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

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mary Shomon's Review of More Splendid Low-Carbing

Mary Shomon is a thyroid patient advocate and an author of several thyroid-related books.

Taking the low-carb/Splenda thing a bit further, you might want to check out a great new cookbook, More Splendid Low-Carbing, by Jennifer Eloff, a prolific cookbook author and low-carb expert (who is also hypothyroid). Jennifer has spent years developing low-carb versions of so many wonderful treats, and I know your mouth will start watering when you hear some of the titles of the recipes:

* Buffalo Wings
* Mandarin Spinach Salad
* Cauli-Fried Rice (tastes like Chinese fried rice)
* Faux Mashed Potatoes
* Zucchini Fries
* Wholegrain Bread
* Caramel Custard
* Chocolate Mousse
* Black Forest Cake
* Homemade Chocolate Protein Bars
* Gingersnaps
* Brownies

These are just a few of the many wonderful recipes for everything from drinks to main dishes to treats that Jennifer has lovingly assembled. The book is available at:

Dana Carpender's Review of More Splendid Low-Carbing

By Dana Carpender, Renowned Low-Carb Diet book and low-Carb cookbook author
and the creator of "Hold the toast"

It would be nice if I could tell you that mine is the only low carb cookbook worth buying. It would be nice - but it would be a big fat lie! There are several good low carb cookbooks out there, and I just found a really wonderful one in my mailbox.

I've already reviewed Jennifer Eloff's Splendid Low Carbing - I think it's terrific - so it's not a big surprise that I'm also giving a great review to More Splendid Low Carbing, Jen's new cookbook. To me, one of the marks of a great cookbook is when I flip through it, looking at recipes and thinking, "Darn! I wish I'd thought of that!" More Splendid Low Carbing is full of things like that. From some great beverage ideas - Ginger Beer! Cranberry Iced Tea! Lemonade Concentrate!, and some neat breakfasts - Mock Danish! Breakfast Burritos! through some killer entrees - Balihai Chicken, curried, with coconut milk, and a hazelnut crust! Salmon with Fruit Salsa! More Splendid Low Carbing is full of ideas I wish I'd had. Higher praise I cannot give.

This is a particularly good book for those who are on Induction, or who have to maintain Induction levels of carb intake - 20 g. or less per day - to keep losing or keep weight off. Every single recipe is below 10 g. of carb, and half are below 3 g. - a truly remarkable feat. Further, it offers some very useful info on the Fat Fast (a great way of jump starting ketosis, or knocking off a few pounds fast, or losing that impossible-to-shake final fifteen pounds), including Fat Fast menus.

All in all, More Splendid Low Carbing is a terrific addition to every low carb cookbook library. You'll only find it at Jen's website Go take a look!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Splendid Low-Carbing Blurb

To purchase directly from us: More Splendid Low-Carbing or order from

This cookbook is great for people on induction or the fat fast because 50% of the recipes are below 3 grams of carbohydrate. It also has one of my best bread recipes in it which was featured in Low Carb Energy Magazine with hamburger buns, hot dog rolls or dinner rolls and a deep dish pizza crust that is very nice as well.

The fat fast identified by Dr. Atkins as an alternative for people who are metabolically resistant to weight loss (they exist – I am one of them due to an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) is outlined in this book, with recipes and menu suggestions. These recipes are also suitable for induction. I did go into some detail about how to do the Fat Fast but it is only for people who are metabolically resistant to weight loss. Other people could lose weight too quickly causing an electrolyte imbalance and that can be dangerous. Never attempt something like that without first seeking medical advice.

