March 30, 2006

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Hey Gang!

I'm afraid it's a short issue this week. My mom is here for the week, visiting, and that's taking up my time. Today we went to visit the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, here in Southern Indiana - tres cool!

So here's a back column and a recipe, and I'll see you next week!

Read on.


Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:13 PM

Early Word on The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook

Heather Dail writes:


I've spent most of the week reading your latest, the "Every Calorie Counts Cookbook," and it is every bit as wonderful as the rest of your books. I have, use, and love them all.

Because of your books, the majority of my diet is made up of real, wholesome food. I have a family history of just about every disease there is, and I'm bound and determined to keep myself in the best possible health I can. That for me includes watching carbs, and your books show me a liveable, delicious way to eat controlled carb cuisine, for life, in every way. I have no doubt that I will get to my goal weight and enjoy optimal health.

You are always talking about your cookbook hero. Well, Dana, you are my cookbook hero! Your warm, witty voice comes through on every page, and your recipes are inspired and so varied. This reformed junk-food junkie is now cooking food that gives restaurant fare a run for its money. I can easily pass up fast food and processed crap knowing I have this kind of food in the fridge!

Oh, by the way: I am totally addicted to Cider-Ade now. Wow... who would have thought?! The beverage section alone is worth the price of the book, in my humble opinion!

Thanks again,


Yay! Thanks, Heather! So glad you like it. (And yeah, isn't it weird that Cider-Ade tastes so good? Who'da thunk it?)

You can preorder The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook at Amazon - they'll be shipping in a week or so -

Or you can run out to Barnes & Noble and pick up a copy right away. (I hear Books-a-Million has it, too...)

Oh, and my cookbook hero? Peg Bracken, of the I Hate To Cookbook, The Appendix To the I Hate To Cookbook, The I Hate to Cook Almanac, and several others. Her books are often available at used book stores, because they were so hugely popular at the time. But Amazon also has copies of The Compleat I Hate To Cookbook.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:11 PM

Easter Dinner

See those stuffed chicks and bunnies in every store? Must be Easter!

Watch out for the jelly beans, cream eggs, and chocolate bunnies lurking next to those toys, or you'll be sorry come Easter Monday. Sugar free Easter candy is becoming more available; if you must indulge, this is a better choice. Russell Stover is advertising sugar free Easter stuff, including chocolate caramel rabbits, chocolate peanut butter rabbits and Easter eggs, and jelly beans. Jelly bean titan Jelly Bellies makes a sugar free assortment. It's worth checking local candy stores to see what sort of sugar free stuff they're offering; these places often have a nice selection. And if you'd like an Easter basket stuffed with sugar-free goodies, some of the online retailers are offering them, including my pals at Carb Smart:

A word to the wise: Sugar-free jelly beans and caramels are nearly solid polyols. Be very moderate with the quantities you eat, or you'll suffer from gas, or even cramps and diarrhea. Sugar-free chocolate is less polyol-dense, but can still cause problems if eaten in quantity. These are sweets that can actually enforce moderation!

Most folks serve ham for Easter dinner, though I have no idea how this custom arose. In much of the world lamb is served for the Easter feast, and it's the tradition in my family. It fits in with the Passover story, you know. If you're weary of ham, you might consider roasting a leg of lamb as a change of pace. As an unprocessed meat, lamb is more nutritious than ham, and has no added sugar, something that is standard in ham.

If you do choose ham - and I'm betting you do - read the labels to find the ham with the least added sugar. I've seen ham with as little as one gram of added carbohydrate, or as much as 6 grams per serving. That's a 600% difference! How to glaze your Easter ham? Not with brown sugar, that's for sure! Sugar-free pancake syrup lets you make a tasty glaze.

Maple-Orange-Mustard Ham Glaze

1/2 cup sugar-free pancake syrup (I like Log Cabin brand)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon Splenda
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon butter

Combine everything in a saucepan, and simmer over low heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Use to baste your ham during the last hour of roasting.

This will add just 6 grams of carbohydrate to the whole ham, not counting the polyol sweeteners in the pancake syrup.

If you plan to buy a pre-cooked spiral sliced ham, call around and ask the various purveyors what sort of carb count their ham has. In my experience, companies are very nice about this sort of thing. Most of these hams are heavily glazed; do yourself a favor and leave the outer surface on your plate.

What to serve with your ham? Deviled eggs would be the obvious choice for an appetizer, since you're likely to have a bunch of hard-boiled eggs on hand. I'd serve asparagus; as I wrote recently, asparagus symbolizes spring to me, it's delicious, and has just over half a gram of usable carbohydrate per spear! If you prefer it, broccoli also has just over half a gram of usable carb in a 5" spear. Add a big salad, some pureed cauliflower "fauxtatoes" and, if you must, some rolls for the carb eaters in the family, and you've got a feast!

Here's an Easter dessert that's just about ideal: It's festive, beautiful, delicious, unusual, seasonal, low carb, easy to make, and highly nutritious. What more can you ask from one recipe?

Balsamic Strawberries with Cream Cheese Sauce

2 pounds strawberries
1/4 cup Splenda
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

For the sauce
4 ounces cream cheese -- softened
1/4 cup plain yogurt OR sour cream
2 teaspoons Splenda

Remove the green hulls from your strawberries, and halve them __ if you have some really huge berries, quarter them. Place in a glass, plastic, or stainless steel mixing bowl. Sprinkle the Splenda over the berries, and toss to coat. Now sprinkle on the balsamic vinegar, and stir again. Stash the bowl in the fridge for at least a few hours, and a whole day would be fine. Stir them again whenever you open the fridge.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream, and Splenda together until very smooth - you can do this in advance, too, if you'd like, and refrigerate it till dinner.

Simply spoon the berries into pretty dessert dishes, and drizzle some of the balsamic vinegar syrup in the bottom of the bowl over each serving. Top each serving with a dollop of the cream cheese sauce, and serve.

8 servings, each with 89 Calories; 6g Fat; 2g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber, and a useable carb count of 6 grams.

(Jewish readers, bear with me. Next week I'll reprint my Passover column!)

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:07 PM

Reader Review of 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes

Just Wonderful!

Dana Carpender never fails to bring you delicious recipes for "every" low carb (LC) lifestyle. You will find this book versatile with a garden of recipe choices you never thought could be done in a slow cooker! Everything from hot dips to desserts (yes desserts) that will leave you asking "are you sure this is low carb"? She is a gift to those of us who know LC is the magic bullet we've all been looking for... I've lost over 100lbs eating Atkins LC and doing moderate exercise (1hr/3-5x/wk) and Dana's recipes have been my saving grace! This book is worth every penny and praised for every delicious morsel I've consumed while keeping every one of those 100 pounds "lost"!

Kat "Kat Paws Crochet" Chester, MD, , February 23, 2006

Wow! Over 100 pounds? You go, Kat!

See this and other recipes of 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes at Amazon.

Or you can pick up 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes at your local bookstore.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:04 PM

Creole Eggs

Since eggs are cheap this time of year, here's an egg recipe. I really love this, and have made it at least a half-a-dozen times in the past month! The sauce is very easy, and stands on its own - try poaching shrimp in it, instead. Wonderful!

These are deceptively simple - you make a quick sauce, then poach the eggs in it. Don't let the simplicity fool you; these are so good I made them again the next day!

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
hot sauce to taste (Louisiana hot sauce is best)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 eggs

Give a medium-sized, heavy skillet a squirt of non-stick cooking spray, and put it over medium-low heat. Add the oil and the garlic, and saute the garlic, not letting it brown, for just a couple of minutes. Add the basil, then the tomato sauce, creole seasoning, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Stir it all up, and let it come to a simmer. Let it cook for a couple of minutes to blend flavors.

Now break your eggs into the sauce, cover the skillet, and let your eggs poach in the Creole sauce until done to your liking -- 4 1/2 to 5 minutes is about right for my tastes -- whites cooked through, but yolks still runny. Lift eggs out carefully with a big spoon, top with the remaining sauce, and serve.

2 Servings: 214 Calories; 14g Fat; 13g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 2g Fiber; 9g usable carbs.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:01 PM

March 22, 2006

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!

Boy, was this issue easy to put together. In the last issue I asked you to report on what low carb products were available in your area. Well! I've rarely had such a response! You wrote in from all over to let me and your fellow readers know what products are available, and where. So here it all is - all I had to do was cut-and-paste. And thank you!

Read on!


Posted by HoldTheToast at 02:16 PM

More Early Word on The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook

Jamie Gardner writes:

I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday and bought Every Calorie Counts. I had it pre-ordered from Amazon and was surprised to see it at the book store. I was anticipating this book so much I paid the difference rather than waiting for Amazon to ship it. This is by far my favorite book from her and I really like them all. So many recipes were still low carb enough to be eaten while still losing weight so that was a nice surprise. But, as a person who has to watch both carbs and calories, I have been waiting along time for a book just like this one. I couldn't find a single recipe I wouldn't make.

Thank you for the wonderful book. I have a feeling I should get a back up copy for it will probably become "well used". And thank you for sharing all this with us. I have never heard of any other low carb cookbook author that is so highly recommended. The recipes truly are fantastic.

Thanks, Jamie! I'm so glad you like it!

So far as I know, Barnes and Noble is the only store that has The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook so far; if you really, really want it, you can run out and buy a copy!

