Lowcarbezine! 15 November 2000

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Hey, Gang!

Guess what today is?  It's Lowcarbezine's one year anniversary!  One
year ago today, the first issue went out to 200 people who had bought my
book through my website.  As of today, I have 6,597 subscribers -- and
the list grows by the day!

It's been an exciting year, and one that has taught me a lot, about
nutrition, about myself, and about the concerns of all of you.  This
Thanksgiving Issue, I'm thankful that I had the thought to start this
newsletter, I'm thankful for the technology that has brought us
together, and I'm thankful for the very real sense of friendship that I
get from all of you, every single day.

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 6,597; 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?)


Thankfully Indulgent!

Last week I gave you some tips on cutting the carbs in your Thanksgiving
Feast.  However, I knew as I wrote that article that for every one of
you who was planning a low carb Thanksgiving, there were at least two of
you who were planning to eat whatever the heck you wanted come a week
from Thursday.  This is just fine by me -- I call this an Indulgence.  I
much prefer the term "Indulgence" to the term "cheating"; to me "cheat"
implies that you're somehow going to get away with something, and of
course you never, ever do.  Your body *will* notice, recognize, and
process every single gram of carbohydrate you feed it on Thanksgiving
Day -- the point of an Indulgence is to just not give a rap for one
day.  But just
for that one day, mind you, or you *will* be sorry!

And that, of course, is the big risk:  Thanksgiving is just the
beginning of the whole "Holiday Season".  If you are going to allow 
yourself an Indulgence for Thanksgiving -- and for Christmas Day too, I
suspect -- it is very, very important to get it clear in your head that
an Indulgence lasts for no more than *one day*, and  in the case of
Thanksgiving, it should really last for just *one meal* -- Thanksgiving
Dinner.  If you let this breach of self-discipline become the beginning
of a month of a chocolate Santa here, a glass of eggnog there, a candy
cane at the dry cleaners, some cookies at the office cookie exchange,
because, "after all, it's the Holidays!", you're just making excuses,
plain and simple, and you'll be shopping the post-Christmas sales for
clothes in larger sizes!

So it's important, first of all, to get very clear in your mind that
this Thanksgiving Indulgence has a *time limit*.  It's not an Indulgence
for the whole Holiday Season.  It's not even an Indulgence for the whole
four day Thanksgiving Weekend.  Personally, I'd say that unless your
family has some cherished, high-carb Thanksgiving Breakfast tradition --
something I've never heard of, but I suppose could exist -- it's not
even an Indulgence for the whole of Thanksgiving Day.  It's an
Indulgence for the Thanksgiving Feast, which, if your family is like
mine, could easily last for a few hours anyway!

If you can get this into your head, and stick by it, you will have
licked three-quarters of the dangers inherent in this planned deviation
from your Way of Eating.  Here's some other ideas to help you get
through Thanksgiving with your waistline, dietary program, and health

* Assuming you know in advance what the menu for Thanksgiving will be,
give some thought to which of the carb foods you really love, and which
you've eaten in the past simply because they were there, and
traditional.  For example, I will be going to my mom's for Thanksgiving
this year, and I know her traditional menu like I know my face in the
mirror.  The carbohydrate foods at Thanksgiving Dinner will be:
stuffing, mashed potatoes, banana nut bread, oatmeal molasses bread,
gravy (flour-thickened), pumpkin pie, and apple pie.  There will also be
a couple of borderline vegetables -- onions, which will be prepared in a
cream sauce (flour-thickened), and rutabaga. 

