October 06, 2004

Click here to subscribe to Lowcarbezine!

Order The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook from Amazon.Com
Order 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes from Amazon.Com
Order 500 More Low-Carb Recipes from Amazon.Com

Order The Low-Carb Barbecue Book from Amazon.Com

Order 15-Minute Low-Carb Recipes from Amazon.Com

Order How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet -- And Lost Forty Pounds! from Amazon.Com

Order 500 Low-Carb Recipes from Amazon.Com

Hey, Gang -

It's Lowcarbezine! It really still exists! And I hope you enjoy it. One of my resolutions for 2005 will be to hire an executive assistant, so we can go back to a bi-weekly schedule for this ezine - I've just gotten to the point where I can't handle it all myself!

Some of you have written to ask where you can read my newspaper column. If you can't convince your local paper to carry it, take heart - if you do a web search under "Low Carb For Life" and "Dana Carpender" you'll find some newspapers carrying it online.

Read on!


Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:59 PM

It's Here! It's Here!

500 More! Low-Carb Recipes is in the stores, at Amazon.com, and waiting for you!! Great recipes, not only from me, but from you, my Lowcarbezine! readers - the best the low carb community has to offer. You'll find:

Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps * Crema di Mascherpone * Mexican Cabbage Soup * Shrimp and Artichoke "Risotto" * French Toasty Eggs * Crab-stuffed Poblano Peppers * Sesame-Almond Napa Slaw * Chili Relleno Casserole * Baked Sole in Creamy Curry Sauce * Caribbean Grilled Chicken Salad * Tuscan Soup * Zucchini Lasagna * Easy Low-Carb Fudge *

And much, much more!

Here's a reader review:

You need Dana's books

How do I love Dana Carpender in a completely platonic low carb life saver kind of way? Let me count the ways. Her new cookbook is fabulous. If you don't have it, you simply must get it. So many great looking recipes. As soon as my copy arrived, I read it cover to cover and am about to read it again. We are trying a different recipe every night. We have tried several already and they are very good. We're gonna have another one tonight. I have all of her cookbooks and this one is fab. Her books offer a lot of variety of flavors, which is essential to keeping any way of eating interesting. I'm trying to broaden my taste horizons, and her books give me lots of options. I use her cookbooks everyday. I recommend them all the time, but I don't loan them out. I would be lost if I did! She makes low carb low effort, which makes my life significantly easier. Thanks Dana!

April Grow, Atlanta, GA

Thanks, April! And thank you, thank you, thank you, to all of you who contributed your very best recipes for the book. I'm all over my publisher to get your free copies out to you - but they have to send them to me, first, for autographs.

Anyway, to see this and one other review, check out Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/42ces

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:54 PM

"Low Carb" Doesn't Always Mean "Good For You"

I am the Label Reading Police. I regularly nag my readers to read the labels on every food they put in their bodies (or, for that matter, give to their families.) So it's embarrassing to admit that I recently picked up some of the new Progresso Carb Monitor soups without reading the labels. Heck, I even popped the top, poured the Chicken Enchilada Cheese soup into a bowl, nuked it, and scarfed it down before reading the label.

Imagine my chagrin when I looked at that label, and found the words "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil." Trans fats. Junk of the lowest order. About the only thing in the food processing world that could arguably be called worse than high fructose corn syrup. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil has no carbs, but that doesn't mean we should be eating it.

You can bet I won't be buying the Chicken Enchilada Cheese soup again, and I certainly can't recommend that you buy the stuff. But that's not the point.

The point is that we mustn't become complacent. Just because something says "carb reduced" or "for a carb controlled lifestyle" or any one of the umpteen-odd other phrases that the food processors have come up with to suggest to us - hint, hint! - that their products are just great for us, doesn't mean it's so.

Be aware that there is NO regulation at all of label claims regarding net carb count and appropriateness for a low carbohydrate diet. It's the Wild West out there. You are very definitely on your own, and if you don't read the labels - not just the carb count, but the ingredient list, and the serving size - you may very well be torpedoing your weight loss and your health, and paying a hefty premium to do it.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:52 PM

Geez, I Had No Idea

I recently went to the first annual Carb Aware Conference and Expo, where along with picking up the Consumer's Choice Award for Best Cookbook for 500 Low-Carb Recipes (and many thanks to all who voted for me) (Here's the Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/b907 )

I met some really great people. There were doctors, scientists, writers, manufacturers of low carb specialty products, low carb merchants, all sorts of folks - and overwhelmingly, the attitude was not "How do we cash in on low carb?" but rather "How can we best serve the low carb community, alleviate confusion, and come up with labeling of products that really means something, and protects the low carb consumer?" I was proud to be among them, and I will be working with the Carbohydrate Awareness Counsel in the future. (I also think all of you should join as consumer members. Visit http://www.carbaware.org .)

