Lowcarbezine! 22 March 2002

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Hey, Gang -

I did it! I did it! I got the cookbook done, and the manuscript to my publisher, on time. Whew! So now I'm back in the saddle, ready to put out Lowcarbezine! again. Hope you enjoy it!

Read on!


Holidays In a Hurry

Ack! I come back to the 'zine, only to discover that two holidays have crept up on me, and I'm totally unprepared! I hope that if you celebrate either Easter or Passover you've given your holiday more thought than I have. (Thank goodness the Equinox is past, or I'd have to deal with that one, too, 'cause I know I have Pagan readers...)

Here are just a few random thoughts on our Spring holidays:

* If you celebrate Easter around your house, it won't do your kids a bit of harm to be reminded that the holiday is about Jesus, not chocolate, jellybeans, and marshmallows. Cutting back on their candy load won't hurt them one tiny bit, and it will keep your temptation level down, too. How about a fuzzy stuffed bunny or chick for the centerpiece in their Easter basket, instead of a big chocolate bunny?

* Dying Easter eggs is loads of fun, and hard boiled eggs are low carb and good for your kids. Maybe you could ramp up the focus on this creative fun to take some of the focus off of sugar.

* Want something fun, sweet, and Easter-y that you and the kids can both enjoy? Mix two packages of sugar free gelatin with only enough water for one package, and pour the resulting "finger Jell-O" into egg shells you've blown and rinsed out - you'll have to tape over the holes, of course! Chill well, and you can each crack and eat your own Wiggly Egg!

* It's not too late to get sugar free candy for the event. Not only is there sugar free chocolate available, as you doubtless are aware, but there are sugar free marshmallows ( http://www.synergydiet.com ) for you Peeps addicts, and sugar free jelly beans - including sugar free Jelly Bellies. This stuff ain't health food, but it's a whole lot better for you than the sugary stuff.

* If you're celebrating Passover, how low carb you can make your Seder will depend to a large degree on whether you keep kosher or not. Heck, I've even seen a recipe for low carb matzoh balls - but they were made with pork rinds! Even substitutes that are okay the rest of the year - like soy products - aren't kosher for Passover. If you do keep kosher, I suggest you just make your Seder an Indulgence meal, and eat whatever is traditional in your family - or, at least, whatever of the traditional stuff you actually love! Again, the basic Holiday Indulgence Rule of "never bother eating a food you don't really care about, no matter how traditional it is" holds.

* Of course, you may make your Seder an Indulgence meal even if you don't keep kosher! All depends on how important it is to you to eat your family's traditional foods for the holiday.

* A couple of years back, a reader named Caryn Cupach sent us some info on how she planned to de-carb her Seder, including a pile of recipes. I got a ton of requests for this information, so we've put it up on the website, at http://www.holdthetoast.com/passover2002.html

I also checked out Barbo Gold's website, Barbo's Diet Kitchen, and found this recipe for a low carb Passover cake: http://www.laguna2001.com/barbo/recipe/archive.pl?read=3694

So whatever you celebrate, have fun! Me, I'm going to roast a leg of lamb, cook up some asparagus, and watch The Ten Commandments. You gotta love Cecil B. DeMille!

Public Appearance

Dana will be speaking on Tuesday, March 26th, from 7 pm to 9 pm, at the Monroe County Public Library, Bloomington, IN. She'll be addressing The Myths Of Low Carbohydrate Dieting. If you're in the area, come on by!

Low Carb Sources of Potassium

Burma Powell of McLean, Virginia writes:

I've been low-carbing for almost a year and a half. Since I'm 52 with the middle-ager metabolism, I'm stuck at a weight a little higher than I'd like, but I've lost 25 pounds on this way of life, and I'm much happier and healthier. I am having one problem, however, and I so hope you can help me.

How in the world can I get enough potassium without eating too many carbs? Because of my metabolism, I can't get much above about 30 - 35 carbs daily without the potential for weight gain. That doesn't leave much room for potassium rich foods. I use the Atkins r-t-d shakes at 550mg each and try to use NoSalt whenever possible (even though I hate the taste), but if I'm not careful, I experience a "flutter" in my heartbeat. I'm worried that I might be causing heart damage if I allow this to continue. I read about the benefits of calcium/magnesium supplements to help retain potassium, so I take a tablet of 1,000 mg calcium/500 mg magnesium in chelated form daily.

I know from reading the message boards that this is a common problem. I just haven't come up with the answer. What did the caveman do? I haven't consulted a doctor because my husband's doctor pooh-poohed the diet when he discussed it with her. Going back to my old way of eating isn't an option. If I occasionally cheat and eat carby foods now, I get uncomfortably bloated, so they don't even appeal to me anymore. I wonder how you address this problem. Perhaps your daily carb level is higher than mine can be. If so, maybe some of your older readers might have some insight.

It is a tribute to the power of advertising that so many people are convinced that carb-laden foods are the only good sources of potassium, and that bananas are the greatest source of all. It simply isn't true. There are many fine low carb sources of potassium, including, believe it or not, many animal foods. However, it is surprisingly flukey which foods are high in potassium and which are not - there can be a difference of hundreds of milligrams between, say, one sort of fish and another.

