My Try at Living Life on the South Beach Diet Phase One


South Beach Diet Wake Up CallFirst, let me start by saying this is not a product review and I've received no compensation or products pertaining to the South Beach Diet.  This post and all others soon to follow are merely descriptions of my journey towards a healthier lifestyle.  I will be turning 37 years old this year and am honestly ashamed at the foods I choose to put in my body each day.

Do you remember the kind of foods you ate when you were eighteen?  Plenty of fast food and sweets completely devoid of fruits and vegetables?  Well unfortunately, I still eat this way and I believe that it's finally caught up with me for good.  A few months ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, an auto-immune disease of the thyroid.  Since then, I've been in and out of doctor's offices and hospitals getting test after test and opinion after opinion on how to proceed next.

If there's one thing I know from my days of studying Science, it's that sugar actually lowers your immune system and although Hashimoto's disease does have genetic roots, I personally believe that my high-sugar diet is to blame.  The more I contemplate and really think about what I eat each day, the more I realize that I'm probably a full blown sugar and carb addict at this point.

South Beach Diet Phase One

So why did I pick the South Beach Diet?  Honestly, it has nothing to do with losing weight (though it would be nice to shed a few pounds) and has everything to do with eating more nutritiously for the rest of my life.  I've always HATED vegetables and grew up in a household with parents that didn't necessarily enjoy them much either.  But in 2013, my goal is to not only eat more fruits and veggies, it's to actually LOVE eating fruits and veggies.  Believe it or not, my ultimate goal is to rid my diet of all processed foods, refined sugars and unhealthy fats and carbs...a tall order for someone like me!

I think that the South Beach Diet embraces this same lifestyle and will help me not only kick my sugar addiction, but will give me plenty of viable options and recipes for a lifetime of health.  The South Beach Diet is relatively simple in principle.  It replaces "bad carbs" and "bad fats" with "good carbs" and "good fats."

According to Agatston, founder of the South Beach Diet, hunger cycles are triggered not by carbohydrates in general, but by carbohydrate-rich foods that the body digests quickly, creating a spike in blood sugar. Such foods include the heavily refined sugars and grains that make up a large part of the typical Western diet. The South Beach Diet eliminates these carbohydrate sources in favor of relatively unprocessed foods such as vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Carbohydrate sources are considered "good" only if they have a low glycemic index.

The South Beach Diet eliminates trans-fats and discourages saturated fats, replacing them with foods rich in unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acid. Specifically, the diet excludes the fatty portions of red meat and poultry, replacing them with lean meats, nuts, and oily fish.

Agatston has tried to distance the South Beach Diet from "low carb" approaches:  "It is my purpose to teach neither low-fat nor low-carb.  I want you to learn to choose the right fats and the right carbs."  In fact, there is a vegetarian variation of the South Beach Diet which is relatively high in carbohydrates.

So tomorrow is the big day and I'm psyched and ready to tackle the South Beach Diet Phase One head on.  The refrigerator is stocked and my will is strong.  I'll be sure to bring you my honest experiences and progress on South Beach and will definitely be reporting back with any amazing recipes and healthful tips I find along the way.

Have you ever tried the South Beach Diet before?  Is your goal to be more healthy this year?
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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