Monday, December 31, 2012

Paleo Low Carb Update—Beyond Just Low Carb

 Paleo Low Carb Update—Beyond Just Low Carb
December 30, 2012

Eleven years of low-carb living had, and has continued to be, a positive experience for me health-wise; but once the elephant was out of the room, I could see other issues that I had barely noticed before.  With my weight, cholesterol problems, energy, and brain fog issues under control, I began to look at other key areas:  optimal brain function, bone degeneration, eye health and digestion (which profoundly impacts the other three areas). After attending the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012 at Harvard this past August, I was determined to address these concerns.  Thus began the second phase of my nutritional overhaul—the paleo/low-carb  lifestyle.  I outlined my plan on the blog in late August, and I have been purposely silent for several months as I have wanted to see more long-term results before posting anything.

So, here is my first update on the changes I have made.  This post will deal primarily with brain function.  This is a sensitive area for me and difficult to talk about.  But, if I could help one person who has experienced this problem, the discomfort is well worth it.  Well, here it goes.

Brain Function
Prior to starting my low carb lifestyle, I was frequently plagued with brain fog which made processing information very difficult.  I would often have trouble following the line of a conversation, almost feeling as though I had Attention Deficit Disorder.  I was frustrated with my memory, more so than other people of my age, and I would often forget what I was going to say next.  Yet, there were times, when my memory functioned beautifully; I was able to listen intently, make highly intelligent mental connections, and complete a long and detailed explanation on a given subject.  There seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to when the mental stalls would occur, and I could never count on my brain to function the way I needed it to.  I began to wonder, “Could I be on my way to early Alzheimer’s or dementia?”

Once I started low carb living, nearly twelve years ago, I realized that most of my brain difficulties were related to blood sugar spikes that were completely out of control.  Cutting out the sugars and starches, as well as limiting carbohydrate consumption to under 12 grams of net carbs per meal have radically improved my ability to think.  The improvement has been gradual, correlating with my effectiveness in following the plan.  I do not even want to think about what my fate might have been if I had not discovered the low carb lifestyle.  I am daily thankful for the solution!

But, even with insulin under control, and my brain processing information well, I was still having occasional lapses. For example, at times, in the middle of relating an experience, I would forget the next point that I was about to make.   And, my ability to carry on a long conversation was dependent upon the amount of sleep I received the night before as well as my current fuel supply.  After 45 years of plaque build-up on the brain from overloading my system with sugars and starch, could there still be traces of plaque that needed cleaning up?

So, 4 months ago, armed with valuable cutting-edge information from the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012, I began a series of changes to optimize my brain function.  Here is a brief synopsis of my targets and results.

A.  First Target:  Get Adequate Sleep
Rationale:  The quality and duration of sleep has a profound impact on brain function.  I was having trouble falling asleep.  I just could not get sleepy.  Then, when I would fall asleep, I would often wake up at 2:00 in the morning and be unable to fall back to sleep.

Strategy 1:  Limit coffee consumption to 2 small cups in the morning.

Implementation:  The downside was 6 days of horrific caffeine withdrawal.  Luckily, I chose to put this into effect while I was on vacation from work.

Result:  This strategy has worked extremely well.  I am now very sleepy at night, and I am able to fall asleep and get 7 ½ to 8 hours of sleep per night (with a little help from a dropper-ful of melatonin). 

Strategy 2:  Limit alcohol to 1 glass of wine per night near dinner time (not too close to bedtime). 

Implementation:  I still occasionally have 2 glasses of wine, but mostly I stick to 1 glass.  And, I have the wine with dinner, so it is not too close to bedtime.

Result:  I still occasionally wake up in the middle of the night.  But, if I take a dropper-ful of melatonin, I go right back to sleep.  I am very satisfied, so far, with my sleep makeover.   I have noticed a surge in my energy level, as well as vast improvement in brain function.

B.  Second Target:  Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids.  (an important part of Paleo living)
Rationale:  Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain health. 
According to Nora Gedgaudas in the best-selling book, Primal Body, Primal Mind, our brains need omega-3 fatty acids, and if we don’t eat them, our brains will not have them.   The body is incapable of producing its own supply.
According to, omega -3 fatty acids increase HDL.
Omega-3 fatty acids support a healthy cardiovascular system by increasing HDL cholesterol, the healthy cholesterol that helps remove fat from your bloodstream, and by reducing inflammation in the arteries.
According to an article by Melody Fuller in eHow Health,
They [HDL] are thought to act like trash collectors moving throughout the body clearing away plaque and other waste as it flows through the blood stream back to the liver.
Read more: Why is HDL Good Cholestrol? |
According to BBC News on February 9, 2012, drugs are being tested that are successfully removing brain plaque from the brain’s of mice, improving cognitive function.  (So, if drugs can do this, why is there no testing on whether omega-3s can do this?)
According to an article published by the University of Maryland Medical Center, the importance of omega-3 fatty acids is vital for brain health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.
Follow us: @UMMC on Twitter | MedCenter on Facebook

Strategy:  Include sources of omega-3 fatty acids from real food sources.

Implementation:  Omega-3 fatty acids have become an important part of my diet.  Since the best sources of omega – 3 fatty acids are found in pasture-fed animals and wild caught fish, we have now placed several orders with U.S. Wellness Meats.  My husband, Joe, and I are very pleased with the flavor, convenience, and health benefits of hot dogs and sausages loaded with omega-3s!  We are also  eating lamb loin chops, beef, and chicken from pasture-fed animals.  We try to eat wild caught fish at restaurants.  I also continue to take a powerful 950 mg omega – 3 fish oil pill daily, as well as a ¼ cup of Anutra (loaded with omega 3s) in my morning concoction.    According to Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind, excessive amounts of olive oil interfere with the use of omega-3 fats and may enhance insulin resistance. So, I am now cooking with ghee and coconut oil, which is a pleasure, as they can withstand higher heat than the olive oil that I was using for sautéing.   I have also switched from olive oil to coconut oil in my breakfast concoction.  But, I still use olive oil in my salads.

Result:  What better test to see if I have increased omega-3 fatty acids, than to check my HDL cholesterol.  In 2009, my HDL was 98.  Four weeks ago, I, had my new blood work done, and my HDL is now 150!  I am thinking that the good cholesterol is eating all of the plaque from my brain because my brain is now working very well for a 57 year old!  (My LDL has remained in the average range—from 104 to 110.)

C.  Third Target:  Improve gut flora for optimal digestion.  (an important part of Paleo living)
Rationale:  Since improper digestion interferes with brain health, I have begun to look at my digestion. Bloating is often a sign of poor digestion, and I have always had this problem. 
In an excellent article on the crucial role of gut flora, Dr. Mercola states the following:
As explained by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (below), a medical doctor with a postgraduate degree in neurology, toxicity in your gut can flow throughout your body and into your brain, where it can cause symptoms of autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia and other mental disorders. She believes the epidemic of autism and other learning disorders originate in the gut, and manifest as a condition known as Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS).

Strategy 1:  Take probiotics to improve good bacteria in the gut. 

