Lowcarbezine! 8 October 2003

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Hey, Gang -

This is a week late, and I need to get right back to the cookbook, so I'll keep this short. Here's your ezine! Hope you like it!


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.

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Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

Now that it's October, can the scariest day of the year be far off? Halloween can be utterly terrifying.

No, not the ghosts and the skeletons and the monsters. Not the ancient stories of visits from the spirits of the dead. Not even the modern urban legends about razor blades in apples and poison in candy. Face, folks, it's the candy itself that's poisonous - and Halloween has evolved over the years from a night of good-natured pranks (when my grandfather was a boy, he and a friend moved a neighbor's outhouse to the middle of a footbridge), to a huge cultural phenomenon that is unwholesomely centered on candy. And that, my friends, is scarier than any ghouly, ghosty, or long-leggity beasty.

Oh, I know, people don't generally die of acute sugar overdose. But thousands upon thousands e die every day of chronic sugar poisoning, also known as hyperinsulinemia or Syndrome X. We don't call it that, of course. We call it heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, morbid obesity, cancer, or any one of the other faces this dangerous shape-shifting monster likes to wear. The different guises don't change the nature of the beast. Sugar kills.

And here in the States (and, I understand, in the UK, where a US-style Halloween has been catching on), it's about to launch an invasion of your happy low carb home. Furthermore, Halloween is just the beginning. If you let yourself be softened up by pleas of "But it's HALLOWEEN!," you'll be a goner when the Christmas cookies and candy canes start to roll in. Now is the time to start thinking, and thinking smart, about holiday strategies, starting with the holiday at hand - which is, after all, America's premier junk-fest.

And it's not just you I'm worried about. It's your kids. Childhood obesity is an epidemic in America, and what we used to call "adult onset diabetes" has been renamed "Type II diabetes" because it is now hideously common in children. It is vitally important both that you minimize your children's exposure to the sea of sugar threatening to engulf them, and also that you teach them that there is tremendous joy to be found in celebration, and that that joy does not depend on unlimited consumption of sugar.

So what can you do to make Halloween spooky good fun, and satisfying for all, while defending yourself and your family against the demon substance? Here are a few ideas:

* Throw yourself into the fun and creative facets of Halloween that have nothing to do with candy. Work on making or assembling the perfect costumes. Decorate your house and your yard. Carve up an army of jack-o-lanterns. Make styrofoam tombstones, write funny epitaphs on them, and erect a cemetery in your front yard. Have fun!

* More and more, people are opting for Halloween parties instead of trick-or-treating. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, trick-or-treating is a terrific way to end up with vast quantities of sugar in the house. On the other hand, I can remember few things that were as much fun, as a child, as dressing up in costume and going door to door. In the end, which your family does will likely be influenced by what the community custom is. Still, it's good to point out here that having a Halloween party lets you control how much candy is involved!

* If you opt for a Halloween party, center it around activities, not around sweets. Bobbing for apples, costume judging, pumpkin carving contests (or drawing, for young children), spooky stories, the old game of turning off the lights and passing around peeled grapes for eyeballs and cold spaghetti for guts, reading scary stories aloud by flashlight - whatever you can think of that would be fun and appropriately spooky. In the meanwhile, consider serving something other than soda pop to drink (consider add-your-own-sugar Kool Aid, made with stevia, instead), and, while you may not eschew sweets entirely, make sure there are some healthy foods, too: vegetables with ranch dip, cheese chunks, hot wings, burgers - something that will encourage the children (and you) to fill up on something other than junk. In particular, you'll find that the kids are far less likely to have behavior problems if you can get some protein and fat into them to help stabilize their blood sugar!

* For kids who are old enough to not be easily terrorized, but still young enough to be able to get away with going door to door begging for sugar, consider a horror movie party instead. Let them pick out couple of videos or DVDs from the local rental joint (keeping an eye out to make sure they don't overstep parental boundaries!), invite some of their friends over, and pop some corn. Yes, popcorn is a carb, but it's lower carb, higher fiber, and more nutritious than most chips, and certainly better for them than candy! Do pop bulk regular bulk popcorn, instead of buying the microwave stuff. Microwave popcorn is full of hydrogenated oils and other damaged fats. Be aware, too, that the cable movie channels often show great old horror movies this time of year; I have a collection of classic monster movies I've taped off of AMC. (I adore the old black and white Universal horror movies! A better movie than Bride of Frankenstein has yet to be made.)

