THE Premier Low-Carb store .. .. AND Meeting Place

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Easiest Method to Melt Chocolate

Once you've tried this method, you'll probably abandon all other methods such as microwaving and melting in a double boiler. Even if the chocolate is old or dried out a bit, this method restores it beautifully.

Place chocolate squares in a glass bowl. Pour boiling water over the chocolate. Use a flat dinner knife to test the squares and when they're completely soft, pour off the water.

It's as simple as that!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

MACA - What is this?

Maca is a root that grows in the high mountain regions of Peru. Lately, I've started taking it for peri-menopausal symptoms and high estrogen levels. I must admit my energy levels are better and my general sense of well-being has improved. Perhaps it really does balance hormones as they say. If you're suffering from hot flashes, depression, low libido, etc. this supplement is supposed to alleviate all of that. Maca is very popular in Peru and Central American countries. Some doctors are beginning to recognize its benefits. You can find Maca at www.netrition.com

Candida or yeast in the body sabotages weight loss

Dr. Atkins had a chapter on metabolic resistance to weight loss. If I remember correctly, one of them was medications, another hypothyroidism and another Candida. In fact, he had a story in there about a woman who was having great difficulty losing any weight at all. Once the Candida was addressed, she lost weight with ease. The Vita-Nutrient book by Dr. Atkins has a good write-up on Candida and what to do.

If Candida (which everyone has) gets out of hand, all sorts of things can go wrong creating many strange symptoms, even paresthesia (numbness and tingling). Some research I did, showed some pretty serious diseases and other symptoms, but since everyone has Candida, I didn't want to scare anyone. I cannot wrap my mind around all those symptoms. Keep it simple and keep Candida down to a dull roar.

"Classic symptoms of Candida"

Gastrointestinal: indigestion, gas, bloating, inflammation, pain, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, bad breath, dry mouth, coating on tongue, thrush.

Somatic and Allergic: numbness, burning or tingling; painful, swollen, stiff joints; muscle aches and tension, nasal congestion, head tension, headaches, blurred vision, tinnitis, shortness of breath, chest pains, weight loss dizziness, sinusitis, chemical sensitivity.

Mental/Emotional: depression, mental confusion, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, disorientation, impaired decision making, low energy, hyperactivity, agitation.

Skin: white fungal skin patches like dandruff, acne, athlete's foot, anal itch, diaper rash, psoriasis, dermatitis, impetigo, finger and toenail inflammation.

Sexual: vaginitis, discharge, itch, bladder infection, menstrual irregularities, pain, cramps, lowered libido, infertility, impotency, prostate problems.

Urinary: Frequent urination, burning and desire to urinate, fluid retention, edema.

Here are other ways to recognize if it is getting out of hand:

I do the spit in water in a glass test in the morning: Candida Saliva Test

Apparently, if you stick out your tongue and it has a white coating, you have a bit more yeast than you need.

Treatment involves diet and enough fiber to flush out toxins as the yeast dies off, Probiotics (how much is an individual thing), and anti-fungals to kill some of the Candida. Anti-fungals such as caprylic acid (pretty powerful) and garlic are effective. Here are some more anti-fungals:
Anti-fungals

It is important to drink lots of water.

Candida Diet

Once Candida is under control, a feeling of well-being should return, symptoms will subside and disappear and weight loss will hopefully resume.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Blurb about Splendid Low-Carb Desserts



To purchase directly from us: Splendid Low-Carb Desserts or order from Amazon.com

I'm going to be honest, lest anyone think I've always been an angel when it comes to diet and nutrition. Alas, I'm very human. Many years ago before we discovered Splenda, I loved desserts made with sugar and I even enjoyed (don't laugh) white bread with golden corn syrup and cheese. In those days (my twenties and early thirties) I didn't indulge myself too often though as I realized it was fattening. I was very figure conscious in those days. However, after writing my first Splenda cookbook (traditional diabetic-style, low-fat, sugarless recipes) and then in the middle of the second one, I was hopelessly addicted to carbs and probably had that horrible non-nutritive bread combination way more often than I should have, plus my desserts which were almost always available. Needless to say my weight began to climb. I was also suffering from an autoimmune disease which left me hypothyroid, compounding the problem of insulin resistance and weight gain.

Because I have such a sweet tooth, this book was a fun project. I enjoyed it so much that it was finished in 4 months! I wrote two cookbooks in that one year as a result. In any case, even after making all those desserts, I had not gained much weight at all. I think I had about 4 lbs I wanted to shed. Considering I was now much older (late forties) and peri-menopausal, this was a minor miracle thanks to low-carbing!