However, I had startling thing happen - I met Lora Ruffner, who runs the very popular website Low Carb Luxury (http://www.lowcarbluxury.com) and has her own online magazine, and she told me that there was a rumor going around the low carb internet community that she and I had had a fight, and were feuding. Since Lora and I had never even met, and had exchanged no more than a few emails, this, shall we say, came as news to me.

So for any of you who may have heard this rumor, no, Lora Ruffner and I are not fighting, I like her very well, I think her website rocks (I voted for her for best low carb website), and I'd like to work with her in the future.

And would the gossips please find something else to talk about?

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:50 PM

Questionnaire: Specialty Products

Speaking of the Carbohydrate Awareness Council and our efforts to set some sort of standards for low carb specialty foods: We need more information about the low carb community's use of low carb specialty products. So I've come up with an informal questionnaire. You can help us in our efforts to serve you if you'd go to http://www.holdthetoast.com/specialty.html and spend three minutes answering a few questions. You don't even need to give us your email address; no way will participating in this questionnaire result in spam showing up in your mailbox.


Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:39 PM

Very Interesting Reader Letter


A Yahoo search directed me to your piece on Lowcarbezine of May 17 2000 regarding low carb diets and alcoholism. You asked to be contacted by readers so 4 years later here I am - ha.

I am 55 and have been an alcoholic for probably 40 years. I have been the "sneaky" kind - primarily drinking beer to excess by always finding an excuse to explain why I needed to go to the office or wherever I could be to drink for a few hours. Often times I would spend much of the day thinking about or planning on downing a six pack.

I was raised in the 1950's on the typical diet of lots of potatoes, corn, pies and cakes. My memory of my school years is dominated by remembering coming home at 3:00 or 4:00 lethargic and dazed unable to do much of anything. I had no idea about sugar levels. I just remember every afternoon meant I was going to be tired and in a fog.

A few months ago I read Dr. Atkins book and it explained a lot of mysteries in my life. I used to love drinking a cold beer with a fist full of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Whenever I asked friends if they ever tried it, they all uniformly said "yuck!". That was a clue for me that something about me was different. Now I understand the correlation of sugar and alcohol for me.

When I do Atkins approach my energy level soars to levels I haven't experienced before. And they remain constant - no more afternoon dives.

Much like the letter you quoted in your piece, I found that my interest in alcohol virtually disappeared if I abstained from it for a few days while doing a low carb diet. Doing Atkins and still drinking 3 or 4 light beers didn't work for me (heaven knows I tried for months). Once when I abstained from alcohol while doing Atkins I was dry for a month, never thought about alcohol and didn't even find it appealing.

Then of course came the slip. A night out and some drinks with dinner and I was hooked again.

I just started back on the program Monday 9/21/04 and and am committed to treating it not only as a weight loss program but a de-tox program for me as well. On my second day I already have lost the intense craving for alcohol but it remains lurking in the back of my mind. This time around I'm going to accept the fact that I'm addicted to alcohol and like any addiction I just can't have one.

In addition to following the eating program for induction I drink 10 to 12 glasses of water and take L-Glutamin which seems to also reduce cravings. This all makes up my low carb "de-tox" program.

I hope this is all helpful. I'm looking forward to reading Lowcarbezine! I subscribed to it just before writing this.

(Name Withheld for Confidentiality)

Thank you so much for writing! This is a topic that I don't claim to fully understand, but seems very important; all information is helpful.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:36 PM

Really Long Reader Review of 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes

Indispensable cookbook for my low-carb lifestyle

Well, now she's gone and done it: I'm in love with cooking again. At least this time, it won't result in the extra poundage.

Dana Carpender is the straight talking diva of the modern Low-Carb movement and in her latest cookbook, 15-Minute Low-Carb Recipes, she really delivers on her promise. Thank goodness that some authors do realize that just because people want to lose weight and be healthier doesn't necessarily mean that they suddenly have an hour to spend in the kitchen getting dinner ready every night! If a low-carb convert only bought this book and The Everyday Low Carb Slow Cooker cookbook by Broihier and Mayone, he/she would do very well and have every base covered cooking for themselves and their families, for *all* three meals plus desserts. Here's a sampling of my (so far) favorites from Dana's cookbook:

· Egg Foo Yong (like what it sounds, really more of an omelet but very sophisticated)
· Jalapeno Lime Scallops
· Salmon in Ginger Cream (fresh, simple and tastes gourmet)
· Asian Pork and Cabbage (I always used to hate cabbage, but now I look forward to it)
· Chicken Chili Verde (my carb-eatin' family spoons it into tortillas, I just devour it straight - a family-praised dish)
· Italian Sausage w/ Onions and Peppers
· Brewery Chicken with Vegetables

Here's a weird fact: although these recipes make liberal use of prepackaged foods (such as frozen and canned veggies, jarred minced garlic, bagged salad greens, seasoning blends, baking mix, etc) and spices for time-cutting, most of them also make liberal use of fresh veggies along with the omnipresent meat and eggs. Really, I eat more fresh-cooked veggies now that I have this cookbook than ever before. She's even gotten me to try "new" vegetables, like turnips, which I never would have used in my high-carb days. Yup, I am now a culinary swank, my friend.

