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

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Low-Carb has been called a diet craze, diet fad and worse, but....

It was predicted by many that the low-carb diet that had again gained in popularity from the late 1990's to 2004 was simply a fad diet that would soon be forgotten. Sometime after Dr. Atkins died, it almost seemed like they were right. Companies producing Frankenfoods collapsed, even the Atkins branch in the UK suffered enormous loss and they discontinued many low-carb products in America, and I could be wrong but the Atkins company got close to bankcruptcy. Interest in low-carbing waned so much that people were not buying (or perhaps they realized the Frankenfoods were not working and that the sugar alcohols were making them feel ill) and low-carb forums became quiet places for the faithful to still meet and discuss their WOE (no pun intended, of course. That is why I prefer WOL = way of life vs way of eating). And, yet, a resurgence in interest has been happening the last couple of years, and it is gaining momentum. Most people these days acknowledge that low-carbing is a healthier way to live, even if they don't fully embrace it, and certainly part of the reason for that is the numerous studies coming out to validate low-carbing as a healthier alternative to low-fat for many people and definitely healthier than the Western diet. Another part of the reason is due to the American Diabetes Association half-heartedly endorsing low-carbing (it's coming - big organizations are slow to change and rather conservative). Many of us have developed "carb" consciences versus the old "fat" consciences, which is also a big change in our thinking. The fear of fat has started switching to the fear of refined carbohydrates with some of us, but not the majority. As more and more physicians realize that their patients with diabetes and/or struggling with hyperinsulinism and too much weight fare better on a low-carb diet, they will embrace it, recommend it and things will slowly escalate from there. It takes time, but when the health professionals embrace low-carbing fully, it will become a household name - far far from the fad diet, diet craze name-calling days!! Poor, brave Dr. Atkins and other doctors, like Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Eades - what abuse they suffered from the medical establishment to benefit the rest of us.

Still, the very fact that low-carbing is still alive and well, forums picking up in activity, my book sales picking up, some excellent low-carb products and even some new ones still to be found, low-carb online stores doing a brisk business, people like Dr. Eades and his wife, Gary Taubes and Jimmy Moore to name but a few people passionate about low-carbing and health still promoting online, plus the numerous low-carb bloggers out there - including myself - says low-carbing is here to stay!!

Let's hear it for Low-Carbing!!!! It is NOT a FAD DIET - far from it! I remember a "friend" who knew I had just written my first low-carb cookbook, Splendid Low-Carbing, calling low-carb a fad diet. It hurt and I'm ashamed to say that at that point I did not hotly defend it, as I'm not a very confrontational person at the best of times, and I was in her home enjoying her hospitality. I remember her words though and I derive some satisfaction from the fact that she must know today that it is not a fad diet. We have long since moved away from where she lives, know what I mean.

In addition, I remember the rejection I felt years ago. When I switched from writing for people with diabetes and their traditional low-fat, higher carb diet to low-carb, the Canadian Diabetes Branches that had been ordering my books stopped ordering, the Splenda Company in Canada stopped ordering and the American Splenda Company lost interest in my books as well. Still, call me stubborn...I persisted and wrote 5 low-carb cookbooks, still feeling the rejection through all those years, but now I'm beginning to feel somewhat vindicated. I am writing low-carb recipes for an international Diabetes Magazine. The people at this magazine actually understand the importance of low-carbing for people with diabetes. I hope the people that rejected my books due to the switch to low-carbing will get to see those magazines and my recipes. :-) Sweet!

Jennifer Eloff

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Do Food Snobs Eat Better than Us Mere Mortals?

You know, I really have to wonder? Sure, I've eaten gourmet-style food at some restaurants (particularly on my only few days ever in Paris), and it was great; very tasty, no question! And yet, at other times I've stumbled across gourmet food sites (a few - some great ones though!) or cookbooks, where the food looked less than appetizing, but was touted as being gourmet. I have never been one for making anything other than what the whole family will enjoy. For instance, I could care less about caviar and oysters and sushi, steak tartare (as in photo), cilantro used in excess, cheeses I have never heard of,liver pate and the like. In fact, I would truly dislike it if I was asked to eat any of that! LOL I suppose that is just me.

I think this post has probably got a whole lot less to do with gourmet cooking (which can most often be awesome!) than it has to do with my dislike of an attitude. A few people might actually feel snobbish about their food choices (usually organic, of course - nothing wrong with that, except normal folks typically can't afford it) and their superior abilities in the kitchen over us mere mortals.

So, if you want easy, mostly affordable, down-home cooking and baking, that is what you get with me. I have never been a food snob and I doubt I ever will be. (wink)

Jennifer Eloff (

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Nitrates are actually good for us!

I found this post and I thought it to be so profound that I wanted to make a note of it here. I have always worried about nitrates and cancer and my guys who love processed meats. All that worrying for nothing it seems.....



This exciting low-carb biscuit mix can be used similarly to Bisquick in many favorite recipes. Bisquick, a favorite Betty crocker product,is the trademark of General Mills.

