Lowcarbezine! 26 October 2000

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Hey, Gang --

Having a good week?  I've been spending the past week right here at the
computer, editing my new book.  It's not done yet, but I've got over 150
pages, and lots of good info to help everyone stay Low Carb For Life! 
Do me a favor, will you?  Let me know what sorts of things you most need
to know to help you live this way of eating, day to day.  After all,
this book is for you!

So is this newsletter -- 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.

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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   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 6,270; 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?)


In Praise of Simple Meals

Since I invent and write about recipes, you might think that every meal
around Chez Carpender/Schmitz is a gourmet extravaganza.  Boy, would you
be wrong!  I'm a good cook, and I like to cook, but I'm busy too, you
know!  Further more, I have no children and an incredibly tolerant
husband.  It's not uncommon for me to start thinking about what to have
for supper long about 8 pm, which is hardly the time to start on that
carb Beef Wellington En Croute, with hand-rolled low carb puff pastry
and roasted portobellos!

Anyway, I *like* simple meals!  I grew up on them.  I like grilled
chops, roasted chicken, hamburgers.  I like simple vegetables.  Some
things are hard to improve on, no matter how much extra time and effort
you put into it. 

If you're feeding a family, simple meals become an even better bet,
since the less you do to the food, the less opportunity there is for
Junior to say, "What tastes so funny?" when he or she comes in contact
with something so exotic as worcestershire sauce or curry powder.  And
of course, if the family wolfs down dinner in 3 1/2 minutes flat, on the
way out the door to soccer practice or hanging out at the mall, you'll
be mighty glad you spent virtually no time on it.

Besides, the simpler the food, the less of a chance that extra carbs
have snuck in somewhere.

So embrace simplicity!  Simple meat dishes include:

* Roast Chicken, whole or in parts -- parts cook quicker.  This is
simplicity itself -- put the chicken in a roasting pan, or, if you
prefer, on a broiler rack, and stick it in the oven at 375 for an hour
to an hour and a half.  I don't bother to baste it or anything.  Heck,
when I was a kid, my mom didn't even bother to salt or pepper the
chicken before putting it in the oven!  Me, I usually sprinkle or brush
it with a little something before it goes into the oven, for
variety.  You could try:

Salt and pepper
Salt and pepper, plus a little paprika
Garlic salt or onion salt, plus pepper
"Soul" seasoning, available in a shaker in the spice aisle at the
grocery store
Lemon pepper
Mrs. Dash, or a similar herb seasoning
Dana's Chicken Seasoning (Just combine 3 tablespoons salt with one
teaspoon each of: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and curry
powder.  Also 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Combine and keep in a shaker.)
Bottled vinaigrette dressing
Bottled ranch dressing
Bottled russian dressing

* Grilled, broiled, or pan-broiled steaks.  I like to rub these with a
little garlic and olive oil, but it's hardly essential.  Bottled
vinaigrette is good on these, too.

* Grilled, broiled, or pan-fried pork chops.  I like these with the same
garlic and olive oil as I use on steaks.  Also great with the same soul
seasoning I use on the chicken.

* Grilled or broiled lamb chops.  These aren't cheap, but oh boy, do I
love them!  And they sure fit into the "simple" category.  If anything,
garlic and olive oil is even better on lamb chops than on pork chops.  

* Grilled, broiled or pan-broiled hamburgers. To vary these, you can

Various kinds of cheese -- everybody's had American cheese on a burger;
have you tried Swiss or Bleu?
Jarred pizza sauce -- Ragu makes one with no corn syrup added -- and
Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack and salsa
Sautéed mushrooms, onions, or both

* Hot dogs and sauerkraut.  I can't recommend this as a frequent dinner,
since hot dogs are full of interesting chemicals, nitrates in
particular. (Taking a vitamin C tablet with nitrate containing foods
reduces their danger.)  Still, kids like 'em, and they're lightening
fast.  Add kraut, and there's your vegetable!  Read the labels on hot
dogs, they vary *tremendously* in carb content.  I've seen hot dogs with
1 gram of carbohydrate apiece, and I've seen hot dogs with *6 grams* of
carbohydrate apiece.  That's a 600% difference!  Regarding kraut:  By a
remarkable coincidence, I just now opened an envelope sent by Jane Du
Quette, a reader, which had a couple of interesting nutrition articles,
including one about sauerkraut.  Seems that the pickled cabbage is being
investigated for possible anti-cancer properties.  Very cool.  

