You Might Be a Low-Carber If…


10)  You’re considering buying a cattle farm.

9)  You get panic attacks if there’s less than 4 dozen eggs in the fridge.

8)  You get arrested when the cops hear you say you ‘do’ about 20 grams a day.

7)  You become the official spokesman for the Cheese & Butter Association.

6)  A chicken won’t come in your yard.

5)  You refer to Bacon as Vitamin B.

4)  You call eggs ‘cackle-berries’ just so you can tell your friends you eat lots of fruit.

3)  You carry a picture of Gary Taubes in your billfold.

2)  You name your two dogs Steak & Eggs.

1)  All your friends call you Meathead.

OK, there’s my signs you might be a low-carber.  Now let me hear yours in the comments below!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie


Krispy Kreme Tries to Fill the Donut Hole


Pray tell what is the Former Donut Junkie doing blogging about donuts?  You’re probably sitting there mumbling, “I thought you had abandoned those evil sugary treats, so what’s up with this?”  Let me just assure you that I DO NOT eat donuts anymore!  They are indeed a thing of my past.  But I still read the news.  And I just couldn’t resist blogging about Krispy Kreme’s latest effort to pump some life back into their dwindling sales and profits.  Yes, the big KK has went in the financial hole big-time over the last several years.  Not because they didn’t have a great tasting product, but because, believe it or not, some Americans are finally starting to cut back on sugary treats.  They are seeking “healthier” snack alternatives, whatever that might mean.

According to this MSNBC article Krispy Kreme is going to try to improve slumping sales by, get this, adding soft serve ice cream to the menu!  Oh my gosh, KK execs must have been inhaling something.  You don’t have to be smarter than a fifth grader to realize that if the trend is for “healthier” snack alternatives you wouldn’t add ice cream.  And besides, soft serve ice cream is what I call an “ice cream like substance”, composed of who knows what kind of chemicals.  It’s the lowest price range ice cream out there, so how is “less-than-a-buck” ice cream going to fix all your financial woes?  They’re not even smart enough to copy their biggest competitor, Dunkin, and add “healthier” alternatives such as low-fat muffins, egg white flat-breads and such.  And even though those things aren’t really healthy, you can slap a “healthier” sticker on them people automatically believe it and buy into it.  Sucker!

I know you’re wondering, “is the Former Donut Junkie hoping they’ll go busted?”  An emphatic no.  You need to understand first of all that I’m not anti-business, so that means I never want to see a business go belly up.  And besides, if all the donut shops in the world closed their doors tomorrow, it wouldn’t stop the sugar addiction.  I know all too well.  If one sugar source dries up simply switch to another one.  Even outlawing unhealthy foods in America is not the answer to the obesity problem.   And even if that were possible, who’s gonna’ decide what’s to be outlawed?  The government?  The same people who invented the “Food Pyramid” that’s pretty much done us in?  I don’t think so!  That’s been a big part of our problem here in America is that the government has tried to get involved and mandate health and nutrition, when the fact is, they wouldn’t recognize good nutrition if it ran over ’em on a John Deere tractor!

Anyhow, enough of my zany, home-spun, redneck philosophies.  The whole point of the post was just to rant about the state of how most Americans are so deceived about what good healthy nutrition really is.   I was one of ’em for half a century.  Like I said, this blog has to have a certain amount of useless drivel, so here’s my quota for this month!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

The Ever Elusive Journey to Normal


“I just want to be normal and eat like everyone else.” How many times have you and I been both the speaker and the hearer of that statement?  Most of us have at least somewhat of a desire within us to be ‘normal’, whatever that means.  Normal, an adjective, is defined as 1) conforming with or constituting a norm or standard or level or type or social norm; not abnormal. 2) Being approximately average or with certain limits in, e.g. intelligence and development.  So, being normal simply means to conform with someone elses standard, level or type and to be average.  So when we say we want to eat like everyone else, we’re in essence saying “I want to conform and be just average like everyone else.”

We generally make such statements when we’ve placed boundaries on the types and/or amounts of food we eat, more commonly known as a diet.  It’s when we attempt to live within these boundaries and see others eat our ‘forbidden foods’ that we fall into what I call the ‘Deprivation Mindset’.  It’s a mindset that quickly induces a ‘Pity Party’ and convinces us that we are totally deprived of all the good things that others  [average people] are able to enjoy.  You know what I’m talking about…woe, despair and agony on me!  It’s stinkin’ thinkin’ and if it’s not nipped in the bud it will, in short order, totally derail your journey to health and weight loss.  And by the way, low-carb is a journey and not a day hike!  It is a lifestyle!  It is not a diet!  If it is to be successful!

