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The Low Carb 
Luxury Newsletter: Volume II / Number 4: February 24 2001
Issue Date:
February 24, 2001

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In this issue:
  1. Welcome and Overview
  2. Lora's Column"One Golden Shot"
  3. Richard's Corner"A Taste of the Orient! Part II"
  4. Recipes!"Members' Favorite Recipes! Part II"
  5. Stuart's "Rant""Personal Reflection"
  6. Letters"So, what's 'Heart-Healthy'?"
Hi All! It's been an interesting last two weeks since our last newsletter.
I got a little reminder of what it had been like when I wasn't very active. A foot injury managed to keep me in the slow lane again and I hadn't realized how tied I now am to being always on-the-go. These little reminders come to us for a reason, I expect. Now I am more anxious than ever for Spring to get here. I want more sunlight. I want more warmth. I want to get out and HAVE FUN!

But for now... on with the newsletter!

     "One Golden Shot"
(or "Ode to a Fudge Cake"...)

A frequent topic in letters we receive at Low Carb Luxury deals in some form or another with results from multiple attempts at low-carbing. A typical letter goes something like this one I received this week:

"About ten years ago, after the birth of my first son, I went on the Atkins Diet for the first time. It was really pretty easy and I dropped the weight quickly and felt very good. Unfortunately, I went back to my old ways and gained it back. By then the thing was "low fat" and friends warned me off of Atkins so I tried it "their way" and lost a few pounds, but felt terrible and starved. I finally ended up quitting dieting altogether as I was crabby, weak, and HUNGRY all the time.

So, here I am ten years later, now needing to lose 50 pounds instead of the 15-20 I wanted to lose in the first place. I am back to Atkins and once again a believer, but this time around, I am not getting the results I did before. The weight is coming off MUCH more slowly and I find I need to stay at a lower carb level to stay in ketosis than I did the first time around. What am I doing wrong this time?"

The answer is that this writer is probably not doing ANYTHING wrong. She simply missed her "one golden shot". What "Golden Shot", you ask?

It's a phenomenon we hear about over, and over again. You can count on it being a part of at least one letter we get every day, so I can assure you it's not an aberration.

For whatever reason — and there are many theories — we all (especially females) seem to have this One Golden Shot. The first time we ever embark on a low-carb eating plan if we do it RIGHT and if we don't cheat, we get some really amazing results without appreciable sacrifice or difficulty. I often see people who lose quickly and effortlessly while taking in around 35-55 grams of carbs per day and staying in ketosis. But should you falter and leave the diet for an appreciable amount of time — especially long enough to gain all or much of the weight back — the next time around takes more effort, weight loss is slower, and it takes more carb restriction to get results.

Indeed, once an individual has played this hand multiple times, it can take great effort to get the desired results.

I can attest to this as I am a many-time diet failure. My "Golden Shot" was in the 70's. In a short amount of time I lost 68 pounds and felt terrific. There were no low-carb "specialty" foods, and no access to special ingredients to make my own. There was no internet support, and indeed I was living in a tenuous situation, so stress was high. But I still managed to do well and to do so with little effort. Then, one hot fudge cake in a Big Boy Restaurant with a friend undid all that. I'd mentioned to the waitress that I had not had a piece of bread, a bowl of cereal, a glass of milk, or a slice of cake in an entire year. She told me I'd surely EARNED a piece of that fudge cake for all my hard work. And that was that. I never managed to scramble back on the low-carb wagon. At least not for years.

The next time I tried it, I had more difficulty and I could not get those rapid results. The effort it took to get to that ketosis-comfort-zone was considerably more. And like the writers of my letters, I was being warned against the dangers of Atkins. So I'd abandoned it again. Years of yo-yo dieting ensued and each time strengthened my body's resolve to put up one hell of a fight against losing an ounce.

Two years ago I made the decision — this was it. I HAD to succeed this time, or I was going to have surgery instead. I was scared to death of the idea of a gastric bypass, but I could not — and WOULD NOT — continue to live my life as a fat girl. I was sick and getting sicker. I knew I would not be living a long life and every bite of sugar robbed me of another day. And so I began.

What a struggle. This time around was the hardest. My body fought me tooth and nail. I had to get down to as little as 5 grams of carbs a day in the beginning to lose. I learned what stalled me and what my triggers were. The internet was a Godsend. I read everything I could get my hands on. I searched out reports and studies that hadn't made the mainstream dogmatic press. I started a library that now fills many shelves in my office.

