Lowcarbezine! 19 October 2000

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Hey, Gang!

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me!  I'm forty two [yesterday]!

And no, I haven't made a low carb birthday cake, although I did have
some sugar free chocolate mousse as a snack earlier today.  My mom was
here visiting for four days, and I got so behind on my writing, I spent
today catching up -- writing this issue of Lowcarbezine!  I'll try a
cake over the weekend, and let you know next week how it was.

Read on!



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Don't Look Now!

It's almost upon you!  It's about to LEAP on you!  Run!  RUUUUUN!

It's Halloween!!!

Yep, in just under two weeks, we celebrate the most primal, bone-deep
Sugar Festival known to Western Civilization.  Is there any holiday that
is more totally, utterly associated with *CANDY* in the American mind?
There's Christmas candy, but there's so much to Christmas tradition --
decorations and songs and religious services and presents -- that candy
just blends in to the scene.  We have red satin heart shaped boxes of
candy at Valentines Day, but if you got a silk nightie or a massage gift
certificate from your Valentine this year, you probably wouldn't be
thinking, "But where's the candy?!"  But for many of us, Halloween is
really about the candy.

I know that when I was a kid, I trick-or-treated for hours on Halloween
night.  I knew all the "good houses" -- where they gave out big,
expensive candy bars like Butterfinger and Caravelle and such, and I
knew which houses gave out stuff I didn't care near as much about --
Necco Wafers, Smartees, candy corn..  I knew which neighbor fried fresh,
homemade donuts all night on Halloween night.  (That I wasn't afraid to
eat something actually made by the giver says a lot about the innocence
of my childhood.)  I planned my route for days in advance!  And I doubt
kids have changed that much in the intervening thirty-some years.

All of which spells crisis for the low carb dieter.  Especially if you
have kids, you are facing threat of being surrounded by candy in your
very own home!  Oh, the horror!  Oh, the humanity!  What you need is
some strategy, but *fast*, to get you through Halloween without sinking
into a hypoglycemic coma. Whether you've got kids, or are the kind of
adult who digs celebrating Halloween kids or no kids, you need to
emphasize the non-candy coolness of Halloween.  What non-candy
coolness?  How about:

* Costumes!  Get caught up in helping your kids come up with totally
excellent costume, or even in coming up with one for yourself!  (Best
Halloween costume I ever saw was a guy who rented a Santa suit, and
bought a tube of green greasepaint, and came to the party as The Grinch.
:-D  )

* Spooking trick-or-treaters.  It can be a lot of fun to set up your
house to be the scariest one on the block!  We used to have styrofoam
tombstones on the front lawn, a ghost that slid down a wire toward the
front door, and a tape of haunted house sounds playing -- and we'd
answer the door in scary costumes.  One friend would even hide behind
the tombstones on the front lawn, complete with zombie make up, and jump
out at the kids as they were coming back down the driveway, and chase
them down the block!  We became a house with a Halloween "rep".

* Parties! If you haven't been invited to a Halloween party, consider
throwing one.  It will let *you* control the refreshments.  And
Halloween parties are a blast!

* By the way, holding a Halloween party for your kids is not only a good
way to avoid the risks of trick-or-treating, but also a great way to
limit how much candy your kids will have access to -- and how much candy
will be in your house come November 1.  You can do the old fashioned
stuff, like costume judging, bobbing for apples, and jack-o-lantern
carving contests, or you can do something simpler, like renting a couple
of horror movie videos and having everyone come in costume to watch.  If
you don't want to expose the kids to the really gory stuff, consider
older, but still creepy, movies -- I saw the 1932 Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde recently, and it's terrific.  I'm a big fan of the original
Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, too.  (If you want to watch old
horror movies, and you get cable, you should know that AMC (American
Movie Classics) is running Monster Fest -- 60 classic horror movies
between the 27th and the 31st.  I'm stocking up on blank videotapes!)

