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Monday, April 07, 2008

My Neverending Low-Carb E-mail Bonanza

One of the highlights of my day is reading all the hundreds upon hundreds of e-mails that grace my e-mailbox from the people who honor me with their presence here daily at my blog. I consider it a true privilege to be able to correspond with you guys and offer any assistance that I can as you travel down this journey to better health thanks to the amazingly healthy low-carb lifestyle. I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm just your average guy who overcame obesity and disease because of this remarkable way of eating that really is changing the lives of REAL people.

As has become one of my regular customs over the past year, I'm gonna share with you just a small sampling of some of the e-mails I've received lately because they may express some of your own thoughts and questions. In fact, if you're new and this is something that interests you, then you may want to go back and check out my previous blog posts featuring the e-mails I've received (access them by clicking here, here, here, here, and here).

Here are some of the latest e-mails I've received:

Howdy Jimmy,

I have experienced a lot of Atkins bashing lately. Our son is a patient at a local hospital for substance abuse. He told me that some medical people came in and gave a lecture about diet. They said that the Atkins diet was a fad diet that doesn't work, is unhealthy and dangerous. I said what? Who were these people? Don't listen to them!

Then I read Dr. Mercola's latest newsletter which says that Dr. Atkins was a great medical pioneer but his diet doesn't work, is not healthy, and people cannot stay on it. I thought, "What?" This Atkins bashing is everywhere. Are we crazy?


Welcome to my world! I can only imagine what poor Dr. Atkins had to endure during his lifetime and it makes the few years I've been defending the low-carb cause pale in comparison. But what can you do with such blatant lunacy? I choose to laugh in the face of it because it is nothing more than what I like to call educated ignorance. Our society has been indoctrinated with the low-fat message that people are beginning to believe that up is down. Thankfully there are a few sane people left in the world of diet and health, so all is not lost. Stay encouraged, my friend, because the truth will prevail in the end.

Hey Jimmy,

I'm curious as to what compelled you to start blogging. Livin' La Vida Low-Carb is a very catchy name :) Was there any influence in diabetes that compelled you to start the blog? I think I've seen it mentioned on dLife before.

I thought I'd email and introduce myself. Keep up the good work! I love getting new ideas of yum yums I can eat as a Type 1 for almost 23 years. Your site is a gospel.


GREAT QUESTION! I never personally had diabetes, but I was well on my way to it before I found low-carb. It was such an honor for dLife to name me as a contributing writer for their fabulous web site last year because they love the work I am doing here at my blog. What compelled me to blog? Well, when you lose 180 pounds and transform your life forever, you can't help but share about it with the whole world. And here we are nearly three years later and counting and I'm still just as passionate (if not more!) about it today as I was then. I'll never stop blogging as long as people keep reading. THANK YOU for your support!

Hey Jimmy and Christine,

You two are wonderful and great role models. Hey, I had to share with you my most recent lab results for my lipids. Recently I have returned to livin' la vida low-carb which I should have never left and won't ever again. I am 5'3" and weigh 157 pounds (and losing). I have rhumetoid arthritis but try to exercise as much as possible as a 57 year old sitting behind a desk most of the day.

Now for my livin' la vida low carb lipids:

Total cholesterol = 187
LDL = 105
HDL = 65.3
Triglycerides = 82

And, I had to throw in that my fasting glucose was 88!! I am so thankful in part because my dad died at age 73 from complications of diabetic ketoacidosis.

I told the nurse practitioner that was reading my results to me that I had been dieting using the diet of low-carb. She commented about all the fats allowed and how bad they are, but I countered that I was eating the good fats and just take a look at my lab results please. These well educated folks, who I do appreciate, amaze me but what does it take to help them understand when the test results are looking them in the eyes? I mean she was reading my great results to me and telling me how good they were, but then how bad the fats are?! Huh?

Take care and I look forward to many years of reading your very informative, helpful, and wholesome blog. Since the death of my hero, Dr. Robert Atkins, your blog has been the next best reading possible--and I mean that, Jimmy.


Awwwww, thank you so much! And CONGRATULATIONS on those amazing numbers! Your HDL/triglycerides ratio is INCREDIBLE, so don't you dare ever let a doctor complain about your LDL being over 100. YOU GO GIRL!!! I'm so very proud of you. WOO HOO!!!

Hi Jimmy,

Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. I have been reading it over the last few days and I am very impressed. I have done Atkins once or twice but quit after only a week and a half. My problem was that I was eating the same food over and over and getting sick of it. With your wonderful blog and videos, I now have some variety when I go on Induction starting tomorrow.

I had one question--Was there one particular food or recipe that helped you through Induction? Unfortunately, I live in the Yukon and there are no "special" low-carb products here. None. Nada. I am even having a hard time finding pork rinds. I never even knew they made a low-carb ice cream until I read about in on your blog. I am going to try to order some things over the Internet like low-carb ketchup, chocolate etc. Thanks again for all the info you and your wife have shared with the world.


The best thing you can do for Induction is enjoy the versatility of eggs. Yes, there are some nice products that can enhance your low-carb lifestyle, but when you first start it's always good to begin with the basics. Eat whole eggs cooked in butter daily, along with bacon, green leafy veggies, macadamia nuts, almonds, full-fat meats, cheese, and more. Keep your carbs to 20 grams a day and watch the magic of livin' la vida low-carb begin doing what it does on you in no time! GO FOR IT!!!

Jimmy,

I found you using a search engine and your weight loss story is really inspiring!! I am 20 years old and have been on an overweight roller coaster ride my whole life. In 2005, my senior year of high school, I weighed in at 245 pounds. In only 3 months I managed to lose 45 pounds and felt great.

Unfortunately, after high school, I got very bored with the low-carb lifestyle. I was also going through a tough time in my life. Unhealthy dieting and an unhealthy lifestyle brought me back to 235 pounds over the next few years. I realize that, as a Christian, I need to take better care of my body because, after all, it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. After visiting your site, you truly inspired me to want to get back into shape. Thank you so much for the creative meal ideas you have on your page. I truly so consider it a blessing. Thanks.

Are there any tips you could give me to assure that I stay committed to this and will be able to feel comfortable with my weight by the summer?


Tips to stay committed? Just one--make a steadfast resolve to make better choices for your health and then NEVER look back again. You REALLY want to do this, I can tell. So let God help you with your weight loss as he did me and work this plan like you've never worked anything else in all your life. IT WORKS when you apply it--NEVER GIVE UP!!!

Hi Jimmy,

Thanks for introducing me and the rest of the world to Dr. Mary Vernon. After switching from Protein Power to Atkins, I listened to your interview with her, and realized she is just an hour away from me (and my insurance plan approved seeing her!). I made an appointment to see her in January this year and found out she was joining a practice closer to me a couple days a week.

Even though I wound up seeing someone else in the office and I may never meet Dr. Vernon personally, this practice follows her approach to treating diabetes and metabolic syndrome--Atkins!--and the change has been pretty miraculous. On my first visit they took me off two HBP meds, and started me on Induction, and my blood sugar levels have dropped about 30 points. They've just changed my diabetes meds to
one that DOESN'T intentionally raise my insulin levels--Imagine that!--and this morning, I'm not falling asleep in front of my computer after breakfast!

I want to take a rubber mallet and give the diabetes educators who personalized a food plan two years ago that called for me to consume more than 200 carbs a day a great big clunk on the head! I also want to take a rubber mallet to the jerk of an endocrinologist who advised me, a woman who'd been sedentary her whole adult life, to just "do Weight Watchers and exercise an hour a day" when my random blood sugar readings were in the 150s! I feel sad for all the diabetics out there who are following traditional courses of treatment and can't understand why they feel so yucky! Thank you!


