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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why Read the Low-Carb Diet Book Before Starting?

Some people when they want to do low-carbing, they wing it, without reading any books. That's a problem because so many myths abound. For instance, some people think we only eat meat. Others think we have some veggies, but are never allowed fruit or grains. Worse yet, some people think all we eat is bacon, eggs, cheese, steak and more steak! However, when we are eating a balanced low-carb diet, we're eating adequate protein for our particular body (not too much otherwise it converts back into glucose anyway through a process called gluconeogenesis), and plenty of salads and vegetables. In fact, most low-carbers eat more vegetables than non low-carbers, because that is where the majority of our carbs come from or should come from. One learns to really relish and love them and I mean really love them! Many people become adventurous and try all sorts of different veggies for the very first time.

In addition, as we progress past the first two weeks of induction, most of us can climb the carb ladder gradually to about 40 to 60 grams a day and still lose (If I'm doing intermittent fasting, I don't need to count carbs and have at least 60 grams a day - I have done some posts on that way of eating which combines really favorably with low-carb eating.). Fruit and grains do get added back in, but not in great quantities as the carbs quickly add up. Desserts and treats, nice as they are, should be occasional or kept only for the weekends - something to look forward to, but not to have on a daily basis while actively trying to lose weight. They can be kept in the freezer for an emergency if one needs something. However, making a quick dessert in the microwave like a 3-min chocolate cake with or without frosting can hit the spot.

Yogurt is something I really enjoy and I like to add a few frozen blueberries as they offer so much in anti-oxidants and other nutrients. 1 cup of plain yogurt is 4 grams of carbs. Do a search on yogurt on my blog and you will see why.

The very best thing to do before starting a low-carb diet is to read the book or books and find one that you like and stick with it. Read the book periodically to make sure you're doing it correctly. Keep a daily food journal with your weight plugged in at least weekly for motivation. Do your diet quietly and don't tell too many people as many will try to dissuade you or derail you for various reasons. Lose weight quietly and your success will speak for itself. When they ask and really want to know the truth, then you can share your secret. :-)

It's a healthy way to live for many of us who suffer from hyperinsulinism (body pours out too much insulin upon eating carbohydrates), as the diet does an end run on insulin output very effectively and thus curbs hunger and reduces fat storage.

All the best and happy low-carbing!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Very yummy! Your family and friends will love these.

Snack Crackers (1 g carb ea.),
OR my Crisp Nutty Crackers - a Spin-off of the beloved Almond Thins (0.4 g carb ea.)
(see recipes to the right)
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts or slivered almonds (300 mL)
1/2 cup butter, melted (unsalted if crackers are salted) (125 mL)
1 tbsp whipping cream (15 mL)
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular, (125 mL) OR
Half and half Splenda packet equiv. (I add a couple extra) and powdered erythritol (nice!)
1 cup sugarless chocolate chips, (250 mL)
OR from 70% Lindt chocolate bar

Line a greased cookie sheet with crackers. Sprinkle walnuts or almonds over crackers.

In blender, combine cooled, melted butter, whipping cream, SPLENDA® Granular and erythritol, in that order; blend. Pour over crackers.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven 8 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Place in oven another 2 minutes. Gently, draw tines of fork through molten chocolate in order to spread it (this is the “glue” for the walnuts on the crackers, so do it carefully, letting a bit of molten chocolate touch each walnut or almond).

It’s difficult to figure out the exact number of carbs due to all the variables, however, they will be between 2 and 3 g carbs each.

Pass the Butter ... Please.

My friend, Jan Ballas, sent this to me in an email. Some people still think that butter is bad for one and that margarine is better. For years and years we ate tons of margarine, sadly - usually the big bucket of Country Crock Margarine as we couldn't quite afford Becel, or put it this way, my husband prefers a good deal. Ian's dad, a doctor, on one of his visits from South Africa told us to switch back to butter, because margarine is unhealthy. We switched and a little while later that sentiment became mainstream. However, there are still the die hard margarine eaters out there.

Pass The Butter .. Please.

This is interesting . .. .

Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys.. When it killed
the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted
a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with
this product to get their money back..
It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow
coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter.. How do you like
it? They have come out with some clever new flavorings..

DO YOU KNOW.. The difference between margarine and butter?

Read on to the end...gets very interesting!

Both have the same amount of calories.

Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams; compared to 5
grams for margarine.

Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over
eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical

Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other

Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few and only
because they are added!

Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavours
of other foods.

Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for
less than 100 years .

And now, for Margarine..

Very High in Trans fatty acids.

Triples risk of coronary heart disease .

Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and
lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)

Increases the risk of cancers up to five times..