This is a teaser post! I'm not actually going to provide the recipe. There has to be some incentive to buy my books, right? (This is found in my final low-carb cookbook). Biskmix is super low-carb at 1.8 g carbs per 1/4 cup. It can be used almost anywhere Bisquick is used in old favorite recipes. It will be problematic in most yeast applications. This bake mix is truly biscuit-like in properites. Impossible pies are possible, however, the resulting crust will be a little lighter in texture. My Fruit Cobbler, Italian Flat Bread, Apple Crumble Pie, Cheese Muffins and Red Lobster biscuits are incredible, to name but a few recipes!

My books are availabe at:


These cookies will totally surprise your friends who are not into low-carbing!

1 and 1/2 cups SPLENDA® Granular (375 mL)
1 cup butter, softened (250 mL)
1 egg
1 tsp molasses (5 mL)
2 and 1/2 cups Low-Carb Bake Mix (625 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
2 cups sugar free chocolate chips (500 mL)
1 cup chopped pecans, OR (250 mL)
Walnuts, Or mixed nuts

In food processor or in bowl with electric mixer, combine SPLENDA® Granular, butter, egg and molasses; process. In medium bowl, combine Low-Carb Bake Mix, baking soda and salt. Stir into wet ingredients (dough will be fairly stiff). Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls (20 mL) onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in 375°F (190°C) oven or until light brown. Cool slightly. Place cookies on wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional Analysis: 52 cookies, 1 cookie per serving
103.7 calories, 2.7 g protein, 8.2 g fat, 1.9 g carbs

Helpful Hints: These days I like to replace a little of the Splenda with powdered erythritol which I purchase from

Low-carb Bake Mix can be found in the previous post.

My web site:

Thursday, August 21, 2008


This tasty bake mix guarantees a low-carb result in your baking.  Regular sugar and white flour recipes will have carbs reduced by about 85%  or more.

12/3 cups ground almonds (400 mL)
2/3 cup vanilla whey protein* (150 mL)
2/3 cup vital wheat gluten (150 mL) 

In large bowl, combine ground almonds, vanilla whey protein and vital wheat gluten.  Use a large wooden spoon to stir and mix well.  See Helpful Hints below for instructions on how to use this bake mix.  Store in a closed container at room temperature.  Shake container to ensure ingredients are combined well.

Yield:  31/3 cups (825 mL)
1/3 cup (75 mL) per serving
162.9 calories
14.3 g protein
10.3 g fat
3.3 g carbs

Helpful Hints:  For some strange reason, the total yield for this bake mix is 1/3 cup (75 mL) more than the 3 cups (750 mL) one would expect.  One ingredient tends to fluff up when they’re mixed together is my best guess.  If one chooses to see the yield as 3 cups (750 mL), the carbs increase slightly to 3.7 g.

To use this bake mix:  Typically, for every cup of flour in your recipe, replace with l cup (250 mL) of Low-Carb Bake Mix, plus 2 tbsp (25 mL).  The aforementioned rules apply also to replacing any of the Ultimate Bake Mixes from my previous cookbooks (which are a cup-for-cup substitution for all-purpose flour) as well as Vital Ultimate Bake Mixes, page 20 with this bake mix. 

Once again, always add liquid cautiously to your own recipes that you wish to de-carb.  Sometimes as much as 1/2 cup (125 mL) less wet ingredients (this includes ingredients such as butter, olive oil, applesauce, pumpkin, water, yogurt, sour cream, cream, etc.) will be required. Typically, it is 1/4 cup (50 mL) wet ingredients that will need to be omitted from your regular recipe. 

This bake mix produces wonderful, moist baked goods most of the time, despite the whey content.  Useful for piecrusts, muffins, loaves, many cakes, cookies and squares and is guaranteed to lower carbs significantly in your favorite recipes!

*If the application for this bake mix is for a savory baked product, it is possible to replace vanilla whey protein powder with natural whey protein powder.

Let's see, some people feel the whey proteins are too expensive. They are expensive, but last a long time, especially if one does not bake very frequently. They also keep really well for ages at room temperature.

Instead of the vanilla whey protein, unsweetened plain whey protein can be substituted, especially for savory applications. Instead of the whey, you could use ground walnuts, Carbalose flour (look for is a component of Carbquik and my bake mixes actually work really well mixed half and half with Carbalose flour), oat flour, whole wheat pastry flour (these last three have more or less the same number of carbohydrate grams) or any flour you desire.  I haven't tested any of these options, so you're on your own with experimenting.  Choose an easy muffin recipe to experiment with.

Some people balk at the idea of ground almonds, thinking perhaps that is the most expensive part of the bake mix. 2/3 cups of the ground almonds could be replaced by any of the above suggestions. Let me know if you think of something else. Ground almonds can be replaced by any ground nuts of your choice.  If you happen to be allergic to nuts, I have a nut-free bake mix that is a cup-for-cup substitution for white flour. Naturally, there is also flexibility with this particular recipe.

There you have some flexibility with this bake mix. Have fun!

You will notice I did not touch the vital wheat gluten component of this bake mix. If you are intolerant to gluten, please see my Gluten-free Bake Mix in this blog). I had a gluten-free low-carb (not terribly low-carb unfortunately with this other gluten-free bake mix) chocolate muffin this morning for breakfast with my cup of tea. It was delicious and I don't put on water weight with it, as long as I keep it to one muffin and not every day. I keep them in the freezer and defrost one overnight or in the morning in the microwave oven for about 40 seconds.

