, the feeling is similar. People rushing here and everywhere. You need to queue and wait forever - only, you are  not lining up for the check-in counters but instead queueing for the bathroom and scanners:p

Honeybunch was feeling grumpy as usual. He hates taking off his boots for the scanner and he'd been wanting actually to go back to the US instead of going to Europe, that's why, so he wasn't that excited at first and the airport chaos added to the grumpiness. So after reaching past the immigration, we immediately lurked around and search if Dubai's tallest building was in sight. It was! We took a photo of the Burj Khalifa building and here's the shot.

                                                   (At least we can claim we saw it mwahaha)

First Stop: Lucern, Swizterland

After a 6hr flight from Dubai, we finally reached our first destination - Switzerland. Upon landing Zurich airport, snow on the runway greeted us. We could see the heavy snow pouring and we were so excited to get off the plane! Good thing my fever had already subsided and hunb's crankiness gone. We also met a very nice Swiss lady who helped us get around the airport and showed us to the train station. If it weren't for her, we would be spending minutes in the aiport trying to find our way out. She actually offered her house the next time we are visiting(I wish!)!

The temp was freezing @ -2C. Our journey began upon boarding the train to Lucerne. It was almost a 2-hr travel from Zurich airport but I didn't think we have wasted that time spent on train travel because it was a scenic ride after all.
        Every European train ride is such a treat!

Our hotel is a 5-minute cab ride from Lucerne train station or a 15-20min walk. With a map on hand, we didn't even dare looking for it due heavy luggages and heavy snow. So we got a cab, reached our hotel in 4 minutes, checked-in, and went out to start our day.

We started off by walking back to the train station since there aren't much action going on around the hotel surroundings. Of course we took so many pictures on the way! And since I am no poet, I'll let the pictures speak for itself.
                                         It felt like white Christmas, snow was everywhere

                                           While strolling around the beautiful Lake Lucerne

There weren't much tourists as the temperature was no joke! It was really freezing! I was already wearing 5-6 layers of clothing (thermal wear, a girdle(hehe), blouse, down vest, fleece jacket, and a wool jacket, a high knee socks, & thermal pants underneath my jeans) but I still felt my spine chilling. I was also wearing 2 pairs of gloves. Yes 2 pairs but my hands were still feeling numb. I already felt like grabbing some stranger's down coat. Anyway, we weren't really complaining about the weather but were actually embracing the experience. Lucerne is really a picturesque little town, everywhere you look is a picture-perfect shot worth taking.

Lucerne is the most expensive city we've been to but it's worth going to. Lucerne actually is our top pick among the 4 cities we went to. :)

Getting around:
Transpo: Everything can be reached by foot
Train: Zurich airport - Lucerne - 1hour 40 minutes = 29CHF

Hotel: Etap Hotel
This is a new budget hotel, it's very clean, and believe me, it's the cheapest hotel in town that serves breakfast buffet .We also saw microwave oven, oven toaster, and a kettle provided in the dining area and I think are available 24/7 and of course free wi-fi's a bonus :)

There are many cheaper options but do not offer a private bathroom, (only common) and and if it did, breakfast is not included. If budget is not a problem and you're willing to spend more moolah, then you have many options around Lake Lucerne.

Food: Costco is a grocery store and it's everywhere, you can buy your food here if you're on a budget but there are also nearby Italian restos and Swiss cafes but we only tried the Italian resto once and I could not recall the amount we spent. There's also Starbucks and Mcdonalds if you want a hot cuppa coffee.

That's all for now :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Atkins after two weeks

I am happy to announce that I have lost 7 lbs in (almost) two weeks of doing the Atkins diet. I did it for 13 days and gave up on the 14th day. The weight loss is not evident but my clothes are loose and they fit better now. I think most of it are just water weight, I think I may have lost 4lbs water weight and 3 lbs of fat(or whatever!). I've also been doing the Jillian Michael's 30day Shred & some weight lifting for 8 days straight but I missed yesterday's workout. (I felt depressed and shocked yesterday upon hearing the loss of someone dear so my energy levels were kinda low)

Now I have started eating carbs which I have been missing so much - I started my day with an oatmeal with unsweetened almond milk and a dose of equal sweetener(I know 'artificials' are bad but I am missing my sugar too). I'll stick to oatmeal for now for breakfast and see what happens, weight loss maybe slow but at least it is a healthy diet and may even repair the damage which my high-protein diet did to my lipids and God knows what more. Eggs and Bacons for breakfast used to eggcite me but not anymore. I think I'll never look at eggs the same way again. It now makes me nauseous seeing it. I also developed back and chest rashes which are so fugly and they only started appearing for the first time after doing this atkins. So goodbye to Atkins for now.

