Lowcarbezine! 21 May 2003

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Hey, Gang -

And a very happy Memorial Day Weekend to all my American readers! I'm going to keep this opening short and sweet, because I want to get to my holiday partying!

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

A Tale of Two Dogs

Hey! It's my first illustrated Lowcarbezine! article!



I have these two dogs, you see - Molly and Jed. Jed is a big, rangy, athletic German Shephard/Labrador Retriever cross. Molly is a little Boston Terrier.

Okay, we'll wait for the chorus of "Awwwwww!" and "How cute!" to die down. Yes, yes, I know they're the world's most adorable dogs. I appreciate your admiration of them, they deserve it, but that's not the point.

Take a look at the two dogs again, now that you're over the first shock of their blinding cuteness. Notice something?

Jed is slim, and fast looking, with a big, deep chest, long legs, and a nipped-in waist. Face it, if this dog were a person, he'd be Tom Cruise, or possibly Brendan Fraser. It's not like he works at it - he just naturally explodes with energy and athleticism, and has an athletic build.

Molly, on the other hand - well, look at her. She's built like a bowling ball on legs. She's not fat; at the most she could stand to lose 1-2 pounds; her vet says so. And you know how she'd look if she lost that 1-2 pounds? Like a very slightly smaller bowling ball on legs.

These two dogs eat exactly the same food - in different quantities, of course. It's not like Molly's a little canine junk food junkie or anything, not that there's not a ton of dog junk food on the market. Nope, Jed gets 4 dog biscuits in the morning, Molly gets 1 . They both get raw chicken, on the bone, for most of their dinners, with alternate meals of ground vegetable scraps with raw egg, or pork neck bones, or fish scraps, or the like. Really nutritious stuff.

Yet Molly is stocky - what, in a person, we might call "portly," and Jed is slim, trim, and sleek. Do you think that if I were to cut way, way back on Molly's food, and force her to walk 3 or 4 miles a day on those short little legs, she'd look like Jed? No, of course not. Why? It's in her bones. She could be starving, and she'd look like an anorexic bowling ball on legs.

Conversely, I'm not sure that there's a way in the world that I could feed Jed enough food to get him to look like Molly. Oh, I could put some weight on him if I were willing to buy him Pupperoni and Beggin' Strips and Frosty Paws and Gainesburgers and all the other rubbish that junk food crazed people buy for their dogs in a mistaken attempt at kindness. But would he look like Molly? No. He'd still have long legs, and a deep chest, and an athletic build.

I know I'm not telling you anything new. We all know this. We know it about dogs, that is. We know that there's no way that diet and exercise can turn a Boston Terrier into a Shepard/Lab mix, much less turn an English bulldog into a greyhound. We find the very idea laughable.

So why, oh, why, do we persist in believing that we should somehow have total control over our bodies? That if we could just diet and exercise faithfully enough, we could look like a 6' tall, 110 pound super model? I know we all like to believe that those girls got their bodies through anorexia and liposuction, but for the very most part, it's just luck of the genetic draw. They were born "greyhounds." When I was in California, I had a manicure at the beauty school across from my dad's condo. The girl who did it was astonishingly beautiful, and was in beauty school after having modeled for over a decade. She was, indeed, a full 6' tall, and quite slender - and said that in high school she had been too skinny, and grown very, very tired of people's assumptions that she had an eating disorder. Folks, she was just born that way. She was a greyhound.

I, on the other hand, was born a Boston terrier - even with 40 pounds gone, I'm short, and stocky, with a very short waist, a big rib cage, and a powerful build. Dieting and exercise have made me a much more attractive size, and of course have also made me far, far healthier. However, there is no form of diet or exercise in the world that will turn me into a greyhound. This is not my fault, nor is it an indication that diet and exercise are useless or worthless. Heck, I want to be the best, most attractive, and healthiest Boston terrier I can be.

So would you please all give up your unreasonable expectations? Would you please stop looking for the diet and exercise program that will miraculously turn you into something you weren't born to be, and instead focus on being the best of whatever breed you are?

