I may be the last would-be weight watcher in the country to discover the South Beach Diet. The cover of the book by Dr. Arthur Agatston, MD, brags that it’s a New York Times bestseller, and it even sports a pop-out button stating “lose belly fat first.” Definitely not my usual thing.
But my hubby read the book last year and hasn’t stopped talking about it since. “It’s the only diet that’s sensible, that teaches you how to eat right in the long-term…” he says. “In fact it’s not a ‘diet’ at all, but a way of life.” From the beginning, he insisted that with my carbohydrate-shy and gluten-free eating habits I was essentially on the South Beach Diet by default. Hmmm.
I took advantage of the transatlantic flights all on my own this summer (!) to read the book at long last. Wisdom indeed. No wonder my partner understood the the basics of Type 1 diabetes eating principles much better after reading the first 90 pages or so of this book. Dr. Agatston explains the fundamentals of blood glucose spikes, and why all those excess carbs in baked goods are worse than unnecessary. He almost made me warm up to the low-carb fervor. Almost.
But — and this is the linchpin — he’s the ultimate pragmatist, recognizing full well that diets that are too complex or too restrictive “are just too burdensome to sustain for long.” Amen. So while I’m warming up to mini vegetable quiche cups and “desserts” made out of ricotta cheese, I’m also looking forward to Phase 2, when you get to add some “good carbs” back in to your repertoire.
Oh, and one other thing: the version I’m testing out is something a colleague once called “The North Beach Diet” (no, not the official parody, just a reference to the Italian/Beatnik section of San Francisco). It’s the same as the South Beach Diet, but with coffee and wine allowed. I mean, come on, our diabetic lives are restrictive enough!