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Low Carb Luxury offers a Special Feature called "Meet The Merchant" that allows you, the reader (and shopper) to get
a better "look" at the merchants we all deal with. There's a nice "comfort level" that comes with knowing something
about the merchant to whom you trust your shopping needs.
This issue features Pleasantville Cookie Company (LowCarbCookies.com), and is written by Paul Pleasant.
There and Back Again... A Low Carb Cookie Tale
Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open...
When my wife Lisa was diagnosed with cancer in 1998, I was terrified by the
proposition of raising our then 2 month old daughter Rachel by myself.
Lisa and I had spent more years than we should have waiting to have
children and had developed some very definite attitudes about how we should
raise them and very definite opinions about why our own childhoods had been
less than perfect. We intended to do everything "right" and leaving our
child at a babysitter's was not in the plan. A single parent family had
never even been in the equation.
Fortunately for me, the form of cancer Lisa had was very treatable if
caught in the first stage (which it was). After a year of chemotherapy and
dozens of weekends in the hospital, Lisa was pronounced free of the disease
and our lives began a gradual return to normalcy.
Throughout our ordeal, I couldn't shake the ominous thought of life without
Lisa and how I would take care of Rachel as we had planned. As I am a
computer programmer by trade and can make a fairly decent living as a
contractor, my initial plan was to do contract work at home and then get a
"real" job again when Rachel started school. After Lisa recovered, my
thoughts turned to what she would do if the tables were turned and I were
to leave her alone to care for Rachel. While Lisa is the only one in the
family with a college degree, her chosen profession as a human resources
specialist would never afford her the same degree of flexibility I had.
With that in mind, we began to think about alternatives for Lisa "just in
case" something were to happen to me. (You just cannot avoid these
thoughts after nearly losing a loved one.)
Over the next year and a half we investigated all sorts of "stay at home"
careers for Lisa. After a fairly dreadful experience as an Avon
representative and a few other adventures best left unspoken (Lisa gets a
little edgy about these), we were no closer to Lisa's independence than
when we started.
During these months something happened that is all too common for people
who have experienced a great deal of stress. Despite our best efforts, we
both began to gain weight. Now I don't mean to say here that we were
supermodels before Lisa got sick. We have both struggled with our weight
since childhood. But, prior to Lisa's illness we had both maintained our
weight for several years and despite some fluctuations as we tried
different diets (and failed) we pretty much stayed the same. This new
weight gain was much more rapid than in previous years and we needed to do
something about it and soon.
As I said earlier, we had experimented with various diets and weight loss
plans and had even both tried versions of low carb diets, although, we had
not stayed on the diets because of the monotony of eating the same foods
day after day.
But, now we were sincere about changing our lives and after doing some
basic research including reading Dr. Atkins book for the first time, we set
off on our low carb journey. Lisa went to the grocery and bought vitamins
and all sorts of meats, cheeses, veggies and other low carb fare and with a
solemn oath not to backslide, we woke up one morning and threw away all the
bread, crackers, cookies and other sources of refined carbohydrates in the
We did incredibly well during induction. After the first couple of days of
going through sugar withdrawal, we began to feel the incredible effects the
low carb diet had on our bodies. The first thing we noticed was that we
could go to bed later and later at night, get up at the same time in the
morning, and have a better energy level than when we started. We were both
sharper and much, much happier. The pounds were coming off very quickly
and these were some of the happiest days of our lives. The best news of
all was that we were not hungry. We had finally discovered a diet that
didn't make us feel as though we might starve to death. Then came the bad
Just as we had experienced the first time we tried low carb diets, we were
quickly growing bored with what we perceived as the one-dimensional menu
from which we could choose. We were desperate to stay on the diet and we
needed to move quickly if we were going to succeed. While low carb diets
had been popular for many years at this point, we just could not find
anything to satisfy our need for a low carb snack that we didn't have to
spend hours preparing or big bucks to buy. I won't even mention the
seemingly endless parade of products that are low carb and "claim' to taste
good as well.
Lisa has always been a good cook and it was becoming apparent that our
success was going to be dependent on making at least some of our own
snacks. We spent several months trying various recipes found on low carb
web sites (including Low
Carb Luxury) and finally perfected an almond flour
based cookie that was fantastic. During all these months we used our
neighbors as taste testers and before we new it, and without realizing it
was happening, our diet became the answer to Lisa's career dilemma.
After careful consideration (...maybe 5 minutes), we took every penny we had
and created lowcarbcookies.com. Lisa found a wonderful commercial kitchen
we could rent just a few miles down the road and away we went. Our cookies
became so popular in the first few months that we had to discontinue
selling them to retailers so we could keep up with the demand from our
loyal Internet customers. We make them fresh every day and ship them
immediately. We now have 5 flavors of cookies in 2 different packages as
well as brownies, bake mixes, and our own line of flavor essences. (Stay
tuned! We will be introducing some really fantastic new products this
spring.) Our new cookie factory is nearly complete and we will move in
later this year.
We have been on the diet for well over a year now and we are both about
half way to our goals. I have lost 41 lbs! For security reasons (mine), I
won't tell how much Lisa has lost. Even with the added stress of running
a business we are still happier than ever. Rachel is turning out to be a
charming young lady and we plan to continue this course for the rest of our
lives. Who knows, maybe someday people will call Rachel the "Cookie Lady"
like they do Lisa today.
Pleasantville Cookie Company
Grove City, OH
Delivered Right To Your Door Nationwide!
Best Of All... They Go From Freezer To Table In About 10 Minutes!
"A rather splendid company called Home Bistro have put their talented chefs Dennis Chauvin and
Scott Stillman to work on creating complete low carb meals that would rival most fine restaurants.
...these meals are exceptional. Our kudos to the chefs."|
Carb Luxury Review :: December 3, 2002.
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