Newsletter 23, December 2009

This issue of the Good Diet Good Health Newsletter includes...

  1. Low carb diets at Christmas and New Year
  2. Confused in Carbsville - Part 2
  3. Latest recipes in The Low Carb is Easy Cookbook
  4. Tell us what you think
  5. Visit our newsletter archive
  6. Free resources

1) Low carb diets at Christmas and New Year

It's coming up to that time of year again - when our resolve as low carbers or low GIers faces its sternest test. Will we or won't we ditch the diet? For a day, a week? Or will we just relax the rules a little? How long for - just the 'most important' days, or will we start and then not be able to stop until the great return to normal life in 2010, when the scales have gone up to the point where we know we 'have to do something'?

Having the kind of metabolism that lets us put weight on easily with the kind of food that has unfortunately become our standard diet puts a heavy burden upon us as individuals. Not only do we have to recognise that we respond differently to certain foods than our slimmer friends, but we also have to follow a diet which, because it is not mainstream, sets us apart from our friends and and takes extra effort and willpower to adhere to. All too often we also have to defend our way of eating to our doctors and others who in their ignorance claim it is unhealthy.

Such a 'fatten-easily' kind of metabolism may be a blessing in disguise, though. Most slim people, if asked, would probably equate being slim with being healthy. The reality however is that the underlying biochemical changes brought about by eating a high carb, high GI diet low in real nutrition may be just as damaging to a naturally slim person. The fact that we become fat on such a diet is actually an early warning system for us. There is little to alert the slim person eating lots of high carb, high GI foods that they may be headed for diabetes, heart disease and other degenerative conditions such as Alzheimers. Perhaps more importantly, there is little to motivate the slim person to do something about it. We on the other hand have a built in motivator!

Seasoned low carbers and low GIers know of course that 'keeping to the diet' doesn't necessarily mean depriving ourselves of all our favourite foods. Several people have already emailed me to ask about low carb recipes for traditional Christmas foods. So don't forget to check out the many thousands of low carb recipes on the Internet, or even our own Low Carb is Easy Cookbook, to ensure you can enjoy your Christmas and New Year favourites in a way which doesn't break the diet and keeps your blood sugar levels on an even keel. And just in case you don't believe we can have scrumptious dessert and cake treats when low carbing, check out the pics of yummy trifle and chocolate Yule log on our Cookbook page.

2) Confused in Carbsville - Part 2

Here's the second instalment of our email conversation with low carber Derek who lives in Germany. Derek has kindly agreed to let us share his 'Confused in Carbsville' humour with our readers.

From: Confused in Carbsville
Sent: 14-01-2009 14:59
To: info @
Subject: A contented purring sound from Germany!

Hi Jackie,

I said that you might live to regret being so helpful toward me - I hope that this is not the case, but I simply had to write to you again to thank you and tell you about my first efforts and success.

Firstly, is the attached picture the same as the machine that you described to me in your Email yesterday? If it is, I can order and buy it here through Amazon and make a real profi job of baking. But having said that, I ground both the flax and sesame seeds using my hand blender in a deep but narrow plastic container fairly successfully. I bought some soya beans to try too but these simply would not let themselves be milled by my method. So, I tried the flat breads today with the coconut flour instead of the soya - and low and behold, I produced some really edible soft 'biscuits' for the want of a better word. Using my hand blender left both the flax and sesame seeds fairly coarsely ground and the resulting soft biscuits were more of a coarse oatcake biscuit texture, but this I enjoy as I like 'bitty' breads very much.

The fact that I only have a little table-top oven which started as a disadvantage as I could only bake one sheet at a time, turned out to be really beneficial, as it gave me the opportunity to adjust cooking temp / time between the sheets. Thank you dear lady!

Could this flat bread recipe not be used or modified for a bread machine?

Once again, thank you for taking the time to listen to me.

A much happier,

From: Low Carb is
Sent: 14-01-2009 23:35
To: Confused in Carbsville
Subject: RE: A contented purring sound from Germany!


The attached picture looks exactly like my machine!

I'd be a bit wary of grinding the soya beans yourself. Apart from the fact that they're jolly hard and may blunt your grinder (if indeed it makes any impression on them at all), you'd need to be careful of whether the beans were already cooked or not. Most beans (the dried bean sort) contain lectins and possibly other toxins which need to be destroyed by lengthy cooking (several hours' boiling in some cases). If you simply grind raw beans, make your bread and bake it in the oven, that may not be long enough/hot enough to do the job.

