December 12, 2000
In this issue:|
| ello and Happy Holidays from all of us at Low Carb Luxury!|
I hope the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and family obligations has not allowed any of you to lose your low-carb way! I know the pressures get much greater this time of year. Just remember, there are low-carb alternatives to almost every treat, snack and meal option. Take advantage of the huge storehouse of recipes at our site. And we always provide new ones in our newsletter that debut here first. Added to this are the wonderful cookbooks available now! (See our "Questions from Low Carbers" segment near the bottom of this newsletter.)
As many of you know, I broke my long plateau of 99-lbs lost and hit my 100 mark last week! I was overjoyed. I have since continued to lose. I am working on a lengthy look at plateau breaking options and will include it in an upcoming issue of the newsletter. In the meantime, I've written an article about my thoughts on losing 100 pounds. You can read it here.
Now, on with the newsletter!
Making the Case for Self-Worth
How do you feel about yourself? Does that seem an overly simple question? I hope you'll take a minute to stop and just seriously think about it.
Do you feel you're a good person? Do you feel attractive? Do you feel smart? Are you headed in the right direction in life? These are questions that really do need to be answered because they affect how you live your life each day and whether or not you look at that Krispy Kreme donut and say "what the hell..."
Your sense of self-worth is one of the most important factors in your success on this plan or any other life-changing endeavor you choose to take.
These words may seem obvious on the surface, but I say them for a good reason. After getting a succession of letters from visitors (usually women) who have deep self esteem issues — usually brought on by their weight problem and how society and/or family & spouses react to them — I got to thinking about my own past and how I always came back to that old "What difference does it make?" mindset.
I was riding in the car with my husband, coming back from a somewhat lengthy trip a few days ago... You know how when you're the passenger you can get lost staring out the window and thinking. There's no monitor or TV to distract you, no one calling, no pressing issue. You're just alone with your thoughts. During this trip, my mind wandered back through the last couple of decades of my life and how things have changed — and more importantly, why...
Some of you already know that I've been married before and that my previous marriage was fraught with stress and discord. (My ex was an often violent, always denigrating alcoholic.) I lived within that environment for 10 years and as I did, my addiction to sugar grew. It dampened hurt feelings, and worry, and fear — much like a sedative. My life was not about learning, progressing, developing. It was about day to day survival. It was during these years that my weight problem found root. I had extremely low self esteem (being told you're stupid, fat and worthless can do that to you...) and I didn't care what I was putting in my mouth. My whole life was wrapped up in the "What difference does it make?" mindset.
So years later when I finally found the strength (with the help of some amazing friends) to leave the situation while I still had my life, the old feeling that I didn't amount to much remained. Sure, I moved on with my life, and later I met the wonderful, caring and sensitive man I am now married to. But the old mindset just wouldn't budge. It wasn't until nearly a decade later that I'd brought my self-esteem up to a point where I felt I deserved to succeed. That maybe I am smart. And that maybe I can be pretty. This budding realization is what has allowed me to remain true to low-carbing for nearly 2 years now. To never once cheat in all that time. And why would I? I would be cheating myself and I finally knew I deserved better than that.
One hundred pounds-lost later, I see what a different person I am. Where I was weak, I am strong. Where I was timid, I am brave (even outgoing), but mostly — where I was just marking time on this earth, I am now growing. I like who I am today. I love it that I am creative. I love it that I have firm and deep beliefs — philosophically, and spiritually. I am constantly learning and never want to stop. I want to see the world and make my mark on it. In short, I am not afraid. That young woman of my past who spent so many hours curled up in a ball in a darkened room crying is only a memory now.
I deserve to be where I am now. And so do you. If you catch yourself beating yourself up — about anything — stop it! You *must* be your own best friend and your biggest fan. You must know you deserve success.
Someone recently said to me, "You're so lucky that you've been able to do this. I wish I could. But I'm just not strong enough..."
My response brought me back to a quote from Richard Bach: "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours."
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A Shoulder to Lean On...
Ever since my Wife committed to the low carbohydrate way of eating, my role as support person has become ever so much more important than it was even as her partner in life. When we were (unknowingly) eating whatever junk we found at the grocery store that looked interesting, I didn't pay much attention to my diet or hers. Even during the years that she tried a parade of low-fat and low-cal diets, it had seemed to me what many women did and was just a part of life — she was on a diet. So she ate some "Healthy Choice" and "Weight Watchers" meals and that was that.