* Roasts -- remember these?  Mom used to serve a roast for Sunday dinner
every week; just a *big* darn hunk of beef, lamb, pork, or ham that had
sat in the oven for several hours.  There's time involved, sure, but
almost *no* work; put in a pan with a rack in the bottom, stick it in
the oven with a meat thermometer stuck in it, and set the timer.  That's
it.  You can find the minutes-per-pound in any big, general cookbook;
_The Joy of Cooking_ is the standard. (
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0452279232/lowcarbohysoluti ) 
You won't do roasts on working days, but on the weekends, when you're
around a bit more, they're a very
simple way to cook a *LOT* of meat.  And the leftovers are great for
snacks and lunches!

* Roasted unstuffed turkey.  If it's not Thanksgiving, you're not
required to stuff the turkey.  Just think of it as pounds of protein
that you could have paid *far* more for if you'd bought it as turkey
breast cutlets or deli meat.  Sprinkle it with any of the seasonings
listed for chicken.  Once again, put it on a rack in a roasting pan,
stick in the oven, and do something else for several hours.  Boy, that
was easy!  Again, the leftovers are good lunch and snack material.  And
turkey is cheap!  Currently 69c a pound at my grocery store.

* Sautéed fish fillets.  These are fast, too!  Did you know you can
sauté fish without any breading?  It's true!  Just sauté it in butter,
over a low flame, and then squeeze a little lemon over it.  (I promise
not to tell if you use bottled lemon juice!)  If you want to fool the
family into thinking it's fancy, snip a little fresh parsley over it,
but it's certainly not necessary.

* Sautéed shrimp.  Five or six minutes in butter, olive oil, or both, in
a skillet, and these are done.  Add garlic or lemon if you like. You can
grill shrimp instead, if you like.  Toss them with a little oil first,
to prevent dryness.

* Boiled Shrimp.  Even easier than sautéed!  Bring water to a boil --
enough to cover the number of shrimp you plan to cook.  Drop in the
shrimp, turn off the burner, put a lid on it, and let it sit for five
minutes.  Drain, and run under cold water to stop the cooking.  That's
it.  Cocktail sauce is high carb, but you may enjoy these with lemon
butter, garlic butter, or mustard/mayo -- buy Dijonnaise, and you won't
even have to mix up the mustard/mayo!

* Scallops.  Any of the above methods for cooking shrimp will work for
scallops, too.

* Crab legs.  You boil crab legs the same way you boil shrimp, pretty
much, except that if they're large, you may want to leave them an extra
couple of minutes.  If you buy "crab boil mixture" when you buy the crab
legs, you'll have it on hand.  It's a little net bag of spices that are
good with crab; you just drop it into the water along with the crab
legs.  Couldn't be simpler.

How about simple vegetables?

* Frozen broccoli, green beans, spinach, cauliflower, brussels sprouts,
zucchini, and greens should all be available in the frozen food
department of any big grocery store.  The simplest way to cook these is
in the microwave -- put them in a microwaveable bowl, cover with a
plate, bottom side down, and nuke for the length of time given on the
package.  Most vegetables don't even need any added water, although it
helps with spinach.  It helps to stir your vegetables once, halfway
through the cooking time.  Drain -- even though you haven't added any
water, some will have gathered in the bottom of the bowl, and serve.  

* The simplest things to put on vegetables are butter and salt.  

* Lemon juice is easy, too, and personally I love it on broccoli.  

* Slightly less simple, but far from complex, is to melt a few
tablespoons of butter and season it to taste with prepared mustard and
lemon juice. 

* Melted cheese is very nice on broccoli and cauliflower -- American
cheese may not be a gourmet delight, but it melts nicely over the
veggies, and the kids like it.  Just drain your broccoli or cauliflower,
leave it in the bowl, put a couple of slices of cheese over the top, and
re-cover the bowl.  The residual heat will melt the cheese in a few
minutes time.

* Even easier than microwaved frozen vegetables are cut up raw
vegetables and dip.  Furthermore, my sister Kim, aka The World's Best
Second Grade Teacher, assures me that children will eat almost anything
if you serve it to them with ranch dressing to dip it in.  Green or red
peppers, celery, cucumbers, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets,
cherry tomatoes, zucchini strips, and for the kids, baby carrots, are
all great served this way.  Furthermore, you can get this on the table
while the meat finishes cooking.  This means that the family will be
satisfying their first, sharpest hunger on vegetables, and will probably
eat more of them than they would if the vegetables had to compete with
the main course.

* I'm not certain salad falls into the "really simple" category unless
you buy the bagged stuff.  Which you certainly may, if your budget
allows.  Of course, if you're trying to be really, really simple, you'll
probably used bottled dressing.  If you're buying bagged salad, don't
forget, too, about bagged coleslaw -- shredded cabbage.  Don't use
bottled cole slaw dressing, however; it's invariably high in sugar.  A
half a cup each of sour cream and mayonnaise, with a tablespoon or two
of vinegar, a teaspoon or two of prepared mustard, a smidge of salt, and
a little artificial sweetener -- maybe a half a packet of Sweet 'n' Low
or a teaspoon of Splenda -- is my favorite coleslaw dressing.

