Lowcarbezine! 16 May 2001

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Hey, Gang!

Argh.  Sad to say, our mail server problems aren't completely fixed yet;
some of you *still* aren't getting this -- and *I* didn't get last
week's issue!  Yowch!  The webmaster is working on it; has new mail
management software and is consulting with folks who are handling huge
lists like this one; he's hopeful the problem will be solved soon.

In the meanwhile, you need to know that Lowcarbezine! will soon be going
to a bi-weekly publishing schedule. It will also be a little shorter. I
love you all with a love unspeakable, but I need some of the time I've
been spending on this 'zine to write books, not to mention to do
research and develop recipes so that I have useful information for you.

But panic not.  We're not going to leave you without moral support in
those 'zine-less weeks.  We are in the process of setting up email
support groups which will be available to you all, free of charge! 
We're going to try to keep them big enough so that they're lively, but
small enough so that they're personal -- and don't overwhelm your
Inboxes!  More news by next week.

In the meanwhile, 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 currently restructuring our ad rates.

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?)


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In Praise Of Walking

Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you've got till it's

Okay, that song was about paving Paradise, but it comes to mind when I
think of walking.  Why?  Because back in late February, I was ordered
not to walk by both my orthopedist and my physical therapist.  Due to
sciatica stemming from my accident almost a year ago, they wanted me to
stop walking for exercise.  Oh, I could walk around the house, or the
grocery store, but a brisk two or three miles for my heart and
metabolism was out.

It like to kill me.

Within a few short weeks, I found myself depressed, stagnant, and faced
with increasing writer's block.  I knew I loved walking, and that it did
more for me than just help me keep in physical shape, but I had no idea
how much more until I had to sit here, at my desk, looking out the
window and up the road that beckoned in the sunshine, and resist the
siren song of the walk.

It turns out that my life is pretty near worthless without it. 

So I told my physical therapist that she would just have to figure out
how to fix me while I was walking; that I was willing to shorten my
route, or to avoid the hills and walk on the level, but that not walking
simply was no longer an option.  I explained just how badly not walking
was effecting me, and she agreed that I should, indeed, go back to it,
and we'd figure out some other way to fix me.

I'm back to it, now; not always my full 3.5 mile course, but usually at
least a couple of miles a day, and I'm a *hugely* happier girl for it. 
The ideas are coming again, I can write, I'm cheerful, I've dropped a
couple of the pounds that I'd put on, my energy level is up, and the
whole world seems a brighter place.  So I decided to write this love
story about walking to you, my readers.

Walking is, in many ways, the ultimate exercise.  No, it won't get you
in the kind of shape that a couple of hours of weight lifting every day
will give you, and it doesn't burn fat quite as quickly as running.  But
walking has so much to recommend it that I'd like to give it its due
right here.

* Walking is the exercise that takes no training.  If you're reading
this, chances are overwhelming that you already know how to walk.  

* Walking takes no expensive equipment; heck, even name-brand walking
shoes aren't really necessary.  I walk for miles in my beloved SAS
sandals in the summer, and in my comfy Soft Spots shoes in the winter. 
Also in ten dollar sneakers from Payless.  Never had a problem.  Any
shoes that are comfy and don't rub will do -- they get bonus points for
not having any heels, but I used to walk miles in riding boots with a 1
1/2" heel with no problems.

* You're unlikely to injure yourself walking.  I learned from massage
therapy that running is one of the highest injury sports around; do it
long enough and you're very likely to hurt your knees, or get shin
splints, or *something*.  But unless you twist an ankle, or try to go
from couch potato to doing a 5 mile hike on rough terrain overnight,
chances are slim that walking will do you anything but good.

* You can walk just about anywhere.  You don't need to pay for a club
membership.  You just walk out the front door and *go*.   If you're on
break from work, you can walk up the street and back for fifteen
minutes.  Walk to a local park.  Heck, when faced with nothing else,
I've walked in big circles around the parking lot at the office building
where I was working.  Unless you're someplace that is currently iced
over (walking on ice is one of the few ways you might get injured), you
can find someplace to walk.

* Walking is a great way to get a little sunshine.  Oh, I know that
we're all supposed to be terrified of the sun these days, and avoid it
like poison, and I do wear my SPF 15 on my face.  But I find it hard to
believe that we could have evolved in such a close relationship with the
sun and have absolutely no use for it or need for it.  I know I get
depressed and sluggish in the winter when the sun doesn't peek through
for days at a time.  Getting sunshine cheers me.  Furthermore, it helps
normalize your body clock -- one of the unsung health problems of modern
times is living under artificial light all the time.  Sunshine during
the day helps your brain release melatonin at bedtime, which will help
you get to sleep and have a sound night's rest.  And there is emerging
evidence that lack of sleep may contribute to obesity!

* Walking, of course, is a fine aerobic exercise.  This means that it
strengthens your cardiovascular system and burns fat at the same time;
an excellent thing.  It also helps get the blood back up from your legs,
helping prevent varicose veins, and improves lymphatic circulation,
which is excellent for your immune system.

* As I've proven to myself, walking helps alleviate depression.  There
have actually been scientific studies showing that walking is effective
for relieving mild to moderate depression.  And it won't make you gain
weight like so many antidepressants do!

* Walking can be both a wonderful way to get some private time -- I find
walking alone to be my meditation -- or to spend some time with friends
or family.  In particular, if you have something you need to talk about
with a loved one, getting out of the house and taking a walk together
can alleviate much of the pressure, and make talking much easier.  With
men, especially, I've found that they're often more comfortable talking
this way than when I'm staring right at them.  Try it!  And of course
walking with friends can be just plain fun.

* Walking is a very easy way to get into fitness if you've been terribly
out of shape.  If you haven't even thought about exercise for years, you
can take short walks -- even ten to fifteen minutes will improve your
fitness, but probably be within your capability.  Once you're walking
comfortably for fifteen minutes at a brisk pace, you can increase your
speed, your duration, or both.

So go for a walk!

Here are a few ideas to make walking more effective for you:

* Again, if you are *very* out of shape, start with just a ten to
fifteen minute walk; consider doing this twice a day.  This will
actually improve your fitness more than slogging through a half-hour
walk that makes you uncomfortable, at least according to exercise guru
Covert Bailey.  

* When you start out, here's a guideline to keep in mind:  You should
walk fast enough that you're breathing heavier, but not so fast that you
can't talk, at least in short sentences.  You may find, if you're very
out of shape, that your calves start to ache.  This is because your
ability to get oxygen to your tissues fast enough has been impaired by
long stagnation.  Stop and stretch your calves from time to time, breath
*deeply*, and get going again!  Within a week you'll find this problem
*greatly* diminished.  You're getting fitter!

* As you get fitter, you'll want to progress.  Once again, according to
Covert Bailey, the greatest gains in fitness come as you increase
intensity, not duration of exercise.  In other words, you'll get fit
faster if you try to walk a little further in the same time period than
if you walk for a longer time at the same speed.  However, be reasonable
about this.  Again, don't push yourself harder than a pace where you can
talk, at least in short sentences.  Breathing deeply, but not gasping,
is what you're aiming for.  And if you feel any unidentified pain, slow

* I love to walk with hand weights.  I've heard conflicting opinions on
whether or not these increase your fitness, but I find that I do notice
a difference in intensity when I take my weights *and pump them
vigorously* -- you can't just let them hang at your sides.  If you want
to try this, you'll need special weights that have a strap across the
back of the hand, so that your hands don't tire out before your arms
do!  There's another benefit to these weights if you live in a
not-so-idyllic neighborhood -- they deter a lot of trouble.  When I
lived in Chicago, I walked *everywhere*, or took public transit, walking
to and from the station (and often getting off the bus or train a stop
or two early, to walk a little farther.)  I carried anything I needed to
take with me in a back pack, and carried five pound hand weights -- the
equivalent of having a five pound sledge hammer in either hand.  I never
got any trouble, even walking home from the El at night.  People knew I
was strong, and that I could *swing* that weight if need be.  One note
about using hand weights -- don't let your arm go completely straight at
the bottom of the down-swing; keep your elbows soft.  You'll give
yourself tennis elbow, otherwise!  The Voice Of Experience, here!

* You can, of course, also add intensity by finding hills to walk on. 
My neighborhood is rolling, so my walking route includes some hills. 
One of my neighbors simply starts at a spot where three roads join at
the bottom of a hill, and walks up one hill and down, then up the next
and the next.  She walks each hill three or four times, and gets a
*terrific* workout!  Again, though, this is for when you're already in
pretty good shape.  

* Which leads us to -- don't try to get into fantastic shape over
night.  Think of it like braces on your teeth -- it's mild but constant
pressure that makes the beneficial change happen.  If you tried to move
your teeth in a single day, using, say, a hammer, you'd be very sorry. 
Take it from a massage therapist -- the clients I've seen who have tried
to get in shape overnight have been very, very sorry.  Ouch.  Again,
it's like diet -- you're going to have to continue to do it for the rest
of your life to maintain the benefits, so take your time and do it

* I like to "force my breathing" while walking -- to deliberately
breathe as deeply and fully as I can.  I focus especially on the exhale,
pulling in my stomach hard and forcing out every bit of wind that I can,
to make room for more fresh air. (This also gives me a mild ab
workout!)  Then I breathe in as deeply as I can.  It can be almost a
little intoxicating! Aerobic exercise is about oxygen consumption, after
all, and fat burns in an oxygen-rich atmosphere.  Suck that air!

* What about bad weather?  Well, I don't walk in the rain these days, or
when my road is iced over in the winter.  But cold weather isn't a
problem; I just bundle up.  In particular, I find that a pair of tights
under my pants makes a *huge* difference, and wearing a warm hat is
essential as well.  The nice thing, of course, is that the coldest
you're going to be is about three minutes after you walk out the door;
after that, you'll start warming up.  I've walked comfortably in weather
as cold as 0 degrees -- I just had to have the right clothes.  

* How about heat -- far more likely to be a problem right now in the
Northern Hemisphere than cold is?  When it's *really* hot, I wait until
after dark to walk.  You could also walk at dawn, if you're a morning
person, something I've never aspired to be.  Either way, it will be much
cooler.  I also find that if it's quite hot out, wetting my hair makes a
big difference.  Natural air conditioning!  Of course, I have
wash-and-wear hair...

* In the city, there's one other potential summer problem -- the smog
alert.  I cannot suggest that you walk seriously if there's an ozone
alert in effect; it's very bad for your lungs.  See if you can find a
mall that allows walkers; many actually have walker's clubs before they
open in the morning.  This way you can walk in ozone-reduced air
conditioned air without paying for a health club membership.  You won't
get the sunshine, of course.  And there won't be hills, but if there's
stairs, you could incorporate them into your walk.  I spent ten days in
Dallas, TX, in July, one summer, when my husband was working at the
now-defunct Super Collider. I walked miles inside Red Bird Mall, and
never once got a funny look, much less asked to stop -- and I had my
hand weights with me! 



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Reader Letter

I gave myself diabetes by following the Slim Fast diet plan! And I
didn't lose much weight, either. My blood pressure shot up and my doctor
did blood work and found that my triglycerides were sky-high along with
my fasting glucose levels and cholesterol. 

He tried to put me on Lipitor, but I'd been reading about that stuff and
asked him if I could try the diet-and-exercise route first. He put me on
the DASH diet, which is "balanced" but I was terribly hungry all the
time (I would dream about food at night!).

Then I found Dr. Ezrin's book and started low carb (and lower fat than a
lot of low carb plans). My triglycerides and fasting glucose dropped
right down to low-normal, my blood pressure dropped below "borderline
high" for the first time in a couple of years. I'm never starving-ly
hungry, I'm full of energy and cheerfulness. What's not to like?!

I am reading your book and enjoying it immensely! I arrived at a low
carb eating style through Dr. Calvin Ezrin's "Type II Diabetes Diet"
book -- which pretty much saved my life.

Thank you especially for citing the Harvard Nurses study and the
relationship between fat consumption and breast cancer. My mom has a
real bee in her bonnet about the evils of eating fat, and I can use this
study as ammunition the next time the subject comes up.


Thanks, Cyn!  For those of you who are interested, here's a link to Dr.
Ezrin's book on diabetes:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0737301031/lowcarbohysoluti .  I
haven't read it, so I can't comment.

Diabetics might also look at Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316093440/lowcarbohysoluti .

Next, regarding the Harvard Nurses Study, and the question of the
relation of fat to breast cancer -- a topic on which I've had some
questions recently -- I repeat an article from the first few months of


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 .  Low Carb Pharmacy has it, too --
http://www.lowcarbpharmacy.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!


Frequently Asked Question

Won't all the fat in a low carbohydrate diet give me breast cancer?

No, it won't.  One of the real disgraces of the whole low fat mania of
the past twenty years has been the propaganda telling women that they
*must* eat a low fat diet to prevent breast cancer.

It isn't true.  I mean, it *really* isn't true.  In 1999
the New England Journal of Medicine published an article in which the
results of 7 different studies of the effects of fat restriction on
breast cancer were reviewed.  The result?  Absolutely *no* protective
effect was found *whatsoever* from a low fat diet.  In fact, the
researchers were startled to find that a very low fat diet was
associated with a *higher* rate of breast cancer.  They tried to explain
it away, of course. They said it was probably just an artifact in the
research.  Low fat diets couldn't possibly be *unhealthy*, could they?

The Harvard Nurses study, still ongoing, also has looked at the
relationship of fat intake to breast cancer -- and once again, the
highest rate of breast cancer is found in the women with the *lowest*
fat intake.

In 1996, an Italian study was published in the Lancet, another highly
respected medical journal, analyzing diet and breast cancer rates.  The
*lowest* rate of cancer was found in the women with the *highest* fat
intake, while the highest rate was found in the women with the highest
*carbohydrate* intake -- especially starch; those "nice" complex
carbohydrates we've all been told are so good for us.

Shades of Linda McCartney.

Begins to be clear why the medical researchers are trying to explain
this away, doesn't it?  How would *you* like to have to face millions
upon millions of women and tell them, "Oh, by the way -- that, uh,
healthy low fat diet, with 6 to 11 servings of grains a day, that we've
been telling you to eat for the past couple of decades?  Probably raises
your risk of breast cancer.  Sorry about that."  I'd be blaming it on an
"artifact in the research", too.

We know that breast cancer, like so many of the other diseases that are
a scourge in modern, industrialized nations, is strongly associated with
high levels of insulin in the blood, or hyperinsulinemia.  And we know
that restricting dietary carbohydrate is an extremely effective way to
lower those levels of insulin.

A low carbohydrate diet, high in healthy, natural, untampered fats, will
*not* give you breast cancer.  And it may well be a good prevention.


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Dana W. Carpender

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