Lowcarbezine! 21 December 2000

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Hey, Gang!

Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah!  Happy Kwanzaa!  And most of all for
today, Happy YULE!  

Do you know what "Yule" really is?  It's the winter solstice, aka the
*shortest day of the year*!  That's right -- as of tomorrow, the days
get *LONGER*!  YIPPEEEEEE!!!  (Well, they do here in the States.  For
all you folks in the southern hemisphere -- I know I have a fair number
of readers in En Zed and Oz and Brazil and such -- happy midsummer, and
I'm afraid we're about to start stealing your sunlight.)

This is your last issue before the New Year; I'm off to Chicago to see
my family, and when I get back I'm going to be over-the-top busy getting
ready for the *cruise*!  I do plan to put out an issue the first week of
the new year, but it may be shortish.

So a very happy New Year to you all!  (You know this is the *real* end
of the century, right?  See you in the next millennium!



All contents copyright 2000 by Hold the Toast Press.  All commercial
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Lowcarbezine! welcomes reader input!  If you have a question, a recipe,
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An Idea For Christmas Eve

Or any other night you're likely to have lots of people bustling about,
wrapping gifts, hanging things on the tree, and generally being festive
and busy:

Forget serving them all dinner.  What, you want to try to get the little
ones away from the tree, where they're merrily shaking presents and
breaking ornaments, interrupt the gift-wrapping when it's going so
nicely?  Nah.

How about you just put out plenty of filling, nutritious snacks, and
call it dinner?  All the stuff I've been recommending for weeks now, for
easy party food -- toasted nuts, hot wings, cubes of cheese, olives, cut
up veggies and dip.  Put these all out around the living room or family
room, with a stack of paper plates, and a stack of paper napkins.  Easy,
and everybody can get enough to eat without breaking the hectic -- but,
I hope, cheerful -- flow. 

 And with the little ones excited beyond all reason, you'll probably get
more protein into them this way than you will by sitting them down and
trying to get them to eat a full meal on schedule -- which means more
stable blood sugar and less chance of a holiday meltdown.  Ho-ho-ho!


Ingredient Questions

I've had a number of questions regarding various ingredients in my
recipes.  Peggy Witherow send this question just this week, and it's a
pretty common one:

 I don't know the product SteviaPlus. Can I use all Splenda in its place
 with the same results. Do you have a recipe archive? Thank you so much
 for your hard work.

  Truth to tell, I haven't tried my cookie recipes with all Splenda, no
SteviaPlus.  I don't see any reason you couldn't use all Splenda, but
the measurements would be different, since SteviaPlus is a *lot* sweeter
than Splenda.  The texture might be a *bit* different -- part of the
reason I included the SteviaPlus is that the fructooligosaccharides
(FOS) in it are, technically, a sugar, and I was thinking they might
help get some of the texture we lose when we take the sugar out of a
cookie recipe.

I will try these recipes with just Splenda soon -- but not before my Low
Carb High Life Cruise! I don't have the time!

Several people have written, asking if soy powder is the same thing as
soy protein isolate.  No, it is not.  Soy powder is made from whole soy
beans which have been cooked before being ground into a powder.  Soy
flour is made from raw soy beans, and has a much stronger, "beanier"
flavor; I don't like it.  Soy protein isolate, as the name suggests, is
a protein extracted from soybeans; it does not contain the whole soy
bean.  Those of my recipes that call for soy powder were, indeed,
standardized with soy powder, and I don't know how they'd work with soy
protein isolate.  (I do know they'd be more expensive!)  I *really*
wouldn't suggest using soy flour; I find the taste disagreeable.

Some have written wanting to know if they can use vanilla whey protein
powder in place of the soy powder.  I don't know for certain -- I've
been crazy-busy getting ready for this cruise, so I haven't been baking
a lot -- but my instincts say yes.  I think it will work.  However, if
it doesn't, please don't send me a letter bomb!

Finally, some readers have wanted to know where to get SteviaPlus, and
what brand of vanilla whey protein powder I use.  I buy SteviaPlus at my
healthfood store -- it's been on sale recently -- but if yours doesn't
carry it, check out http://www.steviaplus.com .  The brand of vanilla
whey protein powder I use is called "Show Me The Whey" -- cute, huh? 
It's got a very nice, rich vanilla flavor, and is slightly sweetened
with stevia, making it a great choice for anyone avoiding artificial
sweeteners.  Sadly, I cannot find an online source for Show Me The Whey,
but any vanilla-flavored whey protein powder should do.  Designer
Protein is a very popular brand that is widely distributed in the US.


