Lowcarbezine! 7 December 2000

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Hey, Gang --

We're deep into holiday territory now, so this week's issue is once
again mostly about A) dealing with holiday temptation, B) gift ideas for
the low carber, and C) low carb recipe ideas.  Hope you like it!

Read on!



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Put It In A High Place!

When my sister was a very little girl, sometimes our mother would tell
her, as mothers do, not to touch the candy or cake or whatever.  Kim was
a good girl, but sometimes would find herself tempted by the forbidden
fruit.  She would go to Mom and say, "Put it in a high place."  She knew
that if the temptation was where she could neither reach it nor see it,
she'd have a far easier time ignoring it.

"Put it in a high place" entered our family phrase book and has had a
place there ever since, and a useful phrase -- and concept -- it is.  I
use it often -- if I'm eating something that does have a few carbs, and
I'm in danger of going way over my limit, I'll hand the container to my
husband and say, "Put it in a high place!", and he'll put it where I
can't reach it or see it.  Of course, I could go get a step stool and
get it down, I'm a grownup now (and how, exactly, did *that* happen?),
but most generally I'm absorbed in whatever I'm doing, and I don't

I recommend this strategy to you, especially at this time of year, when
you're more likely than ever to have stuff in the house that you
shouldn't be eating, or to have stuff in the house -- like, say, low
carb candies -- that you should eat only in moderation.  If you put the
dish by you, resistance is futile.  If it's across the room, or across
the house, or in the back of a top cabinet somewhere, your chances
increase exponentially.  
Use this strategy at parties, too -- don't sit on the living room sofa
next to the candy dish, stand by the dining room table with the hot
wings and the relish tray.  If the dining room table has both low carb
and carb-y stuff on it, take a little plate full of low carb treats, and
find a seat where the only food you can reach is what's on your plate. 
You'll fill up on what's at hand, and be less likely to scarf down the
candy when you do get near it.  

If you've purchase or made carb-laden edibles as presents for others
(Are you sure you want to give that stuff to people you like?), stash
them out of sight.  Better yet, have somebody else stash them out of
sight, and not tell you where the stuff is until you're ready to give
it.  You could even wrap that box of candy or that fruitcake *now*,
before it gets put in a high place -- even if you run across it, are you
going to open a present that you've already wrapped to raid the

None of this will stop you if you're really determined to eat a lot of
junk.  If, however, you're simply looking for a little boost to the ol'
willpower, think "out of sight, out of mind" -- and put it in a high


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!


More Gift Ideas For the Low Carber!

Last week I did a rundown of a *whole lot* of the low carb cookbooks on
the market, and some other books the low carb dieter might be happy to
find under the tree.  Here are some more ideas:

For the person interested in alternative approaches to health in
general, I *highly* recommend the book _The Healing Power of Herbs_, by
Michael T. Murray, N.D.  This is a far, far cry from those herb books
that are full of stuff like, "This herb is influenced by the planet
Venus, and has traditionally been used for..."  _The Healing Power of
Herbs_ is easily the best herb book I've ever seen.  Not only is it well
laid out and easy to use, but it is chock full of useful *scientific*
information about various medicinal herbs.  It tells you what clinical
studies have been done, and what their outcomes have been.  It includes
piles of medical journal references. It tells you the relative risks,
the dosages needed, everything.  For the person who wants to use herbal
medicine in a safe and rational way, this is *the* book.

The Healing Power of Herbs:

For the low carber who'd like to read a whole different "take" on low
carbohydrate dieting, _Neanderthin_ by Ray Audette is a fascinating
introduction to the subject of paleolithic dieting.  Unlike most low
carbohydrate diet authors, Audette is less interested in exact
carbohydrate counts, and more interested in whether or not a given food
was part of the diet of our ancient ancestors. A paleo diet is a bit
different from your standard low carb diet; it's stricter in some ways
(no dairy) and more lenient in other (more fruit).  Paleodieting seems
to be very successful for breaking plateaus, among other things, and
Audette claims great success with eliminating his own rheumatoid
arthritis and diabetes, as well. This is one of the most interesting
theoretical looks at food I've ever read.


