March 7, 2007


granie of 20 said...

New question: How has the "diet" worked with high colesterol (sp)? My hubby is afraid to go to doctor because he fears his will be through the roof!

Good question! The picture to the left will help with the answer. Common medical thinking (incorrect thinking) is that in the picture the cholesterol producing food is the hamburger meat because it has dietary fat.

The truth? It is the bun that causes elevation in serum cholesterol levels. Not just one bun, mind you, but years of carb overload, leading to insulin resistance, and raised blood glucose levels.

I am not going to take the space here to write about the truth on dietary fat, as there are many excellent articles already on the web. Here is a humorous fictional article, another important fats article and one of the chapters from Dr. Bernstein's book.

The low carb way my doctor prescribes (see "The List") pretty quickly lowers bad/LDL cholesterol and helps elevate the number of good/HDL cholesterol. David and I just had our first follow up cholesterol (and other) tests yesterday, so we will find out in two weeks how much our numbers have improved. David's LDL was very high and his HDL was very low, the exact opposite of how it should be. Our doctor does not use Statin drugs. He will use Niacin if diet alone does not bring the numbers to where he wants them to be. Statin drugs have many adverse side effects and don't help the cholesterol problem as much as diet alone can usually do.

Don't be afraid to have your cholesterol tested. It is a very helpful tool to see how your diet is actually helping, if it was bad to start with. Though you might find you have to be a bit more carb restricted ( as far as the The List goes, with the elimination of even small amounts of fast acting carbs - which is also the best way for quicker weight loss) to get your numbers where they should be. But any carb reduction will help some. More reduction in carbs, more improvement in cholesterol numbers. (note: that isn't to imply that a zero carb diet is any better than 30 carbs a day, which is what Dr. Bernstein recommends, though our doctor just says stick to The List and don't worry about counting carbs)

The other thing to keep in careful consideration is that bad cholesterol numbers (too much bad, too little good) are a HUGE indication of elevated blood sugars doing damage to your system. Anyone with "bad" cholesterol numbers should ask to have an A1C test done. It amazes me how often doctors won't do these two together unless there is a family history of diabetes. Yet, when I asked for my 5 year old to have her A1C checked (because of testing her FBC at home was coming up in the 90's, which is too high for someone, especially so young!) they automatically included a cholesterol test with it, BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY GO HAND IN HAND! **grrr**

(Her A1C was 5.1, which is still too high because perfect normal A1C would be around 4.5 and 6.0 is diabetes. Her cholesterol was fine, as I suspected, because it takes quite a few years of high blood sugars to get it to show up in the cholesterol numbers. But it is something to watch and have tested each year for her. We also need to start her on some of the supplements we are on.)

Add to the cholesterol and diabetes group low thyroid with or without adrenal insufficiency. This forms the metabolic triangle, per se. Low thyroid is a huge under treated problem, because the symptoms can be so vague: feeling cold, tired, weight gain/inability to lose weight, sinus problems, and a host of other symptoms. Read up on it.

With that said, and this may also help explain why David and I have had a quicker result in weight loss, etc., is that our dr. has us on Cytomel, which is a thyroid replacement medicine (and if you are low thyroid weight loss can be especially difficult) as we tested low thyroid. We are both on Metformin, which is a low level diabetes medicine which helps the body work with the insulin it still has to lower blood sugar levels and also helps improve cholesterol and since it is helping lower blood sugar it helps with weight/stored fat loss. (Also intriguing is that Metformin is used for treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome a more and more common form of infertility and messed of "female" stuff. Clearly an indication that elevated blood sugars and some types of infertility are linked, and treatable.)

We are also on supplements that help with blood sugar levels: chromium picolinate, biotin, vitamin D (he first ran a blood test and found us to be very, very low in this, which is common in the US, especially in the more northern states), Carlson Fish Oil, Carlson B 50 Gel vitamin B complex and Carlson Liquid Multiple Minerals. (If you want to know dosages we are taking please email me)

All of these things together can greatly help the body deal with high blood sugar/weight loss/ cholesterol issues even more than diet alone. But without the diet modifications, these supplements alone will not give you the same result. There is no short cuts, sorry!

