A Trip to South Beach?

Sadly, we aren’t travelling south.  We are “doing” the South Beach Diet regimen.  As of today we are beginning the second week of the South Beach Diet Phase One.  To those of you not familiar with The SBD Phase One it is worse than Basic Training, Speaking in front of 1000 grumbly people, and having a tooth pulled without Novocain!  It’s truly a detox of bad carbs and ALL forms of sugar!  It doesn’t sound terrible until you read the no-no list.  Some may approach this phase thinking oh not bad, no cakes and cookies!!!!

Let’s just think about breakfast, our routine breakfasts are cereal with fruit or fruit and yogurt smoothies, and a form of toast–bagels, muffins, scones, biscuits are not uncommon vehicles for butter and jam and the coveted Nutella!  The only thing allowed in that list is plain lowfat yogurt (a relatively small amount)!  Yes, the healthy approach to adding fresh, tasty, fruit to our morning routine may be just adding “sugar” to our total nutrition counts.

Did I mention the lack of alcohol!  No wine to ease the pain of dieting!!  Plenty of Whine opportunities, however!  The point of Phase One is to rid your diet of the effects of sugar on your body.  Literally, it cuts down on your cravings for either sugar, soda, desserts, etc.  You really start to realize you can be full and satisfied after dinner without potatoes, rice, pasta, etc.  We also noticed the lack of a sweet craving after doing the dishes that typically is satisfied with a dessert or a few cookies and occasionally ice cream , while relaxing (as in couch-potatoing) in front of the TV!  Reread that ICE CREAM, GELATO, SORBETTO, these are sold in my favorite aisle of the grocery store, following the Nutella aisle and may the fresh baked bread section!

I will say that as much as I’m whining I do believe this diet works for us.  This is our second time going on it.  We did well the first time and then we gradually added the missing goodies back in until suddenly we forgot we were dieting.  Suddenly, we strayed and regained most of our initial lost weight.  We are dedicated to maintaining the Phase 3 maintenance stage once we get there.

Warning: During phase one you will experience a lack of energy because you have gone cold-turkey on the sudden bursts of energy you get from sugary snacks and drinks!  Also consider not spending the entire day 3 and 4 with your dieting partner–grumpiness has reached it’s peak on these days—go ahead ask me how I know!!!

As I alluded to above, breakfast is our biggest challenge.  Eggs are the answer replacing sugary breakfast food with protein. We don’t dislike eggs, but we prefer them on lazy Sunday mornings when we can spend time dressing them up in omelets and frittatas. Make-ahead egg muffins make it simple with a brief microwave zap and breakfast is served.  The ingredients are easy to switch up to create variety.  This week’s included prosciutto, peppers, onions, parsley and low fat shredded Mexican cheese blend.  Next week’s will be broccoli and cheese.  Also an egg casserole with Canadian Bacon, Artichoke Hearts, Goat Cheese and low fat Mozzarella was a big hit.

This morning I made a frittata with ham, red peppers, cilantro, the low fat Mexican cheese blend.  Served with homemade black bean salsa and a dollop of Guacamole.

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Last night’s dinner was a bit over the top and delicious.  Sous Vide Filet Mignon over Broccoli Puree with Roasted Asparagus and Mushrooms and sliced Mini late summer Heirloom Tomatoes with a drizzle of Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar and Coarse Sea Salt.

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Six more days until we can loosen the restrictions for Phase 2, the no-no list is much shorter and a glass of wine is allowed with dinner–never before or after!  And some fruit is allowed, oh yeah! Phase 2 is designed to put back some carbs and balance your blood sugar to a natural level.  You stay on Phase 2 until you reach your goal weight.  This can be several weeks or longer as needed.  Then you can move to Phase 3 which is maintenance mode.

Here’s how I came to the South Beach Diet: years ago during its initial popularity  a client requested I cook the diet for them.  It was during a time when I had a full schedule of clients and I vaguely remember the dishes I cooked for them.  Last year a new client said his doctor suggested he try it.  So, I dug out the book and ended up ordering two more from Amazon—got them used for a song and postage!  I created the menus and started cooking.  At the end of the first cookdate I was amazed at how tasty the food was and the variety of ingredients I used.  At that point I thought we could eat this way.  After the client completed Phase 1 he had lost 12 pounds and continued to lose on Phase 2.  He was ecstatic about the weight loss and happy with the food.  So we delved into it for ourselves, since our Doctor was strongly suggesting some moderate weight loss.  And we plan to really get the maintenance part down pat!

Happy Dieting!

Eat Well…Be Well!

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