Lowcarbezine! 28 February 2001

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Hey, Gang --

Hope you've had a good week!  I've had an extra good one!  Not only did
I spend the weekend at a party (yes, the whole weekend, and I admit I
Indulged modestly; potato chips are my kryptonite!), but I'm an auntie
again!  My baby niece Halli was born last Thursday, February 22nd. 
She's fine, her mom is fine, and I'm a double auntie!

Not that this has anything to do with low carb, of course.  But if you
can't crow to 8,468 of your closest friends, who can you crow to? ;-)

For the low carb stuff, scroll past the boring copyright and
subscription stuff, and

Read on!



All contents copyright 2001 by Hold the Toast Press.  All commercial
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good, right?)


Do you have a low carb SWEET-TOOTH?  NEW! Ross Sugar Free Chocolates! 
Try 'em with almonds!  Or coconut!  How about peanut?  All in both milk
and dark!  Or do you prefer white chocolate?  We've got it!
Also NEW -- Steels Gourmet Low Carb Jams and Jellies!!!  Try 'em on
biscuits from our Aunt Pearl's Low Carb Bake Mix!

We now have _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!_ at a
discount!  Just $9.95


On Eating a Varied Diet

One of the objections people throw at a low carb diet is, "But you're
supposed to eat a *varied* diet to be healthy!  How can you cut out so
many foods and eat a varied diet?"

Well, they have a point, albeit one that their hairstylist can probably
disguise for them. ;-D

The answer to this is two-fold:  First of all, many of the most popular
carbohydrate foods add little, if any, variety to the diet.  And
secondly, it's quite possible to get a wide, healthy variety of foods on
a low carb diet -- and you should.

Regarding that first point:  There is *no* variety, nutritionally
speaking, in eating Cream of Wheat for breakfast, a bun with your
hamburger at lunch, and white flour pasta at dinner.  We're talking
three different forms of the same thing:  Refined, nutritionally
valueless white flour.  This list could be expanded to
whack-em-on-the-counter biscuits and rolls, anything made of Bisquick or
other baking mixes, the vast majority of crackers, and the vast majority
of grocery store bread (including most "wheat bread" -- the majority of
it has far more white flour than whole grain flour.)  Nutritionally
speaking, these are all just different forms of the same thing,
sometimes with some lovely hydrogenated vegetable shortening added.

Same thing with Corn Flakes for breakfast, corn tortillas with lunch,
and corn bread or grits with dinner, or rice cakes, Rice Krispies, and
white rice -- once again, three versions of the same thing, and the vast
majority of the time this stuff has been refined, as well.  Or hashed
browns with breakfast, french fries for lunch, and Betty Crocker
potatoes au gratin for dinner -- all the same thing.  

Even if you ate, say, Corn Flakes for breakfast, a bun with your burger
at lunch, and white rice with your dinner, because these foods are
refined and "enriched" (a legal lie if ever I heard one), they're
nutritionally virtually identical -- they only contain starch, and the
few nutrients the government requires the processors to add back after
stripping out all the vitamins and minerals.

We won't even talk about the supposed "variety" that comes from the
various forms that sugar takes -- you know, Pop Tarts versus Count
Chocula versus Hawaiian Punch.  There is no nutritional value to these
foods; you could eat every one of the staggering array of this sort of
garbage available in our grocery and convenience stores, and have added
no nutritional variety to your diet whatsoever.

Accordingly, much of the supposed "variety" in the American diet is an

And even those folks who eat only whole grains often eat only a few of
them.  They may eat whole wheat bread and oatmeal and brown rice, but do
they eat millet?  Teff?  Quinoa?  Kasha?  Spelt?  Triticale? Amaranth? 
Some do; I could find these things in my health food store, but I'm
betting a *majority* of folks who eat whole grains are eating a pretty
narrow variety of them.  Heck, most people haven't even *heard* of teff
and quinoa, much less tried them!