I have lots of favorites in here, but they’re all great recipes really. Let me see, the Spiced Pecan Clusters are incredible. They make a super holiday gift, placed in a pretty, airtight Christmas tin. I also like and often make Ginger Beer, Mandarin Spinach Salad, Sesame Strawberry Salad, Taco Salad, Caesar Salad, Barbo's Crepes, Jumbo Ricotta Pancake, Cabbage Rolls (tastier than the real thing - you won't miss the rice!), Beef Stew, Cheese Tacos, Apple Curry Meat Loaf, Sirloin Steak with Lemon Parsley, Chicken A La Queen, Jamaican Drumsticks, Chicken Curry, Chinese Lemon Chicken, Tuna Pie with Yogurt Sauce, Shrimp Curry, Salmon Almondine, Cauli-fried Rice, Mushroom Mozzarella Bake, Creamed Faux Mashed Potatoes, Zucchini Fritters, Deluxe Green Beans Almondine, Marmalade.

Amongst the Breads - Lemon Ricotta Muffins, Cheese "Bread" Sticks, Wholegrain Bread.

Amongst the Desserts - Linda's Ice Cream Custard and variations, Black Forest Cake, Cinnamon Kuchen with Butter Sauce, Rhubarb Chiffon Pie, Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake, Strawberry Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake, Black Forest Cheesecake.

Amongst the confections - Jelly Jiggle Worms (low-cal and fun - kids like them), Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Bars, Black Forest Protein Bar, Condensed Milk, the best Deluxe White Chocolate, Rich Chocolate Frosting.

Amongst the Cookies and Squares - Gingersnaps, Lemon Squares, Candy Squares and Chocolate Almond Biscotti.

Those are some of my favorite recipes in this book, but all the recipes have merit and some people may prefer some of the others I offer due to varying tastes.

To purchase directly from us: More Splendid Low-Carbing or order from

Friday, May 16, 2008

Splendid Low-Carbing

To purchase directly from us: Splendid Low-Carbing or order from

Okay, I mentioned I would write a blurb about each of my cookbooks to help people in the decision making when it comes to buying my cookbooks. I would love it if people could buy all of them, but that is not always possible.


This book is the biggest low-carb cookbook of all of them and is the very first one I wrote. It became a national best seller along with 2 other cookbooks of mine.

Each cookbook is divided into categories: Helpful Hints, Beverages, Appetizers, Soups and Salads, Eggs, Meat, Poultry, Fish and Shellfish, Vegetables, Sauces, Jams, Chutnesy and Dressings, Breads and Other Baking, Frozen Desserts and Puddings, Cheesecakes, Cakes, Pies,Confections and Frostings, Cookies and Squares.

The recipes are strong (I don't put 'em in if I don't like them), however, in hindsight, candidly, I would say there are 3 or 4 weak recipes and that's not bad given that there are about 300 recipes in there not counting the 50 or so variations. The two that come to mind are the High protein tortillas (I have another tortilla recipe in there that received rave reviews from fans so not to worry) and the low-carb pasta (what was I thinking? Use Dreamfields folks!). My Maple Syrup could use some work according to someone's review (however my family really liked it - go figure!), but you know what it's easy to buy one of the commercial varieties. My two favorites are Estee Sugar Free Maple Flavored Syrup and Walden Farms Calorie Free Pancake Syrup (both made with Splenda and sorbitol free). Other than that, I can't think of any others offhand, but thought that may be helpful to mention.

I am sort of proud of the rest of the recipes though. Many are breakthroughs for low-carb dieting and I think I was one of the first authors to provide such a comprehensive baking and dessert section using Splenda only (of course), besides there being many regular recipes too.

To give one an idea of the baking section. At this point in my low-carb life, I really missed bread, so came up with a bake mix or two (using regular ingredients) and made many machine bread recipes, etc. I even have a bake mix that may be used cup-for-cup for all-purpose wheat flour in your favorite recipes. It is called "Ultimate Bake Mix" and there are several alternatives plus a self-raising type flour substitute. I have a Bran Bread, Cheese Bread, Garlic Bread, Focaccia, Hamburger Buns, Flax Bread, Cinnamon-Swirl Egg Bread (this is like Cinnamon buns almost exactly with the Cream Cheese Frosting), Braided Flax Bread, Oat Bran Bread, Apple-Cinnamon Lattice Loaf (a favorite of my sons), Carrot Bread and a Yeast free and baking powder free Flax Bread. In addition, find pancake, crepe, pizza crust,cracker and loaf recipes, plus donuts! The donuts, for instance are 2.3 g carbs each. The Chocolate Eclairs are 6.9 g carbs each. Crackers are l gram, tortillas are 4 grams, crepes, 2.7 grams, etc.