The fact is, there is no norm or standard when it comes to eating in this great country we live in.  A ‘normal’ way of eating does not exist, it is merely a figment of our imagination.  Normal is a picture we’ve painted for ourselves using only the colors created by our own abusive history of food.  We ignore what we know is the real truth and choose rather to believe the lie that “the way we ate prior to dieting was normal.” We further refuse to acknowledge that the foods that we ate pre-low-carb were not really foods at all, they were what I like to call pseudo-foods, anti-foods or food-like-substances.  Some call them frankenfoods, which simply means genetically or otherwise altered or modified.

If we can remove our brains from the toxic effects of sugary, carb-laden treats for even a few short days the fog begins to lift and for the first time in years we get our first blurry vision of the pseudo-foods that have been our cruel taskmasters.  We soon realize that these anti-foods that ‘normal’ people eat are not really food at all, they are conglomerations of unpronounceable chemicals that have been created in some mad scientist’s laboratory and repackaged as what I like to call a ‘food-like substance’.

From somewhere within us comes this ‘need to conform’ or to ‘fit the mold’.  It’s taken me quite some time off sugar and carbs to realize just how abnormal it is to gorge myself on sugar, the ultimate anti-nutrient.  Remember…sugar is that addictive powdery white substance that is the centerpiece of our dining room table and an ingredient in almost every prepackaged pseudo-food in your supermarket.  Truth is, no matter how you look at it, there’s nothing normal about consuming a steady diet of an addictive substance that triggers physical cravings so powerful it produces severe mood swings, tantrums, fits and a plethora of other abnormal behaviors like secret binges, only to mention a few.  Why, I ask myself, why do I want to conform or fit into the mold of those who choose to indulge themselves in such destructive behaviors?

The farther I have come on this ‘Journey to Normal’ the more I realized that it wasn’t really normal I was seeking.  That was a cop-out.  That was an excuse to abuse myself.  What I discovered was that the ‘Journey to Normal’ was an elusive fictional State that is located somewhere in the ‘Land of Fantasy’ on a little island called ‘Someday Isle’Someday Isle be normal, Someday Isle eat normal food. I’ve changed directions.  I’ve quit fantasizing about eating ‘normal’.  I no longer have a desire to conform or fit the mold.  I’ve regrouped, as they say, and I am now on a ‘Journey to Better Health’, a destination that really does exist, and one that I can more clearly see from where I am today, now that the fog and clouds of sugar has been lifted.

Fifteen months down the road from the end of my abusive history of food I realize that the only things I’m deprived of today is swollen aching ankles and feet, acid reflux, high blood pressure, not fitting into a restaurant booth, not being able to bend over and tie my own shoes, clothes that don’t fit, fat names and insults, binge eating, cravings, lies about my weight, spending all my money at the donut store and a myriad of other things that I don’t have time or space to list!

So forget about normal.  Normal is boring.  Normal is NO fun.  Normal is, well, just average.  Normal is elusive!  And besides, if you were normal you wouldn’t be here reading this extremely long-winded post by some abnormal blogger with an abnormal name like, the Former Donut Junkie.  Ditch the ‘Deprivation Mindset’ and make today the first day of your ‘Journey to Better Health’‘!  You’ll soon have a list of all the things that you DON’T miss about your food abuse days and you’ll never wish for ‘normal’ again.  Just be sure to come back and share ’em with me!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Honey, I Shrunk My Muffin Top!


I’m not talking about the kind of muffin top that you bake and is so scrump-crunchy deee-lish-us.  Besides, they’re not even close to being low-carb, so you just know I ain’t even going there!  I’m talking about that fashion trend that produces a roll of overhanging pudgy flesh created around the midriff by wearing low-rider type pants or shorts that are waaaay too tight, in combination with short shirts that are waaaay too short.  Wikepedia describes it like this.

Muffin-top” is a generally pejorative slang term used to describe the phenomenon of overhanging flesh when it spills over the waistline of trousers or skirt in a manner that resembles the top of a muffin spilling over its paper casing. This generally occurs when an individual wears low-rise, hip-hugger pants, or midriff-baring tops that are too small.

You’re beginning to get the picture aren’t you?  Just in case your not…well, you know the saying…“a picture is worth a thousand words.” Or is it…you be the judge.