It wasn't until after we wised up and she started down the road to better health, that I began to realize that I needed to be a bigger part in this WOL that my Wife had embarked upon.
Of course, the number one best way to be a support person is to join with that person in adopting their way of life. I personally began slowly, giving up sugar first, later moving to full-fledged low-carbing. I talked to my Wife about the various plans, we listened to the various audio tapes together, we read articles, and did research. We always, always support each other.
Maybe you're a support person that hasn't adopted this WOL — maybe because you don't need to lose weight and feel it's not for you. Or maybe you don't think you can give up your potatoes, rice and donuts. Whatever decision you make for yourself, remember that you can still be supportive of your spouse or partner.
One of the best tips, if you're not following the plan yourself, is to minimize the "inappropriate" foods that you consume in front of the other person. Bringing home bags of Oreos and french fries would be poor judgement and even a little cruel. Don't be critical of the diet, even if you may have doubts yourself. The low-fat dogma in this country can be very persuasive, but if the other person believes in his or her choice to low carb, you should encourage that endeavor. They've made up their own mind and you should respect that.
If you are the preparer of foods at your house, be mindful of the ingredients that go into your recipes. If you are not on the plan, you can still find many recipes on the internet (and of course at Low Carb Luxury!) to make great dishes right along with dishes you might make for your own way of eating. And if you are on this WOL, helping prepare these recipes for both of you goes a long way toward being supportive, and *showing* that support.
Another important aspect of being a support person is not just related to a "diet". You need to be there for that person in other ways, in other pursuits, and in life generally. Listen when they want to talk. Help to make eating of less import in both of your lives. To be sure, nature has programmed us to put a great value on food (as well it should as a part of our self preservation,) but life is full of many other wonderful and joyful things. Explore them together. Make this a time of great opportunities. As the old saying goes, "Eat to live; don't live to eat..."
I've found over the past year that I enjoy being a support person. It's nice to be a shoulder for somebody else to lean on. It is very rewarding and makes one proud. To have been able to share in my Wife's 100-pound weight loss was a unique and fulfilling experience. I can't recommend the job highly enough...
This is our third and final series in holiday recipes. Our November 17th issue featured Christmas Cookies. Our last (November 29th) issue offered up rich, decadent sauces and gravies for your holiday meals. This time we want to offer you some rich, dense, holiday-flavored quick breads! Served at parties or with a meal, these slice well, present well, and are heavenly with fresh creamy butter!
Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread
Eggnog Quick Bread
And by special request, here's a recipe for making great sweet holiday nuts for giving and snacking!
Health News recently released a list of drugs that have been pulled from the market in the last few years. As I eyed the list, it occurred to me that most of these drugs are for ailments that can be attributed directly to sugar consumption and high-carb eating as a whole. They are medications for the treatment of heartburn, hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes — each with deadly side effects.
There is a conspiracy that seems to exist between the sugar industry, the drug companies, and the medical profession. The sugar industry keeps the drug companies in huge profits by afflicting harm to us and forcing us to buy new drugs to combat our symptoms. The drug companies keep the sugar industry alive by promoting a diet that includes sugar and carbohydrates. As for the medical profession, I actually see them as more of a pawn than a player. The drug companies have the huge research facilities whose findings are printed in medical journals and medical text books. The doctors only espouse what they have been taught, with the exception of those few special doctors that can think "outside the box".
The drug companies continue to promote the notion that the high-carb, low-fat diet is the only way to live healthy — while simutaneously producing the drugs that combat the deadly side effects that such a diet induces.
This is the classic "playing both sides against the middle" ploy. We are herded into their money-making machine like lambs to the slaughter.
Now, after the FDA has been forced to act on thousands of cases of deadly side effects, many of these same drugs have had to be pulled from the market. No doubt, they will simply be replaced with new ones at once, so that the flow of cash never need stop.
Who are you going to trust more than your own doctor? An extremist view would be to see them almost as pre-programmed assassins, with no real knowledge of their actions. If someone with the compassion and intelligence of doctors can be manipulated into doing you harm, who can you trust?
