Lowcarbezine! 15 May 2002

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Hey, Gang -

Here it is! Now maybe I can get to the yardwork. You wouldn't believe what all this local flooding is doing to our grass!

Read on!

Dana


All contents copyright 2002 Hold the Toast Press. All commercial reproduction is expressly prohibited. If you think your friends will enjoy Lowcarbezine!, please forward them the WHOLE ISSUE. Please, do not post articles or recipes elsewhere on the internet without permission. My attorney tells me that I'll have to come scold you and tell you to cut it out if you do.

A lot of people have inquired about advertising; we actually are going to launch new ad rates and a sign up page as soon as the webmaster is through with grad school for the semester. Watch this space!


On Strength

It's working! It's working!

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about my determination to get back into killer shape, and detailed the Heavyhands exercise program I had chosen for my vehicle to get there. I am pleased to say that I'm on the road to success. Pants that were too tight to wear in March fit comfortably now. My face is slimming out.

And I feel strong - stronger every day. I cannot tell you how much this thrills me!

Of all the things I love about exercise, feeling strong is the one I love best. Yes, I like looking better, and fitting into old - and new - clothes. I love seeing the admiration in my husband's eyes. There's no question that appearance is a huge motivator for diet and exercise for virtually everyone who does it.

I also like the promise of a longer, healthier life; of course I do. I'm having a good time here on Planet Earth, and I'd like to stay and enjoy the party just as long as I can - and enjoying the party requires being well. (I tell people that I'm shooting for a lifespan of between 120 and 160 years, and almost invariably they say, "Oh, I'd hate that! I mean, who wants to live so long being old and sick!" It doesn't seem to occur to them that you can be old and well.)

But it's the strength, the physical power and endurance, that really gets to me. I know that woman, in particular, have not been taught to embrace physical strength, and it strikes me as sad, because I find it so wonderful - both exhilarating and calming. Being strong makes every minute of every day better; believe it!

Strength makes everything easier - carrying in the groceries, dashing across the street, keeping up with a four year old, working all day, mowing the lawn. There comes to be a joy in movement; just feeling your healthy body going through its paces - my hero Gayelord Hauser said that the Russian term for exercise was "muscular joy", and I know on an experiential level just what they mean. As your body becomes more responsive, and moves better, you start to feel as if you can do anything!

And that's where the calmness comes in. I know of nothing that can make you feel more prepared to face an uncertain future than knowing that your body is ready to deal with any challenge life can throw at you. My countrymen and I have had a serious wake up call in the past year about the truth that (ahem!) Stuff Happens. Dealing with that stuff is almost always easier if you're strong.

We simply never know when life will throw in a monkey wrench. We don't know when we'll have to hike out because the car is broken down (or around here, because the roads are flooded!), fight off an attacker, dig out from under the rubble of a tornado or a hurricane, climb 15 flights of stairs because the elevator is out - or flee down 100 flights of stairs because a maniac flew a plane into the building. But it is a rare emergency indeed where physical strength won't greatly improve your odds of surviving, and even being able to help others.

Which is why I find feeling strong calming - I feel like I've done the single most important thing I can do to prepare for whatever Fate may throw my way. That's a very good feeling.

If you've been low carb for more than a week or so, no doubt you've discovered one new kind of strength - energy that just won't quit. When you've been used to the energy highs and lows caused by the blood sugar roller coaster, it's a real revelation to discover the sort of steady, constant energy that comes with running a fat based metabolism, which means, of course, that you're carrying around your own virtually inexhaustible fuel source. It's like going from fighting the currents of life while sinking in shifting sands, to fighting those same currents while standing on solid bedrock - the currents don't change, but your ability to withstand them is dramatically greater.

If you've found that sort of constant, reliable energy, I urge you to take the next step. Start exercising! Start where you are - if you're terribly out of shape, and still seriously obese, consider finding a club where you'll have access to a pool, and simply walking in the water. If you're just sort of standard out of shape, start something more strenuous - walking, biking, dancing, aerobics classes. Don't try to get in shape overnight; you'll just make yourself sore all over and quit. Fitness is a lifetime endeavor anyway; no matter how strong you get you'll have to keep working out to stay there. The important thing is to be headed in the right direction.

I also urge you to try resistance exercise, generally known as weights. You can use powerbands, too, if you like, or for that matter a machine like the Total Gym, which has you lifting a percentage of your own body weight, or the Bowflex, which has you bending flexible rods. Which form of resistance you use isn't terribly important. What is important is that nothing will make you stronger, faster. I love weights for this very reason - I progress so quickly I can practically see it, and it's hugely motivating! You may recall that I started my Heavyhanding with 3 pound weights, and hoped to be up to 5 pound weights by summer. HAH! I've been using 5 pounders for 2 weeks now, and they're practically easy!!

Nothing is better for your bones, of course, and nothing will build any real muscle except resistance exercise. Building muscle is one of the few real ways of increasing your metabolism. It's also one of your best bets for warding off much of what is considered "the ravages of aging" - in other words, to be walking instead of shuffling when you're 75 or 80. Yes, growing old is one of the predictable challenges of life, and being strong can even help you to face this challenge.

