Lowcarbezine! 15 June 2000

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Hey, Gang --

Nice to be back. :-)

My deep and abiding gratitude to all of you who sent me emails, ecards,
and all sorts of expressions of concern for my accident.  My husband and
I were quite literally moved to tears by the outpouring of love from you
guys.  I'm recovering very quickly, and I have no doubt that all the
prayers that have headed my way are part of the reason why.  (All that
protein and all those vitamins are the other reason why, of course!)

For those who are interested, here's what happened (for those who
aren't, hey, skip past this and the copyright info, and read the 'zine!)
--  I had just hit "Send" on Lowcarbezine! on June 1, and headed out for
my Toastmasters meeting.  I was perhaps a mile from home, on a county
road, doing 40-45 mph, when a car with 4 teenaged boys in it pulled out
of a gas station *right* in front of me.  There was no chance to stop,
although I sure left impressive skid marks.  I "t-boned" them, totalling
both cars.

I was, as always, wearing my seat belt and shoulder harness; more
remarkably, the kids were belted in, too.  (What are the odds on
*that*?)  We all walked out of it, but  two of the kids and I were
strapped to backboards and taken to the hospital, where we were X-rayed
from every known angle.  No broken bones, no internal injuries -- just
whiplash and bruises and such, thank the good Lord.

I felt pretty bad the first week -- hurt all over, and dizzy all the
time -- but now it's down to sciatica in my right leg, a sore ankle,
some neck and back stuff, and the occasional dizzy spell.  Massage and
physical therapy and time should take care of it.  Certainly I have no
excuse not to get back to my writing!

And Friday I found another used Camry comparable to the one I lost
(except no lighted vanity mirror -- funny the things you get used to,
isn't it?), so I'm back on the road.

I will say that I'm annoyed by having had my working out derailed.  Hard
to take a long walk with a bad leg, you know?  I'm a bit softer than I
was, which ain't good for a "diet guru" (she said with tongue firmly in

And that's my harrowing tale.

On to this week's issue!



All contents copyright 2000 by Hold the Toast Press.  All commercial
reproduction and/or use is expressly prohibited.  As always, feel free
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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!

We are now accepting paid advertising. At this writing, our subscriber
base is 3,563; obviously, this is a highly targeted list. Please
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Press reserves the right to reject any ad, for any reason.

If you need a website designed or hosted, please check out the info on
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good, right?)


Thought For The Week

"Pick Your Passion!"

That was the headline on a display of Pepperidge Farm cookies and
crackers I saw at the grocery store recently. No doubt
the folks at Pepperidge Farm were hoping that my passion was either
Goldfish Crackers or Sausalitos, and there was a time
when they would have been in luck.  Now, however, I can list a whole lot
of passions, ranging from my adorable husband, to
my equally adorable (in a different way, of course!) baby nephew Henry,
to detective novels, public speaking (isn't that a weird
thing to be passionate about?  I love it.), walking -- and, of course,
my passion for *FEELING GREAT*, a passion I find to
be completely incompatible with a passion for Pepperidge Farm's baked

Once you start paying attention to food advertising, you start to
realize how much our attitudes about food have been shaped by it -- and
generally not for the better.

For instance, ads for really junky food are usually "feel good" ads of
one kind or another.  What else do they have to sell?
Think about it -- Coke Adds Life! (Yeah, right.  Coke is going to help
you get a life.  Pull the other one, it plays Jingle Bells.)  (Funny
side note -- did you know that the "Coke Adds Life!" ad translated into
Chinese as "Coca-Cola brings your ancestors back from the grave?"  Now
*there's* an ad claim!)  Or "Snapple:  Made From The Best Stuff On
Earth!"  Yeah, if the best stuff on earth is corn syrup.  Yet ads like
these have many people convinced that drinking *water* is unthinkable;
every beverage must have flavor.

There was a series of ads for Mountain Dew showing hip Gen-X guys who
were bored, bored, bored by extreme sports -- bungee jumping, snow
boarding, just left them yawning -- but Mountain Dew was a *thrill*!  I
found myself wondering if the excitement came from Mountain Dew's
remarkable caffeine content, or from that flirting-with-death sensation
one gets from chugging down something that looks like Mr. Clean?

