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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pros and cons of the low-carb lifestyle

I have to admit that as much as I love Passover, it wreaks havoc with a low carb diet. 

Oh sure, I could have ignored my Zahava's heavenly mandel bread, merengues and pesach blondies... and I could have had only the minimum required amount of matzoh to fulfill my religious obligations to the holiday.

But then it really wouldn't have been Passover, right?  I mean, what would have been the point if I couldn't sit around with my family and slather big globs of jam on enormous shards of buttered matzoh in the morning???

Anyway, so now post-holiday I have had to go back to my low-carb diet, forcing me to once again become exquisitely aware of the various pros and cons:

Cons:

  • Strong urge to shoot anyone seen eating pasta or pizza
  • Total avoidance of the candy aisle in the supermarket due to the acute sadness it causes
  • Lying awake at night trying to figure how to make low-carb ice cream in our home machine.
  • Near total boycott of office birthday parties
  • Grocery bills took a noticeable jump
  • Occasional metallic taste in my mouth from the ketones my body is producing
  • More frequent, er, 'calls of nature' due to increased water intake

Pros:

  • No more drugged feeling grogginess in the morning
  • No more hunger pangs/cravings between meals
  • No more post-lunch coma weariness
  • 15% cream in my coffee = Good.  38% cream in my coffee = Great!
  • Eggs for breakfast nearly every morning!
  • Meat for dinner nearly every night
  • Old snack = half a bag of cookies and a glass of milk.  New snack = hunk of Emmenthaler and a glass of Merlot.
  • A euphoric feeling of total control

All-in-all, not a bad trade-off.  Especially since it is getting easier (both physically and mentally) to look at the scale in the morning.

216

Posted by David Bogner on April 19, 2007 | Permalink

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Strong urge to shoot anyone seen eating pasta or pizza.

After a week of dieting (really it is die + a "t"), working out daily, and not seeing even an OUNCE drop from the scale.... I could really stop at "Strong urge to shoot anyone."

:-(

Posted by: zahava | Apr 19, 2007 11:44:39 AM

Oops... pardon me! Having just noticed that YOU dropped ANOTHER pound on your weight graphic, I'd like to amend my last comment to "Strong urge to shoot YOU."

=:-P

Posted by: zahava | Apr 19, 2007 12:57:43 PM

Merlot?

"If anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any f***ing Merlot!"

p.s. It's only funny if you've seen "Sideways".

Posted by: dfb1968 | Apr 19, 2007 1:03:00 PM

This post reminds me of how desperately much I need to get back to that low-carb diet myself.

Glass of Merlot, chunk of Emmenthaler, indeed. Or Gruyère. Or Brie...

Posted by: Elisson | Apr 19, 2007 1:49:11 PM

I did the low-carb diet several years ago. Worked well when I stayed on it (about a year), but I am weak, I love pasta too much, and I folded. I didn't gain it all back, so there was some good. Congrats for sticking to it!

Posted by: JDMDad | Apr 19, 2007 2:20:48 PM

Low Carb??? That's soooo unhealthy! It will make you physically weak. Not good. Enjoy yourself, enjoy your life, avoid carbs for dinner only, and be happy! Hmmm, that fresh baguette is sooo good...

Posted by: Miss Worldwide | Apr 19, 2007 2:37:41 PM

I can't believe you destroy your starbucks with all that cream. Yuck. I really expected better from you.

Posted by: Dave | Apr 19, 2007 3:35:59 PM

dfb1968 - thanks for bringing memories from that great movie (and a great line from it!).
Now i have a hankerin' for some wine & cheese and it's only 9am... sigh.

Between your walking miles a day and eating right, Dave, we might not recognize you in August when we see you! :)

Posted by: val | Apr 19, 2007 4:01:35 PM

Zahava... Now, now honey... give it a few more days. Rome wasn't built in a day. [ducks]

dfb1968... Not familiar with the movie but now I'm curious.

The softer the cheese the higher the carb count. A little brie is OK, but don't go crazy! :-)

JDMDad... Thanks. I ALWAYS gain when I go off it. For some people it is a temporary jump start to other diets... but I have come to the conclusion that my body just can't tolerate a lot of carbs.

Miss Worldwide... Now now, let's not get carried away. Some members of the medical community are coming around to challenge the long-held belief that the bottom of the food pyramid should be carbs. It has only been about 100-120 years since the masses have had access to diets dominated by carbs/sugars. Since then heart disease, obesity and diabetes has gone off the charts. Coincidence? I think not.

Dave... I can't believe you drink $tarbuck$. The stuff is over roasted and overpriced. Try some Peets

Val... Yeah, that's me. Gonna drive all the gay men on Fire Island insane showing off my cut-buff body this summer. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Apr 19, 2007 4:50:29 PM

Trepp, our family has been low-carbing since April 2003. I have also been the moderator for a low carb forum for that long. If you need recipes or support and more info you can visit www.lowcarbtransformation.com. There are online companies that sell artificial sweeteners that make desserts to die for...like chocolate or lemon cheesecakes that totally taste like the real thing. My family goes crazy when I make them here. If you'd like those recipes and where to get the best artifical sweeteners that are safe, let me know.

