Lowcarbezine! 17 May 2000

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Hey, Gang!

Oh, boy, have *I* had an intense two days!  And has it ever been worth
every minute!

It all started when I did a radio interview out of Iowa City.  Two days
later, I got an email from Patty Mishler, a low carb dieter from Iowa
City.  Patty has a very, very cool business -- she's a professional
cruise planner! (Hey, traveling around the world on luxurious ships with
fun people -- it's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it!)   And she
suggested to me that we get together and plan a low carb cruise for you

So that's what we're doing -- we just spent two days holed up in a
hotel, plotting and planning how to make this thing educational and
inspirational, at the same time it's exciting, relaxing, and fun.  And
am I ever excited!  Patty really knows her stuff.  (Which is just as
well, since I've never been on a cruise in my life!)  So see the notice
below, and watch for details as they develop!

Okay, on to this week's issue!  Read on!



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do read all my email my very own self, I get a *lot* of mail --
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good, right?)


Thought for the Week

Hmmmmm.  This low carb stuff just keeps getting more interesting.  And
sometimes I find myself trying to figure out how bits and pieces of
information fit together.

For instance, years ago, when I first became interested in nutrition,
back before low fat/high carb mania hit, I  read accounts of alcoholics
being treated with high protein diets. At the time, I had no way of
evaluating these claims, but knowing how much nutrition had improved my
psychological state, I stashed the information away in the mental file
folder labeled "Points to Ponder."  I've recently run across some bits
of information that have made me go back and look at some of these
stories again.

I went back to some of my older nutrition books, written when a high
protein diet, devoid of refined carbohydrates, was the basis of
everyone's nutrition program -- you know, back before this was labeled a
"dangerous fad diet".  Here's a couple of interesting quotes:

"*All* alcoholics are hypoglycemic, for it is an inevitable result of
substituting whiskey for food.  Some alcoholics *begin* by becoming
hypoglycemic, and at the point where the low blood sugar would
ordinarily cause a craving for sweets, they pervert the craving into an
appetite for alcohol.  *That* group in the alcoholic population can be
*cured* of alcoholism by adopting and staying on the hypoglycemia diet
(Dana's note:  That would be a low carb/high protein diet.).... This
paragraph is *not* based on theory.  Let me quote from one of hundreds
of letters:  "I didn't make any vows, pledges, promises.  I didn't ask
for the intervention of the Almighty, and I did no praying.  I didn't
call on fellow alcoholics or ex-drinkers for aid.  I had already been
through A.A., Antabuse, shock treatment, and psychotherapy without
results.  I just went on the hypoglycemia diet, and a few months later,
suddenly realized two things:  I hadn't had a drink in weeks, and I
didn't want one."  (_New & Complete Nutrition Handbook:  Your Key to
Good Health_, Carlton Fredericks PhD., 1976.)

The other story is very long, but striking.  It starts by talking about
the writer's childhood diet:  "My parents were opposed to drinking.
Liquor (even beer and wine) was unknown in our home.  But our patterns
of living and eating predisposed each of the children in that family to
a life of alcoholism or some other form of addiction... We never -- or
almost never -- ate breakfast.  On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays some
of us had breakfast -- a breakfast that was always cereal, sugar,
pancakes loaded with carbohydrates, or waffles with maple syrup.  But on
weekdays, we went off to school with no breakfast.  Lunch... if we were
at the school cafeteria, we invariably chose foods that were high
carbohydrate:  potatoes, pasta, desserts, sweet rolls.   ... desserts
were not only served at every meal, but also candy and cookies were
always available at any time of day.  We ate lots of this kind of food."

The writer goes on to describe his descent into alcoholism, to the point
where "During one period of great stress, I found that I was drinking my
lunch and drinking all afternoon and evening as well.  Soon a drink was
essential to get me started in the morning; my hands trembled
uncontrollably without it.  I still ate no breakfast, for the drink took
the place of it." However, eventually, the writer went to work in a
medical library, and started reading the publications that came across
his desk.  "I began to read about alcoholism; I began to read about
diet.  I had access to all the literature I needed on both subjects, and
so I began to change my way of eating.  I ate eggs for breakfast, and I
was astonished at the stability and feeling of well being this single
item of food brought me... The results were remarkable.  I could get
along without a drink at mid-morning.  And I forced myself to eat a
high-protein lunch -- lots of meat, cheese, milk.  I found that I could
get through the afternoon without a drink -- if I had a 4 o'clock snack
of cheese, peanuts, or some other high protein food."