* Another Halloween treat that is traditional and festive, yet nutritionally superior to a bag full of candy, is the caramel apple. I'm not suggesting these for you, mind you, but perhaps for the kids, in lieu of piles of worse junk. Yes, caramel is almost pure sugar, and apples are a fairly high sugar fruit. On the other hand, the caramel is a relatively modest layer on the outside, and the apple has considerable nutritional value along with its naturally occurring sugar. It also has fiber, to fill the kids up, and to moderate the absorption of the sugar. Not an ideal food, but a heckuva lot better than Skittles, M&Ms, and Twizzlers. Making caramel apples with your kids - or even as part of a party - can be a fun activity, and distract them from the fact that there aren't huge bowls of more damaging candy lying around.

* Consider opting for one of the many commercial entertainment possibilities now available for Halloween fun - a haunted house or haunted hay ride, spook night at a local amusement park, or a ghost story telling festival are all possibilities. Keep an eye on your local paper for ideas. Another great place to ask is at your local library reference desk; I know our library has all sorts of lists of local events. Taking advantage of one of these entertainments is a great way to prevent huge trick-or-treat bags full of candy from creeping, unbidden, into your home.

* If, on the other hand, you're from a trick-or-treating sort of a community, consider discussing with your kids ahead of time what limits you plan to set on the post-Halloween consumption of candy. You may want to let them decide which, say, four or five kinds of candy they like best, let them keep those, and toss the rest (or take it to the office, and leave it in the break room, where it will, of course, mysteriously vanish.) I know that when I was a kid, I used to get candy I didn't care much about - stuff like Necco Wafers, Smartees, and Mary Janes - along with the stuff I craved. But did it ever occur to me to not eat the candy I didn't care much about? Might as well ask an alcoholic if they ever considered not drinking rye because they preferred bourbon.

* There need to be limits, too, on how much candy the kids are allowed to eat, and how often - certainly no child should be left with an entire shopping bag full of candy to be eaten at his or her own discretion! Parents need to take on the role of Keeper of the Candy, and dole it out in reasonable quantities, preferably after a meal. Remember that all candy freezes well.

* However, to take on the role of Keeper of the Candy, the parent needs to be confident of their ability to be a trustworthy steward. In other words, no eating all the kid's candy behind his or her back. If you're uncertain of your ability to resist, have the child keep an inventory of their own candy, so he or she will know if you've been raiding the candy supply. Who wants to be embarrassed in front of an 8 year old?

* If your kid is going out trick-or-treating, the chances are excellent that you're also expecting trick-or-treaters. Now, I no longer live in a trick-or-treating neighborhood (indeed, I live on a dead-end road, a couple of miles outside of town), but when I did, I was uncomfortable with the thought of giving candy to children. I hit on giving out peanuts in the shell - I'd fill up a basket, and let each kid take a double handful. Surprisingly, the kids reacted very well - I never heard, "Where's the candy?" Instead, they'd say, "Oh, cool! Peanuts!" And my house was never egged or TP'd, so I assume I didn't incur the Wrath of the Disappointed Trick or Treaters. I've known other people to get good reactions with small, cheap toys, stickers, or even small change.

* If you do decide to give out candy, don't go buying your own favorite! Instead, buy some kind of candy that you, personally, don't like - if I were giving out candy, I'd give out Twizzlers. Can't stand the things. If you decide that you'll give out Snickers bars, because they're your favorite, you know and I know that you'll have eaten half a bag by the time All Saints Day rolls around. Don't go there.

* In the meanwhile, have a few of your favorite sugar free treats in the house. Nowadays, you can get virtually any sort of candy you like in sugar-free versions, from gummi bears to the gooey-est caramel-filled candy bars. They're hardly health food, but they're easier on your blood sugar than the sugary kind. Furthermore, they enforce moderation by causing fairly unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms if you overindulge. Having a few of your favorite sugar-free sweets in the house, coupled with making sure whatever you're giving away isn't something that trips your trigger, will go a long way to keeping the Ghosts of Halloween from coming back to haunt you the next time you step on the scales!

* Many conservative Christian churches hold alternative celebrations at Halloween; I have some friends who are involved with running these at their churches - around here, costume parties where you come as a Biblical character are popular. If you are helping to plan and run one of these for the children of your church, I implore you to remember what the Bible says about the body being a temple, and be the voice raised for moderation where sugar is concerned. Remember that sugar addiction in childhood has been tied to alcohol problems - and who knows, maybe problems with other drugs - in adulthood, and strive to be a good influence. After all, you're having the alternative celebration because you're concerned for the welfare of the children, right?

Have fun! And in keeping with my commitment to being as inclusive as possible, Happy Samhain, Feliz Dia de los Muertos, and a Blessed All Saints Day to you all. And a Happy Halloween, of course!

What About The South Beach Diet?

The question I'm getting most often these days is, "What do you think about The South Beach Diet?" I want you to know I have the book, it's sitting right here on my desk, and I'll read it and give you a complete opinion as soon as I get the current cookbook - with a deadline of November 1st - off to my publisher.

However, I can give you a first impression: It looks okay to me. It seems to me to be sort of cross between my Careful Carb Diet, which allows some low glycemic index carbs, and The GO-Diet, a variant of the Basic Low Carb (Atkins/Protein Power) diet that emphasizes monounsaturated fats over saturated fats. Nothing wrong with that, although I remain unconvinced that saturated fats are dangerous for most of us in the context of a low carb diet.

Still, I've been trying to get the word out for years now that there are a whole lot of different ways of controlling your carb intake - Dr. Atkins, much as I deeply respected the man, did not have the only viable low carb diet out there. Indeed, a large part of why I wrote How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds was that all the low carb books I'd seen insisted there was only one right way to do a low carb diet - their way. I knew there was more than one way, and that different things worked for different people. The more options, the better, I say.

More complete opinion when I have time to render one!

Reader Review of 500 Low-Carb Recipes

I have bought a lot of books from Amazon.com, but this is the first review I have written. That in itself tells you how much I love this cookbook. I started my low-carb lifestyle armed with two other low-carb cook books before I found Dana's. If I had found hers first, I wouldn't have needed the other two. I've followed her advice, cooked her recipes and have lost weight without trying or going hungry, and best of all I feel great! Her recipes are delicious, quick and easy, and there are sooo many of them! You can find a recipe for just about anything you are in the mood for. My husband and I love every meal I have prepared from this book. And it reads as if a girlfriend wrote it just for you! I've recommended this cookbook to everyone I know, and I recommend it to you too! I can't wait for her new book, 15 Minute Low Carb Recipes. I will be first in line to buy a copy. Thanks Dana! You truly are the best!

Carrie F, A reader from CT, USA, September 24, 2003

Thanks, Carrie - but it's my readers who are the best. Take a look through that book, and see how many of the best recipes were generously donated by Lowcarbezine! readers who wanted to help their fellow low-carbers. I very genuinely could not have done it without them.

To read this and other reviews of 500 Low-Carb Recipes, go to http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1931412065/lowcarbohysoluti

By the way, much as we love Amazon.com - and we do, indeed, love Amazon.com - it's good to know you can buy 500 Low-Carb Recipes at any bookstore. I even found it in the airport bookstore at La Guardia when I was through recently. I still get a kick out of seeing my book in stores!

Success Stories! I Get Success Stories!

I was just thinking that what this issue needed was a reader success story when my little "you've got mail" tone sounded, and this was in my inbox:

Hi Dana - so excited I just had to e-mail you! I just went out at lunch and bought a new pair of dress slacks for work and they are a SIZE 8!! My husband and I have been low carbing since January - I've gone from 157 down to 131 this morning and from a size 12 to 8. And we've been very relaxed about it - probably more maintenance type than induction. We reward ourselves once in a while with a burger or some pizza, or lo mein with Chinese. I wore one of my size 12 suits to work yesterday and my husband informed me I was to never wear them again - looked like a family of dwarfs moved out of the seat of my pants! That's why I went shopping at lunch today. I'm just loving this low carbing! Also, more great news. One of our very best restaurants here in Hattiesburg MS just started having a separate "Low-Carb Atkins Friendly Menu" If you have a fax, I'll fax it to you. It is so great! They offer an entree, choice of two vegetables and dessert for one price. All delicious! People are starting to finally notice all of us - isn't that great!?

Reader Review of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds

The Best For Evangelizing,

I've told my friends I'm low carbing, so if they are staring at my rear end, I know why! If they are curious about my slim body, high energy, and obvious cheerfulness, I always recommend this book. It covers all the different plans, gives reasons why so many people are eating this way, and explains the science beautifully and clearly.

Another reason is because it is a fun read! A funny style and remarkably broad scope makes it a book that you can read over and over again. I've found better ways to inform people of the benefits of low carb thanks to this book. She's a natural teacher and gets your enthusiasm up all over again.

reneebook from Saranac Lake, NY USA, August 28, 2003

Thanks, Renee! I actually come from a long line of teachers, so I guess I come by it honestly...

To read this and other reviews of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds, visit Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1592330401/lowcarbohysoluti

However, you don't have to buy your copy of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds from Amazon- any local bookstore can get it for you, if you prefer.

By the way, just so you should know: The Amazon links from my two other books, 500 Low-Carb Recipes and 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes, to How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds still go to the old, self-published edition, for some weird reason - and once you get to the page with the self-published edition, there's no mention of how to find the new, revised and expanded edition! Argh! Here's the trick: The old version is listed with the word "forty" spelled out in the title. The new edition uses the numerals, "40". So if you search under "How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds," you'll find the new edition.

Rick Crawford's Bread

A few weeks back, I had an interview with Debbie Knox, a well-respected reporter at WISH, the Indianapolis CBS affiliate. Debbie conducted the interview in, of all places, a bakery. Odd choice?

On the surface, you bet. And there's no question that Crawford's Bakery and Deli, at 1609 North Capitol, just north of Downtown Indianapolis, can sell you all the sugary and floury stuff you could possibly want. So why hold a low carb interview there?

Because Rick Crawford, the gentleman who owns and runs the joint, is a low carber himself, having lost well over 50 pounds. (He looks wonderful, by the way.) And like so many of us whose lives have been changed by going low carb, Rick Crawford has decided to help spread the word in his own special way.

In Rick's case, his own special way is by baking. (I can understand. I'm a compulsive cook myself.)

So what has Rick Crawford come up with? Only the best low carb bread I've tried so far, and it's only 3 grams of effective carb per slice - Crawford's slices their low carb bread quite thin, so you can "afford" to have two slices, and make a sandwich.

Like all the low carb bread I've had, Crawford's low carb bread has a slightly elastic quality that comes from the low starch/high protein content, but it's far less noticeable than with, say, the low carb bread I've made from purchased bread machine mixes, and once the bread is toasted, it's indistinguishable from "regular" bread, except that - being made freeform, rather than in a loaf pan - the slices are sort of an interesting shape, kind of like an artist's palette. The taste and texture are very good.

Crawford's makes their low carb bread in three varieties, whole grain, whole grain with caraway (for those of you who'd like to be reminded of rye bread), and nut and seed. They're all great.

Rick Crawford and I had some discussion about the difficulties of making low carb bread. As long-time readers know, some folks have had trouble getting the bread recipes in 500 Low-Carb Recipes to rise. Rick explained that as a professional baker he has access to ingredients that are not yet available for the home market, most notably wheat protein isolate.

(I've had a couple of readers write recently, asking what I think of wheat protein isolate. I can tell you that it makes a great loaf of low carb bread, and lets Crawford's avoid using soy products. As for the effect on blood sugar, I'll do some testing on myself before the next issue, and report back. Which means sticking holes in my pinkies again. The things I do for you people...)

You don't have to live in Indianapolis to get Crawford's bread; they'll ship it. However, you do have to buy a dozen loaves at a time, so you'll want to have freezer space, or split an order with some friends. You can mix varieties in an order, by the way. Crawford's low carb bread runs $5.30 for a 1 pound loaf, with 21 slices per loaf.

Crawford's also makes a crustless, Splenda sweetened, very low carb cheesecake; I've tried these, too. They're a New York Style cheesecake, with dense, rich texture, and not very sweet - very good with a little low carb fruit, like some berries mashed with Splenda. The cheesecakes are $9.95. I think it's easier for the home baker to make a good low carb cheesecake than a good loaf of low carb bread (and my email backs me up on this,) but I know that there are plenty of folks who would welcome a good low carb dessert they didn't have to make themselves.

All told, I'm quite impressed with Rick Crawford's low carb baked goods, not to mention his commitment to supplying products for his fellow low carbers. There really is something about the life-changing nature of a low carbohydrate diet that inspires a certain messianic fervor! For more information, visit http://www.crawfordsbakery.com , or email them at mailto:LoCarb@crawfordsbakery.com

We Need Book Reviews!

Okay, 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes is in the stores, and at Amazon.com, and it's already selling well - but we need reviews! So if you're one of the folks who pre-ordered 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes from Amazon.com, do us a favor, and go to Amazon and review it. (Of course, we're hoping you'll give it a good review...)

So far, the only review of 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes at Amazon is this one, and my thanks to the reader who posted it!