I feel it is important for readers to understand why David and my weight loss results maybe faster/greater than your own on low carb alone (also known as Your Mileage May Vary or YMMV), so that you do not get discouraged. It may just take longer if you do not follow The List, have the medications we have and/or the supplements we are taking. That isn't to say the you won't lose weight by doing low carb way of eating (WOE). There is plenty of evidence to prove you can! It maybe slower is all. Don't give up!

I would encourage everyone to get the tests I mentioned above and also a thyroid panel (not just a TSH). Even if you had normal test results a year or more ago, re-test, especially if you have low thyroid symptoms. Be persistent. Even if you come back borderline on your tests (most labs still use an outdated too high "normal" range) ask your doctor to allow a trial phase of thyroid replacement to see if it helps you feel better. If you can at all, stay clear of Synthroid. Better drugs are Cytomel or Armour. Remember, your doctor works FOR YOU. And, if your cholesterol comes back in a range the doctor wants to use Statin drugs for, ask for a 6 month trial of improved diet (and exercise also helps as well as weight loss, which will happen with a low carb diet anyway). High blood pressure also responds well to low carb. If you are on high BP medication you will probably find your BP getting too low after a time and have to stop taking those meds. Nice, eh?

Be encouraged! Carry on the low carb WOE! Bacon is your friend!

Thyroid info and complications of high blood sugar

Low thyroid symptom check list here.

Just Google diabetes complications and you will find tons of sites with info. Don't be put off by the word diabetes. Anyone with raised blood sugar levels is on the diabetic road, whether or not you become insulin dependent or not. Quality of life is a huge issue for those of us on this road. Personally, I don't want to go blind, lose a limb to amputation or have a heart attack/stroke, but the likelihood of these things occurring is very high if I let my elevated blood sugar go untreated.

Symptoms/complications of high blood sugar/diabetes:

Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are associated with long-term complications that threaten life and the quality of life. The disease is the leading cause of adult blindness, end-stage kidney disease(ESRD) and amputations (as a result of nerve disease).

People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have coronary heart disease and stroke than people who don't have it. Diabetes complicates pregnancy and results in more birth defects than babies born to women without the disease.

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related deaths. Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about two to four times higher than adults without diabetes.
  • The risk of stroke is two to four times higher.
  • An estimated 60 to 65 percent of people with diabetes have high blood pressure.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20 to 24 years old.
  • More than half the limb amputations in the United States occur among people with diabetes.

It's important to know how serious the complications of diabetes can be. If you have diabetes, you will be the person most responsible for working to avoid the worst effects of the disease. You will want to know about these problems so that you can be alert to detecting them and preventing them. Diabetes care is a 24-hour-a-day effort, and preventing complications is worth establishing good self-care routines. The most effective way to avoid complications from either type of diabetes is to keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as you can. (taken from

arm pain
cardiomyopathy /
cardiovascular disease
cardiac neuropathy
cataracts / blindness
diarrhea, chronic
digestive problems
erectile dysfunction (impotence)
fatigue / fainting
feet, general
feet, altered gait
feet, deformity
feet, neuropathy
feet, numbness
feet, pain
feet, scaly
feet, ulcers
frozen shoulder
hand numbness
heart attack / blood clots
heart / arterial disease
heartburn / belching / gastroparesis
high cholesterol
hypertension / high blood pressure
ilio-tibial band/tensor fascia lata syndrome
impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
joint inflammation / tightness
kidney stones / kidney disease / nephropathy / infections
leg pain
macular edema
mood changes
night blindness
nerve damage
obesity / weight gain
periodontal disease
peripheral vascular disease
salivary duct stones
short-term memory loss / loss of mental activity
skin tightness / skin conditions
twitching limbs
vision changes / diseases

One that isn't in this particular list (from Dr. Bernsteins site and is referenced to the chapters in his book where these symptoms are mentioned) is:

Tinnitus (go here for an article to read on the topic) and hearing loss ( article here, and here, and here). An excerpt from this article:

Since vascular and nerve tissues play predominant roles in auditory function, any disease that has the capacity to damage their cells has potential to negatively affect the various hearing organs. A link between hearing and diabetes seems likely indeed if the rich blood supply to the cochlea and/or the nerve centers in the hearing pathways, including the brain, are affected.

