Tuesday, April 17, 2007

About my Diet

One thing I haven’t written about me is that I live on an operating farm. We raise meat goats, dairy goats, laying hens, and rabbits. We also have many friends who raise cattle, and hogs. I am kind of picky (OK, almost militant) about the kind of things fed to animals meant for food, so that’s part of the reason I raise the animals I do, and I purchase beef and pork from my friends. I know full well what is in their feed. I know they haven’t been pumped full of antibiotics, or hormones and they haven’t been fed chicken poop! I detest processing chickens, so I still purchase “grocery store” chicken, but that isn’t a staple of my diet like it is some folks. I also eat vegetables pretty much only when they are in season and available from local farms. I support my neighbors! I do have a very large greenhouse and could grow salad fixings year round, but it’s being used mainly as a storehouse for stuff. My husband and I keep meaning to clean it out... But we both have day jobs, and we run a home based business (making skin care products from goat milk) in our “spare time” [HA].

So, eating low carb is probably a little easier (maybe cheaper) for me than it is for some folks. I also make my own cheese, and lately I have been experimenting with exotic sausage variations. Good food is fun!


Monday, April 16, 2007

Some Things are Obvious! (especially to the VICTIMS)

Why do people NOT stick to the Low Carb Diet once the weight is gone?

One of the most omnipresent criticisms of the LC diets is that “nobody can do it long term,” Personally, I have to take issue with that statement, but nonetheless, just in the last 2 weeks I have seen this statement attributed to innumerable doctors, nutritionists, and researchers; particularly since the Stanford research results were released. Even those “experts” who are willing to admit that low-carbing works to shed excess weight and improves blood lipid profiles always seem to be adding the comment “in the short term” to the end of its praises.

I don’t know about you, but I have seen a whole lot more people start and stop other diets, whether they were successful at losing weight or not, than just those on low-carb. But I digress. Those of us who live a low carb lifestyle (which by definition is not short term) are fighting an uphill battle that the low fatties, and lo-cal dieters never had to fight. They are not being bombarded by so-called “experts” warning them that they are damaging their kidneys (a myth), destroying their hearts (a myth), eating too much fat and protein (misinformation born of ignorance), and missing out on essential carbohydrates (no such things). Their doctors are not trying to dissuade them from eating low fat or reduced calories, but we have to search out doctors that are even willing to consider that we aren’t killing ourselves by eating low carb.

Everywhere you look, if you want to eat low fat or low calorie foods, they are available; particularly low fat. I can walk into any fast food joint and get a salad (low everything, and acceptable on all diets), but my choices of dressings are generally something crammed full of sugar, or something low-fat (containing even more sugar more often than not, than the non- low-fat versions). There are rack after rack of low-fat items available. There are granola bars featuring dried fruits (AKA concentrated sugar), in addition to all the other cereal and grain items available. Rice cakes, 100 calorie cookies, no sugar added breads and crackers mock us when we walk down the grocery store isle because cereals and grains are almost totally off limits to us, and we recognize they aren’t the “health foods” their manufacturers claim. And the “No Sugar Added” and “Fat Free” banners on things pretty much are my personal red flag to avoid an item like the plague. No Sugar Added only has to mean nobody put additional refined table sugar into the item, and Fat Free equals Sugar Full in my experience. (I can’t get over people on any kind of diet eating “Fat Free” hard candy made of 100% sugar! P.T. Barnum was right about the sucker born every minute.)

As a woman who has lost hundreds of pounds on low carb diets and eventually did just what the experts said, and gained it back I can tell you without a doubt that all the things above contributed to my demise. Eventually, I just got tired of fighting against the current. I ate what was available, I listened to the experts, and I got fat all over again while trying to do it their way.
You see, it was easier. It is still easier, and until there is a paradigm shift in the attitude of the medical establishment, it will always be easier. But for me, and millions of people like me, it will never work. We cannot eat unlimited fruits, or serving after serving of wheat, rice, and potatoes (even with no butter). We just aren’t made that way!

I have again lost a whole lot of weight via low carb, It was 3 years ago last April 4 that I decided there were enough convenience items, and support systems available to give it another try. The most important factor in my personal success is that I now have access to hundreds of like-minded low-carbers and the newest medical research via the Internet. I am much better armed than I was a decade ago to counter the low-fat and low-calorie propaganda machine. There are some excellent low-carb, high-fiber, sugar free foods out there. If I can’t get them locally, it doesn’t matter anymore. I can get them online. I will not go back to pure starches like white flour, and sugar now that I have discovered flax meal, nut meal, soy flour, and stevia. I don’t have to use it anymore, I have choices.

Unfortunately, a whole lot of people lack the motivation to go the extra mile necessary to stick with the lifestyle once the scale stops delivering good news every morning. Maybe they aren’t as dedicated to their health as they should be, or they aren’t keeping up with the truly miraculous results of the good research that is finally going on substantiating the health benefits of low carb eating. They do as I did decades ago, and begin to believe the misinformation out there about our way of eating. They are drawn to the lure of “normal eating” again. Buying the easy to find items and not having to tell the waitress, “no potato, or bread” really has an allure that I won’t deny.

Right now, I have to go out to glutton row and find lunch. My choices are still very limited, but at least I always have the Hardee’s low carb burger and the low carb menu at Cracker Barrel, so I consider myself lucky. I will consider myself and all the other low carbers out there even luckier when/if doctors and nutritionists lose their prejudice against low carbing, and when we can believe products claiming to be “sugar free” really are, and we won’t have to be mathematicians to read an ingredient label in search of hidden carbohydrates. In the meantime, I do believe it is possible to live a low carb lifestyle, and believe me, it is easier than it used to be, but I will always hope we reach the point where it is as easy to eat low carb as it is to eat low fat.