Friday, April 29, 2005

Arizona State Student Shows Ignorance Of Low-Carb

Arizona State University Web Devil satirical columnist Katie Kelberlau posted this article about her experience on Atkins and, as is typical in most media circles these days, she exposes her ignorance of what livin' la vida low-carb is all about.

Describing her experiment doing the Atkins lifestyle as "meat week," Kelberlau was doomed to fail from the start because she had a perverted concept of what all it entails because she obviously did not read the book. Despite popular belief, Atkins is not a meat-only diet. While meats are certainly acceptable on low-carb, most of us low-carbers enjoy a lot bigger variety of foods than just meat.

While Kelberlau admits a lot of Americans are doing "the low-carb thing" and many restaurants are offering "low-carb renditions of their classic meals," she claims she could never succeed on Atkins because she loves pasta, bagels, potatoes and ice cream too much to give them up.

Uh, hello. Have you been hiding under a rock over the past few years as low-carb versions of these foods have hit the supermarket shelves? Some are good, some are not so good, but there are choices that are readily available to people who need them.

Again showing her ignorance about what low-carb is, Kelberlau proudly proclaims with her tongue firmly implanted in her cheek, "any diet in which a brick of cheese is in the 'good' category sounds like it just might be doable."

Gimme a break. Her not-so-veiled insinuation that eating cheese is unhealthy because it of the amount of fat contained therein is just what I would expect from someone who has not educated herself fully about what low-carb is all about. Will we ever overcome the fat phobia mania that pervades this country?! And what are they teaching the students at Arizona State University?!

Kelberlau details in her "meat week" diary what she ate during her attempt at doing Atkins:

Day One

Starting my day with an un-sweetened iced coffee, I am not really hungry enough to miss my ritual morning gooey pastry and Frappuccino.

But by lunchtime, however, I am beginning to realize that it is nearly impossible to buy quick, cheap, easy food that is both edible and Atkins-friendly. A Burger King burger sans bun does not really appeal to the senses, so I decide on a Chicken Caeser salad at Einstein's, minus the croutons.

It's a big, filling salad, but merely an hour and a half later, in class, my stomach starts rumbling again. Obviously, big meals with a lot of protein are filling, but there is no place on campus that sells grilled salmon with steamed broccoli.

And if there were, I'm not so sure I would trust it.

I understand she's trying to be funny, but people like this just don't understand Atkins. There are plenty of options for low-carb if you get creative with your food selection. If your mentality is for low-carb to not succeed even before you start, then you are destined for failure.

Day Two

I thought better of going without breakfast again, instead starting my morning with carton of plain yogurt and a sugar-free vanilla latte.

I have made it through four meals without cheating. But today I have a cold and I can't justify it to myself to abstain from orange juice. So, after a short ethical debate, I spend what seems like my life savings on a carton of Naked juice, chug it quickly so no one will see my transgression and throw it away.

For dinner tonight, my boyfriend and I go to The Melting Pot, a meal we had planned for weeks. The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant with four-course meals. The first course is cheese fondue with vegetables -- cheat free!

The second is a salad - no croutons, so I am still good. The third is a variety of meats and fish, dipped in a boiling pot of red wine, garlic and green onions. Up to this point, the whole thing is surprisingly Atkins-friendly.

But then comes the dessert course -- a big pot of melted dark chocolate with a platter of berries, pineapple, bananas and various pieces of pastry.

My incredibly limited self-control flounders as I stick my fork in for a chocolate-covered strawberry."

Actually, having a cold is no excuse for getting off Atkins. You can drink a low-carb juice and get the same benefits. As for the eating out, if she had those strawberries in sugar-free chocolate, then it would have been a great low-carb meal.

Day Three

Today, I swear to myself I will not cheat. Not once. I have to be able to make it through a day without munching a piece of bread or popping a piece of candy.

So, to resist temptation, I go home for lunch. Searching my fridge, I decide to heat up some frozen peas and toss them with butter and parmesan cheese, and pair them with a Morningstar black bean burger minus the bun. It was surprisingly tasty, filling and satisfying.

For dinner, I eat shrimp cocktail and broccoli, with frozen berries for dessert. Yes, I know berries are not exactly part of the Atkins plan, but at least it's not chocolate cake.

Okay, if you're already talking about cheating on day three, then you definitely aren't cut out for the Atkins lifestyle. But Kelberlau has obviously NOT read the Atkins book since she ate high-carb foods such as peas and beans, thus preventing her body to reach ketosis so her stored fat can be burned. And although she laments eating berries because they are allegedly "not exactly part of the Atkins plan," these delightful fruits are indeed acceptable on an Atkins lifestyle.

Day Four

I follow the guidelines during breakfast and lunch, but by dinner, I am pretty much over it. That cinnamon raisin bread in my cabinet looks mighty appealing, so I toast up a couple pieces. Figuring this means I am pretty much done with the diet attempt, I heat up some leftover spaghetti and plop down on the couch.

Okay, this entire article was a lame passive aggressive attempt at expressing anger towards the low-carb lifestyle. Kelberlau proclaims it is a "doable" way of eating, but believes it is too hard to come up with a "quick, easy meal" she can eat and carry with her to school. My only response to that is she's not thinking hard enough as there are a plethora of quick option for low-carbers if they so choose. Examples abound on many low-carb web sites, so I won't repeat them here. But there are many.

"Like so many other diets or, excuse me, 'lifestyle plans,' cutting carbs means putting out more effort to get those lost nutrients elsewhere," she concludes. "Pardon me if I simply stick with pastries and Frappuccinos."

Go ahead Kelberlau and keep eating all that sugar and caffeine. You may not have to worry about carrying around extra weight now while you are young and thin (as evidenced by your picture), but there will come a day when you will clamor to find the secret to weight loss. When you reach that point in your life (maybe after having a couple of kids and in your early 30's) you will find livin' la vida low-carb is the way to go. Until then, you've got a lot to learn!

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Blogger Newbirth said...

Kelberlau proclaims it is a "doable" way of eating, but believes it is too hard to come up with a "quick, easy meal" she can eat and carry with her to school.

Bullpucky. I pack both lunch and dinner and take them to work. All I need is a microwave (which most colleges have) to reheat my meals. It's so easy that I have to conclude she WANTED her expiriment to fail.

4/17/2006 10:11 PM  

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