Onto the blurb now:

Let me start with the beverages. One that I use all the time is the Hot Chocolate Drink Mix. I even take it with me on vacations. It is cheaper than buying the Swiss Miss Splenda Hot Chocolate and does not contain all that sodium. Besides the Iced Caffe Latte, and a couple of other beverages, there are two, thick fruit smoothies made with plain yogurt, strawberries or sliced, canned peaches in juice (drained) and DaVinci Syrups to reduce carbs (I usually give alternatives for the DaVinci Syrup, if I use it) but still give sweetness and flavor (one can use liquid sucralose or Stevia or whatever you prefer). I believe it was with this book that I discovered the Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix, which really made life easier for converting high-carb desserts. I have since discovered that the whey protein powder component of the bake mix can be replaced with either coconut flour (for fiber)or for slightly higher carbs, oat flour or whole wheat pastry flour (this flour is almost as low as oat flour in carbs). Whey protein powder (like the Designer Whey proteins can be bought at upscale health food stores or upscale online stores such as Netrition.com or CarbSmart.com) I still include the Vital Ultimate Bake Mix with its variations, because it is so similar to baking with white flour, and can be substituted in any of my recipes. It can be replaced cup-for-cup for white flour in any other regular recipes you may have. In addition, a nut-free bake mix (also a perfect cup-for-cup substitution) is supplied for those allergic to nuts.

Four muffin recipes, such as Lemony Delight Muffins and Applesauce Carrot Muffins (only flour in each carrot muffin is 1/2 tbsp vital wheat gluten which itself is 75% protein). There is a useful banana bread with 2/3 cup mashed banana in it, other loaves and even Cake Donuts which won't last long.

The desserts sport some real comfort foods, such as Bread Pudding, Cake Pudding, Rich Man's Caramel Custard and Peaches and Cream Trifle.

In the frozen desserts section, of note amongst them, are the instant frozen yogurts and ice creams, plus easy Orange Creamsicles (popsicles). One of my best ice creams is made with a low-carb condensed milk recipe.

Pies such as Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble, Snow-capped Pumpkin Pie, Glazed Blueberry Cheese Pie, Chocolate Pecan Pie, Key Lime Pie, Strawberry Frozen Ice Cream Pie, Almond Butter Chip Pie, Strawberry Cream Pie, Butterscotch Cream Pie and Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Pie are found in this book. Each pie has an accompanying crust, as I don't do deprivation real well. There are two different pie crust recipes as well as a Graham-cracker-like crust (actually tastier and much lower in carbs!).

Several beautiful cakes adorn this book, including two sweetheart cakes, awesome Golden Fruitcake and a Spicy Chiffon Cake.



There are many super cheesecake recipes, including Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake, a smooth, creamy, solid cheesecake high on flavor.

The confections have my favorite Sticky Chocolate Toffee and two fudge recipes that taste like the real thing with 1.4 g carbs per piece and 2 g carbs per piece respectively. Truffles and 2 other fudge recipes, sauces and frostings, plus condensed milk round out this section.

In the cookies and squares section, my favorites are the Coconut Sultana Cookies, Spiced Pumpkin Chip Cookies, "Sugar" Cookies, Fudge Fantasies, Butter Tart Squares, Lemon Curd Tartlets, the Best Brownies, Ecstasy Squares, Cream Cheese Cake Bars and Glazed Lemon Raspberry Bars.

These recipes are worthy opponents of their high carb versions and can be served without embarrassment. Find more lovely photos of desserts at:
Splendid Low-Carb Desserts

To purchase directly from us: Splendid Low-Carb Desserts or order from Amazon.com

Monday, June 23, 2008

Something really worth sharing!

Here is a brilliant excerpt from one of Dr.Eades' books, Protein Power LifePlan, page 51.

"If you want to lose weight you have to watch the calories - even on a low-carbohydrate diet - particularly if you’re a small person. Remember, low-carbohydrate intake means a lower insulin level; and a lower insulin level means that you can easily unload fat from your fat cells. But, if your body has no need to use any of the fat from your fat cells because it has more than enough fat to meet all its needs coming from your diet, it’s not going to go after your stored fat, and you won’t lose weight. To lose weight you’ve got to create an energy deficit.For the vast majority of people, simply following a low-carbohydrate diet will easily create enough of a caloric deficit to bring about a reasonable weight loss."

This is completely true for me. I am shortish at 5 foot 3 inches, peri-menopausal,and I have Hashimotos' Thyroiditis (hypothyroidism that can mimic insulin resistance).

Feel free to comment on this topic. It is very interesting to me.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Introduction from Splendid Low-Carb Desserts

All recipes are below 10 grams carbohydrate per serving and many are significantly less. Desserts are often by their very nature carbohydrate-filled, therefore, to make delicious, creative low-carb desserts that resemble their high-carb counterparts has become a bit of an art form in the low-carb world. Some people think it is simply not possible to duplicate high-carb desserts with great success, however, it is my hope that this book will change minds about that. I believe it really is possible for low-carbers to have their cake and eat it too!!!

Creating tasty, low-carb desserts has been a learning curve for me. This book contains some real breakthroughs, not the least of which is the Low-Carb Bake Mix, page 22 and Vital Oat Ultimate Bake Mix, page 20, which has enabled me to convert many high-carb desserts with ease. Now you can do the same with your own recipes. You will notice there are several confections. Often the sweet treat is not for company, but for us, to keep cravings for sugary treats at bay and to feel satisfied with our food on a daily basis. We do not need to feel deprived.