Or you can pre-order at Amazon, and they'll send your copy as soon as they have it in.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 02:15 PM

Readers Report on Low Carb Product Availability

Marilyn Olshansky, who has contributed great recipes to my cookbooks, writes:

Hi, Dana,

I have been buying the low carb breadcrumbs marketed by 4C. I find them excellent and I use them in meatloaf, meatballs, etc.

Do you have A&P supermarkets out there? Ours sells a 1 Carb Ketchup under the America's Choice label. I've bought it on sale and it's fairly reasonable.

Walden Farms makes a variety of 0-carb, 0-calorie products including all kinds of jams, apple butter and chocolate sauce. They're not exactly cheap, but they're not outrageous and their flavors are good. Some of the diet food shops around here carry them, although a local chain, Fairway, has a great selection at lower prices.

We also like a soy crisp that's available at Super Walmart. I think it's called Eat Smart. I buy my Carb Countdown at Super Walmart - it's about $1 cheaper than at the local supermarkets. I sometimes use 1/2 Carb Countdown and 1/2 cream to lower the calorie content of recipes. It lowers the carb content, as well.

Also, Steele's makes an excellent Hoisin sauce, other sauces and jams. Atkins Nutritionals used to sell them - I don't know whether they still do.

I also enjoy the Baja Bob mixes, especially the Pina Colada mix. Of course, that's only for special occasions.

I still have enough Ketatoes in my refrigerator to get me through at least two more Hanukahs. I'm glad there's another product available, though. Hope you like it.

I am hopeful that more products will be coming on the market, although the reason will be unfortunate, to say the least. I have read that Type 2 Diabetes is becoming a horrible epidemic. I guess there'll be an increasing demand for sugar-free products.

Stay well -

Marilyn Olshansky

Renee Cordrey writes:

I appreciated the product update. I have a couple products to add.

I really like the Walden Farms barbecue sauce. It makes great ribs or a dipping sauce.

For chips, my husband and I are addicted to the Eat Smart Soy Crisps. They have two flavors that I know of-- garlic/olive oil/parmesan (my favorite!!!) and tomato romano. The problem is that it is too easy to get carried away.

I get a bread at the local farmers market that's really good. It tastes a bit like "brown bread" familiar to French Canadians and New Englanders), with a bit of molasses flavor in it. I'll have to get the label next time I pick some up. I don't know it off-hand. It's from the local baker's booth, but I think he buys the bread from elsewhere.


Diana O'Brien also likes Walden Farms products:

Walden Farms makes a SF BBQ sauce, It's not bad either…. They also have a website.

Thank You,

Diana O'Brien

Margaret King, from Albany, writes:

I find to be very helpful...and they have a lot of low carb things- and the best S &H price! They carry the DaVinci syrups, Steel's Gourmet l/c jellies and condiments, Mama Lupes l/c tortillas, Tippy Rosa Taco shells and all the Dreamfields products - including their new lasagna. They also have the Tova Industries Carbquik - a Bisquik like replacement...very good for breading, making muffins, etc.

Just wanted to mention all these products still out there!

Ruth Siegal and Nina Nethery, proprietors of LoCarb Diner, write:

Our business is indeed quite alive, and as you said, it has much to do with customer service. Locarbers and diabetics do need a lot of hand-holding!

Also, the reduction in competition seems to have helped boost our sales. We are back up to 2003 levels -- not as high as 2004, but much higher than 2005!

We are selling great bread and muffins on our web site: Carb Krunchers Breads and Fred's Incredible Muffins. The site is here. We would be delighted if you would let people know about these fabulous products. We are one of the few sites that still offers fresh breads.

A reader named Bonnie writes:

The Francis Simun Bakery in Dallas TX makes low carb bread, pizza crust and a few other low carb items. The bread has 2.46 grams per slice with 1 fiber gram for a net total of 1.46 grams of carbs per slice. It is made from organic wheat gluten, filtered water, garbanzo flour, black bean flour, canola oil, golden flax seed, wheat germ, molasses, onion and sea salt. There are no preservatives added. It tastes like "real" homemade bread and is wonderful toasted. They will ship anywhere. Visit their website at for ordering information. BTW, the bread costs $6.99 a loaf. For a 2 pack of pizza crust, the price is $7.99. It is expensive, but it sure compliments those morning eggs. It is the best low carb bread I have ever eaten!!! Dana..thanks for all the good information! Keep it coming!

Melanie Sandridge says:

Dear Dana,

I would like to add two more sources of low-carb items. They are:

1. Atkins still makes their low-carb cereal. I've always liked them. I get mine in the "nutritional" section of Kroger.

2. A great source of low-carb bread, bagels, hot dog buns, hamburger buns, and pizza crusts is Francis Simun Bakery located in Dallas, Texas. They do ship nationwide, though the shipping cost can be a bit pricey. They're another great candidate for a group order. A majority of these items are 3 net carbs/serving and they taste fantastic. They are made with black bean flour. For more information, go to They take phone and internet orders and are quick with their shipping.


Melanie Sandridge

Joel and Nancy Ray in Columbia, MO write:

Since the current list is about low-carb products I'd thought I'd mention one that we recently found at Sams Club. It's called Philly Swirls. They are made by two guys, Alex and Max in Tampa and really hit the spot for a low carb cold treat. Here's their site.

Just wanted to help these guys and get the word out. Again, thanks for your webzine!

Heidi Green from Merced California writes:

My sister, Susan Wink from Lodi, Wisconsin turned me on to Michael Season's Original Soy Protein Chips. They are super crunchy, low carb (5 carbs for one ounce) and still available. They are very similar to the Atkins Original Crunchers, only shaped like a bubbly tortilla chip! The are organic as well.

They come in BBQ and Spicy Ranch flavors too!

Jamie from Boston writes:

* Carb Countdown Reduced Carb Dairy Beverage:

I live in the Boston area and the Carb Countdown had suddenly disappeared from the stores where I shop so I looked on the Hood website and found out that I can get Carb Countdown delivered to my home - they still do milk delivery in the Northeast.

* Low carb bread:

The Baker makes and excellent (but I think regional to the Northeast) low-carb flax seed bread. It's not quite as low carb as some of the others and I don't eat it everyday, but my husband and I can't taste the difference between a "real" hearty whole grain and the low-carb flax. They also make a low-carb bran bread that we like slightly less, but that may be a matter of personal preference.

* Low carb tortillas:

Trader's Joe's low-carb whole wheat tortillas taste like the real thing to me (and I can't taste the difference between white flour versions). They have 4g net carbs per tortilla.

* Low carb cold cereal:

The low carb Special K has been renamed Special K Protein Plus, but the ingredients and carb count haven't changed. It's available at every grocery store around Boston.

Sandy In Kansas says:

I noticed in this week's Lowcarbzine that you mentioned not being able to locate commercial low carb BBQ sauce. Our local Walmart carries a KC Masterpiece variety with only 2 carbs per 2 Tbsp serving. I love your recipe for sauce and make it often, but when traveling or in a hurry, the KC is very good and convienent too. I don't know if it's available in your area, but the upc code is 0 7460905470 2. It's the Classic Blend and has a 2g carb label on the neck of the bottle. It contains no sugar (per say), corn syrup or hydrogenated anythings, but it does have modified food starch and malodextrin which seem to be in everything these days :-( BTW, it's sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame potassium. It runs $1.50 for a 15.5 oz bottle. Just thought this might be useful to someone.

In response to your newsletter, I was told by my grocery store (Cub Foods) that Pepperidge Farms is discontinuing the Carb Style breads altogether (my husband liked it). I also have a loaf of the Natural Ovens bread (Golden Crunch) in my freezer and occassionally indulge in their Golden Crunch bagels...I'm just wondering if they've changed the name (didn't see either on the web site). SF grape spread/jelly is another difficult one to find (another fave of my hubby). Sigh.

I would also respectfully suggest that you might check out as an e-tailer...they were a store front here in the Twin Cities, MN area but went strictly onlinelast year. They carry a wide variety of products and are very nice to deal with (heck, they DELIVERED may last order and saved me the S/H!!)

Thanks for the great newsletter...

Ginger Klietz writes:


I love your e-zine by the way. I just got done reading the most recent about low carb products. You mentioned the low carb bagels. Natural ovens has a "Golden Crunch" bagel that is low in carbs (I believe 7) and high in protein. I can get these in my local Jewel and Cub foods. They have fructose in them but it is not one of the main ingredients. They also have flax and are high fiber. They are great. Just wanted to let you know.

But then Joyce Nahorski added:

Hold that thought on the Natural Ovens Golden Crunch Bagels. I just noticed they are temporarily unavailable and not listed on their website. I just bought some last week. I hope that they are not discontinued.

(I called Natural Ovens - the Golden Crunch Bagels have been reformulated, and are not specifically low carb anymore. The new carb count is as I reported in last week's Lowcarbezine! - 21 grams of net carbs per bagel, or 10.5 per half.)

Terri says:

Hi, Dana.

I'm a low carber, been this way happily since 2002, plan on it forever.

I have all of your books and consider them - literally - lifesavers. I come from a long line of people with really crummy cardiac histories, and my lab values are now so perfect my internist is impressed (duh!). I have learned so much from you, and, even though we are now divorced, I always forward your nutritional updates to my former husband, a public health physician, who says he too is always learning from you.

Thanks! I just bought your latest, Every Calorie Counts, and haven't tried anything yet, but am really intrigued by the cauliflower tabouli. Can't wait!

I just wanted to let you and everyone know that Netrition sells a terrific low carb tortilla made by Mama Lupe. They are a little bit smaller than the ones you can find in the stores, but at 3 gm net carb, I can make a cheese tortilla filled with cheese - sometimes with some sauteed onion, sometimes with a little avocado - and have this meal come in at less than 8 gm net carb with plenty of protein from the cheese.