At the same time, let's stop convincing ourselves that only the greyhounds of the human race are beautiful - after all, Molly is just as cute as Jed, maybe even cuter. All of us can be beautiful for and as who we are. It's health and fitness that shine, not a particular breed.

Just ask Jed and Molly.

It's a Moooooving Sale!

Carb Smart is moving its warehouse, so we need to get rid of stuff NOW! Check out some of these prices:

Pasta Darielle, usually $2.99, just $1.49!
Low Carb Chef Bake Mix, usually $8.99, just $7.49!
Torras Sugar Free Chocolate Bars, usually $1.29, just 75c!
Gram's Gourmet Cream of Flax Hot Cereal, usually $7.99, just $6.99, or 3 for $20.25!
And more! All prices good till the end of May.

Plus, check out our May coupon on shipping! And while you're at the site, see our articles, recipes, success stories, and MORE!

If you're Low Carb and Smart, you'll shop Carb Smart! http://www.webbalah.net/carbsmart.html

Dr. Atkins' Memorial Service

Lovely. Dignified. Deeply moving.

These words best describe Dr. Atkins' memorial service, held in New York City - where else? - on Friday, May 9th.

I was a bit surprised when I learned the service was to be held at the 92nd Street Y, having an image of "Y" in my head that was pretty much limited to pools and gym equipment. I was surprised and pleased to discover that the 92nd Street Y is legendary within New York, and the room we were in - the Kaufmann Concert Hall - was quite beautiful, with heavy, carved wood paneling, and the names of various men of distinction emblazoned around the top of the walls. As we entered, there were, in the foyer, photos of Dr. Atkins throughout his life, and a few paragraphs of biography - not that any of us in attendance needed to be told of his accomplishments. I found myself tearing up, looking at Dr. Atkins smiling face. It's been over a month now, and it's still difficult to believe he's gone.

As we entered the hall, we were given programs with the order of the service. The first line on the front read "To Dream The Impossible Dream" - a sentiment I thought utterly appropriate. Who would have believed a decade ago that Dr. Atkins would live to see his life's work broadly vindicated?

In the auditorium proper, the front of the stage was lined with masses of bright yellow tulips, with sprays of flowers on the wall above, and to the sides of the stage. A Steinway concert grand piano took up the center of the stage. Somewhere upwards of 1,000 people filled the seats - and the woman seated next to me and I commented to each other about how healthy and fit the crowd looked, compared to your average cross-section of the American population. She, I learned, had been lucky enough to be a personal patient of Dr. Atkins, and had nothing but the highest praise for him.

The service began with the Moonlight Sonata, by Beethoven, played by Clive Lithgoe, a pianist who has had a long international career. Then Alison Buchanan, an operatic soprano who has performed, again, worldwide, came on stage, and sang The Impossible Dream, the well-know tune from Man Of La Mancha, and the theme of the memorial. I once again found myself in tears.

We were then greeted by Paul Wolff, the chairman and CEO of Atkins Nutritionals, who introduced a video clip - the segment from Barbara Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People of 2002" featuring Dr. Atkins.

The rest of the memorial was quite simple: People who knew Dr. Atkins speaking about their experiences with him, interspersed with musical interludes. The speakers ranged from Anya Senoret, a dear personal friend of Dr. and Mrs. Atkins, who was audibly choked up as she spoke of her love for "Bobby", to Jacqueline Eberstein, RN, who worked at the Atkins Center for over 3 decades after - in her initial interview - telling Dr. Atkins that she thought he was "a quack." His response? "When can you start?" He later told her that he wanted her to work there, because he knew if he could convince her, he could convince anyone. He convinced her, and then some. Doctors, researchers, and business people who knew and worked with Dr. Atkins all spoke.

A clear picture emerged from their stories of Dr. Atkins: A man of endless confidence, who took endless joy from the practice of medicine, and whose faith in the correctness of his basic thesis - that the mindless consumption of carbohydrates, and particularly highly refined, high impact carbohydrates - is the leading cause of obesity, disease, and death. Indeed, one speaker said, with a smile, that it was never a case of Dr. Atkins feeling bad about all of the medical establishment being aligned against his work - he just figured that some day, they'd catch up to him. That being said, everyone also agreed that this past year, with so many studies vindicating what he'd been saying all along, had made Dr. Atkins a very, very happy man indeed.

