Going on the South Beach Diet

Here is the lifestyle change I had mentioned in my last post. I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes when I had my son, and almost 3 years down the line, I had learnt that my A1C levels are elevated, and that I am predisposed to Type 2 Diabetes. I am not diabetic per se, but am very much at risk to  be. This had triggered in me to look for and adopt a change in the way I eat. Now, I have to say that I was not an unhealthy eater. Being a vegetarian, I ate a lot of vegetables, but they were always clubbed with heavy amount of carbohydrates, to reap any benefits. After a fair amount of research I made up my mind to do the South Beach diet.

I had a few criteria on which I made this choice, which I am sharing with you. First off, I wanted the diet to be vegetarian friendly. I do eat eggs, but a high-protein diet like the Atkins diet will not work for me. I also didn’t want to count or measure calories or points as I really don’t have the time for calculations. I didn’t want to starve – for I have a full time job, plus take care of my 2 1/2 year old son. The other criteria is more relevant to this blog. 🙂 I wanted a diet that allowed me to cook my own food – and not rely on prepackaged items. And speaking of cooking, I wanted something that offered recipes and cookbooks. Based on all of these, I narrowed in on the SBD. And the last and final criteria is that I wanted the diet to be sustainable – so that I can stay on it for a long time.

A quick two liner on the diet is that it has 3 Phases. The first phase restricts all grain, all fruit and limits dairy to low fat/non-fat options – limited to 2 cups a day. I am on day 11 of the diet now, and have lost about 6 pounds. Phase 1 encourages you to eat breakfast, two snacks a day, lunch, dinner and an optional dessert. I am going to be posting SBD friendly recipes and some of my meal plans for reference.

So, if you ask – Hows it going? 

Here is my experience so far:

  • The first 3 days of phase 1 are really tough. This is the part where you tackle your cravings and really get your body used to your new eating style. I had a lot of headaches on the first 3 days.
  • By the fourth day your body gets used to the routine of meals, snacks etc.
  • The SBD requires a lot of cooking. If you plan on doing it, start a day ahead – by preparing few meals and stocking up your fridge.
  • The diet is a bit expensive. Buying cheese/produce to suit a healthy lifestyle – I am seeing a difference in my grocery bills. I do buy organic salad greens- since I eat them raw.
  • This diet encourages you to eat atleast 2 cups of non fat greek yogurt a day and also up to 2 cups of beans/legumes a day. I think this feature really helps someone of Indian origin to adjust to this diet.

What have I been eating?

Phase1 Sample Menu

Breakfast: Green chilly Egg muffins from Kalyn’s kitchen( I replaced half the eggs called for here with egg whites, and it tasted awesome)
I have made several variations of these egg muffins and had them for breakfast so far. Will post a couple of varieties too.

Lunch:  Mostly soups and salads. I take lunch to work everyday, but if I do eat out, I buy salad with dressing on the side. Use sparingly. Chickpea Veggie Salad from Potbelly

Snack 1(3 PM): Celery sticks with 2 tbsp store bought Hummus. This is become my favorite and I absolutely love this combo. It is very filling too. I bought the Sabra brand Sundried tomato hummus from Costco.

Snack 2(6 PM): Cheese stick OR 15 dry roasted almonds OR 1/4 cup Dry roasted soy nuts

Dinner: Dry poriyal with non fat greek yogurt + Salad or Soup

What next?

Although the Phase 1 of SBD is mandated for atleast 2 weeks, I plan on taking it a bit further to atleast 3-4 weeks, mostly because I have become more comfortable eating the South Beach Way. If you are planning to, or have already been on the diet, do leave a comment so that we can share ideas/recipes. Hooray for Healthy Eating! 🙂

The collage you see above is a glimpse of SBD diet dishes that I have been making and eating over the past week. Stay tuned for individual posts on those.

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