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The Low Carb 
Luxury Newsletter: Volume II / Number 2: January 26, 2001
Issue Date:
January 26, 2001

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In this issue:
  1. Welcome and Overview
  2. Lora's Column"Catering" to Our Needs
  3. Richard's Corner"Sugar, Sugar Everywhere"
  4. Recipes!"Valentine Delights!"
  5. Stuart's "Rant""Customer Service Who?"
  6. Letters"Transgression"
A  lot of our newer subscribers, when entering their info, have
included comments asking for articles on subjects we've covered over the last few months in previous issues. I want to remind everyone that they can read, download, or print previous issues by going to the Newsletter Archive links here.

Now, on with the newsletter!
___________________________________
lora's 
column

"Catering" to Our Needs:

You'll see as you read this issue, our recipes this time deal with that upcoming holiday that likes to revolve around sugar almost as much as Halloween and Christmas — Valentine's Day. We've decided to offer you some great romantic, sweet, no-compromise options.

However, while we were working on these recipes, someone called asking if we knew of a caterer who could "do low-carb". Well, not off the top of my head... so I did some inquiries and began to discover that many catering services were now offering specialized low-carb menus and almost all were making some special allowances of some sort.

A friend who works in Big Finance in the Big Apple referred me to his all-time favorite —
Wallstreet Catering in New York City. He sent me to their "Ketogenic Diet" menu online and I was entranced. (I'm one of those people who can sit and read menus in the Entertainment Book entries and imagine the possibilities — and/or drool a little.) ;-)

Take a look at their offerings and you'll see that more and more businesses are taking note of us. (My mind races through a chorus of "We're Low-Carbers, hear us Roar... in numbers too big to ignore...")
Kinda makes you wish you worked on Wall Street, doesn't it?

There are many others. A few good referrals we got:

Secret Chef Catering Company
Low Carb - High Protein Specialties
Johnson County, Kansas

Custom Cuisine Catering
Marina Del Rey, California
(Which is amazing since their logo is the USDA Food Pyramid!)

Coheny Island Catering Company
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Offering Low Carb Desserts & Entrees

California Café Catering
Palo Alto, California


Di Bartolo Bakery
Collingswood, New Jersey
Low Carb/Sugar Free Cakes & Cookies

If there's enough interest, we'll start a little database of bakeries and catering services that now offer low-carb options. In the meantime, don't hesitate to locate a caterer in your area that will work with you. You might be a good education for them! [wink]


       Lora
___________________________________


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richard's 
corner

Sugar, Sugar Everywhere
(and not a drop of nutrition. . .)

The sugar industry really has it in for us. In an effort to ensure present and future profit margins of an obscene nature, the sugar industry has managed to get sugar (or members of the sugar family) into just about everything in the grocery store.

Just a few cases in point:

Seasoned Salt:
This seemed to me to be one of the most blatant examples of this. Look at the ingredient panel on Lawry's and the second ingredient is sugar. Does sugar belong here? Do I want my salt to be sweet? At least the first ingredient is still salt.

Chicken/Beef Broth:
While not a part of every brand, most of the major label brands include dextrose and/or sugar in the ingredient listing. (It's far easier to get salt-free than sugar-free broths!)

New Calcium Enriched V8:
Sounds good at first! Look — V8 (all those good veggie juices) plus added calcium. Unfortunately, they had to go and ruin it by adding sugar as well. I guess it should be called New Sugar enriched V8. You should know that the added sugar totally negates the calcium added via its anti-nutrient properties. (It robs the body of more calcium to metabolize that sugar than the V8 offers back in its Calcium addition.)

Gerber Arrowroot Cookies for Toddlers:
Here's what we are feeding our precious youth. High Fructose Corn Syrup (neither corn syrup nor fructose, but a man-made cheap sugar that is as dangerous to our systems as trans-fats), and partially hydrogenated soybean oil (the aforementioned trans-fats.)

Canned Peas, Canned Corn, Etc:
Because there's just not enough fattening carbs in these highly starchy vegetables, many manufacturers are now choosing to up the ante by adding sugar to these canned nutrient-stripped veggies.

There are far more food items at on your grocer's shelf that fall into this sugar-coated category, but I think we've made our point.

If you haven't already heard, America is getting fatter and sicker each and every year. Think it's a fluke? Think again.

Diabetes in the United States rose by about 6 percent in 1999 in what the government called "dramatic evidence of an unfolding epidemic." Cases rose sharply across almost every demographic category, too.

The share of the adult population diagnosed with diabetes jumped from about 6.5 percent in 1998 to 6.9 percent in 1999, the CDC said. The obesity rate increased to nearly one in five Americans – up from just 12 percent in 1991.