The author has a no-nonsense, conversational style that let me know right away that not only has she "been there, done that" but that she isn't the type to waste her own time much less mine. There's an introductory section in which Dana preps the cook on her timesaving cooking techniques and tips on what and how to stock a low-carb pantry to make it even more convenient. I strongly suggest that you read this section first, as it will really help you streamline your speed-cooking sessions. The next most important section is the Omelet section, in which the secrets to a foolproof omelet are revealed. Really and truly, if you follow her method (well it's not actually Dana Carpender's method but one I've seen chefs on food network demonstrate before) you will be able to make perfect omelets for breakfast every time, which of course is indispensable in the low carb diet. The cookbook is then divided into sections based on the main meat being cooked, plus all-in-one skillet recipes, and side dishes that sub for the more traditional (read: carby) options like mashed potatoes and rice.

Okay that's enough babble for one review. Let's just say that I urgently recommend this cookbook to anybody who is trying to maintain a low-carb lifestyle and/or still keep their family happy at mealtimes. It works, you'll be happy and you may win a few more converts to low-carb along the way.

A. Ryan "Merribelle" Westminster, CA

"Straight talking diva of the modern low carb movement," hey? I like that!! Thanks!

To see this and other reviews of 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes, visit http://tinyurl.com/6sxga

Available not only through Amazon, but at bookstores everywhere!

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:31 PM

So, What Should I Write?

I've been kicking around ideas for future cookbooks with my editor, and I'd love to know how many of you would be interested in Low Carb, Low Cal, High Taste, and how many of you would be interested in The Good Fat/Good Carb Cookbook. Email me at dana@holdthetoast.com and let me know!

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:28 PM

Product Review: Dreamfield’s Pasta

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Dreamfield’s pasta. If you haven’t seen this, it has pretty much the same ingredients and carb count as regular pasta, but the Dreamfield’s folks claim a proprietary process renders most of the carbohydrates in the pasta indigestible.

Does it work? Jury’s out. I’ve been hearing all sorts of reports, from, “It works great” to “It spikes my blood sugar just like regular pasta.” So I’m doing blood sugar tests on it myself – more holes in my poor abused pinkies! I’ll report on my results next issue.

In the meanwhile, if you’ve tried Dreamfield’s pasta, I’d love to hear about your experience, especially if you test your blood sugar or for ketosis. Does your blood sugar spike, or stay low? Do you stay “purple” or drop out of ketosis? Do you get rebound hunger, or no? The plural of “anecdote” is not “data,” but we can all use all the information we can get.

So send your Dreamfield’s stories to feedback@holdthetoast.com !

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:25 PM

Cooking Low Carb: Hellzapoppin Cheese "Rice"

Here’s a killer side dish from the new 500 More! Low-Carb Recipes. I’ve adapted this from the funniest cookbook ever written, The I Hate To Cookbook, by Peg Bracken. And truly fabulous it is, too.

Hellzapoppin Cheese "Rice"

1/3 cup cooked wild rice
3 1/3 cups shredded cauliflower
4 eggs
1 cup Carb Countdown Dairy Beverage (or half-and-half, if you prefer)
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese
10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach -- thawed

You need to have your wild rice cooked before you start -- use three times as much water as wild rice, put it in a saucepan with a lid, and put it over lowest heat until all the water is absorbed – at least 40 minutes. Make more than you need for this recipe, and stash it in a snap-top container in the freezer, and next time you'll have it on hand!

Run half a head of cauliflower through the shredding blade of your food processor, and you should have between 3 and 4 cups of cauli-rice.

Beat the eggs till they're foamy, then whisk in the Carb Countdown Dairy Beverage, onion, Worcestershire, salt, thyme, and marjoram. Now, stir in the raw cauli-rice, the wild rice, the cheese, and the spinach. Stir till everything is well-combined.

Pour the whole thing into a casserole dish you've sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and bake it at 375 for 35 -- 40 minutes.

6 servings, each with 409 Calories; 30g Fat; 27g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 7 grams usable carb.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:22 PM