Reader Review of 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes

The first one to buy

I am a good cook who had to change completely how I have been used to eat and cook. When I switched to low carb I needed a base of ideas to get started and this book helped me a lot. It does not have pictures but will help you prepare all kinds of dishes with what you have in the pantry without fancy brand name products. She teaches how to uses the appropriate whole foods for a varied and tasty diet.

gargoyle08 from Orlando, Florida United States

Thanks, Gargoyle! I do, indeed, feel that a low carb diet should be based on real, whole foods, and I do my best not to use a bunch of specialty stuff that may be hard for folks to find. I'm glad you're enjoying the book!

Check the book out at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/159233041X/lowcarbohysoluti , and if you've bought it, post your own review!

By the way, much as we love Amazon.com - and we do, indeed, love Amazon.com - it's good to know you can buy 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes at any bookstore. Furthermore, I happen to know that you can review the book at Amazon.com even if you bought it elsewhere. (Or even if you didn't buy it at all. There are a few bad reviews of my previous books at Amazon that make it quite clear the reviewer has never actually seen the book, but just wants to bash low carb. We trust no Lowcarbezine! subscribers would do such a thing!)

Upcoming Personal Appearances

Looks like I'll be doing an East Coast publicity tour in November. All of you in New York and New Jersey, come on out, meet me, and get your books autographed! (Gonna be fun! I love book-signings anyway, and I'm a Jersey girl originally, you know.) Mark your calendars!


11 AM
Mrs Greens
666 Lexington Avenue
Mt. Kisco, NY. 10549

Mrs Greens
780 White Plains Road
Scarsdale, NY. 10583


Wild By Nature
198 Main Street
East Setauket, NY. 11733

Wild By Nature
369 West Main Street
Huntington, NY. 11743


724 Route 202
Bridgewater, NJ 08807

240 Nassau Park Blvd.
Princeton, NJ 08540


45 View Hwy 9 South
Manalpan, NJ 07726

3PM Wegman's
15 Woodbridge Center Drive
Woodbridge, NJ 07095

Product Review

Remember the product review in the last issue? The one for Keto Keeters, an alleged corn-chip-like product, where I used the word "suck," and variations thereof, approximately 583 times?

Well, I stand behind that review. But a funny thing happened the next day. I got an email from Arne Bey, boss-man at Keto products, the gist of which was, "Thanks for the cold shower. We'll be discontinuing the Keeters." Gave me rather a heady sense of power, I can tell you!

Mr. Bey went on to point out that many Keto products are very popular, and well thought of, and I assured him I was aware of this, and mentioned that my sister, when I'd told her my, er, low opinion of Keeters, had registered surprise, because she really liked the Keto tortilla chips.

Well, the next thing I knew, Arne Bey had sent me some Keto tortilla chips. Actually, he sent me two cases of Keto tortilla chips. (Free food, one of the best things about my job!) I got a case of Keto Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips, and a case of Keto Cool Ranch Tortilla Chips. That's a lot of tortilla chips!

So my husband and I tried the tortilla chips, solely in the name of research, of course! Indeed, to make sure that we can give a truly accurate assessment, we've been trying the tortilla chips off and on for two weeks now.

I can categorically state that the Keto company has made up for the whole Keeters thing, and then some. Keto tortilla chips are great. They're terrific. They're hands-down, no contest, the best low carb chip I've tried. Indeed, they're the only low carb chip I've tried that has the actual taste and texture of - well, of a high quality tortilla chip. If I didn't know that these were low carb tortilla chips, I doubt very much whether I'd have figured it out. They're that good.

(Reading this to my husband, he said, "They're better!" Asked for an explanation, he elaborated, "They're lighter, crispier, flakier. They're not as pasty as regular chips. I actually think I prefer them." There you have it. He then went to the kitchen, and when he returned to his office, I could hear a suspicious crunching.)

The Keto tortilla chips are also better than regular tortilla chips in that they're considerably more filling; a couple of times I had a handful or two in the late afternoon, and discovered that a few hours later I had little appetite for dinner. Since a serving of Keto tortilla chips - a quarter of a bag (yeah, right!) - contains 12 grams of protein, this filling quality is not surprising. That quarter of a bag will also give you 8 grams of carbohydrate, of which four grams are fiber, for a usable carb count of 4 grams. Just be aware that stopping at a quarter of a bag takes a conscious effort!

