I’ve had a few questions about meal plans and recipes, particularly in this oh-so-strict phase 1 of the diet, which does not allow carbs or sugars in any decent amount.
First, let me send you to my “Culinary Creations” Pinterest board – If anything is SB-friendly, I’ve tried to note it in the pin title. I’ve made a handful of things from here and they were all tasty! Many of the pinned recipes can be traced back to Kalyn’s Kitchen – she has a “South Beach” tab on her site and her recipes are awesome and divided up by the phase in which you can start using them. I’ve also been lent the South Beach “Quick & Easy Cookbook” by a co-worker and have found a couple things in there I plan to try.
Now, I don’t have the time to full-out cook every meal from scratch these fourteen days (or going forward in future phases), which would be impossible anyway since it seems I am eating about every three hours. Here’s what I’ve been eating for meals and snacks – both recipes and quick ready-made foods:
I baked myself the egg souffle mentioned in my post here and that got me through breakfast for an entire week. This week, I’ve shifted to a glass of unsweetened almond milk (sweetened with a packet of fiber-enriched splenda) for a change of pace. 99% of the breakfast recipes for this phase are egg-based and I’m not a big breakfast person anyway, so I needed the switch.
By mid-morning I’m ready for a snack. Either a piece of string cheese, or a couple pieces of celery with natural peanut butter. There’s something about peanut butter that seems indulgent when few other “allowed” foods on this phase do. I also keep packets of Swiss Miss “diet” hot chocolate (no sugar/few carbs) and will make a mug of this mid-morning if I need something hot. A half-cup of 2% cottage cheese is always tasty.
Since I’m at the office 5 out of 7 days each week for lunches, they have to be packable and not require a fully-equipped kitchen to prepare. I love Boca burgers and will microwave one with a slice of cheese on top and eat with a fork (no bun!). I’ve hit up the nearby Panera a couple of times and eaten a chicken caesar salad – just toss the croutons and ask not to be given a side (no apple, chips or baguette these first two weeks). A couple of lunches I have planned for this week are both chicken and egg salads (one more week and I can put them on a whole grain bread for a sandwich). My lunch today consisted of half a red bell pepper chopped, a handful of crumbled feta, and about a dozen kalamata olives over greens and drizzled with a little balsamic and olive oil.
These have become almost an extension of lunch for me – sometimes I add one of these on to my noon meal if I’m extra hungry by then, otherwise I spread it out and eat one of these options around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Often, I choose one of the options mentioned for mid-morning snacks, but if not, a wedge of Laughing Cow light cheese (the chipotle flavor is awesome!) spread on a couple slices of turkey or lean roast beef, then rolled up is delicious and keeps me full until dinner.
Dinner is where I take my time and really enjoy what I’m making and eating. I’m not rushed (breakfast) and I’m not limited (lunch) so I actually COOK most of my dinners, rather than grab some ready-to-go option. One night I made a bowl of Trader Joe’s roasted pepper and tomato soup (hot and creamy kept me full all night). Another night I sauteed sliced zucchini and some jumbo scallops in a little light butter spray (delish!). I’ve made the baked pesto chicken mentioned in my link above twice, and I plan to make salmon fillets a couple of times this week with some steamed broccoli. Over the weekend, I made a pot of ground turkey chili stocked with lots of veggies. My most recent dinner was buffalo chicken in the crock pot – put a package of frozen chicken breasts, a packet of Ranch dip mix, and a bottle of your favorite wing sauce in the crock pot and set on low for 5-6 hours. Shred the chicken and let it simmer another hour. This is awesome and it was suggested to me to mix it in with scrambled eggs. Genius – and I didn’t miss the tortilla or chips I might have originally put this on. If you can’t tell by now, you will not go hungry on this diet. Don’t overeat – but know that you can eat until you are satisfied, not until you’ve reached some portion size or calorie count.
I’m not going to lie – there aren’t many options here these first two weeks. Many South Beach blogs have come up with a number of variations on a ricotta cheese based dessert…but I haven’t really had the desire to try them. My go-to solution is a sugar free jello cup (my fridge is stocked with every flavor) with a little fat-free/sugar-free whipped topping. My other staple for sweet cravings is Blue Diamond cocoa roasted almonds. The almonds satisfy a rumbling tummy, and the cocoa powder gives you that hint of sweet that you need without overdoing it.
Overall, it’s pretty simple as long as you plan ahead. Pinterest has been an awesome resource, as has Google. If you simply search for “Phase 1 recipes” you will turn up a wealth of ideas – many, MANY more than you need to get through a mere two weeks. I’ll be sure to post more this coming week – I like to make sure a recipe is tasty firsthand before I share it!