Your flat breads with the coconut flour sound interesting! I'm glad they seem to have been a success. Have you used the interactive features of the Cookbook to record exactly what you did?

I can see that you're not going to be happy until you've achieved a low carb bread in the bread machine ... I've never dared try just putting one of my flatbread flax-based mixes in there, but it sounds like you're halfway to trying it out - let me know what happens! One of the reasons I make my flax breads 'flatbreads' is because the bakemixes made from seeds tend not to appreciate being baked in a loaf tin. They tend to 'blow holes' all over the place so that you get a puddingy mess with holes in it which is useless for slicing.

By the way, thought you might like to see this Dr Briffa blog if you haven't already.

Best low carbing regards

From: Confused in Carbsville
Sent: 15-01-2009 09:39
To: info @
Subject: Germany calling

Hi again Jackie,

My Kenwood grinder is already ordered and apart from maybe substituting part of my normal bread mix (44gm carb) with the coconut flour, I will wait the 3 or 4 weeks before the machine is delivered before trying anything else with the bread machine.

But my initial euphoria is waning a little as, although I am going to try and look forward to your Minty lamb chops today, I have realised that that is not a dinner in itself. So I am now in a bit of a quandary as to what and how much one eats with the carb reduced entrée. According to the carb content table that I have looked at, plain boiled taties, carrots, kohlrabi, celeriac, parsnips and other such things are all pretty low carb. But I am a 'biggish' person and, although already eating what I feel are fairly healthy foods, my portions tend to be on the large size.

I know, accept and respect the fact that you are not a medically oriented person Jackie, but by your very reactions to me and my bletherings, your excellent web-site and the obvious effort and hours that you put into this matter, that I would far rather seek 'guidance' from you than from establishment brain washed doctors and self styled dietitians.

Do you have any recommendations for a certain daily intake of carbs or do you feel that my reducing my carb intake will be sufficient to help my weight and diabetes. It is obvious to me that any reduction is better than none at all and I also feel that weight loss over a prolonged period of time is better that very quickly - but I am a little apprehensive here.

Once again I look forward to your reply and I thank you again.

From: Low Carb is
Sent: 20-01-2009 23:25
To: Confused in Carbsville
Subject: RE: Germany calling

Hi Derek

You might get away with simply reducing the number of carbs from what you were having before. But if you're anything like the rest of us, then I'd advise aiming for 20g net carbs per day. That allows you a couple of good size salads and probably a couple of portions of low carb veggies (ie the white or green ones). But NO potatoes. They're not low carb whichever way you look at them! Stay away from the root veg like carrots and especially parsnips as well, for now.

A 20g carb allowance will also allow you some low carb bread and maybe plain yoghourt. For a better idea of the meals and menus I'd recommend, look at the menu plans at Here you can easily see where the carbs are coming from, and substitute some of the items with your own preferred foods if you wish. When I wrote them I was into soya milk, but I've personally gone off that now, and prefer to use the carbs on real cream in my decaff twice a day ... Forget fruit for now, it's all too carby at the start. Veggies give you everything that fruit gives you and more.

As for portion sizes, make them as large as you want as long as you're talking about protein, 'good' fats and salad greens. Only worry about the size of your carby foods. If your portion sizes really are too big, you'll find that once you've moved into ketosis you'll not feel ravenously hungry any longer and they'll probably regularize without you thinking about it.

Don't forget to drink enough water!

The idea with Atkins-style low carb diets is that you start out at a low level of carbs, 'clear' your system, get rid of any food addictions, then you gradually start adding carbs back in a controlled way until you find the level of carbs at which you stop losing weight. That's your personal tolerance level for maintaining your new weight when you've reached goal. Everybody is different, so the logic of doing it this way is irrefutable to my mind!


To be continued in our next Newsletter

3) Latest Recipes in The Low Carb is Easy Cookbook

What is the food most missed by low carbers? Bread and bread-based foods like pizza! So we've been working hard to perfect more recipes for these foods. Those of you who are already subscribers to The Low Carb is Easy Cookbook will be able to try out the results next time you log into your Cookbook - we've just released the following two great new recipes: Low Carb Soda Bread Rolls (3-25) and Low Carb Pizza (5-24).

4) Tell Us What You Think

Your opinions matter to us. If there is something you particularly like or don't like about our newsletter or website, please let us know.

5) Visit Our Newsletter Archive

Did you miss an issue? Want to review an issue you really enjoyed? Be sure to check out our newsletter archive.

6) Free Resources

With best wishes for your continued good health

Jackie Bushell
Founder Director,

Copyright 2009
All rights reserved.