Lowcarbezine! 12 January 2000

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Hey, Gang!!  Settling back into the day to day routine after the
scramble of the holidays?  I'm just barely getting there!  It can be
very hard to get up and get going in the morning when it's so dark and
gloomy.  I do try to get out and walk every day it's sunny and warm
enough, and find it helps the ol' motivation a lot.  Still, I'm clinging
to the idea that the days *are* actually getting longer, if slowly.

But, hey, it's a good time of year to stay home and work on low carb
recipes for y'all!



All contents copyright 2000 by Hold the Toast Press.  All commercial
reproduction and/or use is expressly prohibited.  As always, feel free
to forward Lowcarbezine! to any family or friends you feel might enjoy
it, provided that you forward it in its entirety.

If Lowcarbezine! has been forwarded to you and you enjoy it, you can
subscribe for FREE at http://www.holdthetoast.com .

Lowcarbezine! welcomes reader input!  If you have a question, a recipe,
a product review, a low carb success story, send it on in!!
mailto:dana@holdthetoast.com  However, please note -- although I really
do read all my email my very own self, I get a *lot* of mail --
generally over 200 posts a day (not all of them about Lowcarbezine!), so
I can't promise to answer every post personally.  Or I'll never get the
next book written!


  Thought For the Week

While I was in Chicago for Christmas, I visited my dear friend Anne,
one  of those people I don't get to see anywhere near often enough.  As
I was getting ready to leave, her husband, who brokers a wide variety of
merchandise, asked if I wanted some cookies to take with me.  I said no
thanks, I didn't eat that stuff.  He looked at me, incredulous, and
said, "Never?"  I jokingly replied, "Hey, I'm a diet guru now.  I can't
afford to gain the weight back."  He said, "Does that mean you never do
anything fun?"

Whoa.  "Never do anything fun"?  Because I don't eat junk?  (Actually, I
had eaten some sugar on Christmas Day, an Indulgence I had planned.  But
I eat junk very, very rarely.)  Since when did "fun" and "self-abuse"
become synonymous?

First of all, I eat *great* food.  I'm a good cook, and I'm creative,
and I've been doing this for four years, so I've figured it out.  (Which
is why I'm writing a cookbook for you!)  As many of you know, my Sugar
Free Chocolate Mousse To DIE For is just exactly that.  (get the recipe
at http://www.holdthetoast.com !) I also eat strawberries with real
whipped cream and sugar-free chocolate sauce, and I've been known to
make a chocolate-filled hazelnut torte that would do justice to a fine
restaurant.  But I actually eat sugar-free sweets less frequently than
you might think.

But I eat steak!  I eat pork chops!  I eat bacon!  Pecans toasted in
butter!  I eat huge, wonderful salads with real, extra virgin olive
oil!  I eat leg of lamb!  Asparagus with lemon butter!  Fajitas with
extra guacamole (hold the tortillas!)  Omelets with plenty of cheese!
Greek salads with extra feta and olives!  Once you figure just how wide
variety of foods you can eat on a low carb diet, it's a true gourmet

So in terms of the food, I *am* having fun!

But you know what?  My best fun isn't had by eating.  Here's some stuff
I think is fun:

Long walks with my husband or a friend
Dancing -- I can dance for *hours!*
Reading in the bathtub, with a glass of wine at hand
Flirting -- I have a tolerant husband
Digging through thrift shops for great clothes
Reading aloud to my husband
Yakking with cyberpals by email
Reading cookbooks, coming up with new recipe ideas
Messing around with makeup
My Toastmasters Club (TM is an international public speaking club, and
boy, is it fun.  And no, they won't make you speak before you're ready.
Actually, it's a great place to get over shyness, not that that was ever
my problem.  If you're looking for a good way to meet new people, see if
you can find a club in your area!)
Wasting an hour on the phone, talking to my sister about nothing
Poking through the public library, seeing what cool stuff I can get for
Lunch with a girlfriend (okay, this involves eating, but I always eat
low carb.  It's the hanging out with a friend that's fun!)
Visiting the puppies at the pet store (also the baby ferrets -- too

None of this stuff involves eating sugar at all!  Yet I somehow manage
to have more fun than three-quarters of the people I know.  How about
you make out a list like this, of all the things you think are fun that
don't involve eating junk?  You might be surprised.