* Look for fun local Halloween activities.  Is there a haunted house
near you?  A haunted hay ride?  My mom and I were at a local historical
site recently -- Connor Prairie, in Fishers, Indiana -- and they were
staging The Headless Horseman.  *Very* cool!  And virtually candy-free.
My middle-sized town also has a few haunted houses within striking
distance, and a haunted hay ride around a local park.

* If you live in a neighborhood where you'll get trick-or-treaters,
consider giving away something other than candy.  That way, you don't
have to sit there staring at the candy bowl all evening!  What to give
away that won't get your house egged?  Back when I lived in a
trick-or-treating neighborhood (I'm out in the country now, with nary a
trick-or-treater in sight), I gave away peanuts in the shell -- I had a
big bowl of them, and let kids take a double handful.  I *never* got a
complaint!  Nope, I had little goblins saying, "Oh, wow!  Peanuts!"
Other possibilities are stickers, small cheap toys (look at stores that
cater to teachers for these), or even small change -- after all, a candy
bar would cost you at least a dime, right?  You could give away apples,
but nobody eats Halloween apples anymore because of the urban legends of
razor blades in apples.  *Don't* do what my dentist next door neighbor
used to do -- give out toothbrushes -- or you *will* be cleaning up your
yard the next day!

* Consider laying in a modest supply of sugar free low carb candy for
the duration.  Check out some of the websites --
http://www.carbsmart.com has some candies, as does
http://www.synergydiet.com .  They can be a strong defense against the
lure of Reese's and Snickers.  Consider, too, making some sort of
festive sugar free Halloween dessert.  Try the recipes in _Living Low
Carb_, by Fran McCullough (
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316557684/lowcarbohysoluti ), Or
in Fran's _The Low Carb Cookbook_ (
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0786862734/lowcarbohysoluti ).

*Make sure that you -- and the kids! -- not only eat a good breakfast on
Halloween, but get a healthy, high protein, low carb supper as well, to
stabilize blood sugar.  You'll find it easier to resist the junk, and
they'll be less likely to end up getting really zooey.

* Don't forget to toast the seeds that come out of your pumpkin!
Separate them from the stringy goop, spread them out in a flat baking
pan, and roast 'em at about 300 for ten to fifteen minutes.  Salt them
if you like.  You can rinse them before you roast them, but I think
they're tastier with the caramelized pumpkin juice on them.  I adore
pumpkin seeds, and they're low carb and very nutritious.

* I would caution you against declaring Halloween an Indulgence Day, for
the simple reason that it's going to be *very* hard to stop raiding the
kids' treat bags and the give-away candy supply once you start.  It's a
bad idea to let down your guard when the temptation is virtually
unlimited.  If, however, you choose to ignore this advice (What --
there's somebody in the world who *doesn't* hang on my every word, and
do exactly as I say?  Imagine that.) keep in mind that chocolate
combined with nuts -- a Snickers, peanut M&Ms, a Reese's cup -- will
have a lower blood sugar impact than the stuff that's pure sugar, like
candy corn, mellocream pumpkins, and Sweetarts.  I trust it goes without
saying that you should choose the smallest piece you can!

* Is it too much to ask to suggest that you try to start slowing down
the flood of candy that your kids get for Halloween?  For instance,
since the going door to door in costume is quite a lot of the fun, you
might do that, but suggest to the kids ahead of time that they only keep
and eat the kinds of candy they *really* like.  I ate every scrap of
candy I got for Halloween as a kid, even stuff I didn't much care for,
in just the way that an alcoholic who prefers whiskey will still drink
vodka if that's all there is.  I'd recommend that you ration it out,
too, rather than letting the kids have control of it; they really don't
need unlimited candy for several days!  Candy freezes well; try freezing
it and doling it out a piece at a time -- *after* a good meal of

* I'm aware that many conservative Christians try to keep their children
away from Halloween celebrations entirely, since Halloween is the
descendant of an ancient pagan holiday.  (For the record, Halloween was
pagan New Year, and the time to say good bye to loved ones who had died
in the preceding year, which is why it's associated with ghosts.  In
Mexico, there's an interesting cultural tradition of El Dia De Los
Muertos, the Day of the Dead, on November 1, when families go to the
graveyard and have a picnic on their ancestors graves.  But I digress.)
Many churches now have alternative celebrations -- a dear friend of mine
helps plan a Biblical Costume Party for the kids of her church every
year. (I must admit to wickedly wondering how they'd react if someone
showed up as Salome...) If you're involved in something like this, how
about you make it *really* alternative, and try to keep the party from
centering on candy, fruit punch, and cake?  After all, if you're truly
concerned about the young'uns spiritual health, you want them to
understand about the body being God's temple, right?

