Sunday, January 31, 2010

Let It Snow

Good morning.  We got 8 inches of snow yesterday!  I spent part of my day shoveling snow because we are having an Open House today to celebrate the life of my Uncle, who passed last week.  Been very busy getting the house ready and yesterday I played with one of my bands for a benefit to raise funds for a very nice man who needs a liver transplant.  Needless to say, I didn't find time for the blog.  I'm taking a few minutes today to say, "hey", but that's about all.  I'll get back full swing tomorrow.  I know you understand.
Lisa made the best breakfast for us this morning.  Scrambled eggs with onions, and red and green bell peppers.  It was awesome.  She also created Strawberry/Chocolate Muffins in a Cup.  Wow!
Yesterday, I fried up sausage and scrambled eggs for breakfast.  One of my comfort and favorite breakfasts.  For lunch, I made a sandwich out of leftover sirloin steak on low carb wheat bread with full blown mayo.  It was great.
Well, Lisa is cleaning like a storm so I had better get to my part.  Vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms.  Yay.  See ya tomorrow.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Special Occasion Meals Pt.1

Sorry to be so late with my blog.  Lisa and I just got back from Walmart a little while ago.  We had to stock up on a few things as she is trying new recipes on me this weekend.  I just love that.  Also, it's snowing and we're not sure how much we're going to get.  It sure is beautiful, though.  Anyway, on with the blog.
I said yesterday that we would talk about special occasion meals that are low carb but oh, so good.  We had a birthday dinner for my daughter-in-law, Anne Marie, the other night and while not everyone at the dinner was a low carber, everyone really enjoyed the dinner.  We had spicy pork loin that cooked all day in the slow cooker, Patty's broccoli/cauliflower salad, fried cabbage, and Company Cheese Cake, all of which are in the Recipes section of the website.  Our immediate family and our sons' band mates devoured it all and the drummer even asked if he could take some home!
Lisa is and has been working on several special occasion recipes.  There is an entire section for Super Bowl recipes, so be sure to check that out.  Coming soon, lots of ideas for Valentine's Day, including a romantic dinner for two.  More to come soon.
New recipes that have been added this week include, Flax Seed Caraway Crackers, Flax Seed Garlic Parmesan Crackers, Broiled Top Sirloin Steak (which we had tonight), and the cheese cake that I mentioned earlier.
Well, as it is late, I'll leave you with that.  I wanna go out and see the snow falling.  Check back tomorrow and I'll let you know how much we got.  See ya!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Potato, Potahto

I hope everyone is doing well.  I'm a little under the weather but I'm not going to let it get me down and I will not contemplate otherwise.  I've taken all my vitamins (a multivitamin, calcium, magnesium, B Complex and D) and I'm drinking plenty of fluids, so what else is a man to do.  Anyway, yesterday I provided a list of low and lower carb veggies, so today, let's talk about those to stay away from when you live the low carb life.
This list is not all inclusive but here are the main ones to stay away from.

  • Carrots (higher carbs than yesterday's veggies, but the lowest on this list)
  • Beets
  • Peas
  • Winter Squashes (particularly acorn and butternut)
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes in all forms
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Plantains
As you can see, there are many alternatives when it comes to vegetables.  Most of today's low carb experts suggest eating vegetables for every meal.  I don't always eat them for breakfast or lunch but almost always eat at least one if not two or three servings at suppertime.  And, I eat lots of low carb fruits, which we'll talk about in the very near future.  Just remember, when it comes to fruit, if it has the word 'berry' in the name, it's probably okay.
Be sure to check back tomorrow as I'm going to team up with my lovely wife, Lisa to discuss low carb holiday and special occasion meals such as birthdays (our daughter-in-law's dinner was last night), Super Bowl parties, and coming soon, a romantic Valentine dinner for two.  She has great recipes for every occasion.
Well, as I said earlier, I'm a little puny today so I'm going to leave you with this one thought.  Are you going to let diabetes control you, or are you going to control diabetes?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Low Carb Veggies

Several people have asked me of late about vegetables on a low carb diet.  Oddly, studies show that low carbers eat more vegetables than folks on other diets.  Below is a list of low carb vegetables, roughly starting with the lowest and going up.  They are all non-starching and generally low in carbs, but remember exact carb counts will depend on serving size.  Remember to subtract dietary fiber and do your homework.  Here goes.
  • Sprouts (bean, alfalfa, etc)
  • Greens and lettuces, spinach, chard, etc
  • Hearty Greens, like collards, mustard, kale
  • Radichio and endive
  • Herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc
  • Bok Choy
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Sea Vegetables (Nori, etc)
  • Cabbage or sauerkraut
  • Mushrooms
  • Jicama
  • Avocado
  • Cucumbers and pickles without added sugar
  • Aparagus
  • Green Beans and Wax Beans
  • Peppers (Green and Red Bell Peppers, Jalapenos, etc)
  • Summer Squash
  • Zuchinni
  • Scallions or Green Onions
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Leeks
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Snow Peas (pods)
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatillos
  • Artichokes
  • Fennel
  • Onions
  • Okra
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Celery Root
  • Turnips
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Pumpkin
As you can see, there are many veggies you can have on a low carb diet.  Tomorrow, I'll share which ones to surely stay away from.
Lisa has added on online Amazon store where you can find those hard to find low carb items.  While most of the stuff in the store is low carb, some things are not, so, read the labels.  I don't eat anything until I read the label and do the math.  Check it out. 
Well, that's all for now.  See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Exciting News

