Daily Menu

Daily Menu January 9th, 2008


Cheddar Cheese omelet


Leftover pork steak
Leftover Cauliflower-Green Bean Salad with added cherry tomatoes and watercress

Sugar-free dark chocolate
Sugar-free Reese's Cup
Granny Smith Apple


Five-Spice Chicken Wings
Yet more Cauliflower Green Bean Salad with cherry tomatoes and watercress (This is what happens to cookbook authors. We make a big batch of something to try, and wind up eating it for days. At least those of us who live in two-person households.)

Sparkling Water
Milwaukee's Best Light (it's better with the wings than wine)
Dry red wine

Daily totals: 1607 Calories; 98g Fat ; 85g Protein; 42g Carbohydrate; 12g Dietary Fiber

Share this

Sugar Alcohols

Hi Dana...Loving the site. Saw your sugar-free chocolates listed in your blog and had a question. I recently heard that sugar alcohols like isomalt and maltitol actually do have a reasonable impact on blood sugars and that half of the carbs from these alcohols should be included in the net carb count. What are your (or anyone's) thoughts on this? Thanks in advance.

Sugar Alcohols

Yes, some sugar alcohol (aka polyol) is digested and absorbed. I have my tracker program set to count half the carbs listed on the label of my sugar-free chocolates.

I watch my quantities pretty carefully. I generally keep Dove Dark sugar-free and Dove Dark with Mint sugar-free around the house. These come in little, individually-wrapped squares, which slows me down. I generally eat 3-5 squares a day. Not only would more be hard on my waistline, but it makes me, er, socially offensive, if-you-know-what-I-mean-and-I-think-you-do.

I once had a friend tell me she couldn't eat sugar-free chocolate because it gave her terrible gas cramps. Back then I was eating Pure De-Lite (I MISS PURE DE-LITE!,) and I told her I could eat a half a bar or so every day with no trouble. "Half a bar?" she said, "I've been eating five or six bars a day!" Uh, there's your problem... I like the idea of excellent-quality chocolate that enforces moderation.

Different polyols have different rates of absorption. Sadly, the most widely used, maltitol, also has the highest rate of absorption. Erythritol is barely absorbed at all, and doesn't cause much gastric distress, either. But I've cooked with erythritol, and it tends to be gritty. Still, it's a sweetener to watch.

My pal Jimmy Moore, at Livin' La Vida Low Carb, now has his own line of sugar free dark chocolate-rasperry bars out, and they're sweetened with erythritol. He sent me a couple, and they're quite good. I'd love to see a plain dark chocolate variety, and dark chocolate-orange -- one of my favorite combinations.

Carb Smart , one of my favorite low carb etailers, has no-polyol chocolate chips, and I developed the cookie recipe to go on the bag. (Ironically, the recipe uses Steele's brown sugar flavored maltitol, because it helps make a less-crumbly cookie. But you can substitute another 3/4 cup of Splenda plus a teaspoon of molasses to get a polyol-free cookie.)

Carb Smart has Jimmy's chocolate bars, too.

In fact, I have butter softening in the kitchen right now, so I can try a new coconut-chocolate chip cookie recipe, to go in The Glycemic Load Cookbook. So maybe I should go bake! (Heaven knows I'm tired of writing and editing...)

Sugar Alcohols

Thanks for the helpful information. I miss Pure Delight, too! Yes, I know what you mean about the need for moderation with some of these products. The worst offender, in my experience, are the Russell Stovers Sugar-Free Jelly Beans. I love them but can't eat more than 7 at a time without...umm...."negative consequences". I consider it God's way of enforcing portion control. ;-)

Sugar Alcohols

Jelly beans, taffies, gummy candies -- anything that in the sugary version consists mostly of sugar will, in its polyol version, consist mostly of polyols. That Nice Boy I Married once made the mistake of eating about a dozen sugar-free taffies at one go, right before bed. Boy, was he sorry long about 3 am!

But chocolate is made mostly of -- well, chocolate! So the dose of polyols is considerably lower, especially in dark chocolates.

Eating the whole animal


I liked your column about meat being a whole food.
I will add a point. We're told repeatedly that we're low in long-chain omega-3 fats. We're told that the place to get them is in fatty fish like salmon and sardines. But animal (mammal) meat is rich in these omega-3's too. *IF* we eat the brain tissue. DHA is the most common fatty acid in brain and the brain is mostly fat.

I haven't yet seen any published commentary saying that a likely reason that we're omega-3 deficient is that we don't eat the whole animal anymore.

Data on the omega-3 content of various meats and fats from the IUPAC Handbook.

Adam Becker Sr
Low-carbing 4 yrs

Eating the Whole Animal

Cookbooks commonly included recipes for cooking calves' brains as recently as the mid-20th century. Sadly, with BSE (mad cow) out there, eating central nervous system tissue is a scary proposition. I'd like to see more aggressive testing; right now the USDA is a toothless organization.

However, it's good to know that grass-fed beef in general is a great source of omega-3s, as are grass-fed lamb (most lamb is grass-fed) and pastured pork. Conversely, farm-raised salmon has more fat than wild-caught, but the levels of omega-3 are lower.

Turns out that the big difference wasn't between fish and mammal flesh, but between animals that eat their evolutionary diet and those fed grains and beans.


Yep - dying to know!
What 5 spices?? Recipe, please!

Five Spice

Five spice powder is a traditional Chinese seasoning blend; you should be able to find it in the International aisle of your big grocery store. Here's a description:

If you like Chinese food, it's a great thing to have on hand.

Here are a couple of simple recipes from The Low-Carb Barbecue Book (sadly now out of print) -- I invented these for beef ribs:

Five Spice Beef Rub

2 teaspoons five-spice powder
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon splenda

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

4 servings (that is, enough to do beef ribs for four people): 3 Calories; 0g Fat ); 0g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber

Five Spice Rib Mop

1 1/2 teaspoons five spice rib rub
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Enough for 4 servings of beef ribs: 245 Calories; 27g Fat (98.3% calories from fat); 0g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate

That calorie count assumes you'll eat all the oil in this mop, but you won't. That figure is high, though I can't know by how much.

Get a rack of beef ribs and use a sharp-bladed knife and some tough talk to peel the membrane off the back -- not essential, but it makes them easier to eat. (If you have dogs, they'll love the membranes!)

You make the rub, set aside 1 1/2 teaspoons for the mop, and rub the rest on your ribs. Slow smoke 'em (or, it being winter and all, slow-roast them -- maybe 300 degrees.) Use the rub you set aside to make your mopping sauce, and baste the ribs with it every 20-30 minutes, until they're so tender they're falling off the bone. (Barbecue is not a quick-cooking sort of meal.)

I'd give you the recipe for the wings, but I think the glaze needs work.

5 spice wings?

Sounds good. Is it one of your book recipes, or just something you 'wing'? LOL. I make your heroin wings several times a year, and use the basic idea for fish and other meals. Thanks a bunch!

Heroin wings

Heroin Wings are aptly named, don't you think? :-)

addictive food!

I made some Heroin wings for my son when he was home on leave. He has about two tablespoons of body fat but put away a couple of pounds of wings with no problem while watching movies. THEN, when he realizes that we're out, he jokingly offers to get some from my laying hens! We made a fast run to the grocery store but the funny thing is that he has always said he doesn't like chicken!