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The Low Carb 
Luxury Newsletter: Volume II / Number 20: October 21, 2001
Issue Date:
October 21, 2001

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In this issue:
  1. Welcome
  2. Lora's Column"Asking yourself 'What If...' "
  3. Richard's Corner"Getting Enough Sleep"
  4. Recipes!"Visitor Favorites"
  5. Letters"Halloween Party - Without the Sugar"
Have a spooky, fun, but very SAFE Halloween!

On with the newsletter!
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lora's 
column

     "Asking yourself 'What If . . . '  "

As I sat down with a coworker this week, we began to talk about the journey from "there" to "here"... about how I'd found the Atkins diet back in the 70's, but had rejected it as so many others did as "those who know best" told us low fat was the way to go.

Then she asked me the question so many others have: "Don't you wish you'd stayed with low-carbing all along?" My first thought was what it's always been before ... "sure." But instead I took a little time to really think about that seemingly simple assumption. I wasn't able to give her much of an answer at the time, but over the next few days I kept thinking about it. It's very much like Dickens' A Christmas Carol, or even It's a Wonderful Life. Would I really want to change things? What would be different? What if I hadn't spent far too many years of my twenties and thirties FAT?

Agree or disagree, I am one of those people that believes sincerely that we are all on this earth to learn; to have a purpose; to make a difference. Most of us can't walk on the moon or find the cure for cancer, but we can all "make a difference". And we all have lessons to learn.

Take a few minutes to think back on those times in your life when you really grew... when you became a bit wiser... when you got a lot stronger. Weren't those the very times that you'd faced adversity?   The good times may be our goal, but it's the hardships that
shape us.

No, thinking back on it all, I am very glad I faced the obstacles I did. The family tragedies, the financial hardships, the personal losses. Each become the threads that make up the tapestry that is our lives. It's what makes us interesting, empathetic, and three dimensional.

As a female living in a fat body at a time when thin was most definitely in, I knew the pain of the stares ... the whispers behind my back. I knew what it was like to have to make up lies and excuses to avoid situations where your girth would be a problem. I couldn't "get what I wanted" with a coy wink or a flirtatious stare. I had to do the work. I had to earn every rung of every ladder I climbed. And I am the better for it.

Most paths I chose to take during those years were shaped by my life's situation. The easy path was rarely open for me, so I took the one more challenging. It was the same with weight loss when I was ready to face it and make it work. I came into it without a sense of blind trust. I had to know for myself. I had to do the research. And as I learned, I took others on my journey with me. Sharing in my epiphany made it more real, and more valuable.

People sometimes write to let me know I've made a difference. They've been kind enough to express their thanks and share their stories. They see my help to them as a gift... and it IS... but it's not my gift to THEM, it's their gift to ME.

I'm a big fan of memorable quotes and always keep those that touch something in me. In this case, I am reminded of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, "It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."

Out of despair and out of pain, the human spirit rises. It always has. It's never been more clear than as we have seen across America since September 11th.

Each week I get emails from visitors that beat themselves up for getting into this situation. For gaining weight. For slipping from the diet. But I want to remind you that those seeming failures are a gift. They are what you learn from. What you can later share with others. A path without hills and valleys would be a boring one indeed. And as you find your way down your path, remember what Douglas Adams wrote: "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be."

       Lora
___________________________________


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  • Just 3 g effective carbs per generous one oz. serving!
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  • 15 chips per serving.
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richard's 
corner

Getting Enough Sleep

Over the past several weeks, I would expect many of you have not been getting enough rest. It's certainly been that way for me and judging from the letters we've received, true for a whole lotta people. When I first began low carbing, one of the great benefits for me was that I was able to sleep better. But this doesn't mean stress filled circumstances can't still interfere.

Between the terrorism America's been dealing with, and the upcoming holidays, getting the proper sleep is more important than ever.

Not getting enough sleep can leave you tired and grumpy. Many car accidents can be traced to drowsy drivers. Too many sleepless nights can affect your job, your family and your personality. In fact, a lack of sleep can be more dangerous than alcohol - reducing reaction times by up to 50%.

Research shows that even one night of disrupted or missed sleep by a healthy person can drastically alter his or her chemical balance and cause daytime sleepiness and fatigue. It can cause you to let your guard down and make poor food choices — when you're too tired to care, you might just give in to what's convenient, or to a dish offered by a well meaning friend. And yes, that can certainly cause a cycle you don't want to start.

