Friday, December 30, 2011

Interview with Dr. Atkins by Larry King on CNN

If you have never heard what Dr. Atkins personally said on  interviews, here is your chance. This is a transcript of the interview Larry King had with Dr. Atkins before his death. We have probably all read one or another of Dr. Atkins' books, but I found this interview interesting. There is actually a live interview floating around somewhere. I came across it before the holidays and when I find it again, I'll post that too.

"Twas the Night Before Statins" Courtesy of Tom Naughton

As most of you know, I cannot say enough about NOT taking statin drugs! This take-off on The Night Before Christmas by Tom Naughton says it all!!

‘Twas the Night Before Statins

Posted by Tom Naughton in Random Musings I wrote this a couple of years ago, but I’m reposting it for the newer readers.
Happy Holidays — Tom

‘Twas the night before statins, and all through the land
Our lipids were lethal, as we’d soon understand.
Our eggs were all stacked in the fridge with great care
In hopes they’d be scrambled, or fried if we dare.
The children were calm and well-fed in their beds,
While visions of sausages danced in their heads.
The dads, mostly lean, and wives often thinner
Had just settled down for a porterhouse dinner.
When out in the world there arose such a clatter,
They sprang from their plates to see what was the matter,
And what on the cover of TIME should appear,
But an arrogant scientist, peddling fear.
Cheers and belief from an ignorant press
Gave a luster of truth to the new, biased mess.
So away to the doctor we flew in a pack,
In hopes of a plan to end heart attacks.
He was dressed in all white from his neck to his butt
(which conveniently hid the size of his gut).
He sat us all down for a well-meaning chat:
“More carbohydrates — avoid all that fat!”
So sugars and starches we passed through our lips,
Only to wear them on bellies and hips.
Our hearts with their plaques continued to swell,
We grew diabetic and weren’t feeling well.
The doctor announced it was likely our fault –
We were, after all, still eating salt.
“But there’s no other option,” he said with shrug,
And pulled out his pad to prescribe some new drugs.
“Now Crestor! Now Zocor! Then Lipitor next!
Now Lipex! Now Lescol, and best take Plavix!
To the depths of the liver! To the artery wall!
Force it down, force it down, foul cholesterol!”
Our appetites crazed, we soon looked like blimps.
Our children lost focus, our manhood went limp.
The doctor examined joints now wracked with pain
And concluded the patients were old or insane.
He chose Celebrex for muscles that ache,
And added Cialis to the drugs we should take.
“Now stick to your diet, and be of good cheer,
If this doesn’t work, I’ll do lap-band next year!”

More December Pictures Courtesy of Jimmy Moore

Sometimes, this blog is frustrating! On the previous post, it would not let me post any more of Jimmy's pictures for December, so here's a couple more:

Nutritional health apparently applies to electronics now:

A lot has changed about how we get food, hasn’t it:

As many diet and health books as I own, I could’ve done this:

Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words Courtesy of Jimmy Moore

Good morning everyone. No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, but it has been just a too stressful holiday season, not the least of which was the first Christmas for all of us without my mother and then, food poisoning, courtesy of Wendy's on Christmas Eve! Well, we have survived it, and now I'm ready to move on with some constructive things for the New Year.

So, to start out, take a look at Jimmy Moore's "Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words" for the month of December. They're always worth at least a chuckle here and there:

A Paleo nativity anyone? This one looks meat-y good:

And no, this does not count as a “low-carb” treat:

Although, this made for a perfect “gag” gift this Christmas:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Utterly Addictive Pumpkin Seeds Courtesy of Dana Carpender

Today, I found a very interesting recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds on Dana Carpender's blog. When my brother Marc goes to North Carolina in the fall to close his summer house in the winter, he always brings me pumpkins, which I do all manner of things with. And the last thing I do after roasting a pumpkin to make savory pumpkin soup is roast the seeds. My recipe is a little different, as I usually toss my seeds in olive oil, and season with garlic and onion powder, and soy sauce. They make for a really nice salty snack.

Dana' s recipe uses coconut oil and coconut aminos, which I'd never heard of. You might want to give this one a try as it uses coconut oil, which we know is an excellent source of fat for our WOE.

Utterly Addictive Pumpkin Seeds

1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or other Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
2/3 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 cups squash kernels (shelled pumpkin seeds are, indeed, squash kernels.)
Set oven to 250. Put the coconut oil in a roasting pan, and put it in the oven to melt as the oven heats.
In the meanwhile, in a small dish, mix together the coconut aminos, anchovy paste, and tabasco sauce, stirring till the anchovy paste dissolves.
In another small dish, mix together the onion powder, garlic powder, and seasoned salt.
When the coconut oil is melted, pull the pan out and dump the pumpkin seeds in the pan. Stir till they're all coated with the oil. Now pour the coconut amino mixture over them, and stir again. Finally, sprinkle the seasoning blend over the whole thing, and stir to coat.
Slide 'em in the oven, and set the timer for 20 minutes. When it beeps, stir 'em up, put 'em back, and set the timer for another 20. When it beeps again, check that they're dry. If not, give them another ten minutes. Assuming they are, pull them out. Either way, when they're dry and golden, let them cool and put them in a snap top container to store. Hide them in an obscure, hard to reach place if you hope for them to last longer than a day or two!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 servings, each with: 299 Calories; 24g Fat ; 19g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 6 grams usable carb.
Note: Coconut aminos are a sauce quite similar to soy sauce -- to my taste a little sweeter -- but made from coconut sap. Great for those who wish to avoid all soy products, but still love Asian food. I've been using them for this paleo book. You could use soy sauce instead, if you wish; I might add a half-teaspoon or so of sweetener in that case.

Interesting Article Coouortesy of Tom Naughton

Today, I was yet doing a little catching up on my low carb reading, and Tom Naughton of the Fathead blog is a favorite of mine and makes for funny yet informative reading! I am just leaving a link for you since the two articles I found so interesting and funny were a little long to copy and paste. Read the first two articles on this link:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cholesterol Follies Courtesy of Tom Naughton

As you know, I've been trying to catch up reading and research of topics of importance for the OFL's. I have been reading back posts on Tom naughton's blog, Fathead, and this one really caught my interest. If you are one of the ones that are still being "suckered" by the pharmaceutical industry about high cholesterol, and especially if you are taking a statin for this, please take time to read the following article!

I myself have permanent muscle damage due to the statin drug I was put on earlier this year. I only took it two months, and in that time went from strong to weak, with great muscle pain and frequent falls. My doctor thinks the damage is likely permanent. So, please do yourself a favor and read this post. For other references type cholesterol in the search box above. I feel this is such and important matter that I've copied and pasted the article for you rather than just  a web address:

More Cholesterol Follies

Posted by Tom Naughton in Bad Medicine, Bad Science “It’s no accident that we’re drug oriented, really. The drug companies got us that way and they’d like to keep us that way.  It’s a simple thing. They start you early with the oral habit. Little orange flavored aspirin for children. (pop, pop) Two in the mouth, son. Something wrong with your head? (pop, pop) Two in the mouth. Remember that:  head, mouth. (pop, pop) These are orange; there’ll be other colors later on.”
– George Carlin