For the dieter who is interested in understanding the health aspects of
low carbohydrate dieting, or who wants some "ammo" for talking to a
skeptical doctor, I recommend _Life Without Bread_, by Wolfgang Lutz,
MD.  Dr. Lutz has been treating patients with a low carbohydrate diet
for more than 40 years, and has assembled a body of information that is
extremely useful -- not to mention interesting. (But then, I would think
it's interesting, wouldn't I?  I'm such a wonk.)

Life Without Bread:

A cookbook I missed last week will interest those of you who are trying
to avoid artificial sweeteners --  _Low Carb Cooking With Stevia: The
Naturally Sweet and Calorie Free Herb_.  I've found stevia a bit
problematic to cook with in the past, so I've ordered this book myself,
although I haven't had a chance to make any of the recipes yet.  My one
reservation about this book is that many of the recipes use a lot of
soy, about which I'm pretty nervous.  However, of the three stevia
cookbooks I've seen, this is the only one that is also low carb -- ie,
doesn't use a lot of flour, fruit, or other high carb ingredients.  If
you're trying to low carb without artificial ingredients, this book is
for you.

Low Carb Cooking With Stevia:

Whenever I've written about the link between diet and mental health,
I've gotten a big response.  Interestingly enough, the very first
nutrition book I ever read was about the link between nutrition and
health, and this is it -- _Psychodietetics_, by Cheraskin and
Ringsdorf.  Not a new book, but a classic in the field.  This is where I
first got the clue that sugar was a large part of what was making me


How about exercise videos?  I really like exercise videos.  I find them
a *big* help in getting a great workout at home.  Here are some of my

Have you heard of Callanetics?  This is a really different sort of
exercise tape -- no bouncing around, no sweating.  Don't, however, make
the mistake of thinking that that means it's a piece of (low carb)
cake!  These are stretching and strengthening exercises that are the
most effective system I know for changing posture, something which has a
*huge* effect on how good you look.  Callan Pinckney is very good at
explaining all the positions, and the little details of form, along with
the variations needed to adapt her exercises for various physical
problems.  Good stuff.


I also really like the AM/PM Callanetics tape, because it's easy to fit
into a busy schedule -- two 20 minutes segments, instead of an hour-long

AM/PM Callanetics:

Long time readers know that I'm a *big* fan of breathing exercises; I do
them virtually every day, and I think they do very good things for my
metabolism.  The Oxycise! tapes teach a great system of breathing
exercises that only take fifteen minutes to complete! You'll want to
start with level one, of course. 

Oxycise! Level One:

I was going to recommend  my favorite of the aerobic weight training
videos by The Firm, but sadly they seem to have discontinued it.  Revlon
keeps discontinuing my favorite hair dye, too; what's a girl to do? 
However, all the tapes I've tried from The Firm have been well designed
and effective -- it's the combination of aerobics with weight training
that does it.  (It's also good to note that by using lighter or heavier
weights you can adjust the difficulty of this workout.)  For an
intermediate level of difficulty, you might try 

The Firm -- Total Body: Low Impact Aerobics:

What else to give the low carb dieter on your list? 

* How about a package of low carbohydrate goodies?  Heaven knows there's
enough of them on the market.  You could give a variety of Darrell Lea
candies (YUM!).  

* You could give a microperforated pizza pan and a low carb pizza kit or
two (or three or four!) The Lowcarbolicious Pizza Kit is available from
Carb Smart http://www.webbalah.net/carbsmart.html or Synergy Diet:
http://www.synergydiet.com .  Low Carb Grocery has their own low carb
pizza kit, and the price is quite reasonable, too:
http://www.lowcarbgrocery.com .

* How about a low carb party in a box?  Order some Baja Bob's Margarita
Mix or Strawberry Daquiri Mix, buy a couple of cans of mixed nuts and
some protein chips, and throw in a bottle of tequila or rum.  Party
time!  Get the Baja Bob's mixes at Carb Smart:
http://www.webbalah.net/carbsmart.html or at Synergy Diet:
http://www.synergydiet.com .

* If you've found a local source for Swiss Miss Diet Cocoa, you could
give a couple of boxes of cocoa mix, and a package of low carb chocolate
chip cookie mix from Low Carb Outfitters:
http://www.lowcarboutfitters.com .  Or you could give them a container
of homemade low carb cookies from the recipes published last week, or
one of the low carb treats in _Baking Low Carb_ by Diana Lee. 

* Bet they'd love a gift certificate to the best steak house in town! 
Or a great seafood restaurant, good for lobster for two!

