My son Brett, 52 pounds lost in 5 months (click for larger photo)
Starting at the beginning of the year, my son decided he was going to follow my lead and start low carbing. He had all the standard questions — what could eat, drink, how was he going to do this at school, and what foods he could make. I pointed him at many of videos and said if he was serious, I would help him. I honestly thought this would have been a passing fad and at best a 2-week attempt.
He surprised me. He was committed to the diet and would routinely turn down easy opportunities to eat off plan — like at football games, away from home, or in front of friends. I am sure there was an element of being different to his plan and showing off to his friends that he could do this. However in showing off, he made it a lifestyle choice, and stuck to it. Within 5 weeks, his success led one of his younger sisters, Amanda, to also follow the plan. She proceeded to lose 20 or 25 pounds over the next 4 weeks, and by the end of March, her twin sister, Brooke, was also following a low carb diet.
While we were gone on the cruise, Brett informed us that he hit his goal weight of 225 after losing 52 pounds in those 5 months. Amanda is also down 48 pounds in roughly 4 months and is nearing her first goal weight. She says she may have second goal weight after hitting the first milestone, but she wants to nail the first one before school is out. Brooke is also down 25-30 pounds, but she started last. Overall, I could not be happier with their success.
Here are some things that worked for me and my kids:
Make it their idea; don’t push the idea on them. I believe my kids were much more successful and stuck to the diet because it was them that wanted to do it. I never even suggested they do the diet because I remember when as a kid, I was told I had to diet and hated the fact.
If they do come and ask about it, enable them and give them the information. Don’t however coddle them and make it too easy. I wanted to be sure they were serious with their requests and not simply a phase. That is why I made them view the videos, so they could digest what they could eat or how to be motivated or how to confront well-meaning friends. If I had just told them, I don’t think it would have been internalized as much.
Buy kid-friendly real foods that they can make themselves without potentially resorting to bars or shakes every day approach. I did buy them some bars and shakes for days in which they were band festivals or away from home, but for the most part, I’d rather them make themselves a frozen hamburger or pork rind nachos instead.
Related to the last one, stock your fridge with lots of options. At one point, my kids were all about string cheese. Now not so much, Brooke would rather make herself a low carb mock Danish instead. If they have a desire to cook, give them a cookbook and get the ingredients for them to go wild trying new recipes. They might not always turn out, but you are allowing them the opportunity to author their own success.
If they are doing something unique or are put in a position where low carbing is near impossible, don’t beat them up (mentally and certainly not physically) for making a decision to eat off plan. Make it a non-event, and let them know that they aren’t always in control of everything. Brett did band/choir trip to Nashville, and ate a couple meals off plan because that was the restaurant option he was given. He hopped back on the diet even before he came home.
Finally, the idea of rewards does work sometimes. I did do some rewards for my kids for their perseverance. Brett was going to go to the Bacon Festival with me before a trip to Seattle got in the way. Amanda got new clothes. I don’t think rewards should be overdone (say for every 10 pounds lost), but I do think they can help them get through a rough day or bad patch.
One last note, I never wanted to portray Atkins Diet or Low Carb as the only way to my kids — just the only way that ever worked for me. Their elder sister, Tasha, did low carbing for awhile but determined it wasn’t for her. She reached her healthy weight now through exercise and simply eating less junk than she had. She looks great as well, and I am proud of her for finding her way.
I have been following the CarbSmart.com team (Andrew DeMino, Dana Carpender, Jimmy Moore, and my favorites — Amy Dungan and Susie Gibbs) for quite awhile. Carbsmart has been around for nearly 13 years, but last year they changed their focus from being the go-to source low carb products to being the go-to source for low carb information and review on the latest low carb news.
“CarbSmart Magazine provides up-to-date and unbiased information about the many benefits of the low carb lifestyle,” says Dana Carpender. “Our focus is to cover anything that will help our readers be successful on a low carb diet, so they can reap its many benefits. We also provide information about low carb diets to control or eliminate diabetes. And we evaluate and report on the latest research & information about carbohydrate restriction and diabetic and Paleo diets to help our readers understand how these diets may help them.”
Starting last month, Carbsmart rolled out their digital version on iTunes. It will have new content only available in the digital magazine. Eventually, it will evolve to be found on more platforms and eReaders than just Apple products, such as Kindles, Android and Windows devices. The first issue of the Carbsmart magazine featured the best articles of 2012 by some of the best minds in the low carb field, like Jacqueline Eberstein, RN, Drs. Volek and Phinney, Dr. Richard Feinman, Dr. Rainer Klement, Dana Carpender, Jimmy Moore, Amy Dungan, and Susie Gibbs. I especially appreciated Susie’s awesome Easter recipes. That Fluffy Chix can certainly cook!
