Kooky, Crazy, Nutty...And Everything In Between: E-mails To My Low-Carb Blog
Some of my readers must be related to Crazy Harry
I'm gonna be dating myself a bit with this reference, but do you remember the old Jim Henson television program called The Muppet Show? We all know Kermit the Frog, Fozzy, Beaker, Animal, and, of course, Miss Piggy. But do you remember that character named Crazy Harry? He was the strange one who always looked like he was up to no good as he looked for something to blow up. Does that ring a bell?
Well, I must have some long lost relatives of Crazy Harry embarking on my blog from time to time because some rather kooky, crazy, and nutty comments and e-mails have been coming my way lately and it certainly keeps life rather interesting to say the least. That's okay because I get enough of everything in between to help counterbalance the wild and the weird.
One of the most popular kind of blog posts I do feature some of the most intriguing e-mails and comments that come my way and you can see my previous ones here, here, here, here, and here, and here. But I do believe today takes the proverbial low-carb cake for the strangest e-mail I have ever received in the history of my blog. And that's truly saying something with all the bizarre comments that have been hurled in my direction. The good news is one freaky bit of feedback is always tempered perfectly by bunches of normal ones, so ENJOY!
The following was left as an anonymous comment at my blog this week:
Look around your mid-section, you could live off that fat for 6 months. I am highly skeptical that your body needs all that fat. I'm pretty sure your gall bladder will need removal within a few years. Though that's only if you survive the colon cancer from the 15 pounds of fetid low quality hormone laden mad cow meat adhering to you colon. Do you notice how bad your BO is and how bad the toilet smells after you go. If you don't just ask your wife. Chimp poo is nothing like that!
PS - and what is with your so called brother being in hospice and singing karaoke ? I've yet to meet a hospice patient released for a little karaoke R&R. I think somebody is looking for pity points. But if you weren't a drama llama you would not over medicate with fatty foods (formerly sugary foods in your younger years).
Looks like Dean Ornish let one of his wacko radical vegetarians out on the loose again! Does something like this even deserve to be dignified with a valid response from me? I think not (although I thought you'd get a good laugh out of it like I did!).
Now, on to more NORMAL e-mails...
I am a former vegetarian (16 years with no meat!) who has started eating fish and a hell of a lot more protein and fat due to reading Gary Taubes' book Good Calories, Bad Calories. I have easy access to all the research articles that he sites in his book, so in addition to being persuaded by Gary I have read all the original experiments as well and have changed my eating habits accordingly.
My reason for emailing you is to ask this: when you are talking to people about your diet and your opponent says: "I love sugar! I will never stop eating sugar! My boyfriend/girlfriend/ spouse tried it and they fainted/felt like crap/their heads exploded, etc." How do I defend myself? (I just had this conversation five minutes ago, so I am fuming just a bit.)
I could have been nasty and said, "Well, look at me, and now look AT YOU, YOU FAT SUGAR EATER!!!!" However, as irritating as this person can be sometimes, I did not want to hurt her feelings.
So, Jimmy, could you or any of your fans advise me how to converse nicely with the uninitiated proponent of carbs without sounding like a total jerk?
LOL! I think we all have people like this in our life. The thing I tell people is that you won't have to give up sugar for life if you don't want to on your low-carb diet. You just choose to go without it until your weight and health is under control. But what will happen is they'll reap the benefits of ditching sugar and will decide for themselves to never eat it again. What would you suggest?
I am hoping you can help me answer a question, or at least point me in the right direction to get an answer. First let me say, I love your blog! Thanks so much for keeping us updated on the low carb lifestyle. Let me tell you a little background about myself. I am a type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump and am a registered nurse. In 1994, I read a book by a doctor in NY, Richard Bernstein, which changed the way I managed my diabetes. Dr. Bernstein advocates a very low carb diet for diabetics, and he has used it to manage his own diabetes for years. I met with him and tried his low carb diet, which substantially reduced my insulin needs. Although I was not able to maintain his ultra low carb recommendations, I have continued to follow a much lower carb diet which has helped greatly improve my diabetes control.
In 2004, I decided to tackle my next health issue, which was my weight. I had about 45 pounds to lose, and decided to join Weight Watchers and follow their core plan. Although Weight Watchers does not advocate low carb, it was easy for me to structure my eating with the core plan and still eat a lower carb diet. Within 7 months, I had dropped the 45 pounds and have maintained the weight loss for the past 4 years. Now, on to my question...
I currently exercise every day. I love it and look forward to it. As is my routine, just prior to exercising I have my one treat of the day, which is ice cream. This helps to keep my blood sugar up while exercising and keeps me on track with my healthy eating habits because I know I get to eat that one sweet treat every day. Recently, Breyers came out with a new line of "Breyers Free" ice creams, which are fat free and have some added fiber. I have been buying this line because the Weight Watchers points value is 1-2 points, as opposed to 4-5 for regular ice cream. But what I have noticed when eating these fat free ice creams is that my blood sugar goes way up, which it never did with the regular ice creams. After looking at the carb values for both, I saw that the fat free had 25 gms of carbs and the regular has 15 grams, which is a big difference since I probably do not stick to the 1/2 cup serving. Because of the difference in the carb value, I end up having to take extra insulin, which I did not have to do with the regular ice cream.
