This came in my email box today from SBD.com:
Once you make the decision to start a healthy eating plan, one of the first things you should do is create a grocery shopping list. As you already know, the South Beach Diet is broken down into three Phases. Phase 1, the shortest, lasts just 2 weeks and is designed to jump start your weight loss and eliminate cravings for sugar and refined starches.
The purpose of Phase 1 is to stabilize blood-sugar levels (this minimizes cravings), making it ideal for people who are prediabetic or diabetic, as well as for those who need to lose more than 10 pounds. Phase 1 is also the most restrictive Phase — but don’t worry, you won’t go hungry. The plan involves eating three balanced meals every day along with a midmorning and midafternoon snack and dessert.
Before you embark on Phase 1, you’ll be stocking your kitchen with a variety of healthy foods, including lean protein, high-fiber veggies and legumes, reduced-fat cheeses, eggs, low-fat and fat-free dairy, and healthy, unsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds. To help you get started, we’ve come up with a list of 10 Phase 1–friendly foods to always have on hand during this Phase and beyond:
1. Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and selenium. They’re so versatile that you can enjoy them with any meal, whether it’s a breakfast frittata or omelet, a salad or sandwich for lunch, or as part of a dinner casserole.
2. Fat-free or part-skim ricotta cheese is packed with calcium and can add a creamy flavor to many dishes. Use ricotta cheese in breakfast recipes or to make dessert. For a quick after-dinner treat: Simply mix a half cup of fat-free or part-skim ricotta cheese with some vanilla extract (or an extract of your choice) and a little granular sugar substitute to taste, and top with a sprinkling of nuts — delicious!
3. Plain nonfat or plain low-fat yogurt is a good dairy choice because it’s rich in calcium and other minerals and also provides protein and B vitamins. Yogurt is great for an on-the-go breakfast or snack before or after a workout.
4. Lean deli meat is ideal for making roll-ups for a healthy snack. Just take a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter and spread it over 1 or 2 slices of lean turkey, chicken, or roast beef. Place on a lettuce leaf and roll up for a delicious mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.
5. No-sugar-added Fudgsicles will satisfy your sweet tooth on Phase 1. A Fudgsicle can be enjoyed as a Sweet Treat.
6. Tomato juice and vegetable juice cocktail are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to help prevent certain forms of cancer and also help protect against heart disease. Tomato juice and vegetable juice cocktail are healthier alternatives to fruit juice because they doesn’t have as much natural sugar and are made with 100 percent vegetables.
7. Extra-virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils because it contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It can be used to prepare a delicious stir-fry or create flavorful salad dressings.
8. Nuts are high in plant protein and fiber and are great to have on hand for a healthy snack. They also add crunch to salads and grain dishes, and make a nice topping for a ricotta dessert. Because nuts and seeds are calorie-dense, however, they may cause your weight loss to stall if you eat too many, so stick to no more than a 1/4-cup serving daily.
9. Salad greens can be tossed with a South Beach Diet–friendly salad dressing for lunch or dinner. Darker varieties of lettuce like Romaine, green leaf, and red leaf offer more nutritional benefits than iceberg.
10. Part-skim cheese sticks make a healthy mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. Be sure to choose varieties that contain 6 grams of fat or less per ounce.