Lowcarbezine! 29 August 2001

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Hey, Gang!

Summer's over!  It's Labor Day next Monday.  How on earth did this
happen?  Is it just me, or is time accelerating?  I swear, I'm going to
wake up tomorrow, discover I'm 75, slap myself on the forehead and say,

Since Monday is Labor Day, Tuesday is my 6 year anniversary of low
carbing.  And hey, I'm not dead yet!  No hideous health problems!  No
high cholesterol!  No terrible fatigue!  None of those dire consequences
everyone warns me about -- still.  Having done this as long as I have,
when people try to scare me with all those boogey-man like threats --
"You'll destroy your cardiovascular system!  You'll get high blood
pressure!  Your hair will fall out!  You'll have no energy!" -- I just
look at them, wide-eyed, and ask in my most plaintive tone, "When?"

I'm here to tell you that, other than marrying That Nice Boy, aka the
HTT Webmaster, going low carb was the best thing I ever did.  Hope
you're having as much fun with it as I am!

Read on!



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If You Want to Go On the Fall Retreat, It's Now or Never!

After months of getting questions about the fall retreat, we've had
remarkably few sign ups.  Perhaps you've been thinking, "Oh, I'll think
about this after the kids are settled in at school" or "November's still
a long way off; I'll sign up later."  

However, we need to know within the next two weeks how many people are
coming – and indeed, whether we have enough people to be able to do the
retreat at all.  The DeSoto House, the historic in where we've been
planning to hold the retreat, has a deadline, and we have to meet it, or
take a loss.

So now is the time!  If you know you'll need a breather by the time
Halloween is over – before the mad rush of the holidays gets underway,
if you'd like to learn breathing exercises, and Restaurant Ordering 101,
if you'd like to learn how to toss off an omelet – the ultimate low carb
fast food – like a pro, if you want to meet Diana Lee, and try baked
goods from her new low carb baking book _Bread and Breakfast_, if you
want to hear about the latest low carb research, and pick my brain, and
make a bunch of new low carb friends -- plus poke around historic Galena
and enjoy the last days of fall --you need to sign up *now*!



You loved our Cheeters Brownies, now try CHEETERS MUFFINS!!  Chocolate
and Banana Nut!!  Man, are they GOOD!
Also new at Low Carb Grocery:  Carbolite Chips, and Walden Farms
Chocolate Syrup (try it with strawberries and whipped cream!)
Plus Duo Amici Low Carb Pasta, Rosa's Bake Mix, and *TONS* of low carb
goodies at great prices!  Shop Low Carb Grocery TODAY!



Back To School

The calendar may still say Summer, but Americans know it's Autumn –
because the children have gone back to school, no doubt to the general
relief of their parents.  This seems like a good time, therefore, to
remind you all of two important points: One, that your children have
inherited half of their genes from you, and are likely to also be
carbohydrate intolerant, and two, that even children who have not
inherited serious carbohydrate intolerance cannot study, learn, and
behave their best without proper nutrition.  Yet the average American
child gets half of his or her calories – *half*, fercryin'outloud! –
from sugar in its various forms, and much of the rest from highly
refined and processed starches like cold cereal (which, of course, also
often contains vast amounts of sugar), white bread, white flour noodles,
chips, and the like.

I'm here to tell you that not only is it all too likely that a child who
has Trix or Cap'n Crunch, or even Rice Krispies, for breakfast, and
Lunchables and Fun Fruit for lunch is a child that is at *serious* risk
for ill health and obesity, but also a child who will not live up to his
or her academic potential.  The brain is a part of the body, and can
only fuel itself on the food the child eats.  It is up to you, the
parent, to make sure that that food supports health and growth, both
physical and mental.

It starts with breakfast.  There are numerous studies showing that
children who eat breakfast do better academically than those who don't. 
There are also studies showing quite clearly that children who eat a low
carbohydrate diet high in protein and fat will be *far* less hungry for
the rest of the day, which is a powerful protection against the lures of
the junk food lurking out there at every turn.  So your mission is to
get some sort of low carbohydrate, high protein breakfast into the kids
before they leave the house.