One other point:  Since I went low carb, I feel *tremendously* better,
in every way, than I did when I was eating a low fat diet, but eating
sugar and starch.  I have more energy, my moods are far better, my mind
is clearer.  I even get colds less often.  It's a whole lot more fun to
*feel* this way than to feel tired, sluggish, and cranky!  I truly don't
feel like I'm "denying" myself anything eating this way.  I feel like
I'm *indulging* myself in feeling *great* and looking good.

It's so very true that everything is a matter of perspective, and things
look different depending on where you stand.  From where I stand -- four
years into a low carb way of eating that I expect will last a lifetime
-- sugar looks like no fun at all, and my life looks terrific!  If
you're just starting on low carb, and your perspective hasn't changed
yet -- and you'd better believe that I was absolutely addicted to sugar
at one point -- just stick to your path.  The view will change!


Frequently Asked Question:

The question I get asked most often is some version of:

Please tell me how to do a low carb diet.  Tell me everything I can eat
and can't eat.  Tell me how many carbs I should eat in a day.  Etcetera.

Not to sound too testy, but folks, that's what I wrote a book for.  It
took me six months and 240 pages to answer that question, and I'm not
going to do it over again in an email to each person who asks!

The answer is just too complex.  There's too many versions of a
carb-controlled, insulin-controlling diet, and different diets work for
different people.  Some folks do best on a Basic Low Carb Diet, like
Atkins or Protein Power, some do better on a hybridized diet, like the
Mini-Binge approach (like the Heller's Carbohydrate Addict's Diet).
Others will do fine on a diet that only  cuts carbs way back, rather
than cuts them out completely, so long as they eat only the carbs with
the most modest blood sugar impact -- for instance, my Careful Carb
Diet, or the more liberal version of Sugarbusters.  Some people do well
on a diet with as much as 100-150 grams a day of carb, while others have
to cut all the way back to a measly 20 grams a day.  When I was 19, I
dropped sugar and white flour completely out of my diet, but kept eating
other carbs -- whole wheat bread, brown rice, stuff like that -- and I
lost weight.  However, at age 41 that approach no longer works for me.

I don't know your family health history, your personal health history,
how overweight you are, how long you've had a weight problem.  I don't
know whether your problem is primarily physical, or if you have major
emotional issues regarding food to deal with as well.  I don't know how
active you are.  I don't know whether you're a vegetarian or not.  I
don't know if you have strong food likes and dislikes, or are willing to
eat just about anything.  All of these factors, and many others I
haven't thought of right here, will make a difference in which version
of a carb controlled diet is right for you.

The basics of low carb dieting are, of course, implicit in the term: Cut
your carb intake way the heck back, and see what happens.  The
concentrated carb foods are the starches -- bread, potatoes, pasta,
rice, cereal, crackers, chips, etc -- and sweets, including "natural"
sweets like honey and many fruits.   No candy, ice cream, cookies,
donuts, danish, etc.  The big "do eat" rule is "Eat plenty of protein
foods":  meat, fish, poultry, eggs, tofu.  Some cheese, although more
than 3-4 ounces a day is a problem for many.  Don't worry about
restricting fats, but eat only healthy, unprocessed fats, no vegetable
shortening or margarine.

So them's the basics.  But there's a *lot* of variations, and a lot of
factors that make a difference.  Obviously, I think it would be nice if
you read my book.  But there's a lot of other good books on low carb
dieting out there:  Protein Power, Sugar Busters, Atkins, The
Schwarzbein Principle, Healthy For Life, etc.  Each of these approaches
has been *excellent* for some, and dreadful for others.  (I, by way of
example, simply *loathe* The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet.  But I know
folks for whom it's been great.)  If you suspect that you're carb
intolerant (Three good clues:  1) You carry your fat disproportionately
on your abdomen, 2) You're *starving* again within 60-90 minutes of
eating a good-sized serving of high carb food and 3) You have nasty carb
cravings), then you owe it to yourself to do the research and
experimenting necessary to find the version of a carb controlled diet
that you can live with for *life*, because that's what it will take.


