Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The S.O.B. Diet

Well, it's the first day of the South Beach diet, or as I fondly call it, the Son-of-a-Bitch diet. I walk around muttering "Gee, I'd like a coke -- son of a bitch!"

I try to follow the plan to the letter, but my blood sugar plunges at awkward times, making me spastic and generally tough to live with. A pounding headache from caffeine withdrawl isn't helping either.

The SOB diet is a lot like Dante's journey to Heaven (yes, we're back to that again). Phase one is Hell, where you purge your body. No fruit, no alcohol, no starches. You can't even eat carrots.

Phase Two is like purgatory, where you add back fruits and some other good stuff until you reach the weight you want. Then on to Phase Three Heaven, where you bask in your svelteness and eat in (gasp!) moderation.

So here I am, chopping mushrooms and grilling chicken all day. I basically eat chicken, veggies, eggs and mozzerella sticks.

They allow you to eat more than that, but I can't handle the recipes. There's just no way I'm getting up in the morning and whipping together a cheesy frittata.

I don't even know what a frittata is. Do I look like the kind of woman who'd chop bell peppers at 6:30 a.m.? Should half-starved people be forced to handle sharp knives six times a day?

I spent the whole damn day today dicing ham and slicing cucumbers and fileting chicken breasts. 10 a.m. found me cutting up celerly stalks and filing them with some vile light cheese.

Benny had chicken fried rice for dinner tonight. I had chicken kebobs -- just chicken and mushrooms, minus the marinade or potatoes or anything else that makes kebobs good.

Let's return to the frittata. First they want you to slice onions, bell peppers and zucchini, then dice plum tomatoes, then chop some fresh basil. Then you get out a skillet and busily melt stuff, brown stuff, and stir stuff.Then preheat the broiler and whip up a six-ingredient egg mixture in the blender.

Pour the egg mixture over the veggies and cook it. Then broil it. Then sprinkle cheese on it and broil it some more. Serve it for lunch, since you've spent the entire morning on this frittata and your toddler is lying on the kitchen floor, throwing tupperware at the cat and screaming for attention.

Yeah, that's reasonable. And all the recipes are like this. The Chicken en Papillote looks nerve-wracking and the Cherry Snapper Ceviche (which you begin by soaking the fish in lime juice for three hours) looks just insane.

So I'm eating a lot of scrambled eggs and plain chicken breasts. I also drink a lot of ice water, to keep my spirits up. The diet allows more than this, of course, but I hate tomato juice and vegetable cocktails and nobody's catching me with a baggie of fake sugar.

What I wouldn't give for a coke.


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