Happy Low-Carbing!

B Vitamins protect against Heart Disease?

In 2 separate studies over a few years involving 3,000 plus people and 5,000 plus only women at risk for heart disease, it was discovered that even if as much as 30% lowering of homocysteine levels was achieved through taking folic acid, B6, B12 vitamins, it did nothing to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Folic acid does seem to give some protective benefit against stroke. 1 mg a day is the upper limit for Folic Acid, which can in high doses mask a serious B12 deficiency which can lead to permanent nerve damage. It is very important for pregnant women to take a multi vitamin with folic acid, because spina bifida is common in babies born to mothers deficient in folic acid.

Weekend Splurges Mess with Your Weight Loss

Weekend Splurges

I have a friend or email diet buddy who has demonstrated this in front of me for years. Every weekend she indulges in higher carb food and especially drinking beer. Monday produces painful weigh-ins of sometimes 5 lbs more (mostly water weight from glycogen stores filling up and absorbing water). She diligently low-carbs during the week and gets back down to her previous pre-weekend weight and occasionally less, but it is indeed an uphill battle. She loses weight with ease compared to me, but this pattern of eating made it much more difficult for her than it need be.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix featured on Dana Carpender's Blog

Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix is featured on Dana Carpender's Blog. Check out Hold The Toast

The nutritional analysis for this versatile low-carb bake mix is as follows:

1/3 cup per serving of 3 1/3 cups yield:

162.9 calories; 14.3 g protein; 10.3 g fat; 3.3 g carbs

NOTE: If one uses ground almonds (ground from almonds in your food processor or coffee grinder), then this is the correct yield, however, if one uses almond flour which is a much finer product, the yield will be 1/3 cup less - in this case the carbs increase to 3.7 grams per 1/3 cup and the yield will be 3 cups.

VERY IMPORTANT (SHARING THIS RECIPE):If you choose to share the bake mix with others, please give credit where credit is due. The recipe is from Jennifer Eloff of

Other Bake Mixes: Hope this recipe helps a lot of people. If you're looking for a gluten-free alternative, look no further than this blog. If you need cup-for-cup substitutions for white flour, look no further than my cookbooks. If you need a nut-free alternative, look no further than my cookbooks (Splendid Low-Carb Desserts contains the recipe as well as Splendid Low-Carbing for Life, Volume 1). I might feature it on this blog if there is enough interest.

Coconut Flour instead of Whey Protein Powder:

I want to share something with those of you who have my books or are thinking of buying them. Not so long ago I ordered Coconut flour from and wondered what to do with it. I realized that it was high in fiber and that is a plus on a low-carb diet. This very finely ground coconut flour incorporated into my substantially low-carb bake mix instead of the whey protein powder (same amount) makes for wonderful moist baked goodies. The primary drawback for baking with coconut flour on its own is that it can make baked goods dry, however, this is not a problem used in my bake mix. This coconut bake mix works really well in my muffin, loaf and cookie recipes requiring Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix. It may also be subbed for white flour cup-for-cup in your own favorite recipes from yester year before low-carbing in similar recipes. Important Note: Sift the coconut flour before using. When using the bake mix instead of flour, you may need 1/2 to a 1/4 cup less liquid ingredients in your recipe. If you make a mistake, add a little more bake mix until the correct consistency for the batter is achieved.

I hope some of you have as much fun with this as I have!

On a Personal Note: Dana and I go back to about 1999, as far as I can remember knowing her. She is an amazing lady with enormous talent not only for producing wonderful cookbooks, but also in the area of marketing and she became a very famous public figure, who has touched many lives positively. If Dana Carpender has touched your life with her hard work, remember to visit her blog Hold the Toast and tell her so! Few people ever really turn around and say, thank you, but I think if reminded, many more would. She has been through a particularly tough couple of years, so your thank you's would really go a long way to making her feel better.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Summer School Vacations contributing to Obesity?

What they are finding is that children instead of running outside and playing with their friends, children are more likely to be pursuing sedentary entertainment such as computer video games and watching TV. On top of that, they reach for plentiful sugary snacks, instead of eating their more predictably healthy packed school lunches.

"Since the 1970s, the percentage of children overweight has tripled, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

So moms that chase their children away from the computer, instant messaging and TV watching to go and play outside are doing their children a big favor. However, how often it is true that moms are not there to supervise as they are working. The children are then left to their own devices and will typically choose lazy, leisurely junk food-filled activities. Sad but true.

Some people have enrolled their children in a gym to counteract the problem. I think that's great, but it is also vitally important that children, especially in northern hemispheres, get enough sunshine each day. The vitamin D is essential for building strong bones, growth and preventing all sorts of diseases later on in life, such as multiple sclerosis and cancer. They are now discovering that lack of sunshine in childhood is a big problem and in sunny countries multiple sclerosis is almost unheard of.

I guess watching all that TV can be a problem as well with regard to all the advertisements for high calorie, high sugar, high carbohydrate junk food.

School summer vacations can lead to weight gain in children is the take-home message and, therefore, steps should be taken to make sure children get enough physical exercise, sunshine and healthy food.

