Saturday, January 7, 2012

Eating South Beach Style

So it's day 5 of our south beach diet and my body is definitely still adjusting. The good news is that my willpower has been strong and I've fought the intense sugar cravings over the past few days. High five to me! I'm hoping it gets easier, but I'm still missing my caramel frappes! Phase one of the SBD meant to re-program your body so it's very strict and luckily short. By eliminating as much sugar as possible, even the healthy sugars found in fruit and whole grains, the idea is that you re-train your system to recognize good vs. bad sugar. And trust me when I say that my body really needed to hit the reset button in that department! Even though I'm pretty sure frappes are frowned upon even in the third and most lenient phase, I intend to reward myself for getting through these two weeks of torture.


Eating on the SBD is a challenge at times, but it's not as hard as I expected. The most difficult part for us is breakfast. When all starches are off limits, you're pretty much left with eggs, veggies and lean meats if you want to stick to traditional breakfast food. If you're the type who can eat leftover chicken stir-fry for breakfast, then this phase would be a lot easier for you... but I'm not, so eggs are getting old. I've been trying to mix it up as much as possible and I'll admit that having a good dose of protein in the morning is more satisfying than a bagel or toast. We've also been incorporating Egg Beaters into the routine so we're not eating 700 eggs (and all the cholesterol that they contain) every week.

I especially like having meals that don't feel like they're missing something without the carbs. We had turkey taco salads the other night and they were filling, delicious and felt like a normal meal even though we would usually have standard tacos with tortillas. I also made a turkey and bean chili, and apart from missing the yummy cornbread side, it was really good. We topped it with avocado, cheese and sour cream and felt like we were eating a normal dinner. I made a chicken and broccoli stir-fry the other night, which was yummy, but felt lacking without even brown rice. The next time I do a stir-fry I might try serving it over spaghetti squash which is pretty bland and tastes a lot like pasta. Lunches are generally salads with plenty of stuff like chicken, hard-boiled eggs or beans to make them more filling.

Finding some substitutes for foods that are off-limits has helped too. I've been drinking diet coke to kill the soda cravings and for the caffeine. I don't like regular coffee and I don't think I could handle this diet and give up all caffeine as well. It's still limited because I don't really like diet coke so I don't drink that much. I also found that Jello makes an awesome sugar-free pudding called Dulce de Leche that helps me not miss my caramel frappes as much. It's not the same, but it's a decent fix for now. We're a third of the way through phase one and I feel pretty good. My daughter's preschool teacher told me I looked great the other day and asked what I was doing. I think I was just wearing some camouflaging clothes but it was the encouragement I needed to keep going!

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