Lowcarbezine! 4 October 2000

Return to Archive Contents

Hey, Gang!

I'm having a great week!  The "accident ten" is finally starting to fade
away; apparently my new approach of frequent small feedings is
working.   I'm back up to full speed with my exercise program, too.  I'm
feeling strong and happy and healthy, and it sure does feel wonderful!
Ask anyone who knows me; I'm terribly impatient with being anything less
than 110% well, and my various medical advisors practically had to strap
me down to keep me from going back to working out too soon!

Add to all of this the fact that the season premiere of West Wing is on
in a half an hour, and you've got one happy editor on your hands.  Or in
your computer.  Or something. ;-)

Read on!



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   All submissions become the property of
Hold the Toast Press.  If you don't want us to print your letter, just
let us know, and we won't!   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 5,783, obviously, this is a highly targeted list.  Please
mailto:advertising@holdthetoast.com for rates and terms.  Hold the Toast
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
Webbalah at the bottom of this newsletter!  (Hey, *my* website looks
good, right?)


Frequently Asked Question

Is a low carb diet all right for diabetics?

I would like to preface this answer by stating in no uncertain terms
that I am not a doctor, nor have I played one on television.
The following is for informational purposes only.  If you are diabetic,
you *must* be monitored closely by a physician.  To neglect to do so is
foolhardy and dangerous.

Furthermore, the research I have been able to find on this subject is
often conflicting.  I find med journal articles that insist that a high
carbohydrate/low fat diet improves sugar control, and others that
insist, just as adamantly, that a high carbohydrate/low fat diet worsens
sugar control.  I find articles that show that a low carbohydrate diet
improves sugar control dramatically in the short run, but that don't
bother to look at the long term.  I find articles that indicate that
substituting monounsaturated fats (nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados,
etc.) for carbohydrates yields dramatically better results, and articles
suggesting that a diet high in monounsaturated fats and a diet high in
carbs have about the same results for sugar control.

To be quite frank, I feel like I'm in a bit over my head.  Please bear
this in mind!

Now that I have sufficiently protected my posterior, let us proceed.

Yes, a low carb diet looks okay for diabetics.  Indeed, one of the very
early uses of low carbohydrate diets was extending the lives of juvenile
onset diabetics in the days before there was injectable insulin.
Diabetes is, hands down, the most severe type of carbohydrate
intolerance disease; it is very hard to understand why avoiding the
substance the body cannot cope with would *not* be among the basic
strategies for treatment.

A few things seem clear:  A low carb diet has the same beneficial effect
on cholesterol and triglycerides for diabetics that it does for folks
who don't have diabetes.  Monounsaturated fats are likely to be a better
choice for type 2 diabetics than saturated fats.  Losing weight in
general lessens insulin resistance, and therefore any diet on which the
type 2 diabetic loses weight is likely to be helpful.  And exercise --
oh, that again! -- is a powerful way to lessen insulin resistance, as

A few "data points" regarding low carb diets and diabetes:

Shortly after my book, _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty
Pounds!_, hit the market last fall, I did a book signing at the local
Borders bookstore.  It was quite well attended, with lots of great
questions and personal success stories.  At the end of the evening, a
tall, slim, handsome, fit  young man approached me, and told me that his
dad had asked him to come to the book signing on his behalf.  His
father, he explained, was a local cardiothoracic surgeon (the sort who
does a lot of bypass operations) who ate low carb himself, and
recommended a low carbohydrate diet to all his bypass patients to keep
them from coming back for a second go-round.  Danny -- this young man's
name -- went on to explain that his father had become interested in low
carbohydrate diets because he -- Danny -- was a juvenile onset diabetic
whose glucose control, need for insulin, and over-all health had been
dramatically improved by a low carbohydrate program.  Danny and his
father seem quite confident that a low carbohydrate diet will enable
Danny to avoid many of the devastating health problems, from heart
disease to blindness to lost toes, that so frequently accompany

I have learned that our local hospital now recommends a carbohydrate
restricted diet for newly diagnosed adult onset diabetics.  For that
matter, my father in law was diagnosed with adult onset diabetes last
year, and he, too, has been put on a carbohydrate restricted diet -- and
not only have his sugar levels improved, but he has also lost a good
deal of weight.  For the record, my father in law -- Hi, Tom! -- is
*not* on a strict low carb diet, but rather a carb-controlled diet.