Remember how eating sugar and carbs made you sleepy in the afternoon? It will happen again with one poor food choice, making your sleep patterns MORE problematic and starting the no-sleep loop all over again. So don't underestimate how important it is to get control of it right away.

So, how much sleep do you need?

Generally, adults need to sleep one hour for every two hours awake, which means that most need about eight hours of sleep a night. Of course, some less. Children and teenagers need an average of about ten hours.

The brain keeps an exact accounting of how much sleep it is owed. The term "sleep debt" was coined because accumulated lost sleep is like a monetary debt: it must be paid back. If you get an hour less than a full night's sleep, you carry an hour of sleep debt into the next day-and your tendency to fall asleep during the daytime becomes stronger.

During a five-day workweek, if you got six hours of sleep each night instead of the eight you needed, you would build up a sleep debt of ten hours (five days times two hours). Because sleep debt accumulates in an additive fashion, by day five your brain would tend toward sleep as strongly as if you'd stayed up all night. From this perspective, sleeping until noon on Saturday is not enough to pay back the lost hours as well as meet your nightly requirement of eight; you would have to sleep ledger.

So how do you get more sleep?

Well, it depends on WHY you aren't sleeping. If it's an ongoing problem, long-term insomnia, or a sleep disorder, don't assume it will go away, or that you can live with
it — see your doctor.

But if it's the usual stress and lack of time problem that comes to many of us this time of year, there are some simple steps you can take to get more rest:
  • Plan for it. Yes, put it right there into your schedule. Don't make it the "leftover" that you get to grab a few Z's when everything ELSE is done.


  • Allow yourself shut-down time — as much as an hour if possible — before bedtime. You can't sleep if your mind is running a million miles an hour. Use this time to sit in a peaceful room with a book. Listen to music. Sit by a fire. Don't do it in the room where you sleep — you'll be thinking about the pressure to sleep. ;)


  • If you have aches and pains, take something mild — perhaps Tylenol PM. No one can sleep peacefully while they are in pain.


  • Make sure your room is the right temperature. Too hot or too cold can ruin your whole night.


  • If sleep's been a problem, crisp new sheets might be just the ticket. A smooth spoil-yourself feeling can put you out like a light.


  • Perhaps a fan in the room? The sound of a gently whirring fan (or other "white noise") can lull many of us to sleep.


  • Nature sounds on CD. Often when my wife is stressed, she sleeps to the sound of a gentle rainstorm, with just a little rolling thunder in the distance. It can feel very peaceful.


  • Get rid of the large, luminous clock staring at you. It not only produces distracting light, it is a stressful reminder that "Hey, you aren't sleeping. Yep, that's right. Not sleeping. Loser." The act of worrying about sleep is, in itself, enough to keep you awake.


  • Control the amount of light in your bedroom. Excessive brightness not only affects your eyes, but it also influences the hormone production that helps to establish a healthy sleep cycle. Wear a sleep mask if necessary.


  • For some people Melatonin can help. It's not for everyone, but you might try it. Keep the dosage low. You can get it from food, however — see below.


  • Avoid a heavy meal up to four hours before bed. On the other hand, if hunger bothers you at night, have a light snack before bedtime. Some foods in particular promote production of melatonin, a hormone associated with the onset of sleep. Among these desirable snacks are cottage cheese, soy nuts, chicken, pumpkinseeds, and turkey (all low carb options.)


  • A cup of warm herbal tea (avoid the caffeine!) with a splash of cream can be soothing and restful.


  • Hopefully, you're not smoking, but if you won't listen to all the health warnings, The American Lung Association, and Doctor Atkins, at least pay attention to the bags under your eyes. For the light sleeper, nicotine has to go. It's a stimulant that increases blood pressure, speeds up the heart rate, and stimulates brain activity.


  • Try to avoid resorting to sleeping pills. They can start ANOTHER cycle you don't want to be a part of and often force a non-restful sleep.