Implementation:  I started with trying to make coconut yogurt with probiotics.  I did not have success with this.  Then, I was putting the probiotics into my morning concoction.  This was okay.  But, now, I have started taking Pearls IC. 

Results:  I am not sure that these are helping.  I was taking the supplement with breakfast, but I am now taking it before bed.  The jury is still out on this one.

Strategy 2:  Eat fermented vegetables.

Implementation:  We have started eating a variety of fermented vegetables available in the health food section of the grocery store. 

Result:  The brain is working great, I have less bloating, and the plumbing is working very well. 

Strategy 3:  Make sure that I have enough stomach acid to digest my food.

Implementation:  I am taking a betaine hydrochloride tablet with breakfast. 

Result:  My stomach does seem to be less bloated.

Strategy 4: Chew my food well.

Implementation:   As we chew, enzymes in our saliva aid in breaking down the food particles, and by the time the food gets to our guts, we do not require huge amounts of hydrochloric acid to break it down. Only when food is completely decomposed can its nutrients be absorbed and utilized by all of the cells in our bodies.
I am more aware of how often I am swallowing food before chewing it completely.  But, I have not made a huge commitment to this yet.

Result:  There are no noticeable results, likely due to my lack of effort.  I am sticking with the Betaine hydrochloride for now.

Strategy 5:  Avoid dairy.

Implementation:  I did not think that I could give up cream, cheese, milk in my coffee, etc...  But, I have come to realize that a lot of my bloating is  related to dairy products.  I realized that I must be sensitive to it.  And, if so, this impacts my digestion and ability to absorb nutrients from my food.  This realization has given me enough motivation to eliminate most (not all) dairy from my diet.  I am loving my morning coffee with coconut milk heated in a baby bottle.  It tastes far superior to coffee made with half and half. 

Result:  I have noticed significantly less bloating, great brain function, and fewer problems with constipation.
Overall, from the strategies I have tried thus far, my brain is functioning well, I have good energy, and I have dropped another ten pounds without even trying.  (I was really happy at 130 pounds, but on my 5’4” frame, 120 pounds actually looks better!)  Paleo low-carb is working for me.  I suspect that with my body’s increased ability to absorb the nutrients and minerals it needs, due to eating high quality, nutrient-dense food, I am not as hungry, and I am consequently eating less.  Thus far, I am very satisfied with the health benefits I am experiencing by adding these paleo strategies to my low-carb lifestyle.

Note:  I will address my progress, or lack of progress, with my other areas of concern in a later blog. I have been too inconsistent with exercise and resistance training to discuss any impact on osteoporosis, and I have a lot of research left to do in the area eye health.  For now, I am very grateful for the paleo low carb impact on my weight, my cholesterol, my energy, and my brain.

I wish you a happy and healthy new year!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Baked Sole - Paleo Recipe

Baked Sole

¼ cup of melted butter
1 pound of sole
¼ cup of chopped green onion
3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon
1 tsp. salt (Himalayan sea salt if possible)
½ tsp. of fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix chopped green onion, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.
Pour melted butter into a 9 by 13 inch rectangular metal pan.
Add sole and flip to coat both sides with butter.
Top with onion/lemon mixture.
Bake for 10 minutes on bottom rack of oven.
Move to top rack of oven and broil 2 minutes.

Savory Sautéed Chicken - Paleo Recipe

Savory Sautéed Chicken

1 ¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 tbsp. ghee
½ cup chopped green onion
2 large shallots (chopped)
salt (I use Himalayan sea salt.)
Simply Organic Chicken Grilling Seasons

Rinse chicken. Pat dry.
Heat a frying pan, and arrange chicken in frying pan as flat as possible to evaporate any excess moisture.
When the chicken is dry, add the ghee, green onions, and shallots.
Sprinkle the top of the chicken with sea salt and chicken seasoning.
Sauté for 12 minutes on high heat, turning often.
After first turn, sprinkle sea salt on the other side of the chicken.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Toward a More Paleo Low-Carb Diet

Toward a More Paleo Low-Carb Diet

After attending the Ancestral Health Symposium in August 2012, I came away with a grateful heart, knowing that the low-carb life plan Emily and I have embraced offers significant health benefits for our lives. But, with that assurance, I came away with a strong resolve to address a number of obstacles and challenges to optimal health.

Having resolved the weight issue, my particular focus has shifted to four areas: the brain, the bones, digestion, and eye health. Each of these has continued to be a thorn in my side to some extent throughout life.

The first area of concern relates to brain health. As I write this, I am nearly 57 years old. My memory is not what it used to be. It is certainly greatly improved after eliminating most sugar and starch from my diet, but, I still have occasional lapses. For example, at times in the middle of relating an experience, I will forget the next point that I was about to make. I have noticed that my brain’s ability to process information, as well as to remember, directly correlates with the quantity and quality of sleep I receive. On the rare occasions that I have had adequate rest, approximately 7 ½ to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep the night before, my brain is extremely sharp. At those times, the memory lapses are quite infrequent. But, I also notice that when my fuel is low (when I am overdue for a meal), my brain power is significantly impaired. Consequently, I have decided to focus on obstacles to sleep along with essential nutrients for the brain to work toward resolving this issue.

With regard to sleep, the obvious culprit is caffeine. But, having given up so many comfort foods in my commitment to a low-carb life, I staunchly held on to nearly unlimited coffee consumption. I was drinking an average of 4 to 6 cups of coffee per day, thinking that this was quite moderate. Ever since starting a low-carb diet over eleven years ago, I knew that I should cut down on the caffeine. But, coffee and wine were my only two vices. I also knew that I was going to be faced with a severe bout of headaches with caffeine withdrawal. Nevertheless, I was now resolved to eliminate this roadblock to proper rest.

Consequently, two weeks ago, I decided to limit my coffee consumption to 8 ounces in the morning. By the first night, I had a mild headache. On day 2 of my reduced coffee regimen, I was taking Advil for the pain. By day 4, the headache was getting progressively worse, and I switched to Aleve. By day 5, nothing was helping, and I was very ill. And, then, thankfully, it was over. It took 6 days to get through caffeine withdrawal. Incredibly, it was worth every moment of pain. I did not think I would ever be able to get sleepy at ten o’clock p.m. and head for bed. Normally, I read or do a crossword puzzle until I fall asleep from pure exhaustion much later. But, for the past week, I have had no problem getting to sleep, and staying asleep (for the most part). As a result, I have noticed a surge in my energy level, as well as vast improvement in brain function.

I am also trying to limit wine consumption to one glass with dinner, no more than 6 nights per week. I have noticed that when I have more than that amount, I have no trouble falling asleep, but I will wake up within a few hours and have great difficulty getting back to sleep. The relationship between alcohol and sleep disruption is well documented in scientific studies.

In listening to the speakers for the 3-day conference at Harvard, I was both disconcerted and relieved. I was disconcerted to realize the number of ways that I was failing to properly nourish my brain. Yet, I was relieved in finding potential solutions to optimal brain functioning.
Besides limiting caffeine and alcohol, the following are adjustments that I have recently put into place.