I've heard from a few folks who actually became diabetic (adult onset)
while on a low fat/high carb diet, and who, so long as they stay on
their low carbohydrate diets no longer have a problem with high blood
sugar.  Hardly scientific research, but suggestive.

Too, it is clear that since America went low fat/high carb, rates of
adult onset diabetes (also known as type 2 diabetes or NIDDM --
Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus) have sky rocketed, with the
disease being diagnosed more and more often in children.  However, it is
not clear whether this is due to a lower percentage of fats in the diet,
or the ever-increasing amounts of sugar that Americans -- and especially
American children -- eat, or some combination of the two factors.  Or,
for that matter, something completely unrelated, although it's hard to
think what that might be.

Still, many doctors, not to mention the American Diabetes Association,
have been recommending a low fat/high carbohydrate diet for these people
whose bodies don't deal well with carbohydrate.  (The ADA website
includes a section on Eating Healthy With the Food Pyramid.  It also
states, to my horror, that most diabetics can eat sugar if they want to
-- they're just supposed to take more insulin/medication to deal with
it!  Great idea, huh?)  Apparently the reason is two fold:  One, there
is at least some evidence that *some kinds* of fat, particularly
saturated fats, may worsen insulin resistance, the underlying condition
in adult onset diabetes.  And two, diabetics are terribly prone to heart
disease and atherosclerosis, and of course for the past couple of
decades the common wisdom has been that dietary fat is the major cause
of these conditions.  However, one consistent result in the articles I
have found on Medline is that a low carbohydrate diet appears to have
the same results on lowering triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and
raising HDL (good) cholesterol for diabetics as it does for everyone
else.  Therefore, putting diabetics on a low fat/high carb diet for
their cardiovascular health looks iffy indeed.

So over all, a few pieces of information seem clear:

A low carbohydrate diet does seem to have value in controlling blood
sugar in diabetics.  I don't find this surprising!

Type 2 (adult onset) diabetics who wish to go low carb may well profit
by skewing their fat intake in favor of monounsaturated fats -- nuts and
seeds, olive oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, avocados -- and keeping
levels of saturated fats moderate.

Losing weight is a very good idea for type 2 diabetics, apparently no
matter how you lose the weight.

A low carbohydrate diet will, in the majority of diabetics, improve
bloodwork.  Theoretically, this should lessen the risk of cardiovascular

Exercise is an even better idea for type 2 diabetics than it is for the
rest of us, and it's a *superb* idea for us all!

Whew.  Got through that without making a fool of myself!

An *excellent* resource for diabetics regarding  low carbohydrate diets
is _Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution_
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316093440/lowcarbohysoluti .
Highly recommended!


CarbSmart - Smart choice for a low carb lifestyle - is proud to sponsor
Hold The Toast's Lowcarbezine! For the month of October, we are selling
Dana's book _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!_ for
$8.99 - that's 30% off of cover price! We have all of your favorite low
carb products on sale for at least *20% off list price*!
Come visit us at http://www.carbsmart.com .


Request for Reader Input

Hey, gang, I'm interested to know about your experience with various
weight loss products -- Tonalin (CLA), thermogenics, 7-keto-DHEA,
Metabolic Thyrolean, Calorad, whatever.  I'm sure that my other readers
will be interested, too.  So if you have experience, good or bad, with
any of these products, please write and let us all know!  (Me, I'm
currently trying out 7-keto-DHEA, and I'll be trying L-carnatine in a
month or two.)


Advertising Revisited

A couple of months back I did an article about the ads we all see for
processed food, and the way their ridiculous, hyperbolic messages can
warp our thinking about food.  Well, the ad boys and girls come up with
new stuff all the time!  Here's two new advertising messages that struck

"It's amazing that something so healthy tastes so good!"  This is spoken
by a fellow on a Slim-Fast commercial.  We'll leave the suggestion that
Slim-Fast, which derives the vast majority of its "energy" (read:
calories) from sugar, is healthy, strictly alone here.  What gets me
about this line is the blatant suggestion that healthy food doesn't
taste good!  Gosh, I just hate fresh strawberries, don't you?  I find it
such a chore to eat a big caesar salad.  Heaven forbid I should have to
eat a grilled steak.  And boy, that handful of hazelnuts I just ate
nearly choked me going down!

