Where’s the Beach?

Tony and I went to his yearly knee doctor appointment.  We live in the far NW suburbs of Chicago, and his doctors office is in Chicago on North Marine drive – it took us an hour and 40 minutes to get there with traffic!

First I have to say that I am the WORST back seat driver you’ll ever meet.  I don’t think Tony or Hannah brake soon enough, I am always grabbing the door handle.  It drives them both completely nuts!  So I have to keep my head down when I am the passenger – luckily this was a good read!

I had a piece of rye bread with a shmear of peanut butter before we left, then throughout the morning ate a big fuji apple.  Breakfast was only 191 calories, 36 carbs, 4.8 protein, 3.9 fat and .3 fiber.

Long time readers will remember that back in December of 2008, Tony’s knee replacement got infected.  He had to have that implant removed, they put an antibiotic spacer in his knee and he basically was unable to walk much for three months.  He relied on his left leg when using crutches.  It only makes sense that his right thigh muscle is not as strong as his left one.

So the x-rays look good – we need to concentrate on two things: building up his thigh muscle and losing a bit of weight.  The first thing the doctor said was “go on the South Beach Diet.”   We have both tried it in the past, but I wasn’t really into it – I really, really, really like bread and potatoes!

One good thing about being on insulin is that I can eat anything I want.  But as we were driving home, I thought, do I really need to pump that much insulin into me to have a baked potato??  Marriage is the ultimate team sport, so I plan on giving the South Beach Diet 110%.  Well, starting Monday so we can get rid of all the things we can’t eat the first two weeks:  alcohol, bread, rice, potatoes, pasta or baked goods.  😀

As we were waiting in the doctors office, Tony’s like “where do you want to go to lunch?”  I couldn’t think of anything off the top of my head, and the hospital we were at is not in the nicest neighborhood.  All of a sudden he looks at me and says “Siegelman’s?”  Yep!

First off, my parents in law and my mom would have loved Wednesday’s special:

liver and onions . . . worst combination ever 😀

I went with the classic Reuben.  Mind you, I believe I am the queen of Reuben sandwiches, if its on a menu, 90% of the time that’s what I am going to order.  The only thing I hate is getting a sandwich where the corned beef is so tough, you can hardly bite through the sandwich.  Not here my friends.  After the first bit I seriously closed my eyes and savored the moment.  Perfectly tender, lightly grilled, not greasy.  Heaven on a plate!

I ate the whole sandwich, and about 5 fries.  My guestimate is that lunch comes in around743 calories, 71 carbs, 36 protein, 40 fat and 4.5 fiber.  Does that sound about right?

In this month’s Food & Wine magazine, Mario Batali had a recipe from his new eatery called Butcher’s Ragu.  When I was driving the other day, Tony looked over and saw the picture and said “that’s looks good!”   When I started to put it together I realized I didn’t have all the ingredients, and the only sauce was 1/2 cup of tomato paste.  So this recipe below is no where near Mario’s – let’s just say it was my inspiration!

Biz’s Butcher’s Ragu Recipe (printer friendly version here)

Makes 8 servings (237 calories, 10.9 fat, 2.7 carbs, .4 fiber and 30 protein)


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 ounce pancetta, diced
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 ounce deli ham, diced
28 can canned tomatoes
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon oregano
1 salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large dutch oven, heat oil. Add carrot, celery and garlic, stirring occassionally for about 5 minutes. Add the pancetta and ground beef and cook until no longer pink – about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the oregano, ham, milk, and tomatoes and simmer for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper.

I dice my celery and carrots really tiny:

I only used 2 ounces of pancetta – it gives the sauce a bit of smokiness.

While the sauce was simmering, I realized I had time to squeeze in some exercise.  I did 20 minutes of Cardio 360 and 20 minutes of Strength 360 on my exercise on demand.  Then finished it off with 10 minutes of abs.  An hour later, this is how my sauce looked after it reduced on simmer – can I just tell you how good this smelled while I was working out??!!

My plate:

with 100 calorie garlic bread, dinner comes in at: 505 calories, 62 carbs, 36 protein, 12.4 fat and 10.8 fiber.

Stats for Wednesday:

  • 1439 calories, 169 carbs, 76 protein, 57 fat and 21 fiber
  • 34% of calories from fat
  • my grade was a C+ for being high in sodium, high in cholesterol and high in fat
  • 20 minutes cardio
  • 20 minutes strength
  • 10 minutes abs

Alright, I have to publish this so I can finish making my butternut squash apple soup for my lunch today.  Have a great day! 😀


23 thoughts on “Where’s the Beach?

  1. First to comment today!!! I love the ragu! I have to switch that in my rotation now and again!

    I’ll call you when I get to work, have a super day!

    Tony, glad you got your knee checked out :0)

  2. I LOVE rueben’s too and probably order them just as much as you do, but am often disappointed. Next time you’re down town for a Dr. appt. try out
    Excited to hear how the South Beach diet.
    Also thank you for all your support, especially during the PFB challenge!
    ~ Mary

  3. Ok I goofed on using your HTML stuff. All that underlined stuff is a link to Parry’s Deli in the Financial District and they’re only open M-F. Pure awesomeness!

