Lowcarbezine! 13 December 2000

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Hey, Gang --

I'm snowed in!  Thank goodness this newsletter is delivered
electronically, or heaven only knows when you'd get it!

Still doing the holiday thing, here -- party food suggestions, gifts,
you know the drill.  We'll get back to the more scientific stuff when I
get back from the cruise, okay?

Read on!



All contents copyright 2000 by Hold the Toast Press.  All commercial
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Dana Learns Her Lesson (Again), and Passes It On To You

The things I do for you guys!  Here I am, trying (still) to shed the ten
pounds I gained after my car wreck in June, and I'm stuck smack in the
middle of developing recipes for cookies, hors d'oeurves, appetizers,
and other holiday goodies.  Guess what?  It's possible to gain weight on
low carb food if you eat way too much of it!  

We discussed the significance of calories in a low carb diet a few
months back, and I stated then that while most people could lose weight
eating *more* calories on a low carb diet, that did *not* mean that one
could eat *unlimited* calories on a low carb diet and still lose
weight.  And if you go *way* overboard on the low carb goodies, you can
even gain a pound or two back.  I re-learned this the hard way this
weekend, when I continued to eat three full meals a day, while also
*heavily* sampling my new shortbread recipe, my rumaki recipe, and some
things I was trying with nuts -- I hit Monday morning up a couple of

I did a modified version of Atkins' Fat Fast on Monday-- my total food
intake was 10 small pieces of my own hazelnut shortbread, and two
scrambled eggs for dinner -- and the extra weight was gone as of Tuesday
morning, so the damage was very short-term.  But I thought it was
important to warn you that while eating low carb, high protein cookies,
and other low carb nibbles will do you far less harm than chowing down
on all the junk food available in this season, it can still be a
pitfall.  Doesn't seem quite fair, I know, but them's the breaks.

It seems to me that the best remedy for this situation is to let our low
carb snacks take the place, temporarily, of some of our regular foods
that we usually eat at meals.  After all, our snack foods are nutritious
and filling.   If you're going to have a half a dozen high protein
cookies at break, do you really *need* lunch on top of that?  Keep in
mind that this isn't like skipping lunch to eat Oreos; all the cookie
recipes I've published in this newsletter are good sources of protein,
and of course have no sugar.

For that matter, if you're going to a party where you're going to be
eating, say, hot wings, and nuts, and vegetables with dip, and a few
cheese cubes, do you really need dinner beforehand or afterward?  A
dozen hot wings, some raw vegetables, cheese,  and a handful of nuts
makes a pretty good dinner in its own right.

Of course, this means that you need to be *certain* that there are going
to be low carb snacks you can eat!  If you skip dinner before the party,
only to discover that the nuts are all honey coated, the wings are in
sugary barbecue sauce (instead of Buffalo sauce or "hot wing" sauce,
which is low carb), and the rest of the food consists of piles of
chips,  you're going to be hitting all that junk food *HUNGRY*, and you
could be in worse trouble than you thought!  You might ask the host or
hostess what will be served, or you could simply say, "Gee, can I bring
something?", then bring something low carb that *you* love.   Or, if
this seems out of place at that particular party, and the menu isn't low
carb friendly, you *should* eat before going, and then just nibble on an
olive or two while making bright conversation.

However, the main point I wanted to make here is that it is possible,
especially at this time of year, to over-eat, even on low carb foods. 
Remember that low carb foods are filling *because* they're high in
protein and fat, and that this means that you don't really *need* to eat
vast piles of them to satisfy your hunger!


Holiday Snacks For The Cooking-Challenged

Having a party?  Going to a party?  Want to have low carb snack foods
available, but *hate* to cook, or just plain don't have time?  Here are
some ideas for low carb party foods you can purchase:

