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South Beach Diet theory and Pesach


Kosher 12

South Beach Diet theory and Pesach

p.j. | Apr 2, 2004 10:28 AM

Good morning! I started the South Beach diet almost three weeks ago: to get the first two strict weeks out of the way before my birthday, and before Pesach.

Yesterday, I had what seemed to me a revelation about the "usual" Pesach diet, on which I am always hungry, and manage to gain a couple of pounds as well. Based on South Beach theory, I believe that it's the surfeit of matzah and matzah products, as well as the Pesach sweet treats that make me feel hungry!

I would welcome discussion and thoughts about this from others on this board.

The South Beach theory is that refined carbohydrates lacking in fiber(read matzah, matzah meal rolls, matzah balls, sponge cake, etc.) and high glycemic (sugar)index vegetables (read potatoes,especially without their skins) and fruits (read the strawberries that we go through in great quantities) are quickly digested and metabolized by our bodies into sugars, in response to which our pancreases (pancrei?) push out a large quantity of insulin. The insulin causes a fast drop in blood sugar, which we perceive as feeling hungry again. So we have a craving to eat more of what just made us feel hungry. And on and on. The excess sugars are converted to belly fat.

During the first two weeks of South Beach, one avoids all breads, and other baked goods, as well as high glycemic index vegetables and all fruits, and all alcoholic products. I thought it would be impossible to follow, but after 3 days I was doing fine: no cravings for the missing items. V-8 juice and tomato juice substituted for my a.m. o.j. The cheese and spinach omelettes every a.m. kept me satisfied till lunch: unlike my usual bowl of Kashi or Product 19. The S.B. required mid-morning snack (a Miller's cheese stick) was often forgotten about! I did have a small glass of wine on Shabbat.

Therefore, if my theory is right, I should just stay as close to the South Beach "strict" phase as possible during Pesach, and I should feel satisfied. Lots of eggs, cheese, fish (gefilte is great), poultry, nuts, and green vegetables (we also celebrate with lots of new spring asparagus anyway!) For example, I will stick with a cheese stick, 30 pistachios, or a couple of slices of turkey with a dab of mayo and some spinach and peppers for a snack, instead of a piece of matzah or a roll.

I did buy a box of whole wheat matzah to eat after the seders (when I have to have some shmurah!). I will eat matzah and matzah rolls sparingly, go easy on the potatoes and desserts. I will drink only red wine. I will report back Chol Hamoed!
Thanks, p.j.

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