In fact, diabetes-related damage to blood vessels in the cochlea was documented in recent animal studies. Through surgery, researchers observed microvascular changes in the inner ear, including differences in circulation flow, narrowing capillaries and loss of outer hair cells that amplify the sounds that enter the cochlea. Such changes would be nearly impossible to observe directly in human ears. The human auditory system is obscured because the cochlea is embedded in the temporal bone and the neural pathways are complex and distributed through the brainstem and cortex.
Another good article:

A Diagnosis of Pre-diabetes:

What does this mean? It means that the cells in your body are becoming resistant to insulin and your blood glucose levels are higher than they should be. Since the levels aren't as high as they would be if you had Type 2 diabetes, the term "pre-diabetes" is used. Your doctor may also call this condition "impaired fasting glucose" or "impaired glucose tolerance. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 41 million adult Americans between the ages of 40 and 74 have pre-diabetes.

Risk Factors:

The risk factors are the same for pre-diabetes as they are for Type 2 diabetes.

  • Overweight or obese
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history
  • Age
  • Race - African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians are at greater risk for Type 2 diabetes
  • A previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes
Signs and Symptoms of Pre-diabetes:

Very often there are no signs or symptoms for pre-diabetes. It is often discovered during a routine physical with basic screening for fasting blood glucose levels. The normal level is below 100 mg/dl. If it's 100 to 125 mg/dl, this indicates that you have impaired fasting glucose or pre-diabetes. Over 126 mg/dl most likely means a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.

Preventing Type 2:

Having pre-diabetes puts you at a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes in the future. But it doesn't have to mean that you will get Type 2 diabetes. A healthy lifestyle change can lower your risk and improve the way your body uses insulin. A low fat diet and calories can help you lose weight. The less fat and more muscle you have, the less resistant to insulin you will be. Exercising regularly not only helps you to lose weight, but also help lower your blood glucose level by using glucose as energy.

February 27, 2007

For those of us whose families are not on board...

What do you do when you go out to eat and your husband chose the restaurant? My hubby I have gone out twice in the last two days. Monday night I chose the restaurant. We went out with friends to Saylor's, a steak place, with some friends. This one was easy since I am not a big bread person, just sugar! This place serves a relish tray with a seasoned sour cream dip (basically sour cream and chives). I ate some celery sticks, two small carrot sticks (I am going moderate low carb and not strict low carb)and some olives. I skipped the bread and took the beets and croutons off my salad. For dinner I had Filet Mignon and asked for veggies instead of the potato options. When the meal came, I took the carrots out of the veggies and just ate the broccoli and cauliflower and added some butter to them. Then I skipped the ice cream dessert that came with the meal.

Then next day we went out with the kids and Jim wanted to go to Unique Buffet. This is a Chinese all you can eat buffet. He asked me if this was okay and I told him I would make it work. This one was harder because I really like pot stickers and the cream cheese puffs. I didn't have either. I ended up eating some crab and shrimp from one dish and some veggies from another. I know the crab dish had sugar in it because it was pretty sweet. I just limited my portion to quite small. I got salad, (which was basically lettuce)with cucumber, and sunflower seeds with ranch dressing. I also got a hard boiled egg and a piece of chicken on a stick but it tasted really sweet so I only had a bite or two. After eating this I still felt a little hungry so I got some more sunflower seeds and another half of a hard boiled egg.

The biggest thing I am doing for myself is reminding myself of what I can have, not what I can't have. I have been on Weight Watchers before and always felt like I was "bad" because I would splurge and eat the things I shouldn't since I could count them as points. Well, I have found it much easier with this change of lifestyle to say, "Hey, now I can eat bacon or sunflower seeds." I guess I am choosing the see the glass as half full instead of half empty and I like it. I also really like the results. I've lost 6.4 pounds in the last 1-1/2 weeks.

