Inkwell: Authors and Artists
I may have confused you with "boiled meat". (tinymonster) Fri 26 Mar 04 08:41
(raising hand) I'd volunteer for the experiment... y'know, in case (axon) needed any help. :) I've been following this interesting discussion silently so far, and I just want to add my vigorous nods to Kitty's mention of exercise. YMMV, but for me at least, injecting a little more physical activity where I can seems to make more of a difference in my weight than what I eat or don't eat. (It may just be that I don't eat much in the first place -- but I sure enjoy food when I do!) In any case, it's got to be helpful in metabolising what you do eat. It gives the nutrients something to do.
Alan L. Chamberlain (axon) Fri 26 Mar 04 08:54
I've certainly increased my exercise quotient, but I must observe that it *followed* the initial weight loss. I think that when someone who has been obese for some time begins losing weight rapidly, the *desire* for increased physical activity is nearly irresistible. In part because one *can*, and in part because exertion is a sublime sensual pleasure when gravity isn't your enemy, and it compensates for giving up the sensual pleasure and instant gratification of high-glycemic impact foods. I'm not persuaded that my increased exercise has made much contribution to my weight reduction. But it's definitely a healthier behavior, in general, and self-fulfilling in its own right. There's a tradeoff involved in gaining lean muscle mass, even while losing fat, that may stall weight loss per se. That said, lean muscle mass demands more glucose and oxygen, and accelerates metabolytic inefficiency, which contributes to fat consumption. But it's not like working out translates to more rapid loss of weight.
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Fri 26 Mar 04 09:13
I guess for me, one of the pleasures associated with more exercise, primarily weight lifting, along with a lower carb diet, is that now I can actually *see* my muscles--and I like that! It's reinforcing in a big way, and although buiding muscle mass may slow weight loss (by adding muscle weight), no one would argue that they'd rather be skinny and frail over trim and strong, right? Axon, I totally agree with what you've said re returning to a carb-heavy eating plan after losing weight on a low-carb diet; we're singing the same song here. Plus, I think if one has had success with low carb in the past, it's natural to want to keep it up, to some degree, if only because one is more aware of carbs than ever before. On the other hand, I don't begrudge anyone a plate of pasta now and then (although for me, it's popcorn, pizza or garlic bread, I must admit), and certainly wouldn't pass down a 100-lashes-with-a-wet-noodle (ha!) sentence for doing it nearly regularly, as long as that person is happy with how they feel, their diets on most days, etc. As far as dessert recipe tasters, my neighbors and my husband's co-workers already line up about 3 times a week for goodies, but thanks for the offers! I think the biggest success so far has been my chocolate desserts, nearly all of which have worked unbelievably well with sugar-free chocolates (mostly dark or bittersweet). You could certainly substitute them in your favorite recipes, cut the sugar and use Splenda, and most likely have great success too. Try it!
Alan L. Chamberlain (axon) Fri 26 Mar 04 09:21
Tasting would be nice, of course, but maybe it would be helpful (seriously!) to have some promising amateurs try the recipes prior to publication, just to make sure that us ordinary foodies can execute them properly. Think of it as quality control. :-)
Anne Boyd (nitpicker) Fri 26 Mar 04 10:26
BTW, I don't think anyone here is truly offended by calling low-carbing a diet - it's just a standard canard of low-carbing circles to endlessly repeat, "It's not a diet, it's a way of eating (or way of life)." Which I suppose is all to the good if it helps people get away from thinking of low-carbing as another short-term quick-fix fad. But it does get a little old after a while. >>>I know a dietitian in Chicago who was practically tarred and feathered for suggesting this same thing when speaking to a group of fellow dietitians. As a group, "we" tend to stick to our "everything in moderation" mantra and close our minds to any other possibilties--even if it will help our clients. Kitty, I'm glad to hear you say this, if only because it validates what I've heard so many times. To be clear: I have never consulted a dietician myself. But I've been low-carbing since January 2000 and have spent much of that time hanging around various low-carb discussion groups online, as well as reading a lot of scientific background information and following media coverage of the subject. Perhaps an excessive level of interest, but I'm not only interested in support and information for my own benefit - to me it's been interesting to watch as a social phenomenon. Anyway, over the years I've noticed a distinct trend - dieticians, whether being quoted in press articles or consulted by individuals, have been *overwhelmingly* more likely to condemn low-carb diets out of hand, refuse to even consider them, overstate their "dangers," etc. Whereas, even before the shiny modern era of low-carb products in every grocery store and the South Beach diet gaining mainstream respectability, it seems that *doctors* were more likely to recommend or at least condone low-carbing, based on the simple observations that "it seems to work." Why this is, I'm not sure. Perhaps the relatively higher professional status of doctors makes it easier for them to make recommendations that depart from the norm. I have absolutely no doubt that dieticians are very dedicated and intelligent individuals who genuinely want to help people, but there often seems to be a level of closed-mindedness there that's disturbing - a clinging to conventional wisdom. I'd love to hear Kitty's thoughts on this. I would just like to add that only <axon> could come up with a phrase like "glycemic artifacts."
