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.


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


Kalyn said...

I am just grinning with happiness because if I can help you feel better *and* lose weight, that makes me very excited. Even though I'm not 100% perfect at sticking to low-glycemic foods myself (which is why I'm currently back to phase one myself) I've really evolved from the point of considering it a "diet" to a mind-set where I can simply tell by how my body feels that this is a healthier way to eat for me.

Love the photo, and you do look fabulous at that weight. You'll be there again soon.

Really a great post, and I know I've said it before, but you're such a great writer!

Cheryl said...

Low glycemic is better for you overall, for weight and just for general health, too! Like you, I discovered quickly that the refined GF grains just weren't going to cut it. I look forward to your new yummy low GL creations.

Ms. Glaze said...

I've never done the South Beach diet, but I stayed on the Pro Zone diet for two years and I have never felt or looked better in my life. Since I moved to France, the carbs have snuck back in and so have the pounds, bloatedness, and fatigue.

I feel so much better when I don't eat starch. For me that means staying away from all types: rice, wheat, and corn and sticking to vegetables, and lean protein with a little fruit.

I am looking forward to your recipes and I am sure you're "happy ending" will bring us all a "happy ending"!

Gros Bisous,
Ms. Glaze

Anonymous said...

My niece is not on the South Beach Diet, but a low-carb one and she swears by it. She says it makes her feel great. She has slowly and steadily lost about 25 pounds, and she says even when she is at her goal weight she will continue to eat low-carb (her allergies have disappeared!

Homesick Texan said...

I definitely predict a happy ending! And I agree, those bad carbs just make me crash and burn--so not worth it.

Shirley said...

I am so glad that you posted this one today, Karina! Thank you! I needed this kick in the butt. I totally agree with you. When I first went GF, I also went carb and sugar free and lost 33 lbs in 6 months without even trying. I felt and looked fantastic. I was no longer obsessed with food and feeling hungry all the time. On this type of diet, the belly instantly disappears and those bloated, blech feelings also go away like you said. Alas, for me, I slowly went back to my old ways of consuming carbs, all GF carbs like you said, but still carbs that weigh a girl down in so many ways. I just think we are by and large not supposed to eat processed foods/carbs. We are truly meant to be hunters and/or gatherers. I recently read Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food and his advice is much the same, only eat foods with five or less ingredients (not too many carbs make that cut). This food plan is actually the way I feel that all people who are gluten free should eat, because it makes life so much simpler and you feel so much better, plus eating this way is not expensive. You are eating "real" food and not paying mega bucks for special food that makes you feel poorly. I have a blog in the making myself and that is my premise for eating gluten free easily.

I believe in the South Beach diet for resolving heart disease also. The low-fat diets and fake foods like margarines, salad dressings, etc. are not making anyone healthier. The folks are getting worse. I just had my cholesterol checked for the first time since going GF several years ago. Before going GF, my cholesterol was high and meds were recommended. I refused them. Since going GF, I have switched to butter and olive oil and started taking supplements like fish oil and vitamin C. I am eating carbs (and I do want to change that like I just stated), but I am eating far less carbs than I ate in my GF days. (I don't buy GF bread, pizza, treats, etc. like a lot of people do, although I do like to bake too much.) My current cholesterol came back great! Total cholesterol had dropped 41 points and HDL had dropped 51 points. I believe that another factor is that I do not have the inflammation that I had in my gluten-eating days. I can only imagine how good my cholesterol will be if I adopt the SB or similar diet again. (Side note: I have also reversed my osteopenia since going GF.)

Thanks again! Great post and best of luck to you AND me!

Alanna said...

This is fascinating, how after all your care and attention to diet, that this can so quickly make a difference.

I'll be looking for 'less' of you in 48 hours, chickie!

Erin said...

I have to tell you - I made your apple and maple sausages from the other day, and they are FABULOUS!!! I will definitely make them again!

MissO said...

I love this post. I feel ya on the b-word and even being gluten free. Question for you ... do you find brown rice, or other non-processed starches, bring on the bloat, too?

Andrea said...

Yay! That's wonderful. After our conversations earlier this summer and seeing that you were going to give SB a try, I ordered the book this week and will start Phase 1 when I get back from our family trip, where I can assure you there will be lots of refined carbs.

I'm encouraged by your success with eliminating bloating, a big problem I've had for well over 2 years. Back when it started I blamed it on the pregnancy, but um, I'm not pregnant now! So I think this is definitely worth a try. Thanks for sharing your progress.