Thank you for your work, and I wish you all kinds of continued success!

b'shalom/bis salaam/in peace,


Carol Doersom says she can find these products at HEB in Texas:

LaTortilla Factory wraps -- they're at the deli counter instead of with all the other wraps!

Mootopia milk (lactose free & very tasty) -- white is 4 net carb grams per cup; chocolate is 10 net and sweetened with acesulfameK & sucralose.

Sugarfree pickles & pickle relish -- various brands, sweetened with sucralose.

Judy Ritchie writes:

Hi Dana,

I noticed in the grocery stores out here they have a Del Monte Carb Clever, peaches, pears and fruit cocktail.

The sliced peaches are 7 g total carb, 1 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugars, 1 g protein. The list of ingredients are: peaches, water, asorbic acid, acesulfame, potassium, sucralose and on the can it says, "sweetened with Splenda". Have you seen these? What's your opinion of them?

Judy Ritchie

Renton, WA

A reader named Barbara writes:

Hi Dana,

First, let me thank you for the great LC information you pass along! Its so helpful and your newsletters are written very well.

I just read you recent newsletter, and the Lite Minute Maid juice drinks reminded me of a question that I had. Many of the 0 cal/0 carb juice drinks have fruit juice in them. I am looking at the label of Talking Rain Purely Passion drink (bought them at Costco). The ingredients are: water, citric acid, natural flavor, apple juice concentrate, fruit and vegetable juice for color, potassium benzoate, ascorbic acid, tea extract, sucralose....etc. The label states 0 cal/0 carb per 9 oz serving. I also found a really good sugar free orangeaid at the market, and it also had juice in it, but 0 carb/cal. I can only think that it is such a small amount, its not effecting the carb/cal count, but do you think it could cause a glycemic impact? These drinks are all good, but I'm afraid to use them.



(Legally, food processors can label a product "0 grams" if it has 0.4 grams of carbohydrate or less per serving. Pay close attention to the serving sizes - it's not unknown for food processors to label a product you think of as one serving as 2 or 3, or even something odd like 2.5, just so they can get that 0 grams label. Keeping that in mind, I go by the total carb count, but I would also pay close attention to how my body reacted to these juice drinks. If I found myself hungry, tired, or craving after drinking one, I'd drop them. And diabetics - you know there's no substitute for your blood glucose meter!)

Posted by HoldTheToast at 02:13 PM

Reader Review of 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes

Just Wonderful!

Dana Carpender never fails to bring you delicious recipes for "every" low carb (LC) lifestyle. You will find this book versatile with a garden of recipe choices you never thought could be done in a slow cooker! Everything from hot dips to desserts (yes desserts) that will leave you asking "are you sure this is low carb"? She is a gift to those of us who know LC is the magic bullet we've all been looking for... I've lost over 100lbs eating Atkins LC and doing moderate exercise (1hr/3-5x/wk) and Dana's recipes have been my saving grace! This book is worth every penny and praised for every delicious morsel I've consumed while keeping every one of those 100 pounds "lost"!

Kat "Kat Paws Crochet" Chester, MD, , February 23, 2006

Wow! Over 100 pounds? You go, Kat!

To see this and other recipes of 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes, visit Amazon

Or you can pick up 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes at your local bookstore.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 02:02 PM

Has Low Carb Suddenly Been Proven Dangerous?

Did you see the headlines? Since I have a Google News Alert set up for the keyword "low carb" I couldn't get away from them:

Low-carb diets can be unhealthy, doctors warn

Low carbohydrate Atkins diet may pose health problem

Atkins diet may not be safe for every dieter

Low-carb diets can be unhealthy

You'd think some major study had proven that low carbing was deadly, and indeed I heard from a few of you about this. But if you looked in a dictionary of cliches under "tempest in a teapot," you'd find this "story."

When it showed up in my local paper, of course I read it with concern. And then I saw the truth: What the Reuters news service article called a "study" was one case, involving one women, that was written up for The Lancet, a medical journal. It claimed the patient had developed severe ketoacidosis from "the Atkins diet." Now, I don't have access to the full text of The Lancet, so I couldn't read the whole thing. But I did find a few things about the newspaper report fishy - I mean, other than calling one case with no controls "a study."

Like the fact that the patient involved may have had " a mild pancreatitis or stomach infection" that "may have added to the problem." And the fact that the patient involved had been vomiting several times a day for several days. And the fact that ketoacidosis simply doesn't happen to anyone whose pancreas is working.

At this point, I was convinced that the whole thing was bogus, and the media was seizing on it because they just love a good "Low carb is bad" story. After all, "Low carb is good" stories aren't gee-whizzy and controversial anymore.

So I turned to a more medically informed soul than I, Regina Wilshire, who writes the excellent low carb blog Weight of the Evidence. Regina is married to an endocrinologist, and has access to the full text of articles from The Lancet. I highly recommend you read Regina's analysis of the story.

Regina points out that the doctor's own records show that the woman in question did not have a particularly high level of ketosis, and had a normal blood pH and normal blood glucose - none of which is the case with ketoacidosis, a condition that threatens Type I diabetics.

There's much more to Regina's analysis of the story, but suffice it to say this was a clear case of a doctor looking at a sick low carber and simply assuming the diet must be at fault.

I long ago stated in this ezine that if I were to fall off a roof and break my leg, I confidently expected that some doctor, somewhere, would see fit to blame it on my low carb diet. That appears to be exactly the sort of thing that happened here. Go read Regina's article, and see if you don't agree.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 01:52 PM

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

Information and Guidance

I needed to make changes in how and what I was eating. A low-carb diet was strongly recommended by my doctors. This book gave a lot of useful information about how focusing on lowering carbohydrate intake, rather than reducing intake of fat and calories, can be a sensible way to improve ones health.

The author explains to a layman's level of understanding the how and why of low-carb eating. She also has a good section explaining the similarities and differences between the many highly publicized low-carb diets. Her cook books are wonderful- I have two-my family is reasonably satisfied with the overall change in our eating style. And the dietary changes have positively affected my health.

K. Wynne "exphile" Elizabehtown, PA, March 17, 2006

Thanks, K. When I started low carbing, there were very few books on the market, and they were all terribly technical - I mean, who wants to know from delta-6-desaturase? So I wrote the book that I wished I had had when I started out, and I'm glad you find it helpful.

To see this and other reviews of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds, visit Amazon.

Or grab How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds at your local bookstore.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 01:50 PM

Low Carb on a Budget

(Low Carb for Life Reprint: As you can tell from the lead paragraph, this column originally appeared in January. But it's useful all year 'round.)

Now that the holidays are over, while our VISA cards are still smoking in our wallets, it seems an opportune moment to tackle a common complaint regarding a low carb diet: "It's so expensive!"

At first glance, this seems true. If you've been basing your meals on potatoes, rice, pasta, and generic white bread, you've been getting away with a lower cost-per-serving than, say, steak. However, I have several thoughts on this matter.

First, and most important, is this: Any food that makes you fat, tired, sick, and hungry would not be cheap even if they were giving it away. If you are carbohydrate intolerant, if you have the illnesses that have been identified as being related to high insulin levels - diabetes, hypertension, high triglycerides, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and the like - "cheap" carbs are a luxury you can't afford. You'll pay for them in the form of doctor visits, medicines, sick days, dental bills, and new clothes in bigger sizes.

Second, remember that many carb-y foods are not even cheap to buy. I've long suspected that cold cereal is a conspiracy to get us to pay three and a half bucks for fifteen cents worth of grain. Bulk potatoes may be cheap, but Pringles are expensive. Frozen dinners, canned biscuits, boxed potatoes, and other prepared foods are not budget items, and most of them are loaded with junk carbs and bad fats. Cut all of this rubbish out of your food budget, and you'll find a bit more room for protein and vegetables.

That being said, real, good, nutritious food does cost more per pound than the cheapest carb-y junk. How to deal with this?

* Not one of those expensive low carb specialty foods is essential to your success. When I went low carb they didn't exist. Going low carb meant eating unprocessed real foods, and I suspect that some of the health benefits stemmed from this simple fact. You'll save big money eating real food instead of low carb macaroni-and-cheese mix.

* Your body does not care if you get your protein from lobster, steak, and boneless, skinless chicken breast, or from hamburger, tilapia fillets, and chicken leg-and-thigh quarters. Hereabouts those boneless, skinless breasts often run $4.99 a pound, while leg-and-thigh quarters often go on sale for 69c a pound or less. Big difference.

* Buy in bulk When hamburger, tuna, butter, canned broth, natural peanut butter, or the like goes on sale, stock up. A freezer lets you take advantage of meat specials. I bought mine used for $225 and it has paid for itself many times over.

* We love rib eye steaks, which run $8.99 a pound. So I wait till whole rib eyes go on sale for $4.99 a pound, and have the nice meat guys slice one into steaks for me. No charge for this service, and I get steaks for several months for the price of one dinner at Outback. I also buy leg of lamb on deep discount, and have it cut into steaks - much cheaper than lamb chops.

* Eat what's in season. Asparagus, lettuce, berries, and melon, all great low carb foods, are sky-high this time of year. Cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are all in season, and are cheaper - I just bought cabbage for 39c/pound. This makes coleslaw, steamed broccoli, and cauliflower "fauxtatoes" better choices than salad. Turnips and rutabaga (I adore rutabaga!), spaghetti squash, and celery are other winter vegetables that work well for us. Grapefruit is abundant, wonderful and cheap in the winter, and has only about 10 grams of usable carb per half.