honi soit qui mal y pense (stet) Fri 26 Mar 04 11:10
> would just like to add that only <axon> could come up with a phrase like "glycemic artifacts." I think this falls under "it takes one to know one."
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Fri 26 Mar 04 13:08
Nitpicker is right, and although I hate to cut down my own professional group, it's not just *my* observation that many dietitians are slow to come around to new ideas, I know many other dietitians that feel the same way. Some of us have become quite ostracized by our lack of "go along to get along" mentality. I will admit that in many cases I'm right there with the close-minded ones, especially when it comes to certain supplements, etc. (that's a whole other conversation!). In my own town, for example, I've been personally "attacked" (verbally!) by dietitian associates of Kim's at the college, and have no doubt that if I met these people in person, they'd make no bones about how they feel about me "promoting" a low-carb lifestyle. Hmmm, maybe I need a bodyguard.... As far as docs being more receptive to low carb diets, I'd have to agree, sadly. Most of the time we "snobbish" dietitians take great delight in pointing out that many docs receive a whopping total of about 5 hours of nutrition instruction during their schooling, which means they don't know beans, frankly. However, this is changing and most programs are including more nutrition classes and stressing nutrition in certain rotations, especially cardiac and diabetes. Certain docs really do try to keep up with nutrition science, along with all the other stuff they have to keep up with to be competent--and it's daunting, to say the least. Like all science, nutritional science is evolving--as you'll all no doubt agree. As to why docs may be more receptive to low-carb than dietitians, I'm not sure why exactly, but it could be because they're more "results-oriented" and dietitians, by nature of their training, are more "process-oriented." Speaking generally, of course, dietitians are looking for small improvements over time, so that the entire diet is improved. We're trained to avoid "quick fixes" and concentrate on small, attainable goals, etc. And of course, the old "moderation" mantra will never die--and it shouldn't, because it's still a good way to live. I don't disagree with it. If you think about it, moderation and balance could both describe a lower-carb lifestyle. In fact, that's how I sometimes describe it to people who think they can't do low-carb. Most people are so heavy "into" carbs that just lower their carb intake by half would bring their diets more into balance. I'd also agree with the statement that their higher professional status (most folks aren't even sure what a dietitian is) allows them to be more bold in their recommendations. Finally, as the vast majority of dietitians are female, I can't let the opportunity go by to say that, as a group, we like to be perceived as "nice." We hate to be perceived as "dissing" any one food or food group (can't tell you how many National Nutrition Month slogans have been restatements of the "all foods can fit" theme!)--it just isn't nice. Anyway, I think I took the long way around in that discussion, but I appreciate the opportunity to go off on a dietitian tangent, as it no doubt will continue to come up in the media, etc. I've already seen many articles (in magazines that I"ve written for, as well) that discuss the "low carb myth" etc, then don't actually say new or even disputable by low-carbers themselves. In fact, I was reading one last night that had a callout that said (essentially) "Our bodies' largest source of energy is from carbohydrates." Well, DUH! What a revelation! How that statement was used as the reason we shouldn't try to decrease carb intake to a more balanced, reasonable level is beyond me. Plus, I don't know a soul who would argue against that--low-carber or not. Well, I see I was off on another tangent....cut me off!
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Fri 26 Mar 04 13:09
Quality control recipe testers are certainly welcome when I get to that point! It is something we do, and is immensely helpful, too. I'll keep you in mind, Axon.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 26 Mar 04 13:38
I'm sorry, but axon is gonna have to take a number, Kitty. You've got a lot of folks in line here, eager to be your testers! It's hard to believe that two weeks have gone by since this discussion started. Seems like we've just begun! I want to thank Kitty and Kim for joining us here in Inkwell for the scheduled two-week run, and Tony for so ably leading the discussion. Though the proverbial spotlight has moved to our next Inkwell guest, this topic will remain here indefinitely. We'd be delighted to have the conversation continue as long as you like, Kitty and Kim.
