I’m melting!

Once again, the South Beach diet has exceeded my expectations! Yesterday completed our first two weeks on the program – technically known as Phase 1, and I managed to lose another 5 pounds, bringing my first two weeks weight loss total to 12 pounds! I know it’s not huge, but for me it’s gargantuan. I have such a slow metabolism that on every other diet program I’ve done it would have taken me 5 or 6 weeks (maybe even longer) to lose that much weight. And the best part is, I’m really starting to feel like I’m losing weight – I’ve noticed that some of my clothes are starting to fit a bit more comfortably again, especially my jeans and capris, and I even think my face looks less puffy than it did two weeks ago.

For those of you who’ve been thinking about trying a diet plan and are wondering what kinds of foods you can eat on the South Beach diet, here are a few of the things that have kept me full these past two weeks.

For those of you who’ve never tried the Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges, you’ve cheated yourself out of a wonderful cream cheese alternative. I’m not really a fan of cream cheese on its own – much too tart for my palate, but these little gems are fantastic with veggie dippers, on eggs, in a roll-up, over crackers (which we can’t have on the SB diet, but I know it’s true from my carb eating days), and many other things. They are terrific!

Eggs are one of God’s best sources of protein for our bodies. They are tasty, versatile, and in moderation a good source of cholesterol. Not to mention great for breakfast. And I will admit to you, that before I started the SB diet I was definitely not a breakfast eater. I don’t enjoy breakfast. I don’t wake up and think about food – that just turns my stomach. But every day for the past two weeks I’ve had a 2 egg omelet. Some days I have cheese and veggies in it. Some days just garlic and pepper. Some days there has been turkey or ham or turkey bacon in there as well. I’ve topped it with salsa, eaten them plain, and had them Spanish style as well. They’re filling, and they have helped start my day off right. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m starting to enjoy eating breakfast.

Turkey bacon is an unusual thing. How can something that does not contain any pork make bacon I ask you? The answer is, it can’t. But science can! And they did. Normally I’m not a bacon lover – never have been – in the breakfast meats department I prefer sausage. But this stuff is not too bad if it’s cooked in the oven. I use it in my scrambled eggs, as a snack with lunch meat and cheese, and Sam has been wrapping it around his boiled eggs.

Greek yogurt and I have been courting for a while now. I’ve never been a huge fan of plain unflavored yogurt – really of yogurt period. But there’s just something special about the uber-thick and creaminess of Greek style yogurt. It’s especially good with lots of honey in it…unfortunately honey is very taboo on the South Beach diet. This week was my first time to try the non-fat version of Greek style yogurt. My only experience with non-fat yogurt has been the traditional American style non-fat yogurt we use in cooking. That stuff is super watery and loose, and the flavor is really tangy – too tangy on its own for my taste buds. So it was natural for me to feel a bit of trepidation over the non-fat Greek yogurt. Boy, was I ever wrong. This stuff has the same ultra-thick and creamy consistency as the full fat version, and I don’t find it nearly as tangy as the American style yogurt. We’ve been using this as an ice cream alternative. A half a cup of the Greek style yogurt with a Splenda French Vanilla Coffee Blend sweetener and a drop or two of regular vanilla in it is to die for, truly. Heaven on your spoon. Try it!

Okay, I know lots of people don’t like V8 vegetable juice, but I really do. Always have. I especially love the Spicy Hot variety – it puts a nice tingly burn in the back of your throat. So good. This stuff has been a lifesaver for me. I have a glass in the morning with my breakfast, then another glass at some point during the day – usually at dinnertime. I’ve never been a big vegetable lover, so this ensures that I’m getting all the veggies my body needs, in addition to the added vegetables I’ve been eating with my meals. And it helps take away that immediate hunger surge I have just before eating – the one that makes me inhale my food as if I’ve never eaten before in my life…

Part-skim ricotta cheese – who’da thought?! Again, like the Greek style yogurt, this stuff has been so very useful. I’ve used it in cooking as well as desserts. It’s creamy, and light, and so very divine. Yesterday I mixed a half cup of this with a packet of Sweet-n-Low, a few drops of vanilla and a sprinkling of cinnamon and I had a dessert that was equal in flavor to tiramisu. So very yummy!

Surprisingly, this diet plan allows us to eat cheese – reduced-fat, of course. When we were at Sam’s club last week, we found a large tray of reduced-fat deli slices and that has lasted us for a week now. Sam and I are both huge cheese mice – and that’s one of the things we miss most on many other diet plans. South Beach allows us almost unlimited access to fat-free and reduced-fat cheese. Thank you Miami!

Here’s another variety of yummy cheese that we’re allowed to indulge in. String cheese. You know, before South Beach I didn’t even know or understand the joys that string cheese can bring to you. It’s tasty and fun. And a wonderful distraction for small children. I know because I’ve watched Sam spend 5 minutes trying to pull the cheese apart one ‘string’ at a time!

Splenda Coffee Blends – if you haven’t tried these guys you really should. Now, we don’t like them in our coffee. In fact, we’ve pretty much gone completely off of coffee. For us coffee is all about the flavored creamer anyway, and since they don’t yet make a good Fat-Free Sugar-Free coffee creamer we’ve gone to hot teas in the morning. It doesn’t give you quite the boost that coffee does, but it’s equally as enjoyable – at least for me it is. However, these little Splenda Coffee Blends make so many other things delightful. Sam sprinkles the French Vanilla flavor over fresh sliced strawberries, and I swear to you they taste like strawberries and cream! We have used them in the Greek style yogurt and the ricotta cheese. You’ve just got to try them.

So far, Sam and I both agree that the South Beach diet has been one of the best eating plans we’ve ever been on. Thank you doctor for prescribing it! We both have enjoyed the cooking freedom that it has allowed us – and you really can cook on it if you want to. In fact, Sam’s office held a book fair last week and he managed to pick up three practically new South Beach diet cookbooks that I know we’ll get used over and over again. The recipes are just fantastic – it’s real food, made with real ingredients, and served in real portion sizes! And the fact that I’m not having to obsess over the number of points and calories and serving sizes I can eat has made my life so very easy. I realize that before long the rapid weight loss will diminish to a couple of pounds a week; and the newness of it all will wear off eventually, but for the first time in my life I feel like this is a program that could genuinely become a lifestyle for me. And as an eater, that’s saying something.


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