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A Word To The Wise

About all those sugar free chocolates and candies and such I've been
recommending you eat instead of the sugary stuff that abounds this time
of year -- I stand behind that advice, but:

The polyols -- malitol, lactitol, mannitol, sorbitol, etc -- universally
used to sweeten this sort of candy, and to give it a familiar texture,
are, indeed, carbohydrates.  The reason that they're a lot easier on our
bodies than sugar is the fact that they're carbohydrates which are
difficult for the human system to absorb.  Therefore they cause little,
if any blood sugar rise, and little, if any, insulin release.
However, this same property means that these sweeteners act as laxatives
if eaten in any large quantity; go through a half-a-bag of sugar free
candy in a day and you'll, er, get quite a lot of exercise.  I have
learned the hard way that in somewhat smaller doses these candies can
still cause
gas.  A lot of gas.  Really, really offensive gas.  Your mileage may
vary, of course, but I personally won't be eating much of this sort of
candy any
day that I want to go to a festive party in the evening.  If you want
something sweet, but are going out later on, try something Splenda,
aspartame, or stevia-sweetened instead.

Just thought you ought to know.  


Low Carb Partying 101 Redux

I've written about alcohol and low carbohydrate dieting before, but
since this will be my last issue before the New Year, I thought I ought
to revisit the subject, for all of you holiday revelers!

Champagne is, of course, the Official Alcoholic Beverage of New Year's
Eve.  It's important to know that champagne labeled "Dry" is actually
the *sweetest* champagne, and therefore the highest in carbohydrate. 
"Extra Dry" is a bit drier, but the driest champagne -- and therefore
the lowest carb -- is labeled "Brut".  I'd recommend you stick to Brut
champagne for your holiday toasting!  Figure about 2-3 grams of carb in
a 4 ounce glass.

Dry wines -- merlot, shiraz, cabernet, burgundy, chardonnay, chablis,
and the like -- run between 2-4 grams a glass.  Sweet wines are, of
course, high in sugar.  Wine coolers are just soda pop with wine in it
-- *full* of sugar.  Remember the basic rule of avoiding sugar:  If it
tastes sweet, and it's not artificially sweetened, it's got some sort of
sugar in it!  If you're a wine cooler fan, I'd suggest mixing a few
ounces of a dry wine with sugar free soda -- lemon-lime might be good,
or one of the fruit-flavored diet sodas -- Diet Rite has some good ones.

You could have one of the fortified wines -- port, brandy, vermouth,
sherry.  Stick with dry sherry, not sweet or "cream" sherry, and dry
vermouth as well.  

Personally, I love beer, and one of the few things I still genuinely
miss on my low carbohydrate diet is good, full-bodied beer.  But there's
no getting around it, most beer is *loaded* with carbs, earning it the
title "liquid bread."  The four lowest carb beers I know of are Miller
Lite, Milwaukee's Best Light, Coors Light, and Amstel Light.  Of these,
Amstel is the highest, at 5 g. per bottle -- but it tastes best!

Hard liquors -- whiskey, scotch, gin, rum, tequila, vodka -- are all
carb-free.  Remember that they'll still do a number on your metabolism,
but at least they don't add carbs to boot.  It's the *mixers* you have
to watch out for!  Margarita mix, daiquiri mix, whiskey sour mix, tonic
water --  all are full of sugar.  (Yes, tonic.  There is diet tonic
available, however.)  You could have a rum and Diet Coke, or a scotch or
whiskey and soda, or a martini, if you like (although I'd stick to the
classic six-parts-gin-and-one-part-vermouth, rather than one of the
many, many interesting concoctions currently going under the name
"martini".)  You could make an Irish Coffee with Splenda instead of
sugar, and plenty of whipped cream!  Or, for that matter, you could buy
Baja Bob's Margarita Mix or Strawberry Daiquiri Mix from either
CarbSmart ( http://www.webbalah.net/carbsmart.html ) or Synergy Diet (
http://www.synergydiet.com )  We'll be sampling these on the cruise, by
the way!

