South Beach Diet

It’s time for a vacation for us! I wish I could say that it is a vacation involving sunny days, Florida beaches, nightlife, Latin food and mojitos, however, it is not. It is a vacation from overindulging in heavy food, wine, bourbon slushes and fatty desserts. Unfortunately, this diet needs to be a lifestyle and not a temporary vacation.

My husband and I both need to loose some weight, so the days of butter, beefy dishes and pasta are over. (Julia Child be gone!) Sure, I can cook lighter foods, but I just find it not to be as much fun. I am now going to learn how to make it fun and do it on a more regular basis. Yes, we will cheat (especially when entertaining or going out to dinner), but we need to change much of what we eat for health reasons.

We always eat whole grains, salads, fresh fruit and veggies. I also buy organic when I can. We eat low-fat yogurt and drink skim milk. We take our Benefiber (we are middle-aged after all…) and our necessary vitamins. We are not slugs. We are really thoughtful about grocery shopping and what we buy. The problem arises when I get to cooking some dinner dishes like rack of lamb, short ribs or lasagna. I also enjoy making special desserts from time to time (profiteroles, creme brulee, anything chocolate). As my husband says, we have a “we can eat this once in a while” every day and it does add up over time.

My hubby will be on the Sugar Buster’s Diet and I will be on a modified version, some days cooking for one, I am sure (I do not need to loose quite as much weight as he does!). He will be eating many boneless, skinless chicken breasts prepared on the George Foreman Grill, black rice and veggies. Our son calls this diet food “cardboard”. We cannot have that now, can we???

We thought about going on the South Beach diet. I have been on it twice before (the first 2 week part) and it does work. However, the minute you cheat and eat a plate of butternut squash ravioli, it is all over! So, we need to find a way to stick to a diet pretty much every day, yet incorporate foods we love so we are not tempted to completely blow the diet! In other words, like skipping the first 2 weeks of the South Beach Diet (Phase One) and jumping right to Phase Two and Three!

Therefore, my challenge is to find fabulous new dishes that are allowed on the diet (well, mostly allowed…) and to make alterations to the dishes I love so that we can still enjoy some old favorites from time to time. I look forward to making flavorful dishes using spices, different methods of cooking, marinades and ingredients that will provide fabulous tasting meals without all the extra fat and calories.

With that in mind, here is my list of food and exercise resolutions for 2010:

1. Do not cook anything from Barefoot Contessa unless I am entertaining and others will eat most of the dish.
2. Forget about the 6 pounds of butter still sitting in the fridge from Christmas cooking and baking.
3. Stop sitting so much and writing blog stuff!
4. Keep trying to like fish.
5. Eat lots more fresh fruit and veggies.
6. Stretch and do some form of exercise every day.
7. Send away neighbors bearing gifts of fatty foods.
8. Regular pasta…what is that?
9. There is no such thing as bread.
10. Red meat is on the infrequent ingredient list.
11. Drink less wine (oh, no, not that!!).

There are probably about 10 more things I could list, but it is pretty obvious what needs to be avoided in the kitchen and what needs to take place as far as getting more active. It is not like I do not know how to cook lighter, healthier dishes. I have done it most of my life. I have just veered off the road a bit in the last year or so and it has finally caught up where we’ve got to get back on that main road.

I have also joined a group of food bloggers and food blog readers in a program called Ten in 2010, The information about the program can be found on It is a commitment to cook and eat healthier for the first 10 weeks in the new year. Obviously, the commitment needs to be for the long-term, but it is a good start. It is always helpful to have moral support when starting any new program.

Other than achieving the goal of changing how we eat most of the time, I want for all of you what we wish for ourselves. I wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2010. 2009 was a strange year. I am glad it is behind us. I hope that 2010 will bring wonderful things to your life and delightful new dishes to try!

Happy healthy cooking and eating!

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.