The processed food boys, *especially* the ones who turn out "diet"
foods, are just *dying* to convince you that eating healthy is tedious
and unpleasant, and salvation will be found in their
milk-shake-plus-vitamins-in-a-can.  Personally, I'd rather have real

The other ad line that caught my attention was in a Pepperidge Farms ad
I saw just today.  It was an ad for Milano cookies, and the tag line
was, "Never have an ordinary day."  I can't imagine just how bored I
would have to be with my life to consider eating processed grocery store
cookies so exciting that they elevated my day above the ordinary!  Do
these people think I live in a cave, or what?

Further, I happen to think that ordinary days aren't so bad. For
instance, this past June 1st wasn't an ordinary day for me -- I was in a
major car wreck.  Personally, I'll take ordinary.  Let us not forget the
ancient Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." ;-D


Time's Running Out!  If You Want To Cruise With Me, Today's the Day!

Okay, all you cruise procrastinators -- yes, you, the one who's been
thinking, "Oh, man!  I've got to go on that Low Carb Cruise, but hey,
it's summer.  I'll register later."  Guess what?  Time's running out.
Already there are no ocean view rooms left!  And inside rooms are
disappearing *fast*.  If you want to come along, you'd better make that
reservation *NOW*, as in *right now*.  And don't worry about not having
an ocean view room -- that's what all those decks and pools and stuff
are for!

So reserve your space today!  It's going to be a blast!  We're going to
have whole lot of fun, learn a lot, get away from *WINTER* (which *is*
coming, you know!), get rid of the holiday stress, get the New Year off
to a *great* start, learn about various low carb diet options, look at
the latest low carb cookbooks,  brainstorm day to day low carb diet
strategies, sample new low carb products, learn way-cool breathing
exercises to accelerate metabolism -- all on an outrageously luxurious
and beautiful floating resort called the Carnival Victory, the newest,
largest, and most luxurious ship in the Carnival fleet!  You have to see
this ship to believe it!  And we're going to Mexico, Grand Cayman, and
Jamaica!  How cool is *that*?!

Join me!  Get an autographed preview copy of my second book! Meet new
low carb pals!  Knock off another five pounds!  And have a *ball*!  We
sail on January 7th, 2001 (You'll want to be in Miami by the evening of
the 6th -- we can arrange that, too.) for a full week!

But you want to get your reservations in *now*.  Why?  Because just like
with airlines, you get a better rate with cruise lines if you *book in
advance*.  At this point, we're moving toward the winter Caribbean
cruise season, and prices will only go up.   So book now!!  Your deposit
is fully refundable through October 15th, should anything untoward
happen.  Check out all the details of the cruise at
http://www.holdthetoast.com/cruise.html .

C'mon, which would you rather be doing come the second week in January?
Shoveling snow?  Or sailing blue waters with me and a whole bunch of low
carb diet pals?


Low Carb Hits the Mainstream!

It's official:  Low carbohydrate diets are now mainstream.  How do I
know?  Because I have here in front of me an article from the September
17th edition of Parade magazine (you know Parade -- it's that little
magazine, unbound and printed on newsprint, that's tucked in the middle
of practically every Sunday paper in the US), entitled "The Best Way To
Shed 20 Pounds".  What does Parade, surely the most mainstream of
mainstream publications, suggest?

Exercise Regularly
Reduce Alcohol Intake
Avoid Starchy Foods such as bread or potatoes
Avoid Desserts, Candies, Chocolate (and, it adds, any product with
concentrated sugar)
Eat Healthy (which it defines as "all the fish, fruit, vegetables, lean
meat and skinned poultry your heart desires")
Have Your Thyroid Checked.

Further, the highlighted quote from the article reads: "It may take
discipline, but if you avoid starches and refined sugars -- and you
exercise regularly -- you *will* lose weight."  Amen, brothers and

Except for the insistence on "lean" meats and "skinned" poultry, this
sounds like virtually every low carb diet book on the market, including
mine.  Does this mean we're no longer on a "fad diet"?  Shucks. I do so
enjoy being an outlaw. ;-D


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

The Only Way To Lose!

I have been on weight loss diets almost all of my life! I've lost and
gained over 500 pounds in my   lifetime. This will no longer be the case
for me now that I have read Dana Carpender's book "How I Gave Up My Low
Fat Diet And Lost Forty Pounds" and am following her plan! I am now at
the lowest weight I have been in ten years and it was so easy to attain
this weight loss. How can you call this program a diet? I've eaten
steak, chicken, veggies, cheese and occasionally Peanut M&M's,  ice
cream and chocolate mousse! This program is not a starvation plan. I
have always felt so  satisfied and healthy and have so much energy! Best
of all I know I will be able to stay on this food program for the rest
of my life! If you are tired of the diet Yo-yo I highly recommend Dana's
book. It's a fun, fast paced, easy read and it will be the last diet
book you'll ever need to buy!

