Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Intestinal Fortitude

So despite my rant a couple of days ago about being bored with my diet, I have to agree with Livin' La Vida Low Carb buddy Jimmy Moore's questioning of the intestinal fortitude of anyone who gets bored eating low carb. Sound like a contradiction? Not really.

I have a character flaw, you see. My name is Suzique and I am a tad obsessive. Well, okay, more than a tad. Suzique needs something to obsess over, diet-wise, and once her eating plan becomes too automatic and easy, she need to shake things up a bit.

Which is why she did some low-carb reading and decided to have a crack at the Four Corners Diet, which is the re-named, updated GO-Diet devised in the late '90s by Drs Jack Goldberg and Karen O'Mara.

If there was ever a diet designed to cater to a middle-aged obsessive, uh, woman of stature, shall we say, this is it. I can count and count and count to my heart's content. I can devise myriad Fitday charts and goals to track. I'm as happy as a melamine-fed pig at a quarantined hog farm (can you tell I'm still really PO'd about this latest federal bunglefest?).

Anyway, the four corners of the table on which this food-happy eating plan stands are:

Corner #1) Low carbs. Limit net carbs to 50 or fewer a day. 50 grams of carbs?? That sounds like a TON. Can I lose weight on 50g a day? Can my 50g of carbs come from Blue Bell ice cream? Well, no. Because part of this #1 Corner is a tad more specific and bans the usual suspects (thankfully): sugar, starches, etc. And a max of 15 net carbs per meal.

Corner #2) High monounsaturated fat. Drs. GO tiptoe cautiously around the issue of saturated fat and don't find themselves willing to go all-out and give sat-fat their blessing. So the program asks not that you limit fat intake at all--the more, the merrier--but that 50% of your fat intake come from monounsaturated fats. Between my great fondness for Cardini Original Caesar salad dressing and anything drenched in olive oil, this will not be a problem.

Corner #3) High fiber, to the tune of a minimum 25-30 grams a day. And I may mean "tune," literally, y'know? Do any of you add flax to your foods? I figure I will snack on a couple of yummy Chocoperfection Chocolate Bars a day, at 14g of fiber each and 2 net carbs, and that requirement will be taken care of, at least until I'm hauled away in the paddywagon to the poor house because I've spent my mortgage payments on the not-so-cheap Chocoperfection Bars (although the best prices I've found on them are at Netrition, fyi).

Corner #4) Pharmafoods. Now, this is an interesting corner to me given my interest in functional foods, though there are still lots of questions about the validity of their claims. The Four Corners plan calls for some form ofprobiotics every day, plus five servings of vegetables per day, as many as possible from the "pharmafoods" group, which they say are foods whose nutritional punch is greater than the sum of their micronutrients: dark green vegetables, nuts and seeds, high-fiber low-sugar fruits such as berries and melon, broccoli, onions, peppers, etc.

Now, if you've stuck with me this far, you'll finally get to the thing I really want to talk about, which is yogurt, namely full fat yogurt without sugar added. Apparently there is a consensus among low carb "experts," thatyogurt carbs aren't "real" carbs as long as the yogurt contains live cultures. (This supposedly also is true of buttermilk but since I don't know what to do with buttermilk other than make cornbread, I don't care.)

Note I said "CONTAINS" live cultures and not "MADE WITH" live cultures. If your yogurt says it's made with live cultures, chances are they aren't live any more. So look for the word "contains." Said cultures feed on the lactose in yogurt, rendering it a non-carb. What's left, the whey, can be strained off the top.

Or you can enjoy kefir, which I have trouble finding, or something like Fage Total, which is a strained Greek yogurt that has 7g of carbs per 8-ounce serving. I added a little Torani Sugar-Free Irish Cream syrup to it this morning and it was quite the treat.

So, low-carbers, what's your take on yogurt?

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