Then there was the ad a while back for a brand of candy called "Nips".
The animated ad showed a woman having a horrible,
stressful day -- phones ringing, people screaming -- and just as she was
to the point of pulling out her hair, she popped one of
these hard candies in her mouth, and a wonderful Valium-like tranquility
settled over her.  The tag line was "Had enough?
Have a Nips."  That's right.  Sugar will solve all your problems.
Uh-huh.  Clearest illustration I've ever seen that the sugar-mongers
*know* that they're marketing drugs.

Those of you who have read _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty
Pounds_ may remember my reaction to the
Welch's Juice Blends ad where the cute kid said, "Y'know what happens
when you drink the same thing all the time?  Your
tongue gets kinda bored."  I wanted to smack the spoiled brat! But just
today I started thinking about it again.  *Do* people's
tongues get "kinda bored"?  Or do they eat and drink the same things
over and over and over?  How many people drink Coke
all day, every day?  How many people have a fast food burger for lunch
every day?  How many of you got bored of chocolate
before you started low carbing?  Heck, I used to eat a pound of
chocolate a day when I was a teenager.  I never got bored of
it.  I was addicted to it!

The "Your tongue gets kinda bored" line is just one of a whole lot of
ads that want you to equate food with entertainment!
How about "Make some Jello, make some fun!"  Kinda short on fun around
here, aren't we, if adding water to boxed powder
is big-time entertainment.  Maybe we could play Scrabble instead, huh?

Then there's the "If you really love your family, you'll buy our
processed food" pitch, like the insidious little "Moms like you choose
Jif -- choose Jif!" jingle..  I especially like the second "choose Jif!"
in there -- a direct order to be like all the other moms.  Oooo, peer
pressure to buy the right hydrogenated oil-and-sugar-laced peanut
butter!  Better run right out.  After all, I won't be like the other
moms if I buy additive-free peanut butter.  They might make fun of me
behind my back!  They might kick me out of the PTA!  (Oh, wait... I
don't have any children.  Gosh, I feel better now.)

Closely related is "Nothin' says "lovin" like something from the oven,
and Pillsbury says it best!" -- translated, "If you *really* love your
family, you'll feed them.  But heaven forbid you should actually take
the time to *cook* something!  You don't love them *that* much.  Just
whack this tube on the counter and feed them highly processed white
flour, sugar, hydrogenated shortening, and chemicals.  They'll never
know the difference." Personally, I think loving your family includes
wanting the best for them, and garbagey processed food ain't it.

The attempts on the part of the food industry and their advertisers to
convince us that processed food equals love, fun, and happiness are
never ending.  Just today I saw an ad for bite-sized Nestle's chocolate
candies advertised with the slogan, "From you -- to you!"  Personally, I
can think of better gifts to give myself, like health and energy, or a
hot bath, or a walk in the sunshine, or a call to my sister,  and if I
really want something sweet, I'm perfectly capable of making a sugar
free cheesecake, or some Sugar Free Chocolate Mousse To *DIE* For
(recipe at the website, http://www.holdthetoast.com ), or simply
scarfing down a few strawberries.  At this point, if I gave me a
Nestle's chocolate candy, I'd wonder what I had against me.

Another one that struck me today was "Meet me at DQ -- where the feeling
never ends!"  If I have to turn to a fast food joint/erzatz ice cream
stand for feeling in my life, I'm in deeper trouble than I ever
imagined.  That's what I have a family, friends, my pets, my church, and
my work for, thank you.

Now, I'm not suggesting that the food industry is alone in their
attempts to manipulate us through stupid advertising claims.
Advertising, in general, tends to, shall we say, hyperbole, and
unsubstantive argument.  (How's that for a nice way to put it?)  Claims
for everything from cosmetics to cars attempt to convince us that we'll
be happy and fulfilled and loved if we just *buy*.  But for some reason,
we tend to be more prone to buying into the lies about food, to the
point where a whole lot of today's youth -- and even some of the grown
ups -- think of fast food and packaged junk as "the good stuff" and
homemade, real food as "boring."  If we buy into the belief that
dandruff shampoo will help us win more friends, we may be deluded, but
at least we still have clean hair.  If we fall for the line that a cream
will make us look ten years younger, we may still be aging, but at least
we probably don't have uncomfortably dry skin anymore.  If we buy into
the lie that processed, nutritionally empty junk food will make us
happy, loved, excited, rewarded, and give meaning to our lives, we'll
make ourselves physically and mentally ill, and die younger than we need

These ads *work*, which is why they're pervasive.  They can trigger
cravings, set you off feeling sorry for yourself that you're not eating
that stuff anymore.  (Heck, I once saw a Red Lobster ad that was so well
made, it had me wanting to run out and eat lobster -- and I don't even
*like* lobster!)  This is a sorry state of affairs.