I went off plan during Passover as well an it does take a week or two of being strict to get control over those cravings! Good luck!

Posted by: Tracey | Apr 19, 2007 5:19:11 PM

Low carb doesn't work for me but glad it's working for you! Congrats on the loss, I noticed your counter went down today.

Posted by: SaraK | Apr 19, 2007 5:20:41 PM

I came to this blog via a link on RenReb.
Really? You have the urge to SHOOT someone for eating pizza? This week..this day..you write that you have the urge to shoot. I realise that you are probably not serious, but still...*sigh*.

Posted by: surprised | Apr 19, 2007 10:05:09 PM

I've always been sarcastic to people who advocate the low-carb diet. This includes family members.

Until I read this post. Do you really find that the post-morning groginess and post-lunch groginess goes away? I've been battling this for years and will do nearly anything to fix it.

Posted by: Fred | Apr 19, 2007 10:37:40 PM

Hmm... I didn't say carbs should dominate your diet, but some carbs is absolutely necessary! Some carbs good, no carbs bad! whatever! I will be enjoying that niiiiice fresh baguette on my own then. Mmmmm... baguette....

Posted by: miss Worldwide | Apr 20, 2007 12:01:53 AM

hmm...no grogginess and yummy food, eh?

What about cream cheese and jam/jelly on matzah??? Doesn't anyone eat this precious delicacy anymore? And what has become of Matzah Lasange/Pizza?

Wishing you and the other family members much success and a Shabbat Shalom... :)

Posted by: tnspr569 | Apr 20, 2007 12:08:44 AM

I gained 4 lbs over Pesach, but I agree with you: it wouldn't have been Pesach if I had cut down on carbs. Besides, I absolutely love hand-matzah shmurah. Unfortunately, our local supermarket's bakery went kosher just before Pesach, so now I have to violently fight with my yetzer hara not to buy the bagels, bialys, donuts, French onion breads, bakery whole grain breads, eclairs, Napoleons, layer cakes...
HELP!!
(request: I would be honored if you would add me to your blogroll; you have been on mine for a while...בתודה )

Posted by: Lady-Light | Apr 20, 2007 2:30:37 AM

I saw a link to your post on a low carb list. The part they listed was your cons and I must admit I fully expected to be disgusted.

You have hit the nail on the head with the pros! Low carb is the best and healthiest lifestyle there is!!

Other Pros:
Better looking skin with less blemishes.
No blood sugar spikes and lower overall blood sugars.
Lower blood pressure, triglycerides and inflammation markers and higher HDL cholesterol.

For the other commenters:
1. Yes, no more between meals grogginess and no more thinking about food constantly.
2. No, carbs are not necessary for good health. Glucose is necessary, and if you eat adequate protein and fat your body can make all you need. Besides, LOW carb is not NO carb!!! We just get our carbs from veggies, dairy and some fruits. "good healthy foods", that's what we eat.

Posted by: Cindy Moore | Apr 20, 2007 5:05:22 AM

Sorry, Miss Worldwide, but Baguettes don't cut it: If David wants to incorporate useful foods into his life which won't overtly kill his low-carb happiness or ruin the digestive peace, he should go for some Roasted Yams or a small amount of cooked tomatoes. And if he's really feeling daring, he can eat them with some Quinoa or Short Brown Rice.

And of course, wash em down with some Red Wine!

Posted by: PP | Apr 20, 2007 12:34:37 PM

You forgot one important PRO - Being able to eat the chicken skin - Guilt Free!! -yummy.

Posted by: Yeshara | Apr 20, 2007 3:38:59 PM

Please be careful with that low carb diet. It's safe IF you swap out carbs for more fish and salad, but it doesn't sound like that's what you're doing. Atkins can be really hard on the liver if you eat lots of meat, eggs and cheese in place of carbs.

BTW, you can get a lot of those same pros from just eating low on the glycemic index.

Posted by: Ahuva | Apr 20, 2007 3:39:58 PM

What happened to everything in moderation and lots of excercise...? These diets drive me loony. I just bought a treadmill. Love it. 30 minutes a day. That got rid of grogginess and lethargy for me... Just had homemade couscous with feta in a warm pita bread. Yummmmm...
Of course, someone had to go and mention Quinoa... can't get that in Norway... grrr. Thanks a lot PP!!! :-)

Posted by: nrg | Apr 20, 2007 8:09:29 PM

Dave now that I finally got my grill, I'm also joining the low carb - diet group (please have a seat). I've eliminiated all regular soda and moving toward the salads and such.

Posted by: Jeish Blogmeister | Apr 20, 2007 9:00:14 PM

PP: roasted yams and quinoa, of course!!! But I was just trying to be French... Quinoa and red wine sound pretty good to me.