Muffin Top

Muffin Top

Now to this Southern Redneck Baby Boomer the Muffin Top trend falls into the same category as lots of other so called ‘fashion statements’ I’ve seen over the years.  For instance, jeans with holes in ’em.  Most of us grew up HAVING to wear jeans with holes in ’em, so we ain’t paying our hard earned bucks for jeans that already have holes in ’em.  So, I keep seeing all these people with rolls of pudge hanging over their britches and a shirt that don’t even come close to covering it and I’m thinkin’…what’s up with this trend?  Then my daughter educates me on the subject and informs me that this trendy phenomenon has a name…‘Muffin Top’!

It suddenly dawned on my lightnin’ fast mind that I’d had a muffin top for years and didn’t even know it.  But nobody appreciated it.  I hadn’t even tried to create mine, it just happened.  Years of over consuming donuts and a myriad of other sugary, carb-laden goodies had expanded my waistline to the point it was just natural for my belly to roll over my pants.  And being a plumber, it seemed my t-shirt was always running up my back like a window shade and exposing more than most folks cared to see.  Then, just when I find out I was stylin’ and profilin’ with my ‘Muffin Top’, somebody comes out with a longtail t-shirt to cure ‘Plumbers Butt’. Oh, and I’ve already heard all the wise-cracks about ‘Plumbers Butt’, so please don’t send me anymore.  Matter of fact, in this day of Political Correctness, it’s no longer called ‘Plumbers Butt’.  That’s right, the much less offensive term that should always be used today is ‘Contractor Cleavage’.

So, to make a long story even longer.  While getting dressed for work the other morning, I had put on my pants but hadn’t yet put on my shirt.  As I turned around I accidentally ended up in front of a full length mirror in my room.  Suddenly I noticed that the roll of pudgy flesh that usually rolled and flowed over my belt was shrinking.  In all the excitement, I spontaneously yelled out, “Honey, I shrunk my Muffin Top!” She thought I had totally lost it again.  So I proceeded to ‘splain to her what a ‘Muffin Top’ was and how my low-carb diet was shrinking my ‘Muffin Top’.

And I’m finding out that the more my Muffin Top shrinks, the less Contractor Cleavage I have.  I may not need one of those long tail t-shirts after all!  The moral of the story:  You’ll not only lose pounds on low-carb, you’ll also lose your Muffin Top! And as Martha says, “That’s a good thing!”

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

On Wisconsin! Broccoli Cheese Soup


Some mornings I can feel fall trying to peek around the corner, so I know that winter isn’t far behind.  If there’s one thing I love in the winter time, it’s coming home to a big bowl of hot soup.  I can’t say I’ve got a favorite, but I can truthfully say that Broccoli Cheese Soup is one of my favorites.  However, I had not a clue there was a low-carb version around until Jamie Van Eaton’s post popped up in my Blog Reader.  Just in time for soup season she’s provided us with what sounds like a wonderfully cheesy and easy cold weather treat.  She calls it On Wisconsin! Broccoli Cheese Soup.

I like easy recipes and I like recipes that have easy-to-find common household ingredients as much as possible and this one pretty much fits that description.  ThickenThin, a flour thickener substitute is probably not available at Wally World, but may be available at some of the whole or health food stores.  In addition, there are several alternative ways to thicken soups and sauces including xanthan gum, which I’ve used successfully.

Jamie Van Eaton is the Low-Carb Examiner for and also writes a great blog entitled The Lighter Side of Low Carb where she is affectionately known as Cleochatra.  Check her out and add her to your BlogRoll.  You’ll be glad you did!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Blog Reading Made Easier


Just wanted to throw out a little FYI about an easier way of Blog Reading if someone wasn’t aware of it.  You can find blogs and bookmark them and go check them everyday or when you think of it.  But that can be time consuming and frustrating if they don’t update often.  To take all the work out of it for you, tools have been developed to visit the sites for you, check for updates, and report back to you with new articles.

One such site is Google Reader.  It has a very user friendly interface that allows you to enter the blogs you want to subscribe to and it does all the work from there.  You merely go to the Google Reader website and read your blogs or you can add Google Reader to your iGoogle home page for even more convenience.  I have used Google Reader for some time and have been very happy with it.

Bloglines is another aggregator, or gatherer of your blog updates.  I’ve not personally used Bloglines but I’ve read several positive reviews of it.  It seems to be a very popular Blog Reader.

Also, check out this search for aggregators for even more choices.  They just bring all your reading together into one easy to find and convenient format, making your life simpler and easier.