The writer continued to improve his nutritional status, adding
supplements, and increasing his protein intake still further.  "Dinner
consisted of almost nothing but high protein foods -- meat, fish,
poultry, eggs, cheese -- and almost no carbohydrates.  Snacks were
always high protein.  The vitamins and the high protein meals became a
way of life.  *And I found that I no longer had the almost constant
craving for alcohol.*"

He finally says, "I call myself a cured alcoholic.  I know that experts
in this field declare positively that there is no such thing -- that the
true alcoholic can never take a drink again if he wants to remain
sober.  So, perhaps, I am not a true alcoholic.  If the experts had
known me 25 years ago, when I was living on booze with almost no food at
all, I think they would have diagnosed me as an alcoholic.  In any case,
there may be many other just like me who *can* overcome their craving
for alcohol...by maintaining the kind of dietary program I maintained."
(_Megavitamin Therapy_, Ruth Adams and Frank Murray, 1982)

So what made me look at these stories again?  Well, I found some
information which surely must correlate with them.  I was poking through
the Medline database -- okay, I admit it, I'm a geek; I sit around on
beautiful spring weekends and do med journal database searches.  Hey,
somebody's got to do it! -- and found two articles from the journal
_Alcohol_, just an issue apart.  First was an article in the May-June
issue last year, with the lively title "Association between preference
for sweets and excessive alcohol intake:  a review of animal and human
studies."  Among other statements were these:  "There is consistent
evidence linking the consumption of sweets to alcohol intake in both
animals and humans, and there are indications that this relationship may
be at least partially genetic in nature.  Alcohol-preferring rats have a
tendency to consume sucrose and saccharin solutions far beyond the
limits of their normal fluid intake and this has been proposed to be a
model of the clinical phenomenon known as loss of control...tendencies
to prefer ultra-sweet solutions have been noted in studies of alcoholic
subjects, with most alcoholics preferring sweeter sucrose solutions than
do controls."

This article also stated, "...consumption of sweets and/or sweet
solutions may significantly suppress alcohol intake in both animals and
in alcoholics."  This interested me, because the folks I know who have
been in Alcoholics Anonymous have reported that cookies and cups of
heavily sugared coffee are the standard refreshments at AA meetings.
Also,  I have a relative who quit drinking years ago and turned to sugar
instead -- only to be diagnosed with Type II diabetes this year.  I have
another relative who alternates between drinking heavily and eating
truly frightening amounts of sugar.   It does seem that sugar can become
a substitute addiction for the sober alcoholic.

 Yet in the very next issue of _Alcohol_ were the results of a study
regarding the differences in alcohol intake of hamsters when on a high
fat diet, or on a high carbohydrate diet.  The hamsters (who according
to the article "avidly consume ethanol (alcohol) solutions") were given
one of three diets -- a control diet, consisting of Purina chow, or a
high carb/low fat diet, or a low carb/high fat diet.  The hamsters on
the Purina chow diet and the hamsters on the high carb/low fat  diet
drank similar amounts of alcohol, but the hamsters on the high fat/low
carb diet drank substantially less -- *so long* as the concentration of
the alcohol solution was 15%.  If they were given a stronger alcohol
solution -- a 30% solution -- the difference in consumption was much
less.  Indeed, at the lower concentrations, the low carb hamsters drank
just half as much alcohol as the low fat and control hamsters.  (For
comparison, the nice man at my neighborhood liquor store tells me that
most wine runs about 12.5% alcohol by volume, or just a little milder
than the weaker of the two alcohol solutions used.  On the other hand,
the 30% solution would be a bit weaker than most hard liquors, which
start at around 35%-40% alcohol by volume.)