Now, about getting variety in your low carb diet --

I agree that many, if not most, of us, could and should be getting more
variety in our low carb diets, and I include myself in that group.  We
Americans have a sorry tendency to be picky and narrow and suspicious in
our food preferences.  Accordingly, many folks eat a very narrow group
of foods over and over again, and that's *it* -- beef, pork (including
ham), chicken, turkey, then start over with beef.  Heck, most folks in
this country haven't even tried lamb, much less any less familiar meat.  

Fish eaters tend to get a little more variety, not only because they can
insert "fish" into that rotation, but also because many fish eaters seem
to like a wide variety of fish, from tilapia to orange roughy to red
snapper, from flounder and sole to trout and perch.  Crab and lobster
and shrimp, clams and oysters.  Indeed, the average American grocery
store sells a *much* wider variety of fish than it does of things that
live on land.

I was looking at a terribly authentic French cookbook this weekend, and
noticed the number of types of flesh listed that I *never* hear of
Americans eating -- heck, I wouldn't even know where to *find* most of
them!  Duck and goose, I could probably get those, and I could *maybe*
get quail, if I paid an arm and a leg.  I know I could get Cornish game
hens and rabbit.  But thrushes?  Pigeons?  Ortolans?  Plus, of course,
the book had many recipes for the "variety meats" -- the organ meats,
which ever were and will remain some of the most nutritious meats in the

(Indeed, the French, I have read, eat something like 15 different kinds
of meats regularly.  Can you even *name* fifteen kinds of meat?  They
also eat a much wider variety of vegetables.  And, of course, they are
healthier than Americans.  Connection there, you think?)  (Of course,
they also eat a *lot* less sugar than Americans do...)

The same thing tends to happen in the produce aisle and the frozen
vegetable aisle -- green beans and broccoli, spinach and iceberg
lettuce, cabbage and cauliflower, cucumbers and peppers, and that's
about *it*.  (We're leaving out peas, corn, potatoes and carrots,
because we're not eating them in any quantity, right?)

Then there are the nuts and seeds, a favorite food-group for the low
carber.  You may be eating pecans or peanuts or walnuts, but are you
eating hazelnuts and pine nuts, Brazil nuts and macadamias? 
Pistachios?  (Cashews are high enough in carbs to be considered an
indulgence.)  How about sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, two of the
best nutrition bargains out there?  Sesame seeds?  Poppy seeds?  Sprouts
from radish and broccoli and alfalfa seeds?

How about seasonings?  Many Americans are used to a terribly narrow
range of seasonings; salt and pepper and sugar, maybe a little paprika
or oregano or garlic, and that's about it.  (Did you know that there
*are* no "eleven herbs and spices" in KFC's fried chicken?  Nope.  White
flour, salt, pepper, and MSG -- aimed straight at the center of the
American palate.  This from the book _Big Secrets_, by Willam Poundstone
-- he got a sample and had it analyzed!)  It's too bad, too, because
many herbs and spices have powerful health properties -- for instance, I
recently wrote about turmeric, and it's strong anti-tumor action. 
Explore the seasonings of other cultures, cultivate new tastes.  You'll
improve your nutrition for it.

The point is that we get into habits, that's all, and serve the same
things over and over again.  Not only does this not lead to optimal
nutrition, but it's also a great way to end up bored, and start missing
that fake "variety" that carb-y processed foods give to most American

So here's my challenge to you -- and I'll be taking this challenge, too,
because I'm as guilty of this tunnel vision as anyone else.  When you go
to the grocery store, buy one low carb food you like, but haven't had in
quite a while, just because you've gotten into a rut -- I think mine is
going to be duck, which I haven't had in *ages*.  At the same time, buy
one low carb food you've never tried, and try it!  Buy red leaf lettuce
instead of the iceberg or romaine.  Try napa or bok choy instead of the
same old green cabbage.  Try tilapia instead of the flounder.  Have a
lamb chop instead of a pork chop (and invite me over!)  

To aid you in this pursuit of low carb variety, I'm reviving a column I
did a few times last summer:  The Low Carb Spotlight Food-of-the-Week. 
Each week, I'll point out another low carb food, give you the run-down
on its nutritional value, and give you a few ideas as to how you can use

Let's all work on low carb variety!  It will improve our nutritional
status while making our diets more interesting and fun.  Hard to think
of a better bargain than that!