Last August, the CDC reported that diabetes jumped 33 percent nationally, to 6.5 percent, between 1990 and 1998. The rise crossed races and age groups but was sharpest — about 70 percent — among people ages 30 to 39. Guess what? The largest percentage of adults who say in surveys they do "low-fat" is the 30 to 39 age group, just edging out the 21 to 29 group.

This dramatic new evidence signals the unfolding of an epidemic in the United States with similar rises now being seen in Canada as they embrace low-fat/high carb eating. At least 16 million Americans have diabetes, and the number is expected to rise to 22 million by 2025.

Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and amputations and dramatically raises the risk of heart attacks. It kills 180,000 Americans each year. Yet they tell us in dogma-fashion that low-carbing will destroy our kidneys and cause high cholesterol and heart attack.

Yet in each telling of this chilling news, the reporting agency immediately brings the link in line with high-fat eating and a couch-potato culture.

The proliferation of sugar addition into every corner of America's food supply has risen in perfect synch with the rise in Diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Yet we see no causative link.

Society as a whole just isn't getting it. Our species survived for many thousands of years before this sugary pall fell upon us, yet we are led to believe that indeed sugar is a necessary part of the diet.

Anyone seen the latest series of Domino Pizza commercials? Cute little puppet "Andy" segues into a shot of two young kids wolfing down their new free "cinnamon-sugar bread sticks with frosting. These are white flour and white sugar fried in trans-fat, dipped in sugar coating, then drenched in powdered sugar frosting. But surely that cute little Andy means well... Then again... "Bad Andy!"

       Richard
___________________________________



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recipes

Valentine's Day — A time of love, hearts, sweet sentiments and ... sugar? Nope. We can forget the last one and still indulge in a special dessert!

For me, Valentine's Day always meant making a big Red Velvet Cake for my sweetie. This year, after avoiding that tradition the last two Cupid's Days, I decided to begin work on a low-carb version that would still be "to die for!" (just not literally like the high carb version!) ;-) This one's a winner. It's not SUPER low-carb, but it is do-able, and makes an amazing presentation!


Love and Kisses Red Velvet Cake

For an elegant presentation, decorate with fresh red strawberries
or raspberries — perhaps in a heart shape for Valentine's Day!

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup high gluten flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup Splenda
  • 1/2 cup Diabetisweet
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 large egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soured cream
      (make "sour" with vinegar — see directions.)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons red food color
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon liquid sweetener

Grease and flour (use gluten flour or oat flour) two 8" or 9" round cake pans. Preheat oven to 325°F.

In large mixing bowl, sift together oat flour, gluten flour, almond flour, granulated Splenda, Diabetisweet, baking powder, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Pause and sprinkle cream of tartar over egg whites, then continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Red Velvet Cake In a small bowl, mix cold water with egg yolks and whisk well. Add oil, vanilla extract and liquid sweetener. Mix cream with vinegar in a small cup to get a mock-sour effect. Then add red food color and stir well. Mix into egg yolk mixture and incorporate fully.

Add egg yolk mixture to flour mixture and beat till smooth.

Add 1/2 of the whipped egg whites to the batter mixture and beat again until well blended (but no more than a minute.)

Then carefully add batter to remainder of whipped egg whites and mix gently using a rubber/plastic spatula, being careful not to break down whites, until batter is fully incorporated.

Pour into cake pans evenly and bake at 325°F for 20-30 minutes turning half-way through. Keep an eye on them and don't over bake. Baking time can vary a bit depending on oven, elevation, etc. Cake is done when lightly golden brown on top and puffed and cracked at edges. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool on cake racks. When fully cool, assemble and frost with your favorite low-carb frosting or use the following:

White Frosting

  • 4 oz. package of cream cheese - at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vanilla (to keep frosting pure white)
      or regular vanilla for a "cream" color
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Whip all ingredients together until smooth. Frost cake as usual.

    Total carbs in whole cake: 110. Cut into 20 pieces for 5.5 grams per slice or 16 pieces for 6.8 grams per slice.



    Want something lighter? No problem — try this:

    No-Bake Valentine Cherry Cheesecake

    • 16 ounces full-fat cream cheese
    • 1 small box sugar free cherry gelatin *
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1 teaspoon red food color
    • 1/4 cup Splenda
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    Put 1 cup water in small pot – bring to boil. Place cream cheese in medium bowl and microwave for 1 minute to soften.

    Remove boiling water from burner, add gelatin and stir to dissolve. Add to cream cheese, and mix. Blend in cream, sour cream, vanilla, red food color, and Splenda.