This struck me as significant.  I wondered if the researchers who found
that eating sugar helped alcoholics to *not* drink had looked at sugar
restriction in the context of a diet low in *all* carbohydrate, and high
in protein and healthy fats, or simply in the context of an otherwise
"normal" American diet -- the human equivalent of the Purina chow used
for a control diet with the hamsters.  (Isn't it weird to think of
hamsters as little lushes?  They seem so cute and innocent.)

I had to look further!  I found an article from the Bowles Center for
Alcohol Studies, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
stating outright that "Alcoholics are far more likely than
non-alcoholics to prefer stronger sweet tastes", and suggesting that a
test for alcoholism could be devised, where people were given solutions
of varying sweetness -- the sweeter a solution they preferred, the more
likely they would be alcoholics.  I thought to myself, "Good thing they
didn't test me when I was a kid!"  I had an almost unlimited appetite
for sugar as a kid -- stole to support my habit -- but have never had
any sort of drinking problem.   But then I realized that even though I
ate a *lot* of sugar as a kid, it was usually in the form of chocolate
-- sugar mixed with a bitter substance -- or sweet/tart combinations;
things like lemon drops and SweeTarts.  Plain sugar candies, like rock
candy and cotton candy, never appealed to me.  So perhaps I didn't fit
into the group who prefer the sweetest solutions.

I read on.  I found an article from the journal _Nutrition_, published
in the July/August issue, 1999, stating that "alcoholics are usually
glucose intolerant", and another article from a Japanese journal called
_Nippon_ Rinsho (*no* idea what that means.  Anyone speak Japanese?)
stating that glucose intolerance and diabetes are both prevalent not
only in alcoholic liver cirrhosis, but also in alcoholics without
cirrhosis, which seems to tie to carbohydrate intolerance.  And I found
an article talking about blood pressure in alcoholics when drinking --
it seems that when alcoholics give up drinking, there is a temporary
rise in blood pressure.  The article blamed this rise on our old enemy
hyperinsulinemia -- high blood insulin levels.

I'm  left feeling like I'm  playing connect the dots.   Alcoholics have
hyperinsulinemia, at least when they quit drinking.    Alcoholics
apparently are also strongly addicted to sweets, to the point where they
can, to some degree, assuage the craving for alcohol by eating sugar --
yet so far as I can tell, nowhere near every sugar junkie is also an
alcoholic.  And eating a low carb/high fat diet cut the desire for
alcohol in lab animals -- but only when the alcohol solution was about
the same strength as wine; give 'em the hard stuff and they slosh it
down just the same.  These pieces of information have been established
by medical studies published in peer-reviewed journals.  Plus we have
anecdotal information that individuals who have considered themselves to
be alcoholics have found that with the same sort of diet we eat to lose
weight, their urge to drink has vanished. What does all this mean?  How
can we use this information?

To be quite honest, I'm not sure.  But it all certainly reinforces my
conviction that diets high in refined, quickly absorbed carbohydrates
contribute to health problems far beyond simple obesity, and that much
of what have often been considered emotional problems have nutritional
roots.  Certainly it seems that a low carbohydrate, high protein diet is
a good bet for anyone with a drinking problem; I'm not convinced it will
work for everyone, but it's unlikely to hurt.  How wonderful to have an
addiction simply fade, rather than having to fight it tooth and nail!

However, I would *never* suggest that any sober alcoholic should decide
that eating a low carb/high protein diet means that he or she can take
up drinking again.  That would go beyond foolish to suicidal.

I also see this information as being a wake up call to parents who want
to protect their children from alcohol and, perhaps, drugs.  We know
that *you* have started eating right, but are you still buying Cap'n
Crunch for your kids?  Letting them drink soda and juice all day?
Feeding them canned white flour pasta with sauce laced with corn syrup?
It begins to look like you may not only be setting them up for obesity
and ill health, but alcohol abuse as well.  I know that they beg for the
junk.  I know that their friends eat it, and you can't keep them away
from it entirely.  But you can supply plenty of high protein food at
home, refuse to spend *your* hard-earned money on not-food, and set a
good example.