* Bagged salad, pre-cut veggies, skinless chicken, pre-made hamburgers are all expensive. The more food preparation you do yourself, the more money you will save. Spend an hour on the weekend prepping stuff yourself, and stash it in the fridge for busy days.

* Nuts are low carb, but so are sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and they're far cheaper. More minerals, too!

* Drink homemade iced tea instead of diet soda.

* One of the lowest carb-and-calorie desserts is also one of the cheapest - store brand sugar-free gelatin.

* Cut way back on eating out. The same food is always far cheaper at home.

* Bag lunches are a great way to use up leftovers - who wants to pay for food to turn green in the fridge?

Here's a family-pleasing supper that cooks while you're out of the house. Buy leg-and-thigh quarters, and spend five minutes cutting the drumsticks off for another meal, and pulling off the skin - you'll save 30c a pound or more.

Southwestern Barbecue

1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Splenda
1 1/2 tablespoons jalapeno pepper, canned, sliced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/8 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 pounds skinless chicken thighs

Combine everything but the chicken in your slow cooker, and stir well.

Place the chicken in the sauce, meaty side down.

Cover, set on low, and cook for 6 hours. Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over it.

6 Servings, each with: 215 Calories; 7g Fat; 34g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 2g Usable Carbs.

(Reprinted with permission from 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes)

Posted by HoldTheToast at 01:47 PM

Oat Bran Pancakes, Corned Beef Hash

Since low carb bake mixes are getting harder to find, here's a pancake recipe for you, from 500 More Low-Carb Recipes:

I like these for their grainy-cinnamony flavor. I eat 'em with butter and a little cinnamon and Splenda.

1/2 cup oat bran

1 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1 1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup Splenda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, and stir to distribute evenly. Measure the buttermilk in a glass measuring cup, and break the eggs into it. Whisk the two together. Dump the buttermilk and egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix with a few quick strokes of the whisk, just enough to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Heat a heavy skillet or griddle over a medium-high flame until a single drop of water skitters around when dripped on the surface. Using a hot-pot holder, remove from the heat just long enough to spray with non-stick cooking spray, then return to the heat (the spray is flammable, so you don't want to be spraying it at a hot burner!)

Pour about 2 - 3 tablespoons of batter at a time onto the hot griddle. Cook until bubbles around the edges start to break and leave little holes, then flip and cook other side.

Serve with butter, and your choice of sugar free pancake syrup, sugar free jelly or preserves, or cinnamon and Splenda.

Yield: 8 servings, each with 287 Calories; 14g Fat; 32g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 9 grams usable carbohydrate.

(Reprinted with permission from 500 More Low-Carb Recipes)

And here's your bonus recipe! I made this with the leftovers of the New England Boiled Dinner

I made for St. Patrick's Day - corned beef slow-cooked with turnips (instead of the usual potatoes,) celery, and cabbage. My husband and I both loved it with the warmed-over cabbage, and I ate the leftovers with fried eggs for breakfast. Fab!

I'm afraid I don't have exact measurements for this, because I was just throwing it together. But it was so good I had to tell you about it, and hey, it's a way of using up leftovers - it's supposed to be elastic.

Corned Beef Hash

I diced up a medium onion, and started it sauteing in a tablespoon or so of butter in my big iron skillet. ( I would have sprayed the skillet with non-stick spray first, but I was out.) While that was cooking, I diced up the leftover turnips - I had about 2 cups, I'd guess. I threw them in the skillet, too. I also diced a little of the leftover celery - maybe a 1/2 cup - and added that. Then I diced up a roughly equal quantity of leftover corned beef - probably 8 - 10 ounces. That, of course, went in the skillet too.

I sauteed everything together, adding a little more butter as it seemed to need it, stirring now and then. As stuff browned and stuck to the bottom, I used the edge of the pancake turner to scrap it off and plow it back into the hash.

When everything was good and hot and well-amalgamated (in particular, I wanted the fat to cook out of the corned beef, into the mixture,) I added a tablespoon or so of Worcestershire, and a little salt and pepper, stirring it in, of course. I sprinkled 2 tablespoons of Ketotoes mix (the Dixie Diner Instant Mashers should work just as well,) stirred it in, sprinkled another 2 tablespoons of Ketatoes mix over it, and stirred again.

Then I flattened the hash into an even layer in the bottom of the pan, and let it sit for five or ten minutes - I wanted it to form a nice brown crust on the bottom. When I served it, I made sure to scoop up the crust with each serving, and turn it over as I put it on the plate, so the crust was on top.

Talk about comfort food! It was soooo good. If you like hash, it would be worth slow-cooking some corned beef just to make the hash with! I liked the New England Boiled Dinner, but the hash was even better.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 01:45 PM

March 21, 2006

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Discussion Groups Moving or Closing

Hi All,

We are moving the website to a new server this month, and this is affecting the Discussion Groups that we have been hosting. In brief, there are two important points:

1) Only the Basic-A, Basic-C and Recipes groups will continue, as they are the only ones with ongoing activity. The others have seen a trickle of traffic recently, if any at all.

2) The posting addresses for the three remaining groups is changing.

We have already set up the discussion groups on the new host, and they seem to be flourishing even as I write this. (Thanks, all, for your patience.)

More information here. (This link is the pre-release site for the new

Posted by HoldTheToast at 08:23 PM

March 15, 2006

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Hey Gang,

As you'll see, the main article this week is about which low carb products are still available, and which are gone. It is incomplete at best, since these things are often regional. Please, please, if I've missed a good product that's available in your area, let me know so I can pass the info on.

Read on!


Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:42 PM

Low Carb Products Update

A few issues back, I addressed the Sad Death of Ketatoes, a low carb product I had found useful enough to incorporate into several recipes. But there are other products that have either gone off the market, or become harder to find, and I get questions about them.

Indeed, when I was halfway through writing this article, I got this email:

Hi Dana,

I'm new to your website for forgive me if my question was answered some time ago.

First off I bought all your books and as far as I'm concerned you certainly know your low carb business. I've tried all the plans out there regarding low-carb and none work except atkins or a modified version of his. I love you comments, observations and commonsense approach and not to mention fantastic recipes and ideas. Thank you and keep it coming.

No for my question, after reading through back archives of your newsletter you mentioned some low carb products, After going to the store and looking up on some of the web sites you mention to purchase these I was told they were out of business. For example everyone raved about Keto tortilla chips, (out of business) The bakery back in Illinois where they sell low carb bread at 3 grams a slice (I went to the web site and I could not find a link to purchase their low carb bread).

If you could be so kind and mention in a future newsletter an updated consensus of what is still out there as far as superior low carb products particularly bread and tortilla chips. I feel

Mission makes a great low carb tortilla at 5 net grams for the small size and 7 net grams for the large size. Seeing these three items are pretty much all you need. And yes I'm putting my two cents in about Dreamfield Pasta - yes once or twice a week is great as long as you eat a good portion of protein and some fat along with it (not hard to do with a sauce) I have a

great recipe I'll share later on that one.

Again thanks for all your hard work and research for not being a doctor you sure no what the heck your talking about.

Mary Sawyer

Las Vegas, NV

So here you go, Mary! And the rest of you, too, of course:

* Carb Countdown Reduced Carb Dairy Beverage: Carb Countdown "milk" is still being made, though the juices and yogurt have been discontinued. Here in Bloomington, Indiana, Marsh grocery stores still carry it (or at least they do here on the east side.) If you can't get Carb Countdown, it's because your local grocery stores have stopped carrying it. Your best bet is to ask Hood Dairies if anyone in your region carries the stuff:

* Juice products: As mentioned, Carb Countdown juices are gone, which is a shame; I really liked them. (And my sister is seriously mourning the loss of their Pink Grapefruit variety.) Minute Maid has a line of "light" no sugar juice beverages; they run about 4 grams a serving. I haven't tried them, but they're widely distributed.

* No-sugar-added ketchup: For a while there I had three brands of no-sugar-added ketchup in the house, but two of them have gone off the market. I can only buy Heinz One-Carb Ketchup anymore. Doesn't worry me; I made my own ketchup for years, I can do it again - and will, since the Heinz One-Carb is a little pricey for me.

* No-sugar-added barbecue sauce: I can't find this in my grocery store anymore. I can make really good low carb barbecue sauce at home, though, so I don't sweat it. If you want to buy a bottled sauce - they're handy -- Stubb's brand has some sugar, but is much lower carb than most of the commercial sauces - 5 grams per 2 tablespoon serving, as opposed to 12 grams for Heinz and 14 grams for KC Masterpiece. Good, too. I keep a bottle of Stubb's Original on hand.

* Low carb ice cream: I can still get these, though some brands have re-labeled as "no sugar added" rather than "low carb." Edy's/Dreyer's is my favorite, though the Breyer's is good, too. Do yourself a favor and skip ice cream that's both sugar free and low fat. Yuck.

* Low carb bread: Speaking of low carb bread, availability has become hit or miss. Pepperidge Farm still lists their Carb Style bread and rolls - quite good -- on their website. Brownberry makes low carb bread in whole wheat and 7 grain varieties; I can get it locally at Kroger. What your local grocery stocks may well be different. I've seen other brands - Aunt Millie's was making a low carb version for a while - but often they include hydrogenated vegetable oil, something I refuse to eat, and I've seen high fructose corn syrup, too. READ THE LABEL! I've said it before, my favorite low carb bread comes from Natural Ovens of Manitowoc, and bless their hearts, they ship.