I’m wondering what color the drug companies will choose for children’s statins.  Maybe they’ll produce cherry-flavored pills shaped like the American Heart Association’s logo.  Two in the mouth, son.
I was hoping against hope the anti-cholesterol hysterics would never be foolish enough prescribe statins for kids, but a recent news article suggests that’s where we’re headed:
More children should be screened for high cholesterol before puberty, beyond those with a family history of problems, according to wide-ranging new guidelines expected from government-appointed experts who are trying to prevent heart disease later in life.
Any call for wider screening is likely to raise concern about overdiagnosing a condition that may not cause problems for decades, if ever. Yet studies suggest that half of children with high cholesterol will also have it as adults, and it’s one of the best-known causes of clogged arteries that can lead to heart attacks.
High cholesterol is one of the best-known causes of clogged arteries?  Well, in that case, obviously most people who suffer heart attacks must have high cholesterol.  We’ll come back to that.
About a third of U.S. children and teens are obese or overweight. And government studies estimate that about 10 to 13 percent of children and teens have high cholesterol — defined as a score above 200.
Yup, that’s how high cholesterol is defined, all right.  It was defined that way for an important scientific reason:   the average cholesterol level among (non-statinated) adults is around 220.  By defining a normal cholesterol level as high, the National Cholesterol Education Program (whose members nearly all had consulting contracts with statin-makers) turned millions of adults into instant patients.  Now the statin-makers want to tap the kiddie market too.
A key change will be more aggressive recommendations for cholesterol screening and treatment in children, including a change in “the age at which we feel we can safely use statins,” said Dr. Reginald Washington, a pediatric heart specialist in Denver and member of the panel.
I wasn’t aware that the safety of statins for children was based on feelings.  I was thinking perhaps there should be some hard evidence involved.
The pediatrics academy already advises that some children as young as 8 can safely use these cholesterol-lowering medicines, sold as Lipitor, Zocor and in generic form. They are known to prevent heart disease and deaths in adults and are approved for use in children.
Statins are known to prevent heart disease and deaths in adults?  Let’s see what the science has to say on that.  Here’s the conclusion of a meta-analysis on the usefulness of statins for primary prevention – that is, preventing heart attacks in people who don’t already have heart disease:
A new meta-analysis of statins in the primary prevention of heart disease has not shown a significant reduction in all-cause mortality.
Here’s the conclusion of a similar study:
In patients without CV disease, statin therapy decreases the incidence of major coronary and cerebrovascular events and revascularizations, but not coronary heart disease or overall mortality.
Statins may slightly reduce your chances of having a heart attack (if you already have several known risk factors), but they don’t reduce heart disease or overall mortality.  So when a journalist tells you statins are known to prevent heart disease and deaths in adults, the journalist is making a statement that simply isn’t true.
Statins are worthless for primary prevention.  So at best, the kids would be taking a powerful drug they don’t need.  At worst (and I expect the worst), the statins would starve their brains of cholesterol and destroy the mitochondria in their muscles – at exactly the time when their brains and muscles are developing rapidly.  This is a disaster waiting to happen.  With their brain development stunted at an early age, the only career paths open to these kids will be running for Congress or working for the FDA.
But there aren’t big studies showing that using them in children will prevent heart attacks years or decades later.
Well then, by all means, let’s start giving statins to kids based on nothing more than anti-cholesterol hysteria  — and our feelings.  We needn’t bother waiting for those big studies.  To paraphrase George McGovern, we don’t have time to wait for every last shred of evidence to come in.
I said earlier that we’d come back to the statement that high cholesterol being one of the best-known causes of clogged arteries.  If that’s true, then we’d expect most heart-attack victims to have high cholesterol.  But that simply isn’t the case.  Several months ago, I posted about a study showing that nearly three-quarters of heart-attack victims have normal or even low LDL levels – and course, it’s LDL that statins beat into submission.
If you look at heart disease rates and cholesterol levels around the world, you won’t find any correlation whatsoever.  The French and the Swiss both have average cholesterol levels over 230.  They also have the first and second lowest rates of heart disease among industrialized nations.  Russians have an average cholesterol level of 190 – below that magic number of 200.  Russians also have the highest rate of heart disease in Europe.
In another recent news story warning that (eek!) up to one-fifth of people with heart disease aren’t being good little patients and taking their statins, the truth about cholesterol and heart disease slips out again  — although that wasn’t the intention of the article:
More than one in five people with heart disease aren’t getting life-saving statin drugs despite guidelines saying they should, a new study shows.  Researchers looked at nearly 39,000 people who had experienced a heart attack or undergone heart surgery, and found about 8,600 people weren’t prescribed the cholesterol-lowering medications.
Notice the reporter couldn’t resist referring to statins as “life-saving.”  Bias?  What bias?  We don’t see any bias.
Now for the paragraph where the truth slips out:
“Our study shows that half of untreated patients had low LDL levels,” said Dr. Suzanne Arnold of Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, who worked on the new findings. “This supports the assumption that some doctors may not think patients with low LDL levels need lipid-lowering medication,” she told Reuters Health.
The patients in this study were people who already had a heart attack – and half of them had low LDL levels.  If high cholesterol is one of the best-known causes of clogged arteries, then how the @#$% do we explain away the fact that at least half of the people who suffer heart attacks don’t have high cholesterol?  And how on earth do we justify giving statins to kids just because they have “high” cholesterol?
But even in people with low LDL cholesterol, statins can provide a benefit, according to Arnold. “Statins do more than just lower cholesterol,” she said. “They also play a role in reducing plaque and inflammation in arteries. That benefits people regardless of their cholesterol levels.”
Here’s a crazy idea, Dr. Arnold:  Given what you just said, perhaps high cholesterol isn’t the problem.   Perhaps inflammation is the problem, and the only reason statins provide any benefit at all is that they lower inflammation.    We don’t need drugs to reduce inflammation.  We can do that with a proper diet.  Beating down our cholesterol levels isn’t a benefit of statins; it’s a nasty side-effect.
In some people, statins can cause muscle pain and stomach problems such as nausea, gas, diarrhea or constipation. And their long-term effect on muscle tissue is unknown.
Yes, determining the long-term effect of statins on muscle tissue is tricky, especially since so many older people take statins.  As my mom discovered, if you’re a senior citizen who takes statins and you complain to your doctor about muscle pain, your doctor will probably attribute the pain to old age.
So here’s what we need to do:  Let’s prescribe statins to a whole generation of kids.  In just 20 years or so, we’ll finally know the long-term effects of statins on muscle tissue.  I’m sure all those 30-year-olds in wheelchairs will be glad to know they contributed to medical science.

Oopsies Courtesy of Panda

One of our faithful OFL's, Panda,  contributed this recipe for Oopsies. I am going to make some today. As you know, I've been getting myself back on track with the WOE and I think these would be excellent either as a sweet or savory snack. And I'll definitely make some for me while I'm baking holiday cookies, so I won't feel deprived. LOL!

3 egg whites whipped stiff with a 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
3 oz cream cheese mixed thoroughly with 3 egg yolks. Add additional flavorings to yolk mix such as sweetener and cinnamon or savory as onion or garlic powder.
Fold whites into yolk mixture. Make mounds on greased cookie sheet. Flatten tops. Bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Let rest and cool before taking up. Should be moist, not crunchy.
Some recipes call for adding 2 Tblspn almond flour or 3 Tblspn Flax meal to yolks to make them firmer.
Or ricotta instead of cream cheese.
Or 1/2 pkt SF Jello to yolks for Lemon Rolls.
One recipe called to put them into a muffin tin but mine are too wet to come out of a tin easily.
I have only made them a few times. I will be experimenting with them in the future.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Low Carb Recipe Sites

As you may have read in my last post, I am on a quest to get back on track. So, I've been doing reading for inspiration today when time permits. One thing I found on one of the Atkins forums may be useful to everyone. It was on a thread introduced by someone off track who was just bored with her food. The advice given was to really vary her menu- she was eating the same things every day, every week, every meal- recipe for disaster! Being a former chef, I cannot deal with boring foods at all! I am always trying something new when I can. So, that being said, this is a list of sites for low carb recipes that you might find useful. I haven't looked at them all, so be sure and look at carb counts and don't automatically assume they are right for every phase.

Your Lighter Side:


All Recipes:

Simply Recipes:

Linda’s Low Carb Recipes:


Candice’s Low Carb Recipe Blog:

101 Cookbooks:

Sugar Free Low Carb Recipes:

Food Network:

Peggy’s Site (Atkins Community Member):

Baylor’s Site (Atkins Community Member):

Cori’s Low Carb Life (Atkins Community Member):

Tiger Talks: (Atkins Community Member):

Low Carb Luxury Kitchens:

Low Carb Friends:

Atkins Community Members Yahoo Group Recipes:

Healthy Indulgences:

Low Carb Forum Recipes:

Krys’ Low Carb Made Easy:

Deliciously Thin:

A Veggie Venture:

Primal Palate:

Elana’s Pantry:

Dessert Stalker:

Low Carb Cookworx:

Some Low Carb Thoughts for the Upcoming Holidays via Dana Carpender

Well, folks, I went for my checkup with the doc yesterday, and found out that I've been fooling myself! Blood pressure was okay, don't know about cholesterol (don't care anyway- I would rather take arsenic than a statin drug,) BUT I've gained 8 pounds in the four months since I last saw her! I've been going along thinking that if I mostly did low carb and occasionally had potatoes, rice, bread, etc., it wouldn't matter. Obviously, it did! Soooo... yesterday, I literally had to force myself to go back to Atkins induction totally. 

And it was hard! Maybe not as hard as the first time I did Atkins, because I know for sure the rewards of sticking with it, but still hard. On the way home from the doc's office at lunch time, I was doing my usual stinking thinking and thought it wouldn't hurt to just pick up a piece of fried chicken. Screech went the brakes of my mind- I went a mile out of my way to get a Subway salad with oil and vinegar only. I knew I just wouldn't make anything low carb if I went home. The rest of the day was a fight, also- it would've been much easier to make a sandwich last night. But I didn't, and loaded up on protein and fat instead. One of the things that have been happening to me while I've been dabbling with the carbs is that I would wake in the middle of the night HUNGRY! I would get up, fix a piece of toast and be even more starving by breakfast.

