Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 14

Due to the increasingly small distance between now and our wedding, I'm trying out the South Beach Diet. 

If you’re a fan of the movie Stepbrothers, you might recognize a quote that this entire experience has reminded me of. “I haven’t had a CARB since 2004.” 

Adam Scott must have had it pretty rough, because it's been 14 days and all I can think about is oatmeal. Oatmeal, of all things. Dream big. 

In all honesty, taking a timeout from starchy carbs & fruit hasn't been quite as difficult as I imagined. If you are asking yourself, "what is South Beach diet? Isn't that some sort of torture tactic?" Don't worry, I had the same thoughts just a month ago. And while it certainly isn't the easiest plan out there, it's pretty far from Chinese water torture. Let me clarify. 

A lot of folks think this plan is a "no carb" ban. That is actually more like the Atkins diet, which limits your intake of healthy groups. On the South Beach diet I'm still consuming carbs because even vegetables have carbs - I have just eliminated the sugary, starchy kinds - like fruit, breads, grains, and (*tear*) oats. It's crazy to think I haven't had a whole grain in 14 days because I'm used to incorporating them at just about every meal. I was a pretty good eater before this plan, but this has definitely taught me a lot. 

Let's talk about that, shall we? 

The Good. 

I've noticed a few excellent benefits from the last 14 days of zero bread and very low sugar. First and foremost, I'm starting to form a healthier relationship with different food groups. For example, lean proteins (like chicken, fish & lowfat dairy), healthy fats (nuts & nutbutters, olive oil, avocado) & vegetables (leafy greens, peppers, eggplant, onion) are my BFFs. I've learned to put some healthy distance between myself & whole grains/fruits; while they are super healthy and have their extremely important nutritional benefit, they aren't the kinds of things we should have unlimited amounts of, or else we might pay the price for it either in terms of waistline or blood sugar. And finally, the biggest lesson: desserts, candy, processed foods & (gulp) WINE are like that crazy group of friends you sometimes hang out with - they are fun to go out with, but they aren't exactly the type you'd call for a shoulder to cry on. Less is more. 

Oh, and did I mention I had more energy than usual around days 5-10, and have lost in the neighborhood of 4ish lbs? 

The Bad. 

I have had some headaches in the evening. I miss social drinking. It's harder to hang out with friends and eat in restaurants. It's hard enough to find whole grain friendly restaurants, so forget carbless choices. But it is possible, and it can be done. 

Just like I can say no to swirly margaritas and free chips & salsa at Uncle Julio's. Miracles can happen. 

I feel like many of us office-dwellers, when 3 o'clock rolls around we start to get an itch for something tasty. That's because our low blood sugar tends to dip in the afternoon, urging us for a little boost. Many people, South Beaching or not, are looking for ways to indulge. So instead of reaching into that Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins box from the 8am meeting, meet my new best friends: 

Cottage Cheese + Almond Butter 

Cucumber rounds + Smoked salmon 

Just to name a few. AND, just to prove that I know y'all can make some changes that seem crazy if I can, I have serious cases of both cookie monstering & sweet toothery. Thought I would finish things off with a simple after-dinner recipe that has seriously kept my cravings at bay, without sacrificing the mission. 

Chocolate Ricotta Dream
(Not pictured... I'm too busy eating it)

1/2 C fat free ricotta cheese (I know, sounds vom. Taste & believe, friends.)
1 t unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 packet sugar substitute - I strongly prefer Stevia
1/2 t vanilla extract 
2 T light or fat free whipped topping 

Mix all together in a bowl. I like to add 1 T of almond butter (or peanut butter) on top for extra kicks. Chow down & respect yourself in the morning! 

I'm off to dream about the oat muffin & piece of fruit I get to eat tomorrow. Oh and a glass of WINE! Phase 2, here I come!! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Like a cake, Except Mini

I am completely in love with the following.

Are you sick of wedding talk yet? We're just getting started!

Cupcakes are not only total eye candy (eye cake, perhaps?), but they are actually much more affordable than their traditional buttercream-and-fondant-tiered cousins. PLUS can you say variety? If you are like me and have a hard time making up your mind about very crucial decisions...

 such as, "but will my guests like red velvet or fun-feti?!"

Cupcakes help you do it all. Even though they sometimes seem intrusive and scary with their many mini-cake selves taking over the place 

But in reality, they are very friendly confections 

And oftentimes every bit as elegant as ginormo wedding cakes, without being all, "look at me and my stuffy expensive self"

So, what say you? Do you prefer cupcake magic or are you more a fancy princess big cake type of person? Or no cake at all? Many folks these days ditch the whole cake business largely due to expense, but so far in my experience cupcakes allow you to have your sugary dreams without offending your wallet.

Friday, January 13, 2012

One Year Down

So. We have been engaged for a year now.

And yes, I know this post would have been way cooler had I written it on January 10th... Apologies.

So I thought I'd update the interwebs on my wedding journey.

What, you thought we were still drinking champagne and screaming "WE'RE ENGAGED!!!" over and over?

Come on, y'all. That was the first 12 months. This is month 13, and it's seriousface time.

So now that my this wedding has taken up residence in my brain and created a tornado house to live in, let me share some tidbits of bridely banter.

[a little less than] 5 months to go

My general reaction to any sort of wedding stress or disagreements is actually to just start screaming. Like, scream talking. I recognize this is not exactly an effective way to communicate.

Men's suits are possibly the most complicated, unexpected source of stress in the universe. Do they just rent so I take the unknown factors out of things? Do I trust them to buy a suit or use one they already own? Is trusting men with fashion even remotely intelligent? Any wise souls out there have advice for me? I beg of you!!

Dear Pinterest: I love you, but not everyone is getting hitched in a barn where guests will sip casually from mason jars. Mason jars. Mason jars. WE GET IT!!!

According to, it's time to start my "beauty regimen." Um, come again? I have to make myself beautiful like, now?

Ugh. South Beach Diet Phase 1, here I come. Goodbye, bread & fruit. Hello, wedding dress whose size is slightly inappropriate because I fibbed about to the bridal salon.

Tomato, tomahto.