I have a Thickening Agent which is used to thicken sauces, soups and stews. It is easy to make and is as good if not better than the popular Thicken/Thin Not Starch by Expert Foods. I find one needs less of mine to do the job.

Confections and Frostings: Have you ever seen such a category in any other low-carb cookbook? Every cookbook I wrote has this section due to my love affair with chocolate and fudge and candy-like treats which are now made sugar free and high protein and still taste decadent. How would you like to try Chocolate-Drizzled Marshmallows, milk chocolate, chocolate peanut butter fudge, a drizzling chocolate for desserts, Creme Fraiche, Half a dozen creamy frostings made with a low-carb confectioner's sugar substitute, marzipan, chocolate after dinner mint log, chocolate walnut fudge, raspberry cream truffles and several variations, white chocolate,and fudge toffee? Some of my other books offer even more exciting options such as Black Forest protein bar and even nicer white chocolate,like real fudge, caramel, condensed milk and you name it.

You know how often in low-carb cookbooks, the crusts for pies, quiches and cheesecakes are often left out to reduce carbs? I typically did not do that. I like to have the whole enchilada so to speak.

In the Frozen dessert section, I have the best Strawberry Frozen Yogurt with many variations. My friend, Mary Converse in Montana makes the Strawberry recipe very often. If you prefer Sherbet, there are refreshing Sherbet recipes. How about instant ice cream or 7 different ice creams requiring an ice cream maker.

There are jams and chutneys and sauces and dressings in this book that are useful - even a homemade ketchup, mayonnaise, pickles and thousand island dressing.

This book has the best Eggplant Parmigiana recipe, great salmon or tuna burgers, bobotie (a national meat loaf in South Africa), breakfast options, Cream of Cauliflower soup with many variations, mulligatawny soup, shrimp and curry soup, etc. In the Appetizers section I make the Bacon Cheese Spread and the Mexican dip all the time to rave reviews. The curried walnuts are different and excellent and the spiced almond clusters make a great Christmas gift, placed in a pretty tin.

There are a few really good cookie and square recipes, but typically my later books have even nicer recipes in this particular category. The pies and cheesecakes in this book are very strong. My Fruit Pizza is something I often make. It is beautiful and looks like a work of art and some folks have said it is the best dessert they've ever tried, and the same goes for my Fruit Cocktail Cheesecake.

I hope this little blurb will help somewhat. There is so much more to this cookbook, however, I need to get some other work done around here....

Overall, this is a great book that I reference every week to this day. It has a ton of recipes and some photos on the back and front, plus on the website, This cookery book took a lot of my time and energy (and even tears) but hopefully people will appreciate it.

Jennifer Eloff

To purchase directly from us: Splendid Low-Carbing or order from

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Paradigm Shift from Writing Regular Diabetic Cookbooks to Low-Carb

This is essentially the story of how I switched my focus from creating recipes for people with diabetes following the traditional diabetic diet to recipes for people on low-carbohydrate diets, whether they have diabetes or not. In diabetic circles in Canada I was seen as a bit of a heretic for rejecting the tenets of the traditional diabetic way of eating. Even the Splenda company (Johnson & Johnson) in Canada and the U.S.A. as well were no longer interested in my cookbooks. Still, undaunted, I continued on, because I so firmly believed that it was a better way to go, not only for the people I wanted to help, but also for my family.