UPDATE 09/17/2008: I signed up for Bloglines the same day I wrote this post just to try it out.  It is indeed everything everyone says it is.   Highly organizable with a great folder, sub-folder structure for all you other OCD organization freaks out there.  The organization is one of the best things about it in my opinion.  In addition, you can add a “Sub with Bloglines” button to your Firefox Tool Bar so when you find a blog or news feed you want to subscribe to, all you have to do is click that little button and wah-lah…you’re subscribed…very cool!  There are a couple different ways Bloglines can notify you of new arrivals, the best of which I thought was another Firefox extension that appears as a tiny icon in the lower right hand corner of the Firefox browser and shows a little red dot on it when new stuff arrives.  Very unobtrusive.  And the neat thing is that all this is web based, so there’s nothing cluttering your computer and you can check and read Bloglines from any computer anywhere in the world.  Lastly they have a “Top 1000” list of subscribed blogs and news that you can browse through to see if there’s anything you’re interested in.

I still have my Google Reader account set up but I’m not using it.  I now have all my blogs registered with Bloglines and I really like the way it brings everything together into a highly organized presentation.  Instead of just one humongus random list of items, I can pick the categories I want to read right now and leave the rest until I have more time.  And of course there are plenty of options for those who like to tinker and tweak things.  All in all, I’m pretty happy with Bloglines and they are working pretty hard to make constant improvements and upgrades.  It’s free, so register [it’s painless and quick] and give it a whirl and see what you think.  Just my 2CW FWIW!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Low-Carb Payoff…Regulating Blood Sugar!


Don’t turn me off too quickly just because I’m talking about blood sugar and you’re not a diabetic.  Fact is blood sugar levels have more to do with good health than you might think, even among folks who think there’s no way they could be a candidate for diabetes.  Insulin is the master hormone and its effects are far more reaching than just controlling blood sugar.  I’m not a diabetic, nor am I an expert on diabetes.  I am merely an adherent to the low-carb nutritional lifestyle which has been shown time and again to be one of the most efficient ways of regulating our blood sugar levels, diabetic or not!

Dr. Michael Eades, author of Protein Power, recently posted an excellent article on his Health & Nutrition Blog entitled More Supporting Evidence for the Sugar Hypothesis.  This article focuses on the results of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Dr. Eades begins with a surprising comment:

“The sugar hypothesis of heart disease triumphs yet again over the lipid hypothesis. A study presented recently in Rome and published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrates that efforts to lower blood sugar pay off better in lower rates of heart disease and longer life than do efforts to lower cholesterol.”

More proof of “The Great Cholesterol Con”.  Right there it is folks, efforts to lower blood sugar pay off in lower rates of heart disease and longer life than do efforts to lower cholesterol.” I know what the ‘establishment’ has convinced most folks to believe but that doesn’t make it the truth.  But the majority of doctors are of the Cholesterol Lowering Camp, you say.  And that makes them what?  The majority…not necessarily right!  Many of them may not really know the truth, and instead of doing their own research they just go with what the majority thinks is right.

Dr. Eades goes on to say:

“Researchers presented data from a long-term study (almost 30 years long) showing that subjects who lowered their blood sugar levels with drugs for a period of 10 years reaped large rewards in terms of reduced incidence of heart attack and reduced incidence of all-cause mortality long after the end of the study.”

Even using drugs to lower blood sugar levels, subjects still reaped large rewards including a reduction in heart attacks and, they just plain old lived longer with a better quality of life.  The low-carb nutritional lifestyle is the undisputed king at regulating blood sugar levels.  So, why not adapt the low-carb lifestyle instead of waiting until one has to take blood sugar regulating drugs?  It just makes good sense.

Dr. Eades neatly sums it all up by stating:

“The nice thing is that it’s pretty easy to tightly control your blood sugar levels without drugs.  How?  By taking blood sugar control out of the hands of your pancreas and turning it over to the liver.  You can do this by keeping your carbohydrate intake low enough to ensure that your liver has to produce glucose.  When the liver gets into the glucose production business, it turns it out in a slow, steady fashion, making just the amount necessary.  Blood sugars stay low, and glucose-induced damage to the vascular system is minimized.  If you follow a good-quality, whole-food, low-carbohydrate diet, your blood sugar will stabilize.  If you’ve already got type II diabetes, following such a diet might not completely solve your problem, but it will make it a lot better.  I have never seen any kind of therapy that works better than a low-carb diet to lower and stabilize blood sugar levels.  It truly is amazing.”

That’s it in a nutshell folks!  Controlling blood sugar is more important to a healthy lifestyle than is controlling cholesterol.  The low-carb nutritional lifestyle is once again vindicated, not by opinion or hearsay, but by years of documented research.  Be sure to check out the complete post by Dr. Eades.  He has a very informative blog and writes in a style that’s easy for all us non-medical folks to understand.  Thanks Dr. Eades!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

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