* Low carb tortillas: Every grocery store and health food store in Bloomington Indiana has these, and many have more than one brand. However, I've heard from readers who are having a hard time finding them. Keep in mind that low carb tortillas keep for at least a few months if unopened, so you can stock up when you do find them, or if you order them.

* Low carb bagels: Haven't seen these in the stores for a while. But then, I was unimpressed with Atkins Bagels anyway. They were too squishy. However, here's an all-bagel website that sells a reduced carb bagel. There's good news and bad news about these bagels. The good news is that since they're made by Jewish folks in New York who specialize in bagels, I'd be willing to bet they've got an authentic taste and texture. The bad news is that I called the company and their "low carb" bagels have 21 net carbs per bagel, or 10.5 per half. That's too much for many of us. It is, however, considerably lower than the 56 grams of carb in the average medium-sized "regular" bagel.

Interestingly, Natural Ovens makes a "Golden Grain" bagel that also has 21 grams of net carb, they just don't label it "low carb." So that's an option as well.

I'd call either of these bagels a treat food, not a staple.

* Ketocrumbs: Gone with the Keto company, I'm afraid. If you can get low carb bread near you, it's a simple matter to dry some out in a slow oven, then run it through your blender or food processor to get low carb crumbs. For that matter, this is a fine thing to do with any low carb bread that goes stale or gets freezer burned. If you really, really low carb crumbs, grind a bag of pork rinds in your food processor! Keep pork rind crumbs in the fridge. Either way, if you want Italian seasoned crumbs (similar to Progresso) mix 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon Splenda with each cup of crumbs.

* Sugar free chocolate: My poll indicated that sugar free candy, overall, wasn't popular, but sugar free chocolate was. I'm pleased to report I still see it everywhere - my local Marsh grocery store carries Sorbee sugar free chocolate bars in both milk and dark chocolate, and I see sugar free Reese's peanut butter cups and Russell Stover's sugar free candies in big drug stores. For more exalted chocolate - I'm hooked on Guylian's sugar free, from Belgium - look in gourmet stores (I get mine at Sahara Mart, here in Bloomington), or go online. And remember - most good chocolate shops carry at least a few varieties of sugar free chocolates.

* Low-carb pasta: Atkins and Keto pasta are gone, and I won't miss them. I never liked the soy pastas; the texture was off. Dreamfield's is still available, but not everyone's carrying it. When I see it, I stock up, since pasta doesn't go bad. The venerable Mueller's noodle company now has a reduced carb macaroni that's quite good. My local grocery stores stock this. I consider both Dreamfield's and Mueller's low carb pastas to be too carb-y for staples - they're occasional treats. I eat them less than once a month.

There are other brands of low carb pasta available online.

( I've been reading a lot about shiritaki noodles recently. These are Asian noodles made from konjac (a root) fiber, and have virtually no usable carbs. Apparently they have no flavor, but a good texture, and simply take on the flavor of the sauce you serve them with. I'm looking for a local source, and will report in a future 'zine.)

* Low carb cold cereal: For a little while both Total and Special K cereals were available in low carb/high protein versions. I don't see them in the stores anymore, and I've seen low carb Special K at Big Lots, a sure sign that it's been discontinued. No big loss; they both sucked anyway, and had objectionable ingredients. All Bran is high enough in fiber that it can fit into a low carb diet, and All Bran Extra Fiber is even better. But exciting? Not really.

Keto Crisp is gone with the Keto company, of course, and a darned shame it is; I had a couple of really good recipes that used it. If I find another source of soy crisps, I'll let you know. If you're a Grape Nuts fan, there's a soy cereal called Nutlettes available online that's pretty similar. I don't like to eat a lot of soy, however.

There are low carb granolas available online, too. I make my own granola, so I haven't tried these.

* Low carb chips: I can't find these locally anymore, and some brands are gone for good - Atkins protein chips and Keto tortilla chips, for instance. Trader Joe's still carries their "Joe's Lows" low carb corn-soy-and-flax chips, which I like a lot. I called the Indianapolis Trader Joe's, and they say the chips are a good seller, and there are no plans to discontinue them. So if you have a Trader Joe's near you, you're set. If not, you may have to order chips on line - R.W. Garcia's are good.

Don't forget Just the Cheese Chips - little rounds of real cheese baked until crunchy, from the Specialty Cheese company. Very tasty, very crunchy, zippo carbs, plenty of protein, plenty of calcium. If you can't find them locally, they're worth ordering online. You can get them direct, but you'll have to buy a lot. The low carb etailers all have them, though.

(Not a chip, but let me also recommend Specialty Cheese Company's Frying Cheese - cheese that gets hot and melty inside, and brown and crunchy outside, without melting away into a little puddle. Incredibly good. Buy it if you see it. Order it from the company if you don't. SO great!)

* Low carb soups: The only low carb soups I ever saw in my grocery store were from Progresso. They're still listed on the Progresso website; whether your grocer carries them is another question. Some of them contain hydrogenated vegetable oil, so I can't recommend them anyway.

You'll notice a couple of running themes in this article: One is that many of these products are still being made, but many grocery stores have stopped carrying them. This is a genuine problem, especially in smaller towns. You could try getting together with other local low carbers, and petitioning the largest local grocery store to carry a reasonable selection of low carb stuff. You'll have to make a compelling case, however, that there will be enough sales to make it worth their while. Grocery stores operate on razor-thin profit margins, and genuinely cannot afford to stock stuff that doesn't sell reasonably well, especially stuff that goes bad or stale, like breads.

You might also find a store that is willing to special order stuff for you if you're willing to buy a case at a time. Again, go in with low carb friends and split a case or two of your favorite products.

The other running theme is that you can still order low carb products online. Us long-time low carbers are used to this - it's where we got our low carb stuff back before the low carb explosion of 2003-2004. The great thing about the low carb etailers is that they're not dependent on a geographical region for their customer base, so they can afford to carry a wide range of specialty products. Indeed, if you haven't shopped the low carb etailers I think you'll be surprised the range of stuff available.

My favorite etailer is Carb Smart - Andrew DiMino, the owner, is a pal of mine, and is a long-time low carber himself; he's been in the low carb etail biz since long before the boom. Andrew has a big selection, gives good service, and keeps his prices reasonable.

Netrition is another site that's been around for quite a while. They handle more than just low carb stuff - a lot of vitamins and the like - but they have a good selection of low carb specialty products.

Low Carb Nexus has a good rep.

I haven't done business with Lo Carb Diner, but they've been around a while, a good sign that they're serving their clientele well.

And finally, in a triumph for all of us mourning the death of Ketatoes: I found Dixie Diners Carb Counters Instant Mashers at several of the etailers. Looks to be substantially similar to Ketatoes. I'll get a hold of some, try it in my recipes that called for Ketatoes, and let you know.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:24 PM

More Early Word on The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook

Jamie Gardner writes:

I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday and bought Every Calorie Counts. I had it pre-ordered from Amazon and was surprised to see it at the book store. I was anticipating this book so much I paid the difference rather than waiting for Amazon to ship it. This is by far my favorite book from her and I really like them all. So many recipes were still low carb enough to be eaten while still losing weight so that was a nice surprise. But, as a person who has to watch both carbs and calories, I have been waiting along time for a book just like this one. I couldn't find a single recipe I wouldn't make.

Thank you for the wonderful book. I have a feeling I should get a back up copy for it will probably become "well used". And thank you for sharing all this with us. I have never heard of any other low carb cookbook author that is so highly recommended. The recipes truly are fantastic.

Thanks, Jamie! I'm so glad you like it!

So far as I know, Barnes and Noble is the only store that has The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook so far; if you really, really want it, you can run out and buy a copy!

Or you can pre-order at Amazon, and they'll send your copy as soon as they have it in.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:22 PM

Low Carb for Life Reprint: Calcium

One of the most persistent criticisms of low carbohydrate dieting is the assertion that eating "all that protein" will cause calcium loss, and therefore osteoporosis. But is this true?

It's hard to say with certainty. There are a lot of factors that contribute to bone density, and they interact in complex ways that are still only poorly understood. Among the factors that affect bone density are calcium intake, calcium absorption, exercise, sun exposure and/or vitamin D intake, heredity, and body weight.

Osteoporosis is one of the few health problems that is more common in people who are slim than in people who are heavy. Again, the reasons are unclear - it could be because body fat increases estrogen levels, protecting bone mass, or because slim folks are eating less calcium, or because the extra weight adds stress to the bones, increasing the rate at which calcium is deposited, or because the gene for slimness is linked somehow to a gene for weaker bones. Whatever the reason, it's nice to know that if you need to lose weight, you're at a reduced risk for osteoporosis to begin with.

I've looked at a fair number of medical studies regarding protein intake and calcium status, and I'm not worried about my low carb diet, even though osteoporosis runs in my family. Recent research is reassuring. Two studies of high-meat diets, both done in 2003, showed no adverse effects on bone metabolism . A 2004 study of diets high in protein, but restricted in both fat and carbohydrate, showed an increased excretion of calcium - but this mirrored a 50% greater calcium intake, and therefore was not a threat to bones. Another 2004 study found that men and women between 50 and 69 who had a higher protein intake had less risk of hip fracture than those with a lower protein intake.