Do I want you to start ignoring food ads?  No way.  Start paying
attention to them, instead!  Listen to what they're really trying to say
to you.  Analyze them with a detached, dispassionate eye.  Pick apart
their claims.  ("Made with "elfin magic"!"  Which appears to be
Keebler's trade name for "hydrogenated vegetable oil and artificial

I'm betting that pretty soon, instead of making you hungry, this stuff
will just make you shake your head and laugh.


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(Note from Dana:  CarbSmart also has my book, and they're selling it at
a discount... :-D)


Frequently Asked Question

This is maybe the most frequent question I get:

I've lost (X) pounds on my low carb diet, and I feel great!  But I still
want to lose another 10 pounds.  How do I do it?

Beats me.  If I knew that, I'd be fashionably skinny, which I'm not.

I said it in my book, and I'll say it here:  I think that a low carb
diet is *terrific* for reaching a healthy, normal weight, and avoiding
the health and energy problems which so often accompany obesity, but I
think it's fairly useless for becoming fashionably skinny.  Personally,
I think this says far more about our standards of how skinny people --
and especially women -- should be than it does about low carb diets.

There are some things you can try to lose another ten, but only you can
decide if they're worth it:

* Eliminate alcohol entirely.  To quote a medical journal article I was
reading recently, "Alcohol profoundly inhibits lipolysis", or to put it
in English, alcohol slows fat burning dramatically.  Just before my
accident, I had cut my alcohol intake some, and delayed having a drink
until after 10 pm (so as to delay slowing down my metabolism for another
few hours), and I was losing weight again.  However, having discovered
that a couple of light beers works as well as the muscle relaxant the
doctor gave me, I've put that experiment on hold.  I'll try again in a
few weeks, and report back on the results.

* Pay attention to your hunger.  One of the nearly universal experiences
of low carb dieters is  dramatically reduced hunger.  However, we live
in a society which presents us with all sorts of reasons to eat other
than hunger, ranging from "I made this for you!" to "It's breaktime,
must be time for a snack" to "I'm bored."  Try really paying attention
to your hunger, and if you're not *physically hungry*, don't eat.

* Count calories as well as carbs.  I've written about this recently.
Twelve calories per pound of body weight is a pretty good rule of thumb,
here.  Just don't decide that to cut out calories, you should cut out
fat!  First of all, a low fat/low carb/high protein diet will make you
sick.  Secondly, you'll be hungry, sure as you're born.  And third,
you're more likely to end up burning muscles that way, which will
*lower* your metabolism -- *not* the effect you're after!

* Try a fat fast.  Dr. Atkins recommends this as the fastest way to burn
fat.  He suggests 1000 calories a day, of which 90% come from fat.  This
means eating a very small volume of food, of course -- a few handfuls of
nuts, or 10 ounces of cream cheese, or the like would be your total
intake for the day.  I was also experimenting with eating less protein
and more fat before I was in the crash -- I was still eating my three
eggs for breakfast, but then during the day, instead of my usual tuna or
chicken salad for lunch, I would snack on 1/2 cup of pecans, fried in
coconut oil, as my total food intake during the afternoon.  I was
pleased to discover that I was not at all hungry.  I would then have a
modest portion of meat for dinner -- 6 ounces or so -- and a few more
nuts if I wanted them.  I was losing weight, but it was pretty dull.  I
don't know if it's an approach I could embrace for the long term.

The fat fast, of course, involves caloric restriction as well as carb
restriction, but the high level of fat suppresses hunger pretty darned
effectively, making this a lot easier than eating the same number of
calories on a low fat diet.  However, don't cut calories to this level
for more than a few days to a week.  It's a good way to kick yourself
into ketosis, though, if you've fallen out of it.

