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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Blog is boring! At least that is what I think and so...

I'm thinking of being more real in front of my audience and at the same time helping my son, who is a new and talented author. He has now written two romance/mystery novels based on a true story. The second book is in the editing stages.

I love reading about other people's lives and I'm hoping my readers feel the same way. My life has been anything but easy at times. Tragedy, loss and grief have pulled me down for years at a time, but there is always hope. It is also a story about love, love lost, love found and a greater love story within the love story, which will become more apparent in the 4th novel.

Stay tuned. I'm going to speak to Jonathan and find a way to share the books chapter by chapter on my blog. I am not a gifted writer, nor do I have a witty sense of humor, nor do I have mass appeal, but what I do have is a son who has all those characteristics and more; let his writing entertain you and perhaps help others out there with similar "difficult" people in their lives.

This is what Jonathan says about his first novel:

The truth behind the fiction

"I can’t take credit for this story, since it’s older than I am. What you’re about to read is a compilation of events which actually happened, involving characters who, for the most part, are still alive today.

With only minor exceptions, I wrote everything as it was described to me by the people who were there to witness the events, and not as my imagination might have dictated. The result was a surprising mix of the laughter and tears and heart-wrenching scenes which so typify real life.

The more I researched and wrote, the more I realized that my imagination was almost superfluous to the process, which in this instance, I suppose, makes me more of a journalist than a novelist. That said, I didn’t go looking for this story. It was under my nose for a number of years before I actually saw it for what it was, and when I saw it, I realized that it had to be written down before it died with its characters. So read on, knowing that as you do, you’re turning through the pages of history."

Friday, June 25, 2010

More Evidence - Stay Clear of Trans Fats, Sugar and Manufactured Fructose



NAFLD = Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

I came across this Study that basically proves that eating trans fats, sugar and fructose in excess can lead to obesity and fatty liver disease.

Here is more information about Fatty Liver Disease.

Monday, June 21, 2010

World Cup Soccer South Africa 2010 and a true South African Meat Loaf

I grew up in South Africa, so those roots are still there. It is really neat that the World Cup is being held in South Africa. I went to the Marriott hotel here in South America with my family where we had breakfast and lunch (I chose low-carb options - of course, except for the dessert which was a tiny chocolate mousse cup) with other ex-South Africans and ambassadors and their families and friends and acquaintances to watch the match between South Africa and Mexico. The match ended in a tie of 1 each. It was quite exciting!

Here is a cute video of the animals in Africa playing soccer. I have no idea how they did it. African Animals playing soccer

Here is a true South African Curried Meat Loaf.

How I feel about Splenda Safety



You may want to consider us guinea pigs (my family) - 18 years of high consumption of Splenda, sometimes in excess of 500 cups per year. These days I combine Splenda and erythritol (a sugar alcohol which does not cause gastric distress and has no effect on blood sugar) for the synergy they provide and don't bake quite as much. With artificial sweeteners, 1 + 1 = 3. However, it is possible to substitute your own preferred sweetener for the Splenda. Another thing to consider is that Splenda was approved in Canada, a country with a national health care system. There was nothing in it for them to approve a product that could cause major health problems and expense in the Canadian population; therefore, it is safe to say that they did not see it as a health threat. Also, at the time Splenda was not much of a threat to the billion dollar sugar and aspartame businesses. It was only when the FDA approved Splenda (8 years later) in the USA that all sorts of dire consequences were predicted for those consuming this new sweetener. I wonder why? Until approval in the States, there was no hue and cry at all. Without a doubt, our family and each of us as individuals has consumed way more Splenda than anyone else would ever consume in their entire life times, and we have not noticed any of the dire predictions of all of those websites branding it as a poison. In fact, I do not need to wonder what our health would be like had we all instead consumed 500 cups of sugar per year for the last 18 years. At the very least, we would be obese and unhealthy and quite possibly not even around to talk to you. My sons are very slender, in fact, my youngest son has the miniscule amount of body fat you would find in a top athlete. He is however, wonderfully muscular and healthy, as is my eldest son who is taller at 6 foot and also very strong.

It would be better if no sweeteners were required, but the fact is we are used to "sweet" and most of us need an occasional treat. It's a case of each person needing to find the sweetener that they like and feel comfortable with (I'm still waiting for something better than Splenda to come along). I personally could never abide by the taste of Stevia but that is just me and I don't have a problem with it or necessarily buy into any of the extreme scare stories out there. It can, however, be dangerous for someone who is insulin dependent, however, it is safe for everyone else. See, Stevia increases insulin sensitivity. Sometimes it is a case of "choosing one's own sweet poison". Sadly. Naturally occuring substances are often poisons as well.

