Lowcarbezine! 5 July 2001

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Hey, Gang --

Hope you all had a great Fourth of July!  Yes, I know that it was a
holiday only for my American readers, but I hope the rest of you had a
nice day, too. :-)  I took the day off in typical Dana style -- which
means I spent the afternoon cooking and the evening feeding people! 
Came up with some great new stuff that I'll share in the next issue
(this one was already written before the holiday, so you'll just have to
wait.  Anyway, this week's recipes are terrific, too.)

Whether you're taking a *really* long weekend, or back to business as
usual, hope you're having a great time.

Read on!



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When Trouble Strikes, Attend to the Physical

A story I've heard quite often is this:  Someone will start out on their
low carb diet, paying attention to their nutrition, feeling better
physically and mentally.  Then something awful will happen -- a death in
the family, a job loss, a divorce, something like that.  The dieter will
be derailed -- they'll start eating chocolate and pasta and anything
else they can get their hands on in the vain hope that it will somehow
make them feel better.  The exercise program will go out the window. 
And pretty soon, in addition to the pain caused by the initial, awful
incident, they'll be dealing with the unpleasant side effects of bad
nutrition and physical stagnation.

I would like to suggest to you that when emotional and spiritual trouble
strikes, you pay close attention to the physical.  Why?  Because it's
*easy*, that's why, and it will have a beneficial effect on your
emotional and spiritual state.  Emotional issues can be nearly
intractable.  Busted marriages or love affairs are notoriously difficult
to fix.  Getting another job takes time and work.  The death of a loved
one is something that only time can heal, and time cannot be speeded

The body, however, is blessedly *here*, present, and amenable to
caretaking.  You can't make him love you again, but you can make sure
that your misery isn't compounded by blood sugar swings.  You can't
bring the dead back, but you can work off some grief with a long walk
somewhere peaceful among living things.  You can't force the world to
appreciate you as you
deserve, but you can make sure that you don't add sleep deprivation to
your woes.

This attending to the physical will do three very useful things:  First
of all, it will help you heal as quickly as possible (which, I hasten to
may well still not be quickly enough) by giving your brain the support
it needs to feel as well as it can given the circumstances.  Never
forget that your brain is a part of your body, profoundly affected by
your physical well-being.  And remember, too, that blood sugar crashes
are enough to cause depression all by themselves.  So is vitamin
deficiency.  You're already miserable; don't do things that induce
further misery.

Secondly, it gives you something to focus on other than the source of
your sorrow.  Forcing yourself to fix some simple, wholesome food which
will support your well-being, making yourself go out and take a gentle
stroll in the sun, instead of staying in a dark room and concentrating
on your sorrow, getting to bed on time even if you have to take
something to help you sleep, rather than staying up till all hours
looking at old photos or listening to the empty silence, are all fine
ways to gently lead yourself back to the land of the living.

Third, all of this will remind you on a very tangible level that *you*
are a worthy person, deserving of care, even if you have to give that
care to yourself.  This is a very important message to be giving

It may take some self-discipline to get your physical care program
going; you may not feel up to cooking, for instance.  That's okay; you
don't need to cook whole meals.  A chunk of cheese, a couple of
scrambled eggs, some frozen hot wings or a grilled chicken breast or
fillet warmed up in the microwave, some hot-and-sour or egg drop soup
ordered in from the local Chinese restaurant, a dish of plain yogurt
with some vanilla or lemon extract and sweetener stirred in -- these are
all simple but nourishing foods that will give your body the support it

Getting out of the house is another physical act that can make a big
difference.  Whether you're grieving over a death, or the loss of a
spouse or lover, home will be a place with a million painful reminders. 
Give yourself a break, and go someplace that will gently distract you --
a park, a zoo, the beach, a museum.  If you're having the aforementioned
trouble getting yourself to cook, go out to eat, even if it's someplace
simple and cheap.  Sometimes people feel that they're somehow being
untrue to the memory of the loved one (or the memory of the love lost)
if they're able to put it aside for a few hours.  This is simply
untrue.  Tell your pain, "Pain, I know you have a good reason to be in
my life right now, and I'm not telling you to go away.  I'll deal with
you, really I will.  But just for this hour or two, I'm going somewhere
else.  I'll be back."  Then go.