I have begun to increase my intake of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for brain health. Since the best sources of omega – 3 fatty acids are found in pasture-fed animals and wild caught fish, we placed our first order with U.S. Wellness Meats and have already begun to enjoy burgers, hot dogs, and chicken from pasture-fed animals. I will also continue to take a powerful 950 mg omega – 3 fish oil pill daily. And, cooking with ghee as well as butter from grass fed cows is a pleasure.
I have switched from olive oil to coconut oil in my breakfast concoction and also in cooking. According to Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind, excessive amounts of olive oil interfere with the use of omega-3 fats and may enhance insulin resistance. She recommends using saturated fats such as coconut oil and butter which aid the body in using essential fats and protein. I will still use olive oil in my salads.

I am avoiding the microwave oven as much as is possible. That is why I am heating the coconut milk in a baby bottle warmer instead of the microwave. I am also going to make an effort to eat cold lunches that do not need to be heated in the microwave oven at work.

Since improper digestion interferes with brain health, I have begun to look at my digestion. Bloating is often a sign of poor digestion, and I have always had this problem.

At the symposium, it was brought out that pasteurized milk is difficult to digest. Apparently the high heat from the pasteurization process kills the enzymes in milk that aid digestion. Here is an excellent explanation of why pasteurized dairy products should be avoided.

The enzyme phosphatase is completely destroyed. The final test for pasteurization after heating to 165 degrees Fahrenheit is the negative Alpha Phosphatase test. And this is the enzyme that is critical to the absorption of minerals and calcium! The dairy industry's vaunted vitamin D is useless with this arrangement.

So instead of building bone density, lots of calcium winds up getting into blood vessels calcifying the inner walls to promote cardiovascular problems, or entering joints to create arthritis.

The heat also destroys digestive enzymes, inhibiting proper digestion of milk fats and creating mucous and phlegm in the body to attract disease. The probiotic digestive bacteria, or friendly flora, are also destroyed. The GI tract is well over half of the immune system. Live intestinal flora is needed to bolster that important section of the immune system.

Learn more:

With the awareness of my digestive problems, I am beginning to slowly make substitutions for pasteurized dairy. At this point, I am not able to completely eliminate pasteurized products from my cooking, but my goal is to eventually get there. It may take a few years.

I bought a simple yogurt maker and made my first batch of probiotic home-made yogurt from coconut milk. I am still perfecting the recipe. Once I am satisfied, I will post it on the website. Currently, I am using it in my morning concoction (Anutra, protein powder, coconut oil, and home-made coconut yogurt). In this way, I not only eliminate the pasteurized yogurt, but I also get the probiotics that I need for digestion. Nora Gedgaudas, a certified nutritional therapist, suggests that for optimal gastrointestinal health, anyone who was not breast-fed may need to add probiotics or cultured foods to their daily diet for optimal gastrointesinal health. I would be among this group, as I was fed on PET milk formula.

In addition, I have replaced the half and half in my morning coffee with organic coconut milk. I heat it in a baby bottle warmer. I pour half a cup of the heated coconut milk into my mug and add a half cup of coffee. The coffee is hot, and I repeat with a second cup. The bonus is that I get two cups of coffee with only eight ounces of caffeinated beverage. It is a treat!

Hydrochloric acid capsules aid digestion. So, when I eat a meal that causes me to bloat, most dinners and large salad lunches, I have begun to take Betaine Hydrochloride capsules. They seem to be having a positive impact, greatly reducing the after dinner bloat, and likely they assist in breaking down the food so that the nutrients can be absorbed by my cells.

At the conference, chewing was greatly advocated. Apparently when we chew our food well, it is broken into smaller bits which are easier to digest. As we chew, enzymes in our saliva aid in breaking down the particles further, and by the time the food gets to our guts, we do not require huge amounts of hydrochloric acid to break it down. Only when food is completely decomposed can its nutrients be absorbed and utilized by all of the cells in our bodies.
I have begun to eat raw milk cheese (from non-pasteurized milk) that is aged at least 60 days. It is much tastier than the pasteurized versions, and it may aid in my digestion.

I am currently looking for a good “whole-foods-based B complex”. This is also beneficial for optimal brain health. And, I will continue to eat plenty of green vegetables.

Another important nutrient is selenium. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium. 3 nuts per day provides the US RDA for selenium. To eliminate damaging phytic acid, soak the nuts for 24 hours in salt water. Then, dry in a 160 degree oven.

Eliminate all soy products including tofu, and use Himalayan or Celtic salt.

Another area of concern for me relates to bone health. Both of my parents have osteoporosis. My mother has just broken the third bone in her back, simply by trying to open an easy-to-open window. It was no surprise when I was diagnosed with osteopenia about 25 years ago. I now have osteoporosis, and I am actively looking to reverse it through diet and exercise. Seeing what has become of my mother, I am quite scared.
In an effort to save my bones from further destruction, I am already taking 4,000 mg of vitamin D and 2,000 mg of calcium daily. Besides these supplements, I am hoping that what I am doing to aid digestion will also help me to absorb these nutrients into my cells more effectively. To this, I am adding resistance exercises with small weights. I am also going to begin interval training, using my exercise bike. I will exercise for a total of 20 minutes, alternating 2 minute intervals of intense cycling with one minute of slow peddling.

The final area of concern is my eye health. My eyesight is getting progressively worse. My very close aunt had macular degeneration and lost her eyesight in her later years. I am hoping to avoid such a scenario by making sure that my eyes are properly nourished. For this, I have started to take a Lutein supplement with Zeaxanthin and bilberry fruit powder.

Cod liver oil is also, recommended. But, the two times in my life that I took a dose, I was plagued by intense headaches. I have come to find out that I should appreciate those headaches. Apparently, the headaches are an indication that one is overdosing on a supplement. Vitamin’s such as A, D, and E are fat soluble. These are not excreted daily, but are stored in the liver and can accumulate over time. “The Vitamin A headache” is most likely my body’s way of warning me that if I continue to overdose on this vitamin, I am headed for liver damage. So, I am thinking that vitamin A deficiency is not the problem with my eyes.

In summary, I am hoping that in addition to my low carb diet, I will begin to see the benefits of these modifications to my lifestyle:
limiting caffeine to one cup in the morning
limiting wine to one glass, six times per week
increasing consumption of omega-3 faty acids
eating grass fed beef and other meats and poultry from pasture fed animals, as well as wild caught fish
cooking with coconut oil, butter, and ghee
working towards eliminating pasteurized dairy products
substituting coconut milk (1/2 cup) for half and half in coffee
taking hydrochloric acid capsules as needed for digestion
eating raw milk cheese (aged 60 days or more)
making probiotic home-made coconut milk yogurt
chewing foods well
avoiding the microwave oven as much as possible
taking a whole food based vitamin B and eating lots of green vegetables
eating Brazil nuts
eliminating soy from the diet
using Himalayan salt
incorporating resistance training with weights
cycling 20 minutes every other day, using interval training
taking a Lutein supplement for eye health

This is the starting point for me. I am cautiously optimistic. I will let you know how it goes.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Highlights of the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012

After attending the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012 at Harvard, Ida (Thin) has made a personal commitment to a more Paleo low-carb diet. Please continue to check out the website as she shares her journey to optimal health in the days ahead!