You've got a couple of weeks to prepare yet, so dive on into the
planning, and make it a fun, spooky Halloween -- that you won't regret
come All Saint's Day!  Otherwise, you'll be like the little ghost who
had a stutter -- you'll make a Boo-Boo.  (Oh dear.  Did I actually say

Have fun!


Introducing the new carbsmart.com! and FREE SHIPPING! CarbSmart is proud
to sponsor the Lowcarbezine! and to celebrate the new and improved Web
site, we want to give you FREE SHIPPING on your next order. From now
until Friday, October 20 at Midnight, come to www.carbsmart.com, spend
at least $50, type in the coupon code "dana" (without the quotes) and
our airborne@home shipping will be FREE.

Also, you can still get 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 .


Breast Cancer Alert

The most recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association
has an article regarding breast cancer risk and birth control pills.
The article states that women with an already above-average risk of
breast cancer may increase that risk by taking birth control pills.

In specific, if you are the sister or daughter of a women who has had
breast cancer, your risk is increased three-fold if you take the Pill.
If you have at least five family members who have had breast or ovarian
cancer, your risks of getting breast cancer go up *eleven times* if you
take the pill.

The study, which was done by Thomas Sellers of the Mayo Clinic Cancer
Center, looked at 3,396 blood relatives of 426 women who had been
diagnosed with breast cancer between 1944 and 1952.  The medical records
from 1991 through 1996 of those blood relatives of breast cancer
patients were studied.  This is the first multigenerational study of its

The article recommends that women with a family history of breast cancer
avoid taking birth control pills.

Why do I bring this up in a newsletter for low carb dieters?  A number
of reasons.  First of all, breast cancer has also been linked to
hyperinsulinemia, which makes it of greater concern to my readers than
to the population at large, especially since carbohydrate intolerance,
like breast cancer, runs in families.  Secondly, there has been much
mistaken propaganda in the past couple of decades about dietary fat
causing breast cancer; this has been disproven, but you may still be
concerned, and you need all the data you can get.  And thirdly because
taking the Pill makes it difficult, if not well-nigh impossible, for
many low carbers to lose weight.  If you needed another reason to look
into other methods of contraception, this is it.

I realize that the Pill is convenient and reliable, but it's beginning
to look like a very bad idea for a lot of low carbers.  Just thought you
needed to know.


Cruise!  Cruise!  Cruise!

Here's hoping that all of you who want to go on the Low Carb High Life
Cruise, January 7-14, 2001,  have already made your reservations,
because according to our cruise planner, the Carnival Victory -- the
biggest, newest, most luxurious ship in the Carnival fleet -- is almost
full up!  If you've been thinking you'll go, but you *haven't* made your
reservations yet, you'd better do it NOW, or you'll be waving to us from
the dock as we set sail for the glorious Western Caribbean!

Here's some of the stuff we're going to do:

* Check out all the latest low carb diet books and low carb cook books!
* Learn metabolism-accelerating breathing exercises!
* Trade our best low carb diet tips and tricks!
* Sample lots of low carb specialty products!
* Learn Low Carb Restaurant Ordering 101!
* Hear about much of the latest research in low carb nutrition!
* Go on a Low Carb Adventure on shore -- pick a local restaurant and see
what we can order that's low carb!

All of this, along with glorious shore excursions at our beautiful

* See the historic sights at Chancanab, in Cozumel Mexico!  Swim with
the dolphins!
* Swim with the rays in Grand Cayman!
* Climb beautiful Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, or just shop
at the local "Straw Market"!