Well, it was all over the internet yesterday, from news sites to WebMD.  Lisa and I were very excited when we read the conclusions of a Duke University study comparing a low carb diet to a low fat diet along with weight loss drug, Orlistat, otherwise known as Alli.  This was the first time the two methods have been compared head to head.  WebMD's website says the following.
A new study shows that a low-carbohydrate diet was equally good as the weight loss drug orlistat (the active ingredient in Alli and Xenical) at helping overweight and obese people lose weight, but people who followed the low-carb diet also experienced a healthy drop in their blood pressure levels.
How exciting.  Studies, over and over, are finding more benefits of low carb living all the time.  The low carbers lost more weight, too.  Just a pound more but that's still more.
They went on to say that nearly half of the low carb group were able to decrease or discontinue their blood pressure meds compared to 21% of the orlistat group.  And not only did the low carb group's blood pressure levels drop 5.9 points, the orlistat group saw an INCREASE of 1.5 points.  Yes, an increase.
So, if you are overweight and have high blood pressure this study shows you should be able to lose weight and lower your blood pressure, AND, perhaps get off your meds just by living a low carb life.  Think about it.  You not only get healthier, but you save money, too.  What an incentive.
Enough of that for now.  As for me, I'm sticking with my attempt to further restrict my carbs.  I had a low carb breakfast bowl from Hardee's for breakfast, thanks to my buddy Greg who came over this morning.  We both had the breakfast bowls and diet coke.  I had a cup of black coffee later in the morning while I took a break from my honey-do list.  Lunch was a double meat low carb thickburger (with bacon), again from Hardee's.  Thanks, Bradley.
Well, I had better get back to my list.  Lisa will be home soon.  I'm hoping she'll try out another of her new recipes on me tonight.  Last night she made the best salmon patties I have ever eaten.  Check out her recipe.  See you later.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Low-Carb Diet Lowers Blood Pressure

Low-Carb Diet Lowers Blood Pressure

Monday, Monday

Good morning, i-friends. Hope you're all doing well. It's snowing here and the temps have dropped drastically. We took my daughter, Lori to visit Bellarmine University in Louisville yesterday, where she was honored as a Distinguished Scholar at a luncheon. We are so proud of her.
The luncheon consisted of a spring salad, rolls and butter, a baked chicken breast, green beans, and some kind of hash brown casserole square. Oh, and your choice of cheesecake or chocolate cake. Needless to say, I had the salad, green beans, and chicken, but as hard as it was, I didn't eat the rolls, hash brown thingy, or dessert. It takes a little discipline, especially when all the other 8 people at the table are devouring the carbs, but it's doable. Well, except Lisa. We did get the opportunity to promote the website with our fellow luncheoners and it turns out that one of the men is an avid cook. He was truly interested in Lisa's recipes and said he couldn't wait to try some of them. We also had a sticker made up for the back window of the car with our logo. Got a lot of looks on the way there, but I don't know if they were checking out the sticker or Lisa's new Nissan Cube. It is a funky little vehicle.
Well, today, I started off with a low carb breakfast bowl from Hardee's and a diet coke. I don't know if you have a Hardee's in your area but if you do, you should try the breakfast bowl. It is awesome.
My plan for the next few months is to restrict my carbs even more than I usually do because we are going on a family vacation this summer to Gulf Shores and I want to look good in my swim trunks. Not that I don't already look good. Ha. I just have a few lingering pounds that I'd like to shed.
Well, more later. I have a honey do list a mile long. So, see ya later.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

