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Newsletter 25, April 2010

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

  1. Testing recipes for the Low Carb Cookbook
  2. Confused in Carbsville - Part 4
  3. Tell us what you think
  4. Visit our newsletter archive
  5. Free resources

1) Testing recipes for the Low Carb Cookbook

Hi - it's Jackie's husband Geoff here. Normally my part in GoodDietGoodHealth.com is behind the scenes, acting as webmaster and managing the Newsletter mailouts and subscriber database. I leave researching and writing the content for the Good Diet Good Health Newsletter and for the Low Carb is Easy and other nutrition-related websites and self-help guides to Jackie. Jackie is also in charge of answering the many diet-related queries we receive - the knowledge she has built up over the years is truly phenomenal, and she has a great passion for sharing it with all those who could benefit from it.

Jackie also spends a lot of time developing new recipes for her cookbook, the Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook. Which brings me to my other role - of chief recipe tester. Jackie takes pride in ensuring that every one of the recipes that goes into her cookbook is not only original, but tried and tested. Not all of her recipes are instant successes, but she keeps persevering until she finds something that works and tastes good. Some recipes pass her high standards with very little tweaking but others remain in her 'still trying' file for years because either the taste or the texture is not quite right.

One such recipe has been chocolate brownies. There had been lots of attempts at this over the last couple of years, many of them very nice as far as I was concerned, although admittedly lacking the essential characteristics of a traditional brownie. However, after many trials Jackie recently made a breakthrough and proudly produced a low carb brownie with the traditional crisp outside and chewy centre. I have to confess that I ate rather more than I strictly needed to in order to come to my decision. The recipe was definitely a winner but I wasn't going to let on until I had consumed somewhat more than one piece!

Jackie's low carb brownies are in my view quite the equal of any shop-bought high-carb brownies, and because they are less than 5 net carbs each, they will not send your blood sugar level into hyperdrive or wreck your low carb diet. And who can resist chocolate brownies? Not me!

As current Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook subscribers know, every time Jackie releases a new recipe it automatically appears in your personalised Cookbook, which you can view on screen or print out from any computer anywhere in the world. You can also make your own adaptations to the existing recipes, or add your own recipes. The number of recipes in the Cookbook, all tried and tested by Jackie (and me!) now stands at 133, and we've just released the chocolate brownie recipe plus a recipe for a low carb 'potato' salad. If you are not already a subscriber, you can read more, see a live demo of the interactive features and purchase the Cookbook at Low Carb is Easy.com.

2) Confused in Carbsville - Part 4

Here's the last 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: 09-02-2009 08:09
To: info @ lowcarbiseasy.com
Subject: Happenings in Germany

Hi Jackie,

It's nice to see you back and I hope that the 'family issues' were not too serious and that the job hunt works out well for you - goodness only knows, that job hunting these days is very much in the lap of the gods.

I did find Ricotta cheese in my local supermarket - and awful stuff it is too, absolutely no taste whatsoever. You have no need to worry about me using it in pasta - or anything else for that matter as I threw it in the bin after just one taste! I did in the meantime try the 'Philly' with herbs in - and that is ver' nice - I can put up with that!

My soups: I will not use taties to thicken them anymore but will have some wholemeal bread in the freezer ready in case I need a thickener. But having said that, I AM mourning the passing of jacket potatoes, done on the English style spiky thing and baked until the skins are crispy. I don't care what anybody says, but the simple foods, like what Mum used to make, are always the best and the tastiest.

I said about putting some of your oil into the flatbread mix as I had used the coconut flour for mine and they were rather dry. But I have found a source of soya flour in the meantime and have taken delivery of my Kenwood grinder - so my next attempt with be very close to your original recipe. I also tried a recipe that I found on the Internet for 'Lavash' bread and despite have used the coconut flour again, it turned out quite well, but again, I shall be trying the next batch with soya flour.

Coconut flour: probably very good for making low carb biscuits, but I do not recommend it for bread as it is too sweet (for me) and comes out a bit on the dry side, but there again, that could probably be remedied by adjusting the recipe - and it is pretty expensive too.

Of fats: The 'Loo effect' as you call it, or a bit of indigestion sometimes, seems to be a general thing with me where fats are concerned (we all have our crosses to bear) and I am trying to find a middle road for myself as, I am sorry to say, that I am not at all convinced that cutting right down on carbs but virtually ignoring the calories is necessarily the right way. I have cut down on carbs quite drastically, but not to the extent that you advocate and have also reduced my fat intake as well - with the result that my blood sugar level has dropped and is still falling and I have lost some weight too. I will keep to sailing this course if it continues to work for me and will keep you posted.

I must tell you Jackie, and I think that you will agree, that I need to find a 'diet' that I am happy with, that I can live with and one that is both simple, tasty and satisfying. I think that I am well on the way to finding this and once again, I will keep you posted.

Again it is good to have you back and advising us 'Unbelievers'.

Very best regards,
Derek.

From: Low Carb is Easy.com
Sent: 18-02-2009 10:17
To: Confused in Carbsville
Subject: England calling 'Confused in Carbsville'

Derek

Well, the family issues seem to be sorting themselves out gradually, but I can't say the same on the job front yet!

We're obviously not going to convince you of the merits of ricotta (!), although much of its 'appeal' is precisely that it has very little taste, which means it makes a good neutral-tasting low carb base for items that you'd otherwise find difficult to make grain-free. At least you liked the Philly!

Interesting feedback on the coconut flour! Soya flour sounds a good idea to try in the lavash bread although you may find the taste of the soya too strong which is why I tend to use ground almonds and protein powders as well in my bread bakemixes.

The idea about cutting right down on carbs and not calorie counting is really one of convenience - most people, on cutting down/out the processed starch and sugars, automatically cut down their calories sufficiently not to need to calorie count as well as carb count. Also, although you need to create a 'calorie deficit' to lose weight whichever diet you're on, it's crucial to prevent your body going into 'starvation mode' and depressing your metabolism which makes further weight loss (and even just maintaining your new weight) almost impossible. So keeping your calories UP as far as you can is really important, and something that low calorie/low fat diets generally ignore. If you keep your carbs to a low enough level to get you into fat-burning rather than carb-burning mode (ie ketosis) then your body 'wastes' more calories in processing your food, hence the 'metabolic advantage' of ketogenic diets, where you can lose weight on a higher number of calories than you would be able to if your carbs were high enough to take you out of ketosis.

Everybody's tolerance of carbs differs, of course. So you may well be able to get away with more carbs than someone else. But if you're calorie counting you do need to be sure you're not going low enough to depress your metabolism, which will manifest itself sooner or later in the dreaded 'plateau'.

Of course, you are entirely right in saying you must find a diet that you feel happy with, so that you can stick to it long term. Just keep in mind that what you do now may keep you losing weight for a while but you need to be careful not to end up with a depressed metabolic rate.

Best regards
Jackie

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) Free Resources

With best wishes for your continued good health

Jackie Bushell
Founder Director, GoodDietGoodHealth.com


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