And then there's your free time on the Carnival Victory, where all your
entertainment -- except for gambling, of course! -- is included in the
price of your cruise package -- shows, dancing, movies, activities,
swimming, work out facilities, you name it, not to mention plenty of
food, glorious food!

But space is almost gone!  If you want to be on the cruise, you'd better
reserve a room *NOW*, because there may not be one tomorrow!

So forget gray skies and slushy streets!  Come spend a week in the
Caribbean with me and new low carb diet pals, for the winter vacation of
a lifetime!

Go to:  http://www.holdthetoast.com/cruise.html  and sign up today!


Product Review

Y'know, when my family moved from the New Jersey suburbs to the Chicago
suburbs back in 1974, we searched the local grocery store in vain for a
bagel.  Back then, bagels were a specialty item, found almost solely in
neighborhoods with a good sized Jewish population.

Now they're a staple of the American diet!  Heck, Pillsbury now makes a
bagel-oid version of the Pop-Tart, no doubt a sign of the impending
Apocalypse.  But your standard bagel does *not* fit into a low carb diet
in any way, shape, or form -- they contain between 30 to 50 grams of
carbohydrate apiece, depending on the size and variety of bagel, and I
don't know about you, but that's pretty much my entire carb ration for
the day!

Enter Better Bagels -- a bagel made with a substantial amount of almond
meal and soy flour, both quite low carb and high protein, along with
some oat flour, lower carb than wheat flour.  They do include some whole
wheat flour and some white flour, but the other ingredients dilute the
carbohydrate content quite substantially -- these have about 7.5 grams
of usable carb per half a bagel.  Now, 7.5 grams of carb is not a
negligible amount.  I certainly wouldn't want to eat both halves of the
bagel at once!  And if you're terribly carb intolerant, these may not be
for you.

These also have 4 grams of protein per serving -- again, a serving is a
half a bagel, not a whole one -- which is darned good for a bagel.
Given that almonds have the best protein of any nut, and it's mixed with
soy, the protein quality of these bagels should be good, too.

How do they taste?  They taste good.  Nice texture, too.  Like most low
carb substitutes for starchy things, the texture is a little different
than the standard issue variety, but this is about as bready a bagel as
you're going to get without a whopping big carb count.  I enjoyed the
samples toasted, with a little butter.  My mom, who was here to visit
this past weekend, had a low carb bagel for breakfast a couple of
mornings, with cottage cheese and sugar free raspberry preserves; she
gave it good marks too.  I'm thinking they'd be good as the base for an
open face sandwich, too -- I always liked bagel sandwiches before I went
low carb.

Let it be noted that I have the plain variety; Better Bagels are also
available in onion, blueberry, cinnamon raisin, and chocolate chip.
(Surely chocolate chip bagels aren't a Jewish tradition?!)
Interestingly, the sweet flavors -- blueberry, cinnamon raisin, and
chocolate chip -- are somewhat *lower* in carbs than the plain and onion
bagels; these three varieties have just under 6 grams of usable carb per

I'm not likely to eat these a lot, largely because almond meal is the
biggest ingredient, and I'm mildly allergic to almonds -- if I eat them
frequently, or in any great quantity, they make me wheeze.  But if you
don't share my problem, you might enjoy Better Bagels a lot --
especially if you're just *dying* for something toasted to eat with your

Better Bagels are available at http://www.synergydiet.com -- $5.99 buys
you a half a dozen bagels.


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


What a delight this book is! After reading all the other prominent LC
Diet Books and trying to assimilate the differences and suggestions, I
discover Dana Carpender's book and find that she has put it all together
perfectly. The book is SO USEFUL and enlightening and chock-full of much
more than all the other books combined. It's THE companion book, or more
appropriately, the LC Bible-an absolute must-have!

Emily Danner from Alta Loma, CA USA

Thank you, Emily!  (I just gotta love a reader who uses the word

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, where it's currently 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!


Dana W. Carpender

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