If you'd like to make a modest start at the diet while figuring out
which book to read first, (Hint:  READ MINE!  READ MINE!! ;-D), here's
what I suggest:  First, start eating a high protein breakfast every day
-- 2-3 eggs, or a couple of sausage patties, a big slice of ham (bacon
doesn't count.  Not enough protein), a hamburger patty, a couple of
slices of cheese -- something like that.  *Don't* eat any muffins,
danish, donuts, Pop Tarts, cold cereal, toast, stuff like that.  And
don't drink juice -- if you really love fruit at breakfast, have a half
a dozen strawberries, or a wedge of cantaloupe or honeydew.  And no
sugar in your coffee or tea, and no sugared soda pop!   See what this
does to your appetite for the rest of the day!  I think you'll be

After you've done this for a couple of days, knock out everything with
sugar (or corn syrup, or honey, or malt syrup, or...) or white flour.
For some this will be enough, for others, you'll need a more detailed

So in the meanwhile, do some reading, will you?  :-)


The Low Carb Bookstore

If you're interested in reading the books listed above, you can check
them out at Amazon.com .  Here's the links!

First of all, there's my book, _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost
Forty Pounds!_  It's fun to read, easy to understand, and gives a *lot*
of different options, instead of a one-size-fits-all plan. (Among other
things, I give you the basics of an Atkins/Protein Power-style diet, and
of the Carbohydrate Addict's-type mini-binge approach.)  No confusing
medical jargon; I explain low carb the way I've explained it to my
friends over lunch about a million times.

(If you've already read my book, and you liked it, I have a favor to
ask  you.  Won't cost you a thing.  Please go to the link above and
review my book!  Thanks!)

(Oh, and if you'd really rather order the book direct from us here at
Hold The Toast Press, you can, by going to the website at
http://www.holdthetoast.com -- you can also read the first chapter, the
foreword, the table of contents, and a whole pile of testimonials!  And
see my smiling face, of course. :-) )

Then there's _Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution_.  This is a terrific book,
although I think Doc Atkins enjoys the sensational aspects of low carb
dieting a little too much.  Also, he doesn't have you subtract out fiber
grams in the book,which limits your veggies, although I've heard tell he
now approves of that approach.  Still, this is the book that, for many,
started the low carb
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0380727293/lowcarbohysoluti --
that's the paperback.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0694520012/lowcarbohysoluti --
that's the tape version, but it's abridged.

I think _Protein Power_ is a wonderful book.  It does have a LOT of
medical jargon, but it also has a nice, simple summary at the end of
every chapter if you want to cut to the chase. Essentially similar to
Atkins, but more fiber, more fruits and vegetables!
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553574752/lowcarbohysoluti is
the paperback, and
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553101838/lowcarbohysoluti is
the hard cover.

Then there's _The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet_.  As I mentioned above, I
*hated* this diet, but I know folks who love it.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0451173392/lowcarbohysoluti is
the original CAD.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0452278384/lowcarbohysoluti is
the _Carbohydrate Addict's Lifespan Program_, as seen on Oprah.  It
specifies that it's for folks over forty.

Another good book by the Hellers is _Healthy For Life_, which is more
about controlling your carbs to improve your health, rather than to lose
weight.  It's one of the *least* radical programs, and good if you're
really scared of low carb, or if you have family member or a doctor who
needs convincing!

_The Schwarzbein Principle_ is gaining a lot of followers, but it's a
newer book and I haven't read it yet.  I do know some folks who've had
good results with it.  I think it's funny that she named the idea of low
carbing after herself, as if she invented it!  But then, Doc Atkins did
the same thing.  (So did William Banting, who wrote the first diet book
in the English language, in the 1800s -- Banting's Letter on Corpulence
-- a low carb diet book!.  Guess I should have called it "Dana's Diet!"
(Or, a suggestion from one of my readers -- I should change my name to
Dana Carb-ender!  Whaddaya think?)

_Sugar Busters_ is more about cutting out sugar and the other worst
carbs, like white flour, rather than a strict low carb diet.  Worth
reading, and not all full of jargon.

I have to include _Neanderthin_ in this list!  Ray Audette's book on why
we should eat as closely as possible to the diet our caveman ancestors
ate is just too cool to miss!  This is one of the most fascinating books
I've read on the subject of diet.

So there you go!  It's a whole low carb library!


