Monday, September 24, 2007

It's Drive-By Low-Carb Blogging Time Again!

Continuing with the theme I started yesterday of catching up on some much-needed blogging that I haven't had time to do lately, here are a few more items of interest for fans of livin' la vida low-carb!


Ever since I first started warning people about the sugar alcohol maltitol found in so many sugar-free, low-carb products, there have been some wang dang doozy stories that are both hilarious and horrendous all at the same time. Remember "Farting" Fred and "Sharted" Sarah. Now we have "Maltitol Macaroon" Mike. ENJOY!

I have a maltitol story to share with you that I'll never forget. I was driving out of town one day and I happened by a health food store. So I stopped in to see what they had. There was a package of little macaroon cookies with all kinds of good numbers, low fat, low sugar, etc. What could be wrong with that? Especially since I LOVE macaroons.

So I bought a bag and headed off to my appointment, snacking on the little macaroons as I drove. Before you knew it, I had eaten the whole package. The next day, I found out the principal adverse effect of maltitol--tropical strength diarrhea. I figured I simply had a bad reaction because I ate too much, so later I tried two pieces of candy made with maltitol, and that also gave me diarrhea.


GOOD ADVICE, Mike! That why I shared in this recent YouTube video that people should avoid it if they possibly can. It's just not worth the trouble (or pain), is it?


Low-carbers who want an excellent milk substitute have been pleased to use a product called Calorie Countdown from a company named Hood. The milk comes in chocolate (my personal FAVE!) and white and contains just 4g net carbs per serving. This product used to be called Carb Countdown and had the Atkins logo on it before they changed the name to appease the health-conscious consumer last year.

Well, it appears this lone low-carb milk may be on its way out, but I'm still trying to confirm that with Hood. However, one of my readers said she visited her local grocery store to pick up a carton and was told by the manager that Hood Calorie Countdown was being discontinued. If I hear back from Hood about this, then I'll let you know what they say. We may be back to using cream again for milk.


You know, when I started this blog I had no idea the impact it was going to have on the lives of real people who were just like me nearly four years ago looking for a glimmer of hope in this weight loss journey. But they're out there watching, reading, learning, and changing their lives forever for the better! I never get tired of hearing stories of low-carb weight loss success like this:


You've inspired me to lose over 70 pounds in 9 months! I woke up at 41 weighing 270+. I got the "wake-up" call while tying to keep up with my two grade school aged boys. I got on a bicycle and tried to keep up with my nine-year-old and six-year-old. They cleaned my clock! I was so winded I felt as though I'd just ran 10 miles.

I took a long look in the mirror and said to myself, "Man, you're one fat, out-of-shape piece of *^&%!". Well, I decided to do something about it. I did all the stuff the "experts" advise. I went on that dreadful low-fat, low-calorie diet and started to exercise. Well, I had some marginal success, but the hunger was unbearable.

One day I remembered how I used to get to weight during my high school wrestling days. The coach would tell us to avoid all the "White Stuff". He gave us permission to eat two pieces of fruit a day with all the meat, cheese, & garden veggies (excluding potatoes) we wanted, but bread, rice, corn, & sugar were "no nos."

I pulled out an old photo and saw just how lean I was (talkin' about a six-pack!). I contemplated going back on the diet, but was worried about the health risks. I was obviously brainwashed by what I was being told on TV and by my Doctor.

I then started doing a little research to find out how I could do the old diet without the problems. I then stumbled upon your "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog. You had it all laid out! I read the stuff you posted and checked out the studies for myself.

I got Dr. Atkins' book and started my journey. Since January I've went from
about 272 pounds down to 198 pounds. I was wearing size 46" waist pants in January and now I'm wearing 34". I'm the thinnest I've been since I got out of the Army 19 years ago. My bodyfat level is now at 14% and I haven't felt this good in years!

Keep up the good work! I appreciate your efforts--way to go!

Man, I NEVER get tired of these kinds of stories. Feel free to share how this blog has motivated you in your low-carb journey by e-mailing me anytime at


There's a brand new tool that I'm thrilled to be able to share with you for people who are confused about how many carbohydrates are in various foods. Or perhaps you are following the low-glycemic index diet (GI) and want to know what the numbers are for the foods you are eating. Let me introduce you to Nutrition Answers which was created by an Australian Type 1 diabetic named Derek Miller. This program is still in beta, but I happen to think it is absolutely FANTASTIC! When you get to the web site, click on "Sample Questions" and you will see a list of invaluable links to give you the answers to the carb counts for your low-carb lifestyle. Use this tool early and often to stay on track with your healthy low-carb food choices.


I've heard all kinds of stories from people about what has happened to them since they started livin' la vida low-carb and most of the time it is good. There is an occasional strange symptom or two like what this person shared right after I started this blog. We're all different and not everything is tied to our low-carb diet. With that said, though, there may be a connection sometimes like in the case of this woman who wrote to me:

Hi, Jimmy –

I started the low-carb lifestyle this past summer, on July 4, and am happy to report that I’ve already lost 35 pounds and am down 3 or 4 dress sizes! And I feel absolutely great. In fact, I used to have heartburn fairly regularly on my old “normal American” diet, with the sugar and starches – and had to take a Zantac or Tums or two almost every night – but a week or so after starting low-carbing, the heartburn simply went away and never came back!

I never want to go off this way of eating. I was not pre-diabetic and there’s no history of diabetes in my family – but I had read Dr. Atkins’ books and Protein Power by the Drs. Eades and it all made good sense to me. And I’m so glad I tried it and have taken up the low-carb way of life!