Michelle said...

My biggest issue with the South Beach diet is all the EGGS for breakfast. I just have no imagination early in the morning, and keep going back to EGGS...

I want to start South Beach again, but if anyone can point me in a non EGG direction I would be forever grateful.

Becks said...

Good for you! I have been on some modified version of the south beach diet for a few years now. I was actually on it before I was diagnosed, because I knew that eating bread just didn't make me feel good (what an understatement). I LOVE how "clean" you feel on this diet, and it's so nice to finish a meal and feel energized and healthy afterward instead of heavy and gross.

I was diagnosed a celiac about 8 months ago, and for the first three months I was on a gluten-free, no-sugar, no-corn syrup, no-preservatives, no-trans-fats, no-artificial ingredients, no-processed food diet. I mostly ate fruit and yogurt and salad while I was healing and I felt so good.

When you get to phase 2, eat fruit! It's so satisfying when you have a crave, and you feel awesome afterward. I also recommend basmati rice as a non-processed grain.

Whoever was wondering about breakfasts... I recommend plain whole milk greek style yogurt (you can get it at Trader Joe's if you have one, or maybe Whole Foods) with slivered almonds and drizzled with about 1 tbs honey. The whole milk is key - non-fat is not as satisfying, and you will eat less calories overall if you feel fuller.

Everyday Yogini said...

I have only been GF for about 8 months, but I, too find that eating the refined carbs bothers me, too. I have been NOT wanting to admit it, because it just seems too much to give up. However, you inspire me!!

Can you tell us what your typical menu looks like? As the previous poster said, the EGGS have put me off. But you don't eat eggs, so what are you eating for breakfast??

Thank you for sharing your journey, and, you look FABULOUS in that picture! I predict a happy ending as well...

Anonymous said...

You have inspired me to try south beach once again. We tried it when it first came out upon the recommendation of his cardiologist, but then drifted off. I'm struggling to figure out what he can eat with all his new restrictions this year - I'll give this a re-try.

Vittoria said...

Way to go! I'm experiencing the same feelings right now, only I'm trying to go completely grain free for a bit. I'm really interested to see how your journey progresses.

And I LOVE your blog!

<3 Vittoria

Greyhair said...


I have an extensive history in weight loss (personally and professionally) and can tell you that "diet's" simply don't work. The failure rates are astronimical. Data also shows that dieting failure can lead to more weight problems and further health problems.

I love your site, the recipes and the wisdom regarding folks (such as myself) with huge allergy problems. But wouldn't it be better to advocate a healthy "eating habit" that leads to a sustainable weight without a "program"? It seems to me to be all too easy to put energy into the program rather than go through the grief of accepting a new lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!! I've been gf for three years, and for the past few months I've had these little glimmers of past-symptoms. Bad flashbacks if you will. I'm so relieved to hear I'm not the only one, or that my total-diet-overhaul was in vain!

Carbs be gone! I'm going to see how this low-glycemic stuff works . . .

Thanks. (FYI: You've been my go-to girl for the past three years. When a new dish shows up on my dinner table, my husband asks "Karina's?" "Yep.")


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Wonderful, inspiring, optimistic post! We often think of dieting as a denial of pleasure -- but in fact the pleasure comes from feeling better, and dieting is just how we get there. Hooray for you for letting us share your journey.

Bloggin' Fool said...

Yup. Exactly the same thing here -- when I'm starch-free, I'm feeling fantastic (no bloat, and I wake up in the morning with a flat tummy), but put me back on the starches and the bloat is back, and constipation as well. I was just travelling and took a few rice bars in my bag for breakfasts (they're a GF thing we have here with blueberries and cranberries in them -- sort of like a granola bar but GF/CF/etc). Anyway, the b-word . . . big-time. And constipation. Feeling wretched inside. But when I only consume all fruits and veg, and proteins, I'm fine. (I can do things like the occasional sweet potato or some white beans in a salad -- it's the rice, the flours, etc, that do me in.

Sort of 'nice' to hear that it's not just me. Wonder what it's about, Karina? Complete starch intolerance?

Maryjean said...

This has all been very helpful. After 50+ years of pain, I just discovered GF. This week I baked bread with bean flour and corn bread with rice flour. The corn bread is delicious but leaves my brain cloudy and my heart racing. I bought the rice flour because it was SO MUCH CHEAPER. I tried South Beach years ago. The problem is, I am Eastern Orthodox Christian. We abstain from meat and dairy during fasting periods; that would be 40 days for lent, 40 days for advent, every Wednesday and Friday, and two other other fasting periods that last 2 or 3 weeks. Add all that up, and during half the year I am SB/GF vegan! Just set me up with an IV drip!

milhan said...

Yum, we've been eating red & yellow tomatoes like this from our garden all summer long (pesticide-free)! I also like them with ribbons of fresh basil.

I have to agree with the others that I too feel a lot better when I stay away from the starches. Just kind of lighter and less foggy...

I think limiting them will be much easier now that I have been GF for a while - if I could successfully give up my bad bread habit, I can do anything!

Kristen said...

Your journey is an inspiration! I do have to say, though... you look fantastic as you are!

Karina said...

Thanks Kristen (that's me at my GOAL weight- where I want to be).

And huge thanks to all of you- what wonderful support and feedback- not to mention validation. For me- I always assumed my post GF troubles were either cross-contamination issues (I hardly ever eat out- so how D'Oh! is that for me to even waste time on that?) or other allergies. Now I am convinced it's not the food item itself- it's the glycemic index of said food item.

For whatever reason, high glycemic starches are difficult for me to digest. And gluten-free substitutes too often are *loaded* with these refined starchy carbs!

And guess what? Those high glycemic carbs go right where you want them the least- your tummy. Your waist. (Wonder why there is an epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes among younger and younger people? There are kids out there with mid-life thick waistlines. Ten year old girls with postmenopausal tummies. Might it be the insidious everyday consumption of the most highly refined carbohydrate there is- high fructose corn syrup?) Thickness around the waist increases your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes. Are refined carbs evil? Maybe.

As far as following the South Beach Diet- it's a guideline. Akin to many other heart healthy and diabetes prevention programs. I'm not preaching it. I'm just sharing my experience with it.

Truth is- SB is very close to the Mediterranean diet that I naturally follow (*if* you leave out the gluten-free sweets, white rice and potatoes).

The reason I'm following the South Beach approach is I know from past experience that in order to reset my carb cravings and jump-start my weight loss (which encourages me to continue eschewing carbs) I need a regimen that helps me achieve this. And it already has- in one week.

I am not noshing on a cookie at 9 PM now. And I'm not pining for sugar. For me that's big progress- for a modest investment. And I've lost four pounds.

Will South Beach work for everyone? Probably not. There is no single universal approach. Every person is unique. What works for one person might not work for their neighbor.

But I have a thought about the motto: diets don't work.

I wouldn't blame the diet. After all, it is each individual, armed with their unique set of genetic proclivities, level of self esteem, entitlement, depression, intimacy and abuse issues. Not to mention, anger. How many of us were encouraged as girls to speak our mind? Be real? Be honest? Be authentic?

I don't think it is diets that have failed. I think our culture has failed.


Karina said...

To the issue of breakfast- that's a tough one if you don't eat eggs (I am allergic, so feel your pain).

There is always quinoa cereal. And plain hemp milk is allowed on phase 1.

I'm happiest with leftovers. I just changed my thinking about breakfast and now think of it more as brunch.

This past week I've had vegetable soup, and leftover veggies stir-fried with salmon or organic sausages. Cooked quinoa.

And I love spaghetti squash. I roast up a big one and keep the strands on hand to stir-fry in a dab of olive oil and whatever seasonings I want. The other day I made it into a BLT. I crumbled two lean pieces of cooked organic bacon into the squash and added halved cherry tomatoes. Served it with some baby spinach leaves I added right at the end. Tossed in some salad friendly herbs and tiny splash of vinegar. It was very yummy.

Mostly- I'd say to think outside the box and think: savory.

Eventually, in later, more relaxed phases I'll try baking breakfast treats with whole grains and agave. And get back to my berry fruit smoothies- carefully.


Greyhair said...

Karina, I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade.

It is a fact that "diets" are based on a notion that there is some particular method of eating that will lead to weight loss. And this is usually true (which makes it all the more alluring). The question is, at what cost? The data is clear.

>Five year success rates (keeping the weight off) of those who lost weight on a "diet" are less than 10%.

>The other 90% gain the weight back, and often more weight, with a much poorer muscle/fat ratio.

