Lowcarbezine! 1 March 2000

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Hey, Gang!

How's your week been?  Mine's been great.  I'm really having fun with
this ezine.  Every time I try something new, whether it's a new recipe,
a new product, or even a new exercise, I think about all of you, and
what I'll tell you about it.  Every time someone asks me a question, I
think to myself, "Is this a question that my readers would ask?"  In a
way, I'm writing in my head all the time.

So let's get to it!



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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

Did you know that you're on a "Fad Diet"?  Yep, low carb dieting is a
fad, which so far as I can tell means a whole lot of people are trying
it.  By some odd sociological alchemy, that makes it bad, or even
dangerous.  At the very least, it means we can discount it.  After all,
fads are inherently vapid and meaningless, devoid of true value or
content, like hula hoops, pet rocks, and the Macarena, right?  And fads,
of course, are also short lived, an expression of the pop culture of
their day, soon to be discarded on the scrap heap of history.

As if.

Anybody out there my age -- 41 -- or older?  Remember that when we were
kids, everybody *knew* that if you wanted to lose weight, you gave up
bread, potatoes, spaghetti, and sweets?  Anyone but me remember when the
"diet plate" at the local coffee shop inevitably consisted of a
hamburger patty, no bun, a scoop of cottage cheese, and some lettuce and
tomato?  Anyone else remember the original Weight Watcher's program,
which dictated *no* sweets, limited bread to two slices a day,  starchy
vegetables ("Number 4s" -- anyone have the faintest notion why
vegetables were divided up into "Number 3s" -- the low carb ones -- and
"Number 4s", instead of, say, Number 1s and Number 2s?) to a half cup a
day, and forbid sweets altogether -- but made sure you got protein at
every meal?

I "got" nutrition like other people "get" religion --  a blinding bolt
out of the blue that changes your life forever -- in 1978, when I was 19
years old.  I started reading everything I could get my hands on. And as
recently as then, the common wisdom among nutritionists was to eat
plenty of protein, plenty of healthy fats, plenty of vegetables, *no*
sugar, *no* white flour products or other refined starches -- and to go
very easy even on the unrefined starches if you had an obesity problem.
Adelle Davis, Carleton Fredricks, J.I. Rodale, Emmanuel Cheraskin,
Gaylord Hauser,  were all concert on this point.

So if this is a fad, it's a fad whose roots are a minimum of a
half-century deep.  Actually, it's older than that.  The very first mass
market diet book in the English language was Banting's Letter on
Corpulence.  Banting published in 1852, in London, and his book outlined
the low carb diet his doctor had prescribed that had lost him 50
pounds.  Indeed, "banting" was a synonym for "dieting" in England for
many years thereafter -- I've even seen the term in older English

So now we have a "fad" that's been around for 150 years.  Some fad!

Of course, dieting to lose weight is a fairly recent phenomenon
historically speaking.  In a time when there were no cars, when most
people did physical labor, and there was no central heating (never
underestimate the number of calories you could burn up living in a house
that was below freezing for several months of the year!), obesity was
much less of a problem.  Further, because food supplies were fluky, a
bit of fat was a sign of wealth, and in women a mark of fertility.
Therefore, being really skinny -- the Callista Flockheart look -- was
*not* considered beautiful. (For that matter, it wasn't considered
beautiful as recently as 25 years ago.  Our current idea of feminine
beauty is *very* strange, historically speaking.)  So in many ways, the
notion of deliberately manipulating one's diet to reduce is something of
a fad.. Of course, the folks who throw the epithet "fad" at low
carbohydrate diets don't consider the very idea of losing weight to be a
fad!  It's not a fad to eat a low fat/high carb diet in hopes of losing
weight -- that's "sensible" and "rational" and "scientific".  No, it's
just folks like us who have been sucked into a "fad".