A note regarding salad and raw veggies:  My sister, the afore-mentioned
World's Best Second Grade Teacher, makes salad with her class every year
as part of a unit on botany.  The kids learn their plant parts, and then
make "Plant Part Salad" -- leaves (lettuce), stems (celery), flowers
(cauliflower), roots (carrots), fruit (tomatoes), seeds (sunflower
seeds.)  The children are always very excited about the Plant Parts
Salad, and Kim has been dismayed to realize that quite a lot of their
excitement comes from the fact that many of them rarely, if ever, get
salad, or any vegetables for that matter, at home.  Please, please, feed
your children salad and other vegetables!!  


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Addendum To Last Week's Article About Birth Control Pills

I've had several posts from women who have been having trouble losing
weight on their low carb diets, and who are on birth control pills. 
They wanted to know why the Pill interferes with low carb diets.

It's not so much that the Pill interferes with low carbohydrate diets in
particular, it's that estrogen, in general, is a problem where losing
weight is concerned.  Estrogen encourages the body to deposit fat and
retain water.  That's why we women add a layer of subcutaneous fat when
we hit puberty.  That's why we have a harder time losing weight than men
do.  And that's why ranchers and other folks who raise animals for meat
feed their animals synthetic estrogens -- the "hormones in meat" that
you've heard about -- because it makes the animals put on fat and retain
water, so they'll weigh more and bring a higher price.

For the record, estrogen replacement therapy can cause problems with
weight loss, too.  I'm not saying that no one should use hormone
replacement therapy; that's between you and your doctor.  Just be aware
of this factor, and take it into account. 

If this convinces you to change birth control methods, I'd recommend
doing some research, to make sure you're not jumping from the frying pan
into the fire.  Any hormone-based method is going to have side effects! 
Personally, I use a diaphragm, and have never had a problem with it. 
I'd recommend a discussion with your OB-GYN, or perhaps a trip to the
local Planned Parenthood clinic.  (I know Planned Parenthood is
controversial.  I really don't need to be deluged with email telling me
so!  Whatever you may think of the organization, they are an excellent
source of birth control information, birth control products, and basic
gynecological care, at very modest prices.)

Other drugs which, according to Dr. Atkins, can interfere with your diet
are antidepressants and antibiotics. I can also attest, after my car
wreck this spring, that muscle relaxants and pain killers don't help,

For those who are interested in the breast cancer/carbohydrate
intolerance link, here's a number of links to medical journal abstracts
on the subject.  Warning -- MUCH medical jargon!







See what I do for you?  I read all this stuff!! :-)


Low Carb Outfitters: The best gear for the low carb journey. Bread
mixes, tortillas, baking mixes, syrups & jams, snacks, shakes, and
MORE!  Orders over $100 ship free through 10/31/00!


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

Oh.  My.  God.

Do you know what Synergy Diet has sent me to try now?  Darrell Lea Dark
Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, that's what.  I am in sugar-free
chocolate heaven.  *Heaven*, I tell you!  These things are unbelievably
delicious, and you'd never guess from the taste that they were
sugar-free.  Unreal.  Simply unreal.

I've always adored chocolate covered coffee beans, but of course, I've
eaten them only very rarely since going low carb -- if I recall
correctly, there's something like a gram of carb apiece in the
sugar-sweetened variety, which makes them an indulgence I can't afford
very often.

The Darrell Lea chocolate, however, is very low carb; virtually the
*only* carbs in these would be whatever carb there is in a coffee bean,
which ain't much.  I don't have a solid carb count, since these are
brand new, and the labeling information isn't available quite yet. 
Still, they're going to be a luxury our diets can afford! 

The same cautions apply for these as do for all the other Darrell Lea
candies -- they're sweetened with polyols, also known as sugar alcohols,
which, while they don't push up blood sugar or cause an insulin release,
can knock a minority of people out of ketosis.  They can also cause
diarrhea if eaten in large quantity, so go easy.

Of course, the coffee beans have caffeine in them, too, so eating too
many may give you a buzz.  They'll definitely give you a flavor buzz! 
And I'm *sooo* glad to have sugar-free dark chocolate; I much prefer
dark chocolate to milk chocolate.

For me, this is the single best sugar-free confection I have ever tried,
hands-down.  They're not even listed on the Synergy Diet website yet, so
I'm not sure about the cost, but as far as I'm concerned, they're worth
whatever they're charging.

Get 'em at http://www.synergydiet.com .


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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