Not consuming any food or drink will probably protect you from harmful substances, but then you'd be dead within 2-3 days from thirst anyway - however consuming just gasoline will kill you much quicker. Somewhere in the middle of those two extremes lies "reason" ... and that's a really good place to live! Ian's (my DH) Dad, as a young boy, was pretty much already "given up for dead" from a massive bacterial infection (in the late 1920's) and lay dying in a remote part of the world (at the southern tip of Africa) when their family Doctor (at that time) suggested that "Sulfur drugs", the first antibiotics, just newly available in Germany, had been noted to cure that particular infection. These man-made (not natural!) Sulfur drugs were then flown from Germany to South Africa, in the antique planes of those days, and were successfully used to save his life. He went on to become a Doctor in the remotest regions of Southern Africa, in turn saving many people from dying from Typhus and other deadly diseases. In fact, my family would not exist if it were not for those man-made and not natural sulfur drugs that saved oupa's (grandfather's) life.

Let's get real ... to take a "hard and fast" stance against everything "not natural" is also just plain dumb! Yes, there are dangerous natural and man-made substances, and there are good natural and man-made substances ... so let's use reason to find the good ones, and reason to avoid the bad ones, but very importantly, let's try and avoid hysteria for determining either - that really serves nobody well at all!

There have been plenty of scare stories about Stevia too. See this excerpt from a Canadian newspaper:

"As consumers become ever more health-conscious, they continue to look for lower-calorie beverages and importantly all-natural beverages,” said Stacy Reichert, president of PepsiCo Beverages Canada.

Coca-Cola Canada is planning to introduce beverages made with Truvia in this country, but public-affairs manager Leigha Cotton wouldn't disclose a timeline.

But not everyone is enthusiastic about stevia moving into the mainstream. Although it has a long history of use, there are fears that introducing stevia and its extracts in a wide variety of products could lead to potential health problems.

For instance, some studies have suggested it can lead to male reproductive problems, interfere with metabolism and cause genetic mutations.

“There are a lot of risks and none of the big players seem to care,” said Curtis Eckhert, professor in the environmental health sciences and molecular toxicology department at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Eckhert helped prepare a report last year for the U.S.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest that urged more testing on stevia extracts before it is widely introduced into the population. "

Here is Dana Carpender's take on Splenda: Dana talking about Splenda

Dr. Eades talking about all sweeteners in general.

Friday, June 18, 2010

PUMPKIN MUFFINS



PUMPKIN MUFFINS
These are excellent – as good as any high-carb muffin.

2 eggs
3/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular (175 mL)
3/4 cup granulated erythritol (175 mL)
1/3 cup olive oil (75 mL)
1 cup canned pumpkin (250 mL)
2 1/4 cups Low-Carb Bake Mix (550 mL)
1 tbsp cinnamon (15 mL)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (2 mL)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (2 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/2 cup raisins (125 mL)
1/2 cup walnuts (125 mL)
Cream Cheese Frosting (optional):
4 oz light cream cheese (125 g)
2 tbsp powdered erythritol (25 mL)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened (25 mL)
1 tbsp whipping cream,
OR Da Vinci® Sugar Free Gingerbread Syrup (25 mL)

In food processor, combine eggs, SPLENDA® Granular, erythritol, olive oil and pumpkin. Process really well to help dissolve erythritol (it won’t dissolve completely). In medium bowl, combine Low-Carb Bake Mix, page___, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Add to pumpkin mixture; process until combined. Stir in raisins and walnuts. Spoon the batter into greased muffin pans. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 300°F (150°C), cover muffins lightly with foil and bake another 5 minutes, or until a knife inserted in muffins comes out clean.

Yield: 16 muffins
1 muffin/without raisins
168.5/153.2 calories
8.1/8.0 g protein
11.8/11.8 g fat
7.9/4.1 g carbs


Variation: Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins: 1 cup frozen cranberries (250 mL)chopped finely in food processor or blender. Omit raisins and walnuts. (4.4 g carbs)

*MERINGUE FRUIT TART*



MERINGUE FRUIT TART
A beautiful, crispy golden meringue basket to showcase your prettiest fruit combinations - from Splendid Low-Carbing.

5 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (1 mL)
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular (125 mL)
Crème Fraiche, page 172 (625 mL)
11/2 cups canned fruit cocktail in juice, drained (375 mL)

Let egg whites stand at room temperature about half an hour. In medium bowl, beat egg whites, vanilla extract and cream of tartar, until soft peaks form. Add SPLENDA® Granular, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, while continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Spray 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish liberally with nonstick cooking spray and spread meringue inside and up sides to top edge. Bake in 300°F (150°C) oven on bottom rack 45 minutes or until golden brown. Switch off oven and leave meringue inside oven one hour to dry further.

Fill meringue basket with Crème Fraiche, page 172. Place fruit on top. Serve immediately.

Helpful Hints: Slice pie with wet knife and lift slice of pie with cake lifter.

If not using crust right away, store in cupboard uncovered until ready to fill. This is a wonderful tart which children and adults alike just rave about!

