Low Carb Dining At The Cheesecake Factory

If there was ever a place that was more of an anathema to a low carb diet, the very definition of a low carb den of inequity  – it’s The Cheesecake Factory. There are plenty of restaurants that are tough to navigate, certainly, noodle houses and pasta places are a rough spot to be caught in when out with friends and trying to maintain your low carb mojo, but The Cheesecake Factory somehow shines through these pikers in high carb dining because of their ability to hide carbs in nearly everything.

The worst part is the low carb cheesecake. Yes, it’s low carb – but it is a trap to lure low carbers in the door – then whack them upside the head with bread at the table, yummy appetizers, and carb-laden entrees. By the time you get to the low carb cheesecake, it’s too late – you might as well buy the high carb version because you’ve probably trashed your diet for a few days and will need a few days of low carb rehab to recover.

Continue reading “Low Carb Dining At The Cheesecake Factory”

Shopping Low Carb: Whole Foods, Supermarket, Trader Joe’s, and Amazon Subscribe and Save

Shopping low carb – at least the way that I do it, can be a pain in the ass. The reasons for this are:

  • The conventional supermarket has the most variety and the best prices generally, but the specific items I’m looking for are either unavailable or at a higher price
  • The specialty markets (ie: Whole Foods) have more of the items I am looking for and the prices are comparable or better than they would be at the conventional supermarket – the problems is that the rest of their stuff is immorally overpriced
  • The ‘value specialty markets’ (ie: Trader Joe’s) provide an eclectic selection that ranges from treasures to junk
  • Some things are only available mail order – or only economical mail order

What this means is that I have become used to buying food at 5 different stores.

A pain in the ass – see what I mean?

Let’s take a tour.

Continue reading “Shopping Low Carb: Whole Foods, Supermarket, Trader Joe’s, and Amazon Subscribe and Save”

Review: Nutiva Coconut Manna

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[NOTE: This ain’t a paid review – and I wasn’t bribed with Rolex watches or free trips to Bermuda to write this. The manufacturer doesn’t know who I am – and probably wants to keep it that way.]

My wife bought this during one of her frequent ‘Random Acts of Purchasing’. I don’t think she knew why she bought it though if I asked her I am sure she’d confabulate an reason that sounded plausible. Nor have we been able to determine where she bought it as she doesn’t remember and we haven’t been able to find it again. I think much of her buying stuff occurs in a somnambulistic haze, but that’s just a typical ‘jerk husband’ thing to say.

The problem with coconut manna (link here), which is just ground up coconut, is the same problem with coconut oil: the stuff is an unusable block of fat at room temperature. Oils from tropical plants are different from plants in climates that have winters because they never have to worry about the temperature going low enough that the fat would solidify and kill the plant. This, apparently, is why tropical oils tend to be high in saturated fat – which likes being solid at room temperature.

Continue reading “Review: Nutiva Coconut Manna”

Greek Toast with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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I have discovered probably the most flavorful olive oil I have ever tasted – Trader Joe’s California Estate Unfiltered Olive Oil. If you have a Trader Joe’s in your vicinity – go buy a bottle and see what I mean – this is totally unlike any olive oil I have ever tasted. [Please note: they didn’t pay me to write this and I paid for it myself.]

This link will bring you to their ‘food porn’ description of the stuff. Regardless of whether visions of unspoiled landscapes in California filled with luscious olives drip-irrigated to reduce water consumption has any relevance to the flavor, it is every bit as good as their uniquely written marketing prose makes it out to be.

Continue reading “Greek Toast with Extra Virgin Olive Oil”

New Years Resolution to Lose Weight in 2013? Your LowCarbConfidential.com Quick Start Guide

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This is the time of the year where the traffic to my site skyrockets as folks decide that they want to make a change for the better in the new year and have decided to try a low carb diet to lose some weight.

Unfortunately, I have over 500 posts here, and it’s a bit harrowing to try to navigate all this – even for me. Really – at 500+ posts, I might want to begin to pare down some of the less useful posts (ie: crap) so that people don’t get lost in all this.

Before I do that, however, I thought I could provide a guide to some of my more popular posts – as well as some of my own favorites that I think would be most helpful in hitting the ground running on a low carb diet. Continue reading “New Years Resolution to Lose Weight in 2013? Your LowCarbConfidential.com Quick Start Guide”

Review: Trader Joe’s Hake En Papillote Frozen Entree

hake[As a reminder – I don’t do paid reviews for products. If I ever did, I’d let you know…]

Before we left on vacation, my wife stocked up on some frozen stuff from Trader Joe’s so that we wouldn’t come home on Christmas day to an empty fridge. On a whim, she bought this ‘Hake En Papillote’. I had no idea what the hell this was and had no plans to go near it – one of my rules of eating is: don’t eat it if a picture of the item with the words ‘serving suggestion’ appear on the box. To me, this is short-hand for ‘I contain crap’.

My wife had put in one box for me, however, and I was the guy who took them out of the oven. They were still in their boxes in the oven – which I didn’t get at first. Curious, I read the label:

“En Papillote” which translates as “in parchment,” is a microwave and oven friendly package for steaming foods but can sometimes be unwieldy to open once cooked. Trader Joe’s Hake en Papillote is presented in a slick little parchment origami box which steams the fish and vegetables and is easy to open: just remove the paper lid. Hake is a mild white fish with a solid texture which we’ve combined with grilled zucchini, cherry tomatoes and pesto sauce for a super easy and flavorful entrée.

Hmmm…interesting. Not your usual ‘nuke in plastic tray’ stuff here. I figured that they had to screw it up some other way so I checked the ingredients: Continue reading “Review: Trader Joe’s Hake En Papillote Frozen Entree”

Know It All Diet Researcher Says He Knows It All – No Further Discussion Necessary

Not too long ago I read an interesting article in the New York Times entitled In Dieting, Magic Isn’t a Substitute for Science. It starts with a question that deserves a thoughtful answer:

Is a calorie really just a calorie? Do calories from a soda have the same effect on your waistline as an equivalent number from an apple or a piece of chicken?

The reason the NYT is even asking this question now is because of the research that recently came out that seems to indicate that high protein or Atkins-like diets have a small metabolic advantage over simply calorie-counting.

Now – the study was small – it is really, really hard to do this sort of research. Expensive and time-consuming – and unless you do these studies on prisoners, it’s hard to be sure exactly what these subjects ate exactly. Nonetheless, it is an interesting finding, when put into perspective as less than definitive.

The NYT talked to Dr. Jules Hirsch, emeritus professor and emeritus physician in chief at Rockefeller University, who has been researching obesity for nearly 60 years, who quickly dismissed this study as so much hogwash.

Now, I don’t want to be accused of taking a cheap shot at a gentleman I do not know, but the good doctor has been involved in research for 60 years, during which time the population has only gotten fatter. Something’s going on here: