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Preview: HoldTheToast Press - Fighting the Low Fat Lie since 1996

HoldTheToast! by Dana Carpender

Fighting the Low-Fat Lie Since 1996!


Low Carb Meet & Greet

Tue, 24 Jun 2014 01:48:22 +0000

This announcement is shamefully late, and I apologize -- it's just been that kind of a season. The Fifth Annual Low Carb Meet & Greet will be happening in my backyard (or in my house, if the weather is forbidding)on Saturday, July 5th. Yes, that's less than two weeks away. But, hey, it's a holiday weekend anyway, so I figure at least some of you have time off.

So if you do, and you're anywhere near Bloomington, Indiana -- we're 5 hours south of Chicago, an hour south of Indianapolis, 2 1/2 hours west of Cincinnati, about 90 minutes north of Louisville, 5 hours east of St. Louis -- come hang out, eat food, yack with other low carbers, meet Jimmy Moore and me, and all that stuff.

Click through the link for the details, and to sign up. Hope you can make it!

CarbSmart Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Living Cookbook

Mon, 02 Jun 2014 20:37:11 +0000

(image) Woo-hoo! It's here! It's here! The Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Living Cookbook that I wrote with Caitlin Weeks! 50 recipes for everything from Peach Cobbler to Better-Than-Coffeehouse Mocha to steak sauce. You need it, you know you do.

Nevada Manna Homepage

CarbSmart Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Living Cookbook

CarbSmart Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Starter Kit

CarbSmart Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Deluxe Starter Kit

You need to click on the book link, you really do. Several free recipes in it for you!


Corned Beef Hash -- Potatoes? We Don't Need No Stinking Potatoes!

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 17:56:39 +0000

Like so many people, I cooked corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day. Who cares that it's not even a tiny bit authentically Irish? We love it.

Being low carb and all, I used turnips instead of potatoes. Turnips have a very long history in Europe, certainly predating the South American potato. I peeled 4-5 turnips and cut them in wedges and put them in my big slow cooker. I chunked a couple of ribs of celery and half an onion, and threw them in, too. Put the corned beef on top, added water to cover, and sprinkled the contents of the spice packet over the corned beef. I was starting late, so I gave it 2 hours on high, then turned it down to low for another 4 or so. (1 hour on high is the rough equivalent of 2 on low.)

Then I coarsely chopped a quarter-head of cabbage (it was a big head), scooped out the corned beef and veggies and put 'em on a plate. Cranked the pot to high, threw in the cabbage, and gave it 30 minutes. Put everything back in at the last minute, just to warm it up, then served it forth with mustard and horseradish, plus plenty of butter for the vegetables. And a fine and filling supper it was.

This morning, I diced up the remainder of the corned beef, and most of the leftover vegetables -- I wanted just a slightly greater volume of vegetables to beef. I also diced the other half of the onion from Monday night. Melted a few tablespoons of good local butter in my big heavy skillet, and threw everything in. After that, it was just a matter of stirring it together and spreading it out, then turning it all and breaking it up a bit further with my spatula as it cooked. I turned it every 5-7 minutes or so, adding more butter as needed -- I probably used 1/3 cup or so, all told -- until everything was nicely browned.

Served it with a couple of fried eggs on top. Fabulous. I need to cook corned beef more often!

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Low Carb!