Tired of the high prices on low carb specialty foods?  Everything we
sell is at a discount!  *NOTHING* is full price!  We've got all the most
popular stuff from the Low Carb High Life Cruise -- Baja Bob's Margarita
Mix, Cheeters Diet Treats crackers, Just the Cheese Chips, Psyllie Snax,
and *tons* more!  We also sell seasonal Low Carb Gift Baskets!

We also carry Dana Carpender's _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost
Forty Pounds!_ for just $9.99!

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



Low Carb Spotlight Food-of-the-Week!

Parsley!  What a sinned-against vegetable!  Yes, *vegetable*!  Parsley
is *not* just a decoration on your plate.  It is a highly nutritious
food, and a tasty one at that.  Sadly, however, most folks just think of
it as a garnish, and it goes into the trash when the meal is over. 
Tragic, really.

Not only is parsley nutritious and yummy, it's widely available.  It
even keeps well -- just rinse it, shake off the clinging water, and
shove it in a zip lock bag.  It'll keep for a week or two, although I
always use mine up before then!  

You can buy regular "curly" parsley, or, if you prefer a less "bushy"
mouth-feel, you can try Italian flat-leafed parsley.  Either way, you'll
be adding flavor, color, and nutrition to your diet.

Here's what's in a half a cup of fresh parsley:

* About 2 grams of carbohydrate, of which fully half is fiber, for a
usable carb count of just 1 gram!

* 1560 International Units of vitamin A; the RDA is 5000 (which I
consider low, but that's another story.)

* 55 mg. of folic acid, about a quarter of what you need in a day.  

* 161 mg. potassium

* 39 mg. calcium

* 13 mg. magnesium

* 161 mg. vitamin K

* 27 mg. vitamin C

* Modest quantities of thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.

That's quite a carb bargain!

Now, parsley is a little strong to eat by itself in large quantity
(although I usually eat the parsley sprigs that come on restaurant
plates.)  But it's a cinch to work into recipes of every kind!

* Add lots of chopped or snipped fresh parsley to any and all green
salads.  Wonderful!

* Try parsley in deli salads, too -- I like it in cauliflower salad, for

* Snip some parsley into your protein salads, like tuna or chicken

* Snipped fresh parsley is a natural over any fish dish, from scampi to
sautéed fillet of sole.

* Parsley is terrific in turkey burgers, and over sautéed chicken

* Add it to meat loaf or meatballs.

* Snipped parsley is good in soups, too -- including, if you're so
inclined, the recipe later on in this issue.  It's a part of the classic
"bouquet garni" used to season soups in French cooking.

* Here's a recipe for Parsley Salad!

Parsley Salad

3 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced (peel it first if you like.)
3 scallions, sliced
1 bunch of parsley, remove the stems and chop it.
1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh is best!)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 small can sliced black olives.

Combine the veggies and chill.  Before serving, combine the lemon juice,
olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss with the vegetables.  Top with the
olives, and serve.  This is four servings, at about 5 g. usable carb per

* A few of my cookbooks say you can fry parsley, although I haven't
tried this.  If you'd like to try it, here's how it works:  Wash the
parsley, and make sure it is *very* dry; water will make hot fat spit
dangerously.  Heat oil -- peanut is good -- to 375 (use a frying
thermometer.)  Drop in sprigs of parsley, and fry for just 10-15 second,
or until crisp, but still bright green.  Drain and serve.

* If you're out to dinner on a date, and hoping for a romantic evening,
it's good to know that chewing parsley after the meal with sweeten your

So there you go!  Let's all start treating parsley with the respect it
deserves!  Which is to say, let's put it in our mouths, chew it up and
swallow it.  Often!


Reader Input Wanted!

If you hadn't noticed, we're creeping up on spring!  That means we're
also fast approaching two holidays -- Passover and Easter.  Not to
mention the Spring Equinox, called Eostre of yore, which is, of course,
where we get the name of the Christian holiday. 

I have been informed by a reader named Genevieve that we are now almost
through Ayam-i-Ha, and rapidly approaching the Baha'i Fast -- and of
course, whenever people fast, they plan something special to eat to
*break* that fast!

