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.
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