    If desired sprinkle crushed low carb cookie or sweetened nut flour over top. Refrigerate till set — 3–4 hours. Serve with fresh berries if desired.

    Serves 6 — 3.4 grams per serving.

    * We suggest using Cottee's Splenda-sweetened Cherry gelatin if you are avoiding NutraSweet. You can buy it online from The Low Carb Connoisseur.



    A light salad with a touch of fruit is always good, and raspberries set a great Valentine tone, don't they?

    Splendid Raspberry Spinach Salad

    • 2 Tablespoons Raspberry Vinegar
    • 2 Tablespoons Jok N Al Sugarfree Raspberry Jam
    • 3-6 drops liquid sweetener (Splenda is best)
    • 1/3 cup light olive oil
    • 8 cups Spinach, rinsed, stemmed and torn into pieces
    • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped Macadamia nuts
        or toasted almond slices
    • 1 cup Fresh Raspberries
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery hearts

    Dressing: Combine vinegar and jam in blender or small bowl. Add Splenda and mix well. Add oil in thin stream, blending well.

    Toss spinach with 1/2 of the nuts, 1/2 of the raspberries, 1/2 of the celery and the dressing. Top with the remaining ingredients (nuts, raspberries and celery.)

    Serve immediately.
    Serves 2 – 5 grams per serving.



    Now, how about something for a romantic evening? This one calls for a bit of the bubbly, so if your low-carb regimen can handle a bit, have at it. If not, a sparkling flavored water might be nice here...

    Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Champagne

    Purchase your favorite Champagne and chill.

    Buy fresh strawberries that have their stems intact. Wash, dry and refrigerate the strawberries. (Cold strawberries will cause the chocolate to harden and there will be less dripping.)

    Chocolate Dip:

    Buy a jar of Sugar Free TWIST — chocolate hazelnut spread imported from Holland. (We reviewed it September 30th, and you can buy it online from The Low Carb Connoisseur.)

    Place 1 cup of Sugar Free TWIST in a double boiler or fondue pot. Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream. Heat over low heat! Add more heavy cream as needed until your consistency is creamy and smooth. Place chilled berries around fondue pot or server and serve your Valentine!

    Men — you can do this!

    (You can also melt dark or milk chocolate low-carb bars for dipping, but it hardens quickly and is less smooth.)

    Less than 1 carb per dipped berry.


    ___________________________________





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    Stuart's 
Rant

    Knock Knock... Who's There?
    Customer Service. Customer Service WHO?


    My wife and I were on our way out to dinner one evening last week when I realized I needed envelopes (the big commercial kind I use in my business.) This was a Sunday — around 6:45PM, so I drove quickly to our local Office Maxx. I pulled into the lot about five minutes later, and knowing (from much shopping experience) that they close at 7:00PM on Sundays, I walked up to the auto-open glass doors... and nearly slammed into them. I peered inside and could see a great many people (both employees and shoppers) inside. A quick glance at my watch as well as the very-visible clock inside told me it was 6:51 — nine more minutes till closing.

    I knocked on the glass. A kid (of about 17) walked over to the door, glared at me for a short moment, then blurted loudly through the glass, "We're closed!"

    I held up my watch, tapped the crystal, and answered that closing wasn't for another nine minutes. I explained to him that I needed only to grab a quick package of envelopes and would be done and out in a flash. He looked at me (as though I'd spoken an alien dialect) and smirked. Once again he repeated "We're closed". Then he turned and walked away.

    I'm not sure there's an honest-to-goodness violent bone residing anywhere in my body, but at that moment, his rudeness had me reconsidering my ideology.

    I was not raised in a particularly strict home, but I was taught basic manners and compassion. I was taught that number one rule in our home was people ALWAYS count more than THINGS. As a small child, I was taught not to point, not to swear (self-altered later to no swearing in public) and other such people-minded things. Why, now, has it become socially acceptable to be rude?

    Riddle me this Batman: "What does any of this have to do with low-carb eating?" Well, a great many things, actually.

    We have all faced it. We go out for a steak dinner, perhaps Chinese, or maybe an all-you-can-eat buffet...

    This particular time my wife and I chose the local steak house. After we're seated, we put in our diet drink orders (as usual), and they tell us our "bread will be right out."

    "No thanks, we're low-carb" we reply. They look at us strangely, turn, and leave. Minutes later, a server (usually NOT you regular waiter) emerges with the bread we didn't want. You knew it would happen, didn't you?

    Then he sits a regular (sugared) Coke in front of me. I take a sip and can feel the sugar coat my teeth (I hate that!) and spit it back into the glass.