On the Road, Again

Good morning. I'm getting ready to take my wife, Lisa, and daughter, Lori to visit a college for a scholars luncheon this morning. There was a time in my life when we would have had a big ol' breakfast biscuit on the road, but I've learned to adapt. Lori went to Hardee's and got those big ol' biscuits with sausage, bacon, eggs, and cheese and then we just took off the bun and put all that on low carb wheat toast, which I think was better than the biscuit. I could have had a low carb breakfast bowl from Hardee's, which is only just awesome. My point is even though your in a hurry or on the road, you still have options. You just have to be a little creative and determined. We're only going to be driving a few hours today, but we like to have low carb snacks with us. That could just mean pork rinds, or peanuts, or almonds, cheese sticks, water, Diet Mt. Dew (which is my personal fave), or any number of low carb alternatives. I'm not sure what will be offered at the luncheon but in my experience you can make it work. Skip the bread. Load up on salad and low carb veggies. Eat the meat but not the gravy. Ask for unsweetened tea and use an artificial sweetener or leave it unsweetened, which I like. Anyway, you get the idea. I'd go into this a little more but the girls are telling me it's time to go. I may write more tonight, but if not, I'll see you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Do the Experts Say pt.5 (Final)

This will be the last post concerning the Men's Health article entitled, "A Cure for Diabetes". I hope the information has been helpful. I'll get back to my own ramblings again tomorrow. I know you're looking forward to that. Before I get on, though, you may have noticed a different look to the blog. Lisa has been working very hard on the site to make it more user friendly fo me and more pleasing to the eye for you. We may be adding the ability for you to comment sometime soon so look for that. Let's talk about nutrition and the ADA's take on it. Okay, here we go.

"You need a certain level of dietary carbohydrate to provide enough fiber, minerals, and vitamins," says the ADA's Dr. Buse, when asked why a person with diabetes would want carbohydrates, given their effect on blood sugar.

And he's right. Why risk a nutritional deficiency in someone with a chronic health condition? Except this is exactly the gamble you'd take if you ate according to the ADA's own Diabetes Food & Nutrition Bible. An analysis of the high-carbohydrate, low-fat plan, presented last January at a conference of the Nutrition & Metabolism Society, showed that it didn't provide the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) of four essential nutrients: potassium, iron, vitamin D, and vitamin E. The ADA diet, in fact, was deficient.

The culprit? The plan's 2,000-calorie limit, says Judith Wylie-Rosett, Ed.D., R.D., a coauthor of the ADA's 2006 nutrition recommendations. "The more you restrict calories on any diet, the harder it is to get the nutrients you need from food."

It might be hard to imagine how a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet would be any more nutritious, even if the calories were in the right range. But that's only because most of us have a skewed view of what we'd be eating. Specifically, we think low-carb means low-produce. In truth, many vegetables contain very few carbohydrates per serving, and most of those are the fibrous kind, which hardly budge blood sugar. So vegetables are not only acceptable but encouraged on a low-carb diet.

Dr. Vernon, for example, recommends that most of her diabetic patients eat vegetables at every meal. Dr. Joslin, back in 1893, proposed that patients simply limit their vegetable intake to those containing "less than 5 percent carbohydrate content," which he identified as spinach, tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, and 23 other choices. And in a survey of more than 2,000 low-carb dieters, Feinman discovered that 80 percent actually consume greater amounts of vegetables than they did before they adopted the approach.

More bizarre than the ADA's general recommendation of carbohydrate consumption, though, is the organization's stance on sucrose, commonly known as table sugar. According to the ADA, there's no need for people with diabetes to restrict their intake of the sweet stuff. The organization's published rationale: When it comes to raising blood sugar, sucrose is no worse than starch.

"That's an almost devious justification," says Feinman. "Starch may be the worst food you can eat in terms of controlling blood sugar."

A bit of chemistry: Sucrose is composed of equal parts of two simple sugars, glucose and fructose. The former is the same glucose that circulates in your bloodstream. As such, it's already in the form your body needs, so it's easily digested and quickly raises blood sugar. Fructose, however, has to be converted to glucose in your liver. This slows down the rate at which it's digested, and reduces its impact on your blood sugar.

Starch, on the other hand, consists almost entirely of glucose. In fact, think of starch -- the primary carbohydrate in bread, rice, pasta, and other flour-based foods -- as a bundle of glucose molecules, held together by chemical bonds. These bonds start to dissolve the moment they make contact with saliva, immediately freeing the glucose to enter your bloodstream. As a result, starch has an even greater impact on blood sugar than sucrose; essentially, it's like injecting glucose before your shot of insulin. "The [ADA's] implication is that likening sugar to starch is a favorable comparison," says Feinman, "when it's actually the opposite."

The ADA's sanctioning of sucrose -- as well as that of starch -- does come with one caveat: "Intake must be adequately covered with insulin or other glucose-lowering medication." That sounds like you can eat all the sugar you want, as long as you take enough drugs.

"We're not saying it's okay for people with diabetes to eat lots of sweets," says Franz. "But they deserve the right to eat all types of carbohydrates, just like any other person." Never mind that the need for more medication usually indicates that a disease is worsening. "This is like saying it's all right to eat contaminated spinach just because you have an antibiotic," says Feinman.