February 24, 2007

Low Carb Recipe Book Recommendations

(Before I start this post I want everyone to understand that the Amazon links below are to my associate account with Amazon. What does that mean? It means that if you purchase something from Amazon by going through my link I will earn a few pennies for providing the link. Do I make a ton of money? Nope. Does it make your price higher if you use my link? No, you still get the usual Amazon price. Put another way, if you don't use my link and buy it anyway, no one gets the referral pennies and Amazon keeps it all. I think it a nice compliment for people to use my links as a way to say "thank you" for writing the posts, reviewing the books, and preparing the links so you can quickly get to books I am recommending - and not having to spend a lot of time searching the web. One other thing and that is be sure to check the used prices listed with each Amazon product. Sometimes folks are selling these books dirt cheap and yes, you pay for shipping - verses Amazon's free shipping if you purchase $25 or more - but sometimes even with the shipping added in you can save a lot of money over the "new" price. Sometimes there isn't much difference and then I always prefer to buy it new myself. Just so you know, I've looked for books on Ebay and never found any good deals on the low carb books I have looked for. Be smart and savvy always when going through even Amazon's used book sellers. Look at their rating and try to go with a 95% or higher rating if you can.)

So far my favorite low carb recipe book author is Dana Carpender. I like how she lists the carb, fiber and protein counts, I like how her recipes taste and I really appreciate the information in the beginning of each book that teaches you so much about low carb meals and different products to use.

Here are a few I haven't seen, but I have heard good things about:

These are the two dessert low carb books I have and like:

And last, I have one of these from the Library but haven't gotten to look at it yet, but Sharron Long comes highly recommended for low carb recipes:

February 21, 2007

Low Carb Breakfast Ideas - Part One

Breakfast: The most important meal of the day, but sometimes the hardest meal for low carb.

True isn't it? How many days in a row can you eat eggs without getting sick at the sight of them? A bit of planning in advance can help a lot. First in a series, we will tackle low carb meal ideas for breakfast.

First, I want to address the whole "Great American Breakfast" standard. On the one side there is the high carb/low protein breakfast of cereal and milk. On the other side there is the "cooked" breafast that invariably includes eggs, a "breakfast" meat (bacon, sausage or ham) and your bread/grain of choice (pancakes, french toast, toast, oatmeal, muffin, etc.). Since cereal and milk are out of the question for low carb, we are left with trying to simulate a standard "cooked" breakfast. Eggs and meats are great and can be very easy, especially at first, for low carb. The problem comes with eating the same few things day after day. I want to let you all know that you don't have to have eggs and bacon for breakfast every day! In fact, I want you to think about eating things not usually considered "breakfast" foods for breakfast. It is a little weird at first, but sometimes a cheeseburger in the morning really hits the spot! (no bun of course!)

Before we get into the more creative ways of making a low carb breakfast, let's revisit those breakfast standards: eggs and meat. Already mentioned, this can be easy , until you taste buds burn out. I'm not exactly sure why this happens. It seems silly to me, because I know in past times and even in third world countries people eat the same thing(s) everyday. I know they are happy and grateful for each mouthful they receive. So, why can't I be that way too? Why can't I eat the same thing everyday and have it taste as good the first day, the fifty first day and the one hundred and first day? Is this just a sign of conditioning to the American way of eating something different everyday? Is it something I can "get over", mind over matter? I don't know. Trying to eat something that makes you gag isn't easy. Keeping ones stomach and brain full/content is important to avoid snacking, cravings, stable blood sugar and long term success for low carb. I'm new at this, so if anyone else has any answers, please jump in!

Back to, ahem, eggs... One of the reasons we use them is that they are an easy, usually tasty, way to get in some good protein. Protein is important to low carbing, as well as fats. It isn't enough to just reduce your carbs, you need to get good amounts of protein and fats in. Don't go crazy though. Just enough to be full till the next meal. You can play around with this. If two eggs and a meat (say 2 slices of bacon) aren't keeping your full till lunch, check that you have gotten in some good fat (butter, cream, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.). If you have had some fat, add one more egg or one more piece of bacon. Find where you are satisfied till the next meal, without feeling too full/stuffed afterward. If you eat too much protein at your meals you can also hinder weight loss, for those of you who are doing low carb for that, and/or raise your blood sugars by giving your stomach too much food to digest. So, keep in mind, reasonable portions and don't go "hog" wild (ha!) on your protein portions.