Highlights of the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012

Harvard University

Joe and I attended the Ancestral Health Symposium at Harvard from August 9th through August 11th. We came away with much knowledge and information to share which has the potential to significantly improve the health of anyone who acts upon it.

In reviewing our notes, we found the following points relevant to our website. This is a small sampling of what was discussed. We would recommend that you watch the actual videos on YouTube.

General Points

Agriculture did not begin until about 10,000 years ago. Prior to this, the human diet consisted of mainly protein and fat from animal sources, nuts, seeds, and non-starchy fibrous plant sources. It is well established that hunting and gathering led to the increase in our brain size.

Once farming was introduced, the diseases of modern man began. Prior to this, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and obesity were non-issues.

All of the speakers were in agreement that grain, processed foods, sugar, vegetable oil, and all trans fats should be eliminated from the diet.

The recommendations generally included eating grass-fed meats, pasture fed poultry and eggs, wild-caught fish. All of these are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for brain health. We are also encouraged to eat unlimited amounts of healthy fats found in coconut oil, butter, and ghee. Olive oil and palm oil are also okay. Another unlimited group of foods includes non-starchy vegetables. There was some debate about the value of raw milk dairy (as opposed to no dairy), as well as fruits and tubers (including potatoes) which lead to spikes in insulin.

All pasteurized dairy products are discouraged. The process of pasteurization kills off the enzymes in the milk that help us to digest it. Raw milk and raw milk cheese are options.

Without proper digestion, we cannot absorb the nutrients from our food into our cells. Proper digestion is essential and is vital to disease prevention.

The importance of eating nutrient-dense foods was also explained.

Examples of some nutrient dense foods include grass fed meats (e.g. beef, veal, pork, and lamb), wild-caught fish (e.g. salmon and tilapia), and nuts (but not chestnuts).

The importance of physical activity and resistance exercise was stressed.

Here are highlights from some of the sessions we attended.

...Benefits of a Fat-Based, Ketogenically-Adapted Caloric Intake for Body and Brain

by Nora Gedgaudas, C.N.S., C.N.T.

Fat in of central importance to our primal bodies. We need to become “fat burners” as opposed to “sugar burners”. There are significant benefits from a fat-based, ketogenic diet for our bodies and brains. Psychological illnesses were virtually unheard of in fat-based early cultures. Our brains run better on fat. We were born to rely on fat as our prime source of fuel.

When the diet consists of primarily protein and fat, ketone bodies become the major fuel for brain development. There is mounting evidence that ketones can prevent Alzheimer’s.

Brain growth depends of dietary fats.

Early man hunted and gathered. His diet consisted of fats and proteins from animal sources. Starchy roots and tubers could not be eaten due to the extensive cooking that would have been involved in making them fit for human consumption. Wild fruit was only seasonably or climatically available, and the fruit was more tart than sweet. So, early man was on a very low-carb diet.

A low-carb diet can be used to prevent or ameliorate the following diseases: insulin resistance, diabetes 1 and 2, cancer, brain dysfunction, thyroid, and cardiovascular issues.

There is no research or evidence that a low-carb diet is harmful in any way.

Nora used a wood stove analogy in discussing fat vs. carbohydrates as fuel for the body. Whole wheat would be the equivalent of twigs, pasta like paper, and sugar like gasoline. The energy would be fleeting and gone. In contrast, fat would be the equivalent of a slow burning log, providing a slower constant, efficient flow of fuel.

With regard to cancer, it is known that the primary source of food for cancer cells is glucose. Ketones do not feed cancer.

She recommends a diet of grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, nuts, unlimited non-starchy vegetables, good fats, such as butter, ghee, and coconut (oil, milk, and cream), nuts, and some berries.

The Carb Controversy

by Andreas Eenfeldt, M.D.

Dr. Eenfeldt predicts that if we do nothing about it, health problems associated with obesity will bring the US economy to its knees.

A low-carb diet is good for weight loss, since fat accumulation is caused by insulin. Calories are irrelevant.

What Are Humans Adapted For?

by Dan Lieberman

We need to look at our ancestry to improve health.

Many illnesses are due to mismatched conditions with diet and physical activity. The human body is adapted for hunting and gathering, not for modern conditions.

Our ancestors consumed lots of high fat meat, small game, fish, roots, tubers, and fruit.

In order to hunt and gather, early man engaged in a tremendous amount of physical activity including walking (9 – 15 km per day), running, digging, carrying, and climbing. Farming and industry dramatically decreased the activity level of humans.

With this inactivity, a host of health issues have arisen. One example is osteoporosis. Inactivity leads to loss of bone mass. Over 50 % of women over the age of 50 are at risk for osteoporosis.

Another consequence is obesity. With a sedentary lifestyle, humans store their excess energy as fat.

It was also noted that with hunting and gathering, the size of the human brain increased significantly.

The EvoS Diet

by David Sloan Wilson, Ph.D

The Evos diet is essentially the Paleo Diet.

It recommends eating the following:

• Fruits
• Vegetables
• Lean meats
• Fish
• Some nuts
• Eggs
• Good fats

Those following the EvoS diet would avoid the following:

• Grain
• Dairy
• Refined products
• Salt sugar
• Vegetable oil
• Legumes (peanuts, cashews, and beans)
• Soy

The importance of evolutionary studies including the study of diet, exercise, and social organization is the focus of the EvoS Lifestyle Project.

A call was made for people who would be willing to contact Dr. David Sloan Wilson to participate in the research project.

Nutrient Density: Sticking to the Essentials

by Mathieu Lalonde, Ph.D.

The nutrient density of meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds was compared to that of grains and legumes.

It was shown that grains and legumes were very weak nutritionally in comparison to meats, fish, vegetables, and some fruits.

Vegetables, seafood, meat, and fruit were shown to supply all we need for nutrition.

Saturated fats were shown to be fine. And, egg yolks “crushed” egg whites in nutrient value.

Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium.

Kale, spinach, broccoli, and seaweed are excellent examples of nutrient rich foods.

Other nutrient dense foods include beef, veal, lamb, salmon, tilapia, and unbelievably—bacon!

Some examples of foods low in nutrients include apples, watermelon, pears, onions, cucumbers, pickles, carrots, cabbage, and chestnuts.

Cooking vegetables was shown to result in substantial nutrient loss. But, it is unknown how bio-available the nutrients are in the uncooked vegetables.

Mathieu Lalonde developed a chart listing the nutrient values of 7,000 foods.

He showed a chart listing the average nutrient density divided by the caloric weight scores.