The unpredictability of life is one of the scariest things we all have to deal with; people stockpile money and food and toilet paper and batteries, weapons and ammunition, antibiotics and other medical supplies, in an effort to prepare for dangers they cannot know in advance, and they do it largely so that they will feel less scared now. Yet each of those things will only help in a fairly specific set of circumstances. Strength is useful in every crisis - and in none.

Prepare for the inevitable - your life! Get strong.


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Is Kroger Lying?

This was the subject line of an email I received from reader Stella Hooker-Haase. She went on to give these details:

Kroger sells their Icelandic breaded cod fillets with the following info on the Ingredients list: in place 8 and 9 there are dextrose and sugar. Towards the end of the list we see malt syrup.

In the Nutrition facts list we see Sugars: 0g. How is that possible if they list dextrose and sugar

in the ingredients list?

Excellent question, Stella! Whether Kroger is lying or not is sort of a technicality; it has to do with US government labeling laws. They must disclose all their ingredients in the ingredient list (although for some reason food labels can simply say "spices" or "seasonings"; I often wonder what you're supposed to do if you're horribly allergic to something that falls into this catagory.) However, when it comes to the breakdown of grams of carbohydrate, grams of sugar, grams of fat, etc, they're allowed to fudge a bit. If a serving contains 0.4 grams or less of sugar, they can round it off to zero. If a serving contains between 0.5 grams and 0.9 grams, they can say "less than 1 gram."

This pertains not only to sugars, but to the total carbohydrate count. Accordingly, a food that says it has 0 grams of carbohydrate per serving may have as much as 0.4 grams per serving; this may or may not matter, depending on how often you eat that food, and how carbohydrate intolerant you are.

So while Kroger is not telling the absolute truth, they're labeling in accordance with government regulation, which hardly counts as deceptive, and I'd be willing to bet that the quantities of each of those sugars - malt syrup, dextrose, and sugar (sucrose) are quite small. It's that breading I'd look out for, myself!

Kroger (which, for the uninitiated, is the largest grocery store chain in the US) does carry plenty of unbreaded, very low carb fish options, both fresh and frozen, as I know because I happen to shop there myself. In particular, the store brand grilled fish fillets are a great convenience food for the fish loving low carber, and come in a variety of flavors, including lemon and garlic.


Interesting Product Alert

This isn't a review, because I haven't done a whole lot with this product yet, but I thought you'd want to know about it: Carbolite Sweetener. This is a Splenda-based sweetener, which is to say that the sweetness in it comes from sucralose, the same place that the sweetness in the Splenda you buy in the yellow box (if you're in the US) or the blue-and-white box (if you're in Canada and who knows where else) does.

The difference is in the filler. As I've explained before, something about the process by which sugar is turned into sucralose makes it much, much sweeter. As a result, it needs to be bulked with something to make it practical to use, or you'd be sweetening your coffee by dipping a pinhead in the stuff, then stirring it around. In Splenda the filler used for bulking is malto-dextrin, which is a carbohydrate, and a high impact carbohydrate at that. This means that Splenda, while much lower carb than sugar, still has 0.5 grams of carbohydrate per teaspoon - or 24 grams in a cup.

The new Carbolite sweetener uses fiber as a bulking agent instead - it has guar and inulin, both of which are technically carbs, but neither of which are digestible or absorbable. The result is a sucralose-based sweetener with no carbs, but that is still at a usable level of sweetness. This strikes me as a very good idea.

It's important to note that Carbolite sweetener, unlike Splenda, does not measure cup-for-cup like sugar. There's a conversion chart on the box; teaspoon of Carbolite is the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of sugar or Splenda, 1/8 cup of Carbolite is the equivalent of cup sugar or Splenda, and 1/4 cup of Carbolite is the equivalent of 1 cup of sugar or Splenda. This strikes me as no problem so long as you passed 3rd grade arithmatic.

This also means that the high price tag - I paid $7.99 for 3.5 ounces of Carbolite - isn't quite as high as it seems; you pay more for a box of Carbolite than you do for a box of Splenda, but you use less at a time.

I haven't tried using the Carbolite in my dessert recipes yet. I've been laying off even the sugar free treats while I lose the few pounds I added writing the cookbook, and the several more I've gained since my car wreck. I'll give it a shot sometime fairly soon, and let you know how it goes. In the meanwhile, Carbolite sweetener seemed like an option you should know about.


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

This Really Works!!!

Our daughter loves this diet and encouraged my husband and I to try it. We started on June 1,

2001, and by the middle of September we had lost a combined total of 100 pounds. Since then, we have shared this book and diet with many friends and all have had success. With the maintenance plan, we have kept the weight off and plan to stay on this eating plan forever. I also have to share this; before the diet, I was on Lipitor and blood pressure medication. Since being on this plan, my cholesterol and blood pressure have dropped so I no longer need any medication. WOW!!

Cheryl R Wester from Maple Grove, MN , January 5, 2002

Thanks, Cheryl, and congratulations to all of you!

To read this and other reviews of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!, visit http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0966883101/lowcarbohysoluti

To read the first chapter for FREE, and see my before-and-after photos and my smiling face, 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 next issue!

Dana

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To request a full-text version of this newsletter by e-mail, just send a message to htt020515@holdthetoast.com (Message and subject can be blank.)