One other thought that comes to mind when I look at this information is
the assertion made by some nutritionists that alcohol should be lumped
together with the carbohydrates.  Certainly alcohol is chemically
distinct from carbohydrates, but it appears that it is working through,
or affecting, many of the same bodily mechanisms. After all, alcohol
does *start* with carbohydrates -- it's actually the excrement of yeasts
who have eaten carbohydrates! (Sounds yummy, huh?)   This concerns me
because I do drink -- it's a rare evening that I don't have a couple of
light beers or glasses of dry wine.  I've known all along that alcohol
is a luxury for reducers; I've suspected all along that I would drop
another 10-15 pounds if I gave up wine and light beer.  But now I'm
wondering if alcohol is, perhaps, maintaining my carbohydrate addiction
in ways that I don't perceive, or if, like the alcoholics who turn to
sugar when they sober up, I use an evening dose of alcohol as a
substitute for carbs.  (I did have those evening drinks when I was
eating carbs, however, and my drinking hasn't increased since I went low
carb.)  I truly don't know if this is a problem or not.

I would be very, very interested to hear from any of my readers who have
had trouble with drinking, to know if you feel your low carb diet has
helped in any way.  Let me know if I may use your story in future
issues, and rest assured that I will protect your anonymity.

I swear, the more I learn, the more there is to know.


Too Cool To Miss!!!

Mark your calendar!  January 7, 2001, set sale for a full week of
Caribbean sun 'n' fun on the Hold the Toast Low Carb High Life Cruise!
Kick back after the stress of the holidays, while jump-starting your New
Year's Resolutions!  Meet Dana Carpender, author of _How I Gave Up My
Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds_ and author/editor of Lowcarbezine!,
make new low carb diet pals, and learn great long term, real life, low
carb living skills, all while visiting  incredible ports of call --
Cozumel, Ocho Rios, and Grand Cayman Island.  Great cuisine, great
people, great entertainment, great places, great fun!!

Watch future issues for details as they develop!!


Frequently Asked Question

You keep talking about carbohydrates, but everyone knows that it's
calories that count.  What about calories?

I'd be willing to wager that 95% or more of the people reading this
newsletter have tried a calorie controlled diet.  Some of you have lost
weight that way; some of you have not.  But statistics say that you
haven't kept the weight off that way.  The regain rate for calorie
controlled diets -- and, to be fair, for weight loss in general -- is
over 95%.

I'd also be willing to bet that a sizable percentage of you have tried
to lose weight by increasing your calorie expenditure -- by exercising.
This can help, and surely will make you feel better, but even regular,
strenuous exercise didn't take weight off me when I was centering my
diet on grains and beans.

So what's up with calories?

So far as I can determine, basic calorie theory is sound -- if you eat
3500 calories less than you burn, you will lose a pound of fat.  Sounds
simple and straightforward, but what is missing from most discussions of
calorie theory are the myriad things which can effect the calories
in/calories out equation.  We know, for instance, that cutting calorie
intake drastically will cause a reduction in calorie burning.  We know
that losing muscle mass -- as happens all too frequently on calorie
reduced diets -- will cause a reduction in calorie burning.  We know
that exercise will, for the most part, increase calorie burning, both by
actually using up calories during the exercise, and by increasing muscle
mass, which has a higher metabolic rate than other tissues -- but body
builders know that if they overwork a given muscle group they will tear
it down, rather than build it up -- and reduce muscle mass, and thus
reduce calorie burning.

Further, various foods have effects on the body other than their simple
fuel value.  (You understand, don't you, that the word "calorie" is an
expression of fuel value?  Just as we buy fuel for our cars by the
gallon or liter, we buy fuel for our bodies in calories.  Which means,
of course, that when ads for processed foods say, "Full of energy!" what
they really mean is "Full of calories!"  Doesn't quite have the same
ring, does it?)  All the way back in 1957, Drs. Kekwick and Pawan,
British obesity researchers with superb credentials, published in the
medical journal _Metabolism_ the results of a study which demonstrated
that a diet that was low in carbohydrates induced weight loss, while a
high carbohydrate diet with the *same number of calories* did not.  In
1965, Dr. Frederick Benoit, working at the Oakland Naval Hospital,
demonstrated that subjects lost twice as much fat (and far less muscle)
eating 1000 calories a day, on a very low carb diet, than they did
eating *nothing at all*.  Clearly, the food we eat not only gives us
calories, but effects the way they are burned.

