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The Low Carb 
Luxury Newsletter: Volume II / Number 8: April 26, 2001
Issue Date:
April 26, 2001

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In this issue:
  1. Welcome and Overview
  2. Lora's Column"Tips Time!"
  3. Guest Column"Get The Rats Out of Your Race!"
  4. Richard's Corner"Identifying your Kryptonite"
  5. Recipes!"The Frugal Fowl"
  6. Stuart's (Wife's) "Rant""The Girls at Work..."
  7. Letters"Low Carb & Pregnancy"
With this week's issue, we are proud to begin a multi-part series
written by talented author Alice Fulton-Osborne on streamlining your home, and
      your life. You'll be amazed at how this will change your outlook and strengthen your
      will.  Thank you, Alice!

Also, with Stuart tied up with business, his lovely wife has written a rant this week.
Don't miss it!  And now... on with the newsletter!

___________________________________
lora's 
column

"Tips Time!"

I've been getting a lot of great tips from low-carbers in my e-mail lately and have been saving them up to share with you all. Thanks so much to my visitors that send in so many creative ideas! We're incorporating many of them into our own daily plans here.

Make your own TV-Dinners!

One of the things we hear so often is that people miss being able to pop a frozen dinner in the microwave or oven when they get home from a long day, or have a short lunch or dinner period. The answer — since Stouffer's seems to be ignoring our needs — is to make your OWN TV-Dinners.

You'll need to set aside some time one or two weekends or evenings each month. Make some simple-type dinners, but make them in quantity. Some ideas are below, but just like a regular TV Dinner, you'll want to include a meat or main dish item, and a side dish. If you have gotten into the habit of having low-carb desserts, you might want to add one of those as well.

You'll also need some divided plates or pre-used TV Dinner holders with compartments. Depending on how you'll be re-heating, you'll want to chose what's most appropriate for both your "base" and your "cover", so go for divided foil containers and foil for the top if you will be using a regular oven. And conversely, use paper and plastic if you'll be using a microwave. Since you can't "heat seal" your top like the food companies do, you might want to secure your freezer plastic cover with a strong rubber band.

Some ideas for meats or main dishes:
  • Slice a low-carb meatloaf into approximately 1/2" slices and place two slices into your meal-dish. You can include a little broth and/or butter around the meat to keep it moist as it re-heats.
  • Chicken — Either BBQ'ed (with homemade sugarless BBQ sauce or Steel's Splenda sweetened sauce), or baked with your favorite seasonings.
  • Ham Slices — Great with a splash of DaVinci sugarfree Cherry syrup and maybe even a teaspoon of Keto Pineapple Jam. Or a ginger butter sauce.
  • Grilled white fish in lemon butter. Remember to slightly undercook the fish so it will complete cooking when reheated in your TV-Dinner.
  • Turkey Slices. Bake a full or half turkey breast (use plenty of butter and broth to keep it moist!)
  • Grilled Salisbury steaks or chopped steaks.
  • Sliced Pork loin. Make slices no more than 1/2" thick for adding to your meal-dish.
Many of the above meats will inspire their side dishes without prompting (for example, mock mashed potatoes with a drizzle of low-carb gravy thickened with cream, not/Starch, guar gum, etc.) These are especially great with the Turkey Slices. If you want to have some meatless meals, the Mac-a-foni & Cheese (made with tofu) or some pre-made Keto Macaroni & cheese are good choices. Or perhaps a squash casserole. Be sure to reference the site for many of these recipes.

As for side dishes:
  • Cauliflower with cheese sauce.
  • Broccoli with cheese sauce or butter.
  • Asparagus with hollandaise or mornay sauce.
  • Seasoned green beans.
  • Cooked buttered cabbage – shredded and seasoned.
  • Zucchini Gratin.
  • Creamed mushrooms.
  • Mock mashed potatoes (made with cauliflower) or Ketatoes (buttered and seasoned.)
  • BBQ Black Soy Beans
And for dessert:

You might consider doing what they do with the Kids' style Swanson dinners — make up a batch of your favorite cake, muffin, or brownie batter (from our low-carb recipes of course!) and pour the batter into the smallest compartment of your meal-dish. Pre-bake only slightly to make the batter have "shape". (This step is not absolutely necessary but it keeps from having spill-overs pre-freezing.)

