Nearly two weeks of fairly strict Stage 1 South Beach done. I started the day after new year's, so Tuesday'll be the end of it.
Like most low-carb diets apparently do, South Beach starts off with a big plunge downward weight wise, which is always rewarding. In my case, I've dropped six pounds in the last week and a half. Time permitting, I've also been walking around the block a couple of times each morning, hiking for a good half-hour. So, I'm down from 187.7 on New Year's to 181.0 this morning, which is a nice way to start the weekend :) Sadly, time has been less permitting lately for walkies, and likely to get less so. I'll have to find an alternative.
PBS ran a little show on fad diets, and they were suggesting that most diets, no matter how interesting, boil down to reduced-calorie arrangements. With a restricted food pallate, people eat less, and if you can easily eat a pound of food at a setting, a pound of grilled chicken on spinach with an olive oil topping is going to have less calories than a burger and slice of cheesecake. Though I think the overall idea is that you'll eat less anyway. I don't think I could stick to a calorie-count or reduced-portion diet, I love food too much!
South Beach has a couple of things going for it beyond calorie count--it relies heavily on low Glycemic Index foods and unsaturated fats (is that right? I can never remember). So my olive oil and tofu intake is higher than it would normally be, and my body is probably at least 5% almond at this point. I shouldn't eat so many nuts, but they're sooo good! And the low Glycemic Index thing will help my triglyceride count...whatever that is...which is a bit high, apparently.
I've cheated twice over the week, but been fairly restrained in it. We went to visit John's family (John is my roommate that died in a motercycle crash a few years ago). I had two slices of pizza, but I've justified that as "for politeness" since that was the dinner provided, and I really wanted more, so it was restrained cheating. And last night I had a serving of brown rice, which would be legal after next Tuesday. So, I'm under the impression that neither of these count as noteworthy cheats. And I question the legality of the bleu cheese dressing we've been having a lot of lately. However, I will stick with Phase 1 for another week to balance out.
Argh! Food is SO expensive! And I never have any leftovers. I made a quadruple batch of lemon pepper chicken last night, and some mushrooms for Larina. Granted I was ravenous and had seconds, and gave everybody large portions, but there wasn't enough left for a meal the next day. *grumble* It wouldn't have been as good anyway. Food's my main expenditure, and it does get pricy. Most meals start at $15 or so for three people, low end, but I can easily spend $40 if I'm feeding five or six people and use a lot of fresh vegetables and chicken. And, of course, no leftovers.
Whines is nice about buying my meals most of the time when we eat out, so that helps compensate, budget-wise. But I do miss my glorified mac and cheese recipe--one can of rotel, two pounds of hamburger, four boxes mac and cheese, a brick of sharp chedder and a Kielbasa sausage--two days of food for four people for about $15. Low-carb translates directly into frikkn' expensive, without the bulking agents of bread and rice (even whole wheat bread and brown rice are "in moderation" foods.) And a $.15 packet of Ramen is such a good breakfast. *sigh*
On the flip side, I've been able to really get good at low-carb cooking. Last night's dinner was lemon pepper chicken in the style of Pei Wei/PF Chang's--brown rice base, a heaping helping of lightly-fried (Read: undercooked) veggies on top--sprouts, broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms. Chunks of chicken lightly breaded with soy flour (which really worked! Definately do that again!) and a sauce that had at least 1/3 cup of black pepper in it, and a good amount of chicken broth and sugar-free ketchup, with a splenda substitution for sugar. It really turned out well! Not really true to Pei Wei's recipe--their sauce is thicker, with more lemon and less pepper. But a good recipe on its own.
I really miss cookies, cakes and pies, though :(