However, some people don't like older medical studies.  For some reason,
they feel that any study older than a year or two isn't valid.  I've
never been able to understand this; seems to me that if a study was well
constructed, well run, and well documented, the results should be as
valid today as they were when the study was done -- after all, the human
body hasn't changed much in the past forty-few years.  But for those
people, I cite the study done at Schneider's Children's Hospital in New
Hyde Park, New York, and presented to the Society for Adolescent
Medicine just two months ago.  A study of the effects of a low fat diet
versus a low carb/high fat diet for weight loss in obese adolescents, it
clearly echoes the results of the Kekwick and Pawan study, and of the
Benoit study.  In the recent study, the kids on the low fat diet ate
1100 calories a day, and the kids on the low carb diet ate 1830 calories
a day, yet the kids on the low carb/high fat diet lost more than
*double* the weight than the low fat kids did.  Eating more than *66%
more calories*, the low carbers lost more than twice the weight that the
low fat dieters lost!.

Clearly, something is going on here that effects calorie expenditure.
This equation turns out to be considerably more complex than eating less
+ exercising more = weight loss.

So, what does this mean for us low carb dieters?   Does it mean that so
long as we keep our carbs low we can ignore calories?  Does it mean that
calorie restriction is useless for us?

Depends.  (Don't you just love a definite answer?)  What does it depend

It depends on your own personal body, and what form of low carb diet
you've chosen.  It does depend some on exercise.   (Oh, that again!)
And annoyingly, it depends on many factors that we're not clear on, that
interact in ways we don't understand.

Many of you will lose weight with no caloric restriction at all, so long
as you cut your carbohydrates conscientiously; others may stay carefully
in ketosis and *still* not lose weight without some caloric
restriction.   Some of you will choose plans, like the mini-binge diet
or the Careful Carb Diet, that retain some carbohydrates, and may need
to pay some attention to portion size.  Some may even choose those plans
and *still* not have to worry about calorie counts!  (Lucky stiffs!)

However, if you've been truly careful about your carbs for a few weeks
and *still* aren't losing weight, or if you've stopped losing, been
stuck at the same weight for several months, and still want to lose
more, caloric restriction is a possibility.

After all, we do know that restricting calories *will* make you lose
weight; you only have to look at concentration camp prisoners and famine
victims to know that.  However, if you're going to restrict calories and
not have it make you miserable and unhealthy, and *slow down your
metabolism*, you're going to need to be careful how you do it.  *Very*

The most important thing is that you not cut your calories too far.
Why?  For a few reasons.  First of all, there's good evidence that
eating a very low calorie diet will scare your body into starvation
mode, so that it slows down your metabolism.  That's exactly what you
*don't* want!!  Just as important, you run the risk of being hungry.
And that, my friend, is the kiss of death for your weight loss program.
Indeed, hunger is *the* big problem of diets that work on calorie
control alone -- because whatever you do to lose the weight, you have to
continue to do *FOREVER* to keep the weight off!  And I can think of few
things that are more unnatural and more miserable than sitting in the
midst of more food than most societies have ever had in the history of
the world, and making yourself go hungry for the rest of your life.

Fortunately, as low carb dieters we already have an edge in the
not-being-hungry department -- no doubt by now you've discovered just
how amazingly *full* and satisfied you feel when you control the carbs
in your diet. This means that if you do make the decision that you need
to pay attention to calories, too, you'll be able to construct a
calorie-controlled diet that doesn't make you ravenous all the time.