 Now, I couldn't care less about creamed onions, or banana nut bread, so
why would I have even a bite?  Just because they're there isn't any good
reason to eat them!  I like mashed potatoes okay, so I'll have a small
serving.  However, I'm *crazy* about stuffing, so I'll have a full-sized
portion, and who knows, maybe seconds!  I love gravy -- and I'll be
making the gravy; that's been my job since I was, oh, 6 or so, and I am
the acknowledged Gravy Master Of All Existence.  Accordingly, I will be
having gravy on that stuffing, and on those mashed potatoes, and on my
turkey too! I'm crazy about rutabaga -- isn't that a strange thing to be
crazy about?  I'll have a big serving. I'm fairly fond of oatmeal
molasses bread, so I'll probably have half a slice.  Apple pie is one of
my favorites, so I'll have a full sized slice.

Do you see how this works?  I only eat the carbs that I actually really
like -- and I'll be eating smaller portions of the ones that I like
okay, and bigger portions of the ones I really adore.  *Never waste an
Indulgence on anything that won't make your mouth 100% happy!*

(Truth-in-Publishing Disclaimer:  This Thanksgiving, I will probably be
among those trying to minimize her carb load, rather than those happily
Indulging.  I'm still trying to shed the post-accident ten, and further,
I have this cruise coming up in January -- I can't afford an extra
ounce!  I'll eat a few extra carbs on Thanksgiving, but probably not a
lot.  But the above is how I've handled the holiday in the past.)

* Eat your usual high protein breakfast on Thanksgiving Day, rather than
starving yourself all day in preparation for Thanksgiving Dinner.  This
way you'll be hitting the table with a normal appetite, not an immense,
uncontrollable appetite!

* If you have control over the menu, include some favorite low carb
foods (other than turkey, which I assume virtually *all* of us will be
eating!) along with the carby ones.  For instance, I'll be having Green
Beans Almondine, a long-time fave!

* If Thanksgiving Dinner is at your house, give away as many of the
high-carb leftovers as you can -- "Here, Grandma, take a couple of
slices of pie with you!  Uncle Joe, wouldn't you like some stuffing and
a few candied sweet potatoes to take home?"  Get rid of the carby stuff
as quickly as you can!

* If, on the other hand, you're eating at someone else's house, and they
offer to pack up some leftover pie, ask for leftover turkey instead!

* Get up on Friday and eat your high protein breakfast *again* --
you're going to need good, stable blood sugar to get back in the diet
groove, and fight off any cravings that your Indulgence may have

* You may well be facing a house full of high-carb leftovers come Friday
-- and you may also have a houseful of family driving you quietly (or
not so quietly) bonkers, while eating carbs in front of you. This is a
dangerous combination.  Get out of
that house!!!  Brave the crowds and go Christmas shopping.  Put up the
Christmas lights.  Go for a walk.  Go to the gym.  Go to the movies --
take a bag of sunflower seeds along!  Go to a salon that takes walk-in
appointments and get yourself the works.  Whatever it takes.  FLEE!

* But maybe you can't flee.  Perhaps you have a houseful of small
children, or people who have come from hundreds of miles away just to
see you.  If you can't take them with you when you flee -- say,
everybody going to a movie -- you'd better lay in a pile of really tasty
low carb snacks, to get your mind off the leftover stuffing.  Good
cheese, jumbo pecans, artichoke-parmesan dip with fiber crackers, little
smokies, hot wings, whatever strikes your fancy.  This would be a really
good time
to spend some money on treating yourself!

* After the Indulging is over, step on the scale.  Up a couple of
pounds?  I always am!  This might be a very good time for a few days of
Atkins Induction-style eating -- very, very low carb.  Get those extra
pounds off *fast*, before they call up a few friends and invite them

* BE THANKFUL!!  There's nothing like a grateful heart, conscious of its
blessings, to keep you from feeling sorry for yourself and nibbling at
the pie.  Be thankful that you need to lose weight; millions go hungry. 
Be thankful that you have a roof over your head; millions aren't so
fortunate.  Be thankful that, here in the USA, we haven't known war on
our soil for almost 150 years -- even with the dreadful election mess
we're currently in, there's no threat of bloodshed.  Much of the world
not so peaceful.   Be thankful for the Internet, an unparalleled force
for world unity, unequaled source of a cheap education (okay, after the
Public Library), and more fun than just about anything else I know.  Be
grateful for friends and family -- if you are genuinely known and loved
by even one person whom you know and love in return, you are rich.   If
you are known and loved by more people than that, you are rich beyond

And know that I am thankful for each and every one of you!