Yes, I know that many of you are terribly busy in the morning.  In that
daily scramble, the idea of making scrambled eggs and bacon for
everybody is just too much to bear.  That doesn't mean, however, that
you can't get something decent into your child on the way out the door. 
You can boil a dozen – or even two dozen – eggs over the weekend, and
stash them in the fridge.  A hard boiled egg or two is a fine breakfast,
and your child can even eat it on the bus, if need be.  Individually
wrapped servings of cheese – string cheese, Swiss Knight, Laughing Cow
cheese bits, or even a couple of slices of American cheese – are
ultra-portable, and tidy to eat.  Both eggs and cheese are sources of
DHA, a fat essential for proper brain function, which is a nice thing to
know as they head out to get smart.

Yogurt is a fast and easy breakfast, but of course you'll want to shun
such nastiness as "Go-Gurt", and sugar sweetened yogurt with mix in
sprinkles, heavens preserve us.  Plain yogurt with lemon or vanilla
extract and a little sweetener, is great.  All-fruit preserves are also
good stirred into yogurt, and while they do have the sugar from the
fruit, this combo will be nowhere near as sugary as commercially
sweetened yogurt, especially that aimed at children.  Even better, if
you have one spare minute, is fresh fruit – strawberries, blueberries,
peaches, whatever – mashed into the yogurt with a little sweetener.  

Not to belabor a point, but if you have Diana Lee's wonderful low carb
baking books on hand,(Baking Low Carb:
Bread and Breakfast: Baking Low Carb II:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0967998816/lowcarbohysoluti ) you
can make a batch of low carb, high protein muffins, breakfast bread, or
even cookies once or twice a week.  This can give the family on-the-go
healthy breakfasts for several days at a time.  Along the same lines,
you can make pancakes or waffles from low carb bake mix, and freeze
them.  These can be reheated in the toaster in a flash.  No syrup,
unless you've got sugar free on hand.  Me, I never liked syrup anyway –
how about butter, and some cinnamon and Splenda? 
Or all-fruit preserves, or unsweetened frozen strawberries, thawed?  

 You could  keep sugar free protein bars on hand, and hand each child
one on the way out the door.  They're pretty darned pricey, though, for
a daily breakfast.  Instead, try making Great Balls of Protein!  I've
repeated the recipe in the Cooking Low Carb! section, below.  Any peanut
butter loving kid will be happy with a couple of these on the way out
the door, and they'll hold him for hours.  You can, if you like, vary
these by using other sorts of nut butters – your local health food store
is likely to have almond butter and sunflower butter, for starters.

Try protein shakes! Chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, or berry are all
kid-friendly flavors, and you can get some milk and healthy fats into
them at the same time.  You can even make these the night before, store
them in the fridge, and just pour-and-drink come morning.

And of course, if you *do* have the time in the morning, you can make
eggs, bacon, sausage, ham – the usual high protein breakfasts.  Since
children do tolerate carbs better than adults do, you could even serve
one slice of whole grain toast apiece, or a small bowl of oatmeal – but
*not*, we trust, the instant, pre-sweetened kind! 

Okay, breakfast is covered.  What about lunch?  

I'm sorry to report that the USDA is encouraging school lunch programs
to increase the carbohydrates and cut the meat.  They are also pushing
the use of soy in place of meat.  I cannot, therefore, recommend that
you simply give your kids money to buy a school lunch, especially young
children whose tastes – and bodies and brains –are still in the
critical, formative years.  Packing lunch for the kids is a better idea
than ever.  But if you're not going to send Skippy and grape jelly on
Wonderbread, what are you going to send?

Please, please, *please*, do *not* send Lunchables!  These are a bad
idea in every way.  They're poor nutrition, loaded with cheap, damaging,
highly processed carbs and hydrogenated fats.  They have nowhere near
enough protein.  They contain no vegetables.  They're full of
interesting chemicals.  They're wildly overpriced – how on *earth* do
they get away with the prices they charge for some crackers and
cheese?!  And they're over packaged, so they're as bad for the
environment as they are for your child and your wallet.  Surely your
family deserves better than this.

Here are some suggestions for lunch box items that your kids will
probably eat instead of trading!  You'll notice some items in here that
wouldn't fit into an adult's lower carbohydrate diet.  Again, kids,
except for the most seriously carbohydrate intolerant, can deal with a
few more carbs than adults, so long as they're low impact, *nutritious*