Lowers quality of breast milk.

Decreases immune response.

Decreases insulin response.

And here's the most disturbing fact..... HERE IS THE PART THAT IS

Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC... and shares 27
ingredients with PAINT

These facts alone were enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and
anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing
the molecular structure of the substance).

You can try this yourself:

Purchase a tub of margarine and leave it open in your garage or shaded
area. Within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things:

* no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should
tell you something)

* it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional
value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will
not a find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic . Would you
melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?

Share This With Your Friends.....(If you want to butter them up')!

Chinese Proverb: When someone shares something of value with you and you
benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others.


A reader debunked some of this email here:

Monday, March 22, 2010

How to Make Processed Sausages Less Salty

I can't stand really salty-tasting sausages, besides the fact that I often will put on undesired water weight. High sodium foods are not a good idea for anyone who has high blood pressure. Here is a way that fixes that.

I discovered by boiling the sausages and pouring off the water and boiling in new water if necessary, really reduces the saltiness in processed sausages, which are notoriously high in sodium. It's a matter of osmosis. The salt moves to the less salty medium, but as soon as an equilibrium is reached, no more salt will leave the sausages and go into the water. Then throw off the water and add new water to boil them again.

After that procedure, you can fry your sausages or use them in casseroles, stews, etc. as you normally would.

Simple solution!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Hmmm, yummy chewy squares! Sorry, I don't have a photo for this one but it looks very similar to the post with Maple Walnut Bars.

2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted (125 mL)
1 tsp butterscotch, OR maple, OR vanilla extract (5 mL)
1 cup desiccated coconut, (250 mL)
1 cup SPLENDA® Granular (250 mL), OR
1/2 cup powdered erythritol and 1/2 cup Splenda (used in analysis)
1/2 cup Low-Carb Bake Mix (see recipe above) (125 mL)
1/2 cup sugarless chocolate chips (125 mL), OR
Lindt bar (70% cocoa), coarsely chopped
1/4 cup snipped raisins, snipped in half (50 mL)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, OR pecans (50 mL)
1/2 tsp baking powder (2 mL)
1/8 tsp salt (0.5 mL)

In small bowl, beat eggs. Stir in slightly cooled butter, vanilla and maple extracts. In larger bowl, combine coconut, SPLENDA® Granular, Low-Carb Bake Mix, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped walnuts or pecans baking powder and salt. Spread evenly in 8-inch (20 cm) square glass baking dish. Bake in oven at 350°F (180°C) 20 to 25 minutes, or until set and browned at the edges.

Nutritional Analysis:Yield: 25 squares: 106.5 calories; 2.1 g protein; 8.7 g fat; 2.6 g carbs


I love this easy recipe! I actually didn’t have maple extract, so used butterscotch extract with the walnut bars. If any of you have some leftover Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix, this fits the bill nicely. I also use leftover bake mixes for breading meat or veggies such as eggplant and instead of bread crumbs in meat loaves and hamburgers. Usually I just keep using up my leftover bake mixes and adding to them as required. They keep for an age in the freezer.

2 eggs
1/2 cup light-tasting olive oil
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Granular
1/4 cup powdered erythritol
1 tsp maple, OR butterscotch extract
3/4 cup Splendid Low-carb Bake Mix (see recipes)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ to ½ tsp salt
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
¾ cup sugarless chocolate chips, OR use 70% Lindt bar, chopped

In food processor, process eggs well. Add olive oil, SPLENDA® Granular, powdered erythritol and maple or butterscotch extract; process. Next add Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix, baking powder and salt; process. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. Spread out in greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Bake at 350°F for 18 to 25 minutes.

Helpful Hints: 1/3 cup raisins snipped in half may be used instead of chocolate chips or use a combination. One could potentially use chopped pecans for a variation: Butter Pecan Bars (use butterscotch extract). The amount of olive oil is necessary, believe it or not, for more moist bars.

Yield:  24 bars
1 serving
120.0 calories
3.3 g protein
10.2 g fat
1.6 g carbs

This tasty bake mix guarantees a low-carb result in your baking. Regular sugar and white flour recipes will have carbs reduced by about 75% to 85% or more, if Low-Carb Bake Mix is substituted for white flour and SPLENDA® Granular is used to substitute for sugar and high-carb dairy is changed to low-carb, etc.

1 2/3 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. Store in a closed container at room temperature. Shake container to ensure ingredients are combined well.

1/3 cup (75 mL) per serving
162.9 calories
14.3 g protein
10.3 g fat
3.3 g carbs

To use this bake mix: 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 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, most of the time, it is 1/4 cup (50 mL) wet ingredients that will need to be omitted from your regular recipe.