Read full article here:
Summer Weight Gain in Children

Recurring Childhood Ear Infections Possibly Implicated in Adulthood Obesity

Here is the full article:

Ear Infections - Link to Obesity?

Okay, to me this is a very weird assumption, but what they're saying is the ear infections damage the nerve which is involved in taste. This nerve runs through from the tongue through the middle ear to the brain. Somehow they think that this changes taste preferences for high fat, sweet food, which is calorie dense and could lead to obesity.

Then they also said that children who have their tonsils removed could be overweight later on, because it was a common treatment for ear infections that kept recurring. I've had my tonsils removed, as has my husband, however, not for ear infections. Apparently, children who had their tonsils removed were more likely to be overweight. I was not overweight, but my husband was slightly for a brief period when he was a child. Let me think: Do I prefer sweet food and high fat food over salads? Probably. LOL Maybe a lot of people who have not had recurrent ear infections or their tonsils removed will also answer like me. I like a varied diet. I couldn't live off sweet, high fat food forever and a day without my salads and protein, etc. as well. I don't know, I think these are weird studies and probably there is something to it, but I don't think that they are foolproof conclusions.

These were all actual studies done and another study of children with ear infections showed that they are less likely to eat vegetables and to preferentially choose sweet foods.

They draw a distinct parallel between rising ear infections and rising obesity. Now there is a vaccine to protect against ear infections. So does this mean if everyone is inoculated as a child against this malady, that obesity will be a thing of the past? I don't know, I somehow doubt it...What do you think?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pearls of Wisdom re Normal Low-Carbing

Pearls of Wisdom re Low-Carbing:
These are not the only pearls of wisdom, just a few I picked out:

1. Don't rely only on the bathroom scale to track your progress. People lose inches sometimes, without it showing up on the scale as weight lost. Therefore, take your measurements in the beginning, and occasionally measure again. If you're afraid of the scale and dislike taking measurements as well, keep a pair of skinny jeans handy. Try them on often and one day they will actually zip closed. That is an easy stress-free way to track progress. It works and I speak from experience as I once did that very successfully! I also read a story about someone doing that - I think it was in either Protein Power or Atkins. I think the former.

2. The Hellers had an interesting point about weighing. Weigh each day, but don't panic over slight fluctuations. Calculate your average weight per week, and in this way compare one week's average weight with the next to get actual weight lost. This method eliminates much stress.

3. If you begin to eat too many carbohydrates, glycogen stores in the muscles and liver will quickly begin to be replenished, and remember glycogen stores water. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see a 2-pound or more water weight gain with an indiscretion. The easiest way to lose that weight is to go onto induction-style eating (Atkins) for a couple of days, and drink lots of water, until the glycogen stores are depleted and the water is once again released.

4. Keep a food diary. If you are counting carbs, it is a good idea to jot down whatever you're eating. Also, at some time, if you discover you're not losing, it may be a good time to check how many calories you are consuming. An easy way to calculate calories required, is to take goal weight x 10 for couch potatoes, (goal weight of 120 lbs, means 1,200 calories!), goal weight x 12 for moderately active people or goal weight x 15 for extremely active people. Check out to keep track of food intake and carbs. I bought the program and highly recommend it.

5. Plan meals ahead if possible. Begin a week ahead and do the grocery shopping. The each day plan accordingl, fist thing in the morning or the evening before. It's like the old adage, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

6. Join a forum on the internet for a daily support network of low-carbing friends (see my forum listing on the right-hand side of the blog).

7. Exercise lowers insulin, increases the metabolism and maximizes weight loss. Dr. Atkins said that exercise was non-negotiable. A combination of weight training (to increase muscle mass and therefor basil metabolism) and aerobics is best.

8. Do not nibble between meals, if possible. This will do an end run on extra insulin output. It can mean the difference between maintaining and losing weight for some people. In fact, some people lose best if there is a looong period of no eating before a meal. Some people only lose weight eating one meal a day or one small meal for breakfast and a bigger meal for supper.

9. Balanced meals will have less insulin impact as weill keeping the meal to one hour, as per the Hellers' (Carbohydrate Addict's Diet) advice.

10. Drink tons of water, at least 8 cups per day. This promotes healthy liver and kidney function, flushes ketones and more weight is lost.

11. One tablespoon of pysillium husks in a glass of water before bedtime prevents constipation. Use a small whisk! Pysillium husks do come in capsule form as well.

12. Take wisely chosen supplements. Most of the low-carb doctors go into detail with regard to supplements, but right off the top of my head, choose a multi-vitamin, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Check out Dr. Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solutions Book. It is incredible and a great book to keep in your library to reference from time time. You never know which loved one you will able to help one day.

13. Low-carb eating turns many people into gourmet cooks! It is necessary to cook to keep meals interesting and varied. Be prepared to eat more vegetables than you have ever eaten in your entire life! Also, learn to make palatable low-carb, sugarless treats for those times that you need them to stay on track.

14. The average American and Canadian consumes 300 grams or more of carbohydrate per day. Most people, who have made it to maintenance, will be able to maintain on anywhere from 30 to 90 grams of carbohydrate per day, whereas younger, active folk with less damaged metabolisms, will be able to have up to 150 grams. However, at 150 grams, fat intake should be lowered accordingly.