We suggest you make 3-4 kinds of meals, but make less if it seems a daunting task and more if you feel adventurous. You'll be glad later when you can grab a pre-cooked low-carb meal from the freezer like the rest of the Lean-Cuisine world can do! Cover tightly; freeze well; and use within 4-6 weeks tops.



And now, some Mini-Tips:
  • Whenever you have leftover broth (chicken or beef) either in the can or from scratch, pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Then transfer the frozen cubes into a baggie. Later when sautéing veggies, making soup, or adding moisture to a roast pot, you can add a cube or two for extra flavor and depth!


  • Have days when you feel like a failure? Head it off! When you're having an especially GOOD day, take the time to create a pretty little jar (like a decorated Mason Jar) and write out "positive affirmations" and place them in the jar or container. Then when you have "one of those days", just pull one out to help you get through the tough times and remind you how good you CAN feel and let it bring you back to reality! You can be your own best cheerleader!


  • When trying to get an idea of the difference you might feel losing weight, or when demonstrating it to others, use the following illustrative example:

    While grocery shopping, pick up a 5-pound bag of flour. Then pick up 3 more bags to see what 20 pounds feels like. Carry the four 5-pound bags around the store for at least five minutes (ten is better.) You'll be amazed at how burdensome just an extra 20 pounds can be! You'll feel it in your legs, your feet, your back... Obviously, it's a great relief when you return the flour (what a great symbol) to the shelf!


       Lora
___________________________________


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Guest 
Column

                                      Get The Rats Out of Your Race! ©

Get The Rats Out of Your Race By Alice Fulton-Osborne

In the TIPS section of this great site, Lora says, "You probably already know how important a pleasant outlook is upon your dieting success. It's easier to stay upbeat and positive about your 'new way of life' when your surroundings are neat and orderly. Surrounded by clutter, dust or mess, we become distracted; it actually seems to breed depression and even hopelessness." Clutter also wastes our time, wears us out, weakens our will and is one of the most insidious rats in life's race.

Here's why: Clutter buries things, so we live a "lost-and-found" or "treasure-hunt" lifestyle. (It's been determined that we waste over two years of our lives just looking for things.) Not being able to find what we need when we need it makes us, and life in general, crazy. As an antidote to this chronic frustration, we go out and buy duplicates of what seems to be "lost." Thus clutter is not only crazy-making, it's expensive, too. And then there's all the rushing around we do because we're late for places (because we've been searching for the car keys, the baby's left shoe, the insurance form, etc. etc.).

Some other reasons clutter is one of the most insidious rats in our race: It reduces our useable square footage (whether in our home, office, or the cargo area of the minivan). Spaces start to close in on us. Surfaces piled up with stuff create inconvenience and more frustration. Clutter sends out a "squatter's rights" message... it isn't our home, it's theirs. And of course, clutter is messy; we're constantly embarrassed over it and making excuses for how things look.

We pay some high prices by tolerating the presence of the clutter rat in our life's race. Maybe the highest price we pay is the long-term erosion of our self-esteem and mental health. Living in, working around, and struggling with clutter on a daily basis is physically tiring, discouraging, and emotionally draining. The result: a weakened will or resolve which leads to overeating and/or eating all the wrong things, which means our weight goals and new way of living are undermined once again.

Considering the damage this rat does, why DO we tolerate his presence? Here are a few reasons: First, this is a very materialistic society we live in, with the acquisition of stuff always being promoted in the media. Every decorating, shelter, or lifestyle magazine broadcasts the message that to be successful, admired, popular, or happy, we need lots of things. It's a thing rich, space poor world. We believe all this bologna and buy, buy, buy. We bring in far more than we ever take out — the perfect recipe for clutter and overload.

