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!! 

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