15. If, on maintenance, one resumes eating as in the past on high-carb diets, the weight will come back very quickly - first in terms of water weight literally overnight, and then real pounds. This is true of any diet though. Whatever you do to lose the weight, that is the way you will maintain it, with only a slight liberation of the weight loss diet. There is a much higher chance of keeping the weight off through low-carbing (which keeps insulin lower) than on the high carb/low-fat diet (which keeps insulin levels higher), because there is an enzyme in the body that needs insulin in promoting fat storage. This enzyme is hyperactive after dieting, and that's why you see people put on weight so quickly after losing weight. It is the body's survival mechanism and it is very efficient.

16. Keep legal treats to a bare minimum, while in the losing weight phase and try to eat them right after your main meal, rather than between meals as snacks.

17. If using Ketostixs - cut in half to get real value for your money!

18. Before going on the diet, consult a doctor about it and have your blood work done. Do not let anti low-carbing doctors deter your newfound determination to low-carb for your health. Later on, you can compare notes regarding your blood work.

19. It has been shown in studies (I think I have something to that effect in my blog) that people who write down what they eat in a journal lose twice as much weight, as those who don't bother. I repeated myself here, but it is worthy of repeating!!

20. With regard to products I used in my cookbooks: Not everyone will be happy all of the time most likely. I did do my best to stay abreast of new developments and will continue to do so on my blog, as I don't have any intentions of writing more books - just selling my remaining stock. Some of the stocks are running low... :-)

I'm sure with regard to products that I used - If I were to create a recipe that contained just water, some well-meaning people would be asking, "Does it contain chlorine?" or "Is it distilled water, reverse osmosis water or lake water or spring water?" or someone will simply exclaim, "I don't like water!" LOL Hopefully, you can see some humor in this comment! My recipes are flexible, bake mixes are varied and one can pick and choose and I often give variations and substitution ideas. The best I can hope for is that my cookbooks will be helpful on this healthy WOL.

Happy Low-Carbing!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This delicious shake may be used occasionally in place of a meal, or on the Fat Fast, or to help induce ketosis. Make sure to take your supplements, including potassium, calcium, magnesium and plenty of water, to protect electrolyte balance in the body. Lovely served with a dollop of Creme Fraiche or whipped cream.

Chocolate Shake:
3/4 cup ice cold water
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Da Vinci Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup
1/2 cup Da Vinci Sugar Free Pancake Syrup or equivalent
1/2 cup chocolate whey protein
1 large egg
1 1/2 tbsp coconut or light-tasting olive oil
1 tbsp Dutch cocoa
1 Splenda packet (optional)
1/2 tsp Thickening Agent (okay, this is my recipe, but you could use Xanthan gum)or it is optional

In blender, add water, whipping cream, Da Vinci Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup and Da Vinci Sugar Free Pancake Syrup, chocolate whey protein, egg, coconut oil, Dutch cocoa, Splenda and Xanthan gum, if using. Blend well.

Variations: Create-a-Flavor Shake: Use any flavor of whey protein and Da Vinci Sugar Free Syrup to flavor your shake. Omit cocoa powder, where necessary.

Nutritional Analysis: 3 cups, 1 cup per serving
254.9 calories, 11.9 g protein, 22.0 g fat, 3.0 g carbs

To complete the day's fat fast, have at least 2 cups of this shake and choose one or two menu ideas from Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution book (also in a previous post below) or one or two of the options in my sample menus in the blog.

Helpful Hint: If the raw egg bothers you, coddle it first just under one minute in boiling water.

Some Examples of my Fat Fast Menus

The late great Dr. Atkins was a very clever man, no question! He outlined the fat fast for those of his patients who struggle to lose weight on any diet, let alone his low-carb, ketogenic diet. He really cared about his patients, all of them, and wanted to help them achieve their weight loss goals. Believe it or not, this problem of metabolic resistance to weight loss is quite common and it is even more common for doctors to blame their patients and tell them that they must be cheating or lying about their food quantities consumed. It is frustrating for patients and doctors alike. Many simply give up and patients feel like failures in the weight loss department.

Warning: Again, let me reiterate the warning that this particular approach is not for people who lose normally on ketogenic diets (even if slowly). One can lose too much weight (water and minerals in particular) and cause a major electrolyte imbalance, which can be very dangerous.

Dr. Atkins sample menu is thus:
Each little meal has about 200 calories.

I don't know if it is just me, but some of the food choices for fat fasting seemed scarily unappetizing to me - and definitely not a "diet" I would happily embark on, even for a few days at a time. My feelings of deprivation and the resulting rebelliousness in me would derail me time and again. Hunger is generally not a problem while Fat Fasting, however, boredom with food choices or dissatisfaction with the amount of food allowed can occur.

One ounce of macadamia nuts or macadamia nut butter (most people would like the former suggestion.)

Two ounces of cream cheese or Brie (Brie is probably okay, but has anyone ever tried to choke down 2 oz of plain cream cheese?)

One ounce of tuna or chicken salad with two teaspoons of mayonnaise served in one-quarter of an avocado. (This does sound nice!)