Your story is becoming more and more common these days and the American Diabetes Association needs to hear about it. Now that people like Dr. Vernon have enlightened you and changed the way you think about your disease, it's time to take this clear and concise message to the masses. You are an inspiration to me today and I applaud you for the fabulous work you have done to change your life!

Hi Jimmy,

I'm enjoying your blog. I bought your book, and it's a good read. You are helping inspire me to start livin' la vida low-carb myself. But it ain't the startin' that's hard, it's the stickin' to it, so I'll be visiting your page often!

I've been struggling for years with my weight. I'm a 47-year old woman who has allowed myself to get about 40 pounds too heavy. I've done every diet in the book, I think, including, with my mom, what they called "High Protein Low Carbohydrate" back in the seventies (and I will say, I got the skinniest I've ever been doing that). I've always put the weight back on and then some.

I had some success with the South Beach Diet a few years ago but when my partner's mother became seriously ill and I allowed the stress to get me off track (hey, Buca di Beppo's right near the hospital, let's go comfort ourselves with a huge plate of spaghetti and meatballs...)

I'm 5'3 1/2" and I ballooned up to 164 pounds. I've been just eating whatever I want for years and having a drink or two every day as well. My downfall is night-time eating where I can eat a whole LARGE pizza for dinner plus a whole bag of Baked Lays potato chips at a time (they're low-fat, so they're ok, right? WRONG!) And I love La Choy miniature frozen egg rolls--I can eat two boxes at a time.

Pizza rolls. Take out Chinese. Kraft macaroni and cheese with tuna and peas in it (Yes, I can eat the whole box, myself)! Gardetto’s snack mix. Chex mix. Frozen meatballs. You get the picture. I'm an emotional eater. I have a stressful commute and by the time I get home at night all I can think about is two things, a drink and something yummy to eat.

What has finally made me get a grip is that my left knee started hurting. For no apparent reason--well, because I do walk a lot for exercise and I was pounding the heck out of it with all my extra weight, maybe? Anyway, it swelled up and hurt bad enough to sideline my walking for a couple of weeks and I said to myself "That's enough. This is it. Your weight is now affecting your ability to exercise and enjoy the outdoors--you have GOT to do something about it."

I remembered doing well on South Beach so I got out the book and decided to eat "Phase One" for two weeks and see what would happen. For some reason I got interested in low-carbing and did a lot of Googling, ran across your blog and some other sites, and something just clicked in my head. It will have been a month on April 11. I have not cheated at all. I have not even had one drop of alcohol because I read that your body will burn that first if it gets any. Don't want that! I have lost 11 pounds already (and believe me, for a woman my age, that is something) and it's been effortless.

My typical day’s eating looks like this:

Breakfast–two slices of turkey bacon with two hard boiled eggs

Lunch–a huge salad of mixed baby greens, grape tomatoes, Jarlsberg cheese, Cheddar cheese, deli turkey breast, black olives or avocado and Matso's Greek dressing (delicious!), a sugar-free Jello cup

Snack–a handful of nuts (usually almonds, sometimes peanuts or cashews)

Dinner–a South Beach Phase One frozen entrée if I don't feel like cooking. If I feel like cooking, some sort of protein plus a veggie. Example – broiled salmon and fresh broccoli, or baked chicken breast and asparagus.

Snack–lunch meat and or cheese, or nuts

Maybe this doesn't seem like much food, but I'm satisfied on it, if I do get hungry I eat some more protein. I'm sure it's more carbs than Atkins Induction would allow, but I'm losing, so I'm okay with that!

I can't believe I'm losing weight eating like this. I just switched from fat-free half and half to heavy cream for my coffee and since I'm one of those who's been indoctrinated for years to think that fat is evil, this is very hard. I see the little fat globules glistening there on the surface of the coffee and go, "EEEEK!" But I lost another pound and a half since doing that, so it must be OK!

I want to lose another 33 pounds and I finally really believe I can do it. I am not having any feelings of "oh I can't wait to get off this 'diet.'" I just don't feel deprived. I don't miss booze as much as I thought I would. I don't want bread or cereal or chips or pasta. I just don't want it. I'm not sure what's changed but I hope it lasts.