From most nutrient dense to least, here are the majority of items on the chart:

• Cod liver oil
• Herbs and spices
• Nuts and seeds
• Fish and seafood
• Pork
• Beef
• Cacao
• Lamb and veal
• Plant fats and oils
• Animal fats and oil
• Processed meats
• Eggs and dairy
• Refined and processed fats and oils
• Grains
• Legumes
• Fruit
• Vegetables

Restoring Our Primal Architecture (Posture!)

by Esther Gokhale

We need to concentrate on improving our posture to avoid back pain.

When standing, we need to stretch tall with our shoulders back, butt out, and pelvis in.

When sitting, do the following:

Sit with butt back into the seat as far as it will go.

Push in the pelvis with your hands.

If a cushion is available, place it behind your lower back.

Then press back, gluing your spine to the chair from the bottom up.

Then, roll each shoulder back, one at a time, to a relaxed position.

Good posture helps us with breathing. It also prevents back pain and disc degeneration. It also allows our digestive organs to work properly.

Health vs. Performance: Two Distinct and Oftentimes Conflicting Wellness Goals

by Keith Norris, founding member of Paleo Fx

By the year 2030, 1/3 of the Federal budget will be spent on Medicare and Medicaid alone. This will be a catastrophic situation. We need to address our health issues now.

Pharmaceutical companies are making huge profits from insulin delivery systems, and they are doing all they can to discourage people from learning about the nutritional approach, eliminating grains and sugar from the diet, which would eliminate the need for insulin for those with type 2 diabetes.

The Paleo Pyramid was shared:

The foundation is lean meats and fish.

Above that are fruits and vegetables.

The top of the pyramid consists of nuts and berries

What Paleo, Primal, and Atkins have in common are the understanding that our diets need to be sugar free, grain free, and protein based.

If anyone is truly interested in having their body composition measured, a DEXA scan is most accurate.

All are discouraged from going on a low-fat diet, since this will insure that you will lose your muscle mass. The goal is to maintain or increase muscle mass while losing fat.

Food for Performance

by John Welbourn

Several of his clients have had success in curing thyroid issues by eliminating wheat.

He recommends raw milk and Greek yogurt as excellent sources of dairy.

During discussion, it was noted that some people can tolerate sushi rice since it does not contain resistant starch.

Fix Our Food Initiative (panel discussion)

The big picture: from 1980 to present, there has been an extreme increase in obesity (BMI over 25).

The problem is that there is no money for studies.

The Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition (AND) has lots of funding from food companies, which causes a conflict of interest. Corporate sponsors include Pepsi, Coca Cola, Mars, Hershey, General Mills, and Kellogg’s.

It was noted that there is no one individual diet approach that is suitable for everyone. Nutrition needs to be individualized, depending on what each of us is adapted for.

The Straight Dope on Cholesterol

by Peter Attia

The cause of atherosclerosis is the presence of sterol in the artery walls. The plaque buildup is what we need to avoid. HDL is good cholesterol, and LDL is bad cholesterol.

Every cell in the body is able to produce its own cholesterol except the adrenal cortex and the gonads.

Cholesterol is dealt with in the gut.

15 % of cholesterol comes from what we eat.

85 % of cholesterol comes from what are bodies make.

It doesn’t matter how much cholesterol is produced. It must be delivered to the cell walls to get atherosclerosis. If you don’t have the boat to deliver the cargo (triglycerides and cholesterol), you don’t have a problem. It is this boat that carries triglycerides and cholesterol.

To make sure that you don’t have the boats to carry the triglycerides and cholesterol to the cell walls, eat low-carb.

Calories vs. Carbohydrates: Clearing Up the Confusion Over Competing Obesity Paradigms

by Gary Taubes

We accumulate excess fat because we have a fat accumulation disorder. Overeating is an effect of getting fat, not the cause. Excess fat is the result of grain, starch, and sugar in the diet and its insulin signaling.

To say that we get fat because we eat too many calories is like saying the room is crowded because there are too many people in it. The cause of the room being overcrowded is related to why people entered it, not that they did enter it; just as the cause of obesity is not that a person overate, but why that person overate.

Cholesterol is vital for life. The cholesterol that we eat has little to do with the cholesterol in our bodies.

Safe Starches: Are they Essential to an Ancestral Diet

Paul Jaminet has put forth the idea that there are “safe starches” including carbs such as white rice, white potatoes, and yams. He states that these particular starches do not have the toxins that other starches, such as grains, have.

Dr. Rosedale, a medical doctor, who has worked with heart and diabetic patients for over 20 years, has had excellent success with a high fat, low carb diet. He found that ketones are the ideal source of energy for the brain, and that the brain does not need to burn sugar.

During the discussion, it was brought out that in comparing countries, higher carb diets led to lower life spans. The countries where the population consumed the least carbohydrates, experienced the highest life spans.

What Not to Eat for Good Mental Health

by Emily Deans, M.D

Avoid the following:

• Trans fats: They are linked with depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, psychosis, and dementia.

• Carbohydrates such as sugar, grains, and starches, and high glycemic fruits: They are linked with hypoglycemia, irritability, and violence, stress, and anxiety.

• Caffeine and alcohol: These exacerbate blood sugar surges and surges in cortisol (leading to stress and anxiety).

• Sugar: It feeds bacteria in the colon, leading to inflammation and low serotonin.
To ameliorate these conditions, consume proteins and fats.

50 % of people of Western Europe have fructose malabsorption. This lack of adaptability to fructose causes inflammation.

Dietary Insulin Inhibition as a Metabolic Therapy in Advanced Cancer

by Eugene Fine, M.D.

Research has been done showing promise with treating cancer patients with a carbohydrate restricted diet. When insulin could be inhibited, using a low carb diet, patients with advanced cancer showed improvement.

Is There a Role for a Paleolithic Lifestyle in the Treatment and Prevention of Cancer?

by Rainer Klement, Ph.D and Dirk Lemke, M.D.

Based on recent research, a paleo-oriented, low- carb diet (based on our hunter-gatherer ancestors) could suppress, or at least delay, the emergence of cancer, and proliferation of already existing tumor cells could be slowed down. A Paleo lifestyle, along with resistance training could offer protection against cancer.

Man the Fat Hunter: Animal Fat Shortage as a Driver of Human Evolution and Prehistory

by Miki Ben-Dor

Our ancestors were fat hunters. This is what caused the a change in the brain size of home sapiens. High quality food which is high in good fat leads to big brains. We have evolved to eat fat.

Targeting Energy Metabolism in Brain Cancer

by Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D

Calorie restriction and low carb diets can be used in conjunction with anti-cancer drugs as therapies in the treatment of cancer.

Sugar: No Ordinary Commodity

by Robert Lustig, M.D.

Fructose consumption in the United States impacts health negatively and (as alcohol) should not be treated as an ordinary commodity on the open market. Consumption of sugar leads to insulin resistance and obesity. And, it was noted that there is a one percent increase in diabetes for every 100 calories of sugar consumed. Sugar is addictive and has become a public health problem. Metabolic dysfunction from consumption of sugar affects 40 % of normal-weight adults and 80 % of obese adults. 124,000,000 adults have health related problems due to sugar consumption. Dr. Lustig suggested that, with the health care costs from Medicare and Medicaid, we could balance the Federal budget if we could get this problem under control.