* Two little words:  NEW CLOTHES!!!

* Know and love a fellow low carber who has lost weight, but is simply
never going to be rail thin?  (Gee, I know someone like that...)  Or
does this describe *you*?  The best Christmas gift I can think of is a
subscription to Mode magazine.  If you haven't seen this magazine yet,
look for it at your grocery store or newsstand -- it's a slick, glossy,
high fashion magazine for women size 12 and up.  And it is *wonderful*. 
There is *nothing* like looking at beautiful, not-skinny women looking
great in fabulous clothes to make you realize that "beautiful and
healthy" is *NOT* synonymous with "size 2".  What a joy!

Then, of course, there are all those gift possibilities that have
nothing whatsoever to do with low carb dieting, health, or weight loss. 
But why would I cover them here?  You already know about that stuff. :-)


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
you 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 $9.99! 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!


Product Review/Recipe Combo Kinda Thing

Okay, I don't know whether this is really a product review, or a
quasi-recipe, but I thought I'd tell you about it.  I was trying to use
up some leftover turkey -- no, not left over from Thanksgiving, we went
away for Thanksgiving; I roasted a turkey last weekend -- and hit on a
neat idea:  Low Carb Turkey Pot Pie!

Owing to my status as the writer/publisher of this newsletter, nice
folks send me low carb products to try.  Indeed, that's the biggest perk
of my business -- free food!  I had on hand two products from Low Carb
Grocery -- Aunt Pearl's Low Carb Bake Mix (think a low carb version of
Bisquick), and High Protein Cream Soup n Sauce Mix in Cream of Mushroom
flavor.  So here's what I did:

I diced up a couple of cups of leftover turkey.  I thought a bit about
vegetables, since in the past I put things like peas and carrots in my
pot pies.  I decided to add a half a diced onion, a cup of frozen,
cross-cut green beans, and a can of mushrooms, drained.  Then I mixed
together two packets of the cream of mushroom soup mix and a cup of half
and half, and added it to the filling.  It didn't seem like quite
enough, so I added another quarter cup of half and half.  All of this
was in a saucepan, and I heated it through, and simmered it until the
vegetables were about halfway cooked.

Then I mixed up a packet of the Aunt Pearl's Bake mix, adding water, an
egg, a little salt, and a couple of tablespoons of melted butter.  I
made a soft dough, the kind used for "drop" biscuits, rather than the
rolled kind.

I took the hot filling, and dropped the biscuit dough by the spoonful
over the filling.  I baked it at 375 until the biscuit topping was
golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.

This was a successful dish; my husband especially liked it; he was
sniffing the air hungrily while it baked!.  However, I would probably
make a few changes next time -- I'd use a bigger dish, and make more
filling; I felt like the ratio of biscuit crust to filling was a bit too
high.  I would also, next time, use another packet of the soup mix and
another half cup of half and half; I'd forgotten how a biscuit crust can
soak up the gravy from a pie!

Still, the pot pie was very tasty and filling, and a nice change from
"naked meat".  I was very pleased with the flavor and the texture of the
Aunt Pearl's Bake Mix biscuits; they get a high rating!  And it's
certainly nice to have a low carb alternative to canned mushroom soup to
use in casseroles and such; the flavor of the Cream Soup n Sauce Mix is
very much like the kind you remember.  I've tried it as a sauce mixed
just with water, however, and the texture is a bit off.  Mixed with half
and half -- heavy cream and water would work, too -- the texture is much
better.  I'll be using this stuff again!

The only caution would be that such a pie does contain more carbs than
plain old meat; this would be a dish to add variety to your diet (and
use up leftovers!), rather than a staple.  When I standardize the
recipe, I'll work out a carb count.

You can get both Aunt Pearl's Low Carb Bake Mix and the Cream Soup n
Sauce Mix (also available in several other flavors) at Low Carb
Grocery.  http://www.lowcarbgrocery.com  

Check it out!


Low Carb Outfitters: The best gear for the low carb journey.
carb products!
Orders over $100 ship free through New Years!


Dana Pleads Ignorance!

I'm afraid that when it comes to winter holiday food traditions, I'm
hopelessly culture-bound.  I don't know a single Hannukah recipe or
Kwanzaa recipe!  However, I can web-search with the best of 'em, and I
can scan a recipe to judge it's low carb diet potential.  So here, for
those of you who are celebrating Hannukah or Kwanzaa -- or even Hannukah
*and* Kwanzaa! -- are some links to recipe websites, with commentary on
which recipes will work for our way of eating.

