The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter: 
Volume III / Number 04: February 22, 2002: Page 3
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      Advice Lady         

A well-known low-carber in the community answers your questions about everything from nutrition to family issues, stress, and heck — even your love life. She's been the "go to gal" for awhile now when people need a little advice. And who is she? Well, we're not telling. She remains anonymous so that she can better give very frank advice. She doesn't pull any punches. You can remain anonymous too if you want — Just think "Dear Abby" — you know, signing off like "Harried in the Workplace" or "Desperate for Carbs in Detroit". Send in your question to The Advice Lady at

                                         Sunflower Seeds...

Dear Advice Lady,

I love sunflower seeds! When I get that feeling or sugar urge, I tend to eat sunflower seeds and drink water... it curbs the feeling.

Are sunflower seeds bad for a person on the Atkins Diet in the introduction phase?


      Kiki The Sunflower Seed Lover

Dear Sunflower —

Sunflower Seeds You don't say how many seeds you generally eat, or if you're eating oil roasted, dry roasted, etc. Assuming you are eating roasted seeds, they're only 2 1/2 carbs per ounce and full of fiber, so they're a smart choice assuming you don't go crazy and eat an entire bag or cup in a serving.

You might also like other seeds as well... they're packed with nutrition — Vitamins A, B, C and E; Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, and Potassium. And most contain 25% to 35% protein!

UPDATE: Since this page was first published, someone wrote to tell us that we were incorrect to say seeds were allowed during 'induction' citing:

"Eat absolutely no fruit. . . Do not eat nuts or seeds in the first two weeks."
(They seemed quite ruffled that we'd give such misinformation.)

Elsewhere at Atkins site this is contradicted when recipes suitable for induction contain nuts or seeds and he states the Atkins bars (that contain nuts) are acceptable for induction (1 bar a day.) When we wrote to Atkins Center for clarification, we were told the "no nuts/seeds" is a generalization as some can handle them and some cannot. They said, "We dont recommend eating them during the first two weeks of Induction, but in small amounts if they don't hinder weight loss or ketosis, it may be alright in some individuals."

The Atkins site also states you can eat NOTHING not on their "acceptable foods" list, yet at the bottom of this list they state, "Although it is important that you eat primarily unprocessed foods, some controlled carb food products can come in handy when you are unable to find appropriate food, cant take time for a meal or need a quick snack." Then they lead you to their catalog where a number of "controlled carb food products" that contain ingredients not on this list, yet are "approved for induction phase" are for sale.

Our letter writer (Kiki The Sunflower Seed Lover) clearly stated that when she eats a few of the seeds, her cravings for sugar and carbs are curbed. We therefore stand by our answer with the caveat that "your mileage may vary" and if you are sensitive to seeds or nuts, they start cravings, or stall weight loss, cut them out and see if they were a culprit.

And if you want to toast your own Sunflower or Pumpkin Seeds, you can make them with a wide variety of flavors. Here's my favorite recipe:

Roasted Pumpkin / Sunflower Seeds

  • 1 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • Salt OR:
      taco seasoning
      cajun seasonings
      cheesy popcorn seasoning
Gift Jar Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Wash seeds in warm water. Spread seeds out onto a cookie sheet, and sprinkle generously with salt or chosen seasoning.

Bake seeds in oven at 350 F for about 20 minutes. (Check every 5 minutes and stir, adding more salt or seasonings to taste.)

Check for doneness by taking a few seeds out, allowing to cool and tasting — if insides are dry, seeds are done.

Allow seeds to cool, then serve. Leftover seeds can be kept fresh in an airtight container or frozen for extended periods. If you get good at this, these make very nice gifts when put in cute jars!

                                                                             The Advice Lady

                                         Roast Beef Tips?

Dear Advice Lady,

I've never been what you'd call a gourmet cook... more of a "grab something frozen for the microwave" type in the kitchen before I started low carb. Now I am working at bigger and better meals for my family, but I don't think I have the "hang" of a beef roast yet. Any tips for really good ones you can share?

Thanks for your time,

Culinarily Challenged in Memphis

Dear Challenged,

Actually, there are a few basics to keep in mind when making a great beef roast:
    Roast Beef
  • Seasoning small roasts with dried herbs works best; fresh herbs burn.
  • Marinating is better for large roasts; it makes them tasty throughout.
  • Searing the roast in a pan before roasting gives it an even color.
  • Letting the roast sit for about 10 minutes before carving makes it a juicier
    roast, and allows for easier carving.
  • Carving against the grain helps create a tender serving of roast.

Preparing A Beef Roast To Suit Your Taste:
A N   O V E N   G U I D E
RARE: 325F   15 - 18   130 to 140
MEDIUM: 325F   18 - 20   140 to 150
WELL DONE: 325F   20 - 25+   150 and up

                                                                             The Advice Lady

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