Another reason our world gets cluttered is that we keep many things out of guilt — "Aunt Bernice would just DIE if we got rid of this!" Hence we end up keeping a lot of stuff we don't like, use, need, want, or have room for. We hang onto stuff because "we paid good money for it." And then there's the famous "We might NEED it someday." (To this last excuse, I say, "True, you very well MAY need it someday, but I can guarantee there are people out there who DO need it TODAY. So don't be selfish, pass it on, and have the faith that in the event you do need it again, one will be provided for you, either by your overloaded neighbor or a generous God In Heaven who wants to reward you for your generosity!")

Finally, there's the teaching we try to live by, that to be organized, we just need to have a place for everything and put everything in its place. This advice can be traced back to our Founding Fathers, and for them it was brilliance. For us it's idiocy. We don't have that many places, to accommodate EVERYTHING.

So how do we get this rotten rat out of our race? We must begin with a paradigm shift... an attitude adjustment regarding stuff (otherwise we won't get rid of much or change our habit of acquiring). Understand that things carry three price tags. We pay the first price at the cash register. Then when we get the item home, we pay a space price. Everything takes up some space. We need to always ask if we truly do have the space to sacrifice to more stuff. And finally we pay a maintenance price... ownership of stuff carries the responsibility of maintenance of stuff. Again, we need to always ask if we truly have the time and energy to give away to maintenance of stuff. Very often, over the long haul, the price paid at the cash register (no matter how great) ends up being the littlest of the three. Remembering this can dramatically reduce our spending and acquiring, and squelch the growth of the clutter rat.

Along with this paradigm shift should come an adoption of simplicity values. Good reading on this subject is Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach, Plain and Simple, by Sue Bender, and my personal favorite, It's Here... Somewhere, by Alice Fulton (that's me) and Pauline Hatch.   The last title teaches eight streamlining steps (streamlining must be done BEFORE trying to organize). It discusses the trouble we get into when keeping things we don't like, use, need, want, or have room for. And it takes the reader through the home room-by-room, explaining how to streamline and organize it so it becomes an asset rather than a detriment to your life race.

The bottom line: we want to fill our lives and homes with quality rather than quantity, and create an atmosphere conducive to eating appropriately... one that encourages, supports, and fosters our new way of living.

Maybe Alexander Sozhenitsyn had the right idea when he said "Own only what you can always carry with you: Know languages, know countries, know people."

It would be pretty tough to get trampled by the clutter rat if we lived by that philosophy. At any rate, do take an honest look at your spaces, consider what's been discussed here, and stay tuned for the next installation of "Get the Rats Out of Your Race!" (where I'll explain what streamlining is and why it's crucial to do this BEFORE organizing). Until we meet again, "May there be fewer rats in your race!" ©

       Alice Fulton-Osborne
___________________________________



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richard's 
corner

Identifying Your Kryptonite

What's your kryptonite?

What is it that saps you of your will and energy?

What makes you weak?

What takes your dietary resolve and tosses it out the nearest airlock?

Identifying these triggers can quite literally save your life. No matter how strong, or how dedicated, or how much support surrounds you, everyone has a weakness. Even Superman. So don't expect yourself to "rise above it". What do I mean? I can best explain this with an analogy you've heard from me before. Those of you who have followed my other columns will know exactly what my kryptonite is — Krispy Kreme Donuts.

That's why I can never have one. Nope never. When I first made this statement in the office one day, a coworker replied that "any diet that says a certain food can NEVER be had is absurd and unreasonable." I've heard this argument before... that any "sensible" diet has no "bad" or forbidden foods. They key, they say, is moderation.

Really? Think back. They key is moderation? Has that ever worked for any of you? Have you ever just said to yourself, "...well, gee, I'm going to have to eat less pasta/french fries/donuts/Little Debbie cakes.." and then it worked? These foods are those to which you are addicted. Those for which you HAVE no strength against. These foods are your kryptonite.

Were I to decide I "deserved" a Krispy Kreme (as a reward for my success at low-carbing no doubt), and actually gave in to that white sugar/white flour/trans-fat concoction that tastes like nothing short of heaven to me, I'd slide down that slope to failure again. I'd never be able to stop at one. Whether the second donut came five minutes later or five days later, it WOULD visit me.

