Sunday, September 23, 2007

Five Tasty Low-Carb Stories For You To Chew On

So much to blog, so much to blog!

WOW, I wish I had more time in the day lately to be blogging about the low-carb lifestyle, but it's just not happening. The explosive growth of my new "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Discussion" forum (quickly approaching 1,000 members and a half million pageviews!) and my increasingly-popular video series with my wife Christine called "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb On YouTube" has taken up time I would normally dedicate to blogging.

I'm not complaining by any stretch of the imagination because I'm lovin' every minute of what I am doing, including my continued work on my podcast show, my "30-In-30" blog, my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog, writing my second book, and having the opportunity to start writing columns for a MAJOR health media outlet coming soon (more about that when I'm allowed to talk about it in detail).

Life is quite busy, but I wanted to get you caught up on a five items of interest that caught my attention lately that you should know about and chew on a while:


If you missed this month's nationally-syndicated "Cook Well, Eat Well" column from low-carb cooking goddess Dana Carpender, then you need to read it, print it out, and take it to your next PTA meeting at your child's school to share with the other parents what they can pack their little munchkin to eat for lunch instead. Dana details what parents can pack for their children to eat in her piece entitled "School lunches leave a lot to be desired for the taste buds." Giving alternatives to the nutritionally bankrupt foods like cereal, yogurt, and a roll for a meal (yep, that's the totality of this so-called "meal" that was served to students), this column is classic Dana Carpender and you won't want to miss it!


If you haven't signed up for the FREE Total Health Breakthroughs newsletter yet, then you don't know what you are missing out on. One of the contributing writers there is none other than a real health expert named Dr. Jonny Bowden. I LOVE Jonny and have highly recommended his Living The Low-Carb Life and The 150 Healthiest Foods On Earth books to everyone I know. Jonny's writings are so infectious and educational, too!

This week's newsletter featured an article by Jonny entitled "How to Fight Cravings -- and Win!" that will knock your socks off! He goes into the psychology of overeating beyond mere hunger and how you can stop that vicious cycle in its tracks. Or, as he says, you need to "short-circuit the chain" as he outlines in his audiobook "Change Your Body Change Your Life." He encourages you to WRITE DOWN your five biggest hunger triggers and to put a plan of action into place when those triggers begin to start happening. Check these out:

1. Brush your teeth.
2. Eat a pickle. Eating something completely different from what you’re craving tricks the brain and kills the craving. Try eating a hot pepper when you’re craving chocolate and you’ll instantly see what I mean.
3. Reward yourself with a relaxing activity you normally wouldn’t do. Try a warm bath or uninterrupted reading of your favorite magazines.
4. Go for a walk. The endorphins released will often balance the chemistry of a craving brain.
5. Write down what you’re feeling. Try “being” with that feeling for five minutes.

I'm sure there's more where that came from, but those tips for beating your cravings and resisting the urge to eat when you shouldn't will get you started off right.


Imagine my surprise when I was doing some research recently and came across this newspaper column from my own home state of South Carolina called The State and discovered a very positive review of livin' la vida low-carb for those seeking to improve their health, especially diabetics. WOW!!! The writer Cindi Ross Scoppe said there are other ways like drugs and supplements to improve blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and stabilize blood sugars, but the best way is...

"There’s an easy-to-stick-to diet that also does a good job of lowering blood pressure and stabilizing if not reducing cholesterol: the low-carb Atkins diet."

You read that right! She named the much-vilified Atkins diet in this story about healthy living. Incredible! I was so pumped about seeing this by a writer just down the road from me that I e-mailed her to thank her for that positive coverage. She never wrote back, but I'm sure she is aware of the media bias that exists against this way of eating and is roundly ignoring it herself.

Scoppe makes some excellent observations about the low-carb lifestyle ("Many foods that drive up cholesterol — eggs, steak, cheese, bacon, butter, cream — are on the all-you-can-eat buffet. No one has figured out exactly why, but apparently the bad foods don’t hurt you if you’ve sworn off carbs.") and even questions some of the illogical thinking of so-called diabetes advocacy groups ("When I did the American Diabetes Association’s 'Rate your Plate' exercise, dragging an Atkins-perfect meal of chicken, broccoli, lettuce and tomatoes onto my plate, I got a scoldy message that said: 'You have too many vegetables and not enough carbohydrates. Try again.' Too many vegetables?"). This one is too juicy to pass up, so take some time to check it out and encourage Scoppe in her low-carb journey to better health!


