Lowcarbezine! 4 April 2001

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Hey, Gang --

I swear this ezine has a life of its own!  Without my even trying, a
theme will often develop.  Often it's recipes; I'll end up with 6 or 8
recipes in one issue.  This week it's reader input -- all but one
article involves input from readers, and valuable input it is, too! 
Lowcarbezine! really has gone beyond being my "baby", and become a forum
for you all to help each other.  And what a beautiful thing that is!

Read on!



All contents copyright 2001 by Hold the Toast Press.  All commercial
reproduction and/or use is expressly prohibited.  As always, feel free
to forward Lowcarbezine! to any family or friends you feel might enjoy
it, provided that you forward it in its entirety.

If Lowcarbezine! has been forwarded to you and you enjoy it, you can
subscribe for FREE at http://www.holdthetoast.com .

Lowcarbezine! welcomes reader input!  If you have a question, a recipe,
a product review, a low carb success story, send it on in!!
mailto:dana@holdthetoast.com   All submissions become the property of
Hold the Toast Press.  If you don't want us to print your letter, just
let us know, and we won't!   However, please note -- although I really
do read all my email my very own self, I get a *lot* of mail --
generally over 200 posts a day (not all of them about Lowcarbezine!), so
I can't promise to answer every post personally. Or I'll never get the
next book written!

We are now accepting paid advertising. At this writing, our subscriber
base is 9,146; obviously, this is a highly targeted list.  Please
mailto:advertising@holdthetoast.com for rates and terms.  Hold the Toast
Press reserves the right to reject any ad, for any reason.

If you need a website designed or hosted, please check out the info on
Webbalah at the bottom of this newsletter!  (Hey, *my* website looks
good, right?)


Nutrition and the Schools Revisited

Several issues ago, I wrote about an article I had received which
asserted that the federal government gave schools the right to enforce
USDA Food Pyramid standards on lunches brought from home.  I said at the
time that I did not know if there were any truth to this, but that my
research did show that the USDA was pushing for more grains and beans
and less fat in school lunches, which was enough to worry me, and
certainly enough to concern any parent of a carbohydrate intolerant
child -- which is surely a large percentage of children born to
carbohydrate intolerant parents!  The USDA has also been pushing for soy
products to replace some of the meat in school lunches, which is a
*very* bad idea, considering the bad news now coming in about soy.  It
also seems a bad idea to add lots of plant estrogens to the already
potent hormonal stew that is your average Jr. High or High School.

(One thing that struck me as strange about that article I received was
the incident it detailed of children's lunches being examined and
approved or disapproved by their school, had happened at a *private*
school, which surely would not be subject to federal rules, even if such
rules existed.)

So I called the USDA.  And called the USDA, and called the USDA, and
called the USDA...  Getting calls back from these folks can take a bit
of persistence.  I explained that I wrote on nutrition topics, and my
readers were very concerned about the possibility that the government
might dictate standards for brown-bag lunches.  The nice folks at the
USDA (and they were nice, once I got to talk to them) were all utterly
incredulous.  They had never even *heard* of such a thing.  So it
appears that, at least at this point, you may indeed send low carb
lunches to school with your children.  (Of course, this also means that
you may send Lunchables, Oreos, and Hi-C with your children, but I can't
recommend it...)

In the meanwhile, there has been a more encouraging turn of events --
the USDA is looking at getting some of the junk food out of the schools
-- getting rid of soda pop, candy, and other sugary junk, in
particular.  (I'm afraid that white bread and white flour pasta will
remain.)  This strikes me as a very good idea; the schools should not be
undermining parental attempts to control their children's access to

Getting rid of soft drinks in school needs to be a top priority. 
According to Dr. David S. Ludwig of the Children's Hospital in Boston,
Massachusetts, soft drinks -- soda and fruit drinks -- are the leading
source of sugar in children's diet, and a major cause of childhood
obesity.  Dr. Ludwig and his colleagues studied 548 Massachusetts school
children of assorted ethnic backgrounds, between the ages of 11 and 12. 
He found that for every can or glass of soft drink a child consumed in a
day, his or her risk of obesity increased by 60%.  

