We're in Day 3 of the South Beach Diet (SBD). Months (or years) of whoopie pies, cupcakes, layer cake, brownies, chocolate, triple-cream cheeses, and everything else under the sun have resulted in us looking tubby.
In Paris, over 72 hours, I consumed three huge croissants slathered with butter, jam, and Nutella; I also had two smaller chocolate croissants, a sugar bun, an enormous pain au chocolat aux amandes, a Nutella crépe, a big fat chocolate crépe, a caramel éclair, a pistachio éclair (because I could only find one), a molten chocolate cake, an apple tart, and some caramels. As you can see, I was being careful — I was downright Spartan compared to my usual Paris pastry consumption. I confess I wasn't just displaying awesome willpower: my favorite tea shop had closed.
But I bet you don't feel very sorry for me now.
Phase 1 of the SBD lasts 14 days, and it cuts certain carbs (fruit, starches, sugars) and fats from your diet. You can have all the lean meat, eggs, and vegetables you want, except for certain veggies we really like (corn, carrots, potatoes). Thank goodness for canned black beans and the last of the field tomatoes. You can have skim milk (a staple for me) and low-fat cheese (better than no cheese), nuts and healthy oils, and dabs of mayonnaise and nut butters. I just splurged on Fastachi pecan butter, so delicious I can't believe it's good for you.
I pay no attention to the recipes that pad the SBD book; I just combine foods we can bear in ways we can tolerate. The trouble is that I never enjoy anything that I have to eat. So I try to focus on other things as I'm choking down my omelettes and drinking V8. I read. I'm never that fond of meat and eggs, and I'm loathing them already. I prefer baked goods, pasta, pizza, butter, chocolate, cheese... and toast. Right now, I'm dreaming of When Pigs Fly's six-grain and pumpkin seed bread, toasted, with butter. With that French butter, Président. God.
Par for the course on Day 3: I have a headache despite a glass of Diet Coke and lots of water. On the other hand, I slept like a log last night and I feel quite well below my head. I may even be a little trimmer already (we need a new scale, so no daily weigh-ins).
The SBD worked for us before, splendidly, and it darn well better work again. We figure we can stand it for two weeks if we start looking and feeling better that quickly. And after 14 days, we can slowly add in fruit and whole grains during Phase 2. We stopped eating nighttime desserts a few weeks before starting the diet, so I don't crave them now (and that's not because of those few tiny tidbits I happened upon in Paris).
For the next two weeks, we'll be somewhat cranky as we endure odd carb cravings, run low on energy, and get increasingly tired of having limits to our food. But if we can make it through, we'll be many pounds thinner. I don't plan to post continually about this, but I'll let you know if we bail out or make progress.
In the meantime, please have a nice slice of buttered toast for me.
* Can't wait until next time: there's an excellent, all-hours crépe stand at the end of the rue, and it doesn't move around the way Boston's food trucks do. It's always there, proving again that Paris is superior to Boston.