Fri, 03 Jan 2014 21:42:59 +0000

Happy New Year! Welcome to all you newbies! Thousands, maybe millions, of you have started your low carb adventure at the New Year. Let me give you a dozen pointers to help you stick with it past Groundhog Day -- and, I very much hope, for the rest of your life. 1) Get it through your head that there is no finish line. If a low carb diet is the solution to your weight and/or health issues, -- and for a great number of you it will be -- you need to do this for the rest of your life. Focus not on fast weight loss, but rather on becoming as comfortable with this lifestyle as you can. I assure you that if you stick with it, it will become very comfortable indeed: Great food, no hunger, abundant energy. 2) As I write this, it is January 3rd, 2014, which means many of you are only on your second or third day of carbohydrate restriction. Some of you are feeling wretched, and wondering if you've made a huge mistake. Panic not. We call this the Atkins Flu, and it happens because you've run through all your body's glycogen -- stored carb -- but your body hasn't yet ramped up its production of the enzymes needed to burn fat for fuel. I promise you, it will pass. Think of it as drug withdrawal. We are nearly to the weekend, so take an ibuprofen, make sure you're getting enough salt and fat, let yourself rest, and hang tight. Atkins Flu rarely lasts more than a few days, and when you break through to the other side, you'll discover energy so abundant and so steady that you'll be dazzled. 3) Do not combine serious carb restriction with other forms of dietary restriction. Do not try to eat both low carb and low fat -- indeed, consider deliberately increasing your fat intake. Too, the vast majority of you should not restrict salt, either. Which leads to... 4) If you're tired, achy, and/or light-headed, add supplemental salt. Once your insulin levels drop, your body will remember how to properly eliminate sodium. Add to this the elimination of the heavily salted processed junk, and it is very possible to become hyponatremic -- salt deficient. Yes, this is a real thing. As recently as my youth, before the craziness of "healthy whole grains" and sodas as big as a bathtub arrived, many water coolers had salt tablet dispensers, because salt deficiency was not uncommon, especially in hot weather. Heavily salted broth is a good way to get extra salt, although I just pour about a half-a-teaspoon in my hand, lick it, and wash it down with water. 5) Be very wary of "bridge foods" -- processed low carb stuff. Your low carb diet must be built on meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, cheese, low carb vegetables, a little low-sugar fruit, and healthy fats. If allowing yourself a low carb muffin or a protein bar once a week or so is what lets you stay on track at first, okay*. But do not try to make your new diet look like your old one, with low carb cold cereal for breakfast, a sandwich on low carb bread for lunch, and "low carb" pasta for dinner. (That last is in quotes because I am completely unconvinced that the popular Dreamfield's Pasta is as low carb as claimed.) JERF: Just Eat Real Food. 6) Eat when you're hungry. Stop when you're full. Don't eat again until you're hungry again. Sounds simple, but we have been programmed to eat because it's time, because we always have, because that's what you do during a movie or in front of the TV, because the food is there. If you listen to your body, you will quickly find that you are simply not hungry anywhere near as often as you are used to eating. I, by way of example, rarely eat more than two meals a day -- breakfast around 11, and supper around 6. Maybe a handful of nuts in between. Just not hungry. 7) If you are medicated for diabetes or high blood pressure, you MUST BE UNDER A DOCTOR'S SUPERVISION. Doses of diabetes medication are based on the assumption that you will be eating average carb levels, and will be dangerously high once you drop those carbs. You can go into hypoglycemic or insulin shock, with potenti[...]

Thanksgiving Leftovers Soup

Tue, 03 Dec 2013 20:40:38 +0000

It will come as no surprise to you that we had a low carb Thanksgiving around here. The menu included:

Turkey (duh!)

Giblet gravy thickened with xanthan

Sugar-free Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

Fauxtatoes made with a combo of cauliflower and celery root, with plenty of cream cheese and butter blended in

Sweet Potatoes, sliced and layers with paper-thin orange slices, drizzled with melted butter, and baked

Apple-Walnut Dressing from 300 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes, only I dramatically increased the recipe, plus added browned and crumbled pork sausage

'Baga Fries, from 500 Low-Carb Recipes

Beans Almandine, also from 500 Low-Carb Recipes

Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Crust, similar to the recipe in 500 Low-Carb Recipes, but made with Swerve and stevia instead of Splenda, and with coconut milk instead of heavy cream, 'cause we had a guest who was lactose intolerant

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with a crust made from some grain-and-sugar-free gingersnaps that had not come out brilliantly, but made a great crust

Whipped Cream and Whipped Coconut Cream, sweetened with vanilla liquid stevia extract

We have been eating leftovers for days! We actually had two turkeys -- long story -- and I boiled up one carcass for soup yesterday. I thought I'd tell you what I'm doing with it:

First, I broke up the carcass and put it in my soup kettle. I covered it with water, added about a teaspoon of salt and a few tablespoons of cider vinegar, and simmered it till the meat was falling off the bones. I let this cool.