Therefore it seems to me a good idea to give you a rundown of some of the best low carb sources of potassium. For the record, these potassium figures come from Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, by Pennington, a volume no aspiring nutrition wonk should be without. Amazon has it at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0397554354/lowcarbohysoluti . The carb counts come from The Nutribase Complete Book of Food Counts, by Dr. Art Ulene, for the simple reason that Pennington, while a great source for micronutrient levels, often doesn't contain fiber counts. ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1583331077/lowcarbohysoluti ) (I like Corrine Netzer's food count book, too, but my dog ate it.) I also used the USDA Nutrition Database, which you ought to have bookmarked! http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin/nut_search.pl

As you read through this list, keep in mind that the RDA for potassium is 3500 mgs (3.5 grams) per day. That's a lot, but since many low carb foods - including many carb-free animal products - are good sources, getting enough shouldn't be a problem.

It's important to know that you're likely to need a bit more potassium in the first week or two of low carbing, while your body is finding a new sodium/potassium balance. If you eat a great deal of sodium, extra potassium is a good idea as well, as it is if you are exercising in hot weather and sweating a good deal.

CAUTION: Most importantly, it is vital that you talk to your doctor about your potassium intake if you are on a potassium sparing blood pressure medication such as Vasotec. If you're on blood pressure medication and do not know whether or not it is potassium sparing, ASK. With these medications, excess potassium can build up in the body, with dangerous consequences. Don't mess around, here.

Okay, on to the foods!

But vegetables aren't the only good low carb source of potassium - it comes from some of the most unexpected sources! How about:

Fish, as I mentioned, is one of those food groups where which variety you choose makes a big difference in the potassium content:

I trust it's clear that you can get plenty of potassium on a low carb diet, which of course explains how the cave men did it!

Get Your Sugar Free Jelly Beans Here!

Not to mention sugar free chocolates of every description - peanut butter cups, turtles, peppermint patties, you name it! Plus, sugar free gummy animals for the kids! Great prices, great service!

Plus, make Easter Breakfast extra special with Aunt Pearl's Low Carb Bake Mix! 1 pounds for only $7.99 - compare to the "big brand", at $11.95 for 4 ounces less!

Low Carb Grocery http://www.webbalah.net/shoplowcarb.html

The Return of the Junk Scientists!

While I've been on hiatus I've seen two articles regarding diet and Type II diabetes. They had a couple of things in common - one, they both blamed diabetes on meat of one kind or another, and two, they both were laughable junk. Here's the deal:

One article, seen in another ezine called WebMD, and echoed with an article in my local press, asserted that people who eat red meat are more likely to get diabetes than folks who don't - indeed, this, at first glance, was the whole point of the article. The other, which also appeared in the local paper, asserted that people who eat cured meats - ham, sausage, bacon and the like - are more likely to get diabetes than folks who don't. Oh, dear! We're doooooomed!

But if you read on in either of these articles, you got the whole truth - that people who ate a "Mediterranean Diet", rich in fish, poultry, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits - in other words, protein foods and the lower impact carbs - are less likely to get diabetes than folks who eat a "Western Diet" - red meat or cured meat (or, presumably, both) plus "french fries, refined grains, sweets, and desserts." In other words, if a person eats a diet of red meat plus a ton of absolute nutritional garbage, and they get sick, it must be because of the meat, right?

This sort of thing is health media political correctness at its worst. It scares people needlessly, and adds absolutely nothing of use to the discussion on diabetes, a disease that is reaching terrifying epidemic proportions. Once again, I am left with the sneaking suspicion that the folks publishing this sort of article are too chicken or too dishonest to admit that the whole "fat and meat are bad/carbs are good" paradigm they've pushed for the past two decades is not only wrong but dangerous - so they draw blatantly false conclusions from data too broad for any meaningful conclusion to be reached. It's contemptible.

So, what do you think would happen if we all ate a diet rich in fish, poultry, and red meat, along with vegetables, low sugar fruits, and the occasional small portion of whole grains, with no "french fries, refined grains, sweets, and desserts"?

Sheesh. This stuff is too easy.

You and I May Be Feeling Broke, But The World Is Full of the Genuinely Poor

And they don't just have a tight food budget - they're starving. You can help, every day, and it will cost you nothing but a moment of your time. Just go to: http://www.thehungersite.com and click on the button, and The Hunger Site's sponsors will donate food to the hungry worldwide. Then go to http://www.stopthehunger.com and click on the button, and Stop the Hunger's sponsors will donate food to hungry folks in the USA.

I know of no easier way to do a little charity. So bookmark the sites, and click every day!

Another Five Star Reader Review for How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!

I found this book when I had just about finished the Induction phase of Atkins Low Carb Diet. I

had also read Protein Power. I was already sold on staying Low Carb. I was looking for a book

that would break down the Low Carb philosophy in terms of "what's the easiest way to make this a part of my life". This book does a great job of explaining the different approaches to Low Carb

Eating, eating out and holidays - in other words, "low carb life"! Now I know what to buy in the

grocery store, and how to put meals together (without spending hours in the kitchen!)

A Reader in New York, New York.

Thanks, Reader! To read this and other reviews of Dana's book, visit http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0966883101/lowcarbohysoluti

To read the first chapter for FREE, and see Dana's smiling face and before-and-afters, visit http://www.holdthetoast.com

To order How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds! visit http://www.holdthetoast.com/order.html

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


Return to Archive Contents

To request a full-text version of this newsletter by e-mail, just send a message to htt020322@holdthetoast.com (Message and subject can be blank.)