Here are a few ideas so that you can change eggs texture and taste:

1. Cook them differently: scrambled, omelet, fried, hard boiled, soft boiled, raw (like in an eggnog/protein drink) or crust less quiche. Rotating through these different ways can help you and your family avoid burn out.

2. Add different ingrediants into scrambled, omelet, quiche and even on top of your fried egg, and in an eggnog/protein drink. Examples:

Cheese -lots of different varieties to choose from, so rotate
Veggies -left overs from the night before work great
Salsa -watch ingrediants/carb count - some might add sugar- and don't use tons
Garlic/onions - use sparingly, but a little goes a long way for flavor
Da Vinci syrup flavoring -some are better than others for this
Spices - very important for low carb, play around with them
Low carb ketchup -okay, that is one I like, I think because it reminds me of eating eggs with hash browns of potatoes, which I used to eat with ketchup put on
Mix your bacon or sausage in with your eggs instead of eating separately
A small amount of toasted, chopped nuts, like pecans
For Eggnog: low carb count protein powder (can also make a protein shake this way, without eggs), Da Vinci syrups can add a lot of flavor, specialty extracts/flavorings, lower carb fruit used sparingly (like blueberry's), ricotta, cream, sour cream.

I think menu planning helps a lot, so that you have a plan in advance of how you are going to prepare things (like eggs) differently each day. Keep things rotating.

Breakfast meats can be used with or without eggs. Again, rotating your meats will help in the long run. We use a lot of bacon, because it is easy and most of the family likes it. Leftovers are never a problem as they get used in sandwiches by my older kids (who aren't low carbing), as snacks, in salads, or in the next days egg meal.

Here are breakfast meat ideas:
Sausage -link or patties - though watch carb counts, as some add a lot of sugar
Ham or canadian bacon
Steak - perfect if you have some left over from the night before, cook some extra to have for breakfast
Left over chicken- grill it up to go in your omelet or quiche or on the side with fried eggs
Fish - not a personal favorite, but I'm sure there are lots of you who would love a nice piece of grilled fish for breakfast

You are only limited by your own imagination. Get over your bias of "standard" breakfast grub. Repeat after me: It is okay to eat ANYTHING for breakfast. That is low carb anythings. There now, don't you feel better?

Stay tuned: Breakfast Part Two -low carb pancakes, muffins, recipes,etc.

February 19, 2007

Skinny Diabetic???

If you are like most people you probably think that diabetic people are overweight. I thought the same thing. I thought that my husband was the one who would benefit most from going low-carb because he is overweight. I am 5'4", and weigh 115 pounds (hate to mention this, but I am 30 years old). I am your typical skinny, but flabby girl (meaning I do not exercise). I thought that if anyone should be worrying about diabetes- it would be my husband. He has a family history of diabetics, and he has been overweight all his life. However I got an eye opener this week when I got my blood work results back from my doctor. She just did a typical fasting blood test, my results are as follows:

Glucose 90 (65-99)

Hemoglobin A1c 5.7 (non-diabetic: <6.0)

Now, I realize from these results that I am not a diabetic, but I am getting really too close for comfort! Jerri and her husband had the same test done, and even though they were overweight, their results were lower than mine. They were diagnosed as prediabetic, and I believe I will be diagnosed the same (see sidenote).

Did you know that having birthed a baby over 9 pounds puts you at risk for prediabetes? Our son (3 years old) was over 9 pounds at birth. Craving carbs and eating too many (that's me!) puts you at risk for prediabetes! I am the kind of person who will eat a bag of potato chips over "sweets" any day! I love salty carbs!! You can do a search online and find a complete list of symptoms for prediabetes.

