south-beach dietThe South Beach Diet, designed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston and dietician Marie Almon, consists of three phases which attempt to regulate blood sugar and insulin.

The First Phase of the South Beach Diet, which lasts two weeks, allows you normal-sized helpings of lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, fish, and shellfish. Vegetables are also allowed, as are nuts, cheese, and eggs. A salad with olive oil dressing is fine. Coffee and tea are OK; but, lots and lots of water is essential.

The typical breakfast is two eggs and lean bacon. Lunch is salad greens with grilled chicken. A small amount of dry-roasted nuts makes up an afternoon snack. Dinner is lean meat again with fiber-rich vegetables. Cheese and low-fat yogurt are allowed, as is sugar-free gelatin for dessert.

The Second Phase is similar to the first phase, but you’ll start to reintroduce some of the banned foods. You can start eating high-fiber carbohydrates, such as whole-grain breads, which raise your insulin levels in a much milder way than do simple, starchy carbs.

Forbidden in those first 14 days, however, are fruit, bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, or baked goods. No sugar, ice cream, cookies, or cake. And no alcoholic drinks of any kind (wine, fruit and whole-grain breads may be added back to the diet in subsequent phases).

The Third Phase of the diet is really all about weight maintenance, which Dr. Agatston describes as a “way of life.” Should your weight begin to climb, you simply repeat the South Beach diet process.

The Atkins Diet severely restricts all carbohydrates during the initial phase. South Beach diet, on the other hand, groups “good” and “bad” carbohydrates based on their glycemic index, a measure of how foods affect your blood sugar.

Here are 3 typical South Beach Diet recipes.

Phase 1 – Light Spinach Frittata with Tomato Salsa:
Frittata:
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 small onion, sliced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
* 2 large eggs
* 3 egg whites
* 1/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
* 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
Salsa:
* 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
* 2 scallions, minced
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
* 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
South Beach diet recipes

1. To make the frittata: Preheat the oven to 350 degreesF. Heat the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in the spinach. Reduce the heat to low. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and egg whites with the milk until light yellow and frothy. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach in the skillet. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the egg mixture is cooked on the bottom and almost set on top. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake in the oven until the eggs are set and the cheese has melted, 5 to 10 minutes. South Beach diet recipes

2. To make the salsa: In a large bowl, stir together the tomatoes, scallions, garlic, cilantro, limejuice, salt, and pepper. Serve fresh, at room temperature, over the frittata. South Beach Diet Recipes

Phase 2 – Easy Chicken in Wine Sauce and Tomatoes:
* 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 1 clove garlic, crushed
* 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 3 medium tomatoes, sliced
South Beach diet recipes

1. In a medium skillet, heat the oil and garlic over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper, then add to the skillet and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

2. Remove the chicken to a platter. Saute the tomatoes in the skillet until tender. Place the tomatoes over the chicken and cover with the pan drippings. South Beach diet recipes

Phase 3 – Grilled Rosemary Steak:
* 4 boneless beef loins or New York Strip Steaks
* 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
* 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
* Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
1. Score the steaks in a diamond pattern on both sides. Mix the fresh rosemary, garlic, oil, lemon peel, and black pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture onto the surface of the steaks. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Grill the steaks until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 145 degrees F (for medium-rare). Cut the steaks diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices. Garnish with the rosemary sprigs. South Beach diet recipes

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