People have a difficult time assigning addiction to food. It's easier to think that some people are just weak willed. But no one thinks twice about telling an alcoholic he can not continue "drinking in moderation", or telling a heroin addict that he can never again have "just a little". We know better. But with food it's better to blame the dieter.

So I return to my original premise — finding your OWN kryptonite. And realize that you may have more than one. Now if you went into this diet thinking how lovely it would be when you got the weight off so you could go back to eating spaghetti, (or biscotti, or baked potatoes), then you've already identified your kryptonite and you will actually have an easier time avoiding it at all costs.

But what if your weakness is something you can actually HAVE a little of on your low-carb regime? What if your kryptonite is pistachios? Or whipped cream? Or chocolate? These are pretty low carb items (by chocolate, of course we mean low-carb chocolate.) So... let's take that chocolate example. I'm going to run with that one because a friend doing low-carb has run into *just that weakness*.

He started low-carbing about 5 1/2 months ago and has done VERY well. With the online support we steered him to and his reasonable meal plans, he's managed to drop a nice number of pounds (35 lbs at last check-in.) Then he started shopping for low-carb "goodies" online and discovered the "low carb chocolate bars". Being a Hershey-bar junkie before the diet, he thought he'd found a way to win this battle, so he ordered in boxes of this sugarfree treat. And in no time, his weight loss stopped cold.

Why? He couldn't eat just a few bites. He ate a few BARS each day. And no matter what they tell you, they are NOT zero (or anywhere near it) carbs.

Many of you already know this, but they totally remove the maltitol (a sugar alcohol) from the carb count. If they counted it as they are required to do by the USDA, the actual carb count would show about 10-11 grams per bar. Now we understand that sugar alcohols affect blood sugar more slowly and have as little as 1/4 the effect that sugar does, but to call it ZERO is just not honest. (It's a pet-peeve of mine as I really appreciate honesty — especially from those who wish to make their fortune from our diet plans.) Let me reiterate that we have no problem with small amounts of sugar alcohols and they can add a richness and "real" feel to many of our foods. But in small amounts. Letting people believe they can be eaten in larger quantities because of a misleading carb count is feeding the addictions of those whose power over their personal kryptonite is nil.

And if you've identified your weakness as the aforementioned pistachios (or pecans, or peanuts...) then you may have no choice but to nix these items even though they'll be fine for many other low-carbers. For you, they're heroin.

In the end, if you take the time to think about what foods you fantasize about, you'll have no trouble putting the kryptonite name tag on your target. And once targeted, never let it near you again. Use your resolve to build a fort — a lead shield made of ketones that holds the kryptonite at bay. We joke about it around here calling it (in Star Trek parlance) our "ketonic shields"!   So get that shield in place and regain your status as Superman/woman.



       Richard
___________________________________





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recipes

The Frugal Fowl!

This week, by popular demand, we are bringing you our favorite chicken dishes that meet these four criteria:
  • They contain no "unusual" ingredients that could be difficult to find or that require a visit to the health food store or specialty merchant.
  • They require no ingredients that could be considered gourmet or exceptionally pricey. Quite the contrary, these are all great budget meals!
  • They're all simple to prepare. While some require a bit of baking time, the actual prep time is 10 minutes or less on each recipe.
  • They're all very low carb but taste terrific!
The old rule, "Fast. Easy. Cheap. Pick any two..." seems to be broken with these dishes as they meet all three. With a more problematic economy now, and families more rushed than ever, a little simplicity is good. Next issue, we'll be frugal with beef!



Chicken Parmesan

This dish is exceptionally simple but produces an amazingly flavorful moist chicken!
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 pounds boned breast of chicken

In a saucepan, heat cream. Add salt, pepper, and mustard. When starting to scald, add cheese and stir until smooth. Place chicken in a baking dish and pour sauce over it. Seal with foil and bake at 350°F for about 1 1/2 hours.

Serves 6. 2.5 grams of carbohydrate per serving.