 J. Crear, Hobart, WI USA, September 28, 2000

Wow!  Thank you, J. Crear, and keep up the good work!

If you'd like to read the first chapter of _How I Gave Up My Low Fat
Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!_ for FREE, you'll find it at
http://www.holdthetoast.com , along with the foreword and the table of
contents.  And a FAQ, and a whole bunch of other stuff!

You can order the book through the website, or you can go to
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0966883101/lowcarbohysoluti and
find it at Amazon.com, along with a whole pile of other nice things
people have said about it!

Or, for that matter, you can visit http://www.carbsmart.com , and order
it from Carb Smart, who currently has it on sale!

If you'd like to buy the book from a bookstore, you'll probably have to
special order it.  If you're in the USA, this shouldn't be a problem --
just tell them that you want to order _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and
Lost Forty Pounds!_ by Dana Carpender, and that the ISBN is
0-9668831-0-1.  You could also tell them that they can order it through
Baker and Taylor; one of the country's biggest book wholesalers.  We do
ship to Canadian bookstores.

If you're outside of the US, your best bet is to order from Amazon.com.
We can ship internationally from here at Hold the Toast, too, but we're
not set up for it big-time like Amazon is.  If you're a book wholesaler
outside the US and interested in carrying _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet
and Lost Forty Pounds!_, we'd love to hear from you!


Product Review

This time, I'm not reviewing a low carb food product, I'm reviewing a
piece of exercise equipment.  I am one of the few people who actually
*uses* home exercise equipment, instead of treating  it as expensive
clothes storage.  Indeed, I have -- let me count -- 5 pieces of exercise
equipment in the house, not counting various videotapes and a collection
of dumbbells in varying sizes, and I've used them *all* in the past 12
months.  I use three -- the Total Gym 2000, which this review is about,
my mini-trampoline, and my ab wheel (just a little wheel on an axle,
nothing fancy) regularly.  Pretty good, huh?

The piece of equipment  I'm using most currently is -- no surprise here
-- the one I purchased most recently; the Total Gym 2000.  My American
readers have probably run across the infomercial for this piece of
equipment while channel surfing; it's the one with Christie Brinkley and
Chuck Norris.  I first saw this infomercial a couple of years back while
lying on the couch, being ill, and I fell in love on sight!  (For the
record, I own four infomercial products; apparently I am the person they
aim the infomercials at!)

For those of you who have managed to miss or ignore the infomercial,
here's the deal:  The Total Gym consists of a padded "glide board" on
sloping rails.  You sit or lie on the glide board, and, using a simple
system of cables and pulleys, pull yourself up and down the slope.  The
resistance is actually a percentage of your body weight; you adjust the
resistance by changing the slope of the rails.  You can lift anywhere
from 4% of your body weight (in my case about 6 lbs) up to 60% of your
body weight.

The thing that appealed to me immediately about the Total Gym is the
freedom of motion -- the design of the machine lets you flow easily from
one exercise into another, and back again, with tremendous fluidity.  It
almost feels like dancing to me, in a way. This, to me, is a huge
improvement over the sort of weight lifting machines you see at health
clubs -- stuff like Nautilus or Cybex -- where you're locked into one
motion and one motion only, then move to the next machine for a
different movement.  Not only does this let you mix up your work out,
which is much more fun, but it also gives you a much more natural kind
of body development -- sort of a cross between gymnastics and free
weights.  In particular, it means that no muscles get left out.  Body
builders have used free weights for years because they know that  the
Nautilus-type machines, by locking you into single plane of motion, keep
you from using all the little extra muscles that you normally use to
stabilize yourself -- what we call the "mid-course corrector muscles."
If you've never used weights, think about the difference between riding
a stationary bicycle and riding a real bicycle, and you'll understand
what I mean about the stabilizers!  Because of the freedom of motion it
allows, the Total Gym gets the mid-course corrector muscles, and allows
you to get each main muscle you're working out from a number of slightly
different angles, for a much better work out.

Another thing I really liked about the Total Gym when I saw the
infomercial was that it clearly stretched you out at the same time it
was strengthening you -- as you slide back down the rails on the glide
board, you get a nice stretch.  Makes for good flexibility, and nice,
long, fluid-looking muscles.  I was only mildly surprised to learn that
the Total Gym was originally designed as a physical therapy machine.
(Indeed, after my auto accident this spring, I was sent for physical
therapy, and there was a Total Gym at the clinic.)  As a massage
therapist, this combination of stretching, strengthening, and freedom of
motion struck me as virtually ideal.