Starting in the second issue, it will also feature me. I was asked if I wanted to start writing for them for both the online and possibly the digital magazine as well. I was honored to be asked. My area of topics is close to my heart. Ever since I started doing Atkins, one of things I was always told that “you certainly can’t exercise on a low carb diet.” I had numerous well-meaning Wellness folks at my last employer tell me they couldn’t do a low carb diet because they worked out and then were amazed as I ran on the treadmill or worked out on the treadmill. I will be writing on being active on a low carb ketogenic diet, whether that be simply walking with the kids, running marathons, or doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), like P90x.
PS – in honor of my new writing gig, I am running the Hy-Vee Drake Relays Half Marathon in two weeks. I’ll be pacing the half marathon group in this inaugural race. It should be a good race, and I love being able to others achieve their dream of completing a half marathon.
The Aurum Publishing group announced a sale on all three Low Carbing Among Friends volumes. They are normally $24.99 per volume, but for the next week, each volume is only $19.99. ($5 OFF) That is substantial savings off the regular cost. To get the savings, order by March 18th at Low Carbing Among Friends’ site. If there is a volume you haven’t purchased yet, this would be a great time to complete your collection. (I received my third volume while I was in Seattle, and it looks an awesome edition. I am especially excited to try Judy Barnes Baker’s recipes.)
The second reason for this post is Brett’s new low carb recipe video. He has been on the Atkins Diet since January and has already lost 40+ pounds. Parents at his play last night definitely noticed the difference and the weight loss. He is not a fan of my hot Buffalo wings, so he conjured up an easy teen-friendly BBQ sauce for his wings. In honor of his milestone, we made another low carb recipe video.
I am in Seattle for a technical conference for Microsoft. I have to walk 8 blocks or so each way to the conference center, and on my way back, I noticed the sign hanging above my head from Protein Planet – Low Carb Cafe. It was 6pm, and they were already closed. A “Low Carb Café” though made me optimistic. What if they had actually implemented what I always wanted – a low carb café where one could order anything and not have worry about off limits ingredients? I posted to Facebook my photo, and sure enough everyone had the same excited reaction — when can I get one in my city? From the outside, they certainly featured “Naked wraps.”
Reality though was quite different. The company is very focused on the Smoothie’s they sell. The smoothie’s reportedly are 65g net carbs each and feature fruits and wheat germ. I stopped in the restaurant for lunch today to see what else they sold. I was dismayed by what I found being sold in the purportedly low carb café. The soda rack featured as many regular, HFCS-filled soda as it did diet sodas. The shelves of food featured soy crisps and other crackers. They weren’t wheat filled at least I thought. On the back wall though, I saw their other feature – rice bowls for beef, chicken, and other meat. I am not sure rice (!) bowls are on any low carb diet as most specifically say eliminate the “whites” as the first step. The only nod to low carb inside the story was the “naked wraps,” but they offered soup with it. The soup may or may not have low carb as it was not mentioned. No where in the store did I see a mention of net carbs on any of the menu billboards.
Ironically, this was after my video about Dreamfield’s Pasta and their dubious nature. I was pleased to see those were relatively low carb or at least did not impact my blood glucose. I was disappointed to find out the opposite was true for this mirage. It appeared to be what most low carbers have always wanted — a commercial place dedicated to their needs; sadly, reality was much different. I would much rather simply get an “Unwich” from Jimmy John’s. At least then I would know what I would be getting. It shows finally that don’t get too excited about a product, company, etc. until you know all the details or at least how it affects you. With low carb, I often suggest those who are skeptics (like I was 9 years ago) to educate themselves and at least try it before placing judgment.
Browse around like I did the “Low Carb Cafe,” and determine if it is for you. If it enables you to lose the weight and gives you more energy like me, keep going.
I have been asked about Dreamfields Pasta quite often by viewers, especially in my Italian low carb recipe videos. There has been quite a lot of press about Dreamfields and whether or not their method to listing digestible carbs is correct. A number of notable low carbs and one particular study specifically showed it having the same impact as regular pasta:
I had always accepted the fact that my response would have been the same. Today I wanted to test that assumption and was meticulous with my preparation, so that no one could say I broke the prebiotic matrix surrounding the carbohydrates by over cooking it. I tested for 2 hours after the first consumption, and I was surprised by the result.