Two ounces of sour cream and two tablespoons black or red caviar (Ugh, I dislike that salty fish egg stuff. Maybe one could put something else in the sour cream?)

Two and a half ounces whipped heavy cream topped with sucralose zero-calorie syrup. (Hmmm, not so bad, but still it would feel like I was eating "nothing")

Two ounces of pate (ewww - just me again, probably)

Two egg yolks (hard boiled) with one tablespoon of mayonnaise (this would be palatable to me)

This menu suggestion did not give me enough choices or make me think: Yum!, so I set about trying to find some other ideas.

I notice, I did use some recipes from Splendid Low-Carbing, so both Splendid Low-Carbing and More Splendid Low-Carbing would be necessary purchases to get the most out of these menus for a Fat Fast for a severely "metabolically resistant to weight loss" person. Here is a sampling of some of the menu ideas put forth in my cookbook, however, with the help of which is free (can also purchase for a nominal fee - much nicer and easier!) one can mix and match at will to suit one's own tastes or to help coincide with whatever one has in the pantry and refrigerator or freezer at the time.

Menu #1
Strawberry Milk Shake (135 cal; 1.9g pro; 12.8g fat; 2.5g carbs)
French Omelet with (234.2 cal; 13.0g pro; 19.2g fat; 1.9g carbs
1 oz Cheddar cheese (114.1 cal; 7.1g pro; 9.4g fat; 0.4g carbs)
Chicken and Spicy Aovocado Dressing
(268 cal; 15.6g pro; 21.4g fat; 3.4g carbs)
Avocado Walnut Salad (185.2 cal; 3.0g pro; 17.5g fat; 5.2g carbs)

Total nutritional analysis of Menu #1:

(936.5 calories; 40.6g protein; 80.3g fat; 12.4g carbs; 76.8 % fat)

Menu #2
Hot Chocolate (190.6 cal; 2.3g pro; 19.5g fat, 2.5g carbs)
Shrimp Spread and half a cup cucumber
(234.7 cal; 6.4g pro; 22.5g fat, 2.3g carbs)
Chunky Egg Salad (254.8 cal; 10.2 g pro; 22.5g fat; 2.7g carbs)
Taco Dog (251.3 cal; 13.2 g pro; 20.1g fat; 4.3g carbs)

Total nutritional analysis for Menu #2

(931.4 calories; 32.1g protein; 84.6g fat; 11.8g carbs; 81.1% fat)

Menu #3 (easy)
Mock Danish (248.4 cal; 8.5g pro; 22.9g fat, 2.2g carbs)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Delight
(236.4 cal; 7.7g; 22.0g fat; 2.9g carbs)
1 hard boiled egg, 1/2 cup sliced cucumber, 1 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
(226.2 cal; 7.1g pro; 21.0g fat; 2.3g carbs)
1/4 cup whipping cream in tea/coffee during the day, plus 2 tsp of peanut butter (nice with the tea or coffee)
(242.1 cal; 3.5g pro; 24.3g fat; 3.4g carbs)

Total nutritional analysis for Menu #3:
(953.1 calories; 26.8g protein; 90.2g fat; 10.8g carbs; 84.3% fat)

and one last menu, as I'm getting tired...

Menu #4
Chocolate Glazed Protein Bar
(222.0 cal; 9.0g pro, 19.0g fat; 4.6g carbs)
Bacon Cheese Spread with 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
(183.5 cal; 7.9g pro; 15.8g fat; 2.2g carbs)
Scrambled Egg Bake (225.5 cal; 11.6g pro; 18.7g fat; 2.5 g carbs)
Deluxe White Chocolate (Recipe to be found in this blog)
(4 pieces) (147.2 cal; 4.4g pro; 13.6g fat; 2.4g carbs)

Total nutritional analysis for Menu #4:
(979 calories; 35.6g protein; 87.9g fat; 13.4g carbs; 80.2% fat)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Fat Fast - for those struggling to lose even on ketogenic diets

My new friend, Sylvia, from the Netherlands who visits my blog frequently pointed out that if I have so much trouble losing weight on even induction, then perhaps I should try the Fat Fast. I only have 7 lbs to lose, but I can't seem to do it on induction.

She is right though - the fat fast is an alternative! I have for whatever reason been metabolically resistant to weight loss for many years now. I'm not sure exactly why that is, but even on the Fat Fast, I will lose weight very slowly. There are some theories. My doctor thinks I have a hormonal imbalance with too much estrogen running around in my peri-menopausal body (I'm resisting hormone replacement therapy). I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (however, I am treated optimally) and I do wonder sometimes, if I have Candida under control properly (I think so). I once went on Metformin (a diabetic drug) for a month and lost 5 lbs effortlessly! However, I developed severe paresthesia (numbness and tingling of the extremeties) and have decided I will never do something so foolish again! It took months for the paresthesia to disappear. There was an article in Times Magazine that said if one wanted to stave off diabetes, then one of the ways was to take Metformin in low doses, the other was to lose weight and the other was to exercise regularly. It has also been stated that Metformin will help obese teenagers lose weight or people like myself who struggle to lose on any program. Those are some of the reasons I decided to do that foolish thing. It's never a good idea to turn to drugs if one can help it. There are almost always side effects.