  4. Wow, I used to be queen of Reubens or Tuna Sandwiches. Not so much anymore.

    Good luck with South Beach. I bought the book and read it. A friend of mine spent a year or so feeling like he was going to die (he’s 38), and his doctor recommended it to him. He’s gotten a second lease on life. His dad was diabetic, and he was headed down the same path. He’s lost 30 lbs.

    I love bread, fruit, pasta too much. I may try it though, just to see how I feel.

  5. Biz-good luck on South Beach. Noel’s brother and sister in law have been on-it-off-it since she gave birth to their second child in 2007. I’m not sure they’ve made any long term progress because as soon as they deviate at all from it, they start to gain weight. But hopefully your experience will be different!

  6. You know biz, except when I’m training for a running race, I pretty much eat similar to South Beach. My doctor also got me going on it, although it’s sort of considered a cross between South Beach/Low Glycemic/Mediterranean.

    I think it’s great that you two will tackle this together. The first two weeks are HARD AS HELL. I never, ever, ever stopped wanting carbs or sweets. But then you get stage 2 and get some of that stuff back and you know, it really is workable. Good luck and keep us posted!

  7. Good luck with SB! I think it’s great you’re going to tackle it together. A support system is KEY!!
    And that reuben looks AMAZING. Wow. 🙂

  8. What a good wife you are! My hubby and I have been on the South Beach together too. 1) It was great doing it together. I loved having a support system and not having to cook 2 separate meals. 2) He lost more weight faster than I did, so prepare for that. 3) We suffered through the worst headaches for the first week. 4) After awhile, I didn’t miss the carbs anymore and eating the South Beach way was second nature. Good luck!

  9. I love rueben sandwiches…love them…I often make them without bread….it cuts down on the carbs!! But they are awesome…good luck with South Beach…I tend to love bread too much to do it.

  10. I need to try reubens more often. That one looks incredible! The last time I ordered one, the meat was tough and so was the bread. Horrible!

    You are rocking those workouts Biz!

  11. I’m the same way when Johnny drives. Usually when I get out of his car my right thigh muscle is killing me – it’s so tense from slamming an “imaginary brake.” He doesn’t brake soon enough either!!

    That reuben looks sooooo good! Can’t wait to hear about the butternut soup!

  12. I think you are the best wife ever to support Tony in going on South Beach – I KNOW how much you love your bread! With both of you so interested in cooking and different recipes, I bet this challenge will be enjoyable – and you’ll both get healthier!

  13. I love, love, love liver [no onions thank you] – so good. When I first met Pooldad he told me one of his favorite meals was liver so I told him to come over that night and I would make it for him. He doubted I would because I had two small kids [2 & 3 yo] and he didn’t think they would eat it. I told him they liked it too. He was shocked when there were no leftovers b/c my kidlets gobbled it up. hee

    And ruebens are an all time favorite from the days I used to work in a restaurant and our kitchen made the BEST rueben. But I like the dressing on the side.

    I wish I could still eat them. Maybe I will save up the sod. points for a splurge one day. Yours looks incredible!

    Good luck on the new weight loss plan – I live on baked potatoes so I don’t know how to do that. Glad your husband’s knee is getting better tho’.! 🙂

  14. I love love love liver too and I love love love onions with them!!!

    You should meet my mother if you wanna really meet the worst backseet driver in the world! She got kicked out of public transportion TWICE!! To be fair mum and dad had a car accident 12 years ago where their car flew off of a clif over 8 yards of rocks and landed on freshly plowed plot. Yeah.

    Your heaven on a plate is a little devil I might add. You’re gonna push me off the wagon woman 😀 No I’m just off to bed. Have a great weekend.

  15. Although I know you are a great wife (and mother!) I don’t look at this as you being a good wife and helping Tony. I look at it as a new journey for BOTH of you. I don’t really know anything about South Beach but I know people that love it. I think you’ll both do fantastic! You really throw yourself into every new challenge and I personally think you’re going to enjoy this one!

  16. I’m a bad backseat driver too! I’m better than I used to be, but that’s not saying much. Some of it stems from a fear I have of being next to other cars. It used to be only semi’s (my family was hit by a semi when I was a kid) but now I get scared if there’s any car beside us (this started after I ran into someone else) and I have to close my eyes and if Dennis doesn’t pass fast enough, I squeal. But I always think he’s not going fast enough, in the wrong lane, going the wrong way, should pass another car, etc. Ugh! I often read cookbooks & mags in the car too. 🙂 Good for you for helping Tony with the SB Diet–that will help him a lot I think to have your support and for you guys to be eating the same things. Very exciting! P.S. I’m a reuben girl too. 🙂

  17. Holy moley of deliciousness! HAHA I must go heat up my leftovers! I am salivating so bad! lol First off that sandwich….OMG! I WANT A BITE! The pasta sauce looks so good too…ok I gotta go! lol

  18. Just the thought of liver and onions make me nauseous!

  19. I’m a horrible backseat driver too! My husband is always asking me if I would like my own steering wheel and brake. Wouldn’t that be funny!

    The reuben looks delicious! Glad it didn’t dissappoint!

  20. I love a good reuben sandwich, I always order it off the menu because it’s a comfort classic item 🙂
    Good luck with South Beach!!!!


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