The study was published in the February 17th issue of The Lancet, and of
course drew immediate fire from the National Soft Drink Association,
which stated flatly that "soft drinks do not cause pediatric obesity." 
Said Dr. Richard Adamson, a doctor on the NSDA payroll, "A balanced diet
and physical exercise are the keys to a healthy lifestyle."  However,
Dr. Adamson failed to explain how a diet could be balanced when a child
is consuming at least 10 teaspoons of sugar with every can of soda pop
-- unless the child were limited to, say, one can of soda per week. 
After all, those 10 teaspoons of sugar represent about 150 calories; if
a child were to eat, say, 1500 calories a day -- a not-unreasonable
estimate -- that one can of soda would represent fully 10% of his or her
calorie intake; hardly a balanced approach to nutrition, especially when
you consider that they're likely to also be eating cookies, sweetened
cereals, candy, and the like.  And how many children drink virtually
nothing *but* soft drinks?

Obesity in children is an epidemic in the US; it has increased by 54% in
children ages 6-11 since 1960, and 40% for adolescents during the same
time period -- we have reached a point where a full 25% of American
children are overweight. In the meanwhile, consumption of soft drinks
has increased five-fold.  Even more worrisome, the disease we used to
call "adult onset diabetes" is now rising quickly in children.  Clearly
something is *very* wrong.  I certainly agree with Dr. Adamson that
physical exercise is also an issue; too many children now spend time
playing video games that their parents and grandparents spent playing
softball, climbing trees, and riding bicycles.  But to suggest that the
*vast* increase in sugar consumption is not also a factor stretches
credulity to the breaking point -- and soft drinks are the single
greatest source of sugar in the average child's diet.

It may be an uphill fight to get sugar out of our schools; soft drink
companies offer lucrative contracts to schools for exclusive rights to
put vending machines carrying their brands in school hallways.  Schools
often eagerly seize on this as "found money", without giving a thought
to what they are *teaching* the students by selling them to corporate
interests as a market.  It seems to me infinitely sad that our schools
have to agree to push drugs to a captive, juvenile audience in order to
get enough money for extra curricular activities.  

Recently, there has been some noise from the soft drink companies about
changing their approach in the schools.  They have offered to take the
huge, blatant logos off of their machines and replace them with school
slogans and the like, and to offer bottled water and fruit juice as well
as soda, fruit-flavored drinks, and sports drinks.  This strikes me as
putting Band-Aids on terminal cancer.  The machines need to go *out*. 

Of course kids like this stuff.  They'd like whiskey and cigarettes if
we gave them to them, too.  That's no excuse to make them available in
our schools.


New Help For Sugar Addicts

Last week I wrote in response to an email I'd gotten from a miserably
sugar-addicted reader named Marie, giving her what I hope is a helpful
protocol for weaning herself off of sugar.  In the intervening week,
I've received this post:

I really enjoy your newsletter and always gain a lot of helpful insight
into  living a low carb lifestyle.

I read with interest your response to Marie and her sugar addiction.  I
too  was addicted to Coca-Cola and in December 2000 started my low carb 
lifestyle.  I have lost 40 pounds since December 8th and I am feeling
better  than I ever have.

There was one vital supplement that I feel you should have suggested to 
Marie and it is very helpful with a sugar addiction.  That would be the 
amino acid glutamine.  It is almost a miracle "pill", in my opinion. 
Not  only does glutamine help with the nasty sugar withdrawal but also
provides a  host of benefits i.e., naturally helping the body produce
it's own 
glucosamine or help in healing after surgery just to name two other 

Dr. Atkins touts glutamine heavily in his diet regimen and I feel it
helped  me overcome the worst of my sugar cravings.  After all, I quit
in excess of a liter of Coke a day plus anything else with sugar in it
I could get my hands on and I know for a fact I would never have been
to do it without that wonderful amino acid, glutamine.