Did you know that "the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimate that 41 million Americans between the ages of 40 to 74 are living with prediabetes, and most remain unaware of their condition. Without intervention and appropriate treatment, people with prediabetes are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years."

So beware! You might be prediabetic just like me but be blissfully unaware as you mow down your potato chips and sandwhich! You don't have to be overweight to have this problem. There is such a thing as a skinny diabetic person!! However YOU don't have to become diabetic- talk to your doctor, get a simple blood test, change the way you eat (throw out those high carb foods), and change your future.

Sidenote: I am going to talk again with my doctor on Tuesday next week. I'll see what she says and what she recommends as a plan of action and let you'all know what happens.

Hi, I'm Gail and I am just starting out on this journey.

I began eating low-carb last Friday so I am really a newbie at this. I have been watching Jerri as she has been eating this way and kind of jealous of the results, but I was just not ready to give up my chocolate and sweets. I do not have as hard a time with breads although I am noticing that without any of the breads, my sweet tooth is much less. I began on Friday at 200.1 pounds and I am 5'8" tall. I hide my weight quite well although anyone can see that I am overweight. I am mainly doing this for weight loss although my father has adult onset diabetes so if I can do something now that will prevent me from the difficulties he has had, it will be good.

Yesterday was my first real testing day. We have our Bible study at our house on Sunday afternoons and I had asked someone else to bring goodies. We had very big cinnamon sticky buns with and without frosting. They looked so good and I ended up with the chair right next to the table where they sat. So, since it was at my house, I got out my own snack. I had some provolone cheese and some pecans. I was very satisfied and although I could smell the goodies behind me, I was just fine. Later, after the meeting, I brought my kids to McDonald's. I ordered the classic grilled chicken sandwich without the bun and asked for a fork and knife. I spread a small amount of mayo on it and ate it. When you order it this way, they put it on top of a couple of pieces of good lettuce not the shredded lettuce. I was quite satisfied with it also.

My husband is not into a carb-free or low-carb diet at all and he has been out of the country in Mexico since last Wednesday. He does not even know that I started this so we will see how things go when he comes home tonight.

One of the things that made me decide to try this is it seemed like every time I was eating breads or sweet, I felt so bloated and yucky feeling that I was only enjoying them at the time I ate them. Once I was done, I wished I had not eaten them. Since starting to eat low-carb, I have felt satisfied but I have never had that bloated feeling.

I am definitely going low-carb and not no-carb. But just thinking about what I am eating has made a difference already. I look forward to seeing how it goes as time goes on. I enjoy reading the posts here about the successes and struggles. Thanks for letting me share.

February 17, 2007

Question and Answers

"Hey I have a question - what supplements do you take, i.e. vitamins, etc, to make this no fruit diet healthy?"

I thought this was the kind of question that everyone would like to see the answer for so I'm making it into a post.

There are no vitamins/essential nutrients that fruit has that cannot be found in vegetables, proteins and fats. So, the bigger issue is just missing eating fruits. If you can't fathom living without any fruit, just look at a carb counter and figure out which ones have the lowest carbs, eat a proper serving size (i.e. half an apple, not a whole one) and eat them infrequently. Blueberries are one I will use in flax seed muffin recipes and it only takes 4-5 per muffin to be quite a treat! Of course, if you don't like veggies, like I don't, be sure to take a good multi-vitamin too.

Other supplements we take? Mostly we take Chromium Picolinate (500 mcg, 2 caps twice a day)per doctors orders. It helps your body be more sensitive to insulin, to use it better, etc. We also take Vit. D as we were tested and were very low. Fish oil in the evenings. We take prescription Metformin, which is an oral diabetes medication, which also works to help your body make the most of the insulin you do have, which helps stabilize your blood sugars. Plus a good multi-vitamin. I think that rounds it out.

February 15, 2007

The "LIST"

This is the list our doctor gave us on what foods to eat and what foods not to eat. I keep it posted in the kitchen as a daily/hourly reminder!

Meat, vegetables, eggs, cheese, cream, seeds, nuts (some walnut and pecans are ok, but cashews and peanuts are not if more than a small hand full are eaten).