So my question to you is do you think I should switch back to the regular ice cream? I am desperate to lose another 7 pounds, and am afraid that the regular ice cream, being higher in calories, will slow down this weight loss. However, my logical mind also knows that it is generally the extra insulin that the body makes or, in my case, that is injected, that causes me to gain weight. Can you please tell me your opinion on this, as I will feel better hearing it from someone who is familiar with the low carb debate. My doctor basically told me that lower calorie=weight loss, higher calorie=weight gain, but I am not so sure that is true since I have to take more insulin to cover the higher carb value.
Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated!
Do I need to say how wrong this is on so many levels? I couldn't believe my eyes when I was reading this e-mail. Let me address the reason why fat-free and low-fat foods have more sugar/carbs. When they take out the fat, the food manufacturers have to replace it with something--and most of the time that something is sugar or high fructose corn syrup. That's just the way it is.
Now, about that ice cream before your workout. WHAT?! It's a myth that you need to carb-up before exercise and I urge you to STOP eating the ice cream beforehand. That's not necessary when you are livin' la vida low-carb, eating adequate protein, and fueling up with fat. Read The TNT Diet by Adam Campbell and Dr. Jeff Volek to find out how to implement this way of eating into your regular exercise routine.
My experience with a very low carb, high fat diet.
Started diet at Age 57, weight 186 (highest ever), total cholesterol 207, triglycerides 149, HDL 41, and LDL 136. Blood pressure between high normal and pre-hypertension.
Lost 23lbs in 9 months, with total cholesterol 182, triglycerides 79, HDL 46, LDL 120. Sounded pretty good to me!
3 months later, still on low carb diet, had lost additional 4 lbs, and feeling real good...then I had a heart attack. They placed 2 stents in 2 blocked arteries, also the main coronary artery is 40% blocked and I'm looking at bypass surgery in the future.
Now I'm on a full regiment of drugs. Lost additional 10 lbs, and stayed on low carb, but now also low fat. With the drugs, total cholesterol 110, triglycerides 50, HDL 44, LDL 57. Blood pressure is now very very low.
Ok, what happened?
It's funny how people are so quick to blame their low-carb diet on health calamities when differences suddenly manifest themselves. But you never hear people talk about how much that low-fat, high-carb diet they were eating damaged their health. I've never understood this double standard, but it is what it is I guess.
Anywho, as for this person who says their heart attack happened because of livin' la vida low-carb, he needs to read this recent blog post from a 31-year old man who also had a heart attack. The thing is you cannot underestimate your predisposition for having a cardiovascular event especially at your age and in the short amount of time you've been on low-carb. All those years of high-carb eating can take their toll. Eating low-fat is NOT the answer, but continuing low-carb living is vitally important to preventing ANOTHER heart attack in the future.
I have a few comments. EVERYBODY says and thinks that they are never gonna be fat again or gain their weight back. Yet many, if not most, do just that. You may be too young to remember when Oprah dragged 90 lbs of fat in a wagon on stage and declared she would never be fat again. She may not be very fat now but she was between then and now, with losses and gains in between. Forgive my skepticism. It comes from my own experiences. I have lost weight, between 50 and 100 lbs several times, and kept it off for an average of three years. So I couldn't take seriously anyone's advice until they'd made it past 5 or 10 years.
I pray that you succeed. I think this must be the first time you've lost a lot of weight or you might not be so sure you won't gain it back. Gaining it back is worse than being fat in the first place. Because I do want you to succeed, I am going to follow your progress. I think it may be wise for you to cultivate a little humility. In my opinion you sound like you are sure that you have THE answers. I wish it were so simple. I do agree that the questionnaires generally are asking the wrong questions, but the one about how you'd feel if you gained the weight back is an important and quite legitimate question that you need not to dismiss so cavalierly, perhaps to your own peril.
Did I mention there was only one psycho e-mail? Okay, I was wrong. I have no idea what this person is talking about, but this is America and he has a right to his opinion. THANK YOU for sharing...er, I think. :)
I'm a long time listener of your podcast show and I love it!
I've been restricting my carbs for several years - my diet is probably not "low carb" as I eat around 100g total carbs per day (fibre included). However, I'm also vegan. I'm intolerant to dairy and I've never liked meat all that much anyway.
I know that a lot of vegans are opposed to low carb diets and are very vocal about it. I personally don't push my vegan diet onto anyone, mainly because I don't like people trying to force me to eat meat and dairy products. I still prepare meat for my husband and children, I just don't eat any of it.
Just wondering what your opinions are of vegan low carb diets, and whether you think it's even possible! My diet consists of: fruit, vegetables, tofu, seitan, wheat bran, nuts, and seeds. I also boost my protein intake with soy protein supplement because I weight train 4-5 times per week. My non fruit/vegetable carbs are from 1 serving of wheat bran per day, and 1 cup of pea soup 2-3 times per week.
It sounds boring to most people but I genuinely enjoy eating this way.
Just wondering what your thoughts are, and whether "vegan" and "low carb" can actually be compatible!
Thanks and keep up the great work!
I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with a vegan wanting to eat a low-carb diet, but there are many benefits to eating animal fat that you miss out on when you go totally vegan. Plus, you can't eat eggs or other sources of healthy fat and protein that your body needs. I couldn't personally handle a low-carb vegan diet personally, but more power to ya. I just wish the really crazy vegans would just calm down with their rhetoric.
I've got plenty more e-mails to share with you and will do that soon. In the meantime, I always love hearing from my readers whether they agree with me or not. So feel free to drop me an e-mail anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.