* Mixed Nuts
* Smokehouse Almonds
* Cooked, shelled shrimp -- watch out for cocktail sauce, try Dijonnaise
* Hot wings, aka Buffalo Wings -- remember the bleu cheese dressing!
* Relish tray from the grocery store deli
* Cold cut tray from the grocery store deli
* Cheese tray from the grocery store deli
* Olives -- if you've only ever tried your basic green, ripe, and
stuffed, try some of the *wonderful* gourmet varieties out there! 
Kalamatas, Greek Cracked, etc.
* Boursin Cheese (a fluffy cream cheese with garlic and herbs) with
fiber crackers
* A cheese ball, ditto on the fiber crackers
* Nut and seed mixes from the health food store -- my local health food
store, for instance, has a wonderful mix with pumpkin seeds, sunflower
seeds, peanuts, cashews, and almonds, seasoned with soy sauce.
* Smoked salmon
* Strawberries
* Melon balls (try the freezer case or the salad bar)
* Pate or chopped liver -- again, have yours with fiber crackers.
* Clams or oysters on the half-shell

Do make use of the deli at your local big grocery store!  I have here a
brochure from my local Kroger, and it's simply *full* of trays that
would be *fantastic* for us -- one called "All Meat Splendor", with ham,
roast beef, corned beef, and turkey breast; "Connoisseur's Choice", with
ham, roast beef, corned beef, turkey breast, plus American, Swiss, and
Muenster cheeses; "Shrimp Supreme" ('nuff said!), "The Sampler" with
cubes of ham, salami, summer sausage, bologna, "dutch loaf" (whatever
that is!), pepperoni, Muenster, Salami Cheese, Colby, American, and
pepper cheese; "Drumette", available in both fried (a no-no because of
the breading) and "hot", which should be fine for us; "Fruit and Cheese
Spectacular, which has cheeses and strawberries for us, along with
grapes and pineapple for the carb-eaters in the crowd; "Party Relish"
with celery, green and red peppers, cucumber slices, broccoli, cherry
tomatoes, pickles (ask for dill, not sweet!) and olives, along with dip;
the list is nearly endless, and making me hungry!!  Surely your local
grocery store could do as well.

So there you go -- a low carb party, no cooking required!


A Quick Note

To those who print out this newsletter every week.  No, I don't have the
foggiest notion of how to make the lines run all the way across the
paper, instead of only half-way!  I actually type it out with the lines
all the way across my screen, and my email program puts it in the
narrower format.

Sorry. :-(


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



Yet More Gift Ideas For the Low Carber!

How about gifts to help you cook low carb?  I'm the Queen of the Kitchen
Gadgets, and I have several that are particularly helpful for cooking
*meat*, that low carb staple.  Any of these would be a useful gift for
the low carber.

First of all, there is George Foreman's Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling
Machine, also known just as the George Foreman Grill.  I received one of
these for Christmas last year, and I like it fine.  I rarely use
anything else for burgers anymore, and I also like it for cooking
sausage patties.  It's okay for chops and steaks, too, although I prefer
my stove top grill -- more about this later -- for these.  The best
things about the George Foreman Grill are that A) it cooks things from
both sides at the same time, so it's *fast* and B) it doesn't need any
watching, nor do things need to be turned.  This adds up to convenience.

The grill is, however, a bit harder to clean than it appears on
television; mine has needed scrubbing more than once, and even though I
used a nylon pad, much of the non-stick surface is gone.  Still works
fine, and I'm not unhappy with it, just thought you should know.  If
your recipient is someone who isn't interested in anything that can't go
in the dishwasher, this may not be for him or her.

The only other problem I've had with this product is that it's a bit
hard to make cheeseburgers -- I have to prop the lid with a mug or a
vitamin bottle, so that it's over, but not on, the cheese.  Still, the
Foreman Grill is a pretty cool device.

Now, about that stove-top grill.  I found one of these, brand new, still
in its box, at a yard sale this fall -- I paid $2.  I like this thing a
lot!  It consists of two parts -- a bottom ring that you place over a
burner and fill with water or another liquid (wine might be nice, or
broth, or even something like cider vinegar, depending on what you were
grilling), and a non-stick grilling plate, slightly domed, that fits
over the ring, and on which you do your actual grilling.  I think the
stove top grill browns things better than the George Foreman grill -- I
did the rumaki (recipe in the Cooking Low Carb! section, below) on this,
and they came out great.  Steaks cook well on this too -- well-seared on
the outside -- and so do chops.  And you can make cheeseburgers easily!  