My Story:

My husband and I needed to lose weight! I was the first person in the world to write a Splenda cookbook (within 6 months it became a best seller in Canada)and from there things snowballed over the years. You see, I'd just written my 3rd Diabetic low-fat Splenda cookbook (I subsequently did not have it published but abandoned it completely - read on!), and after eating all those low-fat desserts, Ian and I were both quite overweight! Anyhow, many years ago now in 1998, when I was living in Ontario, Canada, for a brief 2 years, I kept getting e-mails asking me whether I had low-carbohydrate recipes made with Splenda Granular. This was the first time I had heard about low-carbohydrate diets, and I thought these people must feel incredibly deprived - poor things!

Ironically, my husband and I were addicted to carbohydrate-rich foods. This was possibly the result of producing three high-carb dessert cookbooks in quick succession with many, many recipes to test and consume. It was not uncommon for my husband, the chief taste tester in the house, to come home from work to be faced with 3 cheesecakes, a pile of muffins and a pie - and that was supper! He took his job seriously and we both began to get heavier.

When I inquired about low-carbohydrate diets, I was horrified. I could not imagine my life without my desserts with Splenda and what about giving up high-carb bread and buns. It seemed unthinkable,however, when folks pointed out how well they were feeling, how much weight they had lost, how their cholesterol and triglycerides had fallen, and that, in fact, good fats are perfectly okay on the low-carbohydrate way of eating, my horror turned to sheer curiosity.

I rushed to the nearest bookstore to buy my first low-carbohydrate diet book - Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution! I followed the reading of that wonderful, informative book, with Protein Power, the Carbohydrate Addict's LifeSpan Propgram, Go-Diet, Schwarzbein, Somersizing, Sugar Busters and the Zone. I also read Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution.

My horror, which had turned to curiosity, now blossomed into admiration for these people, who had the resolve and courage to follow this rather controverisal way of eating. After reading the books, I understood for the first time that my husband and I, too, had been struggling with hyperinsulinism, and hence our middle-aged spread. Hyperinsulinism simply means in layman's terms that the body is producing too much insulin in response to eating carbohydrates. This hormone is also responsible for storing fat and favors storing fat in the abdomen.

Next, I tried Atkins induction. It took probably 5 or 6 days to finally kick into ketosis, and from that point, I counted my 2-week induction stint. I lost 6 pounds and was sold on the diet! I had never lost that much in such a short time in all my life. It was exhilarating, but even better than that, I had incredible energy, and I felt on top of the world. However, even although I enjoyed the sudden liberation to eat eggs and bacon, nuts, seeds, fancy vegetables and salads with creamy sauces, red meat, cheese and real whipping cream, I sorely missed bread!

Instead of going through with the diet, I stopped at a 10-pound loss and decided to postpone my dream of reaching my goal weight. I switched my creative focus to writing a low-carb cookbook, which would address some of the comfort foods my husband and I missed so much. I wanted a complete guide to low-carb eating, which I could reference daily for our own use as well. That's when I began writing Splendid Low-Carbing, which later became a national best seller.

My husband who was 45 years old at the time and 5' 10", went from an unhealthy 217 pounds to a healthy, lean and muscular 187 pounds, while I developed my recipes. He went down very close to his marriage weight of 179 pounds.

Jennifer Eloff

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Artificial Sweeteners - Excellent article by Dr. Eades

Artificial Sweetener Article

This excellent, well-written article gives Splenda a heads up!! Our family has to be the world's biggest guinea pigs for testing out the safety of Splenda in humans. We have consumed Splenda in large quantities for 16 years. My sons grew up on Splenda. They grew tall and robust. None of us exhibit any problems other than typical aging woes (for my husband and I in our fifties), such as my husband has slightly elevated blood pressure (runs in the family and is adrenalin-based due to having a type A personality) and I have an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis (but so do many people who have never used Splenda), which I believe was triggered by extreme stress over a period of years when my mother tried to break up my marriage and literally broke my heart. Autoimmune disease is in my family tree.