Helpful Hints: *If the application for this bake mix is for savory baking, it is possible to replace vanilla whey protein powder with natural whey protein powder, if desired.

Ground hazelnuts or walnuts may be used instead. This bake mix is useful for piecrusts, muffins, loaves, many cakes, cookies and squares, some cooking applications, and it guarantees lower carbs as well.


I made my Aunty Marie's Blueberry Muffins from Splendid Low-Carbing for Life, Volume 1. First I made them with my bake mix and next I made them with half my bake mix and half Carbalose flour (from Both muffins were delicious. The Carbalose ones rose a little higher (maybe because I used liners for them?) and were lighter in color and slightly less dense. I'm very pleased with both of them, however, my taste testers were slightly in favor of the Carbalose mix which mimics regular baking quite well. I like the idea of the extra fiber in the Carbalose flour. I like the idea that the muffins are still quite low in sodium, so no water weight blues. Use unsalted butter with the Carbalose version, although I forgot and used salted butter and it was fine (I did add a couple of Splenda packets extra though to make it sweeter because I used the salted butter - saltiness cuts sweetness, especially with Splenda).

So, conclusion: Sub half or less (depending on how sensitive you are to the taste of Carbalose flour and Carbquik) Carbalose flour or Carbquik (have not tried this though) in my recipes calling for another bake mix (have tested with Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix and Vital Oat Ultimate Bake Mix). If you have a regular recipe using white flour - again, substitute 1/2 Carbalose flour and 1/2 Low-Carb Bake Mix of choice.

Taste just like high carb muffins. I added a couple of Splenda packets extra for even sweeter muffins, but it is not necessary. So I did a comparison - one batch with Vital Oat Ultimate Bake Mix (8.2 g carbs) and one batch with half Vital Oat Ultimate Bake Mix and Carbalose flour (5.5 g carbs). Notice the carbs were reduced nicely per muffin.

1/4 cup butter (salted or unsalted), softened (50 mL)
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream (250 mL)
1/3 cup powdered erythritol (75 mL)
1/3 cup SPLENDA® Granular (75 mL)
OR 2/3 cup SPLENDA® Granular (150 mL)
2 tbsp Da Vinci® Sugar Free (25 mL)
Orange, OR Vanilla Syrup (OR vanilla, Splenda packet and water)
2 tsp grated lemon peel (10 mL)
1 3/4 cups (half Vital Oat Ultimate Bake Mix and Carbalose flour) (425 mL)
OR all Vital Oat Ultimate Bake Mix
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1/2 tsp baking powder (2 mL)
1 cup frozen blueberries (250 mL)
Optional Topping:
1 tbsp SPLENDA® Granular, (15 mL)
1/2 tsp lemon peel (2 mL)

In food processor with sharp blade or in bowl with electric mixer, process butter and eggs. Add sour cream, 2/3 cup (150 mL) SPLENDA® Granular (or erythritol-Splenda combo), Da Vinci® Sugar Free Orange or Vanilla Syrup and 2 tsp (10 mL) lemon peel; process.

In medium bowl, combine Vital Oat Ultimate Bake Mix, baking soda and baking powder. Stir in sour cream mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill 12 greased muffin cups 2/3 full or fill paper liners sprayed with Pam.

In small bowl, stir together SPLENDA® Granular and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) lemon peel if using the optional topping. Sprinkle tops of muffins with this mixture. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan.

Nutritional Analysis: Yield: 12 muffins, 1 muffin: 145.3 calories; 6.3 g protein; 10.7 g fat; 5.5 g carbs

Variation: Cranberry-Pecan Muffins: Use 1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen cranberries (chopped finely in food processor) and 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped pecans. Increase SPLENDA® Granular to 3/4 cup (175 mL).

Friday, March 19, 2010


(Photograph, courtesy of Linda Sue, from Linda's Low-Carb Recipes and Menus)

How to make Carbalose flour and Carbquik have less of an aftertaste:

That headline seems a little harsh, but many people have complained that they detect a nasty, unacceptable taste in those products. Many boycott the products as a result. That is a pity as the products are actually very innovative and have some really wonderful uses. I recently discovered that by combining one of those flours half and half with my Splendid Low-Carb Bake Mix, a wonderful thing happens - that strange taste seems to diminish or disappear completely depending on how sensitive you are to the aftertaste (I tasted nothing bad at all)! Together the two make a fascinating new low-carb bake mix, not too unlike using real flour. Try it and see. You can order these wonderful products by Tova from You will be taking your low-carb experience up to a new level, I think. What is more the sodium content of these flours is what has put many people off as well. It's never fun to see a 2-lb water weight gain on the mean old scale in the morning. Now the sodium content will be cut by half and then it is cut further by the number of servings - not too bad at this point and no undue water weight should pile on. I have yet to try it in several other recipes but I did make the Cheddar Bay Biscuits on Linda Sue's fabulous website. She had a tweaked version of what apparently appeared on the Carbquik box and I followed it and substituted half the Carbquik with my Splendid Low-Carb Bake mix and half with Carbalose flour (probably could have used Carbquik but I didn't have any). I also added 2 tsp of baking powder, because the Carbquik is like a biscuit mix with the shortening and baking powder included. I used unsalted butter. They turned out super!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Beat Diabetes with Low-Carbing!