* Cheddar cheese and apple slices.
* Celery stuffed with natural peanut butter
* Celery sticks, baby carrots, pepper strips, cucumber sticks, with
ranch dressing to dip them in.
* A sandwich on half a whole wheat pita bread.  Whole wheat pita is
kid-friendly, and it's quite low impact as bread goes.  You can stuff it
with tuna, chicken, or egg salad, peanut butter and all fruit preserves
or slices of fruit, ham and cheese, or whatever other healthy fillings
your child likes.
* If you'd prefer to leave the bread out of your child's lunch – perhaps
he or she already has a weight problem – you can, of course, send tuna,
chicken or egg salad in a snap-top container, with a fork, and you can
send ham, sliced turkey, deli roast beef and the like, rolled up with a
slice of cheese, with the mustard and mayonnaise layered in between.
* Great Balls of Protein!
* For kids who are being weaned off of Lunchables, try packing whole
grain crackers with no hydrogenated oils (find them at the health food
store – they're steep, but it's a better way to spend your money than on
Lunchables!), some sugar free pizza sauce (Ragu makes one) in a snap top
container, and slices or shreds of mozzarella.
* Cold chicken – always cook extra!
* A thermos of homemade chili with a packet of shredded cheese to
sprinkle on top.
* Nut and seed mix, peanuts, sunflower seeds, or whatever nuts your
child likes.
* A protein shake in a thermos
* Those same high protein, low carb baked goods from Diana Lee's book –
heck, find a recipe or two your kids like, and you can pack them cookies
for lunch with no guilt!
* If your kids want chips in their lunches, try popcorn instead.  A cup
of popcorn has a little over 2 grams of usable carb in it, and kids love
it.  It's best to avoid microwave and pre-popped, cellophane bag
popcorn, I'm afraid – hydrogenated fats, again.  But then, regular
popcorn is much cheaper, anyway!  

While you're packing that lunch, remember that juice is very high in
sugar, no matter how "natural" it is, and junk like Capri Sun is even
worse.  Milk is your best beverage bet, nutritionally.  If your kids
don't like it, and nag for juice, consider checking out the herb teas at
your local grocery or health food store (all the big grocery stores
hereabouts carry *lots* of herb teas.)  There are a lot of fruit
flavored teas out there – blackberry, cranberry, apple, etc.  You can
brew these, chill them, and use them to dilute juices with no loss in
flavor, for a fruity beverage that's a lot less sugary.

Beverages in a thermos uncool at your kid's school?  Get plastic bottles
with those pull-and-push nipples on them, and fill them with whatever
beverage you're sending along.  Freeze it overnight (don't fill the
bottle all the way, or it will burst!) and it should thaw in the lunch
bag and still be cold come noon.


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Product Review

Ever wonder who those infomercials are aimed at?  Perhaps you haven't
noticed the bullseye painted on my forehead.  Yes, I admit to owning 6,
count ‘em, 6 infomercial products, and I use them all!  I hasten to
state that I've only paid full price for one of these products; the rest
I've acquired used or been given as gifts.  Four of the six are cooking
gadgets; not surprising given my rather considerable involvement with
food.  I've reviewed both my George Foreman grill and my Qwik-Cook
newspaper grill already.  I thought I'd tell you about the two other
cooking products I find helpful.

* I have a stove top grill.  I disremember the name of the brand of
these currently being sold by infomercial; I only remember that it's
being sold by "Chef Tony".  I bought mine at a yard sale for a big $2,
and it was virtually unused – and furthermore, I've seen more of them at
yard sales since.  That being said, last I knew the infomercial price
was $20 for 2 (they figure you'll give one away, or, if you have a good
sized family, you may need two to cook enough chops or whatever for
everyone.)  If you eat a lot of grilled or broiled meats, it may be
worth your while to pay price.

The stove top grill has a bottom ring that fits over a stove burner; it
has a well or a moat around the inner edge that you fill with water or
any liquid you choose (more about this later.)  The grill plate fits
onto the ring, so it's sitting right over the burner.  I'm thinking that
these will work best on gas stoves, but if you turned your electric
burner up to high, it should work all right.  The grill plate is
non-stick.  It is slightly domes, and has shallow grooves in it, with
holes around the edge to channel drippings off into the water-filled
well.  This is a convenient arrangement; the drippings are easy to clean
up.  You simply place your steak, burgers, chops, vegetables, or what
have you on the hot grill plate, and cook them there.  