Product Review

Now for a different kind of product review -- it's not a review of a
food!  It is a review of a cooking gadget -- the George Foreman Lean
Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine.  Santa brought me one for Christmas
(Thanks, Mom!) -- it was at the top of my list.

Yes, I know the name says "Fat Reducing", and that my book is called
_How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!  But a low carb
diet doesn't *require* that you eat only fatty meat! (I'm thinking we'll
explore the whole question of fat in upcoming issues.  But I can say
this -- that modern, grain-fed meat, beef in particular, has far more
fat than the meat that humankind evolved on.  Doesn't seem to have hurt
me any; my cholesterol and triglyceride ratios are golden, but it may
not be optimal.  The jury is still out on this one.)   I figured it
would be a quick, easy, convenient way to cook things like burgers,
chops, and steaks.  I was right.

I have the middle sized grill; it'll hold four hamburger patties, or a
half-a-dozen pork sausage patties, or a couple of big chops.  So far
I've cooked burgers, pork chops, and pork sausage on it, and they've all
come out very nice.  FYI, I basted the pork chops with fresh garlic and
olive oil before putting them in.  The GFLMFRGM cooks pretty quickly,
because it does both sides at once, which is convenient.  Burgers took
7-8 minutes (that's for medium-well), pork chops and sausage 8-10.  They
do come out with grill marks, which may or may not be a big deal for you.

The grill has some nice features -- a built in timer and on/off, so
there's no risk you'll either overcook stuff terribly, or leave the
grill on and burn the house down; and a "floating hinge" that lets it
accept thick chops and still close properly and grill both sides.  Clean
up is pretty easy; you use the spatula provided (notched, to fit over
the ribs in the grill) to scrape stuff off, and then wipe down with a
sponge.  The little drip trays that go under the front of the grill to
catch the grease can go in the dishwasher, but even if you don't have a
dishwasher, a little swish with Dawn should take care of it, since
nothing has cooked on.

Any problems?  Well, it does take up counter space, unless you put it
away every time you use it, at which point it takes up cabinet space. If
you don't think you'd use it frequently,  and your kitchen space is
limited, it wouldn't be for you.  Also, because the grill A) has a
non-stick surface and B) is sloped, I've had chops slide down it while
I'm trying to arrange them on the grill.  This is not a problem at all
when the grill is closed.  The only other drawback I've found so far is
that in order to melt cheese on cheeseburgers, you have to stand there
and hold the lid up, just *over* the burgers, until the cheese melts,
which fortunately doesn't take long.  I may take to a quick, low temp
zap in the microwave for cheeseburgering.  Oh, and ignore the booklet of
diet suggestions that comes with it -- it's going to tell you all about
how you should eat a low fat diet high in carbs. :-)

All told, however, if your low carb diet, like mine, leans pretty
heavily to chops, burgers, and steaks, this gadget just may be for you.
Available just about *everywhere* -- this must have been the biggest
appliance gift of the '99 Christmas season.

Think I'll go cook a pork chop!


A Reader Success Story!!

This arrived in my Inbox recently, and made my day:

Hi there
Just wanted to say that your book and your weekly ezines have helped so

Since researching a low carb diet, reading your book (and others) then
starting a low carb diet for myself I have lost 40  lbs.  I still have
40 more to lose but I am halfway there.

The holidays got to me, and I took about 6 weeks off (pretty long
indulgence, huh).  I promised myself that I would get right back on it
Jan 1, and was true to my word.  Today I decided to bite the bullet and
jump on the scales.  I had to know.

So, much to my surprise I realized that I had only gained one pound. I
really couldn't believe it, so I sat down and went over what all I had
eaten.  When I really got to thinking about it, my eating style has
changed drastically since I have been low carbing.  The proteins are
always the first thing eaten off my plate along with my veggies.

I know I ate Christmas cookies, and pie, but I think that by choosing my
proteins first, I ate so much less.  At least compared to holidays in
years past.

I am really as proud of this one pound gain as I am of  my 40 pound
loss, because I have proven to myself that this is a lifestyle change
and not a "fad" diet.  I can live like this and never worry about
gaining this weight back.

Just though that I would share...
Thanks for all the support

Beverly DeLoach

Boy, stuff like this makes me grin like an idiot all day long!!  Thanks,
Beverly!  And congratulations!!!


That's it for this week! See you next week!

Dana W. Carpender

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