Of course, this article suggests to use Splenda in moderation. I would agree with that. The chances of anyone consuming as much as I have in the last 16 years is slim to none, other than if that person starts downing Splenda pop at an alarming rate per day for the next 16 years. So, do I feel comfortable recommending Splenda. Yes, I feel comfortable recommending it. I also feel that it is not for everybody as some people are distinctly allergic to it and others simply cannot stand the taste. Sometimes I feel it is a case of, "Choose your poison!" because the alternative in using sugar again to me is unthinkable, as that is actually a known poison.

I do like to combine Splenda Granular and erythritol these days, especially in chocolate recipes for the extra sweetening power the synergy of these sweeteners provide. This sweetener was also mentioned in a positive light, except I had no idea 10% was absorbed. It is the only sugar alcohol I can tolerate, because the others cause intestinal discomfort too often for me to even be tempted anymore.

I do not like aspartame and I really worry about its safety. I try to avoid it. I don't know enough to say whether I am paranoid or not, only that from personal experience I get some rather nasty side effects from using it.

If you're a person who can avoid sweets for the most part and only enjoy fresh fruits in moderation and avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners altogether, then that is really the ideal. Baking with fruit juices, however, is simply like using sugar for the body, so I would not recommend that.

Overall a good article that I think was written by The Doctors Eades who wrote Protein Power and a number of related low-carb diet and health books.

A Perspective about Carbohydrate Addiction by my Husband, Ian

In 1899 sugar consumption was less than 10 lbs per person per annum, and the incidence of diabetes, heart disease and stroke was very low. By 1999 sugar consumption was greater than 170 lbs per person per annum, and the incidence of these diseases is now very high. To be sure, sugar is only the most obvious, highly refined carbohydrate that we have introduced into our lives in recent human history, but by no means the only one. Bleached white flour, with almost all of the wheat's goodness removed, ground to the consistency of "Talcum powder," is just as potent a carbohydrate. Often in fast foods and processed foods, these two products are combined with plenty of fat added as well, making very unhealthy, fattening foods. So what is it about us humans that makes us deny the facts, even when they stare us directly in the face? Haven't we looked around us and noticed how overweight we have become? We hear that this is because the "Baby Boomers are aging". Well, yes, we are but why then are so many children overweight? And how about our Native populations who struggle with obesity and diabetes today in epidemic proportions? With carbohydrate-rich "fast foods" now their new staple diet, little wonder! How about those northern tribes who lived in the frozen tundra, eating only protein and blubber all winter long? They did not develop diabetes and grow wildly obese.

The answer is simple, we are hooked on carbohydrates ... and that's not a difficult thing to have happen! Ever hear of heavy drinkers who constantly admit to alcohol being a problem in their lives? They will far rather cover up its harmful effects and highlight its positive effects ... and the same holds true for drug users and for others hooked on addictive, but damaging behaviors.

So, just how easy or cost-effective is it to feed all Americans and Canadians on mostly protein versus mostly carbohydrates? The answer is: "It is not practical or cost-effective at all," and most importantly, it's not nearly as profitable! The foods lower down on the food chain are easier to produce, cost less to produce, transport easier, process easier, package easier, market easier and are much more profitable for industry. For them, pasta and cereal make way more profits than eggs and steak. A lot of government decisions are made based on these general principles and not based on our health. If all of America switched away from carbohydrates to animal protein, we would be paying very high prices for steak, chicken, pork, lobster, shrimp, etc., and then what would all those politicians eat? It's almost in our best interest to keep the low-carb diet a secret! It seems the ruling elite has done so for some time now. So you think I'm overstating things?

