Fighting the Low-Fat Lie Since 1996!

Column Reprint: Shirataki

Pasta and I parted ways a long time ago. The traditional white flour pasta is nearly devoid of vitamins and minerals, low in protein, and way too carb-heavy for me. Whole wheat pasta is modestly better, with a little more fiber and a few more nutrients, but it’s still awfully rough on my blood sugar. The low carb soy “pastas” that showed up a few years back were expensive and nasty.

Fortuitous Discovery

As you may have gathered, I do my best to be a bargain shopper. Part of that is buying what I can at Save-A-Lot, one of those limited selection grocery stores where most stuff is the house brand, and everything is pretty cheap.

Well, I was at my local Save-A-Lot yesterday, stocking up before I go to the hospital on Wednesday, and made a happy discovery: My Save-A-Lot has started stocking Hunt's Traditional Spaghetti Sauce with No Sugar Added. Previously they only stocked the kind with sugar.

Preliminary Lakanto Report

Okay, I've tried the Lakanto in a few recipes. So far I've made:

* Flax Granola. Came out great. Really wonderful. I'm going to make more over the weekend, so I'll have it on hand when I get home from surgery on Friday.

* Ice Cream. MAGNIFICENT. Just really fantastic in every way. Here's how I did it:

In a saucepan I whisked together:

3 cups heavy cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup Lakanto
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/4 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
1 small pinch salt

Nick's Home!

Thank you for all your support and good wishes. Nick came home last night, and I am happy to report that he's the same happy little dog as always. Indeed, he's just a tad too energetic for a dog who will need to be crated for the next couple of weeks.

He's got tons of stitches, 'cause the vet had to do a chin tuck to keep rolls of flesh from occluding the tracheostomy. And he's still on lots of medication, and has to be nebulized three times a day. But cheerful? Excited to be home? As hungry as ever? Oh, you bet.


I've written about Dreamfield's pasta before, but new folks come by all the time, and I recently had an inquiry. So here's the lowdown:


I bought one of your cookbooks and I just love it. New hope for a life of low carb.

My question is about the Dreamfield pasta. Is it really only 5 carbs per serving, or would I be better off not eating it. I am still in the losing stage and dont want to ruin my weight loss. Hope you have time to answer. Thanks so much.

Patricia Huhs

Dear Patricia:

Simple, Spur-Of-The-Minute Supper

Nick's still desperately ill; he's having his third surgery today. We're heartsick -- we're never going to hear his silly little bark again, since, if he makes it, he'll breathe through a hole in his neck the rest of his life.

As you can imagine, I'm not up to a lot of hard thinking or creative endeavor.

I did manage to put together a supper last night from stuff we had on hand that was good enough to tell you about it. Here's what I did:

I'm Fighting Tears

Nick the Pug is still in the emergency vet hospital. He's already had two surgeries, one to resect his soft palate and widen his nostrils, and the second to try to fix collapsing tracheal and laryngeal cartilage. As of this morning he was "doing great." This evening I heard that he's in trouble again, and if he doesn't improve by tomorrow he'll need a permanent tracheostomy. He'll be at increased risk for lung infection, and never bark again.

Iiiii'm Baaack!

Sorry to be incommunicado for a couple of weeks; That Nice Boy I Married and I have been on vacation. I'd have told you beforehand, but somehow it didn't seem wise to announce we were going to be away on a public, international forum.

Had a great vacation, but sadly got home last night to find Nick The Pug desperately ill -- acute respiratory distress and pneumonia. Had to drive over an hour to the emergency vet clinic, and got home after sun-up. Nick's still there, and stable, but TNBIM and I are having a somewhat bleary day, as you can imagine.

Bake Mix Recipe From Jennifer Eloff of

Jennifer Eloff has been writing low carb cookbooks longer than I have! Several of Jennifer's recipes were featured in my best-selling cookbook500 Low-Carb Recipes, and Jennifer and I have a long history of collaboration, both of us being respected as "specialists" in Low-carbing. Every time I look at one of Jen's books, I find myself thinking "Why didn't I think of that?"

Here's What I'm Doing With Lakanto Today

I'm roasting some chicken right now. Yes, I know it's quarter to ten; we tend to eat late around here. Ridiculously late, really. Fortunately, I recently picked up something called a "Nu Wave Oven" for $20 at the Goodwill, new in the box. It's one of those infomercial gadgets, a cross between a convection oven and an infrared oven. Using it, I can roast chicken from frozen in about 36 minutes, and it will come out crisp and brown on the outside and juicy on the inside. I'm not sure I'd pay retail for one, but geez, if you see one at a thrift shop or a yard sale, grab it!


My Lakanto came today! (See my revised spelling; I got it wrong in my last post.) And they sent me two bags! Lots! I can try using it in a bunch of ways.

The ingredients are simple: Fermented erythritol and lo han guo, the Japanese herbal sweetener. I don't know about the "fermented" part, what the purpose is, but I do know that erythritol is A) the sugar alcohol (aka polyol) with the lowest absorption profile, meaning you get virtually no digestible carbs from it, and B) has the mildest gut impact.

Day Brightener

I love getting email from y'all Here's one I got recently that really made my day:

A couple of years ago I purchased a couple of your books - How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds ...and the 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes.... Like all diet books I purchased I brought them home and put them on the shelf.

I Love My Job

Guys! I just heard from the makers of the sweetener Lankanto, based on the Japanese herb Lo Han Guo, and they're sending me samples. I'm excited; I've heard good things about Lankanto. I will try it in cooking and do a few blood sugar tests, and report back post-haste. And I'd love to hear from anyone who has already tried it.

Quick and Easy "Phenomenal" Salmon

Remember how I said I'd defrosted my freezer recently? Well, another thing I found that needed using up was a package of three salmon fillets. So I served That Nice Boy I Married salmon for supper last night (he likes salmon a lot better than I do.) A few bites in, he pointed to his plate and said, "If I ordered this in a restaurant, I'd order it again the next time, and I probably wouldn't even think of ordering anything else. This is phenomenal."

And it was super-easy and quick! I didn't measure, but we're only talking four ingredients here, anyway. Here's what I did:

What I Just Had For Breakfast

I've been nagging you for years to eat breakfast -- preferably a big one, with plenty of protein. Few diet strategies could be more bass-ackward than skipping breakfast; you'd do far better to skip dinner, though I'm not advising that either. Breakfast is the single most powerful weapon for controlling hunger and energy level throughout the day. (This would be the one thing that stupid "Big Breakfast Study" got right.)

So what did I eat for breakfast today? One of the most nutritious, filling, and yes, delicious quick dishes I know how to make: Scrambled Eggs With Chicken Livers.

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