Did I send for a Total Gym immediately?  No, I did not.  I longed for
one for two years before I finally decided I could afford to buy!  In
the meanwhile, I did a little research.  I discovered that there is a
cheaper model of Total Gym, available at retail stores, for about $200.
I considered buying the cheaper model, but the expensive one had some
features I really wanted.  What features?  Well, first of all, it
included a foot holder and a leg pull assembly, making it possible to
work out my lower as well as my upper body.  On the cheaper model, the
only leg exercise really possible is squats.  With the model I have, I
can do leg pull-ins (the exact opposite of squats, good for hamstrings,
and they also get lower abs) and also do inner and outer thighs.  Also,
the model I purchased includes push up/pull up handles.  I found this
very appealing, since I've *never* been able to do a pull up (most women
can't), and I liked the idea of being able to try a pull up of less than
my full body weight.  Finally, the model I purchased has a detachable
bar which allows you to add weight plates to the machine, giving it
virtually unlimited resistance.  Sixty percent of my body weight is
plenty of resistance for my upper body, but I can envision the day when
it won't be enough for my legs; this way I can up the resistance and
keep getting stronger.

Mostly the Total Gym is good for resistance training -- making your
muscles stronger -- but it's certainly possible to use the machine at a
lower slant, for 15 minutes or more, incorporating arm work with squats,
to get an aerobic workout as well.  Still, I think the greatest value of
the Total Gym is for resistance training.  By the way, while aerobic
exercise -- walking, running, biking, aerobic dance, etc -- burns more
fat while you're doing it than resistance exercise will, resistance
exercise, by increasing your muscle mass, will increase your metabolism
and help you burn more fat 24-7.

I am pleased to say that the Total Gym works exactly the way it appeared
to on television.  It's sturdy, easy to adjust, and has smooth
movement.  Putting on or taking off attachments takes just a few
seconds; same for adjusting the slant.  I leave mine set up most of the
time, because I know I'll use it more often if it's just sitting there
staring at me, but it does take up considerable space in the living
room.  (I had it out on the porch until the weather started to cool off
a bit.  It was really nice working out on the porch on a pretty summer
evening.)  However, that being said, it's not hard at all to set up or
take down; takes me less than a minute.  It is kind of heavy to move
around, though, making it a bit awkward, even when folded.  When it's
folded up, it can stand against a wall, and doesn't take up any more
space than, say, an ironing board.

How great a change has my Total Gym made in my body?  Sadly, my car
wreck happened just a few weeks after I got the thing, and I couldn't
use it at all for a while.  However, as I recovered, it was very useful
for stretching, and also for doing traction on my hips and lower back --
I would strap my feet into the foot holder and simply lie on the slant,
head down, with the machine pulling gently at my feet, which was a
*huge* relief for the hip pain I had for a while there.  Now that I'm
pretty much normal again (well, as normal as I've ever been! ;-D), I'm
able to use the Total Gym more vigorously.  I can see some muscle
definition in my arms, and my stomach is a bit flatter!  I'm pleased.  I
also just feel stronger and more flexible, and I think I move better.
I'm very happy with my Total Gym!

By the way,  I didn't buy my Total Gym new.  Instead, I bought a used
one off of Ebay.  Including shipping, I paid $700, which is $300 less
than they're currently asking on the infomercial.  I *highly* recommend
buying exercise equipment used!  So many people buy exercise equipment
and use it for a few weeks, then never touch it again, that the market
is simply *glutted* with used exercise equipment!  I got my
mini-trampoline used, too (and one for my sister!), and about half my
weights, and several of my exercise videos. My one reservation about
buying used equipment would be that I wouldn't do this with cheap,
shoddy exercise stuff, since it's likely to be worn out when you buy it;
but then I can't recommend that you buy cheap, shoddy exercise equipment
new, either!   I just checked; as I write this there are 18 Total Gym
2000s on auction at Ebay.

If you're the sort who really hates working out, or are badly out of
shape, I'd save my money and work on getting yourself to go for a walk
regularly.  But if you like this sort of thing, I'm pleased to be able
to tell you that the Total Gym performs precisely as advertised.  I'm
glad I bought it!

Dana W. Carpender

Return to Archive Contents