Wintertime Low Carb Frustration!!!

Just about a year ago, right after this 'zine launched, I reviewed Swiss
Miss Diet Cocoa Mix, which was, hands-down, the lowest carb cocoa mix in
the grocery store -- 4 grams a serving, and mighty tasty, too.  Come
this winter, I can't find the stuff!  I can find Swiss Miss Sugar Free,
but it's more than twice the carb count of the diet style -- too many
for me to even bother with the stuff, and too many for me to be able to
recommend it.

So I asked customer service at my local Kroger whether the product had
been discontinued by the manufacturer, or if it was just a case of
Kroger no longer carrying it.  They hadn't a clue, but they told me that
Swiss Miss was made by Hunt-Wesson.  I called 800-information, but there
was no 800 number for Hunt-Wesson listed.

Being me, I went online.  I discovered that Hunt-Wesson has been
swallowed by ConAgra.  I called their food service division, since that
was the number I could find online.  They gave me the number for
consumer information.  I spent a good twenty minutes on hold to consumer

*Finally*, I reached a customer service rep who was very helpful.  This
is what I learned:  ConAgra is, indeed, still manufacturing Swiss Miss
Diet Cocoa Mix, but it's not one of their big sellers, which is why a
lot of stores aren't carrying it anymore.  She couldn't give me a list
of retail chains which carry the stuff, but she could search by zip
code, and tell me who carries the stuff regionally.  

Around here, the closest it's available is Indianapolis, darn it! 
That's a long way to drive for cocoa mix.  In Indy, it's carried by
K-Mart Superstores, Cub Foods, and Kroger.  In the San Diego area, it's
available at Von's, Albertson's, and Ralph's.  In Chicagoland, you
should be able to find it at Jewel-Osco, and at Dominick's.  In Florida,
Albertson's has it, and in the New York City area, it's at Food
Emporium, A&P, King's Supermarket, and Pathmark stores.  Keep in mind
that there may be some stores in an area carrying it, and some not
carrying it.

So that's the best information I have as to where you can buy Swiss Miss
Diet Cocoa mix.  If you're in an area I didn't list, and you find it
locally, let me know, and I'll pass it on to my other readers.  If you'd
to call ConAgra and give the nice lady *your* area code, so you can find
out where to buy it near you, their number is 877-528-0745.  While
you've got them on the phone, you might tell them that we're tired of
Healthy Choice dinners; could they make some low carb frozen dinners
instead, please?  (I actually did this!)

One other thing:  If enough people ask for Swiss Miss Diet Cocoa at your
local grocery store chain, they just might decide to carry it.  So ask!


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!

Call 1-800-529-2469 TODAY for current pricing!


Stupid Junk Food Ad Of The Week

"Is it possible to fit everything you love into one square inch?" (Sara
Lee Cheesecake Bites)

Well, no, unless you can figure out a way to *seriously* compress my
husband, my mother, my father, my sister, my brother, my brother in law,
my sister in law, my nephew, my not-yet-born niece, my cat, my dog, my
two ferrets, a fair number of friends, my readers, the works of Laura
Ingalls Wilder, Norah Lofts and Peg Bracken, a whole lot of movies, and
a goodly square footage of the National Parks System.

This ad pitch is dopey enough with its suggestion that "everything you
love" should be sugary processed junk food.  But at this family time of
year, it skates perilously close to the offensive.

I'd go so far as to say that if "everything you love" is anything that
will be seen on a television ad, you're in serious emotional trouble.


We Have *EVERYTHING* Low Carb, And It's All At a DISCOUNT!