All good diets should be low in sugar and high in fiber.

A map of the United States showed most of the Southern states with high rates of obesity (except Georgia and Florida).

Minding My Mitochondria

by Terry Wahls, M.D.

Dr. Wahls has progressive Multiple Sclerosis and was confined to a tilt recline wheelchair. Using what she learned about progressive brain diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s, the nutritional requirements of the brain and the Paleo diet, she created a modified Paleo Diet to maximize the nutrition to her mitochondria, her cells, and her brain. After just 9 months on the diet, she is able to bicycle 18 miles. She explains how a structured Paleo Diet provides the most nutrition per calorie of any diets and how to eat for maximal health. Her diet consists of greens, garlic, onions, berries, grass-fed meats, seaweed, wild-caught fish. She does not eat grain, sugar, or dairy. She has 9 non-starchy vegetable servings per day.

Iron Behaving Badly: The Role of Iron Overload in Metabolic Disease

by Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac.

The dangers of too much iron in the body were discussed. 1 out of 200 people have hemochromotosis (iron overload). This leads to fatigue, brain dysfunction, metabolic problems, and mortality.

Digestive Health, Inflammation and the Metabolic Syndrome

by Stephan Guyenet, Ph.D.

Metabolic syndrome was shown to lead to obesity, insulin resistance, inflammation, high blood pressure, and blood lipid abnormalities. Diet, gut flora, and digestive health all influence metabolic disorders and may lead to diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

He suggested that there may be benefits from avoiding bread, nuts, milk, onions, and pinto beans. To maintain a healthy weight, it was suggested that we exercise, eat a variety of whole plant foods, avoid food sensitivities (e.g. gluten), manage stress, and have vaginal births if possible.

Antibiotics lead to weight gain.

Children who had been birthed via C-sections have a 3 times greater risk of developing obesity by the age of 3.

Strongly Recommended Reading!!!

One particular book that I bought at the symposium which I believe everyone should possess is Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas (a certified nutritional therapist and neurofeedback specialist). A number of the ideas presented at the 3-day conference are elaborated upon in the text. In the book, she explains the vital role of eating a diet devoid of grains, sugar, and starches. She recommends eating moderate amounts of grass-fed beef and other organic meat, pasture fed poultry and eggs, and wild-caught fish, as well as non-starchy vegetables, nuts, and good fats. The importance of dealing with food sensitivities (especially to gluten and casein) are outlined, as well as the essential role of digestion in the absorption of vital nutrients. The most effective and efficient exercise is explained, along with important supplements that should be considered. Not only for weight loss, but for brain health, disease prevention, and longevity, this book will likely be the most important book you ever read. I encourage everyone to buy it.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Easy Low Carb Mexican Chicken Recipe

Mexican Chicken
3 cups cooked chicken, pulled apart
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups chopped white onion (Vidalia if available)
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. red pepper (cayenne pepper)
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. hot sauce
Optional: Sauté’ strips of red and green peppers with onion.

Par boil chicken for 25 minutes (or use rotisserie chicken from grocery store).
Remove chicken from pot. Pull chicken apart using a fork or food gloves. Set aside.
Sauté chopped onion in olive oil until wilted.
Add chicken and butter to pan. Brown chicken slightly.
Stir in sour cream.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
5 net carbs
Serves 4 to 6

Helpful hint: Measure out all of the ingredients next to the skillet before sautéing the onions.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Low Carb Pancakes Recipe

Low Carb Pancakes

(My not-so-low-carb husband gave them the taste test, and he says that they taste better than regular pancakes!)


6 tbsp. coconut flour

4 large eggs

1 cup of ½ and ½ (or cream)

2 tsp. baking powder

1/16th tsp. salt

2 packets of Truvia (optional)

2 tbsp. butter


Mix all ingredients together (except butter). 

Melt butter in griddle on medium high heat. 

Spoon batter to make 16 pancakes.

Turn when edges start to dry.

Serves 4

8 carbs minus 4 fiber per serving = 4 net carbs (excluding Truvia)

Zucchini Hash Brown's - Side Dish

Zucchini Side Dish

(This is an extremely delicious side dish.  It can be made ahead of time and reheated for company!)


3 tbsp. olive oil

6 cloves of garlic, minced

½ cup of chopped onion

4 cups of shredded zucchini (1 large zucchini)

½ cup cream

4 ounces of cream cheese, cut up

¼ cup fresh chopped basil

¼ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


Microwave the zucchini for 4 minutes on power level 8.  Place in a colander and press with a potato masher to squeeze out the excess liquid.

Heat the oil in a large pot. 

Sauté’ the garlic and onion in the oil until transparent and slightly browned.

Add the strained zucchini, and cook for about 7 minutes.

Pour the cream into the pot.

Stir in the cream cheese until melted.

Mix in the basil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Chicken Broccoli Low Carb & Gluten Free Muffins

If you want a low carb, gluten free, high protein, high fiber and low calorie snack all in one... Then you have to try these tasty little muffins.

Chicken Broccoli Low Carb & Glutten Free Muffins:

12oz. steamed broccoli

16oz. / 1lb cooked Ground Chicken

½ of large or 1 whole small beef steak tomato, chopped

½ cup onion

3 eggs

2 egg whites

½ c. greek yogurt

¾ c. almond flour

1/8 tspn Xanthan gum

½ tbspn low sodium salt

½ tspn pepper

1 c. mozzarella cheese


You will need 3 different pots/skillets to cook on the stove top and 3 mixing bowls to blend ingredients separately before combining all ingredients together.

Steam broccoli until soft

Cook ground chicken over medium heat for 10 minutes

In small skillet Sauté chopped onions and tomato

In first mixing bowl, whisk almond flour, xanthan gum and salt. The goal is to make sure the xanthan gum is evenly distributed throughout.

In second mixing bowl add eggs, egg whites, Greek yogurt then whisk until it becomes a creamy batter.

In third mixing bowl add: co oked ground chicken, steamed broccoli, sautéed tomatoes and onions, almond flour mixture, egg batter and mozzarella cheese. Mix well.

Spoon into small or medium size muffin pan.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

USA TODAY Reports: Low-carb diet burns the most calories in small study

On  July, 26th 2012 USA Today reported a study that proves a low-carb diet, similar to the Atkins diet, with only 10% of calories from carbohydrates will cause a person to burn 300 calories more a day then on a low-fat diet.

 "That's the amount you'd burn off in an hour of moderate intensity physical activity without lifting a finger," says senior author David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital.

"Participants burned 150 calories more on the low-glycemic index diet than the low-fat diet. That's about an hour of light physical activity," he says.

"We think the low-carb and low-glycemic index diets, by not causing the surge and crash in blood sugar, don't trigger the starvation response. When the body thinks it's starving, it turns down metabolism to conserve energy."

