Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gary Taubes in the media again! Woo! And my interview with Jimmy Moore.

The beginning of this year Gary Taubes released his book "Why we Get Fat and What to do about it." Because of that, so far in this year he's had dozens of interviews, some of them poking out into more mainstream audiences. I'm a self-proclaimed Gary Taubes "Fangirl," to the point where I get excited and tell my friends about his interviews, and they look at me like I'm speaking Chinese. Nonetheless I'm glad he's getting some recognition in places other than the "already converted" who would look to websites like Jimmy Moore's Livin' Low Carb Show, or the Underground Wellness online podcasts anyway. when Gary Taubes gets to be interviewed by media such as Reader's Digest and the Dr. Oz show, I keep getting the creeping feeling that a "nutrition revolution" is coming, then I imagine a painting of the French Revolution. Not really the same thing, but I can dream, can't I?

The February issue of Reader's Digest caught my eye when I saw the cover, consisting of two fried eggs and a bacon slice forming a smiley face, with the caption "EAT THIS, LOSE WEIGHT." It also made me flashback to the similar bacon and egg frown face of the TIME magazine cover telling us cholesterol would kill us. I flipped to the page while waiting in the checkout line at Wal-Mart, to find "Gary Taubes" in the headline. I proceeded to have a small freakout as if it was an interview with Justin Bieber, and pleaded that my Mom buy the issue for me. Once I got home and put the groceries away, I locked myself in my room and absorbed the article.

I was very pleased to not find any significant bias in the article, as well as the size of it.8 whole pages of text with a few pictures of random foods like steak and bread for accessories. They dedicated a whole page to 5 commandment-like guidelines to a low-carb diet, written by Dr Westman, who wrote "The New Atkins for a New You" book.

They basically boil down to "1, don't try to limit fat [Insert pat of butter with a checkmark on it.] 2, say goodbye to pasta, bread, and rice [Insert bowtie noodle with an X on it.] 3, be picky about vegetables [Brussel sprout and checkmark.] 4, say no to hidden sugars [Orange slice and X.] And 5, eat as much as you want [Plate of bacon and checkmark.]"

I honestly get a slight twinge whenever Gary Taubes and Atkins are mention in the same interview, but honestly in the past 60 years he's the poster child for it, even though William Banting wrote "Letters of Corpulence" following the same type of diet way back in 1869. But not a lot of people know that. -Adjusts glasses like a nerd-

Other paragraph headlines include "The obesity experts are wrong," "Diets don't work," "It's impossible to count calories," "Exercising won't keep you thin," "High fat is better for your heart," and "If you have a weight problem, it's not your fault."

Over all I'm really happy that Lisa Davis, the interviewer, gave Gary Taubes a chance to put out a thorough article on his views about obesity and nutrition science. It was long enough to cover everything, but short enough to fit into a magazine. Pretty awesome.

Also, on March 7, Dr. Oz is going to have Taubes on his show! Set your Tivo! Hopefully it'll go better than his last interview with him on Larry King Live, which was frankly uncomfortable to watch, and Oz will let him speak as well as RD has.

My interview with Jimmy Moore was posted today, so I guess I can expect a bit more traffic on the blog than normal. To be honest the interview was recorded about, 4 months ago I believe? Also it's my first interview. So please excuse me if I sound nervous or don't answer as directly as I should. I'm not one to enjoy myself talking, and as a female, I tend to ramble.

P.S. Green and Black's organic dark chocolate 85% is amazing. It's so creamy and delicious, it's definitely in the top 3 now along with Lindt and Ghirardelli.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Low Carb Snack Tip: Dark Chocolate.

I am in no way affiliated with any brand mentioned in the following post.

Many people, especially women, find a pitfall in dieting being chocolate, sometimes calling themselves "chocoholics." Honestly I'm not a big fan of mainstream chocolate, my sweet indulgences fall more into soft baked goods and fruit-flavored chewy candies personally. But if chocolate is a pitfall on your low-carb diet, here's a tip; very dark chocolate.

Benefits of very dark chocolate include antioxidants, low sugar content, high in fat, and feeling fancy. Also because the cocoa content is so high, it's very hard to pig out on chocolate of this calibre. Usually one to two large squares is plenty for me. If you're new to very strong concentrations of cocoa, at first it's going to suck. Bad. When you take the first bite you'll run to your sugar or sweetener and dump a scoop into your mouth. Or maybe that was just me. But continual nibbling throughout the next 2-3 days and the bitterness soon disappears, probably because you become acclimatized to it. After that you can really savor the rich, deep flavor.

I'm not talking Hershey's dark, either. I prefer mine to be over the 80% cocoa range. The best dark chocolate always has a percentage of cocoa content on the package.Two brands that I prefer are Lindt Excellence and recently, Ghirardelli.

Lindt Excellence is the first brand I spotted in the candy aisle at my local Wal*Mart. It honestly caught my eye for the idea that the antioxidants in dark chocolate helped to aid in acne, only later to find out it's a great idea for a low-carb high-fat diet.

Excellence comes in many different flavors, but the plain chocolate bars is what I'm focusing on. They come in 70%, 85%, 90% and 99% concentrations of cacao. I advise to avoid the 70% due to a controversial new formula change that isn't very popular according to Amazon reviews. Also, 99% seems to be a rare find... At least for me. In the mean time, there are the 85% and 90% cocoa concentrations, as I like to call them, "80 bars" and "90 bars."

Onto nutrition facts. The 90% bar has a 40g serving, in which there are 210 calories, 170 of which come from fat. 20 grams of total fat, 11 of which are saturated. Yum. Total carbohydrates are 14 grams, Dietary Fiber is 5, leaving 9 Net Carbs and 3 grams of sugar. Finally, there are 5 grams of protein.

The 85% bar's 40g serving also contains 210 calories, 160 coming from fat. 18g of total fat, 11 of which are saturated. 8g of total carbs, 3g fiber, 5g net carbs, and 5g sugar. 4g of protein.

Now, how a bar with a slightly lower concentration of cacao can have lower net carb content boggles my mind, but y'know, whatever.

While I was grabbing Lindt bars the other day at Wal*Mart, I spotted just underneath, Ghirardelli is also making a line of extra dark chocolate. However, because the concentrations come in 60%, 72%, and 86%, most of them fall short of my personal preference, but it's totally up to you how many carbs you will allow in your chocolate. I've only tried the 86%, called Midnight Reverie.

Midnight Reverie is noticeably sweeter compared to Lindt, and as a result I was able to actually eat a real serving size as opposed to a half or a quarter like usual. A bit worrying for me, personally.

A 45g serving size of Midnight Reverie contains 240 calories, 210 of which come from fat. Whoa. 23g total fat, 14 of which are saturated. 14g total carbs, 5g of dietary fiber, 9g net carbs, and 5g sugar. Finally, 3g protein.

Most of Ghirardelli's products go either too high or too low for my tastes. Their baking bars come in 60%, 70% and 100%. Needless to say while baking some funky granola bars with my Mom, I tried a bite of the 100%, and almost died. Not really, but it was far too bitter even for my tastes.

But even then, go on ahead and explore your local giant grocery store and check out the chocolate aisle for once, and look out for any cocoa percentages, and you might save yourself from having a milk chocolate breakdown binge. It also helps to keep it in your desk drawer for munchies.

See ya'll later.

UPDATE: I just picked up a Green & Black's Organic 85% Cocoa bar. It's very nice, has a hint of sweetness and very creamy. 40g serving, 260 cals, 190 fat cals, 21g total fat, 13g saturated fat. 14g Total carbs, 5g dietary fiber, 9 net carbs, 6g sugar. 3g protein.