Chicken Kiev

  • 4 chicken breasts, boned and skinned
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 minced shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Pork rind crumbs *

Beat chicken breasts with a meat mallet until thin. Place chicken breasts flat in a bowl. Blend butter, chives, parsley, shallots, celery salt, and white pepper together. Put 1/4 of the mixture on one half of each breast. Fold breasts in half and skewer with toothpicks. Dip in beaten eggs and roll in pork rind crumbs. Deep-fat fry at 375°F for 6 to 8 minutes, or bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes. (Frying produces a crisper chicken, but requires more careful handling so as not to knock off coating. - We suggest you use a wide-tipped tongs with soft edges.)

* Use a soft, mild brand of pork rinds (never confuse them with the harder "cracklins".) We find Baken-ets (from Frito Lay) work well as coatings. There are two ways to crush effectively. Place in blender 1/3 of a bag at a time and pulse until crushed to crumbs. Or, empty pork rinds into a large ZipLoc style bag removing as much air as possible. Lay on counter top and roll with heavy rolling pin until crushed. Don't have a rolling pin handy? A wine bottle works great too! ;)

Serves 4. Less than 1 gram carbohydrate per serving.



Baked Chicken in Sour Cream and Cucumber Sauce

  • 8 mixed pieces of chicken (or use your favorite cuts)
  • 1 cup sour cream (full fat variety)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons onion salt
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Place chicken in a buttered baking dish. In a bowl, mix well the rest of the ingredients. Pour sour cream mixture evenly over chicken. Seal with foil and bake at 350°F for about 1 1/2 hours.

Serves 4 — 3.6 carbohydrate grams per serving.



Curried Chicken
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sour cream

In a skillet, melt the butter and sauté the onion and garlic until they are translucent. Add the curry, thyme, celery salt, and chicken. Sauté for 2 minutes; then add sour cream, and simmer over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly until smooth and well blended. Serve at once.

Serves 4 — 2.5 carbohydrate grams per serving.



___________________________________





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Stuart's 
Rant

"The Girls at Work..."

This week, Stu's wife, Laura (my daughter-in-law) shared a workplace frustration with us that I bet a lot of you can relate to. Ever see people all around you just "self destructing" without seeming to notice (or care?) Don't ya just want to grab them by the scruff of their necks and shake them — wake them up? I feel it often also. I always say to Richard that it's like having a friend with cancer and you know the cure, but they won't listen to you. Here, then, our own Laura lets off a little steam as those around her remain selectively blind....

Sometimes I really don't understand people. It just blows my mind that people who start this diet or even start a variation of this diet can't seem to grasp the idea that "no bread" means NO bread or that "no starch" means just that — NO starch! I guess I never really understood before now, how ignorant the masses truly are.

I work in an office that is predominantly female. I started this way of life in earnest in September of last year and have since lost almost 50 pounds. I have lost many inches (my seamstress mother can attest to that!) and have begun to establish a new wardrobe. It feels great.  I  feel great. Those I work with have noticed, and have begun asking me how I am doing it...

I try and make it as simple as possible when I say, "...well, I simply avoid sugar, refined flour and starches and I limit my carbohydrate intake".

"Oh..." they say. "You mean you don't eat bread or rice?"

"No!" I say emphatically.

Then the same thing comes from each of their mouths, "I could never give up my bread!" (or "I could never give up my rice!")

I just look at them and say "Well, then you will NEVER be healthy".

Recently, some of the women at work were endeavoring to lose the weight they aspired to by going on "crash 3-day diets": Eating nothing on those days but tuna and grapefruit juice and the occasional hard boiled egg. Drinking *no* water — only grapefruit juice, black coffee or unsweetened tea. Then, after those 3 days, you can eat whatever you want — sugar, pizza... JUNK basically. For four days... After which you start the whole absurd cycle over again.

I mean... really! Is there anyone out there who can honestly say that this is healthy or that it is in any way smart?! Oh, and none of them lasted more than 2 weeks on this roller coaster.

