Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Yep, I Still Enjoy Eating Low-Carb Ice Cream

Columnist James Lileks moans over Kemps removing their low-carb line

I have a confession to make that shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me--I LOVE MY LOW-CARB ICE CREAM!!! I know the anti-chemical, all-natural-foods-only low-carb crowd is reading this rolling their eyes at me as if I'm some sort of freak or something.

But the reality is I'm probably more normal than they are since I still find low-carb living to be a day to day battle. I can never let my guard down if I am going to successfully keep the nearly 200 pounds I lost over three years ago off of my body for good. So far, so good.

If low-carb ice cream can keep me away from the regular sugary ice cream and other such high-carb desserts, then I'm gonna do it. Would NO ice cream be better for me? Obviously. But I can't (or choose not to) do that any more than I could give up my diet sodas. I seriously tried that and I couldn't sustain it as part of my life without adversely impacting my weight control.

What's the real harm in it if it helps me keep my weight off which it has for over three years and counting? With so many people trying to lose weight and then reaching a point in their diet when they don't feel like a success (even despite enormous weight loss success), shouldn't we be promoting the use of products like low-carb ice cream to help them transition from the things that tempt them the most?

Absolutely, we should and I'll tell you why. I've been livin' la vida low-carb since January 2004 and my diet has undergone a major shift since that time. Many of the foods I once considered staples of my diet--a case and a half of Coca-Cola daily, an entire box of Little Debbie snack cakes, a SuperSize order order of McDonald's French fries, a plateful of regular pasta--are now a thing of the past. I don't even remotely want them in my life ever again.

My friend the "Diet Detective" Charles Stuart Platkin describes these alternatives I have chosen instead like diet sodas and low-carb ice cream as "Carb Bargains," which means you substitute a lower-carb food for a higher-carb one you previously consumed to cut calories and start the lifestyle change in earnest.

This makes total sense which is why I have defended the use of certain low-carb products before and feature many of the good ones here at my blog. Granted, not everything that purports to be "low-carb" is, but that's where reading your labels and being smart go a long way in your low-carb lifestyle.

If it comes down to a choice between eating low-carb ice cream and sticking with my low-carb plan versus not eating it and falling prey to the temptation to have a slice of chocolate cake, then I'll choose the former over the latter every day of the week. While there are some who can just suddenly stop eating those foods forever cold turkey, low-carb or not, I'm not one of them. Give me my low-carb substitutes thank you very much.

With that said, many of the really good low-carb products are prone to just suddenly disappear as this Star Tribune column by columnist James Lileks so hilariously details. If you have been livin' la vida low-carb for ANY length of time, then this little ditty will make your day. What a character this guy is as he's low-carbing it for himself.

His beef is with the Kemps Ice Cream manufacturers for removing their low-carb option called "Carb Promise" from their lineup of products. As so many of us have grown accustomed to seeing in recent years, they took away his favorite low-carb indulgence and now he's upset about it (hmmm, add Kemps to the list with Subway's low-carb wraps, low-carb offerings from Eat Well Be Well (formerly CarbSense), KETO's low-carb product line, Ruby Tuesday's low-carb menu...I could go on and on, but I won't. You get the point.

Lilaks encapsulates the very essence of how cruel this is to low-carbers.

"You give us something and you make us love it and you snatch it away...I always knew you'd yank Carb Promise when the Atkins diet died, and last week I learned that you'd discontinued the brand. Do you know what this means? I don't eat sugar. So you've taken away ice cream from my life. Entirely. And don't tell me 'it's the cows.' I've met cows. They lack the intellectual capacity to make such decisions."

Caught ya laughing out loud, didn't I? This guy's a real hoot! While I don't believe "the Atkins diet died" as he claims, I know what he meant. But it's not the end of the world.

If he's looking for low-carb ice cream, then he needs to look no further than the very best brand that has been available for years and is STILL available on supermarket shelves these days (it's all over the place in Super Wal-Mart, too!)--BREYER'S CARBSMART ICE CREAM!

CarbSmart ice cream has been a lifesaver for my low-carb diet

I've been eating this brand of low-carb ice cream since 2004 and wouldn't think of eating anything else. The product contains just 4g net carbs and tastes exactly like sugar-loaded ice cream. Unlike those pretender "low-carb" ice creams, this one has no gritty taste, no funky wang, and satisfies my sweet tooth with a dollop of whipped cream and some blueberries on top every time!

So, James, if you think "dessert is ruined ...FOREVER," then you REALLY need to try CarbSmart ice cream. It comes in Chocolate, Vanilla, Butter Pecan, and (my favorite!) Rocky Road and is absolutely delicious.

You can e-mail encouragement to James Lileks about his livin' la vida low-carb journey at

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Blogger mrfritznyc said...