Me, again. Did you get that last paragraph? You should read it again. It's statements like those that really got me thinking. It's like saying that alchoholics deserve the right to drink, just like any other person. My mantra is, "if your body can't handle sugar, then don't eat sugar". If you're allergic to bananas or nuts, don't you stay away from them? In my mind, it's just that simple, but some might say I have a simple mind. Anyway, I hope this little series has helped. It changed my life.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What Do the Experts Say pt.4

Hello, everybody. Sorry I didn’t blog yesterday. We had a death in the family and quite frankly, I just didn’t feel up to it. But, I’m back, so here goes.

I want to talk a little more about Dr. Vernon, her line of treatment for Type 2 patients, why we got away from her type of treatment, and more of the ADA’s out-dated thinking (in my opinion). Here’s a little more from the Men’s Health article entitled, "A Cure for Diabetes".

Although the typical advice recommended by the ADA and most diabetes health providers is a high-carb, low-fat diet, Dr. Vernon is among a minority of voices who believes this advice is absolutely absurd. And she knows firsthand the positive impact that a controlled-carbohydrate nutritional approach is having on the A1C levels of her patients.

"My first line of treatment is to have patients remove carbohydrates from their diets," explains Dr. Vernon, a petite, energetic mother of two who also serves as the president of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. "This is often all it takes to reverse their symptoms, so that they no longer require medication."

What's odd here, however, is that the ADA doesn't advise giving the lifestyle component a chance to work before reaching for the pill bottle.
"Metformin is insurance for people who aren't following their diet and exercise plan," explains John Buse, M.D., Ph.D., president-elect of medicine and science for the ADA.
The message to insulin-resistant America: We don't think you're going to help yourself, so here, take this.

"I believe in addressing the cause, not the symptoms," Dr. Vernon says. "That's why I first eliminate the foods that raise blood sugar. It's only logical."
So logical, in fact, that Elliott Proctor Joslin, M.D., a Harvard- and Yale-educated physician, used it more than a century ago. According to carefully documented patient logs he kept from 1893 to 1916, Dr. Joslin successfully treated dozens of diabetic patients -- including his own mother -- using a diet made up of 70 percent fat and just 10 percent carbohydrates.

Then, in 1921, a Canadian scientist named Frederick Banting found that by injecting diabetic dogs with insulin, he could lower their blood sugar back to normal. Soon after, insulin therapy made the leap from these hyperglycemic hounds to human beings. By the 1940s, insulin was in widespread use, and low-carbohydrate diets were on the decline. Dr. Joslin was later labeled a medical reactionary.

"Instead of advising people with diabetes to first restrict carbohydrates, physicians simply started prescribing enough insulin to accommodate patients' carbohydrate intake," says Dr. Vernon, who some 60 years later is trying to pick up where Dr. Joslin left off and reeducate academics and physicians by sharing her observational evidence. In published, retrospective reviews of her patients' medical charts, Dr. Vernon has documented the beneficial effects of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet for more than 60 people who had diabetes or were at high risk of developing the disease.

Of course, in the world of medicine, the experience of one doctor carries little scientific weight compared with experimental studies conducted under controlled conditions. That's why, in 2003, researchers at Duke University set out to test Dr. Vernon's findings in a laboratory setting. The results of their 16-week study: 17 out of the 21 diabetic patients who participated were able to significantly reduce their medication or discontinue it altogether.

Again, I am not a doctor. I just want to share with you information from my research and my experience with a low carb/high fat lifestyle. It has worked for me and many others, and I am sure it will work for you. For sure, it takes discipline and self-responsibility but it is so much easier and better for you than popping pills and/or taking shots that really just mask the symptoms while the disease itself continues to ravage your body. See you tomorrow.

Men's Health, "A Cure for Diabetes"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What Do the Experts Say pt.3

Hello, blog followers. I hope you’re all doing well. When I left off in yesterday’s blog, I said we would talk today about what diabetes actually is. I found the following, (which I will put in quotes so my ramblings don’t become confused with the actual article), on Men’s Health website in an article entitled, "A Cure for Diabetes." It is the simplest explanation I have been able to find.

"So what exactly is diabetes? In freshman-biology terms, it's a disease of the hormone insulin. Secreted by your pancreas, insulin moves glucose -- the form of sugar your body uses for energy -- from your bloodstream into your cells. Problems arise, however, when, often due to excessive weight gain, your cells start to become resistant to the effects of insulin. (It knocks, no one answers.) As a result, more insulin is required to dispose of the same amount of glucose. (The knock becomes a loud banging.) This condition, called insulin resistance, is the first stage of type-2 diabetes.