Then, it appeared as though some were beginning to see the light. You see, several women at the office embarked on the "Mayo diet" (see note below.) Not exactly the Atkins Diet, but it at first seemed on the right path, anyway. I read over the piece of paper that was floating around detailing what you can and can't eat. No flour, no sugar, no beets, no carrots. The list went on. Ok... so it sounds pretty decent. They drink lots and lots of water and are walking twice a day for a good 15 minutes each time. So far I am impressed...

Until I hear that they start their day with grapefruit juice each morning. But the kicker comes later.

One day one of the ladies on this plan is sitting at her desk scarfing down a big greasy piece of BoJangles fried chicken. [Editor's note: For those who don't know, BoJangles is a Charlotte, NC-based fried chicken chain located primarily in the south. According to their posted nutrition info, a breast is 12 grams of carbs, a thigh is 14 grams, and a wing (almost all batter) is 19 grams of carbs per piece!]

I ask her, "Is that on this diet?"

Her reply is simply, "It says I can have any kind of meat prepared any way. If I can't have fried chicken, then it shouldn't say I can have meat 'prepared any way'."

I looked at her in disbelief and muttered, "I don't think this is what they meant. Don't you realize this is covered in flour?"

And she says, "Oh well, it can't be that bad for me. I'm only eating this one piece. The rest of my lunch is this salad". (Which she had French dressing on... UUUGGGHHHHH!) [French Dressing is 11-15 carb grams per serving.]

This kind if ignorance is what I am talking about... Common sense should have jumped in and told this girl that flour-battered fried chicken wasn't exactly what she should have been having. But instead, she gives in to temptation, and rationalizes her chicken choice. She — and the rest of them — simply don't get it. They don't (or won't) see what good can really come from a healthy avoidance of sugar and empty carbs. And they refuse to even try it long enough to begin to see the changes that will inevitably take place.

I see them beginning to falter... to give in more and more to temptation.

ALL of them "blew it" at Easter Sunday dinner. And what seemed somehow worse to me, they all seemed so jovial about it. As though it was a shared and harmless joke. Whenever I have fallen off the low-carb wagon, I feel terribly guilty. Maybe my guilt comes from being a little more intelligent about this way of life — and because I treat it as just that. True, I did start this just to lose weight. And indeed, I have lost some weight and I will continue to lose. But I know now that it is about so much more. It's about being healthy.

I still have hope that these ladies eventually WILL realize the "error of their ways" and begin to understand that the things that they say they "just can't live without" are the very things they need to give up the most. Until then, I will eat my bacon and eggs at my desk for breakfast. I will endure the daily discussions about the newest "miracle" diet they are trying out. And I will try my best not to laugh in their faces because I know I am getting smaller and smarter and they are NOT.

       Laura

A Note about the "Mayo Diet". Some still refer to it as the "Mayo Clinic Diet", though this is an urban myth that won't die. It's more likely the name originated from actual mayonnaise served on the diet. Sadly, this diet that relies heavily upon the ingestion of grapefruit (it's supposed to act as a catalyst to ignite the fat burning process!) is often lumped with Atkins or called a low-carb diet when in reality, it offers LESS healthy carbs (little fiber, few veggies, even celery is a no-no) and includes toast and lots of carb-filled grapefruit. It's a strict plan where you MUST eat certain foods and can only stay on the diet for short periods. How can *that* be a lifestyle?

___________________________________


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letters

"Low Carb & Pregnancy"

This week, we're answering the difficult question of Pregnancy and Low Carb dieting. Since we received several letters with the same questions, here are a few excerpts from those questions, and our reply:
  • "All the books that I've been reading stress the importance of carbs during pregnancy. I would love to have some literature that contradicts the "experts"."
  • "Will my baby's development be hurt by my being low-carb during my pregnancy?"
  • "Should I go back to eating "normally" during my pregnancy? Or perhaps low-fat?"


As far as I have been able to ascertain, there are no clinical studies on the effects of low-carbing while pregnant. All evidence is anecdotal, as is often the case with low-carb eating regimes as there's very little funding for such research. There's much MORE money to be made keeping you tied to high carb/high sugar processed foods, so that's where "research dollars" are spent.

What I can do is to share my personal opinions and some observations. Obviously I have to say that I am not (and cannot) dispense medical advice and that these are just my own opinions.

