I had been doing really well on the South Beach diet, but in the absence of seeing results, feeling under the weather, and not wanting to eat my leftovers, I succumbed to a weekend of junk food. Of course, I loved it. The Chinese food I had on Thursday hit the spot, I really enjoyed the trip to the local Mexican restaurant Friday, and Saturday I had a good meal at a beach hang-out. Add to that a strong chocolate craving not easily satisfied. My weekend plans really weren’t compatible with South Beach, though my backsliding could have been worse.

I am now throwing away my restaurant leftovers and crawling back on the wagon, trying not to toss my weight loss plans with my weekend binge. I think I might try a new direction. A problem I have with South Beach is that many of the meals are too expensive and time-consuming (like making eggs and bacon for breakfast). I think I am going to create my own low-cost, quick to prepare, effective diet that uses common foods and easy-to-find ingredients. I lost 40 pounds on the diet I created a few years ago, so I have succeeded before. Wish me luck!

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Cookie Surprise

Yesterday after dinner, I felt like downing the entire chocolate bar I knew was hiding somewhere in the freezer. I was very close to carelessly tossing aside the peas, frozen chicken and decade-old pasta sauce to find it. Then, an intervention. I spotted the South Beach Diet cookbook and resolved to find a suitable dessert, since I had purchased an actual cooking staple, Whole Wheat Flour, a few days before. But after pouring over the diet book, I found nothing I both wanted and could make with the ingredients on hand. (This is a frequent problem with dieting; the books call for strange or expensive ingredients). I refused to run to the grocery store for ricotta cheese, and I had all but given up, until I spotted “The Chocolate Chip Cookie Book” on the counter. As luck would have it, I found a recipe that was very South Beach friendly, made with whole wheat flour and oats. I just substituted the white flour with wheat and the sugar and brown sugar with the Splenda versions. True, there were chocolate chips, but they are small, and chocolate is much better spread throughout high-fiber cookies than consumed hastily in large quantities standing in front of the freezer. The batter tasted fabulous. I congratulated myself on my cooking skills. Then the cookies came out of the oven, tasting like bread with an occasional hint of chocolate. The cookies are filling enough to be included in survival rations, and they would probably survive a helicopter drop. I’m still eating them, though, instead of chocolate bars. If you find any cheap, delicious South Beach desserts, let me know.

What’s for Breakfast?

I just choked down a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, made with oats from the big red can (not the packaged kind) and sweetened a little with splenda. It tasted a little like glue; the consistency resembled a second grade craft project gone awry. I know oats are very good for me, with as many healthy benefits as the oatmeal can claims, and they are on the current South Beach diet food list. That doesn’t make me like my breakfast choice. I wonder what in our psychology makes us crave junk food rather than healthy food. Is it a survival mechanism? I know studies have shown sugar placed on the tongues of babies can alleviate pain. Maybe our nerve receptors are screaming for sugar. Maybe it is the lure of the forbidden, the desire of something we can’t have. Maybe it is simply that junk food tastes better since it is created with ingredients and chemicals designed to make us eat it in large quantities. Whatever it is, I would rather have had a heaping plateful of pancakes with butter and maple syrup than my oatmeal. This is the quandry for all dieters: choosing what’s best over what you want.

Welcome!

Hello!  I am on a mission to lose weight and save money.  I have read many diet books and followed many programs, so I know that the two often are mutually exclusive.  Sample diet meals usually  include exotic ingredients and expect dieters to cook fancy meals every night.  There are rarely diet plans that feature leftovers or cheap ingredients.  Most people working, going to school or raising kids don’t have time to whip up expensive meals from scratch every day, especially for breakfast!  My goal is to follow a diet and stick to a budget, without subsisting on beans and rice.

I am currently on the South Beach diet, which has its pluses and minuses.  I am in Phase II of the diet.  The first phase lasts two weeks and consists of nothing but meats, some low-fat dairy and vegetables, which meant my cereal spent a couple weeks growing stale.  I am not for any diet that begins with throwing out all of your food.  What a waste of money!  However, on Phase I of South Beach, I did use up some freezer items I forgot I had.  I do think South Beach is more expensive than my normal diet, so I will be posting ways I find to save money while losing weight on this diet, and and how to save money on healthy eating generally.