This morning, I literally forced myself to make an omelet with ham, and I have just spent a few minutes planning out the rest of my food day. I CANNOT let this weight creep go on!! So, in the interest of doing this right, I began going back and reading different articles from my favorite low carb gurus. No matter what religion you are, you probably have a holiday coming up soon, and each one has its food traditions- much of which are high carb. So, I again read Dana Carpender's transcript of her pod cast before Thanksgiving. It deals with low carb alternatives and what to do about food pushers. I know we all have at least one food pusher in the family- "here, have some of this- it won't hurt you." Well, YES IT WILL! I think everyone can benefit from reading Dana's comments on Thanksgiving and applying them to the upcoming holidays. So, take a little time and read:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Surprising News about Vitamin D Deficiency Courtesy of Dr. Ben Kim

As most of you regulars know, I read Dr. Ben Kim's newsletter and it often contains really valuable information at times. I don't subscribe to his diet views, but other things are very useful. Today, I read about Vitamin D and what deficiency of it will really do to us. I never knew! And also how to get enough of it. Surprisingly, we all need some exposure to sunlight for optimal amounts of it. So, have a read at what he has to say:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

An Irirsh Blessing Courtesy of Sharon.

Our dear and faithful OFL, Sharon sent this Thanksgiving week, and as you know, I'm just now catching up on the blog. This is enjoyable reading even if it is a legend!

I don't know if this is true, and I'm fairly sure it's a legend... but the Italians say si non e' vero, e' ben trovato. Which means, if it's not true, it's a clever invention. 

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools
and ran to the bog.
There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.
The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.

'I want to repay you,' said the nobleman. 'You saved my son's life.'
'No, I can't accept payment for what I did,' the Scottish farmer replied waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.
'Is that your son?' the nobleman asked.
'Yes,' the farmer replied proudly.
'I'll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy If the lad is anything like his father, he'll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.' And that he did.

Farmer Fleming's son attended the very best schools and in time, graduated fromSt. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.
Years afterward, the same nobleman's son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia.

What saved his life this time? Penicillin.The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill .. His son's name?
Sir Winston Churchill.
Someone once said: What goes around comes around..
Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching.
Sing like nobody's listening..
Live like it's Heaven on Earth.

It's National Friendship Week Send this to everyone you consider A FRIEND.

Pass this on, and brighten some ones day.

I hope it works...

May there always be work for your hands to do;

May your purse always hold a coin or two;

May the sun always shine on your windowpane;

May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;

May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead.

OK, this is what you have to do.... Send this to all of your friends.

But - you HAVE to send this within 1 hour from when you open it!

Now......Make A wish!! I hope you made your wish!

Low Carb Vegetable Recipes

Once again, Elaine has done us a BIG favor. She found this site with numerous low carb veggie recipes! If you are like me, I get bored with the same old thing. It will take you quite a while to get bored if you work your way through all these!

Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Courtesy of Elaine

Elaine, one of our OFL's, posted this link for a low carb pumpkin cheesecake. Sounds really good! For those of you who are new to reading this blog, there is also a low carb pumpkin custard on here. I just went ahead and copied and pasted the recipe for you.

Pumpkin cheesecake can make a nice change from pumpkin pie. This version is richly spiced. The crust is thicker than the regular low-carb cheesecake, but if you want a thinner crust, the other one can be used. If you want a cheesecake that isn't as rich, you can use lower fat cream cheese, though I haven't specifically tested it with more than 1 package of the cream cheese being low fat.


  • Crust:
  • 1 ½ cups almond meal
  • ½ teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar substitute
  • Filling:
  • 3 8 oz packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugar substitute, or to taste - I like Sweetzfree (see below)
  • 1 can (about 15 oz) pumpkin
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 5 eggs, preferably room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy cream


Heat oven to 375 F. Prepare springform pan: I like to put a piece of parchment paper over the bottom of the pan -- no need to cut it to size, just snap it into place when you put the tighten the sides. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in heavy-duty foil. You'll be baking the cheesecake with the springform pan set in a baking pan half-full of boiling water, so you want to protect from leaks.

1) Combine ingredients for crust, and press into the bottom of a springform pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until fragrant and beginning to brown.

2) Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl and beaters. This step will be repeated several times and is important. The mixture will gradually become lighter, and the denser stuff has a tendency to cling to the bowl. You won't be able to incorporate it as well later, so keep scraping.

3) Add spices and sweetener. Beat again, scrape again.

4) Add pumpkin and vanilla. Beat well, scrape.

5) Add 3 eggs. Beat well (about a minute), scrape.

6) Add the other 2 eggs and cream and beat another minute. Pour mixture into pan over crust.

7) Place pan in a baking pan and pour boiling water around the sides, about halfway up. Lower the oven temperature to 325 F. and bake for for 60 to 90 minutes, checking often after an hour. When the cake is firm to touch but slightly soft in the center, or the center reaches 150 to 155 F, remove from oven.

8) Remove sides from pan. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature, or up to 3 hours. Cover and chill, ideally for another 3 to 4 hours.

Nutritional Information for full fat cream cheese, at 16 servings: Each serving has 4 grams effective carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber, 5 grams protein, and 285 calories.

Chicken Chips Courtesy of Dana Carpender

I read about these in Dana's blog quite some time ago, and to be frank, the sound of them just didn't turn me on, so I never posted it here and never tried them. There is a new post in her blog with how to make them again. I got to thinking about it, and if you eat pork rinds, you are eating pig skin deep dried to a crunch. I never hesitate to eat chicken skin that is roasted, so I think I'll try these.

Chicken Chips

It seems like every time Dana mentions "Chicken Chips" in any blog entry or post on Facebook, someone will ask, "What are chicken chips???" (The other common question is about fat-fasting. We'll get to that shortly.) So we decided to give Chicken Chips a page of their own, with an easy link that can be quickly used pretty much anywhere.
Chicken skin
1) Preheat the oven to 375^F.
2) Take any and all chicken skin you have on hand -- chunks of chicken fat will work, too -- and spread them out as flat as you can on the broiler rack.
3) Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the skin gets brown and crunchy (thicker pieces take longer than thinner ones). Sprinkly with salt and eat like chips -- these are not to be believed!
Yield: This will totally depend on how much chicken skin you bake, but here's the info that really matters: There's no carbohydrates in here at all!
(From Dana's best-selling 500 Low-Carb Recipes: 500 Recipes from Snacks to Dessert, That the Whole Family Will Love , page 244.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just Some Thoughts on Thanksgiving Courtesy of Dana Carpender

OK, we all need to pay attention here. The dreaded holidays are coming! And for those of you who were children of mixed marriages like I am, it means more holidays than our strictly Christian sisters and brothers have! We have Channukah, too!  Having been on low carb for a good while (since March of 2010,) I proved to myself I could get through holidays on low carb. I had to seriously readjust my mind set! Holidays and family DID NOT  have to mean overindulgence!  I got through Thanksgiving eating pumpkin custard instead of pumpkin pie- mine was sweetened with Splenda. I ate no dressing- no potatoes, but I pigged out on turkey with a little gravy on it, deviled eggs, celery stuffed with cream cheese, greens (so near and dear to the hearts of southerners,) and anything else I could find low carb. I got through Aunt Judy's Channukah celebration eating low carb and yes, I ate matzoh ball soup without the matzoh balls. I never was truly impressed with matzoh balls anyway.

All this being said, we NEED to plan ahead. And I think Dana Carpender's article about the impending holidays is good advice. I truly believe that if you plan on indulgence, it has to be something you just truly love! Not something you eat "because we always have that on Thanksgiving."

Take time and  read Dana's blog article and start planning. If you don't plan now, it's like a minefield for the next month and a half! Is it really worth it to wake on January 2nd 10 pounds heavier??

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Boost Your Immune System with Roasted Garlic Soup from Dr. Ben Kim

As most of you know, I take Dr. Ben Kim's newsletter. He is a wonderful man, and I only part ways with his advice when it comes to carbs. I have used this soup base many times. I do not use the garlic bread at all, and sometimes, I add chicken or other veggies to it. It's wonderful, especially when you have a cold or flu. And garlic is a powerful boost to the immune system! Do not be afraid of the amount of garlic- just be sure to roast it- that takes away the heavy pungent taste and turns the garlic into sheer delight. When the garlic is roasted perfectly, you can squeeze it out of the cloves like it was butter. So good! So give this a try! Ignore the garlic toast!