The most important factors in bone health appear to be calcium intake, and exercise., and the problem of people getting too little of both cuts across the diet spectrum. You need 800 - 1200 milligrams of calcium every single day, and most people don't get enough. Many people figure, "I drink a glass of milk every day, so I'm covered," but it takes a quart of milk a day, or its equivalent in yogurt and cheese, to get close to that 1200 milligram mark. Some of the more recent low carb diets encourage the consumption of dairy products - The South Beach Diet recommends low fat dairy products, while The GO-Diet recommends at least a serving a day of yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir. The new carb-reduced dairy beverages are also good sources of calcium,

Other good low carb sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables, almonds, unhulled sesame seeds (find these at your health food store), and especially canned sardines and canned salmon - because the bones are soft enough to eat! It's a good idea to cook chicken on the bone, ox tails, pork neck bones, or other bony cuts of meat, in sauces with tomatoes, vinegar, lemon juice, or other acidic ingredients; you'll end up with a calcium-rich sauce. If you boil chicken or turkey carcasses to make soup, add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to the water, and you'll get a calcium-rich broth (you won't taste the vinegar.)

And of course, it never hurts to take calcium supplements. I do, every single morning.

Here's a main-dish salad with more than half of your daily calcium requirement per serving!

Ham and Cheese Salad

1/2 head cauliflower cut in 1/2" chunks
8 ounces Swiss or Cheddar cheese, cut in 1/4" cubes (Use reduced fat cheese if you like.)
8 ounces cooked ham, cut in 1/4" cubes
3/4 cup chopped dill pickle
1/4 cup red onion, diced fine
3/4 cup snow pea pods, cut in 1/2" pieces
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 clove garlic, crushed

First chop your cauliflower, including the stem. Put it in a microwaveable casserole with a lid, add a couple of tablespoons of water, and cover. Nuke it on high for 7 minutes.

Dice your ham, cheese, and onion, and chop your pickle. Put in a big mixing bowl.

Pinch the ends off of your snow pea pods, and pull off any strings. Cut into 1/2" pieces, and put those in a microwaveable bowl. Add a tablespoon of water and cover. When the cauliflower is done, pull it out of the microwave, and uncover immediately - let it cool a little before adding to the salad. Put your snow peas in the microwave, and nuke them on high for just 1 minute. When they're done, uncover immediately, drain them, and add them to the mixing bowl.

Measure the mayo, mustard, vinegar, tarragon, and garlic into a small bowl, and stir together well.

When the cauliflower is cool enough to not melt the cheese, drain it and add it to the mixing bowl. Add the dressing, and toss to coat.

4 servings, each with 472 Calories; 38g Fat, 28g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber, 7 grams usable carb, and 577 milligrams calcium.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:18 PM

Reader Review of The Low-Carb Barbecue Book

Another great cookbook from Dana Carpender

I love all of the Dana Carpender cookbooks, and this one is no exception. Both her writing and cooking styles are a lot of fun, and I have yet to make a recipe I didn't like out of her books. The Chipotle Garlic Butter is already a favorite in our house, and we've only had the book a few days. The recipes are simple to follow with easy to find ingredients, and the results are delicious.

Nicolle (Carmichael, CA USA) , January 4, 2005

Thanks, Nicolle! I'm betting you get to cook out more of the year than I do.

I figured that with the crocuses (croci?) up and the daffodils about to bloom here in Indiana, it was about time to haul out the grill again. My whole Toastmasters Club is coming over next week; I'm thinking I'll slow-smoke a turkey!

To read this and other reviews of The Low-Carb Barbecue Book, visit

Or look for The Low-Carb Barbecue Book at a bookstore near you!

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:17 PM

Cooking Low Carb: Dana's No-Sugar Ketchup

This is the recipe I have repeated more than any other - it's appeared in every cookbook I've written. Why? Because ketchup isn't just a condiment, it's used as an ingredient in myriad other recipes. If you can get no-sugar-added ketchup in your grocery store - Heinz's One Carb Ketchup is quite good - go ahead and use it. If you can't, this is very simple to make, and tastes - well, like ketchup. The one difference here from previous versions is that I've worked out the quantity of stevia/FOS to use in place of Splenda, if you prefer not to use artificial sweeteners.

Once you've got no-sugar ketchup on hand, it's a snap to make cocktail sauce (add horseradish and lemon juice), steak sauce (add Worcestershire, and just a touch of lemon juice,) all sorts of things.

Dana's No-Sugar Ketchup

6 ounces tomato paste
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons Stevia Plus OR 1/3 cup Splenda
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Just combine everything in your blender, and run it until the onion and garlic disappear. Store in a snap-top container in the fridge, and use the way you would any ketchup.

Makes1 2/3 cups, or 14 Servings: 13 Calories; trace Fat; trace Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Fiber; 3g usable carbs.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 09:14 PM

March 07, 2006

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Hey Gang!

Here you go! And it's 10 pm, so I'm just going to say "Read on!" and send it off to the webmaster, aka That Nice Boy I Married.

Read on!


Posted by HoldTheToast at 10:57 PM

Whole Grains

Have you noticed? Officialdom and the food processors are pushing whole grains. I mean really pushing them. Five or six years ago, ads for things like bagels and oatmeal crowed "full of healthy complex carbohydrates!" The buzzword for the supposedly post-Atkins era is "whole grain" - you know, 'cause they're good carbs. Sugary, highly processed cereal is being sold with "Contains whole grains!" Highly processed crackers full of bad fats are being pushed as "made with whole grains!"

I find the whole thing sourly funny. I've been a Junior Nutrition Buff since 1978 - long enough to remember when insisting on whole grains instead of refined, "enriched" garbage earned one the epithet "food faddist." For years and years and years the government and registered dieticians insisted that enriched grain products were just as good as whole grains. Menu plans for Joliffe's "Prudent Diet," Weight Watchers, or the like would list, "Bread, enriched or whole wheat," the implication being there was no difference.

Heck, back in the 1940s (a tad before my time,) the federal government, in the form of the FCC, tried to force Dr. Carleton Fredericks off the radio for having the temerity to state that whole wheat bread was more nutritious than white bread.

When the big Food Pyramid push started, we were told to eat 6-11 servings of grains a day. The word "whole" was not mentioned. Dutifully, we chowed down on pasta salad with fat free dressing. I don't have to tell you that a whole lot of us ended up fat, tired, and even sick as a result.

Then came the Low Carb Revolution, and millions of us discovered that cutting grains out entirely vastly improved our health. It was looking grim for the Food Pyramid and its government creators and backers, not to mention the manufacturers of grain-based food products, from bread to crackers to cold cereal. (Never forget that processed grain products are among the most profitable products in your grocery store. Just how much do you think the grain in that box of corn flakes is worth?)

All of a sudden, the epiphany! It wasn't just grains that were good, it was whole grains. Studies showed that people who ate whole grain were healthier than people who didn't! Whole grains were good carbs! That must mean that the more whole grains people eat, the healthier they'll be!

Do you detect a certain sarcasm in my tone? It's all so obviously flawed, and to my admittedly jaundiced eye, it all seems aimed at us - a way to get the low carb heretics back into the balanced diet fold.

Shall I spell it out? Refined grains - white flour and everything made from it - white rice, corn starch, and the like - are nutritional garbage. All the vitamins and minerals are removed. Since your body needs vitamins and minerals to process food, these "foods" actually go into your body and suck nutrition out.

(Yes, yes, they're "enriched." You know what that means? They take out over thirty nutrients we've identified so far, and put back five. Usually in synthetic form. Often in lesser quantity than they were present in the first place. "Enriched" is a joke. Worse, it's a lie.)

Refined grain products are also stripped of fiber. This makes them digest and absorb faster, increasing their blood sugar impact - their glycemic index. This is why squishy white bread has a glycemic index higher than an equivalent quantity of table sugar. So do most cold cereals. So refined grains not only suck vitamins and minerals out of your body, they also cause big blood sugar swings and massive insulin release, with all the medical problems that follow.

By comparison, whole grain products have their naturally-occurring vitamins, minerals, and fiber left in. While many of these products are highly processed, and have a high glycemic index, at least they're contributing some nutrients, rather than stripping them out of your body.

And some - but nowhere near all - of the less processed whole grain products have a lower glycemic index than refined grain products. Brown rice is gentler on blood sugar than white rice. Whole wheat pasta has a lower glycemic index than white pasta. Coarse-ground, dense whole grain bread absorbs slower than fluffy cheap white bread. This translates into lower insulin levels, and reduce risk of the diseases that come with hyperinsulinemia.

Is it any surprise that people who eat a less-harmful-to-somewhat nourishing food (depending on the individual's carbohydrate tolerance) are healthier than people who eat a highly damaging "food" that actually removes nutrients from the body? Extrapolating from this to "whole grains are essential to human health" and "the more whole grains you eat, the better" is a jump worthy of the Olympics.

I have to go back to my personal experience: Before I went low carb in 1995, I ate lots of whole grains. I hadn't bought a loaf of white bread in 18 years. I ate only whole grain cereals. I used only brown rice. I used whole grain flours for baking, and even for thickening gravy. And I got up to 190 pounds at 5'2", with borderline-high blood pressure, and nasty mood and energy swings. As far as my body is concerned, whole grains are not health food.

What about the vitamins and minerals in whole grains? I don't know of a one that can't be found in other, lower carb sources. Let's do a rundown:

B Vitamins - whole grains are a pretty good source of thiamin (B1), niacin (B3), pantothenate (B5) and pyrodoxine (B6). But checking the old standby, The Vitamin Bible, we find that:

* B1 is also supplied by peanuts, lean pork, "organic meats" (though I know of no reason why standard grocery store meats wouldn't be a source as well,) and "most vegetables."