This is the Sankofa Kwanzaa site, and there are two  recipes here that
will work for us -- African Green Pepper and Spinach, and African
Tomato-Avocado-Buttermilk Soup.  Both of these sound wonderful to me!

At the Black Voices site you'll find two entrees that will work for low
carb dieters -- Shrimp Imojo and Chicken Stew with Okra and Peanuts

This is a recipe for Chicken Yassa, which tempts me greatly!

If you serve this Seafood Gumbo without the rice, you should be fine. 
It'll be a little high, with all that onion and all those tomatoes, but
it *is* a holiday, after all!

This recipe for Mixed Greens is as low carb as can be.

Also, I think that a low carb sweet potato pie could be made, using my
Thanksgiving recipe for Pumpkin Pie as a guideline, and substituting
sweet potatoes for the pumpkin.  It'll be a bit higher carb, but
certainly not as high carb as your traditional recipe.  I may try, too,
to come up with a sugar-free benne wafer; I like sesame seeds al ot, and
they're certainly good for you.

For those who celebrate Hannukah, here are some links to low carb
recipes for you!

I thought it was impossible to cut the carbs in latkes, but here's a
recipe for how to make latkes from sunchokes, aka Jerusalem artichokes! 
The recipe does call for three tablespoons flour, but three tablespoons
of soy powder should work just fine.  These won't be dirt-low in carbs,
but they'll be a  lot lower than latkes made from potatoes.

Here are two recipes for cauliflower latkes.  They call for crumbs; you
could use the Better Bakery crumbs from Synergy Diet.

Here's a recipes for ricotta latkes!  Sounds like a yummy brunch dish to
me.  I might use soy powder here, in place of crumbs or flour, and of
course Splenda in place of sugar.

Actually, let me just give you the URL for this entire archive, there's
a lot

Here you'll find two recipes that aren't quite low carb, but should
adapt pretty easily.  One is for Roast Leg of Lamb with Herb Crust
(YUM!!); it calls for a half cup of bread crumbs.  You might substitute
the Better Bakery crumbs from Synergy Diet -- I checked; no dairy
products are listed on the label. http://www.synergydiet.com .  Even if
you used regular bread crumbs, this recipe serves 8, which means that
each serving would have only a tablespoon of crumbs; not great, but not
too bad.  This website also has a recipe for Turkey Pot Roast.  It
includes potatoes and carrots, but you could just leave those to the
others and enjoy your turkey without the root vegetables.  Or you could
include, say, a white turnip for you -- white turnips make a good
substitute for potatoes, I think.

This site has recipes for both Asparagus with Horseradish and Broccoli
with Horseradish, either of which would be great for us.  (I love

Here's a recipe for Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Salad.  It calls for
pita bread, but you could eat it without; eggplant and peppers are both
quite low carb.

How about some Italian Hannukah dishes?  This is a link to a recipe for
Roasted Veal Brisket with Marsala Mushroom Sauce.  

And for an Italian change from the traditional Chopped Liver -- which,
by the way, should be fine for low carbers -- here's a recipe for
Chicken Liver and Red Pepper Spiedini.  I don't know what "Spiedini"
means, but the recipe sounds great.  It does say to serve on toast, but
how about serving it on fiber crackers for you?

That should get you started!  

In doing these web searches and going over these recipes, I realized
that Hannukah and Kwanzaa have two pitfalls in common for the low carb
dieter:  Both have food traditions deeply rooted (bad pun) in winter
vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams -- Kwanzaa recipes are
also heavy on the legumes -- and both last for 8 days.  I mean, those of
us who celebrate Christmas only have one day where we really have an
excuse for an Indulgence Day -- folks who celebrate either Hannukah or
Kwanzaa have to deal with 8 days of high carb tradition!  My best
suggestion to you is to pick either *ONE* day of the celebration to be
your Indulgence Day, when you eat whatever you like without guilt
(though, of course, not without a quick water-weight gain!), or,
alternatively, you decide that there are, say, three special dishes that
you're going to indulge in over the eight days of your celebration, and
eat them each once.  But if you decide to Indulge for eight straight
days, you're going to be shopping the post-holiday sales for bigger


Dana W. Carpender

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