Glenda Bason

I found this *very* interesting.  I have been planning to write about
glutamine, since I knew that some folks felt that it helps with sugar
cravings, and also with the "brain fog" which some people get when they
first quit eating sugar.  But the Medline data base contains very little
on the subject of glutamine and sugar cravings; it was hard to know
exactly what to say.  

However, I did find a fair amount written on how glutamine can alleviate
the craving for alcohol in alcoholics, and as I have written in the
past, there seems to be a link, although a somewhat obscure one, between
alcoholism and carbohydrate intolerance.  Then I found this very
interesting article:
(WARNING: Dense scientific jargon alert!)  The gist of it is that
l-glutamine acts on the same brain pathways as sugar and therefore will
fulfill cravings in the same way that sugar will.  Also suggests that
the obese simply have more active brain systems along these pathways,
which accounts for greater cravings.  Interesting stuff.

Spurred on by the above email, I also found a mouse study (you know, one
of those studies where they test things on white mice) that showed that
supplementing a high fat/low sugar diet with l-glutamine caused greater
weight loss, along with lower insulin levels, and more stable blood
sugar levels than the diet alone -- less hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia,
both.  Mice aren't people, but it was interesting.  
( http://maelstrom.stjohns.edu/CGI/wa.exe?A2=ind9809&L=lowcarb&P=R9680 )

Anyway, I've found enough to suggest that folks with cravings try
l-glutamine.  Also those folks who seem to suffer persistent fatigue and
brain-fog on a low carb diet; l-glutamine can be used directly by the
brain as fuel.  The useful dosage appears to be between 1 and 5 grams a
day.  You can also take a gram or two of l-glutamine when a craving
hits, and then, I suppose, do deep breathing for five or ten minutes --
but if you're suffering bad cravings, I think I'd take it as a
preventive, preferably split up into a couple of doses a day.  

I'll read more, and get back to this issue!


Charity Pitch

Hold the Toast Press has been asked to participate in the local "Locked
Up For Good" fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). 
On April 12th, I'm to report to Charity Jail, and spend an hour "locked
up" at Fountain Square Mall, here in Bloomington, on the charge of
"having a big heart."  (How'd they know?)  I've been asked to raise
*$1000 bail*!  (I think they think I'm a bigger company than I am...) 
Guess if I don't raise it, I'll have to hang out at the mall forever,

Anyway, if you'd like to contribute, it's surely a good cause.  Don't
make a check out to me, make it out to "MDA" or "Muscular Dystrophy
Association".  That way you'll know I'm not just scamming you for money
or anything.  Send it to: Hold the Toast Press, PO Box 6581, Bloomington
IN 47407. Tax deductible, of course.

As a massage therapist, I worked for a while with a little girl with
muscular dystrophy.  It's a terrible thing; let's find a way to prevent


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

(I got this post at Christmas time; just getting around to publishing it

Dana, I've been lax this season about sending holiday greetings to the
people I care about, and wanted to make up for it.  I know we've never
met, but I feel I know you well because of your book and your
e-newsletter, and as a result, I have come to care for you - because you
helped me change my life!

I've never been obese, but I've been on a permanent weight loss/gain
yo-yo for years.  Up 30, down 30, etc.  On top of the frustrations that
accompany being heavy, or avoiding the foods I love and starving myself
to be thinner, I had a permanent sense of hunger and fatigue.  I swear,
I could eat 24 hours a day in my former way of life.  And after each
meal, naptime!

Until I read (and read and read) your book, I didn't understand what the
foods I was eating were *really* doing to my body, beyond adding inches
and pounds. Now that I've given up my low fat diet, I am also 40 pounds
thinner (from Feb 2000  to August 2000).  But I don't have a scale to
gauge how much better my life is now that I'm never hungry and never
tired.  I can barely put into words how it feels to go on a business
trip and LOSE 2 pounds after eating everything I want.  Or how it feels
to look at a pie and think, blech, that looks 

I have learned from your book more about how my body reacts to foods,
and  feel more in control over myself, than I ever did using low-fat
approaches  to eating. I can safely say that even if the weight had not
come off (and  stayed off) with this way of eating, I would be thankful
for your book  because of the radical  improvement in how I FEEL about
eating and how my body feels after I eat.