Darrell Lea Chocolates, Atkins Bars, ProSlim Pasta, Baja Bob's Low Carb
Margarita and Strawberry Daquiri Mix, and Low Carb Bread Mixes to help
with that Thanksgiving stuffing!  You can also find Low Carb Cookbooks, 
Atkins Supplements, Ketosis strips, Protein Chips,  Low Carb Tortillas,
and much, much more!
EVERYTHING we sell is DISCOUNTED every day!
Get Dana Carpender's _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty
Pounds!_ for just $8.99! http://www.webbalah.net/carbsmart.html

If you're Low Carb and Smart, you'll shop CarbSmart!



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

Love this book!
I found this book when I had just about finished the Induction phase of
Atkins Low Carb Diet. I had
also read Protein Power. I was already sold on staying Low Carb. I was
looking for a book that
 would break down the Low Carb philosophy in terms of "what's the
easiest way to make this a part
of my life". This book does a great job of explaining the different
approaches to Low Carb Eating,
eating out and holidays - in other words, "low carb life"! Now I know
what to buy in the grocery store, and how to put meals together (without
spending hours in the kitchen!.)

 A reader from New York, New York USA

Thanks, New Yorker! 

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.webbalah.net/carbsmart.html , 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!


Reader Product Review

I got this post from reader Pat Arata, regarding a terrific, inexpensive
seasoning she's found:

Dana --

I want to pass on my suggestion for an inexpensive but tasty seasoning.
It's the Cajun seasoning from, of all places, Big Lots.  It sells for
only 49 cents. 

Recently I hosted a Pampered Chef party in my home and along with the hi
carb casserole that my saleslady brought along, I offered a Caesar
salad. Because I know that people have different tastes in dressing, I
the refrigerated Marie's Caesar dressing and the Ranch so my guests
have a choice.  Those both, by the way, are very good and neither have
sharp bitter taste that bottled dressings have.

But, I had stir fried the boneless chicken breasts in the Cajun
seasoning, cooled it, and added it to the romaine lettuce that I had
dried, but without the "Dana flourish" of swinging it around in a towel.

My guests raved about the salad.  But the funny thing was that most of
them thought that I had mixed the dressing into the salad and so didn't
add dressing.  It was because the chicken pieces were so flavorful.

My daughter, who is getting married in 2 weeks, watches the fat content
in her food and according to her, the low carb diet just isn't for her. 
But her dilemma was trying to eat salads for lunch and not liking the
of the low fat dressings.  Duh !  So I convinced her to stir fry the
chicken ahead  of time so she had a "reserve" and use the good
dressing.  My
reasoning?  Instead of choking down the salad spoiled by bad dressings,
add the seasoned chicken and use the higher fat dressing, but less of
And that worked for her.  

The seasoning is great on shrimp too and a shrimp Caesar salad is to die
for.  And only 49 cents a bottle.  It's not full of salt so you don't
have to be afraid of almost coating the chicken or the shrimp.  If you
don't have Big Lots down in Bloomington, just give me a yell.  I'll send
down to you pronto for you to sample.

You're my hero ! Thanks for the weekly boost!

Pat Arata

Well!  We do indeed have Big Lots in Bloomington -- for those who don't
know this chain, they have huge stores full of close out merchandise at
cheap prices -- and it was time to make my first holiday shopping foray
anyway.  So I went to Big Lots, where I indeed found Cajun Seasoning for 

And Pat is absolutely right.  Delicious.  Great not only on chicken and
shrimp, but pork as well -- I've tried it on pork chops, and also on a
pork roast I cooked this weekend.  Also was very nice on some bleu
cheese burgers!  Further, this seasoning is not only cheap and
exceedingly tasty, it also has *no* sugar listed on the label, which is
more than I can say for a lot of the seasoning blends out there.

So if you live in Big Lots territory, go get some!  If you don't, you
might try some other brands of Cajun Seasoning, and tell us all if you
hit a winner.

Thanks, Pat!


Dana W. Carpender

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