To sum up the article... If you can stick to a diet that emphasizes fish, chicken, beef, eggs, cheese, most vegetables and some fruits while eliminating foods such as breads, pasta, potatoes and starchy vegetables you will lose a lot of weight fast.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Low-Carb Pie Crust

Low-Carb Pie Crust

1 ½ cups almond flour/meal
3 tbsp. butter
artificial sweetener equal to 3 tbsp.

Mix all ingredients well.
Press into 9” pie plate.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cool before filling with your favorite low-carb pie filling.

*You can susbstitute part of the almond flour/meal with crushed, Murray Sugar Free® cookies

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Low-Carb Pizza by Thin and Thinner (New Recipe!!)

Low-Carb Pizza by Thin and Thinner

This recipe makes a delicious pizza that is appealing to the eye as well as delicious. It is quick and easy to make. It received the seal of approval from my not-so-low-carb husband!
½ cup almond flour
½ tsp. baking powder
1/16 tsp. xanthan gum
¼ tsp. salt
1 packet of Truvia
¼ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 beaten egg


2 tbsp. tomato sauce
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
8 thin slices of pepperoni


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk almond flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, Truvia, and cheese until well blended.
Add the beaten egg. Mix well.
Pour onto a buttered sheet of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet.
Spread batter on sheet as flat as possible with a spatula until it is a 6 inch round diameter.
Bake at 375 degrees for 14 minutes.
Transfer pizza crust to a sheet of tin foil and put it back on the cookie sheet.
Spread the tomato sauce on the crust.
Add the mozzarella and pepperoni.
Fold the foil over any exposed crust (so that it will not burn under the broiler).
Broil for 2 minutes.

Slice into 4 wedges with a pizza cutter.

Serves 2

(4 net carbs plus Truvia for entire crust)

* Any of your favorite pizza toppings will work on this!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thinner got Married!!

We apologize for not posting anything new over the past few weeks. Emily (Thinner) got married!! We can't wait to share how we prepared for the wedding and what we are up to now ~

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Going Out to Lunch on a Low-Carb Diet

Going Out to Lunch on a Low-Carb Diet

Thin just had a delicious low-carb lunch at Frog Hair on Transit Road in Amherst, New York. With a few modifications to the steak in the grass, served with fries, she had the following: tenderloin topped with fried spinach, sauteed onions, and mozzarella cheese, without the bun. They served it with a garlic aioli sauce and green beans with roasted almonds. Low carb is delicious!!!!

Chicken Alfredo (Low-Carb)

Chicken Alfredo (Low-Carb)

1 pound boneless chicken breast
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup chopped onion
8 oz. cream cheese (cut into pieces)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup of whole milk (or cream)
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
dash of nutmeg
low-carb noodles (kelp noodles, “No Oodles”, or Shirataki Tofu Noodles)


Place chicken in pot. Cover with water. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Break chicken apart with 2 forks. Set aside.
Saute onion in olive oil until wilted and slightly browned.
Add butter and minced garlic.
Whisk in cream cheese.
Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Slowly whisk in milk and then parmesan cheese.
Add chicken to the cream sauce.
Serve over noodles.

Serves 6

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Low Carb - Gluten Free Cinnamon Spice Muffins

Cinnamon Spice Muffins

7 Truvia
3 droppers of Stevia (or 60 drops)
1 cup almond flour
1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ cup Greek yogurt
4 egg whites
1 bag of fresh cauliflower (12 oz.)

Steam the cauliflower. When it is completely soft, drain in colander and press with a potato masher to squeeze out all of the liquid.
Wisk together the egg whites, yogurt, and cauliflower until there are no lumps.
Combine all of the dry ingredients.
Wisk the wet and dry ingredients together.
Spray mini muffin cups with olive oil, or use paper liners.
Spoon batter into muffin cups.
Bake at 400 degrees for 14 minutes.
Let set for 5 minutes, before removing muffins.
Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 mini muffins

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Low Carb & Gluten Free Pizza Crust (Recipe, No Yeast)

Low Carb Pizza Crust:

This recipe is simple and quick to make (no yeast involved)!
The longer it cooks, the more crisp the crust gets.
It's quite delicious and has recieved the "non" low carb dieters seal of approval.

½ cup almond flour
1/8 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 egg white
1/16 tsp. Xanthan gum
1 packet Truvia
¼ cup Greek yogurt

Mix dry ingredients. Stir in Greek yogurt.
Rub butter onto parchment paper on a large flat pan.
With a spatula, spread the pizza dough into a thin round shape on the buttered paper.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Top with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni.*
Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
*Or, top with any interesting toppings of your choice!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Media Blaming Fat for Paula Deen’s Diabetes, But What About the Carbs?

I am very dismayed with the media coverage of Paula Deen’s type 2 diabetes. My main concern is with the assumption that the type 2 diabetes was caused by a high fat diet. This is perplexing because research has proven that fat consumption does not lead to diabetes. An eight year study [1] of 50,000 women, which cost $415 million, one of the most expensive and rigorously designed studies ever conducted, proved that there is no causal relationship between dietary fat intake and the development of type 2 diabetes.

And, if anyone were to examine the recipes in any of Paula Dean’s cookbooks, it would be clear that the culprit was not the fat, but the carbohydrates. I have always been a Paula Dean fan. I have loved watching her cooking shows, and I have looked through many of her cookbooks, wishing I could find something in them that I could eat. But, living a low-carb life for the past 11 years, I have noted that everything she makes is loaded with carbs, including sugar, flour, or pasta. So, to say that the fat is to blame seems odd.

It is quite well documented that our high carbohydrate Western diet is responsible for the surge in type 2 diabetes in this country. An interesting website, concerned with our food pyramid, called “My Life in a Pyramid” eloquently states the problem with the conventional wisdom. ”Instead of focusing on macro-nutrients like fat and dietary cholesterol – which have nothing to do with developing diabetes – they should have instead focused on the QUALITY of the foods, and reducing sugars and grains.” [2] It is too bad that this revelation of Paula Dean’s condition could not be used to increase awareness of the need to control carbs in our diet. Instead, it is erroneously being used to reinforce the myth of dietary fat leading to obesity and disease.

1. Archives of Internal Medicine, July 28, 2008

2. My Life in a Pyramid: Healthy Living With a Cosmopolitan

Monday, February 6, 2012

Thin’s Average Daily Calories, Fats, Carbs, and Protein

Thin’s Average Daily Calories, Fats, Carbs, and Protein

I've been living low-carb for 11 years and counting. And, I have just figured out how many calories, fats, carbs, protein, and fiber that I am eating on a typical day (because I normally just track my carbohydrate intake). Here's the breakdown:

1,576 calories
110 g of fat
18 g net carbs
20 g of fiber
91 g of protein.

