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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jamie (Cleo): The Lighter Side of Low-Carb

Jamie Van Eaton (Also known affectionately as Cleo short for Cleochatra): The Lighter Side of Low-Carb and National Low-Carb Examiner Column.

I don't know of too many people who have not heard of Jamie (Cleo)van Eaton, the famous creator of the "Oopsie Rolls" who endeared herself to fellow low-carbers on low carb friends' forum. However, I bet many of you did not know that the self-deprecating Jamie could care less about being in the limelight. She cares about sharing her culinary creations, encouragement and low-carb inspiration with her fellow low-carbers, however, but does not like it when the spotlight is directly on her. She has turned down interviews for that reason and was not sure she wanted me to write about her either. Go figure! I can relate to Jamie though.

Jamie is a wife and mother of no less than 4 children. She works full-time and writes for her prestigious column as a National Low-Carb Examiner. She is hugely popular, because any cookbook review I have had with her has resulted in a number of sales, for which I'm grateful in this economic downturn, when books and art (we sell art too - at least it is mostly my youngest son's business now) sales inevitably suffer. Jamie is a gifted, humorous writer as well as a clever food chemist when it comes to low-carb fare. She is an international writer who writes for Parents Canada (I'd say she is qualified for the job, having 4 children of her own. Wow!). She also writes for an online photography magazine called Design Aglow. All these different hats Jamie wears has her run ragged just of late and that is totally understandable. To add to this, she hurt both her ankles by falling in a hole in a field not so long ago. She cannot believe how these things seem to happen to her! I believe she is recovering well.

Jamie is a low-carb weight loss expert - having lost almost 90 lbs. This is amazing to say the very least. I so admire people that do things like that.

Okay, back to Jamie's blog: She has been a prolific writer - topping 42 posts in February alone! Did you know she reviews cookbooks and promptly gives them away to readers? I think her low-carb cookbook library must be dwindling as a result. At any rate, she has so much of her own repertoire that she scarcely needs more recipes. What is nice is that Jamie prefers sugar-free and gluten-free recipes, so this is a specialty niche that is being addressed. She has come up with some great pasta recipes, that I need to try soon. She makes homemade low-carb pasta! Here is an example of her talent - See photos of Dessert Fruit Pizza and other recipes here. If you look carefully, you will also find her low-carb success story on that screen. Amazing lady!

She warns people off of aspartame. Her findings make one really think. I tend to think her experience as a heavy diet coke drinker for 24 years is no coincidence. I think it is extremely addictive and I don't exactly blame her, but rather the company which made an unhealthy drink (in my opinion as carbonated drinks leach calcium out of our bones and also promote inflammation in the body and contribute to wearing away the dentin of our teeth) that literally addicts one. You can find her post about that at that link above. Jamie shares very personal struggles like this on purpose in order to help others. Her encouraging posts for dieters and restarting dieters are phenomenal. She has great compassion for others, having herself suffered through the years, to know intimately the struggles that others with weight problems have. I honestly believe that, yes our Western diets contribute to overweight problems, but that that is only a small part of the puzzle. Some people that eat the same way, don't have that happen - so we really don't know everything yet. It is a heartbreaking challenge to have in life, but to her credit Jamie rose above it all - being a super mom and a super achiever in life with her sense of humor in tact.

Here is an example of Jamie's compassion and talent in writing - yes she is humorous, witty and funny, but she is also a very sensitive person:

Jamie tried to get rid of the roses that were growing too close to the swimming pool, as they didn't want anyone getting poked or pricked.

"Look who came back? Small and beautiful and more vigorous than ever, this little shrub poked itself from the mounds of dirt we finally piled atop of them as if to say, "I have the right to be here. I do."

And so I pulled the weeds around this little plant, and each day it grew stronger until its buds opened and it smiled at me in an array of light pink the other day. It welcomed the local bees and gleamed at me. "I hope I can stay here." And so it will.

Sometimes (like those bushes I tried to destroy for a ridiculous reason) our own journeys in life are buried, poisoned and chopped down. Our hopes for health are left bloomless and beaten down, sometimes because of inconvenience, and sometimes because we don't see the beauty in even something as simple as the small, seemingly insignificant triumph of a hardy stem fighting from the dirt.

All we need to be is who we are, without apology, and remember those sturdy little blossoms, shining in bright sunshine. In beauty. In triumph. With pride. And with purpose.

Today, as you look at those flowers, look into yourself, move away the wood piles, smooth away the dirt clods, and pull those weeds choking you.

You have the right to be here.

See what you can do!

What took you so long?

and Hello. To you. Because you're beautiful even hidden under that discarded lumber."

Jamie, keep up the good work! People love ya! :-)


Vikki said...

Jennifer you nailed her perfectly. She is amazing lady and I never fail to read every word she writes. She makes me laugh all the time, but she also makes me stop and think, or like the above story gives your heart strings a little tug. You alway leave better off for having visited.

Thank you Jennifer... your the best!

Jennifer said...

Vikki, I love you to bits! Your heart is so big and unselfish for other people that it shows constantly. ((HUGS))

Tree said...

I love love love to read Cleo's stuff, too. I'm glad I found your blog.. thanks for visiting mine! I was excited to see that you homeschool... I homeschool my 4 as well. Keep up your good work!

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Trina, my boys are now grown at 21 and 24 years old. We do not regret home schooling them. They had perfect GPA scores at university, but have quit temporarily (maybe forever) to follow their entrepreneurial dreams! They are nice, young men too - quite well-adjusted, but only just beginning to get into the dating arena and the eldest is more interested in his computer software dream right now. Perhaps that is a little different, but thankfully with boys, they can marry quite a bit later...

Amy Dungan (aka Sparky's Girl) said...

Jamie is so much fun! Her blog is a must read, especially if you need a smile. :)

Jennifer said...

Hey, Amy! Love your new pic!

cleochatra said...

Hi there! I was just lamenting my column on this Saturday afternoon and saw your comment at Examiner.

Then I went to my gmail account for the first time in days and read. There I saw your link! (I am behind on emails)

I must apologize to you. Work has been so incredibly long and arduous the last two weeks! Breaking news: my contract is up next Friday and I am not renewing.

I look forward to spending more time writing and with friends and family (and cooking).

Your entry about me is extremely humbling. I couldn't read it through the first time because I was blushing a little bit too furiously. Thank you so much for being so incredibly kind. It's true, I am extremely skittish about having attention on me. I'm just paying it forward and am lucky to have so many friends!

Thank you for everything you do, Jennifer. You are one of a kind and a very generous person.


Jennifer said...

Hi Jamie,

I'm glad you found your review. :-) Thanks for your kind words too.

I hope you can feel more relaxed now giving up that job. Hopefully, you will stick it out with the Examiner though. We will miss you otherwise.