Tom Naughton on "Low Carb" Foods

I have just caught up on Tom Naughton's low carb blog and I found this little article about so-called low carb foods interesting. I am like many others. When I just started going low carb, I snatched up practically any food labeled low carb. And like Tom and others, I began to have suspicions about whether certain things were really low carb as they claimed. Over time, I have come to believe that mostly "they are too good to be true." Have a read at what Tom has to say. Also there's a video of Jimmy Moore's interview with the chief honcho at Dreamfields Pasta- very interesting and telling!

Be Very Afraid of Big Pharma! Not Cholesterol!

This morning, as I was eating my lovely cholesterol-laden breakfast of bacon and fried eggs, I tried to catch up on some of me reading to pass on to you. There was a great article by Dana Carpender on her blog, and I am FURIOUS!!  If you are one of the ones that still worries about cholesterol, you need to read this article. Also, read the article by Dr. Duane Graveline on statin drugs and what they do to the human body. Before I became informed about the great cholesterol con, I allowed myself to be put on a statin drug. In less than a week, I had muscle pain and weakness, and went from walking normally to having to use a cane. Some of the side effects have never gone away, but luckily, I got smart sooner than later. If you are taking a statin, this is NOT good! So here's Dana's article and a couple of others that you should definitely read!

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's Almost Thanksgiving- Let's Count Blessings

This post on another forum besides Old Fat Ladies was shared by Elaine, one of our newer and faithful members. We all have moments when nothing seems right, but this particular post struck something in me! I hope it will do the same for you!
It's early and I couldn't sleep. The past year has been excessively stressful. First, my grandma broke her arm, then my Dad had a heart attack, same day as that I was having a biopsy for a mass. My mass was benign, but my Dad had to have a 5-way bypass. Then I had my surgery to remove my mass. The everyone got an uber cold/flu and was sick for about 5 months, I had 6 or 7 rounds of antibiotics.
We had just gotten to the point everyone was good. Then my Hubby got sick and had his gallbladder removed. Same day as that, my grandma fell again and broke the same arm. We had to stay with her 24/7 while she recuperated. Then in August, a branch fell on my Mom, and a stick punctured about 4 inches into her brain. She is doing a lot better now, but has a long recovery ahead of her. Things were just starting to even out, when we got a call that our nephew was killed in a car accident.
It is just one of those mornings where it all really hit me, weird dreams I guess. And while it all sounds like a bad soap opera, I keep thinking of all the good things that can be found in it all.
My dad not only survived his heart attack and surgery, but is taking better care of himself.
My Hubby feels better than he has in years after having his gallbladder removed.
My grandma, she has broken that arm 4 times, this time she allowed it to be plated and has less arthritis pain in that wrist now.
My Mom, she didn't lose her eye, still has brain function, and while she needs a reconstructive surgery so the eyelid will close properly...her guardian angel was working overtime.
My nephew, his kids were always with him. But not when he had his accident.

Even though all of that has happened, look at all of the things I have to be thankful for. So, can everyone take a moment please, and list something you are thankful for?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Omelet Making for the Omelet Impaired

In culinary school, I had to learn to make a proper omelet and be graded on it, but I didn't LIKE it! Let's face it- flipping an omelet can be hard. I know- some people can make the perfect omelet every time- sigh...I passed that phase of my course, and really never did it again. After that, I cheated! Here's how I do it now.

For a two egg omelet, first begin with a non-stick skillet. It absolutely doesn't have to be expensive. I have used the best cookware over the years, and finally discovered that a non-stick skillet that costs seventy dollars and has a designer name on it really lasts no longer than one that you buy for six bucks (that is, the non-stick part.) That part all wears off eventually. So, now, I go to the Dollar store and get one for six bucks. The non stick part lasts just as well and the pan does the job I want.

So, for a two egg omelet, first liberally coat your skillet with olive or coconut oil. Put it on the burner over medium heat and let it heat while you are getting your eggs ready. Break your eggs into a bowl that is deep enough for ferocious whisking, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and really whisk till the eggs are a lighter color and very frothy. Pour the eggs into the heated skillet and let them sit and slowly cook. As the bottom just begins to set, take your spatula and go around the edges, releasing some of the egg beyond the borders of the omelet. Let it cook a little while longer, and then flip. To flip, take a really wide spatula and put it under one edge and gently turn that side to the middle of the omelet. Then, go to the opposite side and repeat, but this time, flip that side onto the omelet side you have already cooked. Let it slowly cook till set and scoop it out onto a plate with that really wide spatula.

I buy a non-stick appropriate spatula that is about five or six inches wide. This helps control the omelet when flipping, and also makes it easy to get the omelet out of the pan without breaking.

Note: if you are using veggies for fillers, you must cook them prior to putting them in the center of the omelet. If you use veggies or cheese, place them in a line along the center of the omelet before beginning the flipping. I usually saute my veggies in the same skillet and when they are done, scoop them into a bowl, add a little more oil, and then begin the omelet.

Also, eggs are much more tasty if they are cooked slowly. Don't use high heat.

This method works every time, and it doesn't make me irritable by breaking before I get it out to the plate. Give it a try- it really works!.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Couldn't Resist- Another Picture is Worth 100 Words by Jimmy Moore

This one says it all. I just don't know where Jimmy finds all these, but this is one I LOVE!!

And finally, I could “bear”ly contain myself when I saw this cute cartoon about a big grizzly lamenting being on the Atkins low-carb diet:

Tips for Really Great Scrambled Eggs Courtesy of Bon Apetit

I ran across this brief article while browsing news on my email. I got to thinking, and as a chef, I am amazed at the amount of purely awful scrambled eggs I have been served in my life! And as an Atkins low carber, eggs play a vital role in my diet. Nothing becomes boring more quickly than scrambled eggs that are overdone, underdone or worse, browned! But, a perfectly fluffy scrambled egg with some fresh tomato slices makes for a nice meal anytime. I agree with everything Bon Apetit has to say about scrambled eggs. The one exception I make is if I'm having them for dinner and my fat percentage is low, I add a teaspoon of olive oil to the eggs before whisking. Unlike cream, it will not separate from the eggs when cooked and there is no liquid residue. So, have a read:

Conde Nast Digital Studio

By Danielle Walsh

They're an everyday breakfast staple, but scrambled eggs are no piece of (pan)cake. What's supposed to be a creamy, delicate breakfast often turns out spongy, grainy, browned, and overcooked. It's okay; most people don't know how to properly scramble an egg. And it's no wonder--there are so many variables. Do you use high heat or low heat? Add cream, water, or neither? What kind of pan is best? To get some clarification, we asked the staff of the BA Test Kitchen how to correct some of the most common mistakes home cooks make. Their advice, below.

1. "Don't be wimpy with your eggs. Whisk well and be vigorous about it--you want to add air and volume for fluffy eggs. And whisk the eggs right before adding to pan; don't whisk and let mixture sit (it deflates)." --Kay Chun, Deputy Food Editor

2. "Don't add milk, cream, or water to the eggs. People think it will keep the eggs creamy while cooking, but in fact, the eggs and added liquid will separate during the cooking process creating wet, overcooked eggs. Stir in some creme fraiche after the eggs are off the heat if you want them creamy." --Mary-Frances Heck, Associate Food Editor

3. "Don't use high heat. It's all about patience to achieve the soft curd. Whether you want small curd (stirring often) or large curd (stirring less), you need to scramble eggs over medium-low heat, pulling the pan off the heat if it gets too hot, until they set to desired doneness." --Hunter Lewis, Food Editor

4. "Don't overcook them! Take them off the heat a little while before you think they are done. The carryover heat will keep cooking them for a minute or so. Also: Use a cast-iron or a nonstick skillet. If you don't, there will be a rotten clean-up job in your future." --Janet McCracken, Deputy Food Editor

5. And last but not least, ditch that fork! Scramble your eggs (in the pan) with a heat-proof spatula, a flat-topped wooden spoon, or for the perfect curd, chopsticks.

Try these tips with our favorite scrambled eggs recipes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Recipe for a Cleansing During Colder Months by Dr. Ben Kim

As most of you know by now, I get Dr. Ben Kim's newsletter. He has a lot of worthwhile things to say, although I don't agree with all his advice about diet, since I try to be very low carb in my eating. And, as you OFL's know there are times we have BR issues- constipation. Dr. Kim's newsletter yesterday had a recipe for vegetable broth which can be used for a cleansing. I am passing it on to you, in case you want to try it. It seems "friendlier" to the body than some of the chemical solutions available. So, here's what he has to say, along with the recipe. Note he says potatoes can be omitted. I would most likely do that.