Posted by: miss Worldwide | Apr 21, 2007 4:05:31 AM

Pesach was good to me, dropped about 11 pounds. Hate to admit that I needed to say goodbye to them, but I did.

And I owe it to my Pesach/Atkins diet.

Posted by: Jack | Apr 22, 2007 10:04:16 AM

Cannot. Would not. Low carb is evil. EVIL, i tell you!

If you tell me i can't have an apple or a slice (just A slice) of freshly baked french bread, i'm no longer interested in anything you have to say.

But i'll happily take my slice of french bread and partake in some of that Emmenthaler and a glass of pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon. :-) Feel the love. :hug:

Posted by: mercurial scribe | Apr 22, 2007 10:34:05 AM

oy...me and southbeach are back after our pessach brogess...sigh

Posted by: marallyn | Apr 22, 2007 12:39:28 PM

did you say butter and jam on the same matza at the same time?! isn't that kil’ayim? ;-)

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | Apr 22, 2007 4:26:44 PM

Tracey... Um, YES!!! We would love to have any and all advice you want to offer about carb-free sweeteners. I once tried to make ice cream with splenda and it didn't turn out very good (to say the least). In fact, if you want to email me your contact info I'd love to call and shmooze with you a bit (my dime); treppenwitz at gmail dot com.

SaraK... Don't worry, I'll still make you fettuccine Alfredo when you come visit again. :-)

surprised... First of all let me say that I am delighted to welcome you to treppenwitz. New readers often take a few weeks to grow accustomed to my attempts at humor. That being said, I think that the fact that I drive through Hevron (and about a dozen other Arab enclaves) on my way to and from work every day with a pistol on my lap gives me the right to a little dark humor about such things as shooting. I am ready target during such a nice chunk of my day that I don't take lightly the idea of gun-play... rest assured.

Fred... Check with anyone who has been on this diet. I can pretty much guarantee you that those symptoms of sugar peaks and valleys that one gets with a high carb diet will be a thing of the past.

miss Worldwide... I don't advocate eliminating all carbs from ones diet (except for the brief induction period of the diet). The truth is that each person can tolerate a different amount of carbs before their body starts to store the stuff as glycogen and ultimately fat. My tolerance is VERY low. Breads are not that tempting to me... but past and candy... OY!

tnspr569... I'm sure there is someone out there for almost any combination of ingredients you could name. :-)

Lady Light... I plan on adding a few people to my blogroll in the next day or two. You're on the list of add-ees. Thanks for stopping by.

Cindy Moore... Oh, believe me, I could have gone on and on, but I already test the outer limits of my reader's patience/attention span with my posts. I didn't want to beat a dead horse.

PP... Consider yourself hugged and smooched! But in her defense I think miss worldwide was only having a bit of fun. She's probably one of those size 0's who can eat anything and everything and still look like Audrey Hepburn. :-)

Yeshara... I have to admit that I never felt guilt about that. :-)

Ahuva... Thanks for your concern. I am quite careful with my diet and take special care to make sure I am getting all the nutrition/vitamins necessary. Very sweet of you, though.

nrg... I have to admit that if left to my own devices, this is sort of the way I would eat anyway, so it isn't really much of a reach for me.

Jewish Blogmeister... Fire it up! :-)

Jack... I hate to say it, but I think a lot of my weight loss was a result of my FINALLY visiting the bathroom after Passover. :-)

mercurial scribe... To each his/her won. I think we can at least share a love of good wine and cheese. :-)

marallyn... Just like in Judaism, in dieting there is always the possibility of tshuva. :-)

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg)... I think the term you were looking for was 'goyishe nachas'. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Apr 22, 2007 6:32:13 PM

Atkins "Nightmare" Diet








When Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution was first published, the President of the American College of Nutrition said, "Of all the bizarre diets that have been proposed in the last 50 years, this is the most dangerous to the public if followed for any length of time."[1]



When the chief health officer for the State of Maryland,[2] was asked "What's wrong with the Atkins Diet?" He replied "What's wrong with... taking an overdose of sleeping pills? You are placing your body in jeopardy." He continued "Although you can lose weight on these nutritionally unsound diets, you do so at the risk of your health and even your life."[3]



The Chair of Harvard's nutrition department went on record before a 1973 U.S. Senate Select Committee investigating fad diets: "The Atkins Diet is nonsense... Any book that recommends unlimited amounts of meat, butter, and eggs, as this one does, in my opinion is dangerous. The author who makes the suggestion is guilty of malpractice."[4]



The Chair of the American Medical Association's Council on Food and Nutrition testified before the Senate Subcommittee as to why the AMA felt they had to formally publish an official condemnation of the Atkins Diet: "A careful scientific appraisal was carried out by several council and staff members, aided by outside consultants. It became apparent that the [Atkins] diet as recommended poses a serious threat to health."[5]



The warnings from medical authorities continue to this day. "People need to wake up to the reality," former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop writes, that the Atkins Diet is "unhealthy and can be dangerous."[6]

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Posted by: Curb carb cravings | May 3, 2010 11:28:52 AM

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