Tomatoes, carrots, onions (Ok, if eaten raw or lightly steamed on salad or side dish but not tomato paste or juice, nor bowl of cherry tomatoes. No onion rings or cooked carrots).

Fruit, potatoes, corn, beans, milk, juice (of any kind), protein powders*, grains (wheat, oatmeal, bran, smelt, any flour even low carb flour: a GRAIN is a GRAIN is a GRAIN and are almost all fast acting carbs). (* Check labels, you can find very low carb protein powders, just don't assume all are low carb)

Hard alchohols are fine: vodka, rum, whiskey, gin, etc. without added sugar. Dry wines are fine, but not sweet wines. Beers are a no, even low carb ones.

Just eat real food. Read ingredient labels and don't go by what's written on the front of a package. There is no such thing as low carb or no carb gum or candy. You have to have a carb to get it to stick together. Fat and protein alone just won't work.

Okay, so that is the list he gave us. Yet, as time goes on, I am finding there are a few things that are not on the list that are okay. Liquid Splenda is allowed as a sweetener, such as in products like Da Vinci Syrups or Sweetzfree. Dry/powdered Splenda on the other hand, has malodextrin added, which is just regular sugar and will raise blood sugar levels and if you are using a lot of it, will totally sabotage your weight loss success. Dr. Bernstein writes:
Powdered Artificial Sweeteners

At this writing, several artificial sweeteners are available. They are available from different manufacturers under different names, and some, such as Equal and Sweet’n Low, can have brand names under which more than one form of sweetener is sold. Here, to simplify your shopping, are acceptable products currently and soon to be available:

saccharin tablets or liquid (Sweet’n Low)
aspartame tablets (Equal, NutraSweet)*
acesulfame-K (Sunette, The Sweet One)
stevia powder or liquid (stevia has not been approved in the European Union)
sucralose tablets (Splenda)
neotame (newly approved by the FDA)
cyclamate tablets and liquid (not yet available in the United States)

* Many Web sites falsely perpetuate the myth that aspartame is toxic because its metabolism produces the poison methanol. In reality, one 12-ounce can of an aspartame-sweetened soft drink generates only ½5 as much methanol as does a glass of milk.

These are all noncarbohydrate sweeteners that vary in their availability and can be used to satisfy a sweet tooth without, for the most part, affecting blood sugars. But when sold in powdered form, under such brand names as Sweet’n Low, Equal, The Sweet One, Sunette, Sugar Twin, Splenda, and others, these products usually contain a sugar to increase bulk, and will rapidly raise blood sugar. They are all orders of magnitude sweeter tasting than sugar. So when you buy them in packets
and powdered form, with the exception of stevia, they usually contain about 96 percent glucose or maltodextrin and about 4 percent artificial sweetener. If you read the “Nutrition Facts” label on Splenda, for example, it lists, as such labels must, ingredients in order from most to least: dextrose (glucose), maltodextrin (a mixture of sugars), and finally sucralose.Most powdered sweeteners are sold as low-calorie and/or sugar-free sweeteners because they contain only 1 gram of a sugar as compared to 3 grams of sucrose in a similar paper packet labeled “sugar.” More suitable for diabetics are tablet sweeteners such as saccharin, cyclamate, and aspartame. As noted above, the same brand name can denote multiple products: Equal is a powder containing 96 percent glucose and also a tablet containing a minuscule (acceptable) amount of lactose. Sweet’n Low powder is saccharin with 96 percent glucose. Stevia powder and liquid (sold in health food stores) contain no sugar of any kind and only minute amounts of carbohydrate.

And, about how packaging doesn't always tell us the whole story:
So-Called Diet Foods and Sugar-Free Foods

Because U.S. food-labeling laws in the recent past have permitted and thus encouraged products to be called “sugar-free” if they do not contain common table sugar (sucrose), the mere substitution of another sugar for sucrose has permitted the packager to deceive the consumer legally.Most so-called sugar-free products have been, for many years, full of sugars that may not promote tooth decay but most certainly will raise your blood sugar. If you’ve been deceived, you’re not alone.