>Multiple other studies have confirmed that those who remain obese are healthier than those who lose weight and regain.

Indeed there are people (myself included) who have verified food allergies and intolerances. And of course those foods should be avoided. Within that context, I think it's important that individuals concentrate on eating a highly varied diet (preferably of locally grown foods) and engage in a quality exercise program. When that's done, weight finds it's equalibrium.

As far your comment on culture and blame, perhaps is merely semantics. I don't blame diets. I blame people who are unhappy about their health yet refuse to take personal responsibility for it. There are 10,000 excuses for not doing so. The big myth is that "dieting" is taking responsibility for one's health when in fact "dieting" is, in fact, the opposite. Dieting (i.e. "The South Beach Diet" or "The Atkins Diet") are tools that people use to avoid taking the personal responsibility of eating a balanced diet, with a balance caloric load that is along helped with plenty of physical exercise.

Again, I thank you for your blog, your recipes/resources and ideas on remaining gluten free. In my case I'm allergic to wheat, corn, soy among a number of other foods that, when avoided, leave me feeling a lot better. Your site has helped me find some of the resources that allow me to eat a varied diet while getting around my peculiarities. Thanks!

GFTiff said...

Way to go girl! That is awesome that you GF and low carb. I lost 40 pounds over the summer doing Atkins (I LOVE Atkins) but then I fell off of the wagon...time to get back on....anyway, rock on!

Mamma Sarah said...

We did the SB and had awesome success. I remember the stuggle with breakfast and all the eggs, but we did what you did with the brunch idea. Glad to hear that things are going well for you.

Lauren said...

You don't know how happy it makes me that you're starting South Beach!

I am a gluten-free low carber for health reasons (since August of last year), and have had to create all of my own recipes for bread substitutes and pastries. It'll be exciting to see what such a talented chef as yourself might come up with!

The great part about living a totally natural low carb lifestyle is that we are forced to explore all of the richness that nature has to offer us--unadulterated quality meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, tropical oils... I can go on and on about how much more fulfilling your meals are without the "cheap" starchy fillers!

Best of luck with your health journey. Un-processing your diet will get easier every day!

Gluti Girl said...

You are confirming my fear. In my heart I know this. This is so weird that you are posting this and this is just what I have been struggling with.

I did really well on the gluten free diet for about a year, and then all of a sudden my symptoms are creeping back. Like you, so many times I am blaming it on cross contamination. I work really hard to avoid gluten and have NEVER cheated. I don't get bloated as much as the big D really easy.

I have been reading a lot about lectins, casein, lactose etc. I have books on South Beach, Palio Diet etc. and have done those temporarily as a "diet" knowing I could go back to my old eating habits later. I have been really going through a struggle emotionally because I hate the thought of further restriction of my diet on a more permanent level.

You have given me a ray of hope and excitement though. Just as when I first found out I had to live gluten free, I stumbled upon your blog and it gave me hope. Again, you have made me think maybe this is not so bad and I could handle it. I really think it's what my problem is.

I am really going to look forward to what new recipes you will come up with. And hopefully it will make me want to give it a really good try because I think it's what is also making me feel bad. Thank you for sharing your life and health concerns! It helps to know you are not alone.

jarcher said...

What luck to stumble upon your site, Karina! I was desperately seeking a GF muffin recipe today and have since baked up your Blueberry Oat Muffins. I can't stop nattering about them to my family - they're so good! I came back to your site to send you a "thank you for the super-duper recipe" and found this blog on SB/low-carb/GF.

I lost 30 pounds eating the Atkins way five years ago, and have maintained the eating style ever since. I added GF to my eating plan about four months ago, as I've read that gluten is a bad match for my blood type. (Which also explains why low-carb has always worked so well for me.) I would love to hear comments/suggestions from you or your readers regarding this specific quandary:

I exercise vigorously almost every day, and have read everywhere that carbohydrates are essential in re-building energy stores that have been lost to muscle use. My personal experience has found this to be absolutely true. How can I get the carbohydrates my body requires without eating any starches?

I currently eat 1/2 c. brown rice with eggs for breakfast, then a single corn tortilla (again, with eggs) after working out. Later in the day I eat some rice crackers; other than that, no starches. With my current exercise output, I feel that this isn't enough carbohydrates, but I am loathe to give my body more excuses to rebel.