Desserts are one of the comfort foods in life and if you have a sweet tooth like mine, you will understand what I'm saying. The question is can one regularly have desserts and other legal treats, while trying to lose weight on a low-carb diet? The answer is really dependent on the individual. We are all different. My opinion is that it is possible; however, if you are going to have something sweet every day, make it with your main meal of the day and not something you snack on during the rest of the day. This will avoid insulin spikes. For others, something sweet in the house will call their name constantly, and for those folks, desserts will need to be an occasional indulgence. We all need a special treat sometimes, be it on weekends, be it on a special occasion like a birthday or a dinner party with friends. At restaurants, I have been known to quietly bring out my slice of cheesecake or other dessert at the end of a meal to have along with my tea. I have never been thrown out of a restaurant or even scolded. I simply explain if the waitress or waiter inquires, that it is a sugarless, low-carb dessert. Typically, there is no such thing on the menu, but this is bound to change.

After a light meal, it makes sense that a richer, more elaborate dessert would not be out of place and visa versa. Entertaining the low-carb way can now be done in style and without embarrassment of serving a dessert afterwards that is substandard. The higher fat content combined with the techniques shown in this cookbook makes for luxurious desserts that your company will no doubt enjoy and marvel at since they are sugarless, low-carb and often flourless. Look for many beautiful photos of desserts, etc. from all the cookbooks on our websites.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

*BLACK FOREST CHEESECAKE* (GF)



Black Forest Cheesecake
Many people prefer a cheesecake containing ricotta cheese. This cheesecake has a marbled effect and it gets better as it ages.

Almond Crust:
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 tbsp Splenda Granular
1 tbsp oat, whole wheat pastry flour, soy
or spelt flour
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg yolk
Filling:
2 cups ricotta cheese
12 oz regular cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups Splenda Granular
3 eggs
10 cherries, pitted and cut in half
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup chocolate whey protein powder
2 tbsp Da Vinci Sugar Free Chocolate syrup, OR
water and chocolate extract and 1 Splenda packet
1 tbsp whipping cream
1 tsp Thickening Agent, page 60, OR
use xanthan gum or ThickenThin/Not Starch by Expert Foods
Garnish:
whipped cream and additional cherries, if desired

Almond Crust: In medium bowl, combine ground almonds, Splenda Granular and flour of choice. Stir in butter and egg yolk. Sprinkle in 9-inch glass pie dish or springform pan. Cover with plastic wrap and press crust out evenly; remove plastic wrap. Bake in 350 deg. F. oven 10 minutes or until turning brown at edges.

Filling: In food processor with sharp blade, blender or in bowl with electric mixer, process ricotta cheese until smooth. Add cream cheese, sour cream, Splenda Granular and eggs. Process just until smooth. Pour half cheesecake batter over baked crust. Arrange cherries on top of batter. Add cocoa, chocolate whey protein powder, Da Vinci Sugar Free Chocolate syrup, whipping cream and Thickening Agent, page 60, to remaining batter; process. Pour over cherries. Bake in 350 deg. F. oven 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is softly set. When cooled completely, garnish with whipped cream or my Creme Fraiche (holds up much better) and additional cherries or grated chocolate (as in photo), if desired. Refrigerate.

Yield: 12 servings,1 serving: 227.6 calories, 12.2 g protein, 16.6 g fat, 8.2 g carbs

*CHEESE "BREAD" STICKS*

Cheese "Bread" Sticks
Served warm, these are reminiscent of cheese bread sticks.

6 oz light cream cheese, softened
2 extra-large eggs
6 oz grated Cheddar cheese
3 oz Parmesan cheese
6 tbsp whey protein powder (natural)
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour,
or soy flour, or spelt flour
1/4 tsp paprika

In food processor with sharp blade or blender, process cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs; process. Add Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, whey protein powder, soy or spelt flour and paprika; process.

Turn out into 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish and press down evenly, using plastic wrap, to make things easier. Remove plastic wrap. Bake in 350 deg. F. oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until turning golden brown at edges and when it is firm to the touch. From long side of dish, cut into 20, 1/2-inch sticks and cut down center of dish horizontally. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat Cheese "Bread" Sticks in microwave oven about 15 seconds.

Yield: 40 Cheese Sticks. 1 Cheese Stick: 46.6 calories, 3.6 g protein, 3.4 g fat, 0.6 g carbs

Monday, June 9, 2008

*STRAWBERRY FROZEN YOGURT* (GF)




Strawberry Frozen Yogurt


This recipe is one we often enjoy. My friend, Mary Converse, in Montana,U.S.A., loves this recipe. There are 7 variations (different frozen yogurts)in the book.

1 cup frozen strawberries (unsweetened)
2 cups plain yogurt (choose a yogurt that is mild-tasting)
3/4 cup Splenda Granular
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

In small bowl, microwave strawberries on high power 1 minute. Chop strawberries and mash. In medium bowl, combine yogurt, strawberries, Splenda Granular, whipping cream and vanilla extract. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Yield: 5 cups (1.25 L), 1/2 cup each, 87.0 calories, 2.4 g protein, 5.8 g fat, 4.1 g carbs