Following the South Beach Diet, Phase 1
I’ve said it many times, “Planning your meals is essential for healthy eating!” It is sooooo easy for me not to plan meals in the U.S. I can pop out to the market any and every day. There’s a zillion choices of prepared foods, snacks and desserts at my finger tips. Carbohydrate heaven.
I’m happy about this abundance especially when I first return to the U.S. from rural Mexico. How happy? Very happy and I have 5 solid pounds of weight gain to prove it. She frowns. The reality is that Americans are overweight and obese because we have so many choices. From restaurants to junk food aisles, if you have money, nothing will be denied to you.
(You should know that feeding the less fortunate is one of my passions and it is a fact that the poorest Americans are malnourished and over nourished because processed food is so abundant and inexpensive. That’s a topic for another day.)
My weight gain is not from a lack of healthy food but from my inability to regulate my ingestion of delicious carbohydrates. In Mexico, I won’t eat the prepared snacks full of scary ingredients so I make my own: healthy granola with agave syrup, fresh salsas and baked corn chips, nuts, olives, cheese, cut up veggies and fruits.
In the U.S. there is a snack for every occasion and I find them all. Pita chips, black licorice, cookies, high calorie nut and fruit mixes with chocolate chunks, Triscuits, bagels…. you see where this is going. Carbohydrate heaven, followed by sluggishness, bloating and ultimately weight gain.
And that amigas is why I am starting the South Beach Diet to revisit my nutritional goals, reduce my carbohydrate cravings (addiction) and to drop those 5 or 10 American pounds. South Beach Diet Phase 1 is fairly strict with no fruit, grains, sugars or alcohol. It is high in protein and healthy fats and should reduce carbohydrate cravings while satisfying your hunger. Phase 2 reintroduces complex carbohydrates with limited amounts of fruit and whole grains, which will be very close to my normal Mexican diet.
That’s the back story and here’s this week’s South Beach Diet, Phase 1 Menu
A few recipes to try
Ahi Tuna Salad: Marinate fresh ahi in ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, soy and sesame oil. Sear quickly. Slice and serve over greens with chopped red onion, capers, a splash of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Chicken Verde: Combine chicken pieces and canned Herdez salsa verde, one cup of chopped onions and 2 cloves of garlic and pressure cook or Slow cook it. Simply delicious.
Grilled Salsa Salmon: Marinate salmon in pico de gallo or any salsa for 30 minutes. Grill for 10 minutes. Serve with grilled zucchini brushed with olive oil.
Cauliflower mash: Boil cauliflower until soft, combine with cheddar cheese and low-fat plain yogurt and whirl until smooth in a food processor.
Lemon ricotta dessert: Combine 1 cup part skim ricotta with a packet of stevia or other sweetener, 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
I’m setting a public weight loss goal of 10 pounds. Today’s weight=+10. Follow me as I find my way back to healthy eating. Later this week, I’ll tell you how I feel on this strict Phase 1 of The South Beach Diet. I’m following the original plan from Dr. Agatston’s book and not the paid South Beach program.
You might like my Pinterest Board, Low Carb Recipes.