I’ve been in doctors’ offices that have candy dishes full of “sugar-free” hard candies for their diabetic patients! Sometimes the label will disclose the name of the substitute sugar.

Here is a partial list of some of the many sugars you can find in “sugar-free” foods.
All of these will raise your blood sugar.

corn syrup

Some, such as sorbitol and fructose, raise blood sugar more slowly than glucose but still too much and too rapidly to prevent a postprandial blood sugar rise in people with diabetes.

Other “diet” foods contain either sugars that are alternates to sucrose, large amounts of rapid-acting carbohydrate, or both. Many of these foods (e.g., sugar-free cookies) are virtually 100 percent rapidacting carbohydrate, usually flour, so that even if they were to contain none of the above added sugars, consumption of a small quantity would easily cause rapid blood sugar elevation.
There are exceptions:

• Most diet sodas—with some glaring exceptions, so always check nutrition labels and look for 0 under carbohydrate;* so-called sugar-free Slice contains 40 percent “natural fruit juice”
• Sugar-free Jell-O brand gelatin desserts—the ready-to-eat variety, not the powdered mix (see page 157)*
• Da Vinci brand syrups (see page 155)

All of these are made without sugar of any kind. These you need not restrict.

Keep in mind that even if you are NOT diabetic, but are doing low carb for weight loss, that the same principals apply. The same carbs that make a diabetic have high blood sugars are the same carbs that make us fat. So, it will only benefit your weight loss success to be aware of how carbs may still be sneaking into your mouth, even when you thought what you were eating was "safe".

Well, that is probably enough for everyone to "chew" on , ha ha, for today.

All information from Dr. Bernstein is found at

Hi, my name is Jerri and I'm a carb addict

It's true. I'm addicted to carbs. If I hadn't had my eyes forced open to see the damage they are doing to me I would never have chosen to try the low carb way of eating.

My husband and I started low carb eating in Oct. 2006. We started because of concerns with high blood sugar (pre-diabetic) and high cholesterol. Our doctor treats pre-diabetes fairly aggressively, with the hope of patients never having to deal with the horrible complications of diabetes. We basically follow the Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Diet . When we started, I weighed 148 lbs at 5'5 and my husband weighed 227 at 6'1. What we didn't know when we started was that low carb eating would lead to so much weight loss. We never understood the role carbs have in MAKING US FAT! Boy, were we surprised! It has been 4 months and I am down to 117 lbs (31 lbs lost) and hubby is down to 177 (50 lbs lost!). And get this: NO EXERCISING! Ha! Course, exercise would be good to add in to our road to better health.

I think the hardest part of this new way of eating, because it has to be for life to keep the health and weight loss benefits, is to find enough recipes and ways to make the foods we can have, appealing for the long haul. That is the biggest struggle. As Julie mentioned below, it is easy to get sick of eggs pretty fast. There are many ways to make eggs, but at some point you have to really change the flavor to not gag on them! LOL!

Another thing Julie mentioned is having children in the house who are not doing as low carb as the parents are. We have twelve children, all living at home, and they are doing lower carb. Well, some of them go out and buy whatever they want. But for the most part, I am not buying some things I used to ALWAYS buy (like fruit juice, cookies, chips, regular soda,etc.) and also trying to find things to make that are low carb and tasty to everyone. It isn't easy. It takes time to look through recipes, collect new ingrediants and try the new recipes. Some are good, some are yuck. lol.

A big part of why I started this blog was to have a place to share our struggles and successes. I REALLY struggle with craving carbs. Especially chocolate. My hubby, on the other hand, doesn't have problems with cravings. I have always disliked most vegetables, which doesn't leave much for me to eat if I don't get my taste buds to change their sweet little minds. Hubby, of course, loves all veggies! Hey, I don't even know how to cook most of them....yet. =)

Please join us on our new adventure of low carb eating; things you like, recipes, cookbooks you love or hate, etc. Share what kind of program you are doing, etc.

It isn't easy, but I sure LOVE the effect low carb eating has on my body and brain!