I dunno about that Bryer's stuff... I too like to indulge in some ice cream from time to time... the Bryer's stuff tastes kinda icky and too sweet for me. It seems like they only need about half the splenda they dump into it. Havent tried it for awhile tho, maybe I should give it another go?
My old favorite was Ben and Jerry's low carb ice cream, but that too vanished long ago...
of course, you shouldn't eat too much of this stuff, calories count to, right?

5/08/2007 5:51 PM  
Blogger CB said...

I'm probably closer to the "all-natural" low-carb crowd the opposite, but you know what? Once a week or maybe every two weeks, I have a couple scoops of Breyer's Carb Smart vanilla ice cream (I add a bit of Fruit and Nut salad topping - almonds, dried cranberries, etc.). Paired with a high-quality coffee, it's a bit of a treat a few times a month!

5/08/2007 6:11 PM  
Blogger Aaron Collier said...

It would have been very very difficult for me to swith to the low-carb lifestyle without Bryers Carb-Smart Rocky Road. Seriously. I didn't get to over 300lbs by NOT having something for desert every night.

For that transition period A small cup of CSRR really hit the spot. I've tapered that down to a cup on the weekends or so, not nearly as much as before, but it really saved me from giving into a real ice-cream temptation.

I love the stuff.

5/08/2007 8:36 PM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

A possible, healthy, tasty (and cheap!) solution is to make icecream yourself. If one can make a proper custard then it's easy to make icecream.

To make a proper custard:

500ml whole, full-fat milk
565ml double cream
6 tblspoons splenda
1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds removed
8 free-range or organic egg yolks

Mix milk, cream, and 4 tablespoons Splenda, plus vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan. Bring to boil, then remove from heat. Leave to cool and vanilla flavors to infuse.

In large bowl whisk egg yolks plus 2 tablespoons of Splenda, until pale. Remove vanilla pod from mixture, then add a little of it into egg mixture and whisk immediately. Keep adding a ladleful of it at a time, mixing well before adding more. When done, pour egg mixture back into warm saucepan and cook very gently for a few minutes, gently stirring all the time (use rubber or wooden spatula). After a few minutes the yolks should cook just enough to thicken the custard and make it shiny - you should be able to coat the back of a spoon with it.

Once at this point, take off the heat immediately. It's easy to overcook and scramble the mix.

Now our basic custard is ready to be frozen. It can also be used as a wonderful low-carb sauce on, for example, rhubarb compote!

How to freeze: pour mixture into container (or forms), freeze, and take it out of the freezer and stir every 20 minutes, manually, to aerate the mixture so it will be smooth with tiny or no ice crystals.

An easier way, of course, it to use this mixture in a icecream-maker which will do this for you.

That's it! Icecream is really easy and this way you can make, in a economical way, good quantities of delicious, old-fashioned full-fat icecream in any flavor you like!

5/09/2007 4:41 AM  
Blogger TESS said...

Blue Bunny ice cream sells low carb ice cream as well as ice cream bars. They are my favorite hands down and are still being sold, or were as of 3 weeks ago!

5/09/2007 6:12 AM  
Blogger Lewis said...

May I suggest a LC Boston Cooler, that is, CarbSmart vanilla with diet ginger ale. And am I the only one hooked on Kroger's CarbMasters yogurt (vanilla is the best)?

5/09/2007 7:57 AM  
Blogger TESS said...

I just caught up on the kickin carb klutter blog, seems she checked the label on the one she bought and it has frutose, anyone else noticed this?

5/09/2007 8:11 AM  
Blogger Calianna said...

I've never bought a low carb icecream, because all of them seem to have sugar alcohols in them (even the ones with the Splenda seal on the front. Seems splenda is only one of the sweeteners they use).

However, I make chocolate whipped cream from a recipe that's been going around on one of the low carb forums, and it easily satisfies my need for something creamy and rich - tastes better than the smoothest, richest, creamiest soft serve chocolate icecream you've ever had in your life!

I haven't tried freezing it yet, so it's not the same thing as icecream, but then I don't get brain freeze from it either. ;)

5/09/2007 1:11 PM  
Blogger Fat Victoria said...

I can't get Carb Smart anymore. Safeway doesn't sell it. When I buy ice cream I get no sugar added triple chocolate and add almonds. But I do miss my Carb Smart Rocky Road.

5/10/2007 12:41 AM  
Blogger J3 said...

Just came across your blog post online and I am totally with you on the low carb ice cream! I couldn't do the low carb/low sugar diet without my Breyers. I like all the flavors they have.

6/18/2008 2:47 PM  
Blogger Wild Reed said...

Thanks for the great ice cream tips! I will see if I can find the Breyer's next time I am in the store.

Calianna, any idea where I can find that chocolate whipped cream recipe?

3/22/2009 9:43 PM  

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