Hmmm.   Let me see.  What have I eaten in the past few days on my "fad"
diet?  Eggs -- *real* eggs -- instead of doctored up "egg substitutes"
or "whites only" omelets.  (I always love the way the label on the egg
substitutes say, "99% real egg!"  My eggs were 100% real eggs.  Heck,
they were from a small, local farm where the chickens run around
outside.  And they contained vitamins A, B2, B3, B6, B12, biotin,
choline, vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin K, iron, sulfur, and zinc --
those are only the micronutrients, of course they had protein as well,
and lecithin, and DHA, a fat essential for proper brain function.  This
last, by the way, is only in the yolks, the part we supposedly need to
avoid.)  Chicken.  Green beans.  Olive oil.  Celery.  Onions.  Turkey.
Pecans.  Turnips.  Butter.  Cheese.  Lemons. Lettuce.  Parsley.  Garlic.
Tuna.  There's not a food on that list that you couldn't have found a
thousand years ago, or two thousand, or five thousand.  Heck, probably
ten thousand.  (I'll admit that some recent inventions, including soy
powder and artificial sweeteners, find their way into my diet, but
they're nothing like a major element.)

Why isn't it a "fad diet" to eat puffed up, processed cereal?  Fat free
"cheese"?  Low fat margarine?  Salad dressing made from corn syrup and
chemicals?  Why does no one cry "fad" when Americans go from eating 7
pounds of sugar per person per year in 1800 to eating 152 pounds of
sugar per person per year now?  Why aren't the "responsible" dietitians
alarmed when people are eating "foods" that are so stripped of any
nutritional value that they have to be "enriched"?  Why am I a dangerous
extremist to suggest that people eat the foods that human kind has
thrived on for centuries?

"Ah," the critics cry, "But human kind has eaten grains and beans for
centuries!"  True.  But not for nearly as many centuries as we've eaten
meat, eggs, nuts, and vegetables, and certainly not in the highly
processed, nutritionally devoid forms most popular today.  The most
commonly cited date for the development of agriculture -- which would
have been the advent of any major quantity of grains and beans in the
human diet -- is about 10,000 years ago.  The most commonly cited date
for the advent of creatures we could begin to call human is *2 million*
years ago.  That means that we thrived on meat, eggs, nuts, vegetables,
and fruits in season for 1,990,000 years, and have been eating grains
and beans for a mere 10,000 years.

So which is the "fad", historically speaking?

You want fad?  The idea that we should cut our fat intake to the bone,
while gorging on bread, potatoes, and pasta, has been around for less
than half my lifetime, and I'm not old yet.  Manufactured fat-free and
fat-reduced foods -- generally relying on sugar and chemicals to make
them taste better (or to make them taste, period!) have been around for
maybe 15 years, and are already waning in popularity.  The scientific
evidence is stacking up that this experiment in human nutrition has gone
terribly awry.

In short, eating the foods on which human kind evolved cannot rightly be
called a "fad".  Turning millennia of human experience on its head, and
recommending a diet of the cheapest, starchiest, and least nutritious
foods in the name of "health"  -- now *that* just might be a fad.

(The idea that meat is terrible for you has come and gone from time to
time.  There was -- dare I say it? -- a fad for "scientific eating",
including the notion that meat was poison, in the late part of the
1800s, lead by such luminaries as John Harvey Kellogg, who also believed
in having a yogurt enema 5 times a day,  Sylvester Graham (after whom
the cracker was named),  and C.W. Post, who invented corn flakes.
Graham's crackers and Post's flakes, by the way, were supposed to serve
to reduce sex drive, which was held to be terribly dangerous.  (Kellogg
also preached the dangers of sex.  And here I always considered libido a
sign of health...)  As recent reports on the effects of low protein
diets on testosterone levels show, they just might have been right.  If
you'd like a hilarious look at just how wacky this gang could get, you
might rent the video of "The Road to Wellville", or read the book))


Frequently Asked Question

I've hit a plateau!  What do I do?

Oh boy.  The plateau.  Also known as frustration squared.  Is there a
dieter on the planet who has been spared the dreaded plateau?  I doubt
it.  I know that on my way down I had a few plateaus, including one that
lasted over 2 months.

