Monday, June 2, 2008

Welcome to the Beach!

Greetings friends and family ... and strangers. Will there be strangers?!? If so, I hope they'll be exceedingly wealthy and bearing exotic gifts.

Let's get the disclaimer out the way up front: I am not an expert, a doctor or a dietitian. I'm a pretty serious foodie, who loves to cook and likes to look good while doing it. I'm a diva on a diet. Maybe you are too. If so, read on.

Last week I decided to try the South Beach Diet and have had such a great time preparing so many delicious and healthy foods that I thought I'd start a blog to share the recipes. Some of them will be from the South Beach plan, some from other places on the web, and - hopefully - most will be my own creations.

It is my hope that this will be a place to share some recipes, cooking and shopping tips, and a make-up tip or two. Half of what I write will be a joke, the rest will be serious ... hopefully you'll know the difference. Ok, so the blog's a little bit selfish too ... I'm looking to keep my favorite recipes all in one place, but no reason you can't benefit from that, right? If you read something you like, give it a try and let me know how it goes! Leave comments, ask questions, send me your favorite healthy recipes, its all good.

As for frequency of updates here ... I'm not sure. Let's test the waters and see how it goes. It all depends on what I'm cooking I guess, but I'll try for weekly updates at a minimum.

I'll start us off with my new favorite breakfast:

Wake-up Energy Shake
(adapted from The South Beach Diet Plan)

  • 1/2 cup low-fat, no-sugar soy milk, unflavored
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 3 oz. firm silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted almonds
  • 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract, or to taste
  • sprinkle of Splenda or other artificial sweetener
Combine all the above in a blender and mix on high till frothy and well combined. If you like you may add an ice cube or two while blending.

The amount of Splenda is really up to you. I use very little or sometimes none at all. The shake is delicious, nutritious and slightly cruchy! LOL (That's a good thing for me, but as always YMMV. ) The main thing is that its a high quality meal and it will keep you satisfied for the whole morning.

Last and most importantly - never, ever use artificial vanilla flavoring. That stuff is just gross. I mean it! Get the pure stuff. Really. You'll thank me later.

So, what's your favorite breakfast?


rachel said...

OK! I'm going to leap right on in with a supportive response to your blog - Yay! Atta girl!

Now, I will add my own two cents from what I've learned about eating, fairly recently - and you can do with it what you will - the recipes are so great - and the shake even sounds delish - despite the words, tofu and unsweetened jumping from the page. So - here's the thing - for sweetener, instead of Splenda - try Xylitol (also in handy packets) or Stevia (packets, again). Or agave syrup - which kinda reminds me of karo. I just learned that Splenda's chemical makeup, despite its claim that it comes from sugar, is more aligned to PESTICIDES than to sugar and that these unnatural sweeteners can actually prevent us from losing weight, casue disease, blah, blah, blah...the beat goes on. I like the xylitol and stevvia, and just carry some packets around with me, for when I get iced decaf on the run...

Again - Brava Diva Tara!

pat said...

Hi, Tara: This is going to be fun - I'm looking forward to your commentary and recipes. My all time favorite breakfast and one that gets me to lunch and beyond is good old fashioned oakmeal. I know - really old fashioned, but it is stick to the ribs, very healthy for you and delish! Here's my recipe:

1/2 cup old fashioned oats; 1 cup milk, 1/4 teas. REAL vanilla; good handful of chopped walnuts or other nuts you like. Put in a bowl with high sides so it doesn't spill over as it cooks in the micro wave - 7 minutes at 50 % power and then turn out into a cereal bowl, top with blueberries, fresh or frozen (Wildman" is terrific) and a bit of real sugar and a splash of milk and enjoy. It's my comfort food and so easy - no stirring, dense, not runny like the packaged stuff is which is full of sugar and other non-food ingredients.

Again, looking forward to your at least weekly sharing -

The Diva on a Diet said...

Hi Rach - and thanks for being my first official commenter! And what a great comment too. I must say that the one troubling aspect of the South Beach, for me, is the artificial sweeteners. I don't use sugar as a rule - don't add it to tea, iced tea, coffee or cereal - so no problems there. I only keep it in the house for baking and for Bill Sr. when he visits! LOL

But some of the recipes I've been making do call for some type of sweetener. I'm not wild about the idea of ingesting chemicals, so I've been using them sparingly.

For some reason the South Beach diet discourages the use of Stevia ... not sure why, will have to look into that. But I may give it try regardless and I thank you for the info and suggestions. I am going to pick up some Agave and use that where appropriate.

Again, many thanks! :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

Hi Pat, how great to see you here! :)

I'm glad you like the idea of the blog and will look forward to future communications and comments.

I'm with you - oatmeal, and for that matter hearty cereal, is really my favorite breakfast. Its off the table for the first two weeks of the South Beach - but as soon as I'm into the third week it will be back on *my* table!

Like you, I add nuts to my oatmeal, usually pecans. I also like a sprinkle of cinnamon and some diced Granny Smith apples. Delish and very satisfying!

Thanks so much for jumping right in on the blog. I appreciate it!

Jazzer Gal said...

I will try the oatmeal with vanilla in it. I never thougth of that. I tried it with salt in it(per instructions) & I couldn't choke it down.
A small dieting tip: drink 60-80 ounces of water per day. But don't drink it all right before bedtime (dreams of waterfalls will occur).

The Diva on a Diet said...

I'm right there with you on the water, jazzer gal. I always have at least that much a day. If I don't, I actually don't feel well.