My blood glucose did not change by more than 5 points from the initial 67 reading on the glucometer. I still don’t plan on featuring it in my recipe videos as I know many of my viewers can’t consume it yet being a latter OWL-phase food, but it is nice to know that the option does exist for my two Atkins-following kids who are not sensitive to gluten.
My son Brett recently started the Atkins Diet and has lost 17 pounds in 3 or 4 weeks on the diet. It has been remarkably simple for him — even dealing with school lunches. We prepare a couple lunches as week for him, and he eats deli sandwiches (no bread) or salads with eggs and meat for when he eats at school. This was one of his first low carb items he prepared himself, and it turned out really well. Puppy chow was one of his past favorites, and now he has a good low carb conversion for it.
I made this video in honor of my next published cookbook, Low Carbing Among Friends, Volume 3 (http://bit.ly/lcafvol31 ) being in stock at Amazon. Thank you guys for your awesome support for Volume 1, which big news might be coming out soon. Volume 3 should be even better with awesome cooks like Judy Barnes Baker, Kyndra Holley, and Vanessa Romero in it. Over 360 new low carb recipes to try out!
The second reason for this video is being featured in Atkins Diet Quick Start Guide (2013). It was really cool to see my face in the booklet, and I would encourage you to get your free copy. (http://community.atkins.com/RegistrationOnePage.aspx?mcid=lcblog)
Finally I have a low carb giveaway of a free Atkins Diet Frozen Food coupon to 5 viewers. All you have to do is answer this question, “What has low carbing allowing you to do that you never imagined before?”
I was requested by one of my viewers to make Katsu Chicken low carb. Being from the middle of Iowa, I had no idea what Katsu chicken is and consequently had to google it. (http://justonecookbook.com/blog/recipes/chicken-katsu/) It is a popular dish in Hawaiian and Japanese restaurants and is essentially a breaded chicken cutlet with a hot, spicy Asian BBQ dipping sauce. I always love to take former high carb favorites and make them low carb, so it was on. I think it turned out pretty well, and my wife and kids like the spicy BBQ sauce. I personally used it for everything from salad dressing with mayo to other entrees later on in the week. Try this Asian classic dish out!
Slice chicken on a bias to increase surface area, Set aside.
In a large bowl, add Parmesan cheese, coconut flour, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Shake bowl to combine the ingredient.
In a flat container, add egg, cream, and water. Beat egg with a fork, and stir to combine.
Dunk chicken in flour mixture, then dip in egg bath, and finally dip into the cheese mixture to ensure well coated. Repeat for remaining pieces. Put pieces in freezer for 10 minutes.
In a small pot on a low-medium heat, add low carb ketchup, soy sauce, sucralose, worchestershire sauce, hot sauce, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Allow to simmer while cooking the chicken strips.
Remove chicken strips from freezer and deep fry in oil for 5 minutes until done.
Drizzle the spicy BBQ sauce over top the chicken, and serve with shredded cabbage as a side.
Nutrition Info per serving (3-4 strips):
323 Calories, 13.2g Fat, 5.3g Total Carbs (.7g Fiber), 43.7g Protein
I have seen the resurgence of new Atkins followers since the start of the year. I wanted to upload a super simple recipe that all low carbers can follow. Cabbage is one of those “Other Vegetables,” and has loads of good minerals in it. I highly recommend this side dish recipe. I am also happy to announce my next low carb cookbook, Low Carbing Among Friends, Volume 3, is in stock at Amazon. I thank everyone who has purchased the book already. Your support has been fantastic!
Atkins Nutritional has re-released their FREE(!) Quick Start Guide to help people just starting the diet get off on the right foot and be successful. They have had these Quick Start guides for a couple years, and they are sort of a Cliff’s note version of reading the Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution (DANDR) or New Atkins, New You (NANY). It is not complete, but it should help you start the diet and determine if it is for you. The Quick Start Guide also features some other great benefits:
3 FREE Atkins bars
$6 value in coupons for Atkins products
$3 Rebate for The New Atkins for a New You Workbook
So not only do you get the Quick Start, you also get some free Atkins bars and a free Carb counter paperback too. What makes this free offer really interesting is that it features me within the Quick Start Guide in the Phase 2 section. I have not seen my section in th e book yet, but I have to admit it is pretty cool to be included in the book.