I'm afraid I don't have any one-size-fits-all solutions to the plateau
problem.  Rather, I know a bunch of things that have helped various
folks I've talked to, or have worked for me.  It's worth trying one or
more of them -- although I'd try one at a time, so that if something
works for you, you'll know what it was!

But first, make sure it's really a plateau.  First of all, how long have
you been stalled?  If it's just a week, don't sweat it.  Your body is
probably just playing catch-up.  If you're female, where are you in your
cycle?   I don't know a whole lot of women who don't plateau in the last
week before their period, or even go up a few pounds.  It's just
hormones; no big deal.

Also, pay attention to what size you are, as well as to what the scale
says.  We've all had the weight thing pounded into our heads to the
point where the number on the scale is *reality*, no matter what all the
other indicators are saying.  I've known *many* people to say that while
the number on the scale is staying the same, they're still losing inches
-- and then all of a sudden, the scale will catch up, practically
overnight.  This is sometimes referred to as "the whoosh", or even "a
visit from the Whoosh Fairy."  So pay attention to inches, as well as to
pounds.  (Or to centimeters as well as kilos.  You know what I mean.)

Then, make sure you're being honest with yourself.  Are you really
following the program you've chosen?  If you're on a mini-binge type
diet, like The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet, have you been stretching out
your Reward Meal past the allotted hour?  If you're on a Basic Low Carb
Diet, like Atkins or Protein Power, have you been reading the label on
everything that has one, and looking up things that don't?  Be aware of
hidden carbs -- nutrition labeling laws allow processors to list "0
grams" if there's 0.4 grams or less, and "less than 1 gram" if there's
between 0.5 and 0.9.  Those hidden carbs can add up!

Okay, so you really are sticking to your program, and it's been a few
weeks, and your clothes aren't getting any looser, and you're starting
to panic.  What to do?

First, take stock of the progress you've made, and of the other benefits
you've realized from your low carb diet.  Do you have more energy?
Fewer mood swings?  Has your arthritis improved?  Your triglycerides
dropped?  If this way of eating is making you healthier, then it's
important to value that as well.  I've actually had people say things to
me like, "Well, my cholesterol's down, and my energy level is better,
and maybe now I won't get the family diabetes -- but I'm not losing
weight, so what's the point?"  Hard to know what to say to something
like that...

Now, the next thing to do is to change *something*, in a controlled,
careful, and consistent manner, and to persist with the change long
enough to know what effect it's having -- at least a week or two.  What
should you change?  Here, in no particular order,  are a bunch of

* Try a different version of a low carb diet.  If you've been on a Basic
Low Carb Diet, try the mini-binge diet, or a diet that includes some
modest quantities of low impact carbs, like my Careful Carb Diet.  If
you've been on a mini-binge diet, try a Basic Low Carb Diet.  You get
the picture.

* Eat the same quantity of food, but divide it up into smaller, more
frequent feedings.  This alone has, in some instances, been enough to
cause weight loss.  (This isn't allowed on a mini-binge diet, which
depends on not eating between meals.)

* Drop dairy.  Yep, it's hard, dairy is versatile and yummy, but I've
known a fair number of people for whom this was the thing that did the

* If you're on a Basic Low Carb Diet, try modifying it to a Cyclic
Ketogenic Diet.  Once every week to two weeks, have a carb-up day -- and
then go straight back to your ketogenic diet the next day.  Some people
feel that this keeps their body from becoming adjusted to ketosis, and
therefore encourages their weight loss.  If you find it difficult to
stop the carb-up and go back to your ketogenic plan, this may not be for
you.  Also not for you if you've found that your low carb diet
dramatically improves your state of mind -- depression ain't fun, even
if it's followed by weight loss.

* Try cutting out diet soda, Crystal Light, sugar free gelatin, etc.
Roughly half of low carb dieters find that these interfere with their
weight loss.  Why this should be is a matter of controversy.  Dr. Atkins
blames aspartame, which, he says, interferes with fat burning on a
cellular level.  Others point out that citric acid, widely used to give
tartness to these products, interferes with ketosis.  Either way, it's
worth cutting them out for a week or two to see whether you're in the
group that loses far better without them.