There were also many letters from successful Atkins dieters read; the number of people whose lives have been changed for the better by this one man is staggering. Perhaps the most moving of these were letters from children - children who will no longer face a hellish high school career as "the fat kid," nor an adulthood of obesity and ill-health.

The music was varied, appropriate, and moving - a Mozart Alleluia, a Chopin piano piece, "Rhapsody in Blue", "My Man's Gone Now" and "The Man I Love," all by Gershwin, even "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands." We were also shown a segment of an upcoming show that Dr. Atkins had just taped for NBC; this, too, moved me to tears - he was so alive, so ebullient, and so obviously in love with his wife, Veronica.

It was a lovely and fitting service. I'm very glad I went. I'm only terribly, terribly sad that we had to lose Dr. Atkins for it to happen.

Dana's Book News

Hey, UK readers! There's going to be a UK edition of 500 Low Carb Recipes, it's all ready to go to the printer! It'll have metric measurements, and gas marks, and courgettes instead of zucchinis, and everything! We'll let you know as soon as it's out, or keep an eye on Amazon.com.uk.

Plus, I want to remind everyone that the revised and expanded How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds! will be out next month. You can pre-order, if you like, at Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/cj19

More Scientific Vindication (Sort of) of Low Carb Diets

Have you heard? The latest issue of the highly prestigious New England Journal of Medicine carries yet another article showing that low carb diets are, indeed, effective for weight loss, and that they do not, as is so often charged, raise cholesterol or lead to other deleterious health effects.

The article is a compilation of two smallish, fairly short term (and therefore not definitive) studies. One study, run by the Veterans Affairs Department, ran for six months, and involved 132 men and women, who started out weighing an average of 286 pounds. The second, a year-long study done by Dr. Gary Foster, who runs the weight-loss program at the Univeristy of Pennsylvania School of medicine, involved 63 participants who started at an average weight of 217 pounds.

In both studies, participants were assigned randomly to either the Atkins diet, or to a low fat diet. In both studies, both groups lost weight, but the Atkins dieters lost notably more weight than the low fat dieters - roughly 3 times the weight in the VA study, and a little over twice the weight in the University of Pennsylvania study.

However, both groups suffered about a 40% drop-out rate, and both groups regained some weight - and apparently the Atkins dieters regained a bit more weight than the low fat dieters, so at the end of a year, it was a wash - the groups looked about the same.

Most importantly, and the result that is being hailed as a triumph for Dr. Atkins legacy, is the fact that the Atkins dieters had an improvement in their bloodwork, rather than the skyrocketing cholesterol levels that the nay-sayers have always predicted would occur with a low carb diet allowing unlimited saturated fat. Instead, they showed no rise in LDL (bad) cholesterol, or in their blood pressure, had a rise in HDL (good) cholesterol, and a drop in triglycerides - in other words, they ended up with a lower theoretical risk of heart disease, not a greater risk. This will not come as a huge surprise to those of you who have seen similar results in your own bloodwork, but maybe it will help with all those people who feel moved to kindly inform us that our low carb diets are killing us.

As for the rest, I'm afraid I haven't seen the actual article yet, just the many news reports about it, so I still have questions. I'm curious, first of all, about the distribution of weight loss among the Atkins dieters. Most people I know who go on a ketogenic diet lose considerably more than the 12.8 pounds the average for the Atkins dieters in the 6-month VA study, or the 15.4 pounds that was the average at the 6-month mark in the University of Pennsylvania study. Certainly I lost more than 15 pounds in my first 6 months, and that included a stint on the much-less-stringent Carbohydrate Addict's Diet, during which I plateaued for well over a month.

