Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

What did you gain this summer?

with 4 comments

I could of course be talking about highbrow things – new languages, knowledge, experiences – but, being a Dubai expat who spent five weeks in the land of tea rooms, the M&S food hall and pub grub, the only summer gain I’m really talking about is weight.

As one who watches her weight all year round in a mindful sort of “I’ll have an Americano [20cals] not a skinny cappuccino [75cals]” way, the UK is a disaster. I can resist neither the pub lunches nor Café Rouge, let alone a Pomodora Pesto Leggera at Pizza Express with a bottle of Chianti (hell I’m on holiday).

The Pizza Express Pomodoro pesto leggera - it's full of salad so it's good for you, right?

The Pizza Express Pomodoro pesto leggera – it’s full of salad so it’s good for you, right?

But hey, I was 2.5kgs underweight before I left, so I had room to spare – right?

Wrong. If you’ve no idea how much damage you can do to your waistline in five weeks of bad eating and drinking, I refer you kindly to this article in the Daily Wail in which a skinny-minny nutritionist ate “like a normal woman” for a week and put on, like, a tonne. So it’s not surprising, then, to see on my return that a) my new white jeans – bought in week 1 – won’t do up b) None of my old clothes fit me and c) I’ve gained 3.5kgs in five weeks.

Here’s how:

Old Dubai diet
Breakfast: Low-fat yoghurt, fresh grapes/berries and a spoonful of oat granola.

Lunch: Miso soup with Udon noodles (85 cals and surprisingly filling).

Snack: Water. Cup of tea. More water. Tomato juice.

Dinner: Homemade vegetable curry.

Holiday diet:

Breakfast: Doorstop of home-baked toasted bread with butter and marmalade. Croissant with marmalade.

Morning coffee: Two Digestives snuffled before the kids saw.

Lunch: Two deep-fried Café Rouge fishcakes with fries and salad; pint of beer (or two large glasses of wine).

Afternoon tea: Kipling cakes a-plenty.

Pre-dinner: Gin & tonic (cheers mum!), bag of crisps. Extra crisps stolen from mum. Glass of pre-dinner red wine (just to taste). And maybe another one.

Dinner: Anything from pub grub to Pizza Express with half a bottle of red wine.

Surprised the size 10 jeans don’t fit any more? Not really. But, good god, was it fun.


Written by mrsdubai

August 26, 2013 at 10:25 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Hi! Living in Dubaï, don’t you get frustrated with restricted choice of food from your home country and most of all, the super high prices you have to pay when you finally see something you miss so much!?! So same for me, 6 weeks in France with lots of rillettes, saucissons, wine wine wine…. Few pounds heavier and I don’t feel bad at all. The heat and less temptation for another year will take care of them… and I will go on the same food “diet” next year during the summer holiday if my mum lets me open her fridge ever again. We deserve it 🙂


    August 27, 2013 at 3:58 am

    • Yes, I do. 😦 I’m like a kid in a sweet shop when I get back to England! xox


      August 31, 2013 at 6:36 pm

  2. I am on a carb/dairy/sugar/anything that tastes good diet…….I would kill for the rocket salad garnish on that pomodoro pesto leggera….

    Dubai Mum

    August 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm

  3. Is not fair ,it takes such long long time & hard work to shed few pounds ,and only few bites and few days to put them back on .

    Dubai Expat

    September 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm

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