Fat Fast:

Benoit discovered that the Fat Fast out-performed the total fast by 88%!!! The Benoit Study: For 10 days, 7 overweight guys did the fat fast. The guys that fasted lost an average of 21 pounds with 7.5 pounds of that being body fat. The guys that did the fat fast lost an average of 14.5 pounds and 14 pounds of that was body fat! The fat fast guys lost almost twice as much fat while the regular fasters lost 27 times more muscle!

I provided recipes and sample menus for the Fat Fast in More Splendid Low-Carbing and really it can be a whole lot nicer and tastier and doable than what Dr. Atkins outlined in his book. His food options sounded less than very appetizing to me - no disrespect meant! My menus are simply meant as guidelines.

10 Pearls of wisdom re the Fat Fast:

1) First, it is very important to read about severe metabolic resistance to weight loss and the Fat Fast in Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution book. Try to ascertain what might be at the root cause of your difficulty in losing weight, for example, Hypothyroidism, Candida, hormone therapy, medications, etc. Consult with your doctor to rule out some of these.

2) Keep tabs on what you are eating. Estimating is doomed to failure. Induction percentages look a bit like this: 60-65% fat, 30-35% protein and 5-10% carbs. The Fat Fast looks like this: 75-90% fat, 15-20% protein and 1-7% carbs.

3) The Fat Fast should not be continued longer than 5 days at a time. Keep calories between 900 to 1000 and fat between 75-90%. It is recommended to have 4 or 5 small meals, however, to be honest, I would sometimes divide my day into 3 meals, having a protein/high fat option with a veggie/high fat side dish for the main meal of the day.

4) Because of the high fat content of this fast, the calories add up extremely quickly and, therefore, 1000 calories is not a whole of food. should help with the calculations and make sure you don't go over the limits. Be warned, I lose weight at 1000 calories, but I put on weight at 1200 calories. Not everyone will have this problem, but my point is that higher calories and high fat can actually have the reverse effect, if one is not careful with the calorie limit.

5) Drink your water and take 1 tbsp Pysillium husks in water before bedtime if needed. Supplements are also available and easier to take. Unsweetened coconut is also great fiber.

6) Take your supplements and especially potassium. A potassium supplement is ultra-important to prevent muscle cramps and to keep the body from depleting. Potassium is contra-indicated for some blood pressure medications. Check with your doctor before supplementing.

7) It is more effective to enter a Fat Fast already in ketosis with appetite suppression in full swing.

8) Moderate exercise and/or weight training can speed fat loss.

9) Remember if the recipe is suitable for the Fat Fast, it most likely will also be suitable for Induction and other levels of low-carbing.

10) Scales are not a very accurate way to measure body fat. Calculate body fat percentage to get a better idea. Take body measurements as well.

It is common to experience headaches at first, however, if you feel bad on the Fat Fast, stop doing it and seek medical advice. Dr. Atkins does not recommend the Fat Fast other than for severe metabolic resistance. Some people have used it to break a prolonged stall, but I would not be the one to recommend it.

For those of you reading this, who feel concerned about eating all that fat, remember in the absence of lots of starchy carbohydrates, it's okay. Trans fats are never healthy. The Fat Fast is not a lifetime approach to eating, but simply a temporary or occasional tool to get metabolically resistant people on the road to burning fat, before switching to a more normal low-carb diet.

The Fat Fast is not recommended for a person who can get into ketosis easily and lose weight (even if slowly) on the Atkins diet, or any other diet for that matter, because that person could lose weight too rapidly and that can be dangerous.

Being Skinny - is that always healthier than being overweight or even obese?

The answer to this strange question is: No! How many people do you know or have you known who were skinny and dropped dead of a heart attack at a young age or had angina attacks at a young age? How many people do you know who made it to a ripe old age and most of their lives were never considered "skinny". I know plenty! I know a lady who made 100 and another who is in her late nineties! I know somebody who is quite round in the tummy (and elderly) and as we all know that is the dreaded place to have the weight, as apparently the fat accumulates around internal organs. His recent check-up showed him to be as healthy as a young man. His doctor was totally confused, because when he sent his blood work off, he warned this man that he did not expect good results at all. He tut tutted about the man's weight and figure, etc. LOL I like stories like this!

I have to wonder whether the biggest determiner of these things is genes. Our genes determine so much of what is good and bad, I suppose. Life is simply not fair sometimes. Some people have a much greater challenge in life than others. I like to think that we need to live our lives as best we can, having being dealt whatever. I was dealt some "whatevers" in my own life and some good stuff too, but it was finding God that made the difference in my life and enabled me to do a better job of overcoming the whatevers. They didn't all go away, but I was able to cope and more than cope - get through and rise above it all. I won't go into it here, obviously, however, most people have challenges at some point in life. My wonderful mother-in-law has a great saying. She says, "It's a great life, unless you weaken!"

I'm going off on a tangent, I'm afraid, so before I confuse or bore anyone, here is the article that got me thinking along these lines this morning: Being Skinny is No Guarantee of a Healthy Heart

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Men lose weight faster than women - true or false?