I was also just thinking, since some of us on are currently doing a challenge, and most are back to induction, this would be a nice snack to sip on between meals.

How to Cleanse During Colder Months

Traditional cleansing programs that call for freshly pressed juices, raw foods, and even room temperature water with lemon juice, maple syrup, and pepper may work for most people when the weather is warm, but how does one experience an effective cleanse without feeling exceedingly cold and frail during late fall, winter, and early spring?
There's a reason why our bodies crave hot soups and cooked foods during colder months. To ignore the need to support a minimum core body temperature is to allow significant enervation, which is never conducive to supporting optimal health.
I'm not a fan of one, two, or even three day water-only fasts - these short periods of deprivation do little but cause you to lose healthy muscle tissue (I go into detail on this topic here: Is Fasting One Day a Week Good for Your Health?).
To give your organs a period of rest and to experience a solid, system-wide cleanse during colder months, I typically recommend using hot vegetable broth. If you make your own vegetable broth with generous amounts of nutrient-rich vegetables, you'll have a mineral-rich liquid to fuel your everyday activities while you avoid slowing down your self-healing and self-cleansing mechanisms with large meals. You can sip on hot vegetable broth throughout the day. And whenever you feel like something more substantial, you can have room temperature vegetables and fruits - lettuce, celery, carrots, avocados, apples, pears, and persimmons are good choices throughout fall and early winter.
So long as you heed the desire to have some healthy, whole foods whenever your body calls for them, you can do this "vegetable broth plus whole vegetables and fruits cleanse" for one to seven days during colder months whenever you feel the need to rest, get lighter, and be rejuvenated.
To make nutrient-rich vegetable broth for a cleanse, you'll need:

1 whole onion, halved
3 ribs of celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
3 potatoes, chopped
Any leftover greens like swiss chard, beet tops, or turnip tops, chopped
Sea salt, to taste
Combine all vegetables in a large pot. Fill with spring or filtered water until vegetables are fully covered. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and leave it to simmer with the lid on for one hour.
Strain well. Add sea salt, to taste.

Please note: If you are able to get substantial physical and emotional rest during your cleansing period and you want to maximize cleansing benefits, don't use potatoes in making your broth - just add more celery and/or leafy greens.

Be sure not to transfer the hot broth into a glass jar before cooling. This vegetable broth keeps well in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for several days.

Just Two More Pictures from "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words" by Jimmy Moore

When you go to stock up on Halloween Candy, remember this picture and ask yourself if those kiddies need all this stuff. The Grim rReaper standing guard over the Wal Mart candy isle is something to think about!

This was an actual sign at a state fair one of my readers sent to me. It’s probably one of the most honest signs you’ll ever read if you see the word “diabetic” as an adjective of what happens if you eat the funnel cakes:

Why does this Halloween display at Wal-mart seem prophetic–candy aisle, Grim Reaper, hmmmm:

Monday, October 24, 2011

"A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words" - Part II by Jimmy Moore

I should probably send Christine a bouquet of “Bacon Roses” for her birthday coming up on November 11th–think she’d dig getting these:

This sign makes a statement that I can’t help but agree with (although I’d say “or you’re lying” instead):

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Courtesy of Jimmy Moore

I've just been doing some catch up reading and listening on Jimmy Moore's blog, and I always get a chuckle out of his monthly "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words" post each month. So I thought I'd share some of October's with you.

But the fact of the matter is we are all really vegetarians. Some of us are direct vegetarians and a lot of us low-carbers are “indirect vegetarians”:

And yet being vegetarian for moral purposes of preserving life really doesn’t hold water when you stop and think about it:

If we are what we eat, then here’s the perfect food for us to consume:

Wouldn’t you LOVE to go to a restaurant like this:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

How to Recover After a Hit and Run by the Carb Truck

Reading back through the posts on the OFL Forum, it seems several of us have been victims of a hit and run by the carb truck recently. I am in the group that does well all day till evening and then blows everything. Then I wake up in the night and eat even more illegal carbs. I decided yesterday it had to come to a screeching halt. Trying to recover from all the carbs, I found even that the legal ones were inducing me to eat things I shouldn't.

So yesterday, I made myself get up and boil eggs and cook chicken and beef right after breakfast. I only ate eggs and meat all day long and it seemed to break the pattern. Every time, I felt the least bit hungry, I was nibbling on an egg or eating some meat or chicken. My bedtime snack was slices of steak. I didn't wake in the night hungry, and was not my usual frantic self wanting to grab food immediately this morning. I will probably do the meat and eggs thing for another day or two- it seems to be helping me get back under control. I have not dared to weigh recently, but I know I've gained by the fit of my clothes. I will start weighing and tracking after a couple more days of this, and report back

I am like Jimmy Moore. I do not say this is what everyone should do. I think everyone has to find their own ways that help them. If you are struggling with illegal carbs, you might give this a try and see what happens.

Fish Chowder for Two Courtesy of Arlene

As most of you know I am a retired chef, and generally love detailed recipes. But, with all the stress of the past year and my mother's illness and death, I just haven't been in the mood to be too "cheffy." So, I was pleased to see this nice simple and delicious recipe from Arlene for Fish chowder! Mine is much more detailed and time consuming. Arlene's recipe is definitely one I would make- you know it's no good knowing all these wonderful detailed recipes if you don't actually make them! So give this one a try. think it would work well for any seafood.

Fish Chowder for 2

8 ounces of cod or other white fish
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp butter
heavy cream or half and half
1 cup chopped peppers (green, red, yellow)
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup water

Melt butter, add onion and saute unti clear. Add fish, and partially cover fish with cream. Cover the pan, and bring to almost boiling - poach the fish for about 7-10 min or until it flakes easily.
Break up the fish and add water, and vegetables, cover and steam until veggies are soft. Add more cream, and let it simmer to thicken. I use lots of Old Bay spices for this. If you can eat potatoes, add the potatoes when you add the veggies.

Atkins Math 101- Part II Courtesy of Sharon

I'm a couple of days late getting this posted, but it's here now. Sharon has now conducted her second lesson in Atkins Math. It's worth studying! I thought I knew all about, but I learned things from Sharon.

Atkins Math 101- Part II

Good morning, girls! Please turn off your cellphones, take out your laptops and enter your breakfasts in Fatsecret -- and you in the back row, throw that gum in the wastebasket and enter it! Yes, even sugarless gum has carbs and should be tracked!

Today we're going to talk about RDI. But before we do, I want to thank BlueEyes for pointing out something after the last class. BlueEyes puts all her vegetables into Snacks so she can make sure she's eating enough of them. That's fine if you want to do that. But if so, you have to take your other snacks and enter them along with your most recent meal.

Let's say you have a cup of chopped tomatoes with your breakfast, and some pork rinds during recess. If you want to track your food exactly when you eat it, the tomatoes would be entered under Breakfast, and the pork rinds would be entered under Snacks. If you want to track your veggies separately, you'd enter those tomatoes as a snack -- but then you'd have to go back and add the pork rinds to your breakfast. But you shouldn't write them both down as snacks, or it just gets confusing. And thank you again, BlueEyes!

Now then: RDI. That stands for "Recommended Daily Intake". Today we'll learn why we need an RDI, and how we set it.

The New Atkins for a New You -- and I hope you've all read it; it's required reading for this course -- says you don't have to count calories unless you stop losing weight. Many of us, though, do stop losing weight at some point, even if we're very good about our ratios. That's called a "stall". And one of the ways to make sure we don't stall -- or that we get out of a stall and don't stall again -- is to make sure we're not eating too much of a good thing.

Now please look at your Fatsecret food page. Under the pie graph on the bottom right, you'll see the words "Set your Recommended Daily Intake". Click on them, please. -- Has everybody clicked? Good!

Please read the explanations below the big yellow rectangle. Now set your diet goal and your activity level. But when you do that, boys and girls, I'm going to give you a little bit of advice. Many people think they're more active than they actually are. So if you think you're active, you're probably low active, and if you think you're low active, you're probably sedentary. -- Do you have a question? -- Well, if you think you're sedentary, then enter "sedentary", but make a point of getting a bit more active. We'll talk about that in another lesson.

When you finish setting your diet goal and your activity level, click the green button that says "Calculate your RDI." And that's it, easy as pie!