This grill also has the singular advantage of fitting in the dishwasher
-- at least *mine* fits in *my* dishwasher.  On the other hand, you have
to turn things, and you do need to stick around while things are
cooking, which is not the case with the Foreman grill.  One other thing
-- this product is cheaper than the Foreman grill, since it's not
electric.  New, they tend to run around $20.  This website has a grill
similar to mine -- http://www.cyberbrands.com/pub/new3.html -- and I've
also seen them at department stores. 

If you've got plenty o' dough, and your intended recipient *LOVES* to
cook, you might consider an electric rotisserie.  I have the Popeil
Showtime Rotisserie.  (Ever wonder who those infomercials are aimed at? 
Apparently they're aimed at me.)  I'm pleased to report that the
Showtime Rotisserie performs as advertised -- it turns out excellent
rotisseried chickens, especially.  I've done a turkey in it, and that
was very good, too, although I think the estimate of "up to 15 pounds"
is a bit optimistic; I tried to do a 14.5 pound turkey in the rotisserie
a while back, and it was too big.  I've done a 13.5 pounder, though,
with no trouble.

Pork roast was very good done in the rotisserie, and ribs were pretty
good, although I think I could have cooked them longer.  I think either
of my grills -- the stove top grill or the Foreman grill -- is better
for steaks.  I haven't done shish kebabs yet, but I look forward to it!  

I've heard a lot of Ron Popeil jokes in my day, but I think the Showtime
Rotisserie is well-made, and pretty easy to use.  Further, it's designed
so that all of the pertinent parts can go in the dishwasher -- the drip
pan, the spit assembly, and the heat reflector that goes behind the
heating coils.  The inside walls of the rotisserie really don't get
dirty.  The front window needs a little Windex now and then, but that's
*it*, and it's designed to lie flat (and even slide under the
rotisserie, out of the way), which makes cleaning it easy.

The Showtime Rotisserie does, however, take up a fair amount of counter
space.  On the infomercial they show you how it's about the same size,
side to side, as a toaster oven.  That's true -- but it's considerably
bigger front to back.  If the person you're giving it to has a small
kitchen, you'll want to be pretty sure they'll use it a lot.

One very nice thing about the Showtime Rotisserie is that it serves much
of the function of a second oven -- you can cook your meat course, while
leaving the oven free for another dish -- say, Fran McCullough's Gratin
of Turnips.  For those of us who only have one oven, this is a real

I paid $160 for the Showtime Rotisserie, buying it off of TV.  They're
in stores all over the place; you may want to shop around for the best
price.  (On the other hand, you may be shorter on time than on money!)  

George Foreman now has a rotisserie on the market, too; I have no idea
how it compares to the Showtime Rotisserie -- except that both the
Showtime Rotisserie and the Foreman version rotate the food
*horizontally*.  There are a few rotisseries on the market where the
spit runs vertically.  This saves on counter space, but lets all the
juice run to the bottom of the food, rather than distributing it
throughout.  I'd go with a horizontal rotisserie.

As for me, I have one piece of cookware on my Christmas List this year,
and it's nothing so interesting or unusual as any of these -- after all,
I already have all of these!  I want a *HUGE*, heavy-bottomed skillet,
with a lid.  I find stove-top cooking in a skillet extremely convenient,
and in the summer (remember summer?) it keeps the house from heating up,
too.  But my largest skillet will hold just three pieces of chicken, or
three chops.  Enough for me and That Nice Boy I Married, but not enough
for when I have guests -- or if I just want to make extras to eat later,
or standardize a recipe for more than three people!

Enough with the cookware.  How about fitness equipment?  A few months
back I reviewed the Total Gym 2000, a piece of home exercise equipment
you may have seen on TV -- it's advertised by Chuck Norris and Christie
Brinkley.  I *love* my Total Gym, and leave it set up in my living room
most of the time, so I can jump on it for a few minutes whenever the
mood strikes.  