Bacon Rules!! Seriously, I found this blog that is being written by an ex-vegan of all people called "Bacon is a Super Food", with the emphasis on is. LOL Amusing! She is a good writer. Wish I was - I am so booooring and stuffy, it's just not funny! I know it and I'm sorry, but I really have a lot to learn about writing. I'm more of a practical person that likes to come up with innovative recipes - I like food chemistry even more than actual cooking. I like to invent new recipes, especially dessert-type recipes to satisfy my ridiculous sweet tooth! Does that sound weird?

Bacon Nachos (the photo!) - Melt cheese over crisp fried bacon with salsa, savory taco-seasoned ground beef, guacamole, lettuce, and whatever else comes to mind.

I was on an excellent blog and found this comment under one of the posts and thought I'd like to share it. It made an impression on me and I bet it will on you too. It's good to remind ourselves from time to time that we are on the right track nutrition-wise.

"I was eating two carb meals ever Saturday to satisfy my cravings. After about a month I realized I felt crummy ever Sunday morning. I felt weak, I had my exercise pains back on Sunday and I kina felt like I had the flu. Yes I woke up.

I eat about 40-60 grams of carbs a day spread out evenly over 6 meals. I was once Insulin dependent and on an Insulin pump using 150-200 units a day, still not able to control my blood sugars. Today I use no Insulin and no medications at all. My blood sugars are always normal. I don’t even take aspirin because I feel so good. I am 54 and I feel like I am 35.

Low carb is the way for me now. Beat Diabetes with a low carb lifestyle!"

Wow, what a short and sweet, powerful testimonial for anyone with diabetes reading this!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

5 Ways to Ensure That Your Pills Don't Become Your Ills Check this great site for interactions with any drug you are taking. You should always check for possible interactions before taking something else.

5 Ways to Ensure That Your Pills Don’t Become Your Ills
It’s ironic that something that saves lives is also responsible for taking lives. Yes, drugs are a double-edged sword that could cut you badly if you’re not careful. They’re potent weapons that fight disease, but when you abuse them or are careless in the way you use them, they turn against you and your health. So whether you handle medicines on a regular basis or come into contact with them only occasionally, it’s imperative that you use them responsibly. And to that end, here are a few ways to ensure that your pills don’t become your ills:

• Don’t use them without a prescription: There’s no going around this cardinal rule when it comes to drugs – don’t use them without a prescription. Yes, you can buy OTC drugs without a prescription, but it’s best you discuss the drugs you’re buying with your doctor so that they don’t cause adverse reactions and side effects, especially if you’re on prescription drugs as well.
• Follow your prescription strictly: Stick to your doctor’s instructions on your prescription – take your medicines on time and when you should (before or after meals), refill your prescription when necessary, and call and find out what you need to do when you forget a dose.
• Take them only for as long as necessary: You’re not supposed to take medication beyond the time limit of your prescription. If you still don’t feel better, you must see your doctor and get another prescription to continue your medication. Also, when it comes to certain drugs like antibiotics, you must remember to continue with the full dosage even though you feel better. When you stop taking them the moment you’re able to get out bed, you risk catching an infection again.
• Know what drugs you’re taking: You must know the names of the medication you take regularly and be able to inform health care professionals in the event of an accident or other mishap that requires you to visit a hospital. This way, you prevent adverse reactions to drugs you are allergic to and ensure that there are no double dosages. Also, if you’re taking blood thinners for your heart, you need to inform your doctor in case you require a surgery.
• Be aware of adverse reactions: When you mix certain drugs with alcohol and certain others with certain foods, you may suffer adverse reactions. Also, some drugs make you somnolent, so you need to rest after you take them and avoid driving and other work that requires you to focus. Talk about possible side effects with your health care provider before you fill out your prescription.
If you’re ever unsure about the drugs you’re taking or have any questions, don’t hesitate to call your doctor and have them clarified.

This guest post is contributed by Ashley M. Jones, who writes on the topic of pharmacist technician certification. She welcomes your comments at her email id: