Skip to main content

South Beach Diet Notes- Phase 1



Summer fresh organic yellow tomatoes topped with mint, thyme and scallions, then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. What more could you ask for? A low glycemic snack with my favorite Mediterranean flavors. And no b-word.

I'm deep into my first week on the South Beach Diet, whittling down my waist a half pound at a time. I am seeing a difference already. And what's really interesting- for this gluten-free pasta and muffin loving girl? After eating a lower glycemic index recipe I don't feel stuffed. Or heavy. Or that other word. The b-word. The word every celiac hates more than anything. Yup. You women out there know what I'm talking about it.

Bloated.


Am I alone in this? I can't be the only one who after the initial symptom-free elation of eating gluten-free started to notice a sly and steady creep back into the old symptoms. A little indigestion here. A little heaviness there. And eventually, even the dreaded b-word.

Frustrating. I used to blame cross-contamination. Or another innocent food (onions). But after my first week with the South Beach Diet I have an alternate theory. Kind of like those alternate endings some DVD's feature where you get to glimpse the director's version of the ending before the studio marketing heads pressured the producers into not trusting the audience and called for a reshoot.

Here's the alternative ending to my gluten-free arc; and yes, in the second act dairy and other obnoxious food allergies triggered a plot twist- I acknowledge that.

But here's the thing. For some unknown reason- unknown to me anyway, as you well know, Dear Reader I am neither a doctor nor a bonafied goddess- I suspect that celiac disease co-mingles with an intolerance for refined carbohydrates. Even gluten-free carbohydrates. It's as if my body doesn't care whether or not the potato starch or the white rice flour or the tapioca is gluten-free.

I tell it, It's okay, Babycakes. This is safe. And it just snorts and flips it's mango scented razor cut and quips, Whatever! And bloating ensues.

Now before all you devoted alternative practitioners out there start sending me links for a candida cleanse- let me assure you that I got myself tested for yeast and yeast antibodies and I am candida-free. Though $268 dollars poorer. That's not the plot point I want to talk about (though I understand it may indeed be an issue for some- especially if long term antibiotic use or birth control pills are in the picture). My journey is not about yeast.

It's about carbs.

Whether it's inherently genetic (celiac genes are linked to diabetes genes but don't ask me the specifics Honey Cake, just know there's a lot of unglamorous co-mingling going on in your exclusive members only DNA after party) or whether it is caused from celiac damage or simply evolutionary bitchiness about how a human being was not designed to ingest Krispy Kremes, microwaved pizza rolls, or high fructose corn syrup, I now know this: my body has one helluva time digesting starches and sugars. The evidence speaks for itself.

Low glycemic index foods? No bloat. High glycemic index foods? Toad city.

I have Kalyn to thank for this revelation. Her infectious enthusiasm for the South Beach Diet on her Kalyn's Kitchen recipe blog started me thinking. And now one week into South Beach I am understanding my body better. I am learning a new way to approach my recipes. And the best part is- I am learning how to feel better. Not only by eating gluten-free. And dairy-free. But refined carb free. The proof is in the pot. The shrinking pot. Not to mention, the cravings for sweets and bread have lessened considerably (I sheepishly admit- that took a few days).

The first two weeks on South Beach Diet are akin to enduring tough love. Or boot camp. You hunker down into your new reality and you focus on the low glycemic foods you can eat- and grumble about the foods you need to avoid. You have flashes of elation when you lose a pound. And flashes of anger or disgust when you don't. You question your resolve when your husband brings out a bowl of popcorn with sea salt (no, he's not cruel; I insisted he eat the way he's been eating; he is gluten-free with selected treats and he's at a perfect weight where he has balanced his activity and eating patterns and unlike me, Kind Reader, he does not need to lose an ounce). But you stick with it. Why?

Because this cranky screwed body is responding. This finicky digestion is fine tuning itself. In fact, it is happy. It is grinning, sending up a big Thank you! I have an inkling I'm in my final act of putting together the mysterious pieces of my body's dramatic and quirky puzzle. I predict a happy ending. What do you think?


Here are some recipes you might enjoy on Phase 1 South Beach:

Lime Quinoa Salad with Mint
Kalyn's Kitchen Vegan Tomato Salad Recipe w/ Cucumber, Avocado, Cilantro and Lime
Jalapeno & Lime Hummus
Elise's Summer Squash Salad Recipe at Simply Recipes
Snappy Crunchy Cole Slaw
Kalyn's Kitchen Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms and Feta
Easy Guacamole with Lime
Balsamic Roasted Pepper Chicken
Baked Cod with Roasted Sweet and Sour Vegetables
Alanna's Roasted Zucchini with Feta at Veggie Venture
Kalyn's Friday Night Salmon Grilled Two Ways
Roasted Vegetable Cheddar Quiche (use a low fat cheese)
Susan's Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad- skip the orange juice- at Food Blogga
Perfect Pantry's Deviled Eggs
Sally's Sometimes Simple is Best lunch idea at Aprovechar


TRENDING

Gluten-Free Baking Tips + Substitutions

Need wheat-free gluten-free baking tips? Help is Here. Here's what works- and what doesn't- in quirky Gluten-Free Baking and Substitution Land. From Karina, Gluten-Free Goddess®. Baking Substitutions for Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free and More Notes on GF Flours: Gluten-free non-wheat flours generally fall into three basic weights- light starch, all-purpose medium, or heavier whole grain. A blend of medium and heavy flours with some starch mixed in to lighten, tenderize, and help bind the batter or dough works best, and tastes best (too much starch can result in a gummy texture). Light, starchy GF flours include sweet rice flour, white rice flour, and the ubiquitous gluten-free starches- tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato starch (NOT potato flour, which is whole different animal) and arrowroot starch. Medium flours are akin to 'all purpose flour'- these include sorghum flour, certified gluten-free oat flour, and superfine brown rice flour. If you cannot find sorg