In short, this time I had to give this endeavor my heart and soul. My "easy path" was long since spent. I can now look back and know I am a success. I can say it with pride, with joy, and with a knowledge that my life has been given back to me. But I also am acutely aware that this was probably my last stand. Success was my only option — look at what the alternative would have been. One hundred and six pounds later, I am blessed to be able to write to others, help where I can, and offer a bit of advice learned the hard way.

If you are low-carbing for the first time, please understand that this is YOUR "Golden Shot". The others will be harder fought. If you feel you are struggling now, it's because (and pardon my bluntness) you don't know what struggling is. Run with this opportunity — don't squander it. And don't look back.

If, on the other hand, you're one of the millions relating to this story with a "been there, done that" feeling, remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and success is still waiting for you. There are just more curves in the road on the way. Things that may have caused no problems your first time around may prove problematic now. For us second (third, forth) timers, we probably have to avoid all trans fats (no margarine, no shortening.) We can be triggered easily by a few drops of high fructose corn syrup, or sodas containing aspartame. We have a greater need for supplements that go beyond a good multivitamin. For us, CoEnzyme Q-10, L-Carnitine, Chromium, Taurine, Magnesium, and more may be what makes all the difference. We must be that much more religious about drinking our water every day.

We all started out with the dream we could succeed. Faltering doesn't mean we need to wake up from that dream. In the words of Henry David Thoreau:
"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put foundations under them."


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A Taste of the Orient — Part II

Chinese Cooking Last week I began a series of Oriental Cuisine recipes. I promised to follow up if I got a good response. Well, I got a great response. Wow. I blush a little at compliments and thanks for all of yours. I'm glad so many readers had fun cooking up my Chinese treats. So, here are four more of our family favorites - low carb style, of course!

Chinese Egg Drop Soup

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 scallions
  • 6 cups chicken stock, fresh or canned
  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry
  • 1 Tablespoon Chinese light or Japanese soy sauce
  • Salt to taste (use less if not using low-sodium broth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Splenda

Beat eggs and stir in water. Set aside. Mince scallions and set aside. Bring chicken stock to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir in sherry, soy sauce, and salt. Pour eggs in slowly, a little at a time, so that soup continues to boil at all times. Keep stirring constantly, until eggs separate into shreds. A wire whisk works well for this. Remove from heat and stir in Splenda. Garnish with minced scallions.

Any of the following ingredients may be added if desired: soaked dried black mushrooms, bamboo shoots, lean pork, sesame oil, black pepper, shredded chicken, or 2 more teaspoons dry sherry.

5.0 grams of carbs in entire recipe. If serving 8 — 0.6 grams per serving.


Chinese Beef and Broccoli

  • 3/4 pound flank steak
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 package frozen broccoli, defrosted
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 thin slice of fresh ginger (one inch diameter), finely minced
  • 2 Tablespoon peanut oil
  • salt to taste

Slice the state against the grain into very thin slices. Combine the soy sauce, sherry, and cornstarch and pour this mixture over the steak. Marinate the meat for 15 minutes.

While the meat is marinating, slice the broccoli at a diagonal and mince garlic and ginger. Heat a wok or large frying pan for 30 seconds, add oil, wait about 20 seconds, and add minced garlic, and ginger root. Fry over high heat, stirring constantly for about 20 seconds more, then add the beef. Stir fry, stirring constantly, for about one minute. Add broccoli and stir fry for another four to six minutes, until the broccoli is cooked but still crisp and dark green. Serve hot.

18.4 grams of carbs in entire recipe.


Chinese Barbecue Spareribs

  • One 2 lb. rack of spare ribs
  • 2 Tablespoons Chinese dark or Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons very dry sherry
  • 2 Tablespoons Keto orange marmalade
  • 2 Tablespoons Keto strawberry jam
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 slices fresh ginger (one inch diameter), minced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • a few drops of red food coloring (optional, but nice)

If possible, try to obtain small spare ribs. Do not separate them; leave them as a rack; but have the butcher crack the bones. Combine remaining ingredients, mix well, and marinate the spare ribs in this mixture. For convenience, use a large plastic bag and turn the entire bag over to turn the spare ribs in the marinade. Place a plate underneath the plastic bag in case any of the liquid leaks. Marinate the ribs at least 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Separate ribs, place in shallow roasting pan and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting frequently with any remaining marinade. The spare ribs should now be browned; if not, turn oven up to 475°F degrees for 5 or 10 minutes.