  • Restricting Alcohol: Most of us keep it to a minimum as low-carbers anyway, but where sleep is concerned, alcohol is tricky. You may argue that liquor acts as a sedative and initially helps to induce sleep. However, alcohol actually lightens and fragments sleep, causing you to wake up as your body metabolizes it. You may think you're out cold, but your not getting the full-rested sleep that you need. While you're at it, try to limit your intake of any liquids close to bedtime (this time, consider the princess and the pee). The moral of the story: less nightcap, more Happy Hour.
Make yourself the strongest you can be to become the happiest and healthiest you can be. Getting enough sleep is an important tool toward reaching that goal. Sweet Dreams!

       Richard
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Low Carb Connoisseur

Low Carb Connoisseur Kick's off Cool Weather with Hot New Products!       


Low Carb Baking is now easier with Lucky Leaf Lite Cherry Pie Filling made with Splenda! 65% fewer calories than regular pie filling. Top off ice cream, cheesecakes, and other desserts. Great as a breakfast topping on pancakes, waffles, etc.

Hot Fudge, the Low Carber and Diabetic's dream! Just the thought of it inspires a feeling of bliss. There is nothing that tastes as luscious or leaves you as smugly satisfied as hot fudge drizzled over ice cream, fruit or stirred into your next cup of coffee. New! Sauce de Jacqueline Gourmet Fudge Sauces available in Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Fudge, Bittersweet Chocolate, & Chocolate Caramel.

Hoppin John's Charleston style condiments help you do Low Carb the Southern Way! Dilly Beans are spicy pickled low carb green beans, packed with fresh dill. Serve chilled as you would any pickle or in a martini or bloody mary!

Low Country Mustard Pickle Mix - This traditional mixed pickle should be set out as an hor d'oeuvre before dinner.

New Candy from Carbolite! Low Carb Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar, Low Carb Salt Water Taffy and Low Carb Jelly Beans!

          Low Carb Connoisseur – we put the Dash in Low–Carb.com!



recipes

Visitor Favorites!

Below are some of our favorites of the recipes sent to us by visitors. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

French Farmhouse Garlic Chicken

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon light olive or peanut oil
  • 6 small cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 4 teaspoons oat flour or low carb baking mix
  • 2 Tablespoons dry white wine
Rinse chicken; pat dry. Season with the salt and pepper. In a 10-inch skillet heat oil over medium - high heat. Add chicken and garlic cloves. Cook chicken for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or just until brown, turning once. Slowly add broth, lemon juice, basil, and oregano. Simmer, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken and garlic to a warm serving platter; keep warm.

In a small bowl stir together oat flour (or low carb baking mix) and 2 Tablespoons dry white wine. Stir into pan juices. Bring to boiling. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Spoon sauce atop chicken.

Serve with mock mashed potatoes or your favorite low-carb veggie.

Makes 4 Servings — 2 carbs per serving.



Sour Cream Chicken Salad

  • 1 cup full fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup sliced seedless grapes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon minced onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine sour cream, mayo, lemon juice, curry powder, salt & pepper in a bowl and mix well. Add chicken, celery, grapes, onion & pecans, mix gently. Chill until serving time.

Makes 4 Servings. 6.8 carbs per serving if using grapes. 2.5 carbs without grapes.



Baked French Toast

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon Brown Sugar Twin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 slices low carb bread*
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 3 eggs
Melt butter in bottom of 9x9 inch pan. Mix Splenda and Brown Sugar Twin with cinnamon and add to butter in pan. Place bread slices over butter mixture.

Beat eggs with cream and pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, bake uncovered at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

No syrup is necessary! Makes 4 Servings. Carb count 3 to 5 depending on bread used.

* We've made this using Gabi's Bread (see recipe at site), Keto French Loaf, and Carbolite Bread, as well as pre-made slices of Irene's Health Bread (see shopping guide at the site.)



No-Bake Orange Cheesecake

  • 16 ounces full-fat cream cheese
  • 1 small box sugar free orange gelatin *
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Keto Orange Marmalade
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put 1 cup water in small pot and bring to a 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, Keto Orange Marmalade, and Splenda.

If desired sprinkle crushed low carb cookie or sweetened nut flour over top.

Refrigerate until set — 3 to 4 hours.

Serves 6 — 3.4 grams per serving.

For an extra orange kick, drizzle each serving with DaVinci Sugar Free Orange syrup!

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



Buttermilk Pork Chops

  • 2 big butterfly pork chops, marinated (*see note below)
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 1/2 cup Marsala Dry cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2/3 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk ranch dressing (not fat free!)