One thing I like about this way of eating is that you can do it even if you go out to eat, which is something I love to do. I can go out and have a steak and a salad, or fish and a salad, or chicken and a salad. Easy! As long as I'm careful about the dressing, and don't eat croutons or carrots or things like that. As long as I don't suck down a couple of Long Island iced teas while I'm at it! As long as I skip dessert which is easy, I've never been a big dessert eater.

Anyway, I know I've rambled, thanks for listening and thanks for sharing your experience with us. I was one who sort of "poo-pooed" Atkins as unhealthy and unsuitable for the long-term. Well, guess what? I've ordered a couple of his books. I really feel on a gut level, so to speak, that this is the right plan for me to FINALLY get back down to the weight I want to be.

Thanks, Jimmy, from a new low-carber. I can't believe my knee doesn't hurt anymore! Yeah, I'm ready to be the weirdo who scrapes the toppings off the pizza and eats those and throws out the crust!!!! And I will not be ashamed!!!!


If what you are doing works for you, then who am I to stand in your way? Keep it going, my friend, and do what you gotta do to get healthy and STAY healthy for the rest of your life. GREAT JOB!!!

Hello,

I read your story on the Diet Detective web site about your hard work and dedication to lose weight. I am actually currently weighing 170 it has been 2 weeks since I started the Atkins diet and I have lost 5 pounds. I am actually struggling with the diet and I am not sure if I am doing it right because I was told I should have already lost 10 pounds.

Seeing and reading your posts I felt inspired and I was hoping maybe you could give me a little guidance as far as what I could and should be eating. I have cut off all breads, rice (my weakness) and junk food. My diet consist of:

breakfast:
egg whites or hard boiled egg
cheese
ham or hot dog

snack:
polly-o cheese
ham or turkey

lunch:
mixed veggies or lettuce with cucumber
chicken (thigh, drumstick, or breast)
shrimp or fish

snack:
peanuts, or baby carrots

dinner:
same as for lunch or
ham and cheese wrapped in lettuce leaf

I'm not a sweets eater, or sodas I rarely eat fast foods but as I mentioned previously starches like rice and potato and pastas are my weakness (but I have cut them off). I was told not to eat tomatoes, ketchup, corn or sweets. I drink about 10 bottles of water daily. I also exercise at least 3-4 times a week for about 1 hr to 1 1/2 with cardio and weights.

I don't know if I am doing the diet correctly or if I am missing or doing something wrong maybe I'm just expecting to see results tomorrow and I know it's not going to happen but hopefully you can guide me and give me a little heads up on what to expect or what I should change. Thank you!


The only things I can see in your diet that might be lacking is enough fat. It doesn't look like you are eating enough of it right now which is not good since dietary fat is the fuel that gives your body the energy it needs in the absence of carbohydrate. Try eating more butter, coconut oil, fattier meats, etc. and see if that doesn't make a difference. Otherwise, keep doing what you are doing.

Remember, I NEVER get tired of reading your e-mails, so keep 'em coming! Contact me anytime at livinlowcarbman@charter.net.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Tom Bunnell (TB)--TB said...

Along the lines of Atkins bashing I find it astounding that he could have sold something like 25 million books and built his clinic and career in this kind of an environment. I know though that a lot of the bashing came much later after the powers that be got a chance to recoup and counter attack. He kind of caught them off guard in the beginning. The 'everybody being addicted',(including the doctors and scientists) to carbohydrates and fighting for there addictions, factor plays in here as well. -- Another thing along this line I think is that Dr. Atkins eventually caved in to all this bashing and public pressure after his original 1972 publication and allowed much more caffeine and alcohol and other things into his diet than he had origionally intended. His diet origionally was very nearly a native, traditional diet with almost all of the sugars removed and with plenty of fat and meat and eggs and water. -- It stands to reason with one man in the face of millions and millions of carbohydrate addicts that the pressure would be overwhelming. -- His contribution and the revolution he started is priceless. Dr. Jay Wortman, Native American Doctor from Canada, is the next Dr. Atkins.