As insulin resistance worsens over time, your pancreas has to pump out enormous amounts of insulin to force glucose into your cells. (Hey, let's use a sledgehammer!) Eventually, your pancreas has trouble keeping up, leaving you with chronic high blood sugar, a.k.a. hyperglycemia -- the defining marker of diabetes and the root cause of the calamities that arise from it. Alas, it only gets worse from here: If the resistance continues to mount, some of the insulin-producing beta cells inside your pancreas can "burn out" and stop working altogether. (In type-1 diabetes, an autoimmune disorder destroys most or all of the beta cells.) Once beta cells burn out, you're looking at a lifetime of daily insulin injections.

Or not, if you believe Dr. Vernon.

Unlike protein, fat, and fiber -- which have little if any impact on blood sugar -- carbohydrates such as starch and sugar are quickly broken down into glucose during digestion, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream. The more you eat, the higher and faster your blood sugar rises. Therefore, if you have diabetes, it would make sense to control your blood sugar by limiting your carbohydrate intake. Another benefit of consuming fewer carbs is that you often end up consuming fewer calories, and that can help lower weight, which, in turn, reduces insulin resistance."

My take on all this is even simpler. If your body can’t handle sugar, then don’t eat it! Within a week or so after adopting a low carb lifestyle, I HAD to stop taking my meds. Dr. Yancy explains, "When you cut out carbohydrates, reducing insulin and other diabetes medications isn't just a benefit, it's a necessity," says William Yancy, Ph.D., lead author of the Duke study. "Otherwise, blood-sugar levels would drop too low."

So, now that you know what diabetes is and from previous blogs, how it can ravage your body and pocketbook, and some of the American Diabetes Associations backward recommendations for treatment, I hope you get where I’m coming from and why I’m so passionate in getting the low carb/high fat word out. Tomorrow, let’s talk about historical, pre-insulin treatments, and why we’re so eager to push drugs as opposed to diet. Thanks, again to all of you who are taking time out of your busy day to read my ramblings and if there is ever anything I can do to help you please don’t hesitate to contact me via See ya!

Men's Health, "A Cure for Diabetes"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What Do the Experts Say pt.2

Hello, everybody. How you doing? Well, I hope. Ready? Here goes.

Although you can’t ‘catch’ diabetes, it is spreading like crazy. Since 1980, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has risen by 47 percent, and it’s expected to skyrocket in the next 10 years. Almost half of American men today either have it, or are in the pre-stages of getting it. That’s from the National Institutes of Health. Diabetes is the main cause of cardiovascular disease, cutting a man’s life span by 13 years! Even if you don’t die early from diabetes, you could become impotent (argh), go blind, suffer from kidney failure, or, most likely, lose a foot. Did you know a limb or digit is amputated because of gangrene every 6 minutes just in the United States?

Type 2 diabetes used to be called ‘adult-onset’ diabetes, because it mostly struck overweight, sedentary, middle-aged adults, but that’s no longer the case. We’re now seeing an epidemic in kids under the age of 10!

What’s the American Diabetes Association doing about it? First of all, they came up with a diabetic food pyramid that’s upside down. Their web site even states, "you should eat more servings of grains, beans, and starchy vegetables than any of the other foods." What? A slice of typical whole wheat bread is over 80 percent starch! And while sweets are at the top of the pyramid, as they should be, if at all, so are "fats" and "oils". Is their focus really on high blood sugar or something else? Marion Franz, R.D., who helped write the ADA’s nutrition recommendations states, "Long-term, what you’re really concerned about is heart disease. It’s the major cause of death for people with diabetes." So, what they are really fighting is a complication of diabetes, not diabetes itself.

And don’t get me started on the fact that they push drugs as much as their upside down pyramid. In 2006, they issued a statement advising that ALL people, newly diagnosed with Type 2 IMMEDIATELY start taking metformin! Metformin’s total sales in 2005 were almost $1.1 billion! Whose hands are in whose pockets? I’m just saying. And remember, this is just a blog. I am not a doctor, I am not a news reporter, I am just one man who took control over his diabetes and wants to help others, so always keep that in mind as you read this. But a lot of experts seem to agree. Richard Feinman, Ph. D., director of the Nutrition and Metabolism Society and professor of biochemistry at SUNY Downstate medical center in New York City says, "They’re contradicting themselves. They want diabetics to take medication to lower their blood sugar, but recommend a diet that has the opposite effect."

Now, I'm not, by any means saying that the ADA is bad, or that they don't do good work. I just don't agree with everything they say.

So, anyway, enough of that for today. I’m getting a little red-faced. How about tomorrow we talk about what diabetes actually is. In layman’s terms of course, because that’s what I understand. See ya!

Men's Health, "A Cure for Diabetes"

Monday, January 18, 2010

What Do the Experts Say pt.1

I've been doing a lot of reading lately about Type 2 Diabetes, exactly what is diabetes and how it attacks the body, what the American Diabetes Association recommends, what my hero Dr. Mary Vernon recommends and why they differ, and who's right according to the latest reputable studies. A lot of the info I plan to discuss today and in the next several days come from the best and brightest scientific experts on low carb nutrition, Dr. Vernon herself, and last but not least, the ADA. Much of the information was found in an article entitled "A Cure for Diabetes" on the Men's Health website. I will cite the URL at the end of my blog today.

Now, the first thing I want to bring to your attention is a statistic that blew me away. Healthcare costs associated with diabetes added up to $132 billion in 2002! In 2002! I can't imagine what that figure is today. So, diabetes not only ravages your body, but your pocketbook as well. Wouldn't it make sense to get off the meds, head off complications associated with the disease, and lose some weight in the process just by watching what you eat? I haven't spent a penny on diabetes meds, or any of the other meds I had to take for things like high triglycerides, cholesterol, or blood pressure in almost 3 years, so I know it can be done.

Here is where a problem comes up. The ADA, the very organization dedicated to conquering diabetes is rejecting what could be the best thing next to an actual cure, and that is a low carb/high fat diet. Yes, I said high fat. I know that sounds odd to most folks but hear me out. We have developed a skewed view when it comes to fat. A nutrition expert and researcher at the University of Connecticut, Jeff Volek, Ph.D.,R.D., found that replacing carbs with saturated fat BENEFITS cardiaovascular health. He explains, "A low-carbohydrate diet decreases the body's production of saturated fat and increases it's ability to burn the incoming dietary fat." It's also been proven in more than a dozen studies since 2003 that low-carb/high-fat is better at reducing overall heart disease risk than a high-carb/low-fat diet or lifestyle.
I'm just saying, I'd rather watch what I eat and control my diabetes than take a pill or a shot everyday and have diabetes control me.

Sorry if I ramble on this for the next few days, but I am very passionate about it. Some say I preach. Maybe, but I intend to preach on. I know this works and I just want to help as many folks as I can take back control of their lives, even if it's just in this one area. So, please bear with me. I'll be back to my lovable self next week. At least for a while. See ya tomorrow!

Men's Health, "A Cure for Diabetes"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

That Pesky Nutrition Facts Label

I'm back! Missed blogging a day or two. Lisa has been redesigning several areas of the site so I let her have it for a while. I am so excited about how many folks have contacted us telling us they love the site and the info we provide and several are beginning to live low carb. We hope to have several success stories to post in the next few months. I mentioned a friend I reconnected with on Facebook and how he has been living low carb for 6 months and has lost 64 lbs. His story coming soon. I want to give a shout out to my fellow blogger, Greg, who started low carbing less than a week ago and has lost over 5 lbs. Way to go Greg! If you have a story and would like for us to post it, please let us know. We'd love to.

Something I'd like to share today has to do with the Nutrition Facts label on food products and a heads up on some of the info. I have noticed that all like-items are not created equal. Some examples. Some breakfast sausage (the ground kind) has more carbs than others, so I can't stress enough not to put anything in your shopping cart until you've compared the labels and numbers. I've found that some lower priced pre-shredded cheeses have more carbs than the block cheeses which you can shred yourself. Compare the numbers on soy milk as well. I use 8th Continent Lite Original. It only has 2 net carbs per 8 oz serving. I've seen some that are not low carb at all. Lisa found a very low carb chocolate flavored soy milk It's called Soy Slender Chocolate Soy Milk. It only has 1 net carb per 8 oz serving and it tastes great. They also have regular soy milk with just 1 net carb. She got it at Wal-Mart. It's not in the refridgerator aisle so look for it on the regular aisles.

Another heads up is watch out for the products that say No Sugar Added. That doesn't always mean low carb. It's just that they didn't add ADDITIONAL sugar.

Before I go, I need to mention another exciting recipe that Lisa made for us this morning. She has come up with a very low carb sausage gravy! I had it over scrambled eggs and toast and it was just as good as conventional gravy. She'll be posting the recipe later today so look for it and please try it.

Well, that's all for today. I'll write more tomorow. Keep checking back. See ya, later.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Typical Suppertime Meals

I usually start my blog with good morning, but I'm a little late posting, so let's go with good evening. I've been writing about what I normally eat for different mealtimes so I'll continue that tonight with suppertime. It's a good thing Lisa and I are Pisces, because we eat a lot of fish. Tilapia is my favorite. We get a big box of individually wrapped filets (16 to a 4 lb box) from Wal-Mart. We each usually have 2 filets. I like to fry the filets in a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. I like mine fried up until a little crispy. While that's cooking, I will either throw a bag of coleslaw mix in a large bowl (look for the mix without carrots but don't freak out if the mix has a little in it), add a little chopped white onion, salt and pepper, real mayo and mix, OR, warm some olive oil in a big skillet, chop up some cabbage and onion and green pepper and fry that up. Sometimes that's it. Other times, I may warm up some green beans to go with it. Now, I make the coup de grace, or the "special sauce". Recipe is on the website. This is what we do 2 or 3 nights a week, but with Lisa coming up with and actually making for me, all sorts of recipes to post, I get to try new stuff all the time. Lucky me.

Now, the meal I talk about above is just an example of our suppertime alternatives. Sometimes we might have breakfast for supper which would usually include cheddar cheese omelets (I like jalapenos and hot sauce on mine), sausage or bacon, and Healthy Life Low Carb Whole Wheat toast with real butter. In the colder months we like to have soup. Lisa has many low carb soup recipes (the chili is crazy awesome!). In the warmer months we might grill burgers and have them without the bun. Anyway, you get the idea. We've got many creative snack ideas, too. I'll talk about them soon.

So, check back often, check out Greg's blog, and look for Lisa's blog coming soon. Oh, by the way, I'm very excited about a friend I recently reconnected with on Facebook. He has been low carbing for about 6 months now and has lost 64 lbs! He has agreed to allow us to post his success story on the website, soon. This man is a real inspiration, so look for his story. See ya!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Soup, Soup, and More Soup

Good morning to all of you out there in Internet land. First thing first, please pray for the people of Haiti. They really need it right now. That said, I was going to write about suppertime alternatives today, but, oh my goodness, after trying Lisa's soups last night, I have to postpone suppertime ramblings. She made 4, yes I said 4, different soups at the same time last night and they were only just the most awesome soups I have ever eaten. She made Loaded 'Mock' Potato, Cheese Burger Chowder, Clam Chowder, and Canadian Style Cheese soups. I tested them all and boy were they great. The recipes are here, on the site so please check them out and TRY them. You will be amazed at the flavor of all of the soups, AND, they are all very low carb!

Be sure to come back often as I try to inform and entertain, and check out my buddy, Greg's blog as he chronicles his journey into his low carb life. Oh, and look for Lisa's blog and pictures coming soon. Gotta go, so see ya!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Typical Lunch

Good morning, all. I'm just having a cup of coffee thinking about what I'm going to write today. Yesterday we talked about what I normally eat for breakfast. I forgot to mention that if I have more time in the morning, I love to fry up some bacon (love me some bacon) or sausage and 3 eggs fried crispy around the edges. My granddad, God rest his soul, used to call that, "puttin' a fence around 'em". He was a great man who lived to be 93! If I'm out early, I go by Hardee's for their low carb breakfast bowl. It's bacon, sausage, ham, and egg smothered in cheese and it's to die for.
So, let's talk about a typical lunch for me. If I'm home, I might just have another cream cheese and hard salami sandwich on low carb whole wheat toast. I really like this sandwich and it's so easy to make. Sometimes I make tuna mixed with a little chopped white onion, chopped dill pickle hamburger slices, real mayo, and a little salt and pepper. I'll either make a sandwich on the low carb wheat bread or what I really like is to just scoop it onto celery stalks. Other times, I will eat thin sliced turkey breast and a few slices of sharp cheddar cheese, a few olives and some pork rinds. Pork rinds are my alternative to potato chips. They give me the crunch I sometimes crave and I eat them for a snack almost every day.
If I'm out, and didn't take my lunch, I like to go to Hardee's for their low carb thickburger. It's basically a thickburger and all the fixings wrapped in lettuce. It is so good, but make sure you have plenty of napkins cause it is messy. Sometimes, I go to a local Mexican restaraunt and order fajitas without the tortillas. It's very good that way. Or, I might go to a local Golden Corral and have a salad and meat off the buffett.
As you can see, it's not hard to eat lunch out, if you are a little creative. Most burger places will let you order any burger without the bun or you can just take it off yourself.
Tomorrow, I'll talk about supper time and some of the most typical meals we create. Be sure to check out the recipe section of the website as Lisa is adding more and more every day. Thanks to all of you who have supported us by visiting the site and following my ramblings. Be sure to check out Greg's blog and look for Lisa's coming soon!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

13 Million Diagnosed and Counting

My whole thing with low carb is to control my blood sugar and metabolism with a low carb diet.

I've recently been reading what Dr. Mary Vernon (a bariatric doctor who co-wrote the Atkins Diet and my hero) says about pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome which is a potentially dangerous condition associated with diabetes. This is a condition that can lead to Type 2 diabetes, but you need to know that you can stop the process simply by watching what you eat.

People who adopt a low carb approach toward eating can drop their blood sugar levels substantially and in many cases if you're already on blood sugar or triglyceride medications, you may be able to discontinue them. I will say that you should check with your doctor before discontinuing any meds. I have been off mine for over 2 years.

Recent studies show that two-thirds of the American population are overweight or obese and 13 million people have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Another 5.2 million don't even know they have it. I was suprised to find that every year, about 200,000 people die from complications brought on by the disease!

But the good news is that it is preventable! We just want to pass on low carb information as we get it, give you some tips and tricks to maintaining a low carb lifestyle and provide recipes to help you stay on track, so check the site often and if we can be of any help just let us know.

My Typical Breakfast (or How I Start the Day)

Good morning, all. Today I thought I'd ramble about things I eat regularly. Lots of people have been asking lately so here goes. Almost every day, I start off the day with 2 slices of Healthy Life Low Carb Whole Wheat bread and throw it in the toaster. While that's toasting, I start a pot of Folger's Black Silk coffee. I have a 50's 12 cup percolator I bought on Ebay. It was still in the sealed box! Anyway, I go for my vitamins now, which consists of a daily men's multivitamin, a B Complex, 3 calcium/magnesium tablets and a D vitamin. I usually get those down in one gulp with a cup of Great Value Sugar Free fruit flavored drink mix that I get at Wal-Mart. I'll then pour into my now empty cup, a cup of 8th Continent Lite soy milk. I get that at Wal-Mart, too. It is awesome. It took me a while to get used to it but now I prefer it over cows milk. Now, I go back to the toaster and make a sandwich with Philidelphia Original Cream Cheese. I use a lot of cream cheese and sometimes I put on a few slices of thinly sliced hard salami. I pour a cup of coffee (sometimes mixed with a little soy milk) and take it all into the living room and watch Fox News channel while I eat. That's the start of my day most every day. We'll talk about lunch tomorrow, but before I go I want to talk a little about the math of figuring impact carbs or the carbs that actually impact your body.
I count the carbs that concern me by looking at the Nutrition Facts info on the actual product packaging which shows things like calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs and proteins, etc. In my mind, I don't look at much anything on this label but the carbs. Carbohydrates are broken down on the label usually with Total Carbs, then under that, Dietary Fiber, Sugars, and if it contains an artificial sweetener, Sugar Alchohols. I figure impact carbs by subtracting Dietary Fiber and Sugar Alchohol from the Total. Make sure you look at the top of the label for Servings Per Container because you now multiply the impact carbs by the number of servings. Confusing? After a while it just comes natural. I don't put anything in my mouth until I know these numbers.
Well, enough of that. I hope this information helps you. Remember, a lot of what I give you here are my opinions and experiences, so keep that in mind. See ya tomorrow.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Goal for this Blog

Good morning, all. Brian here. My goal on this blog is to offer info about how a low carb diet can help Type 2 diabetics like myself and to educate those at risk for developing the disease. I am not a doctor, but information I give you comes from recent studies from reputable folks from places like Duke University and my hero, Dr. Mary Vernon. I'll talk a lot about her and her passion for helping diabetics and overweight people.
I just read an article in which Dr. Vernon talks about "the hallmark of carbohydrate restriction". She says that the most consistant results when a person first reduces carbs are a dramatic drop in triglycerides and an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol. The changes are so dependable that she advised other bariatric doctors at a conference she spoke at that they could use these two measures to inform them whether their patients were indeed following a carb restricted diet. In essence, they could tell if you were cheating! It's this attention to detail the has made Dr. Vernon one of the foremost authorities in the field advocating carb restriction for losing weight and treatment of diabetes and its precursors.
In my experience, I've seen both of the factors mentioned above come about. A dramatic drop in not only triglycerides but blood sugar levels as well and not only an increase in good cholesterol but a drop in the bad. I should say that the info I've given today comes from an article on Gotta give them their propers.
I hope this information is helpful to any and all of you readers that are either Type 2 or for you who just want to lose weight. Be sure to check my blog aften and also check out my buddy, Greg's blog as he begins his journey into the low carb life.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My first official blog

Well, folks, this is my first official blog on the newly designed website. I'll be telling my story and offering tips and new information about living a low carb lifestyle. I've been doing this low carb thing for almost three years now. I've gotten completely off diabetes, triglyceride, and cholesterol medicines, lost 65 pounds and feel better now at 51 (52 in February) than I did when I was 30.

I found an article on the Men's Health website entitiled "Cure for Diabetes" about a doctor named Mary Vernon who treated her Type II Diabetic patients with a low carb diet and touted a nearly 100% success rate at getting her patients off their meds. I was intrigued to say the least. I read everything I could find about the good doctor and the studies she sited. Then I decided to take the leap. Within a week, I HAD to go off my meds because my diet alone was keeping my blood sugar levels down and the meds were taking them too low.

I haven't looked back since. I will admit that I occasionally slip, but the beauty of low carb is that you can get right back on it. I still go in for testing because like an alchoholic, even though I'm controlling my problem, I'm still medically considered a diabetic, but for all intents and purposes, I consider myself "cured".

Well, that's enough for today. Check back often, as I intend to update every day.