Now, as you track your food, the little graph to the left of the pie graph will fill up with little green squares, and the percentage of your RDI will show. If you happen to go over 100% of your RDI, the squares will turn red. But please remember: that does not mean you've failed! There are no grades for RDI in this course. It just means you should be a bit more careful tomorrow.

Do you have a question? -- Good question! If you're tracking your food properly and your ratios are good, and you get close to 100% but you're still hungry before bedtime, what do you do? Well, that happens to me about once or twice a month, and I'll tell you what I do. I drink a glass of water, I wait about 20 minutes -- and if I'm still hungry, I eat. Not much, and wisely -- I really try never to go over 105% -- but enough that I don't go to bed hungry. Going to bed hungry is more dangerous than red squares, because you'll wake up in the middle of the night, and you'll be awake enough to eat, but not awake enough to remember to track... and maybe not even awake enough to remember to eat the right things.

Did I see another hand? -- Oh, very good! What happens if you just can't fit in your 100%? The answer is "Nothing, really" -- if it just happens once in a while, and if you've gotten in at least 90%. But if you eat less than 90% too often, your body will think you're starving, and you'll hold on to your body fat and not burn it. If you see you're having problems fitting your food in, maybe you need to eat four meals a day, not three. I eat breakfast around 6 am, track it, eat my first lunch around 11 am, track that -- and then I eat my second lunch around 3 pm and add it to my first lunch, and then I just track my dinner normally.

Thank you, girls. Please put your laptops away. Next lesson will be about Tracking Food Away From Home -- and please, anyone who hasn't read The New Atkins for a New You, please do so. I don't want to have to spring a pop quiz on you...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Atkins Math 101 Courtesy of Sharon

Sharon, one of our most faithful OFL's  has conducted a recent "class" on how to achieve the correct percentages of fat, protein and carbs in our WOE. It is excellent, fun and easy to understand! So take a look:

Good morning, girls, this is Atkins Math 101. Please turn off all cellphones -- and, you two in the back row, we would all appreciate it if you either quiet down or let us hear what you have to say!

Now then.

To master the principles of Atkins Math 101, all you need is a computer, Internet, and a lovely site called Now, everyone take your laptops, go to and open an account. Who already has an account? Oh, good, there's one girl who does. I want you to be my monitor while everyone else is doing that, and make sure there's no talking or disruption. Meanwhile, if anyone has trouble opening an account, just raise your hands and I'll be right there to help.

-- OK, we all have accounts. Now let's go to "Diet Calendar" -- on the right side of the page -- and click on "Enter Food". Got that? Now, look at "Breakfast". Everyone click "Add item" under "Breakfast" and enter what they had for breakfast this morning, one item at a time.

All done? Good. Now scroll down to the bottom of the page. You'll see a pie graph labeled "Calorie Breakdown". This shows you how much of your breakfast was fat, how much was protein, and how much was carbs. Do you all see it?

Now, here is the most important part of our lesson. To do well on Atkins, we want the numbers on the pie graph to be as close as possible to this: *70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs* -- Do you have a question? -- Yes, you're right, that 10% is total carbs. If you want to count net carbs, you have to tell to do so. Go to "Edit preferences" right under the "total calories" at the top of the page. You can do that after class. But net carbs are counted at the top of the page, and not in the pie graph. So the 70-20-10 is fat, protein and *total* carbs.

OK, who has more than 70% fat? Please raise your hands. -- Thank you. All of you will eat more protein and carbs, and less fat, at lunch.

Who has more than 20% protein? Please raise your hands. -- How do you think you should correct your lunch? -- That's right! More fat and carbs, and less protein. And the same for carbs -- if you have more than 10% carbs for breakfast, eat more fat and protein, and less carbs, for lunch.

Do you have a question? -- Oh, that's a *good* question! Anything you eat between breakfast and lunch is a Snack. Enter it under "Snacks / Other" and check the pie graph again.

Checking after dinner is especially important because it's your last chance to correct your ratios for the day.
Remember to check and correct after every meal and every snack, and keep your ratios as close as possible to 70-20-10

Thank you, girls. Put away your laptops. You may turn on your cellphones at recess -- and tomorrow we will talk about RDI -- that's the little square chart next to the pie graph -- and what it means.

Class dismissed!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Zip Lock Bag Ice Cream Courtesy of Susi

Lately, several of our OFL's have talked about wanting ice cream. Susi our family member from deep east Texas has given us an incredibly simple recipe for making ice cream in a zip lock bag! I would make some now, but I'm out of cream, so it's on the grocery list. Take a look:

For those of you needing ice cream- here is a great way to make it that tastes just like the old fashioned home made! We made it in our Science class when I was teaching 3rd grade and then I modified it for Low Carbing!

Zip-lock bag Ice Cream

1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4-1/2 c water
2 t. vanilla
sweetener to taste

Put all of the above in a small zip lock bag. Close securely. Then put the small bag in to a large zip-lock bag- add 2 cups of ice and about 1 T table salt. Close the bag and shake for about 5-7 minutes. Eat it out of the bag! You will see it start to get hard.
My daddy used to love for me to make this for him when they lived with us for a while. You can experiment with the water to heavy cream ratio- water of course freezes faster and harder- so the more you have the harder it will get. You can also add choc syrup or cocoa for chocolate. Now it gets cold and drips everywhere so do it outside or over the sink. You will love it!

An In-depth Look at Toxins Courtesy of Dr. Ben Kim

As most of you know by now, I receive Dr. Ben Kim's Newsletter about different subjects of interest for better health. I feel like most of what he has to say is spot on. The only place I diverge from aggreeing with him is in food choices. Although the diet he advises is better than some, for us low-carbers, it contains way too many carbs and we need more fat than he recommends.

That being said, I was catching up on reading previous newsletters and came across this one on toxins in the body and how we get rid of them. It is very informative and full of useful information. So, do take time and have a read:

Bayona Cream of Garlic Soup Courtesy of Elaine

Elaine, one of our OFL's and her family have had colds, so her solution was Bayona Cream of Garlic soup. Garlic and onions both are very good for colds. This sounds delicious! Elaine cut carbs by using low carb bread, but I really think the soup could be made by leaving the bread out and entirely and just simmering a while longer to let it thicken naturally. When I try it that way, I will report back. I am trying to avoid gluten totally, so I wouldn't use the low carb bread.

Here's the link for soup recipe, I just cut down on the bread and used low carb instead:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Lazy Woman's Way to Peel Garlic

Being a chef, I learned in culinary school about banging the flat side of a knife against a garlic clove and easily peeling it, but this trick contributed by Sharon is even better. I've already tried it and it works like a charm. I did a rather large head of garlic this way and just stored the cloves I didn't want to use right away in olive oil in the fridge for another use. Thanks Sharon!

Tahini Talk Courtesy of Sharon

Sharon, one of our long time faithful OFL's has taught us along the way about foods from Israel and the Middle East. I have long heard of tahini, but never tried it, so take a look at what Sharon has to say about it. I'm definitely going to look for it in the one store here I think will carry it:

I've been eating less coconut oil candy lately and more tahini. It's really good. You can make it sweet with SF chocolate syrup or SF maple syrup, or savory with lemon, garlic and salt. Tahini base (what comes in the jar, that you add water and whatever else to) is 92 calories a tablespoon, with a ratio of 78% fat, 12% protein, 10% carbs. Two tablespoons, with an equal amount of water beaten in and a teaspoon of whatever SF syrup you choose, is an amazing way to end the day.

Tahini is made of ground sesame seeds. Health food stores and Middle Eastern food stores carry it. The best brands, in my opinion, are the organic ones made in Israel -- Adama (which means "earth" in Hebrew, as in what you plant in, not as in the globe) and Harduf (which means "oleander" in Hebrew). But any tahini is good. Not the already seasoned kind ("tahini salad") that might be in the refrigerator case, but the plain kind ("tahini base") that's in a jar on the shelf. Careful -- even the jar kind may be pre-seasoned in some brands, and then you can't use it for sweet. You want 100% sesame tahini.

Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup Courtesy of Elaine

Elaine, one of our OFL's just contributed this recipe for sugar free chocolate syrup. I really like the idea of the mint in it, as one of my favorite ice creams (that is pre-Atkins days) was chocolate chip mint ice cream. So, it seems a little of this over Bryer's Carb Smart ice cream would be a wonderful substitute! You could even toss a few sugar free chocolate chips on it. So give this a try:

Hi Everyone! Have this wonderful recipe for chocolate syrup, better than Hersheys when made with dark cocoa:

•1/2 cup cocoa powder
•3/4 cup cold water
•3/4 cup equivalent in sugar substiture (I use Xylitol)
•30 chocolate mint leaves, rinsed, patted dry, and torn into pieces (You may substitute plain mint).