Yield: 10 servings
1 serving
130.5 calories
2.9 g protein
10.5 g fat
6.7 g carbs

MACARONI AND CHICKEN SUPPER



CHICKEN LINGUINE ALFREDO - converted to MACARONI AND CHICKEN SUPPER
Dreamfields Pasta is a real breakthrough for carb conscious pasta lovers! Substitute Dreamfields Macaroni for the linguine. The topping tastes very similar to a bread crumb topping.

12 oz Dreamfields Linguine or Spaghetti Pasta
8 oz light or regular cream cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
(canned variety works well)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Hood Carb Countdown Milk,
OR half cream and water
2 cups or more of diced, cooked chicken, OR turkey

In large saucepan, bring substantial amount of water to a boil. Add Dreamfields pasta. Return to boiling and set timer for 11 minutes. Drain using a colander or strainer.

While pasta is cooking, in another large saucepan, combine cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, butter, and milk or cream mixture. Over medium to low heat, stir until everything has melted and the sauce is smooth after whisking. Stir in chicken or turkey and cook briefly over medium-low heat until meat is hot. Stir in Dreamfields pasta. Sprinkle each serving with freshly grated black pepper or a favorite seasoned herb mix. Serve alongside a salad, if desired. Refrigerated leftovers, heated, taste just as good the next day.

Helpful Hints: For sodium conscious folks, use 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1 tsp No Salt.

Nutritional Analysis: 6 servings
511 calories, 19.9 g protein, 30.2 g fat, 7.1 g carbs

For Crumb Topping (optional):
1/2 cup grated Montery Jack cheese (125 mL)
1/3 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix (75 mL)
3 tbsp butter, melted (45 mL)

MICROWAVE BROWNIE CAKE



MICROWAVE BROWNIE CAKE
My husband likes this dense cake after it has been refrigerated for many hours as it becomes very much denser. I like it after removing from the refrigerator and allowing it to sit at room temperature for an hour. One half cherry is 1 gram carb (optional).

2 oz unsweetened chocolate (60 g)
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (90 mL)
1/4 cup almond butter, page___ (50 mL)
2 eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream (50 mL)
10 SPLENDA® packets
6 tbsp powdered erythritol (90 mL)
1/4 tsp almond extract (0.5 mL)
1/3 cup whole milk powder* (75 mL)
2 tbsp ground almonds (25 mL)
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten (25 mL)
1/2 tsp baking powder (2 mL)
1/8 tsp salt (0.5 mL)
Drizzling Chocolate, page 171,
Splendid Low-Carbing, OR Chocolate Frosting (optional)

In medium bowl, pour boiling water over chocolate. Pour off water when chocolate is completely soft to the tip of a sharp paring knife. Stir in melted butter and almond butter. Set aside.

In separate medium-sized bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk in whipping cream, SPLENDA®, erythritol and almond extract. Add to chocolate mixture and whisk well. In another bowl, combine milk powder, ground almonds, vital wheat gluten, baking powder and salt. Fold dry ingredients into chocolate mixture until well combined. Scoop into greased microwaveable 6-cup (1.5 L) glass bowl. Microwave on high power about 4 minutes 30 seconds. Invert the cake and if still very moist on top, microwave another minute or more until the moisture is much less. The cake may look slightly moist on top, but that is fine.

Helpful Hints: *Skim milk powder may be used instead, however, first blend finely in a blender before using. Some health food stores already sell the very fine powdered milk, but most grocery stores only sell the coarser, granular type.

Yield: 16 small servings
1 serving
120.9 calories
3.8 g protein
10.6 g fat
3.5 g carbs

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why are Wonder Breads, Sugary Cakes and Sodas bad for your heart?



My good friend, Judy Barnes Baker, author of Carb Wars told me about the Metabolism Society. It is an organization dedicated to educating physicians and others about the science of dietary influences on metabolism and they are very pro low-carbing for the treatment of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. I spent a little time on their site and found a very interesting article amongst many others - some great articles by Judy as well. She always researches everything so well and does such a good job. Do visit Judy's blog. She also blogged about the Metabolism Society and their free newsletter.


This excerpt basically says it all - after testing 56 healthy students at Tel Aviv University this was the conclusion:

The test uses a cuff on the arm, like those used to measure blood pressure, which can visualize arterial function in real time.

"Enormous peaks indicating arterial stress were found in the high glycemic index groups: the cornflakes and sugar group. "We knew high glycemic foods were bad for the heart. Now we have a mechanism that shows how," says Dr. Shechter. "Foods like cornflakes, white bread, french fries, and sweetened soda all put undue stress on our arteries. We've explained for the first time how high glycemic carbs can affect the progression of heart disease." During the consumption of foods high in sugar, there appears to be a temporary and sudden dysfunction in the endothelial walls of the arteries."

Laura Dolson did a good job of explaining what the Metabolism Society is all about:
Here