Lowcarbezine! 6 December 2002

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Hey, Gang -

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! I was down at the Gulf Coast, visiting my father-in-law and his wife (Hi, Tom! Hi, Jean!) and had a lovely time. Still sort of odd to this Yankee girl to walk around with no coat on Thanksgiving, but I could get used to it!

So we're into the Holiday Home Stretch. Hope your resolve is holding up so far. I have the ultimate in holiday will-power enforcers: The threat of appearing on television soon! I can't afford a single Indulgence this year.

Speaking of television appearances, I'll be on the Sunday Morning News on WLS, the Chicago ABC affiliate, at 6:15 the morning of December 22nd. If you're in Chicagoland, tune in! Or, if you'll be at church or sleeping in, set your VCR. I lived in Chicago for 17 years, and still have family and friends there, so I'm very excited about this appearance!

Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish readers, and a happy Eid ul-Fitr to my Islamic readers!

Read on!


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. Advertising inquiries may be directed to advertising@holdthetoast.com

Holiday Season Diet Savers

Just a few ideas to help you get through to New Year's Day with your diet intact!

* If you work at an office where there is always something sugary in the break room this time of year, remember that a good offense is the best defense. Bring something low carb and tasty to work with you! Whether it's a batch of low carb cookies, a container of sugar free chocolate mousse, a sugar free candy bar, or a few envelopes of Swiss Miss Diet Hot Chocolate Mix (the lowest carb cocoa mix, last I looked), a few low carb goodies stashed in your desk or locker can make all the difference.

* Out shopping? Stop by the Hickory Farms kiosk or a similar place, and sample some cheese and sausage! Nothing like a little free low carb food to perk you up.

* Speaking of low carb food perking you up, don't forget to eat while you're out shopping. Grab a fast food salad somewhere, so you don't find yourself tired and cranky - and vulnerable.

* My darling friend Maria and I like to spend a day shopping together, and last year we started what may become a new tradition: We each sampled one sugar free candy from each candy store in the mall. While the candy stores don't generally label these candies as low carb, they are usually sweetened with the same polyols as the "officially" low carb candies. Do ask - every now and then I run across something labeled "sugar free" that has fructose, which is most definitely sugar. But if the candy is made with sorbitol, maltitol, lactitol, or anything else ending in "tol", it's made with polyols. Remember - eat too much, and you'll be very sorry!

* Scope out which gourmet coffee kiosks in your local mall have sugar free flavoring syrups. That's where you want to go when you need a cup of java to warm up and perk up! A cup of hazelnut, mocha, or vanilla coffee - no sugar added, and with plenty of real cream - can make you very happy to be a low carber. By the way, those sugar free flavoring syrups - Da Vinci is the most widely distributed brand - make great stocking stuffers, or little gifts.

* Invited to a party? Having a party? Make sure there's something you can eat! Hot wings, a veggie platter with dip, cocktail meatballs with no breadcrumbs in them, stuffed mushrooms - the list of low carb party noshes is endless, and everybody will like them. Only you will realize you're staying on your diet.

* No time to cook before a party? Your local grocery store deli can come to the rescue! My local grocery store has shrimp platters, meat-and-cheese platters, sausage-and-cheese platters, hot wing platters, veggie-and-dip platters - simply scads of great low carb party food you simply have to pick up. The holidays are busy enough!

* My favorite suggestion: Focus on the meaning of your culture's particular holiday, rather than the food!! Also, focus more on the other expressions of the holiday - decorations, music, symbols, stories, special clothing, rituals - all the things that have nothing to do with junk food. No matter what you're celebrating - Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid ul-Fitr, Kwaanza, Yuletide - I assure you that the true meaning of that holiday will be found in family, friends, songs and stories and prayers, not in food.

Now On Sale At Carb Smart!

You know that everything is always at a discount here at Carb Smart, but our special sales this month include Da Vinci's Sugar Free Syrups for just $8.59, Torras Sugar Free Mousse Pillows and Torras Sugar Free Chocolate Bars for just 99c, Sugar Free Truffles for only $3.75 a bag, and Sauce de Jacqueline Sugar Free Fudge Sauce for just $5.66!

Plus, of course, Dana Carpender's 500 Low-Carb Recipes, for just $16.99!!

While you're at the site, check out our articles, recipes, success stories, and more! And don't forget the low carb gift baskets - a great gift for every low carber on your list!

December Special! FREE UPS Ground Shipping within the contiguous 48 states on all orders over $75!!

If you're low carb and smart, you'll shop Carb Smart!


I Need Help!

A distressing thing has happened! I've now gotten three emails from folks who have purchased 500 Low-Carb Recipes, and can't get my bread recipes to rise! Since they rise for me, every time, and I've also gotten email from people for whom these recipes have worked great, I'm at a real loss. So I'm calling on the assistance of my readers!

