It’s the last day of the year, the time when people reflect on their lives, and I’m sharing my favorite photo of the year, vibrant red and yellow tomatoes from my garden. For me, the photo symbolizes some of what was good about my life and this blog over the past year, including cooking lots of fabulous fresh-tasting food, a new camera to photograph it with, and wonderful friends all over the world to talk with online about what we’re growing and cooking.

They say the best blogs uniquely reflect the people who write them, and Kalyn’s Kitchen comes from my split personality approach to food. On the one hand, I’m passionately interested in cooking and eating good food, while on the other hand I’m committed to the South Beach Diet way of eating. Whichever side of my food personality brings you here, I’m grateful for everyone who stops by and keeps coming back. I hope all my readers have good things ahead in 2007.

I’ve been taking a week off from the blog, and to my surprise, people are still visiting! I can tell from looking at the stats that a lot of people are looking for South Beach Diet help at this time of year. I’ve been doing a little diet backsliding myself from Thanksgiving to Christmas, so during January I’ll be going back to phase one for a few weeks. To help others who might have the same idea, I’ll be featuring phase one recipes for the month of January.

It’s almost obligatory in the media world to end the year with some kind of top ten list, and although I previously shared why I love the South Beach Diet, here’s my top ten list of reasons why.

Ten Reasons I Love the South Beach Diet

1. South Beach isn’t a traditional low carb diet, so after the initial two weeks, you can eat rice, pasta, and bread, if you pay attention to the glycemic index when you choose your ingredients.

2. It’s not a low fat diet, so if you limit saturated fats and trans-fats, you can still eat a lot of very yummy foods that would be forbidden on many traditional low-fat diet plans.

3. This diet has gotten me to start the day with a good breakfast, an important health habit I’ve never been able to achieve before.

4. If you’re human like me, you can cheat a little and a few weeks back on phase one will take off any pounds that have crept back on. This flexibility should probably be number one on my list, because this is the only diet I’ve ever been able to stick to.

5. If you start eating the low-glycemic index way, you’ll have more energy than you ever imagined. I simply never get tired during the day the way I used to.

6. An amazing variety of foods are actually low on the glycemic index, so the diet works for someone like me who thinks about food most of the time!

7. The cover of The South Beach Diet Book says “lose belly fat first” and it really does happen! (I recommend reading the book from cover to cover before you start the diet if you’re considering it.)

8. When you stop eating white flour, sugar, high glycemic white rice, regular white flour pasta, and potatoes you won’t get hungry the way you used to. I would never have believed this before I tried the South Beach way of eating.

9. When you stop eating sugar, your craving for it and other high-sugar foods will completely disappear. Again, it’s amazing.

10. I’ve truly experienced that this diet can really change your life. I’ll always be grateful that I discovered this way of eating and I know I’ll never go back to my old eating habits again.

So there you have it, my top ten list for 2006! Tomorrow it’s back to reality and back to recipes again for Kalyn’s Kitchen. And whether or not you’re interested in the South Beach Diet, if you like seafood I’m betting you’ll love the yummy phase one recipe that’s coming up tomorrow to kick off a month of phase one recipes.

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