Also, for many Christians, today is the beginning of Lent; you may have
a traditional fish recipe for Fridays in Lent, or something of the sort.

So  whatever your faith -- or even if you have none -- whatever your
culture, I'd love for you to send in your favorite low carb recipe that
seems suited to a spring feast!

Also, if you have a favorite spring recipe you'd like de-carbed, send it
along, and I'll do my best.


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

Get the whole scoop without reading ALL the books!
I've been low carbing for about 8 months, and have read LOTS of the most
recommended books. I could have saved myself a great deal of time
learning the different approaches if I'd read Dana Carpender's book
FIRST! Now I know what to concentrate my reading on. Just ordered
another copy to give to my sister and her family, so that
they can learn more, too.

 amy in tucson 

Thanks, Amy!  One of the things that thrills me most is when someone
tells me they found my book so helpful that they bought a copy for a
friend or family member.  :-)

You can read this and 24 other reader reviews of _How I Gave Up My Low
Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!_ at Amazon : 
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0966883101/lowcarbohysoluti --
and of course, you can also order the book!

If you'd like to read the first chapter of the book for FREE, plus find
a bunch of other useful low carb info, visit:
http://www.holdthetoast.com .  You can also see my smiling face and my

Or, for that matter, you can visit
http://www.webbalah.net/carbsmart.html , and order
_How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds_ from Carb Smart,
where it's at a discount.  Low Carb Grocery has it at a discount, too --
http://www.lowcarbgrocery.com .

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!


The New Years Questions Continue!

Here, from a reader identified only as CBAST:

 1) I want to know what you're proudest of in the past year.

I am proudest of ability to take charge of my diet and health. Instead
of talking about exercising, I MOVED. I completed a weight-training
class at the local college. Instead of skipping meals, and following a
diet, I did some research and I've lost 60 pounds on a low carb diet! I
have started YOGA and I'm willing to walk anywhere, do anything, and I
feel GREAT! I am proud that I have taken charge of my life this year.
 2) I want to know what important thing you *completed* this past year. 

When I started exercising, I had a goal of walking a 13.5 minute mile.
In June, the goal was distant. I was averaging a 16 minute mile and
could only walk 3 miles at a stretch. NOW I can walk 12 miles at a time,
as of Jan. 2, I walk can walk more than 4 miles in less than 50 minutes.
I met my goal for a timed walk. 

I completed two Physical Education classes. When I was going to college
for two advanced degrees, I skipped these classes and now I can't
remember why. They are FUN! I am looking forward to a third PE class

  3) I want to know what you intend to add to your life this year simply
 because it will bring you joy!  

I intend to add time three for things I enjoy doing: 

I will return to journalizing. I tend to write in my head, and I enjoy
the feel of pen and paper. Somehow, I got "too busy" and quit. 

I will unpack my photography equipment and learn to "see" again.
Somewhere, I got "too busy" to do this love and I quit.

I will return to reading fiction. For too many years, I focused on
nonfiction books, or I limited myself to the high school selection I
teach. I enjoy  reading and somewhere along the way, I got "too busy" to
explore the  imagination of others.
 4) Last, but certainly not least, we all want to know your single best
 low carb dieting tip, recipe, or strategy

Food is not the enemy. I keep food out of the  house that I don't want
to eat. If it's near, then during cravings, I eat. My weakness is
chocolate at 8 pm. I know that and make plans to a) have no chocolate in
the house; b)  substitute something sweet, like tea, and c) make sure
other alternatives are difficult to reach (for example, I would have to
get dressed and walk to a store to get that ice cream).

Thanks for some interesting things to think about. These topics were my
first entries in this year's journal!

And these from a woman named Sarah:

> 1) I want to know what you're proudest of in the past year...

  I am  proudest of my growth in spirituality this year; it has been a
great comfort and joy.
>  2) I want to know what important thing you *completed* this past year. 
   I completed my law firm; I have sold it as of Jan 1, and the last 11
years of my life, plus 4 years of law school, have  been "completed". 
It is a sad day, and a happy day.
>  3) I want to know what you intend to add to your life this year simply
>  because it will bring you joy! 