If you have purchased 500 Low-Carb Recipes and tried one or more of the bread recipes, I need to know the details of how you did it - what sort of bread machine you used (or if you baked it by hand), what machine settings you used, the brand names of your ingredients - every variable you can think of! And, of course, whether the bread rose properly or not.

If I can get enough data, maybe I can figure out where the problem is. So let me know! Mailto:dana@holdthetoast.com . Thanks!

'Tis the Season to Give to the Needy

So go to The Hunger Site, and click on the button. You'll be contributing food to those who are hungry, and it won't cost you a red cent. You can click every day! While you're there, take a look at their other sites - the Breast Cancer Site, the Animal Rescue Site, the Child Health Site, and the Rainforest Site. The easiest, cheapest charity you've ever done.


How Many Carbs Per Meal?


I have purchased your cookbook and have enjoyed every recipe I have tried so far--thanks for being there for us! It was a godsend for someone new to eating low carb which I have had success at...

I have one question--in looking at the nutrition label on foods, is there a limit on the amount of carbohydrates per serving you should look for? I don't know if something has 8 carbohydrates per serving or 25 carbohydrates per serving if it is too much...I realize you need to take into account the fiber and subtract that from the carbohydrates but I just don't know if there is a cut-off point in both carbs and sugar to strive for...Hopefully this question makes sense!


Diahann Bifaro

Hey, Diahann -

Your question makes lots of sense - it's making sense of the answer that can be difficult. The problem is that each person's carbohydrate tolerance is different. Some lucky people can lose weight with as much as 100 grams of carbohydrate per day in their diet, especially if they eat only those carb foods that have a gentle blood sugar impact. Others need to cut back to as little as 10 grams a day - or less! Some people even need to count calories along with carbs.

As I result, I can't give you an exact number of carbs you should stay below for each meal. That being said, for a majority of low carb dieters, 25 grams at a single meal would be too many, unless they'd eaten practically no carbs at all during the rest of the day. I try to stay below 15 grams or so of usable carb in any particular meal, although I generally "eyeball" it, rather than measuring and weighing everything - but remember, I've been doing this a long time, and am very aware of carb counts. You'll notice that that means I may get as much as 45 grams of carb in a day - which would be too much for some people! You simply have to go with your own body. There's no substitute for "tweaking" your diet to learn what works for you.

Of course, if you're on a ketogenic diet, like Atkins or Protein Power, you can always test to see if you're in ketosis, and this will tell you - roughly - whether or not you've eaten too many carbs. It's good to keep in mind, though, that if you've drunk a lot of fluids, it can dilute your urine to the point where you're testing negative for ketones, even though you're still in ketosis. It's also important to remember that ketosis is proof that you're burning fat, not carbs, for fuel - but it doesn't tell you whether you're burning more fat than you're storing! Most people will lose weight when they're in ketosis, because of the combination of the appetite suppressant effect, and the increase in metabolism. But if you're clearly in ketosis, and still not losing weight, you need to start modestly limiting your calories, as well.

I'm afraid that's the best answer I can give you, Diahann! So go experiment, and find what works for you.

She Thinks She'll Keep It!

I just wanted to say that I am a true believer in living the low-carb life. I was on it for one year and never felt better not to mention that I lost 35 pounds. Then I got off the diet, gained my weight back and felt horrible. I hated how I felt when I ate all of those high carb foods. I was tired, bloated, moody and just felt yucky. I've recently got back on the low-carb diet and already feel so much different. I've decided that I like feeling this way. I am always in a good mood, never hungry (that one's amazing) and I love eating all of those good foods. All of these positive effects are my motivation. I am such a believer in the lifestyle. I think I'll keep it.

Jenni Kahle

Great letter, Jenni! I am so with you. Even if a low carb diet didn't help control my weight, I'd love it for the way it makes me feel - and for the appetite control. It's so wonderful not to feel frantic about food anymore! Thanks so much for writing!

The Firm Is At Wal-Mart

I just read the most recent issue of the ZINE and it was great. Finally the medical community is taking low carb a little more seriously.

In your "gifts for low carbers" section I was pleased to see the information on exercise items. I am a follower of THE FIRM series. I currently use a 3 pound weight, for Christmas I have asked for a 5 and 7 pound weights to use! I thought I would let you know, in case anyone wonders, THE FIRM now has a 4 pack that you can buy at Wal-Mart. I know there are still a number of us that would prefer to NOT buy off of the internet. The 4 pack set has an ab work out, upper body, lower body and full body tape. They are awesome. The cost.....drum roll, only $19.99 NO SHIPPING. You may want to pass that along to anyone who shows an interest. When I ordered online, the body sculpting tape, I paid that for just one tape.

You also mentioned the Walk Away tapes. Leslie Sansone is an AWESOME instructor and I highly recommend these tapes for those who are not ready for the Firms or other more difficult tapes. Certainly for the older crowd, as your mother, an excellent choice. I am sure she will be thrilled with the work out and with the results.