Here is what a typical day looks like:

Yo’tmeal (2 scoops of Greens and Whey protein powder, ¼ cup of Anutra, 1 tbsp. olive oil, ¼ cup of Greek yogurt, and 1 tsp. cinnamon)
2 cups of coffee with ¼ cup of half and half
1 serving of almond crusted chicken (left over from previous night)
½ cup of roasted brussel sprouts
3 oz. filet mignon
1 cup roasted green beans
salad with Romaine lettucce, 1/8 plum tomato, 1 tbsp. chopped onion, and 2 tbsp. Good Seasons mild Italian dressing
2 cups of coffee with ¼ cup of half and half
1 piece of low-carb chocolate fudge (made with almond butter, 100 % Ghiradelli chocolate, and Truvia)

A few times per week, I'll have a few hundred more calories (e. g. 1/4 cup of nuts or 1 or 2 ounces of cheese). Then, occasionally I'll have a dessert of low carb ice cream or strawberries and whipped cream. So, all in all, I stay between 1600 and 1800 calories per day.

Interestingly, I have read that a 5'4" woman needs to consume between 1500 and 1800 calories per day. And, I've been doing it without even trying. That's the beauty of a low-carb diet! The body naturally adjusts to eating what it needs.

Low-carb, done right, is not a low calorie diet. It is filling, satisfying, and realistic. It truly is plan that can be enjoyed for life.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why We Get Fat and Why Calories Aren't the Culprit

If you eat too much, and consequently you are overweight, don’t beat yourself up over it; it’s not your fault. If you eat too little, and you are overweight, don’t blame yourself either. There are so many conflicting reports as to dietary guidelines, and many allow for such high amounts of starches and sugars that cravings for more carbohydrates are biologically inevitable. We are told to limit our fat and eat plenty of whole grains and fruits which are loaded with starches and sugars. The conventional wisdom is that fat is high in calories, while whole grains and fruit are somewhat less on the caloric scale.
But, contrary to popular belief, our weight is not a simple matter of calories in versus calories out. If we are eating very little, then our bodies will conserve calories and expend less energy. If we increase our level of activity, we will work up an appetite and eat more to compensate. Gary Taubes explains this so well in his books, Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It.
We store fat because of our hormones. There’s one hormone in particular that once activated stores carbohydrate calories as fat. That hormone is insulin. It is important to remember that it is not the number of calories we consume that determines our weight, but the quality of those calories. In the battle of the bulge, it is of utmost importance to determine the number of carbohydrate calories that can be consumed before waking the fat storing hormone--insulin).
Simply stated, carbohydrates cause fat accumulation. If we restrict carbohydrates, our bodies will no longer be in fat-storage mode. We will begin burning fat for fuel! If we restrict starchy carbohydrates and simple sugars, we will drop weight by burning fat in the most efficient way possible.
One of the quickest ways to turn off the fat storing hormone is to give your daily diet an immediate makeover. Here are some tips for tomorrow morning.
For breakfast:
Replace the sugar in your coffee or tea with Stevia, Truvia, or Splenda. (Honey is not low carb.)
Eliminate milk and replace with half n half, cream, or Almond milk.
Cut out orange juice and take a vitamin C supplement instead. If you can’t live without juice in the morning, Thinner recommends trying Diet Ocean Spray Cranberry or Blueberry Pomegranate Juice and dilute 50% with water. Add lemon for a twist. (Thin would tell you to forget any juices period.)
Ditch the muffins, bagels, cereals, pancakes, waffles, French toast, syrups, fruit flavored yogurt, oatmeal, bananas and any other sweet, sugary treat , and replace with Plain Greek yogurt, protein powder, Anutra, Flax Seed, Oat bran, Eggs, Cheese, nitrate free ham and bacon, low carb smoothies, or crustless quiche (a recipe in Thin and Thinner).

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Low Carb Bread

Low Carb Bread

This bread can be used to make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich!

1 tablespoon melted butter
1 egg
¼ cup almond flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Splenda
a pinch of salt


This can be made in a glass bowl, large mug, or sandwich-sized square Pyrex container.
Melt the butter for 35 seconds in the microwave.
Whisk in the egg.
Add the remaining ingredients, blending well.
Cover with plastic wrap. Poke a hole in the top.
Then, microwave for 1 minute and 25 seconds.
Cool on a wire rack.

I cut it into 2 pieces.

½ of the recipe:

1.5 g net carbs (carbs minus fiber)
6.5 g protein
170 calories

Low-Carb Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Low-carb, high-fat diet could replace dialysis

Low-carb, high-fat diet could replace dialysis

Monday, January 9, 2012

We Need to Make Changes in order to Lose Weight

Thinner’s Blog: To See Results, We Need to Make Changes

Can everyone lose weight on a low-carb diet? Sadly, not all people can, only those who are willing to change in order to see results. Making the necessary life changes requires the knowledge of a basic scientific principle: the human body cannot burn fat until it has burned through its carbohydrate stores. With this realization, one will truly understand what he/she needs to do in order to lose weight. It’s that simple.

“But, I can’t give up my pasta!”

“I won’t give up my bread!”

Passionate cries, such as the ones above, are irrelevant for good reasons, especially when one considers the extent to which that endearing pasta and bread are responsible for the “adipose tissue” (more commonly referred to as fat) on your hips, thighs, and belly.

One of the most amazing things about a low-carb diet is that cravings for sugar and starches will eventually disappear if the carb count is kept low enough (20 to 30 grams per day). Once you get through the first few weeks, the cravings will go away, and losing and then maintaining your new thin figure will be even easier.

But, when just starting a low carbohydrate diet, some people continue, for a short time, to have cravings for sugar and starches. Fortunately, there are effective strategies for overcoming these cravings. For example, low-carb recipe substitutions for those longed-for foods, such as chocolate candy, French toast, pasta, and mac and cheese are presented in our book, Thin and Thinner. Other ideas are on this blog, and many variations of these recipes and more are located within the many fine blogs available. (Check out Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb which is becoming the Grand Central Station of low-carb bloggers.) One of our main reasons for offering the blog is to assist you in overcoming the obstacles to permanent weight loss, one being the separation anxiety associated with carbohydrates.

There are a tremendous number of foods to choose from on a low carbohydrate diet. But, when I first started the life-style in 2001, I was not prepared for the changes that needed to be made. I cut out the carbs, but, I was not replacing them with anything. I was not in the habit of eating green vegetables, so I was primarily eating protein. At the time, I felt the diet was boring, and I would surely not have lasted. I could not go on eating eggs every morning for breakfast! I needed to start thinking outside the box. My mom is a pro at that. She came up with yogurt/oatmeal (minus the oats) for breakfast. It consists of ¼ cup of plain yogurt, ¼ cup of ground Anutra, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a scoop (serving) of vanilla protein powder. When mixed together, it makes a delicious breakfast cereal that is much more delicious and satisfying than anything I have ever tasted. We call it YO’tmeal. As random as the ingredients sound, they each have their purpose in keeping us full, providing lasting energy and the nutrients we need to aid in digestion. Not to mention it is delicious… We have scores of wonderful recipes to share in Thin and Thinner, as well as on this blog over the months ahead, and it is our earnest hope that these ideas will help you along your low-glycemic journey.

If there is a food that you are craving, or having a difficult time giving up, please let us know, and we will get back to you with several suggestions for lower carb substitutions. Send inquiries to

P.S. This diet does become easy and enjoyable, especially because you can see and feel the results!