Makes 6 appetizer-size servings.   11 grams of carbs in entire recipe.


Chinese Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 12 large, dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound very lean ground pork
  • 4 teaspoons Chinese dark or Japanese soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons very dry sherry
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese sesame oil

Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 15 to 30 minutes. Combine ground pork with soy sauce, sherry, salt, pepper, and Chinese sesame oil and mix thoroughly. After mushrooms are softened, remove stems. Divide pork into 12 equal parts. Stuff the mushroom caps with the pork mixture, mounding the tops. Arrange the stuffed mushrooms on a heatproof plate. Place on a steaming rack and steam for 15 minutes. Serve the stuffed mushrooms with Chinese mustard and/or soy sauce.

14.3 g of carbs in entire recipe.   Makes 12 mushrooms, each mushroom containing 1.2 grams of carbs.


As we mentioned last time, try serving Lora's Chinese Fried "Rice" with these!


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Last time, we brought you some favorite oft-cooked dishes of our Product Review team. Their recipes were a hit, so we're continuing this issue with more members; more recipes! Enjoy!

Poppy's Maple-Glazed Chicken Wings

  • 2-3 pounds whole chicken wings
  • 1 cup Keto Splenda Sweetened Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Cut chicken wings into three sections; discard wing tip sections. In a large resealable plastic bag combine remaining ingredients. Reserve 1 cup for basting and refrigerate. Add chicken to remaining marinade, turn to coat well. Seal bag, refrigerate for 4 hours, turning occasionally. Drain and discard marinade.

Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 12-16 minutes, turning as needed. Brush with reserved marinade. Grill uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until juices run clear, basting and turning several times. The wings may be baked in a 375°F oven for 30-40 minutes or until juices run clear, instead of grilling if you prefer

Serves 8 — 2 carbs per serving.

NOTE: You can use ANY Splenda sweetened Maple Syrup, but we found the Keto brand works best, tastes best, and coats best.

Joe's Saltimbocca

  • 2 lbs. veal cutlets, 1/4" thick
  • 8 slices proscuitto or boiled ham
  • 8 fresh or 1/8 tsp dried sage leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine

Trim and flatten cutlets between a few layers of waxed paper or freezer paper (shiny side to meat) with a wooden mallet or rolling pin until 1/8" thick. Cover each cutlet with a slice of proscuitto. Add one sage leaf (or sprinkle VERY lightly with dried sage.) Sprinkle lightly with parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper. Roll veal and secure each with a toothpick. Sauté rolls slowly in butter and oil for 10 minutes or until browned on all sides. Add wine, cover, and simmer for 10 additional minutes or until meat is tender. Remove toothpicks, arrange rolls on a heated platter, and pour sauce over them. Delicious!

Makes 8 servings — 1.5 grams per serving.

Gayle's Cheesy Baked Peaches

  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder *
  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons oat flour **
  • 1 cup sliced fresh peaches ***
  • 4 teaspoons butter, melted
  • Ground cinnamon and cloves to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Coat an 8x10" baking pan with cooking spray. In food processor or blender, combine cottage cheese, melted butter, egg whites, vanilla extract, and vanilla protein powder; blend until smooth. Add Splenda and peaches and process until mixed but not creamy. Pour mixture into baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon and cloves. Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve warm (not hot) and top with whipped cream if you like. Refrigerate leftover servings.

* Use any brand of Vanilla protein powder that's between 0 grams of carbs per scoop and 2 grams. I've used Designer Whey, Ultimate Lo Carb Whey, and the vanilla shake mixes. All come out good. Recently I tried making it with the Keto Peaches and Cream Shake mix and it was outstanding!

** The recipe can use oat flour or plain flour, but if you use plain flour, add 1/2 gram carbs per serving.

*** Peaches should be peeled and pitted, then diced. DO NOT USE CANNED - the carbs are high. If you like a sweeter dish, let the diced peaches sit in a bit of liquid sweetener (I use liquid Splenda) for a few minutes before using.

Makes 12 servings — 4 carbs per serving.