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

YES PLEASE.  This award winning budget-friendly Santa Fe inspired vegetarian enchilada recipe is one of those happy accidents that springs from a burst of creative imagination. Or rumbling hunger. In that what-have-we-got-in-the-pantry sort of panic. I was craving the soft and spicy comfort of enchiladas one windy spring night back in 2003, and I had none of the usual suspects on hand (no chicken, or beef, no pinto beans).  But! I had one lovely mother of a sweet potato.  A can of organic black beans.  Some roasted green chiles.  One lonely lime.  And your intrepid Mamacita-Goddess at large thought, Hmmm. Why not? Deliciousness ensued. These wrapped little gems are soft and creamy and a little bit spicy- Just like a certain cook , my point-scoring husband wisecracks. It's the yams, I tell him. Er, sweet potato. I can never tell the difference. Can you? In the end, it doesn't matter.  What matters is how it tastes. And darling, these are so mucho scrumptiou

Gluten-Free Goddess Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ah, flourless chocolate cake. The perfect rich dessert. Forgive the hyperbole. But I just can't help it. This is rich, sexy chocolate deliciousness on a plate. And such an easy recipe, especially if you use a food processor to do the work. Serve this to non-gluten-free folks with no apologies. None. Zip. Nada. And for gluten-free folks? Hand out seconds (we deserve it, don't we?). And the best part is- the recipe is inherently gluten-free and wheat-free. Always has been. No substitutions. No funny stuff. This is the same flourless chocolate cake I've been making for decades. It never contained flour. The only thing I've tweaked post-celiac diagnosis is adding more coffee and vanilla. Just because. And PS: See below why I make this recipe in a food processor- thanks to Bobby Flay. Karina xo

Gluten-Free Goddess Lemon Yogurt Cake

Luscious Lemon Cake So  I've been jonesing for a cake laced with citrus- not too sweet and not too light. A cake with character and heft.  Something akin to a lovely simple cake I remember liking as a child, a store bought bakery cake called Louisiana Ring made by Freihofer's. The cake featured a hint of orange. The day I decided to bake, I did not have oranges in the pantry- but I did have some lemons, organic Greek yogurt, and plenty of blanched almond flour.  And this simple home baked lemon cake was born.  In time for Spring. Love, Karina xo

Gluten-Free Goddess Pasta Frittata with Kale

An Italian Classic - Updated. Today I offer you a simple recipe spun from the magic of leftover gluten-free spaghetti and eggs- a creamy, light frittata. Perfect for the weekend. Or when you're simply too tired to cook. Or you have nothing in the fridge but a carton of eggs, half a bag of kale salad and last night's leftover cooked spaghetti. It's one of those intuitive, spontaneous recipes I've pulled out of thin air, so many times. For dairy-free folks, the "cheese" pictured in this version was a vegan "mozzarella" (my current favorite is Vegan Gourmet). But if you prefer using dairy- select one or two of your favorite Italian organic cheeses. I've also made this yummy dish using goat cheese (and roasted red peppers!), and another time I tried a blend of fresh mozzarella and shaved Parmesan. It's a very versatile recipe. Celebrate Spring. Have fun with it! XOX Karina

Gluten-Free Goddess Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

A classic cookie made gluten-free. I suppose you could argue that one oatmeal cookie recipe is enough. I mean, how many oatmeal cookie recipes does a person need? To this I answer, at least two. Why? Well, first you have one with raisins (my oatmeal raisin cookies here ). Raisins give oatmeal cookies that old school chewy sneaky nutrition boost. They're old fashioned and comfy cozy. Kinda like spending one of those Saturday afternoons at your Aunt Martha's house, chillin'. Watching Mr. Rogers and laying on the floor with a pile of coloring books. Coloring outside the lines with a beat up box of Crayolas. Wishing the silver crayon was more than a lonely nub. And right at that nub lamenting moment she'd bring you a plate of cookies. Truth is, I never had an Aunt Martha. But I did have a chain smoking platinum blond babysitter who liked martinis a little too much. Or maybe it was gin and tonic. There was ice in the glass. If I was lucky enough to scro

Gluten-Free Goddess Quinoa Breakfast Cake

Gluten-Free Goddess Quinoa Breakfast Cake. Tender and sweet. There are some days (okay, I confess) I eat a brownie for breakfast. And not just a brownie. A tender, dark chocolate melt-in-your-mouth  Gluten-Free Goddess Brownie . A brownie to delight in. A brownie to savor. A brownie even gluten-eaters would covet. Is it a nutritious choice? Um, probably not. Except as food for the soul. And sometimes, let’s face it. The soul needs chocolate.  But this morning there was a trendy new box of quinoa flakes perched on the kitchen counter. And a fresh bag of plump seedless raisins nearby. I leaned against the counter's edge and sipped my morning cup of java. I started daydreaming about cake. Maybe a carrot cake. With cinnamon. I knew what I had to do. Quinoa was calling to me. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a fab ancient faux grain (it's actually a fruit seed) that is high in protein and naturally gluten-free, and lucky for cereal lovers, it turns out quinoa flakes make a satisfying