I don't even have to think about that question! My husband loses weight easily compared to me. It is like pulling teeth for me to lose weight. I am peri-menopausal and have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. My doctor also thinks my estrogen levels are too high for easy weight loss, but I'm resisting hormone replacement therapy. I feel well at least, and I don't want to mess with that simply to be thinner. Women have some of these particular issues that men don't have, plus not to mention the normal monthly water weight gains (and sometimes real weight due to cravings and overeating) due to PMSing, if you know what I mean.

A recent article by Lesley Beck in the Globe and Mail, details the fact that women often have to "pay attention to every nibble in order to see the scale budge".

This does not seem fair, but it is true that men have more muscle mass and, therefore, since muscle burns more calories than fat... - there you go, there is the answer most likely!

Apparently, women are predisposed to storing more fat because they have high estrogen levels. See, there is my problem. I have an imbalance going on right now with too much estrogen, making it very difficult for me to shed the 7 lbs I would like to. My husband could shed that amount in 3 weeks! It will take me months in comparison and only if I'm extremely diligent.

Leslie says that women are more likely to eat comfort foods than men in response to emotions. Hmm, that is not always true. I think men do that as well - however, they may tend towards eating more at a meal or eating bread rather than reaching for cookies or sweets.

Further gender differences are stated as being:

Men like to exercise more. They like to lose weight primarily for health reasons and for appearance secondly, whereas it is usually the other way around for women. Men usually have a better body image (they see themselves as looking great, despite being overweight and women see themselves as looking awful, when, in fact, oftentimes they are not that overweight.) and higher confidence in their ability to lose weight. That last one is a no-brainer. I think if I lost as well as a guy, I would have more confidence as well. Even although I struggle with weight loss, low-carbing helps me to remain stable in my weight. When I do the opposite, I do start to gain weight after a while.

Another thing is that men like to lift weights and women typically avoid that exercise for fear of looking too "butch". Not all women feel that way, but a great many do. I have my dinky little weights that I use from time to time, because I do worry about looking too big. My shoulders are broad and my arms are not that skinny, so I do think I could bulk up some if I'm not careful. I don't want that!

I am envious of my husband's ability to lose weight faster, but on the bright side, I have always been able to at least maintain my weight quite well, whereas my husband sees big jumps on the scale sometimes. A two-week vacation can see a 10 lb increase on the scale, whereas I might see no increase or only a couple of pounds. Everyone is different... I think one has to focus on one's own progress and forget about competing with a male spouse. Rather encourage each other's successes, big or small.


My sons, Daniel(24) and Jonathan(20), came up with this recipe!

3 cups half Hoods Carb Countdown Milk (or cream), half water
1 oz (1 square) unsweetened chocolate
8 Splenda packets
cinnamon sprinkle

In microwaveable bowl, combine Hoods Carb Countdown milk (or cream) and water; cover and heat 2 minutes. In blender, place half hot cream mixture and chocolate (this is important as too much liquid will spill out the top upon operation. Be careful!) Blend well until chocolate has melted and stir in the rest of the liquid. Pour into 3 coffee cups. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top, if desired.

Nutritional Analysis: 3 servings, 1 cup each

104.6 calories; 5.0 g protein; 7.7 g fat; 5.4 g carbs

Helpful Hint: Replace Splenda packets with 0 g carb sweetener and the carb count per cup drops to 2.8 grams.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Farmed Tilapia worse for you than a doughnut?

What they have discovered is that farmed Tilapia is high in Omega-6 and low in Omega-3. In our Western diets we have an imbalance of too much Omega-6 and not enough Omega-3. Omega-3 is very high in salmon and that is why people are advised to eat salmon or take salmon oil capsules. Omega-3 reduces inflammation and Omega-6 increases inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are antithrombotic and omega-6 fatty acids increase blood clotting. Omega-3 fatty acids are non-immunoreactive whereas Omega-6 fatty acids are immunoreactive.

Here is the shocker: Apparently, farmed Tilapia have more Omega-6 fatty acids than doughnuts!!

Therefore, if one is trying to reduce inflammation, Tilapia would not be a good choice of fish. However, wild Tilapia were not studied and as we all know wild fish are the better choice over farmed fish.

Warding off Type 2 Diabetes

"Findings from a study involving 59,000 African-American women revealed that drinking two or more sugary soda drinks a day - compared with less than one a month - boosted the risk of Type 2 diabetes 24 per cent."

In the Globe and Mail there was an article about various studies to determine what diet factors influence the risk of getting diabetes. Reducing fat does not necessarily reduce the risk, however, losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight does. Another study determined that people who have the highest levels of vitamin C, i.e. people who eat lots of vegetables and fruit seem to reduce their risk substantially.

A summary of the recommendations to prevent diabetes that were mentioned:

Avoid sugary drinks
Eat lots of vegetables and fruit
Maintain a healthy weight
Exercise regularly - get moving, and don't be classified "sedentary"
Eat low-glycemic foods (read low-carb!)
Eat whole grains - "Whole grains also supply magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate blood sugar by influencing the release and activity of insulin." This is one of the last rungs in low-carbing and, in my opinion, this is for most people a maintenance level food choice. Some people choose never to indulge, or only occasionally (such as myself), so, therefore, simply take a magnesium supplement.