Lowcarbezine! 17 October 2001

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Hey, Gang --

Okay, I admit it.  The Halloween article in today's issue is a retread
of
last year's Halloween article.  But hey, how much has Halloween changed
in a year's time?  

This is a short issue, too.  It was going to be longer, but my computer
crashed for several hours this afternoon, scaring me half to death.  I
mean, it's one thing to lose this week's issue of the 'zine, but this
thing's got my manuscript for my book in it!  Anyway, the computer crash
cut into my writing time pretty seriously.

Still, short or not, I'm sure you'll find this issue worth the price you
pay for it. ;-D

Read on!

Dana

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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
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The American Heart Association Weighs In

It was all over the papers and the internet last week, so you probably
saw it  the American Heart Association has come out and stated that
"high protein" diets (meaning low carbohydrate diets) will cause heart
disease, and are therefore dangerous.  Indeed, I'd bet that more than a
few of you had this news pointed out to you by the hoards of concerned
friends, relatives, and co-workers always eager to save us from our
hideously unhealthy diets, no doubt while enjoying a Coke.

This official pronouncement against low carb by so well-known a body as
the AHA may have some of you nervous.  It shouldn't.  Here's why.

First of all, be aware that this criticism of a low carb diet is not the
result of some new study showing that low carb diets are, indeed,
dangerous.  This is simply a press release based on the same old
"knowledge" that's been going around for a few decades now.  There's
nothing new here.  Or as the bumper sticker says, SOSDD. (Same Old 
ahem!  Stuff, Different Day.)

Beyond that, this pronouncement is a muddle of misinformation and
surprising admissions of the effectiveness of low carb diets, hedged
round with some glaring omissions.  Once again our Way of Eating is
referred to as "high protein", ignoring entirely the fact that the
*vast* majority of low carbohydrate plans recommend between 65-85 grams
of protein a day for your average dieter, hardly an extreme amount. 
Once again we are told that low carb diets exclude fruits and
vegetables, despite the fact that even Atkins Induction phase, surely
the strictest form of a low carb diet anyone is recommending, calls for
two cups, or four servings, of vegetables a day, considerably more than
the average American eats, and despite the fact that many, many low
carbers end up eating *more* vegetables, for the simple reason that they
are what is available to us in the way of side dishes.  Once again we
are told that low carbohydrate diets are low in fiber, despite the fact
that some huge percentage of us are subtracting fiber grams from total
carb counts, skewing our diets in favor of *higher* fiber intake, and
despite the fact that most of the foods we cut out  white bread, white
flour pasta, white rice, processed potato products, processed cereals,
sugar  are virtually devoid of fiber.  

Indeed, reading this report one would think that low carbers are living
on nothing but bacon cheeseburgers, rather than the wide variety of
healthful foods available to us.  It's terribly provocative to say, "Oh,
that's that diet where you can have all the steak and bacon you want." 
It's equally true, however, to say, "That's that diet where you can have
all the salmon and Caesar salad you want, with a wedge of melon for
dessert"  it just doesn't make for as controversial press.

We are given the old wheeze about fat, and especially saturated fat,
being dangerous, and we are also told that there is "no research"
proving that low carbohydrate diets are safe.  I find this particularly
ironic coming so soon after Gary Taubes' article "The Soft Science of
Dietary Fat" appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Science, laying out
for all the world to see the total lack of research that lead to
pronouncements of the "dangers" of saturated fat and cholesterol.  No
mention is made of the emerging fact that some saturated fats  in
particular stearic acid, found in beef and chocolate  actually *lower*
cholesterol. There is also a complete omission of the fact that low carb
diets, unlike low fat/high carb diets, encourage the consumption of good
fats in the form of nuts, seeds, olives and olive oil, avocados and the
like, and also in the form of fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, tuna
and sardines, despite clear evidence that these fats lower the risk of
heart disease.  The AHA is also apparently unconcerned about the
overwhelming clinical evidence that low fat/high carb diets raise
triglycerides and lower HDL (good cholesterol).