So, happy holidays, and thanks for helping me change my life.  I
strongly recommend your book to anyone who wants to understand how foods
impact their bodies and minds, and who wants to feel confident and in
control over their eating, and in turn, over their bodies!

Kara in Chicago

Thanks, Kara!

If you'd like to read more reader reviews of _How I Gave Up My Low Fat
Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!_, you'll find twenty five of them at:

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 .  So does Just Say No To Carbs, at
http://www.justsaynotocarbs.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!


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 -- By Reader Carol Vandiver

Carol Vandiver, whose letter regarding low carbing and exercising with The Firm aerobic weight training tapes appeared in last week's issue, has responded with *amazing* generosity to my request for more information regarding which current tapes by The Firm are worth using.

Here is her whole response; I've inserted all of the URLs for the tapes she's recommended that I could find on Amazon, and a few comments of my own --

Thanks for answering my question in your ezine. I'm sorry to hear about your car wreck. Being told you shouldn't walk for 3 months must be very frustrating. Good luck on your road to recovery.

I was very interested in the "charting your temperature" information after one of these breathing exercise tapes. The claims for Oxycise are pretty strong. I saw Greer Childers on a new infomercial a few weeks ago. A tape may be available. )

As for the Firm, your tapes aren't out of print, they have been renamed. In a move only a marketing genius could come up with, the Firm renamed all their earlier tapes to reflect it's "focus" I assume. I guess it makes them more meaningful to the general public but it confuses the

heck out of me. I still have to look them up if I can't see the cover. Therefore...

Volume 1 with Susan Harris is now Body Sculpting Basics


Volume 2 with Janet Jones-Gretzky is now Low Impact Aerobics


Volume 3 with Sandahl Bergman is now Aerobic Interval Training


Volume 4 is Time Crunch Workout http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005T32U/lowcarbohysoluti

Volume 5 is Buns, Hips & Thigh Workout


Volume 6 is Complete Aerobic Weight Training


Frankly, I think a few of the new titles hurt the tapes. Volume 2, 3 and 4 don't even mention the medium to heavy weight work throughout the tapes in the "aerobics" advertised in the titles. But then, I'm not a marketing genius.

All of the above tapes are winners but I still think that Volume 1 is the best and most effective of them all. I still do it regularly. It was revolutionary when released in the early 80's. The best thing, as you said, about the tapes is that they are built for modification. Start with no weights, end up with heavy weights. Volume 1 will do things for your hips, thighs and pelvic region that are amazing. Revs up your life in all kinds of interesting ways ;-) (Another note from Dana: Carol's

a better woman than I am -- I've *never* gotten all the way through Volume One -- it's *tough*! Effective, but tough.)

I must say here that I made audio cassettes out of my Firm videos many, many years ago and haven't *watched* them in ages. I watch regular TV and listen to the audio. Keeps the boredom at bay.

Here are the rest of my Firm video recommendations and "don't buys":

Firm Strength & Firm Cardio used to be called Strong Body and Strong Heart. I do both regularly. Don't be fooled by the Firm Cardio title either. It has plenty of heavy weight work. But they are what the Firm calls a crosstraining set.

Firm Strength: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/6304396031/lowcarbohysoluti

Firm Cardio: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/6304396031/lowcarbohysoluti )

Tortoise & Hare - another crosstraining set. I highly recommend Tortoise, and Hare is all right on a "light" day, but is very dancey. The best thing about these tapes is Tracie Long, Firm instructor extraordinare.

Tortoise: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/6304396015/lowcarbohysoluti

Hare: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/6304396023/lowcarbohysoluti

The 2 newest crosstrainers are Super Sculpting and Super Cardio. I like the first and not the second. Super Sculpting is great for muscle confusion because it's unlike the other videos. Super Cardio uses way too many jumps and moves and not enough weight in its video. Not what I

want from the Firm.