People act, for the most part, like a herd. In South Africa where we grew up in our youth, steak, lobster, shrimp, etc. were kept for the colonial European rulers, while bread and grains were subsidized and fed to the local ethnic folks who worked in their industries. They could not afford to feed the entire populace on fancy foods. The result was that, contrary to popular, but incorrect images of ethnic Africans, they grew to be wildly obese and developed all sorts of illnesses, not common to their populace, before we arrived on the scene and changed their diets. I know this, because my dad spent his life living among them as a traveling African doctor. Sadly, the colonial rulers themselves mixed liberal amounts of refined sugar and flour in with their rich diets, swilling it all down with huge amounts of alcohol, and also inhaling copious quantities of tobacco smoke. So, ironically, many died just as early as their enslaved ethnic populace!

Okay, so what do we feed cattle when fattening them up (quickly) for sale and slaughter? Protein and fat? No, carbohydrate-laden grains! So what do we feed people suffering from impaired carbohydrate metabolism? - too many carbohydrates, including sugar and white flour, in their "balanced diet," and drugs to counter the effects of these! So now two very profitable industries profit even more! If we go along with the herd, we will eventually suffer the same fate as the herd. It's good that we regard ourselves as enlightened and support each other with facts and truth. Live apart from the herd - free and happy and healthy!

Friday, May 9, 2008


Tender Beef Stroganoff
This recipe for Beef Stroganoff is easy. The beef is marinated to help tenderize the meat. This marinade works well for any steak that you may want to age and tenderize for the barbecue instead. Just sprinkle with steak spice, like Montreal Steak Spice, when it is on the barbecue.

1 to 1 1/2 lbs beef of choice (I used rib-eye steak – a bit indulgent)
¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Splenda Granular or low-carb syrup

Marinate beef in a casserole dish in the above mixture overnight or for a few days for even more tender, aged beef. Turn the beef over at least once a day to coat the other side.

Marinated beef, sliced thin (discard marinade)
3 tbsp butter
1 small onion, sliced
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 envelope beef bouillon
1 can French-style green beans
1 can sliced carrots (colorful) or sliced mushrooms (can be fresh)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sour cream

In big soup pot, stir-fry beef and onions in butter and garlic. Sprinkle with beef bouillon. When beef is browned, add green beans, carrots or mushrooms and boiling water. Stir. Place lid on pot and cook in 325 deg. F. oven for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Check after one hour if there is enough liquid and check to see whether the beef is tender yet. Remove from oven when the beef is tender. Liquid needs to have reduced substantially. Stir in sour cream and serve over Dreamfields pasta.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Oatmeal Lovers - A goofy recipe that could work for you!

As we know oatmeal, especially easy, instant oatmeal is a bit carby for most of us. Do you miss a warm bowl of oatmeal porridge for breakfast? Here is something that might suffice. If you want to go to the trouble of using regular oats, then the carbs would be reduced slightly over using quick-cooking oats. Refrigerate leftovers.

Vanilla Custard Oatmeal Porridge

1 1/4 cups of Cream mixed with water,
Hoods Countdown milk or as I used
a combination of whole milk and evaporated milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup Splenda Granular
1 tbsp Erythritol (optional)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ThickenThin not/Starch (available from
4 tbsp quick-cooking oats (about 12 grams of carbs)
1/2 cup water

Put the cream on to heat until just before boiling point. In medium-sized bowl, add eggs, Splenda Granular, Erythritol, vanilla extract and ThickenThin not/Starch. Whisk. Add some hot cream to bowl and whisk it in, then return all to heat and whisk while it thickens. Remove from heat and set aside. In medium bowl, combine quick-cooking oats and water and microwave about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until water has absorbed. Stir cooked oats into warm, thickened vanilla custard. Spoon some out into a bowl, sprinkle with Splenda Granular, if desired, and enjoy.

Yield: About 3 servings. If I were to guess - about 8 to 9 grams of carbs per serving. (As soon as I have my program on my computer again, I will do the nutritional analysis of all my recipes in this blog. Sorry for the inconvenience.)