I'd love to hear comments, ideas, directions to a relevant source, shoulder shrugs, eyebrow raises and thoughtful sighs. I can't be the only one who struggles with this conundrum.

Thank you!

mare said...

You needing to diet seems as ridiculous as me needing to diet. What was you weight an ideal 18 months ago? Okay --- let me rephrase that: What is the difference in you current weight and an ideak 18 months ago?

Karina said...

Mare- For me, personally, the need to lose the weight I've gained since post hip surgery recovery/inactivity reflects my desire to remain fit and healthy post menopause. I'm 54. Gaining twenty pounds post menopause (most of it around my middle, abdominal fat) not only raises my risk for heart disease and high blood pressure, it makes me feel sluggish and full. Not to mention very cranky!

I've always been a slender person with thin bones (celiac disease will do that). Extra weight does not feel right on my body type.

After increasing my walking for three months (May-June-July)I lost two pounds.

I decided to start a low glycemic approach to eating not only to help the carb indigestion I wrote about above, but to lose at least ten more of the extra pounds around my middle.

Ridiculous? Why? Should I wait until the twenty pounds turns into thirty? Forty?

Not my style.


Karina said...

Jarcher- Thanks so much for your enthusiasm and kindness. Are you still looking to lose weight or maintain where you are at currently?

South Beach phase 2 and 3 includes healthy low glycemic carbs- like brown rice, sweet potato, oatmeal, buckwheat. Certain fruits- like berries. Vegetables, salads.

And don't forget quinoa- a very low glycemic carb source that is high in protein. I make a batch of it to keep on hand, and stir-fry some for lunch, snacks, whenever I need a little boost. (Quinoa can be enjoyed even in phase 1.)

Trust your body- and if you need more carbs than you are eating, adjust your diet, that's my take on it as a total NON-professional. Low glycemic carbs are the best choice, of course.

Also- eating small snacks throughout the day helps keep your blood sugar level. I roast up pecans with cinnamon and a little stevia. Almonds and walnuts are also great for snacks- 1/4 cup is all you need to give your body an energy lift.

I also will drink a small glass of hemp milk when I want a little "something"- it's lower carb and full of those nifty Omegas.


jarcher said...

Karina, thank you for your thoughtful response to my query. I am not trying to lose weight at this point, but am very wary of the slow creep of pounds that lurk just inside the pantry.

I hadn't thought of quinoa - thanks for the reminder. I've eaten it before and love it. Will certainly bring it back into my "happy carb" circle. Also, sweet potatoes might be a good option since it's not a grain. Do you notice a difference in the level of bloat you feel if the carb is vegetable versus grain? I'm desperate to find a way to get more healthy carbs that don't make me feel yucky. This is all to enable my dirty little habit of swimming, running and biking. Without that energy output, I'd be fine on my current carb level.

I appreciate your suggestions!

Ganesha said...

I fully understand the big bloat phenomena! When I tried the Wild Rose detox cleanse I had the same thing - less bloat as there were no refined carbs. Lentil flours are also hard on me as well. Glad to hear I'm not the only one. Also, I find mixing too many grains hard on the stomach. Love your blog and recipes! Good Luck with SB - I might try it myself.

Also boiling some fennel or Bishop seed in water can help with the bloat and digestion when it happens.

Honeybee said...

Bloating. How I hate it. Pasta is a trigger for me, onions and garlic and also fruit, at least when eaten in the afternoon.

Good luck with the diet, I'm sure you'll reach your goals!!

jacobithegreat said...

No B-word??

I can hardly remember when I wasn't bloated. Although I will tell you there was a point in time where I went on a health kick and only then I wasn't bloated -- for long periods of time!

And you know what else? Once you really get going eating healthy you don't miss all the carbs and fried and sweets. Well, at least I didn't. ;o)

Maybe you can motivate me to get back on the health-wagon!

Nicole said...

I'm not on South Beach but I happen to be going through a total lifestyle/diet overhaul myself due to hypoglycemia issues that got completely out of hand. I'm on week three of my own refined carbohydrate-free eating plan (also completely cut caffeine and alcohol, yikes!) and over the last couple of days I've been slowly coming back to life. Soon maybe I'll even feel up to writing about it on my own blog. Glad you're doing well! Keep it up! :-)

jillp said...

Karina- it's been a while, but I am glad to see that you are still fighting the good fight!!