Alan L. Chamberlain (axon) Fri 26 Mar 04 13:58
>axon is gonna have to take a number Story of my life, alas.
Anne Boyd (nitpicker) Fri 26 Mar 04 14:25
Very interesting insight into the dietician mindset. Thanks for that, Kitty. >>Like all science, nutritional science is evolving--as you'll all no doubt agree. It is, and it's evolving in some very interesting directions. But when "official" health organizations speak their piece for the media, any controversy or change or complexity that's happening behind the scenes seems to get whitewashed out in favor of blanket recommendations and sweeping statements....some of which aren't all that helpful. "A calorie is a calorie" seems evergreen, and enjoys renewed popularity now among spokeshumans seeking to debunk the claims of low-carbing. Yet it says nothing about the *qualities* of food, and really not much about eating healthy overall. But it's a cute and non-threatening sound bite. I just think the dumbing-down of this subject in the media speaks to the low level of understanding of basic science and biology among the public. People are much less threatened by change when it's affecting something they feel they have a knowledge base about. Think of the number of people who can debate knowledgeably for hours about, say, the implication of a rules change in a professional sport. And yet so many people don't have a basic understanding of what's going on in their bodies, and don't have the knowledge base to weigh the competing claims of different dietary approaches. And they fall for snake oil so easily! "Balance" has never been one of my favorite words in dietary debates. Everyone agrees that it sounds nice, but when you look closer it tends to mean what the person talking wants it to mean. Does it mean four food groups? - Not any more. Does it mean equal amounts of calories from protein, fat and carbohydrates? Does it mean the now-infamous Food Pyramid, whose days are numbered now anyway, and which couldn't possibly be farther from "balanced"? A lot of the time when I hear people talk about low-carbing being wrong because it's not "balanced", I think what they really mean is, "But I WANT those potatoes! What do you MEAN I can't have the potatoes?" I think it's more useful to think about foods that give you the most nutritional bang for the caloric buck - and that's actually an approach that dovetails nicely with most low-carb plans. There was a study out just recently about how "America's favorite fruits and vegetables" are actually not the most nutritious choices, and it turns out most of the choices they talk about being 'nutritious' are actually the lower-carb choices as well. Berries have more good stuff in them than apples, for instance. Green crunchy veggies are better than corn. And so on. Another concept that I think is more useful than "balance" is "variety." Most people don't get enough variety of foods, falling back on the same starchy staples over and over again. Whereas many people on low-carb diets eat more vegetables, and in greater variety, than non-low-carbers tend to. After all, we're the ones who get two different veggie sides instead of one veggie and one starch.
I may have confused you with "boiled meat". (tinymonster) Fri 26 Mar 04 14:36
Veggies.... Out here in DC, we're approaching the time of year where the produce section of the store bursts with the most colorful and enticing array of offerings. I wonder if springtime is a popular time for people to start low-carb programs? <I think it's more useful to think about foods that give you the most nutritional bang for the caloric buck> That's a good (and concise) way of looking at it!
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Fri 26 Mar 04 16:49
A well-put summary, nitpicker. I couldn't agree more. I'll continue to monitor and respond at least for a few more days....or as long as people want to chat here, or in the low carb conference. Thanks for checking out our book discussion, and all our other lively discussions everyone!
With catlike tread (sumac) Sat 27 Mar 04 08:41
Very interesting about dieticians!
Kimberly A. Mayone (kimmayone) Sat 27 Mar 04 19:26
Wow. Lots of conversation since Thursday. Diet & nutrition can be such a hot topic. Many people in this country are overweight (myself included) and as a rule, we do not eat correctly and we definitely do not move around enough. There is no magic bullet and there is not one solution that will work for all interested parties. Low carb works for some people. Others will opt for low fat. Following a whole foods diet can eliminate a lot of processed foods. Each person has to find his/her own way. Thank you for checking out the conversation regarding the Everyday Low Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook. It has been a pleasure hanging out in the well. Happy Cooking Everyone!
