Monday, February 2, 2009


After spending two weeks playing, practicing, rehearsing, and playing some more, I am finally able to sit down at the computer and write a post. I have done some knitting and I'll bring you up to date on that later. (I have some gorgeous yarn to show you.) I haven't written about my diet in a very long time, so I thought I'd start back with that topic. Dr. Eades has had several very good postings recently on his blog and I'd like to draw your attention to a couple of them. If you are new to my blog, I am a low-carber and have been for almost five years now.

One of the things I like about the Drs. Eades is that they are willing to change their views or update their recommendations as new research comes to light (if the research is good research). They use their blogs to comment on these new findings and sometimes the best stuff is in their comments to the comments from readers. They will have to do a revision of their books someday. They do have a new book in the works that was supposed to come out this January, but release has been delayed until the fall. The burning question that seems to be on everyone's mind is, what do you do if you try low-carb eating to lose weight and you reach a stall, a plateau, and just can't get things going again. Or you go off the diet, gain weight, and want to get back on the diet to lose that weight, but find that things are not so easy the second time around. Then there are those of us who have reached a certain age and find that the pounds just pile on despite all our best efforts.

Dr. Eades points out that one cause for the stall, the difficulties losing weight, and the middle-aged weight gain is a tired or stressed liver.

The liver is the primary organ involved in metabolism. In order to lose weight successfully, you need to have a liver that is running on all cylinders.
Dr. Eades gives several reasons why the liver may not be functioning up to par, including old age, but also including the fact that alcohol, medications, caffeine, and excess insulin in the blood caused by excess sugar in the diet (remember all carbs are sugar) need to be processed by the liver. It has been found that being overweight can cause the same liver dysfunction that drinking too much alcohol does.

People who consume too much alcohol over too long a time period develop first a fatty infiltration of their liver cells, then inflammation that progresses to fibrosis, then ultimately, if the drinking doesn’t stop, to cirrhosis and possibly even liver cancer. This same exact progression takes place in the livers of many people who are overweight and/or insulin resistant.
If you have too much insulin circulating in your blood because your liver can't process it all, you will have trouble losing weight.

Insulin stays in the circulation because it is put there by the pancreas and because it isn’t metabolized in the liver. A liver that isn’t functioning up to snuff won’t break down insulin as rapidly as it should. Consequently, higher levels of insulin mean more difficulty in losing weight. Plus, since the liver is the major organ involved in the entire metabolic process, it works a whole lot better to stabilize everything when it is unhindered by having to detoxify a lot of unnecessary stuff. Which is why you need to baby your liver when you restart your low-carb diet.
He recommends laying off the coffee (and I would include any drink with caffeine in it) and alcohol until you get your system going again.

Another great post was about eating low-carb in Mexico. It can be done. In fact, I think it can be done anywhere there is good food and attention is paid to the preparation of that food.

Speaking of liver, my sister and I were talking about how we both like to have liver now and then, but our families won't touch the stuff. We were wondering if it is because we were forced to eat it when we were young and now it feels like "comfort food" to us. I just had some calves' liver yesterday and I am so full of energy today. That happens every time I have liver. But my sister and I both agree that it has to be cooked right—very lightly. I like to sauté mine over a low heat in butter and coconut oil with just a little seasoning. It's really good that way. I accompanied last night's liver with some wonderful cream of celeriac soup. I can give you that recipe, because I made it up myself. A hand-held blender is a great tool to have, but if you don't have one, you can use a food processor. It's messier but does the job.

coconut oil
1 celeriac, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 stalks celery, chopped coarsely
1 carrot, chopped coarsely
2 small or 1 medium onion
1 1/2 cups water
1 can coconut milk
sea salt

Melt the butter and coconut oil in a soup pot. Add the celeriac, celery, carrot, and onions and "sweat" (put the lid on the pot) for about 15 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer the vegetables for 20 minutes or so, until the celeriac is soft. Turn down the heat and add the coconut milk. Purée the soup with a hand-held blender right in the pot. Add the other 1/2 cup of water (or more) if the soup is too thick. Add some salt and bring back to a simmer.

I like to serve the soup with a drizzle of a good quality olive oil in the middle.

The entire pot of soup will contain about 28g of carbohydrates, but you will get about 3 or 4 servings out of it depending on the size of your celeriac and how thick you like the soup. Considering that one smallish boiled potato (2.5 inch diameter) will have 25g of carbs, this is a good deal. At only 7.3g per cup, celeriac is a good substitute for mashed potatoes.


  1. Hello Grandma Ann! "I like to sauté mine over a low heat in butter and coconut oil..."
    - Smart choice! :-)

    Coconut oil is THE IDEAL cooking oil even in moderately high heat (no more than 350 degrees F), because it is 92% saturated. This makes coconut oil very stable and highly resistant to oxidation and free radical formation. Just my two cents.

    Your Drugstore in a Bottle

  2. My mom cooked liver for me after my period through my teens. She made a soup with broth, green onions and ginger. It was surprisingly good. I can't seem to replicate it.