In a small saucepan, combine the cocoa powder and cold water, and whisk together until smooth. Add the sweetener and torn mint leaves and place the saucepan over medium heat.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to melt the sugar. As soon as the syrup begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until it begins to thicken and turn glossy. Strain or pull out mint leaves and keep in refrigerator.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Another Plate! Harvard's "Healthy Eating Plate"

I've just been reading Jimmy Moore's blog post about yet another "plate," supposedly superior to the USDA's "My Plate." I can see little difference and as usual, it totally ignores the thousands in this nation with type I and type II diabetes! Not to mention those of us who are merely carb sensitive and need a high fat low carb diet to be healthy. Sigh... Here is the address for Jimmy's article. Very interesting and too long to copy and paste:

The Harvard School of Public Health is hosting a LIVE one-hour Q&A session about the “Healthy Eating Plate” with Dr. Eric Rimm, associate professor in the departments of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard, on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 2:30PM EST. You must SIGN UP to be a part of this discussion that is happening tomorrow. Dr. Rimm was one of the people responsible for creating the “Healthy Eating Plate” and he wants to hear YOUR feedback about it. If you are unable to attend the event when it takes place, then they have two other ways you can submit your questions: E-mail them to or submit them on Twitter using the hashtag #platetalk.

I strongly urge all of you low carbers to participate in this if you're able. We need to have our voices heard! Are the high carb folks the only ones being listened to? Make your voice heard, either by participating or sending written questions and comments. I don't know if Dr. Rimm will pay attention, but it's certainly worth a try!

New and Different Cauli-Rice Courtesy of Dana Carpender

Well, I have finally managed to get back to the blog. I still have a ton of reading and research to do, and will put stuff up as I get it done. I wanted to go ahead and post this recipe of Dana's as it sounds really good! I am finally managing to follow the WOE, after being very bad during the last three weeks of my mother's illness. So, I am eager to try new and different things to cut down on boredom with food. I love sun-dried tomatoes and bacon, so this should be a keeper!

Pecan, Sun-Dried Tomato and Bacon Cauli-Rice

This was wonderful with a simple rib eye steak last night. It was just as good warmed up with a few slivers of leftover steak mixed in, and three fried eggs on top, for breakfast this morning. If I'd had more leftover steak, it would have made a great one-dish meal with a substantial quantity of leftover steak slivered up in it.

Pecan, Sun-Dried Tomato and Bacon Cauli-Rice
1/2 cauliflower head
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tablespoon butter
3 bacon slices
1 small onion
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed -- chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon beef bouillon concentrate
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
First, trim the leaves and the very bottom of the stem off the half-head of cauliflower, and whack the rest into chunks that'll fit in your food processor feed tube. Run it through the shredding blade, and put the resulting cauli-rice in a microwaveable casserole with a lid, or even better, in a microwave steamer. Add a few tablespoons water, cover, and nuke on high for 7-8 minutes. (You want it tender-crisp, not mushy.)
In the meanwhile, in a small skillet, over medium-low heat, melt the butter, and start sauteing the chopped pecans. Put your big, heavy skillet over medium heat, and use your kitchen shears to snip the bacon into it -- you want it to be bacon bits when it's crisp.
Go chop your onion and sun-dried tomatoes! (I actually had julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil; didn't even have to chop 'em.) You could chop the parsley, too, but don't forget to go give your two skillets a stir. You don't want your pecans or bacon to burn.
Somewhere in here, your microwave will beep. Uncover your cauliflower right away, so it won't continue cooking and go mushy on you.
Okay, we're going to assume your bacon bits are crisp now. Scoop 'em out with a slotted spoon and reserve 'em on a plate. Pour off about half the grease (save it for cooking.) Throw the onion in the remaining grease, and saute it till it's translucent.
Now drain the cauli-rice and add it to the skillet, along with the beef bouillon concentrate, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Stir carefully -- your skillet will be very full -- until the seasonings and onion are evenly distributed.
Stir in the pecans, tomatoes, parsley, and bacon bits, and serve.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I got at least 6 servings, each with: 94 Calories; 7g Fat; 3g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 5 g usable carb.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tips for Healthy Eyes Courtesy of Dr. Ben Kim

As many of you know, I do follow Dr. Ben Kim's natural health newsletter and blog. Although I don't always agree with his food choices that are high carb, he has a lot of valuable information to impart. So, I pick and choose.

This newsletter was about eating for more healthy eyes and especially to avoid macular degeneration of the eyes, which is an insidious disease causing blindness. My mother suffered from it and was nearly totally blind before she passed away on 9/11/2011. I wish I had had this information sooner! And the good news is what he recommends is very Atkins friendly. I have copied and pasted the newsletter for you, and will leave it to you to click the links for more info. Who knew about these benefits of avocados?? And the avocado dill dressing is very Atkins friendly- I intend to try it tomorrow! Have a look:

Dear Reader,
Last week, I heard from a longtime client and friend
in California who reported experiencing vast improvement
in her vision within the past year.  In September of 2010,
she was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration,
so she had plenty of motivation to try some of my
First, I asked her to work at making frequent and
gentle blinking a subconscious habit to keep her eyes
properly lubricated.  To learn why this is important,
have a look here:

Next, I suggested doing the following eye exercises
twice a day:
And finally, I recommended that she take one tablet of
our whole food Vision Support formula daily:
These were the only changes that she made to her
lifestyle, as she was already following a nutrient-
dense, plant-centered diet with small amounts of
clean animal foods like organic eggs and wild fish.
Even if you've come across this information before, I encourage
you to have a look at the posts above, as I updated
them this morning and included some pictures of
the three acupressure points that you can use to
maintain and even improve your vision. 
All small actions that can really make a positive
difference in your vision IF you adopt them as habits.
One of nature's best foods for supporting your vision
are avocados.  Ripe and creamy avocados are naturally
abundant in lutein, an antioxidant that is thought to
help prevent free radical damage in the macular region
of your eyes.  Avocados are also a good source of
vitamin C, folate, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and vitamin
E, all of which are needed for healthy eyes. 
For a look at how to create your own avocado dill
dressing - perfect for serving up with salads, steamed
vegetables, and whole grain dishes, have a look at
Kristen's pictorial here:
Don't skimp on the fresh lemon juice, as it will help
this dressing stay fresh for a few days in the fridge.
Here's another thought from Maya Angelou that I've
been thinking about:
"Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host.
But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean."
I think she's referring to bitterness as resentment
that we do nothing about, and anger as constructive
expression of things that we feel are unfair. 
To be at peace and experience our best health, I'm
certain that we must work at becoming great at
preventing bitterness.  Whatever bothers us, we
really ought to find a mechanism for releasing it in a way
that's respectful to all involved. 
Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and peaceful
week ahead,
Ben Kim

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wheat Belly review courtesy of Dana Carpender

As most of you know, I have been slow doing blogs due to the recent death of my mother. Now, I am taking a breather from daily running and chores and trying to catch up on reading and reporting to you. Last night I did some reading on Dana Carpender's blog "Hold the Toast," and was especially fascinated with her review of the book, Wheat Belly." Once again, I have renewed my vow to totally give up gluten. After reading this review, I was amazed at just how addictive gluten is and the conditions and symptoms attributed to consumption of products containing gluten! I recognized some of those symptoms in myself when I consume gluten-containing products, especially the sheer addictiveness of it!

If you are from the South, and know something about Southern funeral customs, you know that food is an integral part of the process. Our family was inundated with food brought to the house immediately after my mother passed away, and then the ladies of my mother's church prepared a gargantuan feast for all attendees afterward in the church dining hall.  I guess I could have remained low carb, if I had eaten nothing but meat for four days. But, I didn't. I ate casserole's, home-made cake and heavenly yeast risen rolls, potato salad, sweet potato souffle, and you name it. As a result, I am in dire need of a low-carber's rehab unit! A locked down unit! I am addicted once again to all the gluten containing foods! Somewhere in my mind, I have always thought that addiction was too strong a word for what is ailing me now. IT'S NOT! All I want at this point is more of the stuff. And yet, it makes me feel so bad! So, back to square one for me tomorrow.