* Eat more fat, and a bit less protein.  If you've been eating *vast*
amount of protein, more than, say, 100 g a day for an average sized
woman or 125 g a day for a guy, cut it back a bit -- to maybe 75 g a day
-- and fill in the extra calories with healthy fats.

* Eat less fat, and a bit more protein.  Yes, I know this is the exact
opposite of the advice just previous.  Problem is, I've known folks
who've had success one, and people who have had success with the other.
Bodies differ.  What can I say?

* Go paleo.  Drop not only dairy, but soy, cashews, coffee, alcohol,
vinegar, artificial sweeteners -- basically everything in your diet that
wouldn't have been available to a caveman.  As a consolation, you get a
bit more fruit.  This has worked very well for several people I've been
in touch with.  If you're looking for a guide, I recommend Ray Audette's
_Neanderthin_.  Here's a link to his Amazon.com listing:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312243383/lowcarbohysoluti .
Worth reading!

* Up your exercise, or change it.  If you're currently not getting any
at all, adding just a 15 minute walk each day could make a big
difference.  If you're already exercising regularly, keep in mind this
piece of info from my trainer friend BJ:  After about 6 to 8 weeks, your
body is accustomed to whatever work out you've been doing, and your
returns will diminish.  If you've been using a treadmill, try doing
aerobics; if you've been doing aerobics, try circuit training instead.
Mix it up.

* Related to exercising, *breathe*.  I've been doing breathing exercises
for the past year, and they've done very good things for my body.  Fat
only burns in the presence of oxygen.  If you're exercising,
deliberately "force" your breathing -- breathe deeper and harder than
you think you need to  -- in through the nose, out through the mouth,
and concentrate on emptying your lungs completely, to make room for
fresh air.  I promise I'll do an article about the breathing exercises

* Adjust your carb intake -- either down *or* up.  I've talked with
folks who had to drop their carbs all the way down to 15 g a day to
lose, and I've also heard from folks who had better results when they
bumped it up to 60 or 70 g.

* Count calories.  Yes, I know it doesn't seem fair that you should have
to pay attention to carbs and calories both, but I've heard from quite a
few people for whom this was necessary.  If you do decide to count
calories, *don't* decide to cut back drastically.  This can easily
backfire on you -- your metabolism may well drop, which isn't the effect
we're looking for, here.  You may also end up hungry and miserable,
which is a good way to end up quitting your diet altogether.  How many
calories do you need?  Rule of thumb:  12-15 calories per day for every
pound of what would be your *healthy* weight.  Note:  "Healthy weight"
does *not* mean the weight which you wish that Nature had granted you,
the weight that would make you a size 2.  It means just that -- a
reasonable, healthy weight for *your* body, even if that weight wouldn't
make you look like Kate Moss.

* Take a look at your medications.  The Pill can keep you from losing
weight, as can estrogen replacement therapy.  Did you know that meat
producers give estrogens to cattle to make them put on fat and retain
water?  Works the same way with human females.  Anti-depressants can
make it hard to lose weight, as can antibiotics.  You may want to
explore alternatives.

And last but not least:

* Ask yourself if you really need to lose weight.  Are you healthy?
Energetic?  Bloodwork looks good?  Immune system strong?  Knees and back
don't ache?  Reasonable, attractive size?  If you're a size 10 or 8, and
you're trying to get down to a 4, your body may be telling you that
you're not supposed to be that small.  My body seems to think I should
be a size 12.  I may eventually get down as small as a 10, but I doubt
I'll ever be an 8, much less a 4.  It is my observation that a low
carbohydrate diet is very useful for fixing genuine obesity, and
avoiding the dreadful medical problems that come with it, but is not
well suited for becoming unhealthily thin.  If your aim is to become
fashionably anorexic looking, I can't help you.