* Work out.  It's a good idea anyway.  Aerobic exercise -- walking,
running, dancing, biking, all that stuff -- will burn more fat while
you're doing it, but resistance exercise -- weights and the like -- will
pump up your metabolism long term, because muscle tissue burns more
calories even while you're asleep than other tissues. Furthermore,
muscle just *loves* to burn fat for fuel, so the more you have, the more
fat you can burn!  (Yet another good habit derailed by my wreck,
dammit.  I had recently bought a Total Gym -- you know, that thing
that's advertised on the infomercials with Christie Brinkley and Chuck
Norris? -- and it's great. (I'll do a full review eventually.)  At the
moment, though, I have strict orders to only use it for stretching.)
Keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat, so you may want to look
at exercise more as a way to lose the last couple of *inches*, rather
than the last ten *pounds*.

* As I've mentioned before, breathing exercises work well for fat
burning.  You could try Body Flex

or Oxycise!
(video set)

Either way, I recommend them both highly.  Breathing exercises rule.

On the other hand, so long as you're *healthy*, and your energy level
and mental health are both good,  you could just relax and be happy with
the weight loss you've had, and the health you've gained.  Meditate on
the fact that as recently as my childhood, size 12 was considered the
"ideal" size for a woman, (A dopey concept in and of itself.  Which
woman?) and women's magazines carried ads for weight *gaining*
products.  Men, you might think about the fact that images of male
beauty have been changing, as well; the "cut up" look that body builders
covet is as new and unusual, sociologically speaking, as the idea that
women should be sticks to be pretty. Realize that nature makes people in
a variety of sizes and shapes, and a healthy, normal size for you may be
different than a healthy, normal size for your neighbor, or your best
friend, or your sister, or your favorite movie star.

You might also remember that there are things you can change with diet
and exercise, and things you cannot.  All the diet and exercise in the
world is *not* going to give *this* girl a long waist and a smaller
ribcage.  I'm going to be stocky till the day I die -- thanks, Dad! --
and there's nothing I can do about it.  I may as well stop chafing about
it, and be grateful (and I am) for the not inconsiderable physical power
it lends me.

Admittedly, this approach works better for me some days than others.
Still, I'm unendingly grateful that my forty pounds is *still* gone, and
that I'm *healthy*.

Can we all try to see how much weight we've lost, instead of the weight
we may be stuck with for life?  And to love ourselves just a little


Come Live the Low Carb High Life!!  Cruise With Me!!

January 7th we set sail for the Low Carb High Life Cruise to the Western
Caribbean, on Carnival's newest, biggest, and most luxurious ship,
Victory!  It's going to be a great chance to get your New Year's
Resolutions in gear, knock off the holiday five, escape the cold, and
de-stress and have fun, all at the same time!  Check out the details at
http://www.holdthetoast.com/cruise.html !!!  You've gotta see it to
believe it!


Looking For Reader Feedback

What sorts of articles do you like best in Lowcarbezine!?  What are you
reading our 'zine for?  Motivational articles?  Practical, day to day
advice, like what to take for lunch, or eat for holidays?  Updates on
scientific research related to the low carb vs. low fat controversy?
Recipes?  Reader letters?  Are there types of articles we're not doing
that you'd like to see?

Hey, you're our readership!  If we don't serve you, what's the point?
Email me at mailto:dana@holdthetoast.com and let us know!


Readers Respond Regarding Sugar/Alcoholism

A few weeks back, I wrote an article regarding the link between sugar
cravings/carbohydrate intolerance and alcoholism.  In the article, I
asked readers to respond if they had any experience with the matter, and
respond they did.  Of course, as I promised, I will not reveal who any
of these folks are.

"Hi Dana,

You are right on about low carb reducing alcohol cravings.  I've been a
moderate/heavy drinker at different times in my life.  I, like you
generally have at least one beer per night.  A couple of years ago, my
drinking escalated to the point that I wound up in a treatment program -
stayed sober for about 5 months - then went back to light/moderate
drinking.  We won't get into the whole AA thing and that you can never
have a drink again.  The point of this story is that since I've been low
carbing (since January) I've almost lost the desire to drink!  I'm 43
years old and have had at least one beer/wine at night for the last 20
something years.  I don't even care about it anymore.  Many nights, I'll
open a beer and maybe only drink half of it. I knew this WOE was what
had caused the change, but didn't understand why till now.