* B3 is also supplied by liver, lean meat (pork is especially rich,) kidney (don't laugh - I like kidneys!), fish, eggs, white meat poultry, peanuts and avocados.

* B5 is also supplied by meat (it's the first source listed!), kidney, liver, heart, green vegetables, chicken, and nuts.

* B6 is also supplied by liver, kidney, cantaloupe, cabbage, eggs, peanuts, and walnuts.

For the other B vitamins, B2 and B12, whole grains aren't listed as a source. (Indeed, B12 is only found in animal foods.)

Looks like we can get plenty of B vitamins without whole grains.

Whole grains contain folic acid or folacin, but so do leafy vegetables, carrots, liver, egg yolks, cantaloupe, apricots, and avocados.

Whole grains are a source of vitamin E, an important antioxidant. But so are nuts and seeds, brussels sprouts, leafy greens, spinach (which last I checked was a leafy green) and eggs. So we're good.

How about minerals? Whole grains are a source of magnesium, but so are nuts and seeds, and green vegetables. Grains have some zinc, but meat, seafood, eggs, and seeds do too. They contribute some selenium, but so do seafood, kidney, liver, onions, broccoli, and tomatoes.

Whole grains contain fiber, of course. But are they an outstanding source? Hardly. Eat two slices of 7 grain bread, say in a turkey sandwich, and you'll get 3 grams of fiber, out of 24 grams of carbohydrate, and 131 calories.

If, instead, you cut up that turkey into a salad with 3 cups of shredded romaine, you'll get the same amount of fiber, but only 4.6 grams of total carb, and 24 calories. Throw in a half-a-cup of cherry tomatoes, and you'll add another gram of fiber, only 2.9 grams of total carb, and 13 calories. Looks like you can afford some berries for dessert, doesn't it? Add a cup of halved strawberries, for another 3 grams of fiber, 11.7 grams total carb, and a big 49 calories. Our low carb lunch has 7 grams of fiber, 19.2 grams total carb, 12.2 grams usable carb - and 45 fewer calories than the sandwich. (Of course, we haven't factored for salad dressing, but then the sandwich would have had some mayonnaise, now wouldn't it?)

One cup of cooked brown rice has 46 grams of carbohydrate, of which only 3 grams are fiber. It also has 218 calories, not an inconsiderable amount. A similar serving of "cauli-rice" - cauliflower that's shredded in your food processor and cooked lightly - has 5 grams of carbohydrate with 2 grams of fiber, and only 24 calories.

Low carb vegetables, fruits, and nuts and seeds are far superior to whole grains as sources of fiber. And low carb baked goods, should you care to eat them, are invariably fiber-enriched - the La Tortilla Factory low carb tortillas that are a staple around my house have 8 grams of fiber apiece!

There simply is no nutrient in whole grains that cannot be found in low carb sources - and not in weird, obscure low carb sources, but in the common foods that make up the bulk of our diet.

On the flip side, grains are among the most allergenic foods; many people are allergic to wheat and corn in particular. Gluten, the grain protein that makes bread dough stretchy, is implicated in a growing number of health problems. Some researchers feel that long-chain carbohydrate molecules, as found in grains, cause or exacerbate illnesses as various as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's Disease, and autism. (See Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall) Clearly, grains are not for everyone, insulin problems aside.

Too, there's the simple fact that grains were not a part of the human diet until the invention of agriculture about 10,000 years ago. We all come from hunter-gatherer ancestors. It's hard to see how a food that all human beings did without for countless millennia can be essential.

I don't mean to imply that you shouldn't eat some whole grains if your body can tolerate the carbs, and you don't have allergies or gluten intolerance. I keep good, whole grain low carb bread in the freezer (from Natural Ovens of Manitowoc; best low carb bread I've found - and no, they don't pay me, though they've occasionally sent me free bread.) I mix some cooked wild rice or other grains with my cauli-rice on special occasions. I sometimes add a handful of barley to a pot of soup - barley has the lowest glycemic index of any grain, and adds a really nice texture and flavor. And along with those low carb tortillas, Wasa Fiber Rye and Finn Crisp have found a permanent place in my kitchen.

Just don't let the advertisers, food processors, and the dieticians and doctors who are still demonizing fat convince you that whole grains are essential to your health. They're not.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 10:53 PM

Reader Review of The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook

Okay, it's really an email I got, but it warmed my heart like a blowtorch:

Dana, I just received your new book from

To be honest, at first I was hesitant about ordering it, because I feared it was just another low calorie cookbook, but I've enjoyed all your other books and I knew I had to give it a chance.

I am glad to see your cooking evolving and acknowledging that calories do count. That said, I do not count calories; but I do know they count! I can't eat a ton of low carb food just because it's there, and not have it show up on the scale! For years I counted carbs, but now I don't even count carbs anymore. I educated myself about glycemic load and just focus on foods that have a low gylcemic load. This automatically keeps my carbs down without counting!

I am sitting here at work leafing through all the recipes, and yes, they are amazing. They will fit in very nicely with my way of eating. I might add I am lacto-ovo vegetarian, and I just substitute low carb meat substitutes (like Morningstar Farms) for meat, chicken and fish in your recipes, leaving out the salt because these meat substitutes are already salted.

I also agree that fat is not the culprit. I feel better eating good, wholesome fats. I don't limit them, but I don't stuff myself with them either. Butter, nuts, good oils, etc. are some of the healthiest foods on earth. THANK YOU for not buying into the low fat mantra. You might be

pleased to know that scientist Gary Taubes has a new book coming out this spring titled "A Big Fat Lie...What if Fat Doesn't Make You Fat." I'm sure you and I couldn't agree more!

Dana, thanks for such a great book. Please keep these cookbooks coming. They are such a joy. I already love this one and I haven't even tried any recipes yet, but like your other cookbooks, I know I'll enjoy them!

Sincerely, Sheryl Du Somme

Thanks, Sheryl! I'm so glad you like the book. The rest of you can take a look here

Or you can buy it today at your local Barnes & Noble!

(And I'll be buying Gary Taubes's book! If you haven't read Taubes's ground-breaking article from the NY Times Magazine, I found a link to the text

Posted by HoldTheToast at 10:51 PM

Important Health FYI

You'll recall that several issues back I wrote about Seasonal Affective Disorder, a problem I have dealt with for many years. This year, however, it seemed particularly vicious. I found myself having trouble dragging myself out of bed before noon. I caught two colds in six weeks time. I couldn't think clearly or concentrate. I was tired all time. The slightest exercise made me ache to the point of needing muscle relaxants. I gained weight - enough so my jeans were tight - even though I wasn't eating any more than usual. I had constant headaches that were unmoved by aspirin or ibuprofen. I was depressed to the point of weeping frequently, when anyone who knows me can tell you I'm not a weepy person. My sex drive dried up - this, when I'm married to a man I adore, and who inspires other women to sidle up to me at parties and murmur, "Your husband is cute!"

I began to wonder if there was something more wrong with me. I wondered about a systemic yeast infection, since I'd taken two rounds of antibiotics in the past year. I worried I might have fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue, or even Epstein-Barr virus. Finally I saw my doctor. (I would have gone sooner, but she was on vacation.)

Bless her, she took me seriously. All too often, doctors look at a middle-aged woman with my symptoms and simply label her "neurotic." But Dr. Florini listened, agreed there was a genuine problem, and said, "Even though you may feel better when April rolls around, that's eight weeks. I don't like to leave you like this. We could try a low dose of an anti-depressant, or we could bump up your thyroid medication a little." When we discovered my body temperature was 97.1, it became clear that thyroid was the thing to try.

So she increased my dose of Armour Thyroid (natural desiccated thyroid,) and sure enough, I quickly started feeling more like myself.

As a result, I've been reading a lot about thyroid problems, and I thought it vital I give you a heads-up. After all, if your thyroid is low, all your attempts to lose weight and become healthy and energetic will be in vain. Here, from Mary Shomon's excellent site at, is a list of hypothyroid symptoms:

____I am gaining weight inappropriately

____ I'm unable to lose weight with diet/exercise

____ I am constipated, sometimes severely

____ I have hypothermia/low body temperature (I feel cold when others feel hot, I need extra sweaters, etc.)

____ I feel fatigued, exhausted

____ Feeling run down, sluggish, lethargic

____ My hair is coarse and dry, breaking, brittle, falling out

____ My skin is coarse, dry, scaly, and thick

____ I have a hoarse or gravely voice

____ I have puffiness and swelling around the eyes and face

____ I have pains, aches in joints, hands and feet

____ I have developed carpal-tunnel syndrome, or it's getting worse

____ I am having irregular menstrual cycles (longer, or heavier, or more frequent)

____ I am having trouble conceiving a baby

____ I feel depressed

____ I feel restless

____ My moods change easily

____ I have feelings of worthlessness

____ I have difficulty concentrating

____ I have more feelings of sadness

____ I seem to be losing interest in normal daily activities

____ I'm more forgetful lately

Mary also lists the following additional symptoms, which have been reported more frequently in people with hypothyroidism:

____ My hair is falling out

____ I can't seem to remember things

____ I have no sex drive

____ I am getting more frequent infections, that last longer

____ I'm snoring more lately

____ I have/may have sleep apnea

____ I feel shortness of breath and tightness in the chest

____ I feel the need to yawn to get oxygen

____ My eyes feel gritty and dry

____ My eyes feel sensitive to light

____ My eyes get jumpy/tics in eyes, which makes me dizzy/vertigo and have headaches

____ I have strange feelings in neck or throat

____ I have tinnitus (ringing in ears)

____ I get recurrent sinus infections

____ I have vertigo

____ I feel some lightheadedness

____ I have severe menstrual cramps

Add to this one more symptom: Low body temperature. Mine sometimes ran as low as 96.4 during the day. Think about that: That's 2.4 degrees below normal. If my temperature were 2.4 degrees above normal, I'd have a fever of 101, and any doctor on the planet would take it seriously. I can tell you from unpleasant experience that a swing in the other direction can make you feel just as wretched, whether it alarms your doctor or not.