Karen's Almond Macaroon Crisp Cookies

  • 3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 3/4 cup Splenda
  • 2 egg large egg whites — room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine almonds and Splenda. Stir to mix well. In another bowl, beat together egg whites and almond extract until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into almond mixture. Stir gently to form a soft batter. With teaspoon, spoon batter onto baking sheets spacing approximately 2" apart; about 12 cookies per sheet. Bake in center of oven for 15 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven and transfer parchment or foil to cooling rack until cookies begin to firm up — usually 3–4 minutes. With a sharp knife, lift cookies from sheets and transfer to racks to cool completely.

Serves 4 — 4.5 grams of carbs per serving.

Libby's Pork Chops Charcutière

  • 16 center-cut pork chops, 1/2" thick
  • 1 teaspoon light olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 cup minced onions
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup boullion or canned chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoon prepared hot mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons thinly sliced gherkin pickles
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Brown well-trimmed chops on both sides in a heavy skillet brushed with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and transfer to a large casserole. Sauté shallots and onions in same skillet in butter until tender. Sprinkle with flour and stir in wine, boullion, mustard, and pickles. Simmer 5 minutes and pour over chops.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cover and bake for 1 hour. To serve, transfer chops to a heated serving platter, spoon some sauce over chops, and garnish with parsley.

Serves 8 — 3 carbs per serving.


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Personal Reflection

There are times I sit and wonder (usually a day or so before this is due) exactly what I'll write about to all of you good people. I most often use this piece as a means of venting my frustrations — whether it be toward corporate conspiracies, the blind paths within the medical fields, studies funded by questionable sources, or wrongly-held dogma. Today will be different, however. Today, I want to write something more positive — something closer to my heart.

As I sit here, considering the scope of the low-carb nutrition regimen, I am struck with the stark reality of the real effect it has on people and in their lives. It affects not only how they live each day, but how long they live all their days.

Take my own Mother, for example. She's ever so much happier now. Indeed she's more joyous; more healthy than at any time I can remember. As I grew up, I watched her health become progressively worse. All the while, I was viewing her attempts at various low-cal and then low-fat diets. She developed migraines, stomach disorders and excessive menstrual cramping, but most of all, she just didn't feel well. She was tired and worn — both mentally and physically. Her extra weight made her seem older than she truly was. Her bedroom end table contained the line of prescription medications she took each night before attempting sleep. There were pills for hypertension, pills for high cholesterol, pills for gastric reflux, pills for the headaches...

Fast forward many years... As I write this, she's lost 106 lbs. Her health is as near to perfect as I have ever seen, and she's just plain happy. Her energy? Well, Richard can hardly keep up with her (and she's 11 years his senior!) Her end table now contains a box of tissues, a lamp, and an alarm clock. (Though her desk drawer at work does contain her parade of vitamins and supplements!)

She's also more fun to be with. Let's face it — when she was fat, she was cranky. She was uncomfortable and in pain all the time — who wouldn't be cranky? We were always close, but I have found that she is much more accessible now in many ways. I surely could not ask for a better relationship with my mother now.

Then there's my mother-in-law. She's one of the sweetest people I know. She has been eating like this for only about 2 months now, but the difference is a thing to behold. The first thing you notice when you meet this woman is how attractive she is. I never really saw her as being overweight (though she would argue that point.) Most of her changes seem to be a "toning up". She actually looks younger, stronger, and more fit. I've also noticed an increase in her energy level and peace-of-mind.

Third is my father-in-law — he is diabetic. Several months ago, his health had deteriorated to the point where his healing factor was frightening; his blood sugar level (a misnomer) was wildly out of control, and he, too, just "felt bad" nearly all of the time.

At the point when he first began eating low-carb, I probably wouldn't have counted on his still being with us 5 years from now. But all that has changed. Today his sugar level is close to textbook; his healing factor is easily as good as mine, and he appears far more energetic than before. Now understand — this is the same man who used to argue with me that people couldn't live without rice, breads, pastas and potatoes! I love this man like a father, but he is one of the most stubborn people I have ever met. If you have an older family member that you are worried about, but don't believe they can ever be convinced that this will save their lives — well, please think again. If my father-in-law can be convinced, anyone can!

I'd bet a bunch he has a good 20+ years ahead of him now.

Lastly — but most assuredly not least — is my wife. She has lost 40+ pounds and looks amazing. We are talking about a truly beautiful woman here. Her own father once said to me, "Looking back at all our old pictures of family, extended and otherwise, we've never produced one who looked like Laura." Believe me, she really is gorgeous. And her benefits? She has stopped snoring (I love you, honey, but you were such a snorer!) and is resting so much better than ever before. She has a considerably increased energy level and our relationship has improved greatly since we both began this way of eating! We even find we are more patient with one another...