10/14 - 1#0
Started Atkins:
10/17 - 1#5  - Lost 5 lbs of water weight in 3 days, this was due to my vacay in Manila, I am not counting this
10/25  -1#8 - Lost 7lbs.

Target weight:
11/01 - 1#7
11/08 - 1#5
11/15 - 1#3
11/18 - 1#2

I can do this!

Outta here!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Atkins Induction Flu

I have failed my plans for September. I actually gained 4 lbs *pffft*. I went to Phils 2 wks ago and surprised (and envious!) by my hubby's cousin's enormous amount of weight loss in just a month. I think he may have lost 20 lbs or so in just a month by doing the Atkins diet. He would eat almost everyday with us but he'd just order meat or 1 whole chicken from Baliwag when at home and would finish it in one sitting. He even eats chicharon! How fun is that? So I promised myself I'd do the same thing when I get back to Singapore. And yes, I bought myself Chicharon to start with haha.

This is the Atkins menu that I  have been following/'alternating' for the past week:

2 Hard Boiled Eggs, 1 cheddar cheese, Green Tea bag OR
1 hard boiled egg and 1/4 cup boiled pumpkin

Snack: 1 cheddar cheese with half cucumber OR
2 slices of Cheddar cheese

Lunch: 1 Roasted Chicken Black pepper Thigh/breast OR
Pork Ribs and Watercress Soup OR
Salad with Roast skinless Chicken breast with olive oil/acv dressing

Snack: 1 Cheddar Cheese with 1 Hard Boiled Egg OR
1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

Dinner: Ginger Chicken soup OR
Cheeseburger without buns OR
repeat my lunch menu

3Liters of Water a day, 2 cups of sugarless black coffee/week.
No soda, no juice, even lemons are restricted. Deym!

I have been following this diet for 1 week and have lost 6lbs. I think most of it is water weight but I am still happy and my feet are thanking me since they no longer hurt when I walk, and my clothes are loose(or so I feel hehe). I feel so lethargic, nauseous, weak, and experience some light-headedness. I am terribly missing my carbs, even my cereals, oatmeals or kaya toast during breakfast. Thinking about eating eggs for breakfast makes me sick already. It sounds good and fun to know that you can eat steak, chicken, pork, and limited fish on Atkins but I am not that type of eater. I am a pasta, pizza, and chips lover, but also a veggie eater! I love vegetables! I am so missing my carbs and my junk food already. There are also limited veggies you can eat during this phase - broccoli, pumpkin, tomato, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, leek, eggplant (others are alien to me) - all of which have high contents of uric so I am sticking to my lettuce and pumpkin.

As for my workout, sad to say that I cannot even lift my 3lb-dumbbell nowadays, while during the past 2 months, I've already been lifting 6lbs :( I am so missing my workouts. I tried doing one but only lasted 5 minutes and felt like fainting. I was only able to do one full workout yesterday with the help of a caffeine boost. I cannot even climb the stairs without running short of breath. I think I am experiencing the Atkins flu. I'm whining again, ain't I?

The Verdict: It is effective for weight loss but very unhealthy especially if one has a (borderline)high cholesterol and high uric acid levels like me. (I've had high levels of those since I hit my 20's :/). If you want a rapid weight loss without starving yourself and depriving yourself of meat, cheese, fats, this diet is for you. It is not for long-term diet plan since I am still a believer in carbs - be it white rice/bread or brown rice. You will lose weight - FAST and still can eat your cheeseburger. Will I continue it? Maybe for another week and see if I lose another 2-4 lbs after which I will go back to my low glycemic diet :)