Keep em coming DANA. You are always an inspiration to me! I have written before and once again, I applaud you!


Started 206, current 166. Thanks to your book,

I'm so glad you like my book, Monica, but you did the work! Good job! I applaud you. Thanks for letting us all know that Wal-Mart is carrying The Firm - and for such a great price! I may have to drive across town for this one...

By the way, I've just read today that many Sam's and Wal-marts are now carrying the Firm infomercial package, complete with the "fanny lifter" for $79.99. If you'd rather not buy this mail order, stop on in.

And I just bought those Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds tapes for a big $6.99 apiece at my local Target!

Reader Review of BOTH 500 Low Carb Recipes and How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds!

Your new book "500 Low Carb Recipes" is a gem! I've tried a number of the recipes and am delighted with the quality and taste. Thanks ever so much for all the hard work that went into developing it.

Glad I bought this recipe book before Thanksgiving. I made the pumpkin cheesecake and

EVERYONE loved it. I must have spent a couple of hours putting little "stickies" on all the pages for the recipes I plan to make. I was an avid low fat/ high carb chef, so finding a book with all these great recipes will help insure that I continue finding success with my low carb food program.

I also recommend buying Dana Carpender's book about her journey in losing 40 lbs and keeping it off. It's a great inspiration for helping me persist in my quest to get healthy and lose weight.

Carol Kemp

Thanks, Carol!! So glad your guests liked the cheesecake!

I found this review in the Hold the Toast guestbook, but you can see more reviews of both books at Amazon.com:

500 Low Carb Recipes at Amazon.com

To order 500 Low-Carb Recipes from Amazon Canada, visit:

How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds at Amazon.com

And in Canada: Amazon.Ca

More Gifts For Low Carbers

I think kitchen gadgets that make cooking meat quicker and easier, or simply turn out superior results, make great gifts for low carbers! Two I think are particularly good:

* Electric tabletop grill. Popularized by George Foreman, these have become a fixture in many American households. They're great for cooking a fast burger, chop, or chicken breast - they're particularly speedy because they cook both sides simultaneously. This little appliance also is great for bacon and sausage at breakfast - and if you get one of the ones with a timer and automatic shutoff, you can set your breakfast cooking, and go comb your hair or holler at the kids, instead of supervising the cooking. Available everywhere, in several sizes - and even several colors!

* Rotisserie - I own the Ron Popeil Showtime Rotisserie, and I love the thing. It turns out a terrific chicken - and whole chickens are usually cheaper than parts. It's great for almost any roasted meat, though - pork roasts, leg of lamb, even small turkeys. If you like chicken parts, you can do them in the basket, and they come out great - I rarely do wings any other way anymore. My only caveats are that slabs of ribs are a bit harder to set up than it shows on the infomercial, and I'm unimpressed with the way the rotisserie cooks steaks - I'd rather do them in the broiler. Oh, you know how the infomercial says that it only takes up as much counter space as a toaster oven? Well, that's almost true - from side to side. But from front to back, it's considerably deeper. It does have a pretty big "footprint." However, there's a new, smaller model, which would be better for folks with limited counter space.

Don't worry about the cleanup on the rotisserie. It really is a snap - the spit rods, drip pan, and heat reflector all go in the dishwasher, and the front window cleans up easily with a little Windex. Those are really the only parts that get dirty - the inside of the unit remains remarkably clean.

George Foreman also has a rotisserie on the market; I have no experience with it, but have no reason to think it wouldn't work just fine. It's smaller than mine, though - I doubt it would take a 12 pound turkey. You'll have to read the box!

* Not a gadget - some books! I plan to review Jennifer Eloff's new cookbook, More Splendid Low Carbing, in the next issue. In the meanwhile, I love her Splendid Low Carbing, and she's a swell human being, and you should go visit her website and check out her cookbooks! http://www.sweety.com

Cooking Low Carb!

Here's a fast and easy supper for a busy night:

Skillet Chicken Alfredo

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 medium onion, sliced
Oil for sauteeing
1 pound bag frozen mixed broccoli and cauliflower florets
1 cup jarred Alfredo sauce (read the labels to find the lowest carb brand)
Parmesan cheese

Start your chicken cubes and onion sauteeing in the oil, over medium high heat. While that's cooking, put the broccoli and cauliflower in a microwaveable dish, add a couple of tablespoons of water, cover, and nuke on high for eight minutes. When the chicken has lost all it's pinkness, and the broccoli/cauliflower is tender, but not mushy, drain the veggies and add them to the skillet. Stir in the Alfredo sauce, and heat through. Serve, and top with Parmesan. 4 - 5 servings. Assuming 5 servings, each will have 8 grams of carb, with 3 grams of fiber, for 5 grams of usable carb per serving. 35 grams of protein.

That's it for this issue! See you next issue!


Return to Archive Contents

To request a full-text version of this issue by e-mail, just send a message to: htt021206@holdthetoast.com (Message and subject can be blank.)