Heat skillet over medium heat. Wrap marinated chops with bacon strips so that they are wrapped up like a Christmas package. Place chops into hot pan and press down with spatula. This will sear the bacon to the chops nicely.

Cook about 4 minutes then turn over gently and press down again so other side is seared as well. Continue cooking chops until cooked to your liking-I recommend about another 5 minutes for each side but Andy likes his very well done. Remove chops to plate. Turn up heat to medium-high and add rest of marinate left over in pan. When it bubbles add Marsala to reduce the mixture and clean pan. Scrape pan well with spatula. Give mixture 1 minute to reduce at simmer and then add mushrooms and onions. Sauté until veggies are soft, add ranch dressing and mix well with spatula. As soon as the mixture starts to bubble over simmer it is done. Pour mixture over chops and serve.

* Note: These are great marinated in Italian dressing for up to 12 hours ahead of time!

Serves 2: 3 carbs per serving



___________________________________





Cinnamon Raisin Bread from Cheeters Diet Treats! This is the best tasting low carbohydrate Cinnamon Raisin Bread I have found, and it is now available at LowCarbDieters.com ! The folks at Cheeters (crackers, brownies, etc.) have perfected the art of making a low carb Cinnamon Raisin "dessert" type bread, with only 2 grams of effective carbohydrate after fiber subtraction! A 1 1/2 pound loaf with approximately 16 slices is only $4.99/loaf!

The great new Flax-O-Meal hot cereal is now available for ordering from our web site. Put that great warm comfort food back into your mornings for only 2 effective carbohydrates per serving (and a healthy 10 grams of fiber!) Available in Cinnamon & Spice, Vanilla Almond, Butter Pecan, and Chocolate!

Visit us at www.LowCarbDieters.com!




letters

        Halloween Party:
       Without the Sugar

Dear Lora,
I've taken my kids off sugar since I've discovered the dangers as I became a low-carber. But as you know, Halloween is ALL ABOUT sugar (candy, candy, and more candy)! I decided the best way around this is to have a Halloween Party for my kids and their friends so they can dress up, have fun, and avoid all the sugar.

Any suggestions for activities or food? (My kids are 5, 7, and 8.)

Thanks,
Lisa

Dear Lisa —

Wow. I really applaud you for not giving in to the pressure and for making an effort to make a difference for your kids!

A friend of mine recently shared these suggestions with me, and I'll pass them on!

How about replacing those traditional candy treats with "make and take" arts and crafts sorts of things that provide hands-on real life experiences, encourage imagination and creativity and good memories of good times? Research shows that children today have hundreds more hours of watching people do interesting things on TV than actually doing interesting things themselves. Use this fact to make your party stand out.

Elect to spend time on your party and let the kids help! Don't make everything ahead. Instead, have materials and space ready and let the kids decorate, make refreshments and something to take home and create their own party. Think about what they can do best, have the most fun with and learn the most from doing.

Plan an outdoor activity — If possible, consider a trip to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard, go skating, borrow enough wagons to allow coasting down a (small!) hill, go for a short hike, collect fall leaves. Arrange them between two sheets of wax paper and iron the wax paper "sandwich" with a medium hot iron to seal the leaves in.

Make your own decorations — let the kids crepe paper the house, tie spider webs with bight colored yarn, trace or stamp designs on paper tablecloths using Halloween cookie cutters.

Let the kids help make and serve refreshments. They can mix punch from fruit juices, and serve sugar free cookies and cakes! Take a selection of recipes from the site's recipe area and use food colorings to make appropriate Halloween looks! (The "Sugar" cookie recipe at the site can be decorated to look like the cutest pumpkins!)

They'll feel like a valuable member of the group, have a great time helping and you'll be amazed at their skills and ideas — if someone will just let them use them!

See if you can add an "old-time" activity like a hay ride, apple dunking or playing pin the stem, or nose on a pumpkin or Jack O'Lantern.

Have guests come in costume. Encourage them to make their own and keep it a secret. It encourages creativity, helps develop an eye for possibilities and builds anticipation of the great unveiling.

It may all seem very old-fashioned, but it might well be the Halloween your kids remember for a long time to come. Good luck!

                             

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

___________________________________

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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