Oh, and something else I'd thought of... during my heavy drinking period
a few years ago,  I quit cold turkey 2x.  My craving for sugar was so
incredibly strong, I remember actually shaking at the sight of

Thanks for the enlightenment."

"...your latest newsletter has made a light bulb go off in my head about
my son.  A huge sugar/carb addict who comes from a family of many male
alcoholics.  Anyway, I am going to talk to him about this & see if we
can't change his way of eating.  Wish me luck!"  (Good luck!!)

"...your article on alcohol was so on the money.  I, too, enjoy my
scotch and soda every night.  If if knock that off, (as I did for 4
months last Fall and lost 21 lbs) I can lose the weight.  However, it
seems to set up a cycle and right now I really want that drink (no, I'm
not an alcoholic) before dinner.  Even having one drink can lessen and
loosen your resolve and then one thing leads to another..."

"Yes, the low carbohydrate diet reduces cravings for alcohol.
Especially when combined with amino acids. A voice of experience."

I got a *lot* of response on the alcohol/sugar addiction article.  I'll
keep my eyes open for any new information on the subject!


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

I Lost Ten Pounds While Reading This Book! I spent two weeks reading
this book over and over while practicing some
of the principles and during that time I lost ten pounds! This book is
entertaining, non technical and includes easy to understand summaries of
all the popular low carb diets. I've read all the other books on this
subject but this one is easily my favorite. Buy this book if you want
the "skinny" on low carb diets!

 A reader from Southern California, USA

You can check out the first chapter of the book FREE at
http://www.holdthetoast.com .  And you can see this review and 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.)


Product Review

Actually, this is a book review.  Since I've been sitting around waiting
for the aches and pains to go away, and the ol' energy to come back,
I've spent a bit of time reading.   I'd like to recommend a book called
_The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry Is Destroying Our Brains and
Harming Our Children_, by Carol Simontacchi .  I've known since I was 19
that nutrition makes a *huge* difference in mental health, and read
quite a bit about it. It has always struck me as a false dichotomy to
speak of the "physical" versus the "mental" or the "psychological" --
the brain is a part of the body, and is utterly dependent on good
nutrition to function -- perhaps even more than the rest of the body.
It's no wonder that in the face of a national diet loaded with vast
amounts of quickly absorbed carbs and damaged fats (the brain is mostly
made of fat; did you know that?), and stripped of the micronutrients --
vitamins and minerals -- that we've evolved to need, we have an American
epidemic of depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD, even youth violence.
How on earth are we supposed to have healthy brains when our bodies are
falling apart from malnutrition?  How can we expect good grades and good
behavior from our children when they're eating a diet of pure garbage?

If you're concerned about your family's mental health/intelligence, this
book is a very good introduction to the whole topic of eating to fuel
your brain.  Carol Simontacchi, the author, doesn't push a strict low
carb diet, but she does recommend a drastic reduction in carbohydrate
intake, and of course the virtual elimination of sugar and refined flour
from the diet.  She is also very anti-aspartame, which doesn't surprise
me a bit; the stuff makes me a bit nervous myself, although I use it
from time to time, in small quantities.  Simontacchi is very clear about
the importance of good fats for brain function, and glory hallelujah for

One of the more interesting discussions in this book concerns a study
Simontacchi did herself on high school students.  The students being
studied were given a test that profiles mood and mental health, and a
test of cognition (thinking ability) at the beginning of the study.
Then half of them were given a protein rich, low sugar, nutrient filled
shake first thing in the school day for four weeks, with the other half
acting as controls.  Nothing else in their diets changed; indeed,
Simontacchi notes that many of them rebelliously brought along cans of
pop to wash the shake down.  Yet just this small improvement in
nutrition yielded a significant improvement in mood, and a small
improvement in cognition in the group who drank the shake every
morning.  Do your adolescent children seem angry or depressed?  You need
to understand what this book has to say.

If you'd like to understand the relationship between diet and brain
chemistry a bit better, if you'd like to know how you can help your
family feel better, if you'd like concrete advice on how to have
happier, calmer, more intelligent children -- and if you'd like to be
outraged at the selling of your children by their school system, as a
market to the highest-bidding food processing corporation -- this is the
book you need.  Check it out at Amazon.com:


That's enough.  I'm under orders from my physical therapist to limit
time at the computer!!  See you next week!

Dana W. Carpender

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