First, as far as anecdotal evidence — since my beginning this diet over two years ago (and since starting Low Carb Luxury — 2 years in June), I have known several friends and low-carbers via the site that have been through pregnancies while on the diet. Two of them made no changes to the diet whatsoever and continued to eat between 30 and 50 carb grams a day (none of which come from sugars) and both had healthy happy babies. Several others I knew were concerned about being in ketosis during the pregnancy and upped their carbs (also no sugars) to a point where they would not be in ketosis — that's a different level for everyone. In the friend whose diet I followed most closely, she'd upped her carbs to 65 a day, (she falls out of ketosis at around 50 a day) and while she didn't lose weight during the pregnancy, she stayed healthy and didn't go back to having cravings or gaining weight (other than baby weight, of course!)

One might want to remember that our ancestors reproduced quite nicely in a world where processed foods, sugars, and high carbs were unheard of. And that even today, traditional Eskimo mothers eat very few carbs and have healthy babies. You *do* want to make sure that you are in NO WAY calorie restricted while pregnant. If anything, you need MORE calories — especially those nutritionally dense with good proteins and healthy fats.

In the end, it's a very personal decision. If it were me personally, I can tell you I'd never go back to eating the OLD way which made me sick, and unhealthy. Eating the Standard American Diet was keeping my blood pressure high, cholesterol (the bad kind) at dangerous levels, caused headaches, heartburn, and I was always tired. I know the health benefits the diet has afforded me and I cannot believe that my baby growing inside me would be better off in an environment where his mother was sick and suffering the above-mentioned problems (probably made worse by the pregnancy.) On the other hand, it's not a time to push to the severe limits of the diet for weight loss. Therefore, my diet (were this me) would consist of:
  • Plenty of protein from meats — especially fish and chicken. If possible, go for brands without antibiotics or hormones. (In our area [Dayton, Ohio] Dorothy Lane Markets carry such meats.)
  • No less than 3 servings of veggies each day. One being a leafy salad, and the other two being a non-starchy vegetable like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, cabbage, asparagus, zucchini, turnips, etc.
  • Get lots of folic acid, which is found in dark green vegetables, such as Kale, Spinach, and Chard.
  • Fiber from some whole grains. This doesn't mean commercially available "wheat bread" that contains mostly white bleached flour with enough wheat bran to make it look darker. It's filled with bad things. I mean muffins, breads, pancakes, etc made (like those recipes at the site) from ground flax seed, wheat bran, oat bran, etc.
  • Cheeses — especially cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and swiss. You want to keep your calcium and magnesium levels up.
  • No sugar. Ever. There's no need and it brings back cravings, depletes the body of nutrients you need, and will derail you faster than anything.
  • No trans-fats. No eating anything that contains hydrogenated oils. This means no margarines and no shortenings. And read ingredient panels. A surprising number of things will contain it, and it's too dangerous to consider while pregnant (or in my opinion, anytime!)
  • Nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and their oils.
  • Small amounts of fruit. Better eaten early in the day when insulin resistance is lowest, go for melons, berries, peaches, plums, or fresh, unsweetened pineapple (not canned!) No bananas. And keep apples or citrus fruit to a severe minimum (in other words, a small amount in a dish you make is fine, but to sit and eat whole apples and whole oranges will cause your blood sugar roller coaster again.)
  • Take your supplements. You should be taking a good multivitamin each day, plus Co-Q10 (75-150 mg a day), and it would be a good idea to include acetyl-l-carnitine each day as well.
It's my belief that going back to eating the way you used to does no favors to you OR your baby, but there's no harm in scaling the diet upward to include lots more veggies, whole grains, and nutrients while pregnant and it's probably a good thing. It's the route I'd take or that I'd recommend a sister take.

Just remember, don't go back to sugar in any form. No honey, no fructose, no high fructose corn syrup, etc. You don't need them and they'll harm not help.

Lastly, these same suggestions apply for mothers that are breast feeding. The best idea is probably to stay past ketosis range, but eat a healthy lowered carb diet with lots of vegetables and nutrients.
                             

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

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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

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