Note: This recipe could easily be doubled to make breakfast for the week! Hmm, I just had some this morning for breakfast. It's not quite oatmeal and some of you might think it really is a goofy recipe, but it sure stilled my appetite.

Chicken Linguine Alfredo

Dreamfields Pasta is a real breakthrough for carb conscious pasta lovers!

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.

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

Dreamfields Pasta for Low-Carbers

Many people do not yet know about low-carb Dreamfields Pasta, so I thought I’d make mention of it in my blog. On a cold, wintry night, a warm plate of pasta is always welcome, but for a while that was not really possible for low-carbers. Sure, there was pasta available but the taste and texture often left a lot to be desired. In addition, often the commercial low-carb pastas contained soy, an ingredient that folks with hypothyroidism should not be ingesting in any large quantity and hopefully not at all.

Normally a serving of regular Dreamfields pasta has 42 grams of carbohydrate, more than many low-carbers will eat in any given day. However, the company devised a unique way to prevent most of the carbohydrates from being absorbed by the body. Only 5 grams (4 grams soluble and 1 gram insoluble) of carbohydrate need be counted in a normal serving as indicated on the box. What’s more is they clinically test each batch of pasta to ensure the carbohydrate reading is correct. Wow! In layman’s terms, their special fiber blend of inulin, xanthum gum, and pectin together with proteins protects the body from digesting the total carbs. So, therefore, one is getting plenty of fiber. If one suffers from IBS though, it could present a problem at times, especially if combined with other high fiber foods on the same day. Consume with caution and skip other fiber-rich foods that day, if that is the case.

As a matter of interest, apparently the glycemic index for the pasta is 13.

Dreamfields makes Lasagna, Rotini, Spaghetti, Linguine, Elbows, and Penne Rigate. All of these have the same protected carbohydrates and low glycemic level. This pasta is available from and other places on the internet. We’ve always had amazing service from Netrition, so I highly recommend them. Walmart used to carry the pasta in the United States, but I’m not sure they do anymore.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Low-Carbing for people with Diabetes - ADA says YES!

It is shocking that for so many years now, low-carbing has not been part of the vocabulary of people who have diabetes or of the diabetes educators out there - let alone the ADA (America) and CDA (Canada).

Curiously, I wrote my first two cookbooks for people with diabetes and the CDA bought thousands of my books. Yes, indeed those books contained the typical low-fat recipes and using Splenda Granular instead of sugar. It is important for people who have diabetes and who are overweight to lose excess weight, therefore, the emphasis on the low-fat, sugarless diet at the time.

Much later in my career I became aware of low-carb diets being more beneficial to treat diabetes. I learned of Dr. Bernstein (who incidentally manages his type 1 diabetes which he has had for over 50 years) and his low-carb diet and I learned of Dr. Atkins and his low-carb approach, The Eades doctor couple and Protein Power and that people with diabetes were improving their health dramatically, often no longer needing medication or insulin. Once I realized the truth of low-carbing being superior to high-carbing for people with diabetes, I immediately switched my focus to low-carb cookbooks instead. I'm very glad I did, because frankly the high carb bandwagon that I was on was certainly going to be a recipe for disaster later on. I was already struggling with extra weight and hypothryoidism, before I embarked on my low-carb lifestyle and I was not yet 40 years of age.

Although I cannot be called a Puritan, because I have occasional blow-outs or vacations where I will not necessarily eat correctly, I still go back to low-carbing every time and have strong views on the subject. It never ceased to amaze me what people with diabetes were fed in the hospital - e.g. mounds of mashed potato, glazed carrots, small portion of protein (often breaded) and peas, with a glass of orange juice and a big portion of cake for dessert. Wowzers! My dear friend, Jeanne, could not understand why her blood sugar was so high in hospital, but the nurse dutifully came round and gave her a shot of insulin.