I find this grill does a nice job.  Things brown well – I usually use it
over my stove's highest heat.  About 6 ½ minutes per side is right for
an inch thick ribeye, and it comes out well-seared on the surface, and
pink in the middle.  I've used it for burgers and chops, too, and it
does a fine job.  Indeed, this is my utensil of choice for cooking a
steak or chops when it's too cold to grill outside.  (The Qwik-Cook is
my implement of choice in nice weather.)  I still use my Foreman grill
for some things, but feel that this stove top grill does a better job
than the Foreman with steaks, chops, and burgers.  In particular, I feel
that they come out juicier with this grill, because they're not being
squeezed, as things are between the two plates of the Foreman grill. 
(On the other hand, the Foreman grill is quicker, since things cook from
both sides at once, and it doesn't need watching, which this thing
does.)  Of course, neither the stovetop grill nor the Foreman grill give
the sort of smoky flavor that cooking over coals does.

One other way that the stovetop grill beats the Foreman grill – you can
put the grill plate in the dishwasher.  The ring, on the other hand, is
too large in diameter to fit in my dishwasher, but it's not hard to
wash.  A quick swish with hot water and a little detergent, and that's

About the liquid you put into the well around the grill plate: The folks
who make these make much of the fact that you can put all sorts of
liquids in there, and other seasonings – they suggest you fill it with
beer, or cider, or wine, or add cloves of garlic.  They insist that
these flavors will be imparted to the food you are cooking.  Yes and no–
the flavor will be imparted to those parts of the food that are actually
over the holes around the edge, but those holes are only in a limited
portion of the grill plate (and just as well, or you'd have fat dripping
on your burner and making a mess, not to mention catching fire.)  I
don't bother putting anything in the well but water.  On the other hand,
if you wanted to, you could use another liquid, and then cook down the
mixture of that liquid and the drippings to make a sauce to pour over
your meat.  I haven't done this, because I quite like a good steak with
just a little salt and pepper, but I'll defend to the death your right
to try it.

All told, I think that the stove top grill is a very useful item for the
low carber who likes simple grilled meats – chops, steaks, burgers,
kabobs.  It's far less expensive than the electric grills, and it's easy
to put away in a cabinet, while my Foreman grill lives on the
countertop, taking up space.  If you see one of these at a yard sale,
pick it up!  If it sounds good enough to you that you'd like to pay
price, look here:

* The Showtime Rotisserie – The Ronco Showtime Rotisserie has the honor
of being the only infomercial product I've ever purchased new, at full
price, by calling up the operators at the number given on TV.  I paid
about $160 for the thing, which is fairly tall tickets for a kitchen
gadget.  So, what do I think?

My feelings about the Showtime Rotisserie are mixed.  It actually does
some things very, very well.  In particular, it does turn out an
admirable roasted chicken, and I cook more whole chickens as a result of
having this machine.  (Whole chickens are nice because I generally pay
69c/lb on sale, and get both dark and white meat at that price, while
just breast quarters run considerably higher.  Also, I think chicken is
juicier and more flavorful cooked whole.)  Indeed, if you've got a big
family, or guests coming, you can cook two chickens at a time in this

I've also cooked a 13.5 lb. turkey in my rotisserie, and it was great. 
The infomercial says you can do turkeys up to 15 lbs, but I tried to do
a 14.5 pounder in it, and it was too big for the rotisserie; it rubbed
against the heating element.  Roasts work quite well in the rotisserie,
too; I recently cooked a pork roast in my Showtime Rotisserie, and not
only was it very juicy and tasty, but it took less time than it would
have in the oven.  Oh, and the duck I did in it was just great, as well.

Kabobs are one of those things that I haven't done much with, and
should, because they're perfect for us – meat and vegetables, grilled
together.  I need to try doing kabobs in the Showtime; it comes with a
dozen kabob rods, and the machine is designed so that the kabobs will
actually turn themselves as they cook, which is kind of neat.  I think
I'll explore this function more in the future.

One real benefit of the Showtime Rotisserie comes if you want to do a
roast or the like in the summer – you can cook these things very well,
without heating up the kitchen as much as you would by doing them in the
oven.  It's also a boon for folks who don't have two ovens; you can cook
a roast or a turkey while something else cooks in the oven.  (I grew up
in a house with two ovens, and all these years later, I *still* haven't
adjusted to the inconvenience of having only one!)

On the other hand, while they show steaks and burgers cooking in the
Showtime on the infomercial, I think my various grills are better for
these.  And while you can, indeed, do a full slab of ribs in the
rotisserie, it's a real pain in the neck to set up.  I'd be more likely
to do them in the oven, or under the broiler.