As for liqueurs, cordials, flavored schnapps, "spiced rum", and all
novelty drinks, virtually *all* of these are *full* of sugar.  Steer
clear of anything with a cartoon character or a catchy name --
"Buttershots", "Hot Damn!", Captain Morgan, etc, etc, etc.  And no
Kahlua, Bailey's Irish Cream, Amaretto -- nothing syrupy.  I repeat:  If
it tastes sweet, and it's not artificially sweetened, it's got sugar in

I hope it goes without saying -- but I'll say it anyway -- that you
should drink in moderation, and not drive while under the influence!  If
ever there were a night for renting a room and/or calling a cab, New
Years Eve is it.

And a very Happy New Year to you all!  It's going to be 2001!  Weren't
we supposed to have recreational space travel and robotic servants by
now? ;-)


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
steak, chicken, veggies, cheese and occasionally Peanut M&M's, ice cream
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!


Dana Gets A Lesson In Canadian Culture

This past week, I received two recipes in one day for a low carb version
of Nanaimo Bars.  This was all well and good, and certainly the recipes
looked utterly decadent, but since I hadn't the *faintest* idea what a
Nanaimo bar *was*, I was a bit puzzled.  I got this explanation from
Crystal In Saskatoon, who sent one of the two recipes:  

Nanaimo Bars are a three layer square, that has a chocolate coconut
fudge-like bottom, a yellow custard/icing- like middle layer and a thick
layer of melted chocolate on top.  They are very distinctive looking
(brown/yellow/brown) and tasting (that I can't really describe,
chocolate, coconut, fudge, icing and custard all combined together yet
each keep separate somewhat because of the layers).  They are very
popular here in Canada (especially at Christmas) and have been for the
past half century
because they were apparently invented here in Nanaimo, BC.  I had them
all my growing up years and loved them, but the real ones are loaded
with sugar and carbs, so I hadn't had any in three years, but these are
just like the real thing and low carb to boot! 

So here's Crystal's recipe, complete with tons of variations:

Crystal’s “You Won’t Believe They’re Low Carb” Nanaimo Bars
Just like the real thing, non low carbers cannot tell the difference!!!
(***Warning these are awesome but very addictive - I’d suggest you make
them when others are around to help you eat them and
only make them once a year (usually at Christmas)***)
Ingredients (Carbs per Netzer or Ingredient Packaging)   
1 square Bakers unsweetened chocolate (9)
2 Tablespoons butter (0)
2 Tablespoons cream (2)
1/4 cup cocoa (4)
3/4 cup whey protein powder (unflavored) (0)
1 cup unsweetened coconut (12)
8 packets Splenda (8)
Davinci’s or other Sugar Free chocolate syrup (0)
2 sticks unsalted butter (0)
1 ½ cups Splenda granular (36)
1 package Vanilla Sugar Free Pudding Mix (24)
2 Tablespoons Davinci’s Irish Cream SF Syrup (could also use Vanilla or
English Toffee SF Syrup) (0)
3 Tablespoons NotSugar (by Expert Foods) (13 - but also 13 grams of
insoluble fiber)
2 squares Bakers unsweetened chocolate (18)
1 Ross Dark Chocolate Bar (1)  (could substitute 1 more square of
unsweetened chocolate (9))
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (0)
8 Packets Splenda (8)
Melt chocolate, butter and cream together in microwave.  Add cocoa, whey
protein powder, coconut and splenda and mix well. At
this point the mix is fairly crumbly.  Then add SF chocolate syrup 1
Tablespoon at a time until the mixture just comes together. 
Press evenly into a greased 9" square pan and chill. 
Cream together butter, splenda, vanilla SF pudding, Irish Cream or other
SF syrup and NotSugar. Beat until creamy and spread over
chilled base.  Refrigerate till hardened.  
Melt chocolate, butter and splenda together in microwave. Pour over
chilled middle layer and tilt pan back and forth to spread evenly
. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes until chocolate layer just starts to
harden and score into 36 x 1 ½ “ pieces. When totally hard cut
into 1 ½" square bars.  
Carb count (using Ross Dark Chocolate Bar as 1 carb and subtracting the
fiber in the NotSugar) is 3.39 carbs per piece (122 for the
whole recipe).