I then strained the broth, put it back in the kettle, and put it over high heat to reduce. In the meanwhile, I picked all the meat off the bones, saving gooey cartilage bits for my dogs. I diced up the meat into bite-sized pieces.

When the broth had cooked down about halfway -- this concentrates the flavor -- I turned it down to a simmer again. I stirred in the diced meat, at least a cup and a half -- maybe more -- of both leftover dressing and leftover gravy, and a bay leaf. That combination is now simmering slowly. The dressing contributes celery, onion, and poultry seasoning (and apples, walnuts, and sausage), the gravy intensifies the meat flavor, with the xanthan adding body to the broth.

In an hour or so, I'll check it to see if the seasoning needs to be adjusted, and salt and pepper it as needed.

At that point I can freeze my soup if I like. When I want to serve it, I'll heat it, and drain and rinse tofu shirataki noodles. I'll put about half a packet in each soup bowl, ladling soup over them, and serve. Why not add the shirataki right away? Because shirataki do not freeze well; they disintegrate.

You can see that this soup requires lots of leftover dressing and gravy -- just one reason I make sure to make plenty. After all, who wants to eat plain dried out leftover turkey?

Now what to do with the other turkey carcass? Hmmm.

Come To The Low Carb Meet & Greet!

Sat, 08 Jun 2013 00:50:37 +0000

Hooray! It's time once again to announce the Low Carb Meet & Greet -- I believe this is the Fourth Annual Low Carb Meet & Greet. "What is the Low Carb Meet & Greet?," I hear you cry. It started when Jimmy Moore Jimmy Moore told me that his wife Christine's family lives in Bedford, Indiana, just 30 minutes south of my home in Bloomington. There was a family reunion, and they would be in the area for a week. Of course I asked them to come over! They came for lunch, and a fine time was had by all. The next year, I got smart. When Jimmy and I started talking about the two of them coming over for lunch again, I said, "We are missing a trick -- let's invite the low carb community to join us!" That first year we got about fifteen, maybe twenty people. By last year, we had to cap it at fifty, 'cause, honestly, folks, there's a limit to how many people I can feed in my back yard. So anyway, The Fourth Annual Low Carb Meet & Greet will be on Saturday, July 20th, from 1-5 pm. I'll be cooking a ton of food, as I always do -- ribs have become kinda traditional, and there will be salads and low carb cookies, and -- oh, a bunch of stuff. I haven't decided yet. And you'll hang out with me and That Nice Boy I Married, and Jimmy and Christine, and, we hope, Amy Dungan. And this year, Dr. Jim Carlson, author of Genocide: How Your Doctor's Dietary Ignorance Will Kill You!!! and columnist for CarbSmart MagazineCarbSmart Magazine, says he'll be coming. We're hoping Andrew DiMino, Publisher of CarbSmart Magazine, will make it, too. Very likely Keith Johnson, my next door neighbor, Organic Gardening God, CarbSmart Magazine columnist and all-around lovable guy can be prevailed upon to attend, as well. Plus, of course, a whole bunch of super-nice people who eat just like you, and won't look at you funny for eating all that meat! I'm telling you, the low carb community is made up of the loveliest people. I think it's the high intelligence from the cholesterol intake, and our stable blood sugar. Honestly, you'll never find a more congenial group. You'll get to meet Jed the Hero Dog, Dexter the Pug, and Gracie the Incidental Beagle. Also Spike the Cat, who likes people and will probably be hanging around. And the chickens! And should you have a driving curiosity to know what my house is like or whether I can really cook, it will be fulfilled. Once again, we have to cap the event at 50 attendees, so if you're coming, sign up! And once again, we're asking for a $5 donation to help defray the cost of food. Where to sign up, you ask? Why,here, of course. To clear up a couple of worries people have had in the past: I've had people ask if it was okay that they were not at goal weight -- would they be looked down on if they were still overweight? Please, please know that this is not a gathering of skinny people; there will be people of all sizes and people at all points in their journeys. If ever a group of people understood what you are dealing with and going through, it's these folks. Also, last year we had people worried that we were going to make them stand around outside in killer heat. It was, indeed, 106 on Meet & Greet Day! We had the party inside, in the lovely air conditioning. Everyone loves a cookout, but there are limits! So never fear; if the weather does not cooperate we will move indoors. So if you're anywhere near Indiana, or not near Indiana, but don't mind a road trip (we have folks who come from Texas!), put the Fourth Annual Low Carb Meet & Greet on your calendar, and I'll see you in July. [...]