  I want a monthly massage; keep your pretty fingers and toes;  give me
a cheap haircut, but give me my massage! (Dana's Note: As a career
massage therapist, I *love* this!)
>  4) Last, but certainly not least, we all want to know your single best
>  low carb dieting tip, recipe, or strategy!  

Cook ahead- my best tip to  stay on program.  If I am cranky , bored,
tired and hungry (not often when I 
am on program!), if I have food available that I don't have to fuss
with, I  will stay on program.


Yes, I know we're heading into the last month of the first quarter of
the year, but I got such a great response to these New Years questions
that I'm going to keep publishing them till I've done them all!


What sort of travel are you planning for this spring?  Make it a

A cruise is a *perfect* honeymoon -- you can travel to several romantic
places, taking the hotel with you!
How about having your family reunion on a cruise?!  Sounds easier -- and
more fun! -- than having them all to your house, doesn't it?

But who needs hassles, guess work, and details?  Vacations are supposed
to be *fun*!  Let Cruise Horizons plan your cruise for you, and all
you'll need to do is play!

Call Patty at Cruise Horizons for the vacation of your life!
Check out Cruise Horizons website at http://www.cruisehorizons.com .


Product Review

Raise your hand if you're tired of eggs for breakfast.  

Now, raise your hand if you're tired of eggs for breakfast, and don't
want to have to cook, either.

Personally, I'm not in either of these groups; I never get tired of
eggs, and I don't mind cooking.  But my mail tells me that there is a
*sizable* group of you who are just dying for an easy, non-egg, low carb

Enter Osolo Muffins.

These are low carb muffins, in several flavors -- banana, apple spice,
chocolate, vanilla, blueberry, peanut butter.  The carb and protein
count for these varies a bit, but they're all in the neighborhood of 3-4
grams of carb, and 15-20 grams of protein -- just about right for a
breakfast.  One of these should keep you going all morning.

These aren't dirt cheap, but they're not horribly expensive, either --
four muffins will set you back $4.99, or a buck-and-a-quarter apiece,
which is no more than you'd pay if you stopped at the convenience store
and bought a muffin on the way to work, right?  And they're *big*
muffins, just like the ones the convenience stores carry.

These do get most of their protein from soy, and all but my newest
readers know how I feel about soy; I try to keep my consumption of soy
pretty modest.  Yes, I'll write about why again soon, since every time I
say I'm nervous about soy I get a slew of emails asking me why.  I
mention it here just to let you know that I personally wouldn't eat one
of these for breakfast every day.  However, for any and all of you who
are getting restive about all those eggs, these would be a very nice
change of pace.

I've tried two flavors, the apple spice and the chocolate.  I liked the
apple spice, although it was a bit sweet for my tastes -- but then,
that's to be expected.  I've been sugar free for so long, *everything*
commercially made tastes too sweet to me.  The apple flavor was quite
pronounced, and the texture, while not identical to a standard,
wheat-flour based muffin, was quite good, I thought.

The chocolate, on the other hand was -- well, it was kinda weird.  Had a
sort of off-taste.  Disappointing, since I'm fond of chocolate.  (Says
the girl who used to steal to get chocolate!)  Rich Oliver, at Low Carb
Grocery, tells me that he doesn't much care for the chocolate either,
and that it's the only flavor he's had any complaints about.  So I'd
stick with the others, and get your sugar-free chocolate fix elsewhere.

Of course, it's not required that you eat these for *breakfast*, you
know.  You could have one with a cup of tea or coffee as a snack; that's
how I've been eating them.  One of these around 10 or 11 and you'll work
right through lunch and never notice.  You could have one for dessert, I
suppose, but at 15-20 grams of protein, I'm thinking they'd be a bit
much on top of dinner.  I think they do better standing alone.

So if a muffin for breakfast sounds good to you from time to time, give
the Osolo muffins a try.  Get 'em from Low Carb Grocery.
http://www.lowcarbgrocery.com .


That's it for this week!  See you next week!

Dana W. Carpender

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