4/08/2008 5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy, You give excellent advice to these people, but I am confused that you don't seem to follow this advice yourself. I understand that maintenance looks a bit different from induction, but it seems to me that if someone wrote to you about livin' la vida low carb and gaining back 30 pounds and posted menus similar to what your recent menus look like, then you would reiterate to do induction again and provide the same advice that you do here. You have been an inspiration to me for years. I even have your first book, but I am starting to wonder if doing low carb properly long term won't work for me because someone it worked amazingly for can't seem to keep the weight down either. Please, please, please, don't close your eyes to the differences in the diet in your book and what your current menu blog is posting. I so much want you to go back to "soaring".

4/08/2008 7:00 AM  
Blogger Amy Dungan (a.k.a Sparky's Girl) said...

Thanks for sharing your letters Jimmy. It's always interesting to see how others are doing on this WOE.

One tidbit of advice I'd add for the author of the last letter you posted is this: Don't compare your weight loss to anyone else's. Someone told them they should have lost 10 lbs in two weeks? What's wrong is this misconception that everyone will loose hoards of weight during the first couple of weeks. It doesn't work that way for everyone. There are so many factors involved - how much you need to lose, your metabolism, your level of insulin resistance, hormones... the list could go on and on.

5 lbs in two weeks is a great start and this reader should just continue on as they are. As long as they have read and understand the plan book, they should have no trouble being the success they want to be.

I wish them all the best!

4/08/2008 9:49 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I thought I might hear from you again anonymous. :) THANK YOU for sharing your concerns and I'm happy to address them.

As you can see in this blog post, I have gained a lot of muscle in the past three months. While a 30-pound "gain" may seem shocking to you, it's not at all to me or many of the experts I have spoken with about it.

Keep in mind I've never lifted weights in my entire life before this. Never. So there was virtually zero muscle on my upper body especially prior to beginning this routine. Now there is.

The only thing I'm doing different now from what I wrote in my book three years ago is I'm lifting weights (something I regretted not doing sooner in the midst of my weight loss efforts in 2004). So I'm not sure what you mean by the "differences" in my diet then and now.

I've always enjoyed low-carb chocolates (way back when Z-Carb bars were still around) and such to help keep me away from the sugary things. You might want to go back and read my book again because you'll notice the menus are fairly similar to what I eat now. :)

As for "soaring," I've never been flying higher than I am right now. God has been immensely good to me over these past few years and I anxiously await what He has in store for my life next. In the meantime, I'll keep sharing, encouraging, and doing my best to inspire others with quality information on a daily basis. It's my purpose in life now and I'm happy to do it.

One last thing: If I wanted to simply "lose those 30 pounds" at this point, then I'd stop my weight training. But I'm not gonna do it. For me, it's not about weight loss--it's about being fit, muscular, and healthy. And that's the direction I'm moving in.

But thank you for your concern. ;)

4/08/2008 10:24 AM  
Blogger quotidianlight said...

I totally agree Amy. During induction I was so careful and doing everything right and I lost 6 pounds. I actually stopped losing about 9 days in and was reading all kids of posts from people losing 12-25 pounds! I had to stop comparing and stick with it and get to OWL ASAP. As soon as I moved to OWL and my body started digesting food properly I stay at 1-2 pounds a week. It still isn't super fast but honestly my skin looks bad enough from the twins than to add quick weight loss to the mess. There are good sides to losing slowly!

4/08/2008 1:34 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I also agree with Amy. There's no way I could lose 10 pounds in two weeks! It's a lot of weight and unless you're super-obese you can't expect to lose that much, IMO. If you're merely overweight, 5-8 pounds would be a very good loss for the induction two weeks.

4/08/2008 5:31 PM  

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