Wondering which low carb diet is for you?  Confused and frustrated by
boring medical jargon?  Skeptical of one-size-fits-all approaches?  Read
the low carb book that gives you plenty of options, in friendly,
easy-to-understand language!  Learn to customize *your* diet to *your*
body, *your* mind, and *your* life!  _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and
Lost Forty Pounds!_  Read the first chapter FREE at
http://www.holdthetoast.com .


Soy Update

The bad news continues to come in about soy.  You could have knocked me
over with a feather; soy has such a good reputation among low fat and
low carb advocates alike.  However, I have now learned that it is pretty
well established that eating any regular quantity of soy can interfere
with thyroid function, causing hypothyroidism, which not only can make
you feel awful, and lead to heart disease, but will make it darned hard
to lose weight.  Further, soy can apparently interfere with the
absorption of minerals, causing deficiencies.  This in addition to the
recent research in Hawaii linking tofu to the deterioration of brain
function.  It's looking bad for soy.

If you'd like a source of articles on the subject, particularly the
soy/thyroid link,  you might go to
http://thyroid.about.com/health/thyroid/msub24.htm .  Plenty there to
give you pause.

So, what to do about this?  After all, soy powder and tofu are useful
ingredients in low carb cuisine, and we ("we" being the low carb
community) are just starting to develop some really tasty low carb
substitutes for things like bread, pasta, and sweets, many of which
include soy.

I'm not going to panic and cut soy out of my diet altogether, but I am
going to keep this info in mind when developing recipes.  If I can use
something other than soy in a recipe, I will.  And if I come up with a
recipe that simply doesn't work without the soy, I probably will only
make and eat  it occasionally.  I'll also be reading labels to see which
products have soy protein isolate in them.  Soy sneaks into a lot of
products, sorta like corn syrup.  And I'll be choosing protein powders
and protein bars which omit or minimize the use of soy.  However, if
you've been reading this newsletter for very long, you know I'm not a
fanatic for dietary purity.  I'm not likely to freak out if a little soy
finds its way into my body.  I just plan to keep an eye on it, that's
all.  Anyway, it's my observation that many, many things that are bad
for you in large quantity are actually good for you in small quantity --
alcohol is, of course, the classic example of this principle.  (Not to
mention the currently emerging evidence that nicotine may prevent brain
diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.  Go figure.)

I know that a lot of you have come to rely on my Sugar Free Chocolate
Mousse to DIE For recipe, which of course contains tofu.  I hereby
pledge to start immediately on new sugar free chocolate recipes, which
will *not* contain soy!  I'll also try playing around with the mousse
recipe, and see if I can come up with a soy-free version.  I really
don't know what to do about the cookie recipes I published right before
Christmas -- after all, you need *some* sort of flour to make a cookie.
Still, I'll work at it.  If I could even cut back on the soy content,
that would be a good thing.

The ones I'm most concerned about are the low carb vegetarians out
there.  A low carb vegetarian diet can be pretty soy dependent.  Here's
some thoughts:

First, there's at least some evidence that fermented soy products like
miso, tempeh, and natto are safer than unfermented products such as tofu
and soy milk.  That's a good thing to keep in mind when you're planning
your menus.

Secondly, it seems to me that there are three main reasons that people
become vegetarians -- for moral reasons, because they feel that killing
animals for food is wrong; for health reasons, because they've heard
that it's healthier than eating animal products; and for ecological
reasons, because they're concerned about the environmental impact of
meat production, especially of beef agriculture.

I'm certainly not going to suggest that the first group start eating
meat; it's not my place to tell you to violate the dictates of your
conscience.  I would, however, strongly suggest that moral vegetarian
low carbers eat more tempeh and less tofu, that they consider eating
eggs and cheese, and that they eat nuts and seeds -- seeds like
sunflower and pumpkin tend to be higher in protein than the nuts, and of
the tree nuts, almonds have the best quality protein.  Also, it might be
sensible for moral vegetarians to try one of the hybrid diets, like the
mini-binge diet or the Careful Carb Diet, which will allow for at least
modest quantities of some of the lowest impact grains, and some beans
other than soy.  You may well not lose as fast on such a diet (or you
may; I know many who have done well on these plans), but sticking to
your moral values strikes me as more important than quick weight loss.