When Jeanne would come stay with us for a few days over Christmas, her blood sugars would become almost normal. She understood that low-carbing was working at my house, but somehow the voices of the diabetes counselors overrode her own sense of reason. Perhaps also at her age it was difficult to change a lifetime of eating habits.

Anyway, there have been some amazing breakthroughs this year. The ADA has finally come out and said that low-carb diets or low-fat diets (high-carb by definition) may be used for weight loss, with neither diet being chosen as the better one (although you and I know which is the better one - stands to reason - if one has a carbohydrate metabolism problem then cut down on carbs). That is a big admission and I'm so happy about that. We wait upon the CDA to say the same.


If smooth peanut butter is preferred, leave out the extra 1/2 cup of peanuts.

1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts (I used large Virginia peanuts)
2 cups roasted, salted peanuts
3 tbsp light-tasting olive oil
2 tbsp Splenda Granular
1 tbsp erythritol (optional)
1 or 2 tsp molasses or sugar-free pancake syrup

In food processor, process 1/2 cup peanuts very slightly. Set aside. To food processor, add 2 cups peanuts, olive oil, Splenda Granular and molasses or sugar-free pancake syrup. Process well. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until the peanut butter has a lovely smooth texture (add a drop of oil if it is not mixing well). Stir in chopped peanuts. Refrigerate in sealed container.

Helpful Hint:  If you have a very powerful food processor, you may not need any oil.

Peanuts - A health food or not?

The peanut is really a legume - same as a bean or pea. Peanuts originated in Brazil and spread to Asia, Africa and India. It was introduced to the USA from Africa.

Peanuts are high in protein and fat (mostly monounsaturated fats) and have about 16 grams of carbohydrate per 100 gram serving.

The niacin in peanuts is effective in raising HDL “good” cholesterol and apparently protects against cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Peanuts also contain vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. All nuts, including peanuts are high in a bioflavonoid also found in red wine, called resveratrol. These bioflavonoids are believed to help prevent plaque from forming in the arteries. Perhaps that is why the French suffer fewer heart attacks - because they drink so much red wine? Studies have shown that peanuts which contain magnesium, folate, fiber, copper, vitamin E, and arginine are heart-protective. Peanuts are as rich in antioxidants as many fruits.

Peanut butter is one of the most caloric foods one will find in the kitchen, however, it has its uses even when trying to drop unwanted pounds. Maybe it is because peanut butter satiates the appetite as well if not better than eggs. In fact, once upon a time in a bookstore I noticed a book entitled: “The Peanut Butter Diet”. Amusing, but I bet it could work for some folks.

A study published in the Journal, Obesity, involved 8865 adult men and women in Spain and was carried out during a 28-month period where the subjects who ate nuts at least twice a week were 31% less likely to gain weight (> 5kg) than the others. I think this is only true of people who have control over how many nuts they consume. Some people cannot maintain portion control and for those people nuts are not a diet food, but can actually sabotage weight loss efforts, in my opinion.

In a test conducted during 20 years, on 80,000 female subjects by the Nurses' Health Study, it was observed that women who eat at least 1 ounce of nuts, peanuts or peanut butter each week have a 25% lower risk of developing gallstones.

Natural and more unprocessed peanut butter is preferable and that which contains little to no hydrogenated fats. With that in mind, I will provide a recipe to make your own peanut butter in my next post. I think it is less expensive to make your own peanut butter.

- some things to consider: Some people are highly allergic to peanuts. Always warn people if something contains nuts, just in case. This allergy is very serious as it accounts for over three-fourths of all deaths related to food allergies each year. Peanuts often have traces of aflatoxin, a substance found in a mold that grows on the nuts. This toxin is known to cause cancer in high enough amounts. Buying peanuts that come from arid areas like Arizona will not have that toxin. The safest peanuts are USA peanuts, which are subject to meaningful checks and testing; the least safe are probably South East Asian and Asian peanuts. Everything in moderation, right?