I can't believe that I am not the only one who suffers from the refined carb bloat!! I have been free of refined carbs for over a year now because my body would swell up something fierce. I have celiac disease and have been completely GF/no lactose for 2 years. I also do not eat anything in the nightshade family and try to limit soy...both restrictions are due to abdominal pains/gas/general side effects, etc.

My symptoms went away after going GF, but my body would swell (especially legs, calves, hips) when I would have a lot of refined carbs!! I researched everything, but have found no answers. I just say that I simply can not process anything too high in carbohydrates including potato, rice, and corn.

I have a theory...possibly linked to the amount of water that the body needs to process carbs. I believe it's 4gH2O:1gcarb. That means that the body will hold on to water as it digests the carbohydrate. This would certainly account for the water retention that we experience.

I am just thrilled to know that I am not the only one. Plus, like a previous poster, I am a triathlete. This means I am always looking for ways to keep on training while eating what works for this crazy body of mine.

Thank you for bringing us all together!!

julie said...

Ahhh ... I love the moment of reading something that expresses what I been feeling for so long, but for me has not yet made it into articulate thought. Sometimes I feel like such an anti-social freak eater that I just do what feels right without putting it into scary words, such as "I don't feel good eating high glycemic foods." I have been GF for 15 months and discovered right away that the high sugar, tapioca, white rice, corn starch baking mixes out there made me feel yuck. Or worse, my little daughter would hug me with her head on my stomach and ask, "Mama, do you have a baby in your belly?" No dear, I'm just disgustingly bloated. I eat mainly a whole foods diet, am okay with potatoes and corn and the occasional gf baked good. But only if its occasional.

Thanks, Karina, for the support. It's nice to feel like a regular gal.

Rachel said...

I've been gf for just over a year. The first six months I felt great, but lately the indigestion and bloating has started again. As soon as I read this post, I realized the bloating started again as soon as I discovered gf substitutes for my former favorite foods, Gf pasta, baked goods, pretzels. Karina, I took your advice and avoided high glycemic foods for a week and VIOLA! I am back!! Thank you thank you!!
Good luck with South beach!

C said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one with the B issue and refined carbs. I've not been diagnosed celiac, but had all the symptoms. At this point, I don't even care if I'm diagnosed... I just feel better sans gluten. Anyhow, I have had a lot of the heaviness issues and B, even with my favorite GF foods... It's just not worth it to me anymore.

Thank you for posting South Beach-friendly recipes! I used the SBD for a while a few years ago, and really should get back to it now. I felt amazing when I was on it.

Your blog never disappoints!

Anonymous said...

Karina for folks who experience bloating with too much of lentils or cabbage and broccoli should follow the South Asian trick of cooking with some fresh grated ginger, or some cumin or asafoetida(Indian store) it helps digest better.

Lauren said...

Ohmigoodness. It's amazing to see that someone else has been through the same thing! I can have gluten, but have wicked allergies to wheat, potatoes, and corn. I was delighted when my belly just shrank down to nothing when I cut out the monster three, but I still had a problem with rice--and all the docs say that's the safe one!

Just when my belly had shrunk down to a size I'd only ever dreamed of, I was hit by a truck. Inactivity and opiates brought back a wicked, wicked amount of the dreaded B-word, and although I'm active and close to drug-free again, my belly is back to pre hypo allergenic diet levels! Waaaah!

It seems I can only handle simple sugars, and nothing more in the carb department. Le sigh!

Good luck in your diet. I'm already impressed with the drastic modifications you've made in the past, and have no doubt you'll master this change as well! Meanwhile, I'm clinging to any carb that doesn't cause me massive amounts of pain. It's so hard to give them up!

Anonymous said...

I've been following SB for two weeks. The first week was hell. I didn't think I would make it. I have always loved bread, pasta, rice, crackers. How could I survive without my fav foods? I told myself I was an emotional eater, that's why I gained so much weight. Funny thing. After the first week I started to feel lighter, my "emotional" eating seemed to disappear. Cravings are gone. I sleep like the dead. I have no joint pain in my hips at night. I am more focused. Today is day 15. I've lost 11 pounds. MY bloat is gone. I have a long way to go, but I can see myself eating this way for the rest of my life. Leans meats, fish, poultry and TONS of veggies. I eat more vegetables than ever. I make yummy low glycemic soups. This is not a diet for me. I know that diets don't work. It has to be a lifestyle. I'll check in later and let you know how I'm doing, but just feeling so much better is enough for now.


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