It's amazing how profoundly it can effect your mental well-being — every bit as much as your physical fitness and good health.

There are other people close to me that currently benefit from a low carbohydrate nutrition plan as well. In point of fact, my entire family is on it — immediate, and in-laws alike. I am proud of each and every one of them, and while I didn't have the room to go into each of their cases, each is equally amazing.

I am so proud of you, Richard, Wes, and Christine! I love you all!

This wasn't exactly a rant, was it? There are times in one's life when it's best to step back from the fight for a moment and realize who and what you are fighting for — A time to be grateful for what you do have, so you return renewed and ready to fight the good fight — that much more emboldened — for your principles.

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Dear Lora,
I've recently begun a low-carb diet and have convinced my family to join me in at least giving it a try. Here's my dilemma — my husband has started shopping along with me (to "learn the ropes" he said), and has been noticing that most of the products that have the "Heart Healthy" seal-of-approvals are no-no's on this diet. This has him rethinking the validity and safety of this diet. Please help me understand this apparant contradiction.

  Maryanne S.

Dear Maryanne —

This is a timely letter indeed as new information about how the "heart check" logo (the American Heart Association's official "stamp") gets used has been discussed in a great op-ed piece by Fox News.

Here's the skinny:

The AHA sells its "heart check" logo to companies who want to sell their food products by exploiting the AHA's good name. For a first-year fee of $7,500 per product, and subsequent renewals priced at $4,500, companies are permitted to market qualifying products as "heart healthy." Several hundred products now carry the heart-check logo. You do the math.

It's all about Money and Politics.

Political correctness is why General Mills' Frosted Wheaties, but not Post's Frosted Shredded Wheat, is heart-healthy. The Post brands are owned by tobacco giant Philip Morris, and tobacco company affiliates are barred from the Food Certification Program.

So here's the drill for the AHA's program: Pass the political correctness check, pony up a bank check and then get the heart check. Don't worry that the science doesn't check.

The Food Certification Program deceives consumers by implying that certain brands are proven to help prevent heart disease. Adding insult to injury, consumers pay up for the more expensive brands that can afford to dance with the AHA. Pricey Tropicana grapefruit juice is "heart healthy," but supermarket bargain brand grapefruit juice isn't?

In actual fact, NONE of those "Frosted Cereals" OR high sugar juices should be getting any sort of heart healthy approval. Foods and beverages qualifying for the heart-check mark include those that are considered low fat, low saturated fat, low cholesterol and low sodium, and have at least 10 percent of the recommended daily value of one or more of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron or dietary fiber.

Yet, while conventional wisdom — at the "heart" of the AHA's recommended diet, (which it says it comes up with after perusing a wide array of studies) — says low fat equals heart-health, the truth is that the science simply isn't there.

In November 1997, Harvard University researchers noted in a New England Journal of Medicine study, "The results of [studies] between dietary fat and coronary disease have been inconsistent." Their own study of more than 80,000 women over 14 years reported no statistically significant associations between total fat, animal fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

In addition, a recent article in the journal Science summarized the state of the knowledge about dietary salt and high blood pressure: "After decades of intensive research, the apparent benefits of avoiding salt have only diminished."

So the AHA's "conventional wisdom" is built on a house of cards. Indeed more recent studies show significant effects of high SUGAR on heart disease, cholesterol and even strokes. But the AHA makes no judgement call on sugar inclusion in assigning heart-healthy status on food products. A product consisting of 100% sugar would earn the heart check seal.

Give this information to your husband, Maryanne and see if this opens his eyes a bit.

Thanks for all your letters, everyone! I get hundreds of letters each week and try to answer as many as I can.


This month at the Low Carb Nexus we have introduced BOX PRICING on our chocolate bars, such as Pure DeLite, Carbolite, and Darrell Lea. Also, if you order on the Web via our Secure Shopping Cart system, scroll down the page on the screen that says, "Low Carb Nexus Checkout Sheet" as you are ordering, and locate the line "Message on Package" (right above the Red Bar that says "Billing Address") and type the word "LUXURY"... if you do, we will include a FREE sample of our latest sugar free, carb free candy product!

The Low Carb Nexus... Where Low Carb and Low Prices Meet!" Come see us!

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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