I urge you to avoid the mindset that says, "With all I've been through,
I *deserve* to eat (candy, ice cream, pasta, whatever damaging food
you're giving yourself permission to eat.)  And if misguided friends or
family members try to instill this mindset in you, do your best to head
them off.  Do you really deserve to go back to your dangerous
addiction?  If you had a friend who was a sober alcoholic, and something
awful happened in their life, would you tell them, "Oh, c'mon.  Your
husband just left you, you *deserve* a shot of vodka!"  Of course not. 
Going back to your carb addiction will do you no more good than that
vodka would do the alcoholic.

Some of that carb craving comes from the fact that eating carbs releases
serotonin in the brain, and can cause a lift in mood.  Unfortunately,
this is likely to be more than counterbalanced by the crash which
follows.  Taking the B vitamin niacin -- about 100 mgs a day -- can
encourage your body to create more serotonin.  (Be aware that niacin
causes a "flush" -- you'll turn hot, red and itchy for about 10-15
minutes.)  Supplements of 5-hydroxytryptophan will also encourage
serotonin formation.  And St. John's Wort will help your body maintain
higher levels of serotonin in the brain by discouraging its breakdown. 
Any of these is a healthier route than a sugar-thon.  (Be aware that
each of these has contra-indications, especially St. John's Wort.  Read
the labels, and be sensible.)  Also, of course, this is *not* the time
to drop your vitamin program.  You need all the support you can get.

I *do* recommend treating yourself within the realm of healthy carb
control and good nutrition.  This would be a good time for those sugar
free chocolate bars, or a cup of Swiss Miss Diet Cocoa.  Perhaps you'll
spend a bit more on restaurants than you generally do.  Maybe you'll
order some low carb cookies from Synergy Diet, or buy a better bottle of
dry wine than you generally pop for.  All of this is fine; you want to
be gentle and kind to yourself.  Just do it with things that won't have
an ugly backlash.

You can also treat yourself to non-food -- perhaps a massage would be
soothing, or a video-thon of your favorite old movies, or a makeover, or
two weeks off, lying on the beach.  Whatever would help, and not cause
you huge pain paying for it, you should give to yourself right now.  For
that matter, this might be a good time to pay for a few sessions of
professional counselling; this has always been useful for me.

I'm afraid none of this is academic.  It's coming from very immediate
personal experience.  The day after the last issue of Lowcarbezine! went
out, family tragedy struck around here.  I found my beloved dog, Maggie,
hanged by her dog trolley.  She was a member of the family, and it hit
both me and my husband very hard. For a couple of days we could do very
little but hold each other and cry. 

We have done much of what I have recommended -- made sure that we ate at
least a little something nourishing, even if we had to spoon it in
between sobs, got out of the house that felt so empty and went to where
there were living things -- a local historical site out in the woods,
and the Indianapolis Zoo.  We've taken walks together, and made certain
we got enough sleep, even if I had to take valerian (a relaxant herb) to
nod off.  (Note:  In times of trouble, I do *not* recommend the popular
melatonin as a sleep aid.  In any but the tiniest doses it often
stimulates very weird, vivid dreams, which is a pretty scary proposition
if you're already miserable.)  We held each other a *lot*.  I've given
him some massage.  We watched favorite old Monty Python videos (and I
ate about 7 grams worth of popcorn; that's about 3 cups worth.)  We ate
out more than usual. And we planned a vacation; we're leaving in a
couple of weeks.

We still hurt; we still cry two week later.  But we're on the
road to healing, and we're able to cope with our everyday lives again. 
I hope that you, too, will heal as quickly as God and nature allow.

Ida Rolf, one of the true pioneers of bodywork and a professional hero
of mine, once said, "We work with people's bodies because we can't put
our hands directly on their souls."  When your soul is injured, working
with your body is one of the few sure and accessible routes toward its



We've got Cheeter's Low Carb Crackers on SALE!  Plus, Pure De-Lite
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Plus we have Dana Carpender's _How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost
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Also -- our own articles, reviews, and much more!  CHECK IT OUT NOW! 


Summer Fruit Roundup!

Summer is the time when the low carber's restriction on fruit really
begins to chafe.  Just how high carb are these delectable morsels?  Can
you get away with enjoying at least a *bit* of the summer's bounty?  

You bet you can!  I have very good news for you -- compared to most of
the winter fruits -- apples, pears, oranges, pineapple, grapes, bananas
-- most of the summer fruits are *much* lower in carbs and sugar! 
Here's a rundown of the best of the summer fruit:

Peaches:  One 2 ½ inch peach has 9.7 g of carb, with 1.7 g  of fiber,
for a usable carb count of just 8 grams.  They're a good source of
vitamin A and the B vitamins, not to mention potassium, and they contain
a smattering of other minerals.

Plums:  A plum just bigger than 2 inches across has 8.6 g of carb, and
about a gram of fiber, for a usable carb count of about 7.5.  They have
a bit less vitamin A than peaches, but the rest of the nutritional
profile is similar.

Nectarines:  I just can't figure out nectarines.  They're a hybrid
between a peach and a plum, yet they're substantially higher in
carbohydrates than either of their ancestors -- 16 grams in a 2 ½ inch
nectarine!  Even after you subtract out the 2.2 g of fiber, that's high.
They've got a pretty good nutritional profile otherwise, including a
*lot* more vitamin A than a peach (1000 IUs!), but they're not worth the
sugar hit, if you ask me.  I could have *both* a peach and a plum for
that carb price!

Cantaloupe:  A half of a 5 inch cantaloupe has 22.3 grams of carb, and
2.1 grams of fiber, for a total usable carb count of 20.2 grams.  Too
much, but then, that's a *big* serving!  A 2 inch wedge would have about
5 g, and that should fit into anyone's diet!  Plus it's hard to think of
a better nutrition bargain -- cantaloupe is *full* of vitamins and
minerals.  You'll get better than 2000 IUS of vitamin A, more potassium
than a banana, a hefty 27 mcg of folic acid (prevents birth defects and
heart disease!), and plenty of minerals.  If you like cantaloupe, it's
one of your best bets.  A wedge of cantaloupe and a half a cup of
cottage cheese is a lovely, light, cool summer breakfast!

Honeydew:  My dopey food books only list honeydew in terms of cut up
cubes or balls, so that's the info I have to pass on to you.  A half-cup
of honeydew has 7.8 g of carb, and .5 g of fiber, so the usable carb are
7.3.  Honeydew is nowhere near as good a source of vitamin A as
cantaloupe -- only 80 IUs.  Still, it's a good source of potassium, and
has some other minerals and B vitamins as well.

Watermelon: Watermelon can be hard for the simple reason that
watermelons are *big*, and so are the slices of it you're likely to run
into at your friendly neighborhood barbeque.  Just a 1" slice from a
melon 10 inches in diameter will cost you a whopping 34.6 grams of
carb.  Even when you subtract out the 2.4 grams of fiber in it, that's
*way* too much.  However, if you can be careful, and cut that slice into
four triangles to share, you'll cut that back to 8 grams a serving.  And
you'll get 585 IUs of A, 186 mgs of potassium, a bit of folic acid, and
some other assorted vitamins and minerals – and be able to join in the
pit-spitting fights.

Other Melons: Like casaba, or crenshaw, or any of the other melons? 
Figure them to be in the 4-7 grams per half-cup range.

Strawberries: A whole *pint* of strawberries will cost you just 15.1
grams of usable carb – and who eats a whole pint?  A half-cup of sliced
strawberries has just 3.5 grams of usable carb! No wonder strawberries
are my favorite low carb dessert.  They're a pretty good source of
vitamin C – that half cup has 42 mg.  That's only about half of what
you'd get in an orange, but the orange will run you 13 grams of usable
carb!  You'll get a ton of folic acid, a good dose of potassium, and
bits of other stuff.  More exciting, strawberries are an excellent
source of a phytochemical called ellegic acid.  A powerful anti-oxidant,
ellegic acid is being studied intensively and appears  to have very
potent anti-cancer properties!