A good rule of thumb is to eat no fewer than 12 calories for every pound
of body weight.  That means that for my 145-150 lbs (depending on the
day) I need to eat no fewer than 1800 calories.  That's quite a few more
than many weight loss diets allow!  Of course, you'll want to make sure
that you get sufficient protein -- I'd recommend that you don't eat even
a smidge less than 65-70 grams of protein a day; you'll need more if
you're a tall, big, rangy person, or if you're very active, or if you're
recovering from illness, injury, or surgery.  However, if you're having
trouble losing I wouldn't eat a lot more protein than your requirement.
Why?  Because there's evidence that eating excess protein can cause a
rise in blood sugar and insulin -- not as serious a rise in blood sugar
and insulin as eating carbs, of course, but if you're having trouble
losing weight, you'll want to avoid even this.  So, you'll eat just
about your protein requirement for the day, but not a whole lot more.

  Of course, protein foods such as meat, eggs and cheese don't contain
protein alone; they're combinations of protein and fat, and you'll have
to take the fat calories into consideration, too.  However, do *not*
decide that the easiest way to cut the calories in your low carb diet is
to cut the fat out!!  A low carb/low fat/high protein diet will make you
*sick*.  You actually want to be getting *most* of your fuel calories
from fat!  Add some low carb vegetables and maybe a few nuts here and
there, and that's your menu.  Really, it's about the same as any low
carb dieter's; you're just watching portions a bit.

If you're on one of the hybrid programs -- The Carbohydrate Addict's
Diet, or the Careful Carb Diet, or another program that leaves you a
fair number of carbs, and you're not losing, personally I'd probably
suggest switching to a Basic Low Carb Diet (Atkins or Protein Power
style) rather than restricting calories.  However, your priorities may
be different from mine, and you have a right to them.  Just be aware
that degrees of carb intolerance vary greatly -- I, for one, plateaued
very quickly on the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet, and was hungry a *lot*.
I do far, far better on a Basic Low Carb Diet; it is the very fact that
I *never* have to go hungry that makes me certain that I can do this for
*life*, and keep my weight off forever.

As for the other factors, as I mentioned, we don't really know what they
all are.  However, just to give a couple of "for instances", we know
that thyroid effects metabolism -- and calorie burning --
*dramatically*.  Adrenal function can effect calorie burning, as well.
Since oxygen is essential for fat burning, asthma may slow fat burning.
And certainly there are medications that can effect the equation.
Medicine is a very young science; much more study is needed before the
whole equation becomes clear.

Just know that *very modest* calorie restriction can possibly be a good
servant -- but get carried away and it will surely become a very bad


News Flash!

After more than twenty years, the National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences has removed saccharine from their list of cancer-causing
substances, stating that there is "no clear association" between
saccharine and cancer.  Saccharine is the sweetener used in Sweet 'N'
Low (and generic equivalents), and is also still found in a few diet
sodas, most notably Tab.  This announcement should make those who are
wary of aspartame (Equal) more comfortable about choosing saccharine

Now if the feds would just get around to running those carcinogenisis
tests on sugar...


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Product Review

Most of us low carbers eat a lot of meat.  And we all know that most
meat tastes best when grilled!  Yet when you've come home from a long
day at work, and the family is clamoring for dinner, *now*, you really
don't feel like hauling out the Weber, the charcoal, and the lighter
fluid, and waiting for the coals to burn down for a half an hour before
you can even get the meat on the grill.  Some of you no doubt have gas
grills, and that's a great solution.  For the rest of us, there's the
Qwik-Cook Grill.

This thing first hit the public consciousness 3-4 years ago when it was
advertised via an infomercial with football player Dick Butkus.  I
didn't think much about it at the time.  But two summers ago, when I
bought a picnic table for $10 at a yard sale, the nice folks running the
sale threw in their Qwik-Cook Grill -- used only once -- for free.  Hey,
as my dad always said, for free, take, right?  (Except for free candy!!
No taking free candy!)  I took the Qwik-Cook home.

The thing looked goofy, no question about it.  It was collapsible and
portable -- you set three sections one atop the other, then crumpled up
14-15 double sheets of newspaper (avoiding the colored pages, which
contain heavy metals -- don't worry about the black ink; virtually all
newspaper publishers now use non-toxic soy based inks.), dropped them
in, lit them on fire, and slapped the meat on top.  The first time I
used it -- I cooked a steak -- the flames looked so high I thought, "Oh,
gosh, I'm ruining a perfectly good piece of meat!"  I wasn't.  The steak
came out *great*.  Since then I've done hamburgers, chops, boneless
chicken breasts, even lamb, and everything has come out terrific.

