Sunday, May 07, 2006

Concord Concerning Calories And Carbs

Every Calorie Counts Cookbook
is more about low-carb than anything

When you are Dana Carpender and your entire writing career has been predicated on your reputation for being "that bestselling low-carb recipe book lady," then you can imagine the stunned surprise from people who bought her previous books when the title of her new book conspicuously omitted the word "low-carb" for the first time since she started writing cookbooks. Hmmm, that's strange!

But let's get one thing straight about the "Every Calorie Counts Cookbook" right away: THIS IS DEFINITELY A LOW-CARB COOKBOOK! Carpender makes no bones about it from page one that she is still a rebel on a mission to help educate people on making healthier choices regarding what they are eating and making sure every calorie and carb counts when they do it.

She believes there are merits to the low-carb approach to eating (foods that satisfy your hunger and that help you stay away from those "nasty blood-sugar" crashes) and to the low-calorie approach to eating (preventing the body from eating more calories than it needs) that really need to merge for a consensus on a wiser approach to healthy eating.

I can certainly understand where Carpender is coming from and it is good that she is articulating this in a book so that others can see that livin' la vida low-carb really can make a lot of sense if you stop buying into the negative anti-low-carb propaganda that so viciously points people away from this healthy lifestyle change. Carpender hopes to change that.

Looking at the contents of the "Every Calorie Counts Cookbook" itself, my first impression was, "DANG, THIS IS A BIG BOOK!" WOW, you definitely get your money's worth when you buy a Dana Carpender book because she literally LOADS it with 500 recipes for literally every occasion. For all those people who think low-carb is too boring because you are limited in your food choices, may I encourage you to pick up one of Carpender's books and shut your mouth?!

Just like her previous low-carb cookbooks, which have sold over a milion copies by the way, Carpender gives helpful tips for people who want to lose weight and she provides those people with information they can use. I LOVED the fact that she repeated one phrase many times that I myself have said to people who desire weight loss: "Anything you do to lose weight is what you must do for the rest of your life to keep it off." If you choose a plan that makes you hungry all the time, then you're just not gonna stick with it. Likewise, if all you eat is meat, cheese and eggs all the time, you won't stay on that plan either.

The consensus between these two nutritional approaches is more about thinking for yourself about what is good for your body rather than relying on the "heavy-duty low-fat propaganda" from our government and people who are supposed to be entrusted with our health. When Carpender finally took control of her own health over a decade ago when she started livin' la vida low-carb, she started making better food choices because she was eating "real food" at last and stayed away from the "processed, packaged junk."

Carpender explains why you need to eat certain kinds of foods for specific vitamins and nutrients, brings clarity to why you need to know about the glycemic index and glycemic load, and helps you learn how to recognize the good carbs and fats from the not-so-good carbs and fats. And don't be shocked when she says cholesterol "is not the dietary poison it has been made out to be." She tells you why in the "Every Calorie Counts Cookbook".

Like every good cookbook author, Carpender provides you with some guidance about the mainstay ingredients you will want to keep on hand to help you create these masterpieces for your family. She chides you to "please, please, please read the ingredients lists" which is a good idea to be doing anyway so you don't run into the shock of buying something you could never use because it contains an overabundance of carbs or any other ingredient that would be detrimental to your health and weight. If you have trouble finding some of these foods she recommends, don't worry. She also tells you where you can get them.

While she frequently warns you about the "hidden sugars" in foods, including so-called healthy foods such as all-natural fruit preserves, certain fruits and vegetables, and honey, Carpender reminds you that SUGAR IS SUGAR no matter what the source and it's better to use it sparingly.

On the subject of artificial sweeteners, Carpender said Splenda is her only "compromise" to her "eat real food" proclamation. She said it is a "better choice by far than sugar" and nobody in your family can tell the difference. But beware and "steer clear" of the Splenda Sugar Blend which she believes is a scam since it still has sugar in it! She also mentions the plant-based stevia is an excellent sweetener as well.

When it's time to hop into the abundance of recipes you'll find in "Every Calorie Counts Cookbook", get ready to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen cooking up these dishes. It's not because they take up a lot of your time because most of them are very easy and can be made quite quickly. But you'll want to start another one and another one and another one as you work your way through this very user-friendly cookbook.

I LOVE the format of the recipe layout in this book, too. You get the name of the recipe, a quick blurb from Carpender about it, the ingredients list, the instructions on how to make it, the serving size, and then the nutritional analysis which includes all the specific numbers on the various vitamins and minerals contained in the recipe (you can thank her husband Eric for computing all that information for you!). Carpender let's you know EXACTLY what you are putting in your mouth before you eat any of her recipes!

You can really tell Carpender pours her heart and soul into every book that she writes. The passion she exhudes for healthy eating, simple and fun cooking, and in explaining what people need to do to lose weight forever is evident in every page of this book. She really cares about the things she discusses in her book and that's not always the case with some authors.

I guess it's no secret that I am a big fan of Dana Carpender and for good reason. She and I agree that the low-carb lifestyle and providing people with information about this healthy way of eating is our mission in life right now. We both lost weight and have kept it off following the low-carb lifestyle and we will continue to challenge people to think for themselves about why they should do it for themselves as well. It's the best thing you'll ever do for your health!

Obesity is a growing problem that will not easily be solved as long as we keep getting spoon-fed bad health advice and information. Our government and health officials need to learn a thing or two from people like Dana Carpender because she knows from whence she speaks. Every Congressman, Senator, governor, and any other elected and unelected officials who are in charge of administering health advice in the United States needs to get their hands on a copy of "Every Calorie Counts Cookbook".

Perhaps then this concord concerning calories and carbs will start to make sense and sink into their thick skulls. The goal is to reverse the obesity trends before the problem gets any worse. We can only hope this will happen sooner rather than later.


Blogger Leigh said...

I can vouch for the "steer clear" of the Splenda Sugar Blend scam - I used it in a dessert recipe and found it to be most unfriendly for my diabetic hubby. And since his carb tolerance is higher than mine, it can only be poison for me.

5/07/2006 5:01 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

It's too bad even an icon like Dana was more or less forced by the media to use a "politically correct" title. We all know that this is a low-carb cookbook, it's only "bad" to say so, all thanks to our friends in the media.

But it's an excellent book. I picked up a copy this week and it's her magnum opus indeed. Highly recommended.

5/07/2006 7:04 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I think it's hilarious that she has become somewhat of a low-carb wolf in low-calorie clothing. She does what she has to do to get her message out. Good for her! I'll have to check out her latest book, thanks for the tip!

5/07/2006 7:06 PM  

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