    About 10 minutes goes by. I am finally checked on by the waitress who — when informed of this mistake — never apologizes. I am instead eyed suspiciously. As though I am just making this up to... what? Get free sips?

    She snatches the glass from the table and disappears. Five minutes go by before we see her again. She returns with a new drink (I say a quick prayer that it will be right this time.) "Are ya ready ta order?" she asks...

    My wife went first, ordering a steak, with green beans instead of a potato, and a salad instead of the (chicken and rice) soup. Of course, it seems that they don't actually have green beans (apparently you can't really go by something so unreliable as a menu), but we are told we can have corn!

    I sigh as I explain again — patiently — that we are on a low-carb diet, and that this means no starches or breads.

    "We don't add starch to our corn here, sir." she informed me. I shoot a look to my wife who seems to be struggling with a giggle. "What other vegetables do you have without starch?" I inquired (I must have formed the question in my mind before her previous answer had sunk in.) Because as you might guess, she replied that they don't add starch to ANY of their vegetables." (She seemed somehow proud of that one.)

    Finally she rattled off a list of other options that included carrots, mashed potatoes, or applesauce. We opted for salad and steak only.

    Check, please...

    I just know some variation of this scenario has happened to you, right?

    There are of course many exceptions. We take note of those restaurants and waiters/waitresses who make sincere efforts to please the customer and make our low-carb meal a success. We (low-carbers) are growing in number every day — we're not going away. Food service people would do well to not dismiss us.

           Stuart
    ___________________________________


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    letters

    This week, someone close to me wrote the letter below and sent it off quietly in e-mail. Confession is good for the soul I suppose, or perhaps it is simply the strength that comes with sharing. She has requested I share this with all of you.

    Transgression

    It is January 25, 2001 and I have been doing the low-carb thing for four months now. I have lost 40 pounds, stopped snoring, need less sleep, have a clear complexion, shiny healthier hair just to name a few. I sit here at my desk (obviously not working) and am wondering why in God's name did I find myself at rock bottom again last night? I sat there with my husband who was just as "bad" as me and ate a small pizza and coconut macaroons! For some reason it did not seem to matter — until this morning when sheer and utter GUILT set in.

    I am certain that I am not alone in my transgression. I know many people that are on this diet that falter from time to time. Some do it because they think they have to have it. Others do it because they find themselves in situations that are not low carb friendly so they say "just this once". Still others do it for stress related reasons. This was the reason for me. Job stress, financial situations and day to day "junk" that finally just got the best of me. I wanted comfort. Thinking about how I would feel later was not something I was worried about. Calling Papa John's was too easy. Effortless even! I know I could have just as easily gone to the fridge and pigged out on Swiss cheese and Roast Beef or made myself a nice steak, but I wanted to be bad. At that moment I felt justified and strangely enough comforted.

    This morning though, I don't feel comforted and I don't feel justified. I feel stupid and a tad like a failure. I don't like this feeling. It has set me back days. I will have to be even stricter that am normally to get myself back in to Ketosis. My mini goal of having lost 50 pounds before my vacation in mid February may not be reached now. It was not worth it at all!

    I don't want to tell anyone what to do or how to live his or her life. That is NOT my intention. But I will say that if you are on this diet and are contemplating a "transgression" or find yourself at a stress level that could push you over the low carb edge, think about what it will do to your progress and how you might feel afterward. Flour and sugar only make you feel worse. It certainly made me feel worse.

    It took me a long time to start the low carb diet. I am glad that I did. I know now that it is the best thing for anyone whether you are overweight or not. This diet has far more advantages that just weight loss. I am committed to it and regret last night's binge. I hope that my admission of guilt will help someone else who feel the need to do the same. As hard as it may be when facing an impending falter, try to remember how you felt when you lost those first few pounds or when you dropped your first size! It might just snap you back to reality and save you from yourself!

    — Laura

    Thanks for sharing that with us, Laura. I bet there are more than a few who can relate. In fact, those same feelings of frustration have been haunting me all week. I told my husband one day this week when things were really stressed that I'd march right into the kitchen and do something 'bad' if there were high carb foods in the house. Luckily, as I told Rich, all we have are "safe" foods, so the worst I could do was over-eat some low-carb foods. And where's the glamour in that? [grin]

    Keep those letters coming in, people!

    ___________________________________




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    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.

           Lora

    Contents Copyright (c) 2001 Low Carb Luxury. All rights reserved. http://www.lowcarbluxury.com  E-mail: newsdesk@lowcarbluxury.com. Please do not reprint or republish this newsletter elsewhere. You may share the link with low-carb friends, but we encourage you to have them sign up for their own free subscription.



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