I'll take my coffee black, please.
And hold the Oreos. The ice cream too. Don't even show me that bread.
For the next two weeks, I am following "phase one" of the South Beach diet. It's the cleansing and re-programming part of the diet that is designed to re-balance blood sugar levels to reduce cravings for certain foods. My mom starting changing her eating habits a few years ago, and she looks great. More importantly, her more informed food-decisions have improved her energy and stopped her from feeling dizzy during the late afternoon.
I have been lamenting my low energy levels lately, and the weight I sweat off in Cambodia has returned to haunt my tailor-made pants. Having watched my mother's success with South Beach, I want to challenge myself to try it--just to see what happens. According to my mom, the first two weeks are pretty boring because you are suppose to eliminate all starches, sugars and dairy (except low-fat cheese!). Those foods are my staples, especially for breakfast. You can imagine my disappointment facing a broccoli omelet instead of a sugary cereal bar and coffee with a healthy splash of half-and-half.
This morning the Australian Kookaburra licorice--one of our most popular--nearly broke me. I needed to put the pieces into smaller bags by hand, a tortuously aromatic and tactile experience. My mouth waters at the smell of licorice any day, but on day two of South Beach, it took all my self control not to be taken out by such a devilish opponent.
The next several days it's going to be lots of grilled chicken, all the veggies I can handle, and even some string cheese to keep me sane. The diet recommends curtailing caffeine intake (it's an appetite stimulant), but also says that if a cup or two makes you happy (and boy, does it!), go for it.
Wish me luck, and don't be offended if I turn down your baked goods this week.