Perhaps the most unexpected thing about the Showtime Rotisserie is that
it is *very* easy to clean up.  There's a broiler pan-like drip pan in
the bottom, which fits nicely in the dishwasher.  So does the spit rod
assembly, and the heat shield.  Even the front window lifts out easily
for cleaning, although I generally just use a little Windex with it in
place. Virtually *no* grease ends up anywhere else.  Quite a nice
surprise, really.  (I might add here that I also like the fact that the
front window slides *under* the rotisserie, clean out of the way.)

However, do *not* fall for the assertions on the infomercial that the
Showtime Rotisserie is about the size of a toaster oven.  Note that they
say that it takes up only as much room as a toaster oven *side to
side*.  This is close to true, assuming you have a pretty big toaster
oven.  However, it is *much* deeper than a toaster oven front to back;
it eats up a hefty chunk of counter space.

Also, you'll want to be certain that you'll *use* your rotisserie; I use
mine less than I thought I would.  Although I like having it, I'm not
certain it was a really practical purchase.   Most heartbreaking, I saw
a Showtime Rotisserie, complete with all accessories, and looking
virtually unused, at the local Girl Scout Rummage Sale this spring.  The
price on it was $25.  I nearly wept.


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

This book is an outstanding guide, written in layman's terms for anyone
interested in or already living a low carb way of eating. Having already
lost 40+ lbs. eating low carb., I have read everything I could find in
print or on the internet about carbohydrate intolerance. This book was
BY FAR the best resource that I have read to date. I highly recommend it
to anyone wanting to lose weight and/or improve their health. 

Kristin L. Mennell, Palm Springs, CA

Thanks, Kristin!!

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!


Diabetes Epidemic in the Young

Just yesterday, an article came out of the Associated Press news
syndicate regarding the new epidemic of diabetes, particularly Type II
or adult onset diabetes.  This disease is skyrocketing, and most
particularly is rising with horrifying rapidity among people in their
30s – cases of diabetes in thirty-somethings increased by 70% during the
1990s.  This is a shocking and frightening statistic, especially since –
as the article points out – the creeping onset of Type II diabetes means
that often the disease is not discovered until serious damage has
already been done.  Half of all Type II diabetics already have
complications like kidney damage or vision loss when the disease is
discovered.  (Indeed, the person I know best with Type II diabetes first
learned he had the disease when he went to the doctor, concerned that
his vision was worsening.)

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists is now
recommending that people in their thirties be tested for diabetes if
they have even one of the following risk factors:

* A relative with diabetes.
* Overweight
* Are a member of a high risk ethnic group: African, Asian, Native
American, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander.
* Heart disease, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL.
* Are a woman who had gestational diabetes (diabetes associated with
pregnancy), or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
* Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.
* Have had a previous blood test showing impaired glucose tolerance.

You may notice in this list several symptoms of the broader category
that has come to be known as "carbohydrate intolerance" or
"hyperinsulinemia" or "Syndrome X".  It's enough to make me very, very
glad I went low carb 6 years ago.  

In particular, this story struck me because of the youth of the
diabetics involved, and the extremely rapid growth of the disease in
this age group.  For years, people who have pooh-poohed nutrition in
general, and the notion that sugar is dangerous in particular, have
insisted that the only reason for the increase of "diseases of
civilization" like diabetes was that more people were living long enough
to get them.  The 70% growth in diabetic thirty-somethings in a single
decade certainly gives that idea the lie.  It's clear something is
wrong, drastically wrong, and it will come as no great shock to any of
my readers when I tell you I'm convinced that it's the soft drink, cold
cereal, fast food culture coming back to bite us, accelerated by a
couple of decades of young people being taught that pasta salad is a
healthier meal than a steak; of cutting fats and ratcheting up the
carbohydrate intake in the name of "health".

Since I bought my glucometer and started doing experiments for this
‘zine, I've learned that a cup of brown rice is enough to send my blood
sugar into the borderline diabetic range.  I could so easily have become
diabetic; I am so profoundly grateful that I will be spared a disease
that can result in blindness, lameness, amputations, and early death.

Eat your eggs, your steak, your salmon, and your salad, and be glad
you're low carb!



Doing some low carb baking?  We have everything you need!  Bread mixes,
bake mixes, wheat gluten, and MORE!  All at the best prices on the 'net!

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

Also -- our own articles, reviews, and much more!  CHECK IT OUT NOW! 

Dana Says:  Check out the Carbohydrate Labeling FAQ.  Very useful!


That's it for this week!  See you in two weeks!
Dana W. Carpender
Author, How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet -- And Lost Forty Pounds!
Check out our FREE Low Carb Ezine!

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