And of course it is completely ignored that *many* of the low
carbohydrate diets out there have been designed by doctors who have had
the same classical, conservative medical training as any of the MDs who
work for the AHA  Robert Atkins trained in cardiology at Cornell, and
one would think he could recognize the signs of rampant heart disease if
he saw them.  Michael and Mary Dan Eades (_Protein Power_, ) Karen
O'Mara (_The GO-Diet_), Diana Schwartzbein (_The Schwartzbein
Principle_) and Wolfgang Lutz (_Life Without Bread_) are all also
practicing physicians, surely capable of ordering, reading, and
interpreting standard bloodwork.  

The really humorous part of the report, however, is that it as good as
admits that low carbohydrate diets work, both for weight loss and to
improve bloodwork!  The article says, "In high-protein diets, weight
loss is initially high due to fluid loss related to reduced carbohydrate
intake, overall caloric restriction, and ketosis-induced appetite
suppression."  Translation: These diets make you lose weight, and they
do it by making you lose excess water  a great way to lower blood
pressure  and by making you less hungry.  Gee, how terrible.  Also in
the report: "Beneficial effects on blood lipids and insulin resistance
are due to the weight loss, not to the change in caloric composition." 
Sure sounds like an admission that low carb diets lower cholesterol and
triglycerides and improve diabetes to me!  The article also states that
low carb diets have "improved palatability" and are "an attractive
alternative" because of it  in other words, people like to eat this
way.  Think that might help people keep their weight off, mebbe? 

In short, this isn't a scientific report, it's a press release by an
organization increasingly aware that they're becoming irrelevant. 
Nothing to worry about here.


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Low Carb Success Stories Needed!

I'm looking for low carb success stories to use in the revised, expanded
edition of my book.  Whether you've lost weight, improved your health,
or both, I want to hear from *you*!  I'll run the best stories here in
Lowcarbezine!, too -- so send in your success story today!

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Don't Look Now!

It's almost upon you!  It's about to LEAP on you!  Run!  RUUUUUN!

It's Halloween!!!

Yep, in just two weeks, we celebrate the most primal, bone-deep
Sugar Festival known to Western Civilization.  Is there any holiday that
is more totally, utterly associated with *CANDY* in the American mind?
There's Christmas candy, but there's so much to Christmas tradition --
decorations and songs and religious services and presents -- that candy
just blends in to the scene.  We have red satin heart shaped boxes of
candy at Valentines Day, but if you got a silk nightie or a massage gift
certificate from your Valentine this year, you probably wouldn't be
thinking, "But where's the candy?!"  But for many of us, Halloween is
really about the candy.

I know that when I was a kid, I trick-or-treated for hours on Halloween
night.  I knew all the "good houses" -- where they gave out big,
expensive candy bars like Butterfinger and Caravelle and such, and I
knew which houses gave out stuff I didn't care near as much about --
Necco Wafers, Smartees, candy corn. I knew which neighbor fried fresh,
homemade donuts all night on Halloween night.  (That I wasn't afraid to
eat something actually made by the giver says a lot about the innocence
of my childhood.)  I planned my route for days in advance!  And I doubt
kids have changed that much in the intervening thirty-some years.

All of which spells crisis for the low carb dieter.  Especially if you
have kids, you are facing threat of being surrounded by candy in your
very own home!  Oh, the horror!  Oh, the humanity!  What you need is
some strategy, but *fast*, to get you through Halloween without sinking
into a hypoglycemic coma. Whether you've got kids, or are the kind of
adult who digs celebrating Halloween kids or no kids, you need to
emphasize the non-candy coolness of Halloween.  What non-candy
coolness?  How about:

* Costumes!  Get caught up in helping your kids come up with totally
excellent costume, or even in coming up with one for yourself!  (Best
Halloween costume I ever saw was a guy who rented a Santa suit, and
bought a tube of green greasepaint, and came to the party as The Grinch.
:-D  )