In March this year, there was a rather eye-opening study released in the most prestigious medical journal in the United States--The Journal Of The American Medical Association--by Stanford University researcher Dr. Christopher Gardner comparing various diet plans against each other measuring weight loss and health. The conclusion? The Atkins diet was best among several other plans, including the low-fat Ornish diet and "balanced" Zone diet.

There was debate about this study in the weeks following its release as many low-carb advocates like me called for low-carb to be promoted alongside low-fat in dietary recommendations so that the public could have all the facts to make the best decision about their own health. No such luck on that one, but I was pleasantly surprised to see this Scientific American story that quotes Dr. Gardner saying something that blew me away. Keep in mind that he is a vegetarian and it makes this quote all the more profound.

“Maybe low carb is a better simple message to the public than low fat,” Gardner says. “We tell them low carb, and they get it. They cut out a couple of sodas or a couple of cookies, and that adds up.”

That's it, Dr. Gardner! You've hit the nail squarely on the head and with amazing precision, too! Cutting carbs is simple, yet so much easier to understand and enjoy than cutting fat. Can we get you to shout that message over and over again to get people to understand it at last? Of course, with well-meaning but DEAD WRONG people like National Weight Control Registry co-founder Dr. James Hill quoted in the story as saying "There’s no way you can do it [eat low-carb] forever,” it's gonna be an uphill battle!


We all know the target audience for most diet companies these days is women. With an overwhelming number of people joining groups like Weight Watchers and Curves, it's almost as if the weight loss industry forgot about the guys. Well, not anymore according to this Chicago Tribune column that found they're now gunning for the men. They cite Nutrisystem and their use of former NFL players like Dan Marino as evidence of a new trend. It's nice to see these efforts, but all the male folks need to do is go on low-carb and the weight comes pouring off! Maybe if Weight Watchers would come up with a low-carb version of their plan, they could pull more men into their system. Wouldn't be surprised at all if that's what happens REAL soon!

I've got a ton more to blog, but that's all the time I have for now. We'll hit some more later, but for now I need to get some rest and get reenergized for the upcoming week. THANK YOU for your devoted readership and keep on livin' la vida low-carb!

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Blogger Pot Kettle Black said...

Re: Chi Trib column. Nutrisystem has used former NFL players and coaches for as long as I can remember. I remember they used to have an ad with five formerly obese baseball guys talking about the weight they lost. Tommy Lasorda was huge for them. (I might be confusing them with Slimfast, but still, having Dan Marino or Don Shula hock a diet, is not new). I think better evidence is the Men's Health Personal Trainer, and other similar sites.

Brings us to a business model approach for why a WW model will out earn the Publish a Book and let it go model. It's about follow ons. Once you have the rules from the book you bought for 5-20 dollars, you don't need anything from the company in the book model. You buy Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution and then you go out and eat veggies, steak, etc. You don't need the special products. You buy vitamins, but you can buy any vitamins that match a certain level, you don't need the Atkins labeled ones. You might partake in an Atkins Shake, but you can easily dump it for a Worldwide Nutrition shake, with three times the protein and lower net carbs (not gonna get into the reduced amount of glycerol). You can take an Atkins bar (you could eat linoleum too) or you could do a Worldwide nutrition bar with more protein, better mouthfeel, more vitamins and less glycerol. Ultimately, for most customers, the book is the start and end of their transaction with the Atkins company.

On the WW model, you sign up, then you go back. And back again. And again. Some plans (LA Weightloss, some of their plans), you buy bars that you can only get through the store (you could match nutrition at Trader Joes, but that's a hump). Others, you get all your food from the company. It's a revenue stream approach, similar to gillette's razors, playstation and X-box, and those coffee pod makers. Spend money to get into the club, then buy follow on products for the life of your membership. If you could figure a way to bring this to low carb, you'd be a trillionaire.

9/24/2007 9:56 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Excellent business observations, Pot. Yes, I remember Tommy Lasorda in those Slim-Fast commercials. It was pathetic and I'm sure the former Dodgers manager has continued that regimen...riiiiiiigght!

You're right. WW corners you into buying THEIR products exclusively. It's brilliant business-wise, but leaves very little wiggle room for life in the real world.

9/24/2007 10:11 AM  
Blogger renegadediabetic said...

The latest WW add for WW on line mentions things specifically for men. While I was in WW, someone asked me if I would eventually like to be a leader (once I reached goal, of course) as they need some male leaders. Well, WW didn't work for me and it was impossible for me to reach goal. Now with low carb, I've lost twice the weight I ever lost on WW (unless you add up all the weight I regained and re-lost :)). AND, I feel more confident about keeping it off. I'd be telling people to forget their points and count carbs. No thanks WW. I've found what works best for me.

9/24/2007 11:51 AM  

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