Blueberries: A half cup of blueberries has about 8 grams of usable
carb.  They're not the vitamin C source that strawberries are, but
otherwise they're pretty comparable, nutritionally.  However,
blueberries have a phytochemical in them that stabilizes capillary walls
– and, as a result, may help fight diabetic retinopathy, the blindness
caused by diabetes.   They may also help prevent macular degeneration,
the most common cause of blindness in aging.  If you don't like
blueberries, be aware that bilberries have the same chemical, and are
available in capsules.

Raspberries: Perhaps the best source of cancer-fighting ellegic acid,
raspberries are also a low carb fruit.  A half a cup has 7.1 grams of
carbohydrate, but fully 4.2 of those grams are fiber, for a usable carb
count of just 2.9 grams.  Yummy, too!  Again, you're looking at some A,
some C, some potassium (although less than some other fruits), and
appreciable amounts of a variety of minerals.

Blackberries: Once again, a source of ellegic acid!  (If you don't like
any of the berries, it's good to know that walnuts are a good source of
ellegic acid as well; and, to a lesser extent, so are pecans.) 
Blackberries are a little higher in carbohydrate than raspberries – 9.2
g in a half a cup, of which 3.6 g is fiber, for a total usable carb
count of 5.6 grams.  Still very easy to fit into your diet! 
Blackberries have a bit more vitamin A than raspberries, and are a bit
richer in minerals as well.

Cherries: My absolute favorite summer fruit!  I love cherries so much
that before I went low carb, it wasn't unknown for me to eat a quart of
them in a sitting!  I have to rein it in, now; cherries aren't as low
carb as some other fruits.  There are 11 g of carb in 10 ripe Bing
cherries (the blackish-red sweet cherries that are the most popular for
out-of-the-hand eating.)  Only a gram of that is fiber, so you're still
looking at about a gram of usable carbohydrate apiece!  Still, I love
them so much that it wouldn't be summer without them, and I make room in
my diet for a handful here and there.  I know this is getting
repetitive, but cherries are a pretty good source of vitamin A, folic
acid, potassium, and other minerals.  They are not, however, much of a
source of vitamin C.

If you can get sour cherries, also known as pie cherries (I have a tree
in my backyard, but the birds beat me to them this year), they are, of
course, lower in sugar – just over half the carb count of sweet
cherries.  You won't want to eat them out of your hand, of course, but
cooked with a little Splenda (and a drop of almond extract – almonds and
cherries are close botanical relatives, did you know that?) they're
wonderful on top of a sugar-free cheesecake or stirred into low carb
muffin batter.  (Not making low carb muffins?  Here's another plug for
Diana Lee's _Baking Low Carb_.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0967998808/lowcarbohysoluti )

Apricots: Fresh apricots are a carb bargain – three medium apricots have
11.8 grams, with 2.5 grams of fiber, so the usable carb count is 9.3
grams – and again, that's for *3*.  One would have just over 3 grams! 
They're a *terrific* source of vitamin A, with 2769 IUs in those three
apricots, or over 750 IUs apiece.  They're an okay source of folic acid
and potassium, and of course, have a smattering of other vitamins and
minerals.  However, if you're a fan of *dried* apricots – I love them –
remember that each piece is one half of a fruit, so you can't afford to
eat more than a few pieces!

Clearly, summer fruits can be a delicious and healthy addition to our
low carb diets.  I urge you to enjoy them often as long as they last!


Post July 4 Survival Kit is FREE!  Includes 1 Keto Chips, 1 Better Hamburger
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with your $45 order to be eligible.

Only available at http://www.synergydiet.com/ or call us toll free

Coming Soon:  Cookies, Brownies, Muffins and More!


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

A diet book without a hidden agenda - what a concept!, 

Dana Carpender's 'How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds'
is one of the best books on diet and nutrition I've ever read -- and
I've read a lot of them. Carpender manages to accomplish a rare feat in
such books by being both credible and thoroughly engaging. 

The book contains fairly comprehensive information about the connection
between insulin and obesity, and how a low-carb or carb-controlled diet
can help. All of the popular related diets are summarized.  Most authors
of diet books (understandably) have the ultimate goal of persuading the
reader to  choose their diet over a competing diet. In contrast,
Carpender does not endorse one kind of  low-carb diet over another,
rather, acknowledges that every individual has to be the ultimate
decision-maker about what works best for his or her body and lifestyle.
This is incredibly refreshing  - especially for us cynics who have tried
it all and are tired of authors and doctors who claim to have the magic
bullet that works for everyone. Carpender even does what no doctor who
wants to sell only their books and products would do - encourages
experimenting with mixing plans and creating  hybrid programs customized
to one's lifestyle and body. 

Also, Carpender comes across as honest and passionate, and provides a
good bibliography if readers wish to research the topic further. This is
a good book for anyone interested in low-carb or carb-controlled eating,
and would also make an  excellent gift for those who don't like boring
diet books, are convinced that low-carb is unhealthy, or are searching
for an alternative to the high-carb/low-fat diet that does not work for

Sara from Salt Lake City, UT

Wow!  I just *love* people who call me "both credible and engaging"! 
And yes, passionate would describe me pretty well...  Thanks, Sara.

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!


Dana Sees Red

Dear Lord, have you seen the current advertising for Quaker Chewy
Granola Bars?  Aimed, of course, at mothers, they posit a situation
where your children may be making noise – saying "Mom?  Mom?" while
you're on the phone, singing in the back seat of the car, whatever. 
Then they suggest that you shove some sugary junk food in your child's
mouth to dummy them up with the catchphrase , "Chewy stops the chatter!" 

This offends me on so many levels it's hard to know where to begin.  The
suggestion that your parenting skills are so poor and your patience so
short that you can't deal with something so minor as kids' tendency to
yammer.  The suggestion that since you obviously can't deal with your
children on your own, you need some big corporation's help to parent
them.  The suggestion that you care so little about your kids that you
don't care *what* you have to do, so long as you can shut them up.  The
suggestion that your lack of caring what it takes to quiet your children
extends to sticking pure garbage in their mouths every time they want
your attention.  

And never doubt it, Quaker Chewy Granola Bars *are* pure garbage –
they're just grain based candy bars, no better for children than a
Hershey Bar or a Twizzler, though of course the name "granola bar"
conjures up images of health food stores and natural-foods
hippie-types.  Let us not forget that Quaker is the company that, faced
with the growing popularity of *genuine*, low sugar, whole grain granola
in the 1970s, invented Quaker 100% Natural – a "healthy" alternative
that was fully 25% "natural" sugar by weight.  They're also the company
that for years has been trying to sell you highly sugared, artificially
flavored, over-priced packets of instant oatmeal by telling you "It's
the right thing to do, and the right way to do it."  They're dying for
you to believe that their high impact, overly processed, sugar laden
grain products are good, healthy food.

But that's not enough.  Now they have to simply *assume* that you are a
bad parent, a short tempered parent, with ill-behaved children, willing
to feed them all the sugar it takes to keep them quiet. The irony, of
course, is that the more sugar the kids eat, the worse behaved they're
likely to be.

I realize this is a rant.  I think this sort of nastiness merits a
rant.  I think that undermining parent's self-confidence, and taking
advantage of their natural insecurity and the normal vicissitudes of
child-rearing to weasel your way into the parenting arsenal and sell
more sugary rubbish is way beyond reprehensible.  And if I weren't
already low carb, I'd boycott their products for it.

On a related note, am I the only one who has noticed the supreme irony
of long-time Quaker spokes-person Wilford Brimley's (a fine actor, by
the way; I have no quarrel with him) new gig?  After years of selling
Quaker's sugary processed grains for them, he's now selling diabetic


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That's it for this issue!  See you in two weeks!

Dana W. Carpender

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