* Spooking trick-or-treaters.  It can be a lot of fun to set up your
house to be the scariest one on the block!  We used to have styrofoam
tombstones on the front lawn, a ghost that slid down a wire toward the
front door, and a tape of haunted house sounds playing -- and we'd
answer the door in scary costumes.  One friend would even hide behind
the tombstones on the front lawn, complete with zombie make up, and jump
out at the kids as they were coming back down the driveway, and chase
them down the block!  We became a house with a Halloween "rep".

* Parties! If you haven't been invited to a Halloween party, consider
throwing one.  It will let *you* control the refreshments.  And
Halloween parties are a blast!

* By the way, holding a Halloween party for your kids is not only a good
way to avoid the risks of trick-or-treating, but also a great way to
limit how much candy your kids will have access to -- and how much candy
will be in your house come November 1.  You can do the old fashioned
stuff, like costume judging, bobbing for apples, and jack-o-lantern
carving contests, or you can do something simpler, like renting a couple
of horror movie videos and having everyone come in costume to watch.  If
you don't want to expose the kids to the really gory stuff, consider
older, but still creepy, movies -- I *love* old horror movies! 
Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Creature
>From the Black Lagoon, all of them!  (If you want to watch old
horror movies, and you get cable, you should know that AMC (American
Movie Classics) runs Monster Fest every year -- a whole week of nothing
but classic horror movies! I'm stocking up on blank videotapes!)

* Look for fun local Halloween activities.  Is there a haunted house
near you?  A haunted hay ride?  My mom and I were at a local historical
site last fall-- Connor Prairie, in Fishers, Indiana -- and they were
staging The Headless Horseman.  *Very* cool!  And virtually candy-free.
My middle-sized town also has a few haunted houses within striking
distance, a haunted hay ride around a local park, and a ghost story
telling festival.

* If you live in a neighborhood where you'll get trick-or-treaters,
consider giving away something other than candy.  That way, you don't
have to sit there staring at the candy bowl all evening!  What to give
away that won't get your house egged?  Back when I lived in a
trick-or-treating neighborhood (I'm out in the country now, with nary a
trick-or-treater in sight), I gave away peanuts in the shell -- I had a
big bowl of them, and let kids take a double handful.  I *never* got a
complaint!  Nope, I had little goblins saying, "Oh, wow!  Peanuts!"
Other possibilities are stickers, small cheap toys (look at stores that
cater to teachers for these), or even small change -- after all, a candy
bar would cost you at least a dime, right?  You could give away apples,
but nobody eats Halloween apples anymore because of the urban legends of
razor blades in apples.  *Don't* do what my dentist next door neighbor
used to do -- give out toothbrushes -- or you *will* be cleaning up your
yard the next day!

* Consider laying in a modest supply of sugar free low carb candy for
the duration.  Check out some of the websites --
Carb Smart ( http://www.webbalah.net/carbsmart.html ) has low carb
candy, as does Low Carb Grocery (
http://www.webbalah.net/shoplowcarb.html  A few sugar free chocolate
bars or taffies can be a strong defense against the lure of Reese's and
Snickers.  Consider, too, making some sort of festive sugar free
Halloween dessert.  Since my Sunshine Cheesecake is orange I thought it
might be appropriate -- I've repeated the recipe in the Cooking Low Carb
section below.  Or you might make one of the snack cakes from Diana
Lee's _Baking Low Carb_ --
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0967998808/lowcarbohysoluti .

*Make sure that you -- and the kids! -- not only eat a good breakfast on
Halloween, but get a healthy, high protein, low carb supper as well, to
stabilize blood sugar.  You'll find it easier to resist the junk, and
they'll be less likely to end up getting really zooey.