The usual flavor variations can easily be made (just recalculate the
carbs as needed):
Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars: substitute 2 or more tablespoons of peanut
butter (depending on your taste) for equal amounts of butter in the
middle layer .
Mint Nanaimo Bars: Substitute Creme de Menthe SF Syrup or some mint
extract for the Irish Cream Sugar Free Syrup and add some green food
coloring to the middle layer.
Irish Cream Nanaimo Bars: Possibly use White Chocolate SF pudding
instead of vanilla and add more Irish Cream SF syrup (to taste) in the
middle layer.
Raspberry Nanaimo Bars: Substitute Raspberry SF Syrup for Irish Cream
Syrup in middle layer. (You could also do this with Cherry SF Syrup
(Cherry Nanaimo Bars), Kaluha Caffe SF Syrup (Mocha Nanaimo Bars), Pina
Colada SF Syrup (Pina Colada Nanaimo Bars) or any number of endless
flavor combinations by using different flavors of SF Syrups)
Enjoy, and have a very Merry Christmas!!!!
Keep Living La Vida Low Carb!
Crystal in Saskatoon, SK, Canada
174/132/132   42 pounds gone forever
Atkins since Jan. 12, 1998
Maintenance since May 1998

Crystal also included this note about NotSugar:

NotSugar is a product made by Expert Foods, you can buy it at CarbSmart
(who have the best price - as with most things)  (
http://www.webbalah.net/carbsmart.html ), and other low carb online
shopping sites, there is also product reviews and info on it at
lowcarbluxury.  Expert Foods also has a web site: www.expertfoods.com

NotSugar is a combination of vegetable gums that provide volume and
thickeness like sugar would in baking or cooking.  It has no sweetness
or sweetener added, they allow you to use your own sweetener of choice
(ie. Splenda, Stevia etc.), it just gives volume and fibre.

Michelle Mitchell sent this recipe for Nanaimo Bars, which looks equally
devastatingly delicious!  she writes:

Nanaimo bars are my husband's weakness (along with cheesecake) but at 30
to 45g
of  carbs per little piece, they were kind of off limits. Until last
night...  9PM on Saturday night and we get inspired...
 WARNING! These are not as low in carbs as other low carb goodies. If
you get
32  pieces out of your recipe, as we did, it comes to 6.6g. But it sooo
good and  we couldn't tell the difference between these and real sugar
ones. If you've  never had nanaimo bars before, these are really good
and are a staple at  buffets here in Canada.

Bottom layer:
 -1/2 cup (unsalted) butter   (I used regular butter, couldn't taste
the  difference)
 -1/4 cup Splenda
 -5 Tbsp cocoa
 -1 egg, beaten
 -2 cups almond flour   (a combo of almond flour and crushed
almonds/walnuts  could be substituted)
 -1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
Melt the first three ingredients in top of a double boiler. Add egg and
stir  to cook and thicken. (I used a whisk to stir it with.) Remove from
heat.  Stir in flour/nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8
x 8 pan.
Second layer:
 -1/2 cup (unsalted) butter    (again I used salted with no taste
 -2 Tbsp and 2 tsp cream     ( I used 35% cream or heavy cream)
 -2 Tbsp vanilla custard powder  (I had none of this so I used
sugar-free  vanilla pudding powder)
 -2 cups Splenda
Cream butter, cream, vanilla powder, and Splenda together well. Beat
until  light. Spread over bottom layer.
Third layer:
 -4 squares (1 oz each) semi-sweet chocolate    (I used 2 each
unsweetened  and bittersweet cuz that's what I had on hand. I think you
could possibly  use Ross bars and get a lower carb count)
 -2 Tbsp (unsalted) butter    (again I used salted)
Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. When cool, but still
liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator. (I chilled
mine overnight.)
I get a total carb count of about 215g for the whole recipe, which at 32
servings gave me about 6.6g/piece. These are really rich so you wouldn't
eat more than 1 or 2 at one sitting.
Atkins since 11/11/99

Do those recipes sound *INCREDIBLE*, or what?  Thank you, thank you,
thank you for sharing, Crystal and Michelle!!  I know that a whole lot
of readers, and especially my Canadian readers, are thanking you too!!


Dana W. Carpender

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