So I'm wondering whether that weight loss was averaged among the people who stuck with the diet, and the 40% who dropped out - that would make a big difference. Too, I'm wondering how much of that weight regain figure has to do with the folks who drop out. As I've emphasized over and over, whatever you do to lose weight is what you must continue to do forever to keep it off. It's no big surprise that people who abandoned their diets regained their weight - the question in my mind is, was there regain in those who stuck with the diet, or were the figures, again, averaged across those who stuck with it, and those who did not?

I wait with interest to read the actual article. If I find more information, I'll let you know.

Reader Review of 500 Low-Carb Recipes


This book is my kitchen bible! Gone is the boredom of the typical low-carb diet. My husband and son, who also eat low carb, love the meals I have cooked from this book...some so much, they ask for them again and again (Heroin wings....Bacon, Tomato and Cauliflower Salad). It is true that ingredients to make low-carb breads and desserts are no so easy to get your hands on, but well worth the effort. My first loaf of low-carb bread was lauded by my family, and every cheesecake I make leaves them saying..."are you sure we're on a diet?". No, this is a lifestyle change, and we are NOT suffering. Thanks Dana!

Lora L Hill from Murfreesboro, TN

Read this and other reviews of 500 Low-Carb Recipes at Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/b907

Livin' La Vida Lo-Carb!

This arrived in my inbox last week, from reader Leslie Miller. It was so wonderful, I knew I had to share:

Livin' La Vida Lo-Carb

with apologies to Ricky Martin

She's into good nutrition
good fats, no diet stalls.
I feel good in her kitchen,
that girl's gonna make me small.
She's into fat and protein,
no chips, no food that's "lite."
She's stopped my sweets addiction
for every day and night.

She'll make you take the pounds off
and go jogging in the rain.
She'll make you live the sanest life,
and she'll take away your gain
by going against the grains.

Right side up and down,
she's livin' la Vida lo-carb.
She'll push your weight right down,
she's livin' la Vida lo-carb
Her hips are hallowed,
and her skin is clear and smooth.
She will help you out,
she's livin' la Vida lo-carb,
livin' la Vida lo-carb.

Woke up so thin and pretty
instead of fat as hell.
She helped my heart and she took my tummy.
She must have slipped me a skinny pill.

She always drinks the water,
makes you order cheese and cream,
and once you've had a taste of it,
you'll never be the same.
She'll make you strong and lean.

Right side up and down,
she's livin' la Vida lo-carb.
She'll push your weight right down,
she's livin' la Vida lo-carb
Her hips are hallowed,
and her skin is clear and smooth.
She will help you out,
she's livin' la Vida lo-carb,
livin' la Vida lo-carb.

She'll make you take the pounds off
and go jogging in the rain.
She'll make you live the sanest life,
and she'll take away your gain
by going against the grains.

Leslie F. Miller

Too funny!! Thanks, Leslie. I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be whistling this all weekend...

Liquid Splenda

A few reader have kindly let me know that Nature's Flavors carries a number of Splenda-based flavorings - and also an unflavored Splenda solution that they call "sweet base," the idea apparently being that you can use it to create your own flavored syrups. It can be used as a carb-free liquid Splenda! Check them out at www.naturesflavors.com . Thanks to all who gave me the heads-up!

Cooking Low Carb!

It's Memorial Day Weekend! So here, for your holiday pleasure, is a festive and refreshing new libation which has rapidly become one of my favorites. From sunny Cuba, welcome the


1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon Splenda
1 shot white rum
1 largish sprig fresh mint
club soda

In a tall glass, combine the lime juice, Splenda, and rum. Add the mint, and "muddle" it - press the mint a bit with the back of a spoon (we're assuming here that you don't own a proper "muddler"; I sure don't) to bruise it, and release some of the flavor. Now fill the glass with ice, and pour in club soda to fill.

1 serving. If you actually eat all of the mint, you'll get 2 grams of carbohydrate, a trace of fiber, and a trace of protein; fractionally less assuming you, like me, don't actually eat your mint.

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


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To request a full-text version of this issue by e-mail, just send a message to: htt030521@holdthetoast.com (Message and subject can be blank.)