Now, the Total Gym 2000 costs a cool grand brand new, but there are two
more economical alternatives if you've got someone on your list who
wants to get in shape -- or is already in shape, but always looking for
that new exercise.  One is the Total Gym 1000, which is available at
places like Target and K-Mart -- it doesn't do everything the fancy TV
model does, but it does 80% or more, and it usually is priced under

The other possibility is a knock off, called the Ultra Glide.  I hadn't
heard of this until after I reviewed the Total Gym; one of my readers
wrote me and said she'd purchased this machine off of Home Shopping
Network, and that it did everything the Total Gym does.  (She also added
that she just *LOVED* her Ultra Glide!  I wish I still had her email, so
I could give her credit.)  I don't know if the UltraGlide does
everything the $1000 model Total Gym does, but it certainly looks like
it will do everything the inexpensive model does, and it's currently
listed at the Home Shopping Network site for just $139.  Here's the URL:

Another home exercise device I love, and have used semi-regularly for
years is my mini-trampoline, also known as a rebounder.  I find this to
be a *lot* of fun, and a great way to get a little exercise while
watching TV.  I always feel energized when I get off the thing!  It's
nice, too, because it's good for all levels of fitness; folks who are
terribly out of shape will get some benefit from just bouncing on it
very gently, without their feet leaving the mat, and they can hold
something to stabilize themselves.  If you're fit, you can, of course,
jog on one of these, or do jumping jacks, or the like -- I find it a lot
like dancing.  There's very little impact, but the shift in gravity
strengthens every cell in your body. 

 I bought my mini-tramp at a yard sale for $10, but it was a good model
to begin with, and if you're buying one new, I would recommend that you
not just buy the cheapest one you can find; it may well fall apart after
a few usings.  Here's a link where you can order a high-quality
mini-trampoline that folds up: http://www.bodytrends.com/rbd.htm -- they
say they can get it to you in time for Christmas if you order by the
18th.  This site -- http://www.rebound-aerobics.com/ -- sells the same
mini-trampoline, and also sells some videos of mini-tramp workouts, but
they say you must allow 10 days for shipping within the US.  For my
friends on the far side of the planet, here's a website for an
Australian company making health-club quality rebounders:

Oh, and if you'd like to read more about rebound exercise, here's an
article on the subject: http://www.mini-trampoline.com/prevention.htm 

Often food gifts are nice, especially if you don't know someone's size,
or aren't sure they really need another thing to store and take care
of.  But so often food gifts consist of fruit cake, or cookies, or
caramel corn.  Here are some ideas for food gifts that will light up a
low carber's face:

* Nuts -- deluxe mixed nuts, or a big box of macadamias, or whatever the
budget will bear.
* Smoked salmon, sealed airtight so no refrigeration is needed.
* Fine cheeses -- my husband gets Stilton in his stocking every year.
* Premium coffee or tea.
* Meat -- many companies will ship filet mignons, or smoked turkeys, or
the like, in a gift package.
* A dry wine -- a merlot, cabernet, shiraz, chardonnay, or the like.  If
you have a local winery, I think these local wines -- assuming they're
any good, of course! -- make especially nice presents.
* A gift certificate for a the best local steak house, or seafood

And finally, here are a few books and videos that have nothing to do
with low carb dieting, or even fitness, that I'm throwing into the list
just because I *like* them, and think you and/or your loved ones might
like them, too.

Virtually any woman on your gift-shopping list will love _Don't Go To
The Cosmetics Counter Without Me_, by Paula Begoun.  This book rates
30,000 skin care and make up products, letting you know what's worth the
money, and what's just high-priced trash.  For anyone who wants to spend
less to look more beautiful!

Also by Paula Begoun is a book that's on *my* Christmas list, _Don't Buy
Hair Care Products Without Me_ -- I'm so impressed by how her ratings of
skin care and makeup have improved my looks, while saving me money, that
I'm thinking I need this one, too!

If you have an aspiring know-it-all on your list, they *need*, I mean
*really, really need*, the Straight Dope.  Started as a syndicated
column, The Straight Dope's Cecil Adams answers all your most pressing
questions -- Why do pigeons bob their heads when they walk?  Why does
the shower curtain blow in instead of out when you turn on the water? 
What are the real lyrics to "Louie, Louie"?  Does anybody really like
Circus Peanuts? -- and does so in hilarious, sarcastic style. Now this
timeless wisdom has been gathered into four books -- almost too much
The Straight Dope:
More of the Straight Dope:
Return of the Straight Dope:
Triumph of the Straight Dope:

Just as educational, but more thoughtful, are _The Lives of a Cell_ and
_The Medusa and the Snail_, both by Lewis Thomas.  These are brilliant,
enjoyable essays about biology, with a strong philosphical bent, written
in clear, elegant prose. I've read these many times, and loved them
every time.  For anyone who is interested in science, and likes to feel
amazed by the world around them.
The Lives of a Cell:
The Medusa and the Snail:

Everybody who celebrates Christmas will enjoy a Christmas book or a
Christmas video.  Top of the list has to be _How The Grinch Stole
Christmas_, by Dr. Seuss.  Here's the book:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Deluxe Edition:
Or you could give the video of the brilliant, wonderful, hilarious,
Chuck Jones animation.  I bought this years ago, despite having no
children, because it's far and away my favorite Christmas show!  I
haven't seen the new movie yet, but I can't imagine how it could
possibly touch this version.  I never fail to get teary when the Whos
start singing at the end.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas VHS:

For anyone who loves sweeping, epic adventure movies, with great acting
and glorious scenery, *the* gift is The Man Who Would Be King, either on
video or DVD.  Made in 1975, and based on a Rudyard Kipling story, this
classic film stars Sean Connery and Michael Caine -- how can you lose? 
This movie has the honor of being the movie I saw in the theater more
times than any other.  
On VHS widescreen:

Enough!  That's all the gift suggestions you're getting from me.  


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

 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
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 

Thanks, J!

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!


Holiday Fun That Has Nothing To Do With Sugar

Okay, by now you *know* how I feel about feeding sugar to children. 
I've begged you over and over not to let your kids get the notion --
certainly a notion I grew up with -- that eating unlimited garbage food
is a Joyful Holiday Tradition.  So how about some fun things to do with
the kids that have nothing to do with junk food?

* Make decorations!  From chains of construction paper links, to
salt-dough ornaments, to paper snowflakes, there are all sorts of things
the kids can make to decorate the house.  If you're looking for new
ideas, I'll bet your local public library has *stacks* of books with
holiday craft projects!

* Go sledding, or skating, or cross-country skiing.  Wouldn't you rather
your kids associate the holidays with active fun, than with sitting at
home eating junk?

* Build a snowman.  With a *huge* winter storm happening as I write
this, this seems a rather pertinent idea!  If you have no snow, get some
white Play Dough and make indoor snowmen!

* Give to charity together.  Every year my husband and I go to the local
discount store and buy as many toys as we can possibly afford -- then
give them all to Toys For Tots.  This is, far and away, the Christmas
tradition that gives me the most joy.  Tell your kids about all the poor
children who won't have a present without your help, and let them pick
stuff out to give away.

* Drive around to see the lights, or go to the nearest city to look at
the decorations in the store windows.

* Even better, if you have a nearby museum with a cool display each
year, take 'em!  I know that my brother and sister-in-law took my
train-obsessed nephew Henry to see a big display of trains at one of the
Chicago museums this year, and I believe it's the Field that has a
display of Christmas decorations from around the world every year.  In
my neck of the woods, I'd take a child to the Indianapolis Children's

* Pick a favorite Christmas movie or two to watch every year.  I've
mentioned that I'm partial to the Grinch, but I also love A Christmas
Carol in all its many incarnations (especially the Alastair Sim black
and white version, from 1951).  There's A Miracle on 34th Street, It's a
Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story -- the list is near-endless.  Instead
of serving cookies and cocoa (although you could feed them low carb
cookies and sugar free cocoa, I suppose), how about having a selection
of nutritious nibble-foods -- wings, little smokies, nuts, veggies and
dip -- and calling it supper that night?

* When it comes to traditional foods and events, remember that anything
the kids like, and that you only serve, make, do, or visit once a year,
will become a big-deal tradition, whether it involves sugar or not. 
It's the rarity of the event that makes it stand out.


At Your Local Mall?

Last week I spent a whole day shopping with my friend Maria (Hi,
Maria!), who also is a low carber.  We stopped at two candy stores in
the mall, and got one sugar-free chocolate each, at each store.  The two
stores we visited were The South Bend Candy Company (which, I suspect,
is local to Indiana), and Fannie May, which is common in the Midwest, at
least.  Both stores had tasty sugar free candy -- we got peanut clusters
at South Bend Candy Company, and chocolate mints at Fannie May.  The
selections were small, but it's nice to know this is available.


Dana W. Carpender

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