Be aware that it is estimated that millions of people in the US alone suffer from undiagnosed thyroid problems, and that possibly as much as 15% of those who have been diagnosed with depression are actually hypothyroid. Know, too, that thyroid tests are notoriously inaccurate, and that medical opinions on the meanings of those tests, and what constitutes a "normal" range, are changing. For example, just this year the "normal" value of the commonly used TSH test was changed from 0.5-5, to 0.3-3. Since higher values indicated hypothyroidism, that means that everyone who had a TSH between 3 and 5 and was told they were "normal" is now officially hypothyroid!

If you have a number of these symptoms, I urge you to visit Mary's websites and learn more:

In particular, if your doctor refuses to take the possibility of thyroid problems seriously, avail yourself of Mary's "Top Thyroid Doctors" list. It's the only list of its kind on the internet, and you can access it free. (Dr. Florini is on it, though I didn't know that till after she'd increased my dosage.)

I also highly recommend Mary Shomon's wonderful book Living Well With Hypothyroidism

Take a look, too, at The Thyroid Diet - Mary's hip to carb control, and agrees with me that there's no one dietary approach that's right for everyone - you have to try things and see what works for you.

Mary and I spent a good hour and a half on the phone recently. I liked her very much, and I hope to work with her on a joint project of some kind in the future. Please, take advantage of her knowledge and experience.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 10:48 PM

Reader Review of The Low-Carb Barbecue Book

Another winner!

My husband does the BBQing in our house, so I haven't gotten as much use out of this one as Dana's previous two cookbooks--but he's having a great time! I made the Lime Cheesecake with Ginger Almond Crust and it was wonderful--made it for some regular carbers and they didn't know the difference. So far everything he's BBQed has been great, too--my favorite however is the Orange-Tangerine Up-the-Butt Chicken. We couldn't find the tangerine Diet Rite, so my husband used beer with a bit of orange extract in it (left over from the Orange Blossom Turkey Breast--another winner--lots of leftovers--we used them for Mondo quesadillas from 15 minute low-carb recipes). There are so many slaws I can't wait to try them all, but we love Dana's original so much we haven't gotten around to it yet! My husband *loves* this cookbook--it has made his life so much easier (in the past, before he grilled he would consult his other grill books and always have to ask me "Can we eat this?")--he grills from it every weekend.

Jennifer (Texas) , May 14, 2004

Hey! My barbecue book got a rave from a Texan! Now I'm dying to know how she liked my Texas-style barbecued brisket recipe...

To see this and other reviews of The Low-Carb Barbecue Book, visit

Or take a look at The Low-Carb Barbecue Book at your local bookstore!

Posted by HoldTheToast at 10:41 PM

Low Carb For Life Reprint: Low Carb and Antioxidants

I thought this column fit into the theme of a low carb diet having plenty of vitamins and minerals...

I'm growing frustrated. Now that the clinical research is in, and it's clear that a low carbohydrate diet causes weight loss, and actually improves blood work for most people, the dietitians are working overtime to find objections. The current cry is "A low carb diet is low in antioxidants!" So let's take a look, shall we?

Dietitians still parrot the myth that a low carb diet excludes fruits and vegetables, which is simply untrue. Even the two week "induction" phase at the beginning of the Atkins diet, the strictest phase of the most restrictive low carb diet, calls for two to three cups of vegetables per day - more than the average American is eating. After that, quantities increase, low sugar fruit is added in. Most low carb diets are even more liberal - many of us simply shun starches and added sugars, while eating vegetables and low sugar fruits freely.

But what about whole grains? Dietitians always mention whole grains when they talk about antioxidants. Are they that great a source?

The most important antioxidants are vitamins A, C, and E, and the minerals zinc, copper, and selenium. Grains have no vitamin A or C. They do contain some vitamin E, but E is found in plenty of low carb foods, including nuts, brussels sprouts, avocados, leafy greens, and the much-maligned egg.

Whole wheat is a source of copper, but so are seafood, nuts, liver, and dark leafy greens, all great low carb foods. Grains are a source of selenium, but so are fish, red meat, chicken, liver and kidney. And zinc? Medline states, "High-protein foods contain high amounts of zinc. Beef, pork, and lamb contain more zinc than fish. The dark meat of a chicken has more zinc than the light meat."

Further, animal foods like eggs, butter, cream, and liver are the only sources of pre-formed vitamin A (plant foods contain carotenes, which must be converted to vitamin A, a process some bodies perform more efficiently than others.) It begins to look as though a diet based on animal foods, non-starchy vegetables, low sugar fruits, and nuts and seeds may supply more antioxidants than a diet in which some or all of the animal proteins or vegetables are replaced with whole grains.

Let's look at two meals. Meal One, the conventional "healthy" meal, consists of 6 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 cup of green beans, and 1 cup of cooked brown rice. Meal 2 has 6 ounces dark meat chicken, which is higher in fat - and nutrients - than the breast, 1 cup of green beans, 2 cups of cauliflower (which will turn into roughly 1 cup of our favorite, Fauxtatoes) and adds 2 tablespoons of butter on the vegetables.

How do the meals stack up? Meal One contains 18% of your RDA of vitamin A, 30% of your vitamin C, 39% of your zinc, and 7% of your vitamin E. It contains 54 grams of carbohydrate, with 7 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 47 grams. Meal Two contains 36% of your vitamin A, 111% of your C, 35% of your zinc, and 11% of your vitamin E for a better antioxidant profile overall. It has 18 grams of carbohydrate, with 9 grams of fiber, for a usable carb count of 9 grams.

QED: A low-carb diet is not low in antioxidants.

Here's a salad that's loaded with antioxidants - and other nutrients. You'll like if you like chicken livers, and won't if you don't. Mmmmm. Chicken livers.

Warm Chicken Liver Salad

6 chicken livers
2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
Salt or Vege-Sal and pepper
8 ounces bagged mixed greens
˝ ripe avocado
1" wedge of a big sweet red onion, sliced paper thin
1/3 cup bottled Dijon vinaigrette (75 ml)

Cut each chicken liver into 3-4 pieces. Spray a large, heavy skillet with non-stick cooking spray and put it over a medium-high burner. Add the oil and the livers. Saute the livers, turning them frequently, until no blood runs, and no pink spots show on the outsides. Take care not to overcook your livers! Turn off the burner when they're done, and if you have an electric stove, remove the pan from the warm element. Salt and pepper lightly.

Pour the bagged greens into a big salad bowl. Scoop bits of avocado out of the shell with the tip of the spoon, into the salad bowl. Add the sliced onion, pour the dressing over it all, and toss well. Divide the salad mixture between two plates.

Top each salad with half of the livers, and serve.

2 servings, each with 15 grams of carbohydrate, of which 6 grams is fiber, for a usable carb count of 9 grams. 21 grams of protein. 892 mgs. of potassium! Well over your daily requirement for vitamin A and vitamin C, 23% of your zinc, 77% of your vitamin E, 26% of your copper, 100% of your selenium, half your daily requirement for niacin, B6, and iron, and good doses of vitamins B1, B2, B12, folacin, calcium.

(Reprinted with permission from 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes, by Dana Carpender, copyright 2003 by Fair Winds Press.)

Posted by HoldTheToast at 10:38 PM

Jamie's Elvis Burgers

With warm weather on the way, I thought I'd print a recipe from The Low-Carb Barbecue Book. But since it's still a tad chilly for long, slow smoking on an outdoor grill - at least here in Indiana - here's a burger recipe.

Jamie's Elvis Burgers

Credit where credit is due: This recipe was inspired by one demonstrated by Jamie Oliver on his Food Network show, Oliver's Twist - he made some burgers for an Elvis impersonator friend. They looked very tasty, but had too much onion, and a pile of bread crumbs in them, and of course Jamie served his on a bun. Plus he's a serious purist who grinds his own beef, not to mention his own spices. This version is both easier and considerably lower carb - but still unusually tasty.

2 pounds ground chuck
2/3 cup minced red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
˝ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 ˝ tablespoons spicy mustard

Just plop everything into a large mixing bowl, and moosh it all together with clean hands until it's well-combined. Form into 6 burgers, about 1" thick. Put 'em on a plate, and chill for at least an hour before grilling.

Get your fire going - you'll want your gas grill on medium, or a little lower, or well-ashed charcoal. Grill for 7-10 minutes per side, keeping flare ups down with a squirt bottle of water, until juices run clear. Serve with no-sugar ketchup, and some dill pickles, if you like.

6 servings, each with 3 grams of carbohydrate, a trace of fiber, and 28 grams of protein. 441 calories.

(Reprinted with permission from The Low-Carb Barbecue Book by Dana Carpender, copyright 2004 by Fair Winds Press.)

Note: Feel free to broil these inside, or even cook them in your electric tabletop grill.

Posted by HoldTheToast at 10:24 PM