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Sun 28 Mar 04 10:27
I've got a double batch of Cheeseburger Soup going right now. Really looking forward to dinner! If you guys are still around, I think one of the biggest challenges a lot of Low carbers face is snacks... You've got some cool ideas regarding nuts and stuff in the book. I'm wondering, how do you guys handle snacks typically?
look, it's all right there in front of you... (cmf) Sun 28 Mar 04 12:29
Well... the cheeseburger soup is DYNAMITE. I LOVE it. My wife loved it. Later we'll see about the kids, which could be a mixed blessing. If they like it,great (only they're sure to scarf it all up!) If they don't like it, too bad, more for me <laughging> Great recipe.
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Sun 28 Mar 04 12:39
I'm so glad you liked that soup! It was one of the few in the book that I actually developed all by myself--no culinary help from Kim! Anyway, re snacks, I'm typically a person who tries to avoid them. However, I adore our nut recipes, and usually have some around, so i do tend to eat them. I also do keep some low carb bars around for those snack attacks that I couldn't fend off at regular mealtime by eating a bigger meal. I often find that when I think I'm hungry, I'm really just thirst, and so I try to drink something first before resorting to the nuts or whatever...
(rosebud) Mon 29 Mar 04 12:53
Got the "cheesy mac" (page 81) in the slow cooker now. Will report back after dinner tonight.
Kitty Broihier (kittybroihier) Tue 30 Mar 04 09:51
Well, low carb pasta is usually only ok (at least in my mind) when it's slathered in sauce and/or cheese. It's actually not my fave recipe in the book because fo the pasta, but that's just me. I'd rather do without pasta than deal with that stuff, however, since so many people seem to miss pasta on a low carb diet, we put a few recipes in the book that contain it.
pretty much beets and beef (pellmell) Tue 30 Mar 04 09:59
Most low carb pasta sucks big time. Bella Vita brand which is actually ITALIAN is pretty good actually, in a whole-wheaty way. Course it is full of SOY which I am trying to cut down on so I won't buy it again, probably, but if soy is ok by you I would recommend it. Basically my mode nowadays is "No Faux." Food should be what it is and not pretend to be what it isn't. Edamame? Great! Fake bread, cereal, and pasta? They are always going to be pale imitations of the real thing so why pretend you are eating them when you are really eating something else.
It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Tue 30 Mar 04 09:59
I just bought the book through A Libris. Hope to get it soon (although apparently it's backordered) I might send it to one of you to get it signed, if that's not a problem. Would that be a problem?
I may have confused you with "boiled meat". (tinymonster) Tue 30 Mar 04 10:11
(I hear ya, (pellmell). I've always said I preferred my vegetables to be vegetables and not try to be meat.)
Alan L. Chamberlain (axon) Tue 30 Mar 04 10:17
>Fake bread, cereal, and pasta? They are always going to be >pale imitations of the real thing Less and less so, increasingly (and there's your oxymoronic sentence of the week). The house brand low-carb bread I've been buying at *Safeway* has been perfectly fine for sandwiches or toast. 6g per slice. The Hain company has jumped into the low-carb business with some very creditable products. Their cookie line only contains the erithritol sugar alcohol (which doesn't produce the gastric distress of, say, maltilol), and crumbled into Breyer's low-carb ice cream, they taste pretty darned good. I bought a box of the Hain rotini pasta, but because the low-carb pasta I've had to date has been disappointing, I hadn't tried it until Sunday. I grilled a couple of Tombo tuna steaks, which I then cubed and mixed with the pasta and some fresh peas. I sauteed some sliced mushrooms in butter, deglazed with a little white wine, dusted with a couple tablespoons of flour to make a roux, and added enough chicken stock to create a sort of mushoom veloute, which I subesquently mixed in with the pasta, tuna and peas. I baked at 350 for 45 minutes and voila, Low Carb Tuna Hotdish. In this setting, the pasta was pretty authentic tasting. I don't think I'll ever be interested in low-carb pasta with a sauce alone; it's just too weird. But as part of a comfort-food casserole, made with quality ingredients, it works.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Tue 30 Mar 04 12:59
> my mode nowadays is "No Faux." I'm with pellmell on that one. It seems to me that as long as folks keep trying to satisfy a craving for something carb-y with a product created to sort of approximate the Real Thing, there's no real satisfaction, just a vague "well, I guess that was kinda OK" feeling that leave one wanting. Better, I think, to strive to change one's palate. Instead of craving Wheat Thins and being vaguely dissatisfied with some low-carb version of a cracker, I'm learning to be satisfied with using a slice of cucumber as a vehicle for brie. Like, I WANT a slice of cucumber instead of a cracker. That's my goal.
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