I have ordered the book, Wheat Belly, and will give my own review when I finish. Meanwhile, have a read at what Dana has to say about the book. It is informative and fascinating, although a little scary.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Crispy Snack for the Non-Lover of Pork Rinds Courtesy of Pat

If you are like me and only use pork rinds in a pinch, and don't really love them for a crispy snack, Pat, one of our OFL's has contributed this. I haven't gotten around to buying the pepperoni, but I will, definitely! I love a salty, crunchy snack! I'll let you tell it in her own words:

Crispy Pepperoni

Well, my daughter came up with a great snack idea. Neither of us like pork rinds much, so she was searching the Atkins website for something else to try when she found/invented pepperoni chips. Just take thinly sliced pepperoni pieces and lay them in a single layer on a plate. Cover with a paper towel and microwave for a minute and 15 seconds (to 1 minute 30 seconds). Remove the pepperoni pieces to a paper towel. They are spicy, crunchy, potato chip-like things. A great crunchy snack. No idea on calories as almost all the oil cooks out, but zero carbs!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Working OFL's Guide to Staying on the WOE

A lot of our OFL's are involved with school systems and the like here and there and have been off during the summer. Now, everyone is returning to the fall/winter/spring schedule. If you have been off for the summer, or like I am, involved in caring for elder family members, it can be really difficult to stay on the WOE! We are constantly inundated with high carb, sugary things that are so easy to grab if you haven't prepared in advance!  And then, there are those people we come in contact with who say "well, a little bit of potato salad, rice, bread, pie, cake, etc. won't hurt you." IT DOES HURT!  So, I have comprised a (by no means complete) guide to preparing for being out in the working world or just being too busy to cook two diets as I am. If you have other suggestions, please leave them in the comment section and I will add them to this post.

1. Eggs can be a life saver. I always have a few boiled for tossing in a chicken salad, tuna salad or just eating in a pinch. Lemon pepper on a boiled egg really lends a nice zing to it.

2. MIM's are also a staple for me. I cook four at the time. I usually eat one at time of cooking. Two are always made without sweeteners and spices. Sometimes, I add cheese, dried onion flakes, or herbs to the two unsweetened ones- or even bacon bits. Remember our OFL, Carole says adding a little bit of water to the batter makes a better consistency. I freeze the extras in zip-lock bags. It's really easy to grab on the way out the door and by the time lunch rolls around or you are hungry again, it is thawed.

3 Canned chicken and tuna are things I keep on hand. The chicken salad on the previous post can be made in a hurry . Or use the same recipe for tuna. I don't recommend using seafood with that recipe for taking with you. You could even throw a quick chicken soup together to take with you on cold days. See Carole's recipe on a previous post.

4. I buy a pound or so of deli roast beef and turkey with no preservatives and freeze portions of it. This is great to chop and toss in a salad, or use in a "sandwich" made with a low carb tortilla.

5. I now buy pre-washed salad mixes- a little more expensive, but worth the saved time in labor. You can also buy pre-chopped veggies for salads. I generally find a time when I'm not terribly busy and chop a lot myself and store in zip-locks in the fridge. These chopped veggies are also good to grab and take with you for snacks.

6. Our deli makes delicious rotisserie chickens and ribs, so occasionally, I take advantage of that. A rotisserie chicken will do for a family meal and leftovers are good in salads, low carb tortillas and the like. Same with the ribs.

7  I keep low carb tortillas on hand to make "sandwiches." Mine are spinach and herb with 12 gm fiber and only 5 usable carbs.

8. If I have extra time, I make the foccacia bread recipe that is on this blog. It is good for sandwiches, sliced and made into pizza, etc.

9. When I do have time to really cook, I try to cook double meats and veggies, so there is a meal prepared for the next day. Sometimes, I cook a lot of meat at one time and freeze some in portions that will be easy to take out of the freezer and use in salads and the like.

10. When I cook bacon for breakfast, I always cook extra and store it in the fridge in zip-locks. It's great to have on hand for BLT's, salads, etc.

11. I try to have several varieties of hard cheese around. When time permits, I will slice at least part of what I have in the correct portions to eat and have it in zip-locks ready to grab and go.

12. When time permits, I measure different nuts into correct proportions and zip-lock them for grabbing.

13. If you are at the stage of the WOE where berries are permitted, zip-lock them in correct proportions. I NEVER trust myself to eat the correct amount when I'm hungry, so I try to have the right amounts ready.

14. I keep baby dill pickles around. I've found there is something about that dill flavor that curbs my appetite.

15, I store olives in the correct proportions in zip-locks.

16. Occasionally, I make a frittata when I find myself with extra time. It refrigerates well, and is delicious hot, warm or room temperature. A generous slice of this will make a good lunch tot take with you (if you have access to refrigeration at work.)

17. Although they are not my favorite snack, I do keep small bags of pork rinds around to take with me. They are very filling in a pinch.

18. I also keep sugar free jello in the little cups. Easy to grab and go.

19. I keep a clear plastic box with lid in the fridge with all my zip-locked food in it. If you work, it is easy to pick items for snacks and lunch to take with you. Your planning has already been done in advance! You can also see at a glance what foods you need to re-stock on. This also discourages others not on the WOE from eating all your legal food!

I'm sure all of this is just the tip of the iceberg, so feel free to add suggestions in the comments section.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lazy Woman's Chicken Salad Courtesy of Gabby

As most of you know, before I retired, I was an executive chef, and as such was a total snob about taking short cuts in cooking. I have certainly found out in retirement that it's a totally different thing when you don't have prep chefs waiting to do your bidding. LOL! I have been cured.

Carole, one of our most faithful OFL's introduced me to canned chicken during the cold months, because she would make chicken soup with it. I tried her soup, and it certainly was good and so nice to have something finished so quickly! During this awful hot Florida summer, I still have to cook for the Colonel, but for the low carb stuff for me, I take short cuts any time I can get them! Especially those that don't involve using the stove. So here is a semi-recipe for chicken salad. I say semi, because, you can add or subtract as you wish, depending on food preferences.

Lazy Woman's Chicken Salad

1- 6 oz. can of white meat chicken, drained well (if you have a cat, they will thank you for the juice!)
1 or 2 boiled eggs diced
1 snall stalk of celery with leaves finely diced (I really like to use the inner tender stalks for this)
1/4 small red onion finely diced (optional)
1 tablespoon dill relish (if you don't want dill relish, use sugar free sweet relish)
3 to 4 fresh basil leaves chiffonade style ( this is, put the leaves together, roll them up tightly, and slice as thin as you can get them) This is one time that dried basil is really not good.
1 to 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
3 tablespoons very finely chopped pecans or nuts of your preference (optional)

Mix all ingredients together well, and refrigerate for an hour or so. Serve on a bed of lettuce and enjoy. I prefer Romaine, but any lettuce will do.

Note: I can see tossing in any leftover veggies into this salad to use them up and add veggies to your daily menu. This is also good with leftover crumbled up bacon.

Note2: If you think canned chicken is expensive, check the food section of your dollar stores. I get a really nice white meat chicken in Dollar General for only a dollar! I usually buy cans and stock them.

Thai "Rice" Salad with Chicken by Dana Carpender

I just came across this recipe on Dana's blog for a faux rice salad made with cauliflower. It really sounds good enough for company, and also fits the bill for me in that I have to do no stove time in this ungodly hot summer north Florida is having! I think it would also be good with almost any seafood. I have copied and pasted for you rather than link this time.

Thai "Rice" Salad with Chicken
1/2 cauliflower, head
1 cucumber
1 carrot
8 scallions
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra light olive oil or other bland oil
2 teaspoons Splenda or Stevia in the Raw, or other sweetener to equal 2 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper -- to taste
Trim the bottom of your cauliflower's stem, and whack off the leaves. Now cut the cauliflower into chunks that will fit in your food processor's chute, and run it through the shredding blade. Dump your cauli-rice into a microwaveable casserole with a lid, or a microwave steamer, add a few tablespoons of water, cover, and nuke on high for 6 minutes.
While that's cooking, cut your cucumber into 1/4" dice (okay, mine were more rectangular than square) and shred your carrot. Slice your scallions, too, including the crisp part of the green. Cube your chicken. All of this stuff can go in a big mixing bowl.
Stir together everything from the lime juice through the chili garlic sauce (you could use Sriracha instead; the garlic doesn't make a big difference here). This is your dressing.
When the microwave beeps, pull out your cauliflower and uncover it, to stop the cooking. Let it cool a bit, stirring now and then to let the steam out. You don't want it to cook your other vegetables -- and especially not your cilantro.
Okay, your cauliflower's cooled enough that it won't result in cooked cucumber. Dump it into the mixing bowl, add the dressing, and stir it all up. Now stir in the cilantro, and taste. Do you think it needs salt and pepper? Add some! You could add more chili garlic or Sriracha if you think it needs it, for that matter, or you could just pass the bottle at the table. Up to you.
Pile on plates or in bowls, and serve!