We like our Qwik-Cook so much that the old Weber doesn't get used a
whole lot anymore.  It's really nice to be able to grill quickly and
easily, without having to deal with charcoal or lighter fluid, dirty
hands, a half-hour wait, or any of the rest of it.  Plus, since we have
a 7 day a week newspaper subscription, this is a neat way of recycling
some of that paper.

Also, the Qwik-Cook has a really nifty grill part -- it's two sided,
hinged in the middle; you sandwich the meat in between.  This makes
flipping the meat simplicity itself.  This is such a neat idea, I wonder
that no one has thought of it before.

The Qwik-Cook is very good for camping and picnics.  It's light, it
collapses, and you don't have to lug along charcoal and lighter fluid.
Too, it burns out very quickly, so you aren't left wondering what to do
with the coals when you want to go home.  (*PLEASE* don't dump burning
charcoal.  In the Chicago park system there's a very real problem with
inconsiderate jerks dumping coals at the base of trees; not only is this
a fire and injury hazard, but it kills the trees.)  Your grill is burned
out and cooled off by the time you're done with your dinner.  My only
complaint is that the box my Qwik-Cook came in, which was supposed to
double as a carrying case, disintegrated pretty quickly.  If you think
you'll take yours to the park a lot, I'd take a roll of duct tape and
reinforce the box well when you first get it.

The Qwik-Cook does have some limitations.  Most notably, it can't really
cook anything much over an inch thick; the outside will char before the
inside gets done.  This means that thick steaks and chops, and chicken
on the bone, will still need to be done on a traditional grill. You
certainly can't roast a whole turkey like you can on a Weber! And
sometimes you have to add a few extra sheets of newspaper to get things
done thoroughly.  Also, it's important to know that grilled meat in
general has to be considered a cancer risk; something about the
hydrocarbons that are formed in the browning process is not good for
you.  Still, I'm not ready yet to eat all my meat boiled or steamed to
avoid browning!

We really enjoy the convenience of being able to take hamburgers out of
the freezer, thaw them in the microwave, and have them grilled and ready
to eat in 15 minutes or so.  I like this thing so well, I bought my
sister -- who also eats low carb -- a Qwik-Cook for Christmas -- she
lives in San Diego and can use it all year 'round!

When these first came out, you found them everywhere -- Walmart, Kmart,
Osco, and the like.  You don't see them there much anymore.  However,
you can buy one online for $29.95, which is less than I paid for the one
I got for my sister, which I ordered over the phone.  This URL is
ridiculously long; thank goodness for cut-and-paste:


(Clearly, someone needs a better web designer!  They should talk to
Webbalah...)  These folks apparently were originally offering the grill
as a way to cook should civilization crash from the Y2K bug.  Glad they
decided to continue carrying it despite the stubborn persistence of
modern society...

We love our "little grill".  Hope you like it, too.


Reader Review of _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!_

  I have a friend who wants to borrow my book but I told her she would
have to buy her own, I'm not lending mine. I won't even let her read it
at my house! (My friends can get the book the same way I did, BUY IT!)
At my age I have read a gazillion diet books, but I must say honestly,
you make it clear, give  more options, and take a straight forward
approach. Keep up the good work. It is the best diet book I have read

                    Dawn Jimeson, Bloomington IN

Thanks, Dawn!!  (Dawn's review is from the Hold the Toast site, rather
than Amazon.com.)

You can check out the first chapter of the book FREE at
http://www.holdthetoast.com .  And you can see other reader reviews at

If you've already read _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty
Pounds_, and enjoyed it, please go to Amazon.com and review it yourself!
Who knows, you might see your review right here!

And if you'd rather, and you're in the United States, you can order _How
I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds_ through your local
bookstore.  Hey, that way you don't even pay shipping and handling! (I'm
sorry to say we do not yet have an international wholesaler;
international sales will have to be via the internet, or a mailed check
or money order.)


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

Dana W. Carpender

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