You can trust those who have little to gain in what they tell you. While the production of low-carb products has become a profitable undertaking, those who did the initial research and revealed the truth were faced with ridicule and skepticism. They were charged with inventing a "fad diet", having their reputations attacked and research discounted by those who profit most from keeping it hidden. It is always wise to give paramount importance to the advise of those whose only profit is your well-being.
The thing about conspiracy is that it works best when it is between large organizations — as opposed to a few individuals. This seems to fly in the face of logic, but it is true. The only thing that keeps a conspiracy alive is it's unbelievability. It would be easy to believe that six men collaborated to steal your life savings through a scheme devised under the guise of kindness, right? It happens all the time. We hear about it... we believe it. What we can't fathom is that large corporations and organizations could conspire against you because there are so many people involved. The fact that you can't quite wrap your mind around the idea is exactly why it is possible.
We are all living under the "lone gunman" theory that our problem is heartburn, or diabetes, or high blood pressure — that we unfortunately developed. We don't see the sugar industry in the book depository, or the drug companies up on the grassy knoll.
Something You May Not Have Thought Of...
It has always been tradition in my family to have a dense, sweet banana bread during the holidays, but I am unsure of whether or not I can find a way to make one low-carb. I searched the internet for such a recipe and I found two. One is a standard quick bread (cake like) that is only given the name banana because it has banana extract as its only flavoring. I tried this and it's not bad, but not banana like, either. The other I found actually uses real bananas mashed up (it uses 2 mashed bananas - 1 cup) and adds about 50 grams of high glycemic carbs to the recipe, so the end result is too "carby" for me. Is there -any- chance you have an alternative?
Yes! I do have a recipe that makes a great compromise and results in a very moist banana-rich bread that's much lower in carbs. This loaf makes great gifts too! The answer is something many low-carbers may not have considered as a cooking ingredient. Baby Food! For example, in the recipe below, a 2.5 oz jar of Gerber's Banana baby food is 17 grams of carbohydrates and adds richness and dimension to this recipe. The addition of the sour cream to round it out and extra banana boost from the banana extract finishes it off. Use only baby food brands that do not use fillers and sugars. Gerber does not. Their banana baby food contains only bananas, citric acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Here's the recipe:
Banana Sour Cream Bread
Remember, using the lower carb baby foods, or even those with a somewhat higher count, but that can be spread over a high volume recipe, can offer a low-carb cook some new options in cooking and baking. One thing I discovered recently is that using a 4 oz jar of the Gerber Creamed Corn nets 14 grams of carbs, but when used in a low-carb almond flour recipe for cornbread, offers authentic taste for a very small carb count when spread over the recipe.
Cakes and other desserts can also benefit from other flavors. For instance, the 2.5 oz jar of Gerber Applesauce is only 8 grams (after fiber), and the Gerber Pears Baby Food is also 8 grams. These pack a great taste punch in baking and don't add sugars or thickeners to the finished product.
And the next question —
I want to order a few last minute cookbooks for a good friend who is just learning the low carb way of life. I think it will be a great Christmas surprise, but when I started looking through all the available choices, I realized there are too many to know which are best!! Can you recommend a handful that have been the most helpful to you?
Sure. You're right. Some are daunting, and others are more low-sugar than low-carb. Let me give you the favorites in *my* kitchen that I refer to week after week:
Lauri's Low-Carb Cookbook by Lauri Ann Randolph
(one of the most generally well-rounded available!)
The Low-Carb Cookbook by Fran McCullough
(Fran's dishes are often elegant, but taste and creativity reign here!)
Back to Protein: The Low Carb/No Carb Meat Cookbook by Barbara Hartsock Doyen
(The best options for main dish meats!)
Fabulous & Flourless by Mary Wachtel Mauksch
(These are not sugarfree, but are flour-free, so for most recipes I just substitute Splenda (or a mix of sweeteners) and I get great results. So creative and versatile!!)
These, along with some of my out-of-print classics are my best tools in the kitchen. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading! Keep your suggestions and questions
coming in — we always want to hear from you! Remember, we
can't address every request and query, but the ones we hear
about the most or offer the greater potential to help others
will surely make their way here.|
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