Super Sculpting: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005T32Z/lowcarbohysoluti

Super Cardio: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005T32Y/lowcarbohysoluti

The 3 Firm Basic tapes are for *very* beginners and I only recommend the Firm Basics Sculpting with Weights which also has Tracie Long.

Sculpting withWeights


The other two (Abs, Buns & Thighs and Fat Burning) are not going to give the results that using the other recommended tapes with no weights will give even a beginner.

Cardio Burn is great but with lighter weights. I use it on "light" days. I haven't tried Maximum Cardio and Power Cardio but segments from them are used on the Core Cardio mix tapes mentioned below. I'd recommend getting the Core Cardio mix tapes instead although I do see these for pretty cheap in the discount stores. Definitely worth purchasing at those prices. I got Cardio Burn for $6.95. What a deal.

Cardio Burn: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1568124961/lowcarbohysoluti

Maximum Cardio: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1568124945/lowcarbohysoluti

Power Cardio: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/630581774X/lowcarbohysoluti

Of course, I'd recommend any Firm tape at any discount house you see more than 99% of the time before any other tape on the shelf.

Prime Power Total Body and Prime Power Lower Body are the only tapes ever made by the Firm which I hate. The production quality of the other tapes is superb with original music that doesn't grate after years of listening and great sets. These two tapes have lousy, annoying music and 'jungle' sets. Yuk. The same marketing genius who renamed all the tapes to sound alike probably thought a change was needed. It wasn't. The Firm has since gone back to exceptional production values.

(Dana's note: Apparently a lot of people agreed; these tapes are not available at Amazon.)

Other "don't buys" because there are so many superior Firm tapes to do are Maximum Body Sculpting, Better Body & Buns, and Super Cardio.

The Firm has also produced lots of tapes that are "mixes" of these tapes. The purpose is to focus on a body area or aerobics. Of these, I really like the "split" tapes to rotate Lower Body Sculpting (floor legwork from Volumes 1-6) and Sculpted Buns, Hips & Thighs go great with

Upper Body. There's a new upper body mix from newer tapes that I'd like to try.

Lower Body Sculpting: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/6303994903/lowcarbohysoluti

Sculpted Buns, Hips, and Thighs: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005T333/lowcarbohysoluti

Other great mix tapes are Tough Tape and Core Cardio 2 which I like so

much better than Tough Tape 2 and Core Cardio 1. Boot Camp 3-in-1 mix is


(Tough Tape is out of stock at Amazon at this editing. However, there is a Tough Tape 2: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1568124988/lowcarbohysoluti

As I said, the marketing genius who has been naming these things is confusing the heck out of me. I hope this clears it up for your readers.

You can learn more about the Firm at http://www.firmbelievers.com and purchase tapes at http://www.firmdirect.com or http://www.collagevideo.com. You should also check your local

discounters first because you never know what treasures are mixed with that Denise Austin trash. My personal opinion is that Denise Austin sells so many tapes because her audience is those people who buy tapes and don't actually do them.

If you're a fat girl who wants to feel like an athlete, get the FIRM. It's been life-altering for me.

Dana, the first thing I think about whenever I even have a small, stupid accident like twisting my ankle on the curb is that my life, as I've come to know it, will be over if I can't do the Firm. I'll go back to that overly-sensitive girl and young woman who had no confidence and a round body. Discovering the benefits of eating low carb make it seem like I at least would have another tool, but I greatly sympathize with your inability to exercise right now.

And yes, I guess the length of this letter would pretty much earn me the "Firm Believer" title.

Carol Vandiver

#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~# And Melanie in Harrodsburg writes: Since it's been a week, someone may have told you this already. I just wanted to let you know that I found the Body Flex videos at http://www.bodyflex.com I just ordered them as well as the Oxycise! tapes and I'm looking forward to trying both. Thank you! Thank you, Melanie! #~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~#~# -- Dana W. Carpender

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