But I have a question for you – on the very rare occasions when I have “slipped” in the past few months and eaten something high-carb (like a couple of mini-Milky Way bars…arrgh, pure sugar! Don’t ask me why I did it – I just did it once!) or some bread-y thing (once or twice, just to be “polite” when it was served) my body has had a bad reaction. Not long after eating the sugar and/or starch, I feel my heart start to pound, sometimes my head will start to ache, and I just overall feel quite bad.

My question is – is this the way I was feeling all the time before I started low-carbing, and I just never noticed it?? Or is my ability to handle carbs somehow weaker than it was? Or has my body just adjusted itself to the low-carb way of life, and now it’s just warning me not to go back? What exactly is that shaky, achy, lousy feeling I get when I, rarely, eat sugar or starch? Is that normal to have that happen?

At any rate, it is a truly effective deterrent. I don’t want to feel lousy again; therefore when I want something sweet, I stick to Splenda or maybe some sugar-free Jello or a few berries.

Thanks so much; love your blog!

It's always interesting to hear how people respond when they reintroduce carbs after they started livin' la vida low-carb. It's an great object lesson to remind us that we are making a LIFESTYLE CHANGE that is permanently altering the way we eat forever. That's something I attempted to convey in my response:

THANKS for writing and congrats on your success.

Think about sugar/carbs like you would crack cocaine. It is addictive and your body goes through withdrawals when you try to stop consuming it. When you get "clean" from the addiction and try to reintroduce it to your body, it is TOXIC and the body rejects it.

That's what happens with carbs after you have been livin' la vida low-carb for a while. Your body no longer relies on them and treats them as foreign entities when they are consumed. You've learned your lesson and won't be doing that again soon. :D

THANK YOU again for your e-mail!

Something tells me she'll be on strict low-carb for a while. As she should.

That's all the time I have for now, but I'm happy to be catching up on some much-needed blogging! More coming soon! In the meantime, Celebrate Gary Taubes Week!

9-26-07 UPDATE: After one of my readers was concerned the Hood Calorie Countdown low-carb milk was being discontinued, I contacted them to find out the scoop. According to a customer service representative, it's still available:

"We appreciate your interest in Calorie Countdown Dairy Beverages. In answer to your question, we have not discontinued these. If you are unable to locate a particular product, we suggest you speak with the store or dairy manager and ask if it can be ordered in."

So, if it's not on your grocer's shelf, ASK FOR IT!!! And be sure to let Hood know how much you appreciate their products that cater to your low-carb lifestyle by sharing your product experience.

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Blogger Pot Kettle Black said...

"Macaroon Mike"'s conclusion might be a bit off. The telling line in the story is:

"Before you knew it, I had eaten the whole package."

Those in the know might suggest that a malitol intake over a certain threshold is the problem. A whole package of macaroons is likely multiple servings, at which point, you cross the threshold and suffer the consequences.

I like malitol for the same reason I like Alli (I don't use, but in theory, for others, it seems like a good idea). It's a conditioning tool and a hard commitment. If you know where your malitol threshold is (mine is around 35g), you are portion constrained (not really, but if you want marital relations, you are). It keeps you from overeating sweet stuff, which is part of what got me into a before picture in the first place.

If ever they invent a sugar substitute that doesn't have binge side effects and that tastes good, I suspect the product will be very popular and undo a lot of people's earnest hard work in breaking the habits that made them "befores".

9/25/2007 8:25 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Yes, but there are abuses in everything and this example illustrates that perfectly. But there is a built-in restraint that will make you limit your intake. Or avoid it! :D

9/25/2007 10:13 AM  
Blogger Cedar Acre Lady said...

Oh, my gosh I can not live with out Hood Milk!!!!!! Let us know if we can pitch a fit to help keep Hood LC milk available to all.

9/25/2007 1:33 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


You hit the nail on the head with the crack cocaine analogy. Let me tell you, I am feeling serious withdrawal right now! I am amazed, truly amazed at how addictive sugar can be. As someone who (naively I guess) believed I had thoroughly conquered my addiction, I'm here to say that just one bite can send you spiraling back down.

Thanks, as always, for your inspiring posts.

9/25/2007 7:01 PM  
Blogger Lisa E said...

I WISH i had bad side effects from eating carbs. I might stay on plan better. :) Really, I don't go off plan too often, but when I do the absolute worst that happens is a little bit of drowsiness or water retention.

9/25/2007 7:05 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS Kate and Diamondwife! It is incredible how our bodies adjust to sugar/carbs so easily and then begin doing their damage. I'm so happy to be off of that rollercoaster ride and NEVER want to do that EVER again. :)

LOVE your new pic, Kate! Very scholarly with all those books in the background. I'm sure the Gary Taubes book will be there soon enough. ;)

9/25/2007 7:17 PM  
Blogger Low Carb Band-It said...

Jimmy - you about gave me a heart attack. We LIVE on the Hood milk (regular and chocolate). So glad to hear I "should" be able to get it.

9/26/2007 12:37 PM  
Blogger Daron said...

I saw this rumor and immediately wrote an e-mail to Hood. Moments ago, I received the following response:

"We have not discontinued this product. Although we make Calorie Countdown Dairy Beverages available to our retailers, it is up to each individual retailer to decide which of our products to carry in each store. Calorie Countdown Reduced Fat and Reduced Fat Chocolate Dairy Beverages are available at Wal-Mart Supercenters nationally."

9/26/2007 5:39 PM  
Blogger Kevin M. said...

I definitely feel sick in numerous ways when I binge on carbs.

Hood carb countdown: WAAAAA! I've been cut off! I once wrote them to praise this product, and suggested if they made an EGG NOG flavor, people would buy it 50-gallon drums! I guess it was too good to last.

10/02/2007 4:17 PM  

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