* Don't forget to toast the seeds that come out of your pumpkin!
Separate them from the stringy goop, spread them out in a flat baking
pan, and roast 'em at about 300 for ten to fifteen minutes.  Salt them
if you like.  You can rinse them before you roast them, but I think
they're tastier with the caramelized pumpkin juice on them.  I adore
pumpkin seeds, and they're low carb and very nutritious.

* I would caution you against declaring Halloween an Indulgence Day, for
the simple reason that it's going to be *very* hard to stop raiding the
kids' treat bags and the give-away candy supply once you start.  It's a
bad idea to let down your guard when the temptation is virtually
unlimited.  If, however, you choose to ignore this advice (What --
there's somebody in the world who *doesn't* hang on my every word, and
do exactly as I say?  Imagine that.) keep in mind that chocolate
combined with nuts -- a Snickers, peanut M&Ms, a Reese's cup -- will
have a lower blood sugar impact than the stuff that's pure sugar, like
candy corn, mellocream pumpkins, and Sweetarts.  I trust it goes without
saying that you should choose the smallest piece you can!

* Is it too much to ask to suggest that you try to start slowing down
the flood of candy that your kids get for Halloween?  For instance,
since the going door to door in costume is quite a lot of the fun, you
might do that, but suggest to the kids ahead of time that they only keep
and eat the kinds of candy they *really* like.  I ate every scrap of
candy I got for Halloween as a kid, even stuff I didn't much care for,
in just the way that an alcoholic who prefers whiskey will still drink
vodka if that's all there is.  I'd recommend that you ration it out,
too, rather than letting the kids have control of it; they really don't
need unlimited candy for several days!  Candy freezes well; try freezing
it and doling it out a piece at a time -- *after* a good meal of
protein!

* I'm aware that many conservative Christians try to keep their children
away from Halloween celebrations entirely, since Halloween is the
descendant of an ancient pagan holiday.  (For the record, Halloween was
pagan New Year, and the time to say good bye to loved ones who had died
in the preceding year, which is why it's associated with ghosts.  In
Mexico, there's an interesting cultural tradition of El Dia De Los
Muertos, the Day of the Dead, on November 1, when families go to the
graveyard and have a picnic on their ancestors graves.  But I digress.)
Many churches now have alternative celebrations -- a dear friend of mine
helps plan a Biblical Costume Party for the kids of her church every
year. (I must admit to wickedly wondering how they'd react if someone
showed up as Salome...) If you're involved in something like this, how
about you make it *really* alternative, and try to keep the party from
centering on candy, fruit punch, and cake?  After all, if you're truly
concerned about the young'uns spiritual health, you want them to
understand about the body being God's temple, right?

You've got a couple of weeks to prepare yet, so dive on into the
planning, and make it a fun, spooky Halloween -- that you won't regret
come All Saint's Day!  Otherwise, you'll be like the little ghost who
had a stutter -- you'll make a Boo-Boo.  (Oh dear.  Did I actually say
that?)

Have fun!

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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
everyone.

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
before-and-afters.

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!

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You're Lucky You're Overweight

You may not think so, but it means that you've got enough to eat, and
millions upon millions go hungry.  You can help them without leaving
your computer, and without spending a cent.  Just go to the Hunger Site,
and click on the "Give Free Food" button.  The Hunger Site will donate
food for hungry people for every click they get -- and you can click
once every day!  Then go to Stop the Hunger, and click to donate money
to hungry people in the USA.
 It's the easiest thing you've ever done to help your
fellow human beings.  Check out the ways you can actually give *more* to
hungry people with each click -- still without spending a cent!

Go to the Hunger Site *NOW*, and click to feed those less fortunate than
you! http://www.thehungersite.com 

Go to Stop the Hunger, and click to donate food to hungry Americans:
http://www.stopthehunger.com 

And tell your friends!

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If You Like Lowcarbezine!, You'll LOVE CARBSMART!

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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!
http://www.holdthetoast.com
Check out our FREE Low Carb Ezine!

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