Keto tortilla chips do contain a lot of soy, and long-time readers know I'm not a huge fan of soy products. (If you want to know why, here's a link to a back issue with an article on the subject: http://www.holdthetoast.com/archive/010411.html ) That being said, I've never been convinced I had to completely shun soy products, I just use other alternatives when I can. These tortilla chips are good enough that I'd be willing to eat them now and again, soy or no soy. I wouldn't eat them daily, but then, I've long said that low carb specialty products should be pleasant adjuncts to our diet, not staples. I stand by that - but these tortilla chips could easily become one of my preferred treats.

Along with Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch, Keto Tortilla Chips come in Classic Corn. I haven't tried these, but the Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch are so good, I can only guess that the Classic Corn are equally good. Certainly there is a noticeable corn flavor that shines through the Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch flavorings. Those flavorings, by the way, are indistinguishable from those used on standard chips. It's been a lot of years since I ate a Nacho Cheese Dorito, it's true, but even from that remove, I'm pretty certain that Keto Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips taste just the way nacho cheese tortilla chips are supposed to taste.

Of course, since Keto Tortilla Chips are made with more expensive ingredients (and in far smaller batches) than standard tortilla chips, they're more expensive than standard tortilla chips - suggested retail is $3.99 for a 4-serving bag. My pal Andrew at Carb Smart is currently selling them for $3.59 a bag; he sells everything at a discount (and is a swell human being to boot.) And for any of you locals, I've told my friends at Bloomington, Indiana's Sahara Mart that I'm giving this product a rave, and they'd better stock up. Tell Jahvad and Sarah I sent you. :-)

Keto Keeters did, indeed, suck, but they are now merely an unhappy memory. With their Tortilla Chips, the Keto company has knocked one out of the park. This is the low carb chip I've been waiting for.

Just keep reminding me that a serving is only a quarter of a bag.

Yet Another Book!!

Yikes! Become a best-selling author, and the next thing you know your publisher wants a book out of you every month or so, I swear. Anyway, I turned in copy for Dana Carpender's Carbohydrate Gram Counter at the end of September, and it's already listed at Amazon.com, although there's not even a picture of the cover yet! It's going to be a compact, pocket-sized book with the most complete listings we could possibly come up with, giving carbs, fiber, usable carbs, protein, and calorie counts - and we're going to highlight both the lowest carb choices, and the usable carbs column, to make it really easy to use.

It will also have tips from me on how to live low carb successfully, plus lists of low carb snacks, treats, fast food meals - even ideas for what low carb foods you can find in convenience stores and mini-marts!

Dana Carpender's Carbohydrate Gram Counter will be out in January (for the New Year's Resolution season, of course!) As I said, there's not even a cover to show you yet, but if you'd like to be first in line to get a copy when it comes out, you can already pre-order at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1592330770/lowcarbohysoluti

Okay, four books down, another three to go. Think I'll ever get a vacation?

Cooking Low Carb!

Here's a sample recipe from 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes. Hope you enjoy it!!

Saigon Shrimp

Vietnamese style - hot and a little sweet.

Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt (2 ml)

Scant 1/2 teaspoon pepper (2 ml)

1 1/2 teaspoons Splenda (7 ml)

3 scallions

4 tablespoons peanut or canola oil (60 ml)

1 pound large shrimp, shelled and cleaned (0.5 kg)

1 1/2 teaspoons chili garlic paste (7 ml)

2 teaspoons minced garlic (10 ml)

Mix together the salt, pepper, and Splenda in a small dish or cup, keep by stove. Slice scallions thinly, and set aside. Gather all your ingredients except the scallions together - the actual cooking of this dish is lightening fast!

In a wok or heavy skillet, over highest heat, heat the oil. Add the shrimp, and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp are about 2/3 pink. Add the chili garlic paste and the garlic, and keep stir frying. When the shrimp are pink all over and all the way through, sprinkle the salt/pepper/Splenda mixture over them, stir for just another 10 seconds or so, then turn off flame and divide the shrimp between three serving plates. Top each serving with a scattering of sliced scallion, and serve.

3 servings, each with 2 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of fiber, for a usable carb count of 1 gram. 25 grams of protein, and 288 calories.

About Chili Garlic Paste - This is actually a traditional Asian ingredient, consisting mostly, as the name strongly implies, of hot chilies and garlic. This seasoning saves lots of time when we want a recipe to be both hotly spicy and garlicky. Chili garlic paste comes in jars, and keeps for months in the refrigerator. Worth seeking out at Asian markets, or particularly complete grocery stores.

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


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