If, however, you are a vegetarian for health or environmental reasons, I
would like to suggest that you reconsider your stance.  It is clear that
a vegetarian diet is not essential to heart health, and it may be
dangerous if poorly constructed.  If you're still nervous about red meat
(or, as some folks have told me, it makes you queasy), there's no reason
you have to eat it.  You can add some fish and/or poultry back to your
diet to get the protein you need, and do just fine.  If you're unhappy
about the ecological impact of beef agriculture -- and there's certainly
reason to be; it takes 14 pounds of grains and beans to make a pound of
cow (although I would like to point out that this could be changed by
going back to grazing beef, rather than fattening steers in feedlots),
stick to eggs and chicken, where the protein conversion ratio is much
more favorable -- nearly one-to-one for eggs, I'm given to believe.

All of this is quite new to me, and I'm aware that there are clamorous
voices to the contrary, telling us that soy is the miracle food that
will save us from everything to heart disease to hot flashes.  On the
other hand, they told me that eating lots of grains and beans would make
me slim, healthy and energetic, too, and look what happened with that.
Until  I've read a whole lot more on the subject, I can no longer
advocate in good conscience that vegetarian low carbers simply
substitute soy products for animal protein.  If you've been eating a lot
of soy, and especially if you've not been losing weight as well as you
hoped, or feeling as energetic as you'd like, I urge you to look more
closely at this issue.


A Reader Letter About Soy

Hi Dana!

I have a comment about soy products.  My husband was eating a lot of
soy.  Two scoops of soy powder in his shake every morning, soy tofu
cheese slices at lunch and for snacks, soy burgers at supper and
frequently, chocolate mousse to die for at dessert.

After reading a website that suggested soy isn't all that it's cracked
up to be, and in fact may be down right dangerous,  my husband abruptly
stopped eating anything with soy in it.  In four days the results have
been dramatic!  His thinking is sharper, quicker and unclouded.  He has
more energy and isn't slow to get going in the a.m..  His eyes do not
feel jumpy as they did previously.  Overall he is feeling immensely
better.  He started eating soy in increasing amounts since last fall. At
the time he reasoned soy was by far superior to meat products
healthwise.  Not anymore.  He feels like he has his old exuberant
energetic self back.

He had said that his head felt clogged when he was eating soy.  I also
experienced this clogged feeling after eating the chocolate mousse but
thought I was sensitive to the aspartame in the pudding.  I never would
have suspected soy as being the culprit!  Until this past week I never
heard so much as a squeak about there being anything negative about soy
products.  Your piece in the low carbazine was the third time I came
across a negative report about soy in one week!  Isn't it funny how all
of a sudden an awareness breaks out?  The website we read is at
http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/hom.htm  (You may not need the hom.htm
part of the address.)

I want to thank you for the tireless work you are doing on the low
carbazine!  I look forward to Wednesdays to hear from you. You always
have interesting new insights and something to make me chuckle.  Enjoy
your vacation in California.  You deserve a great time!

Connie Kemila

So there you have it.  One reader's personal experience with soy
products.  Thanks, Connie, for letting us all know!


Product Review

Actually, I have a few product reviews today...

First, an update on my article last week on low carb protein bars --
I've tried three of the new Atkins Advantage Bar flavors:  Chocolate
Raspberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Crunchy Praline.  I was a little
surprised; I expected to like the Chocolate Peanut Butter best, since I
was a major Reese's/Butterfinger addict as a kid, but actually this was
my least favorite of the three new flavors I tried.  I didn't find the
peanut flavor to be very pronounced, it was just sort of sweet with a
chocolate coating.  On the other hand, I liked the Chocolate Raspberry
quite well; both the chocolate and the raspberry flavors were clear and
strong, and they were well balanced.  My favorite of the three new
flavors was the Praline Crunch, at least in part because it was somewhat
less sweet than the others.  As I mentioned last week, I find most of
this kind of thing tastes *way* too sweet to me. The Praline Crunch
flavor also has a nice sort of nutty/buttery thing going on.  I liked

As with all the Atkins Advantage Bars, these have a big whack of
protein, less than three grams of carbohydrate, and a bunch of added
vitamins and minerals.