The Coolest Book I've Read In a Long Time

Thu, 16 May 2013 19:03:52 +0000

If you're like me, you read everything that comes along that offers to clarify the relationship between nutrition, and particularly carbohydrates, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. And frankly, a lot of it covers the same ground over and over, though some people do it better than others (I'm looking at you, Gary Taubes.)

Well, I just read ... The Fat Switch by Dr. Richard Johnson. I then immediately read it aloud to That Nice Boy I Married. Amazing, ground-breaking stuff, and highly, highly recommended.

The jist is this: The ability to put on fat, and the mechanisms that allow that, are not pathological, but evolutionary survival mechanisms. Animals of every variety have the ability to store fat, and most gain fat, often tremendous quantities of fat, only to simply stop eating and live off that fat comfortably. Further, they often perform prodigious physical feats while fasting, like migrating thousands of miles.

It is, Dr. Johnson says, as if animals have an internal switch that they flip from "fat gaining" to "fat burning." The question then becomes why so many of us seem to have switches that are jammed in the "on" position? The answer to that question is fascinating -- spoiler: it involves fructose. Further, Dr. Johnson holds out real hope for a cure for the broken fat switch.

Here's a brief interview with Dr. Johnson.

I will be incorporating some of the ideas I have gleaned from The Fat Switch into my personal regimen, and will report back on the results. In the meanwhile, if you, like me, want to really understand what the heck is going on with our bodies, I highly recommend you read The Fat Switch.

500 Paleo Recipes To Be Featured on The Dr. Oz Show!

Sat, 20 Apr 2013 19:32:25 +0000

Hey, Gang --

The headline says it all, really: Dr. Mehmet Oz is going to be talking about paleo diets this Monday, April 22nd, and my cookbook, 500 Paleo Recipes, will be one of the featured cookbooks. I will not be on the show, but I am very excited that my book has been chosen for this sort of exposure. I don't know whether Dr. Oz will come down on the pro- or anti-paleo side, but the fact that 500 Paleo Recipes has been chosen to be featured on the show marks it as an important book in its field.

I'm also very pleased that paleo diets have become popular and well-known enough that they're getting this kind of big-time exposure.

So check your local television listings, and tune in or set your DVR! And if you think even one of your friends would be interested (or should be!), please share this announcement on Facebook, Twitter, or your favorite social media.

CarbSmart Magazine!

Wed, 03 Apr 2013 00:34:13 +0000

Ever wish there were a low carb magazine? You look at Cooking Light and think "Why isn't there something like that for low carbers? Geez." Wonder no more. As of about 10 days ago, has launched a tablet-magazine. You know, articles, recipes, pretty pictures, all that stuff. And it's tres cool! (Please note: As of this posting, the magazine is available for iPad users. My understanding is that CarbSmart is working out formats for other platforms/devices, and this should be available before long. So for now, please do not attempt to install the CS app or purchase the magazine unless you have an iPad. We're working on it! How it works: The CarbSmart Magazine application runs inside iTunes Newsstand on your iPad. The app itself is free, but once you have it installed, you may buy a single issue for $3.99, or a full subscription for $19.99. This is why the application says it is "free", but is empty when you have first installed it. We apologize to those who have had trouble. This technology is very new to us, and we are both learning as quickly as we can. -Eric) We have the Best of 2012 Roundup, but that's just for starters. The Spotlight of our first issue is Fat Fasting and super-high-fat diets in general. Jacqueline Eberstein, RN, who worked with Dr. Atkins for 30 years, has written an article about how to tell if the Fat Fast is for you, and we'll tell you the 10 best foods for Fat Fasting. The Roundup includes my articles from when I first tried Fat Fasting, and Di Bauer's experiences with it, as well. And RECIPES! Do we have recipes! In Dana's Kitchen you'll find Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Frittata, Ham, Cheddar and Broccoli Quiche, and Green Eggs and Ham. And do you know Susie T. Gibbs of Fluffy Chix Cook? She's smart and sassy and funny, and her recipes are, if anything, more impressive than my own. She's doing our Budget Low Carb Column, and for our first issue, she's really blown the kitchen doors off: Easy Beef Stroganoff with Buttery Cabbage Noodles, Un-Corned Beef Pot Roast & Pan-Browned Winter Vegetables, Oven-Fried Catfish, and Swiss Chard with Oven Roasted Grape Tomatoes. We'll both be contributing recipes exclusively for CarbSmart Magazine on a monthly basis. It's a tad late now, but we also have Passover recipes from Barbo Gold, of Barbo's Low Carb Kitchen -- Aunt Sadie's Brisket, Low Carb Charoset, Barbo's Noodle Kugel. Yes, Passover is over. But brisket tastes great any time, and Passover will come again next year. Amy Dungan fans, she's on board, too. This issue she's reviewed Tom Naughton's documentary FatHead -- it's not new, but we won't rest till everyone's seen it. Amy will be covering low carb success stories, too. And have I mentioned design? Those of you who weary of my visual-deficient blog will be pleased to know that Azure Zebra Productions has given us a vital, zingy, totally engaging visual style. Great photos! Great layout! In our second issue, we'll have a spotlight on the surprising health benefits of ketogenic diets. If you think it's just weight loss, you're going to be dazzled! We're also starting Kitchen Table Wisdom, with tips from the Low Carb Community (that's YOU), Ask the Low Carb Doctor with Dr. James Carlson and of course, more recipes! We're actively recruiting more writers weekly. In short, we're on the fast track to being everything you could want in a low carb magazine. Download our first issue today, and we're convinced you'll want to subscribe! (Again, the CS app for iPad is free to download, but you will then need to choose a single issue for $3.99, or a full year's subscription for $19.99. -Eric) Addendum, for anyone having trouble: I have had a few folks report having trouble getting this all to work. My apologies if this is the case for you. The technology is very new to me, but I'll do my best to get it straightened out. First thing[...]

So's Umami!

Wed, 20 Feb 2013 23:25:28 +0000

What's "umami?" (Say "Ooo, Mommy!") It's the fifth flavor. No doubt you learned somewhere over the years in science class that your tongue has receptors for four flavors: Sour, sweet, bitter, and salty. Turns out there's a fifth, and the Japanese -- who have been hip to the idea for a long time -- have named it umami, which just means "deliciousness."

Umami is actually the flavor of free glutamates, and it makes any savory thing you eat with it taste better. This is the principle behind monosodium glutamate, but there are many other sources of free glutamate, and it's a near-certainty that at least a few of them are among your favorite foods: Aged cheeses, especially Parmesan and blue cheeses; mushrooms, soy sauce, tomatoes, soy sauce, Worcestershire, fish sauce, anchovies, and bacon all are loaded with the stuff. So are many seaweeds, which explains the use of dashi -- seaweed broth -- in Japanese cooking.

I wanted to develop a sprinkle-on seasoning that would add umami to foods without adding refined MSG. This is my first try. I just had it sprinkled on a nice grass-fed T-bone, and it definitely added something. I'm going to continue playing with this recipe, but here's the first go-round:

Beautiful World Seasoning Mach I

1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons celery seed
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon kelp granules
1/2 cup salt

First break up the mushrooms and grind them to a powder in your food processor. This will create a regrettable quantity of dust; I had to actually brush some up and put it back in the processor.

Add the celery seed, and grind for another minute, then add everything else, and grind till it's well-blended. Run through a strainer to remove any stray lumps of mushroom (you can save these for the next batch), then store your seasoning in an old spice shaker. Wonderful in place of salt on any kind of steak or chop.

This makes roughly a cup, or about 48 servings of 1 teaspoon, each with: 3 Calories; trace Fat (19.9% calories from fat); trace Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber

NOTES: You'll need a good health food store for these ingredients, or you can order stuff online. I can buy both dried shiitake (the highest-umami mushroom) and kelp granules in bulk at my local health food stores. Indeed, my local health food stores not only are my cheapest source of seasonings, they also have the biggest selection. I used good mined sea salt -- I like Real Salt brand -- and between that and the kelp there should be a few trace minerals in here, too.