I also tried the Atkins Diet Shake Mix, in Chocolate.  (So I like
chocolate; so sue me.)  I found myself comparing it to ProFormix, the
only other low carb protein shake mix I've tried.  Both of them taste
quite good; to my way of thinking the ProFormix has a slight edge in the
taste department.  On the other hand, the Atkins shake has the better
texture; the shake has 2 grams of fiber per serving which acts as a
thickener.  Accordingly, the Atkins shake is thicker than the
ProFormix.  (I mentioned in my review of the ProFormix shake that the
shake had no fiber, apparently to keep their official carb count at
zero, since fiber is, technically speaking, a form of carbohydrate,
though it doesn't raise blood sugar or release insulin.)

The Atkins shake has a nutritional edge, in that it has a far wider
variety of added vitamins and minerals.  If you're using the shake as a
meal replacement on a frequent basis, this is a consideration, although
you could just take a good multiple vitamin and mineral.  On the other
hand, the ProFormix shake gets its protein solely from egg albumin,
while the Atkins shake uses a mixture of proteins, one of which is soy.
I have no way of knowing exactly how much soy one would get from an
Atkins shake.  It's up to you to decide whether or not this concerns

One other difference seems worth noting -- the Atkins shake mix simply
needs to be mixed with water, while the ProFormix needs to be mixed with
heavy cream as well as water -- the cream is what gives it a little
body.  If you want to be able to mix up the shake somewhere other than
your own kitchen, the Atkins mix would be easier -- you could
conceivably even mix it with cold water from the water cooler at work,
shake well, and drink.  This convenience may be valuable to you.

I got the Atkins shake mix for $19.99, and paid the same for the
ProFormix, but the ProFormix makes 16 shakes per canister, while the
Atkins makes only 11, so the ProFormix is a little cheaper to use.
Still, I think I'd make the decision based on which I liked better, and
which I found easier to use.  Oh, and the Atkins Shake comes in more
flavors -- I saw Cappuccino as well as Chocolate and Vanilla at the
store where I got it, while I've only seen ProFormix in Chocolate and
Vanilla.  Still, mighty easy to add a little instant coffee or a few
berries or something to a shake.

The Atkins shake seems pretty easy to find, at least around here, but if
you can't get it near you, you could call 1-800-6-ATKINS.  ProFormix is
a little harder to come by, but the nice folks at Morico, who make it,
have a website: http://www.morico.com .  Also, keep in mind that most
health food stores are very good about special ordering things.  If you
ask your store to get ProFormix for you, they very likely will.  You can
help them out by telling them that the company phone number is

Okay, one more review, and I'm painfully aware that I'm reviewing a
regional product -- heck, I can't even get it here!  I stock up when I
go see my family in Chicago.  But it's a great product, so maybe we can
get it into wider distribution, eh?  The product is Pastorelli's Italian
Chef Pizza Sauce.  This is the *only* sugar free pizza sauce I've been
able to find, and it is *wonderful*.  I'd prefer it on taste alone.  But
it also has no additives, no chemicals, no junk -- and no corn syrup,
which is very rare in a pizza sauce.  Here are the ingredients:  Tomato
puree (water, tomato paste), corn oil, imported extra virgin olive oil,
salt, imported pecorino romano cheese, spices, and garlic.  Don't you
love it when there's only real food in the can?  If you're in the
Chicago area, pick this product up -- I last bought it at a Jewel.

What are you going to do with pizza sauce, you ask?  Just check out the
Cooking Low Carb! section!


That's it!  See you next week!

Dana W. Carpender

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