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To CARB or Not to CARB, and Go RED for Women

January 29, 2004 Vol. II Issue 3
Dear Friends,

The headlines and ads since the first of the year have been overwhelmingly loaded with Low Carb THIS, Low Carb THAT. I was appalled by an ad from a national supermarket chain touting “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU, Enjoy A Healthier Lifestyle at (name of chain)” displaying pre-packaged, “Carb Fit,” “Atkins Endulge,” “Carb Ready to Drink,” etc. etc. etc. Excuse me, I’ll make my own choices about what is healthy for me, and if you know me, it won’t come in a box.

In the grocery store, I’m the one who wonders about the overhead sign for the “HEALTH FOOD” section … if that very small section of the store is HEALTH FOOD, what’s in the rest of the aisles???

Well, what can I say, Zonya and I both have something to say about this! And hail to the American Heart Association for “Go Red for Women.” Dr. Karen Wolfe tells us why women need to pay attention, and we’ll feature a heart health event and more heart health topics in the next issue.

Oh, and today, we’ll end with a dose of healthy chocolate “indulgence” in anticipation and celebration of St. Valentine.

Yours truly,

To CARB or Not to Carb? Not a Question

Diet news was front page news already this year. That is, front page of the Business Section. “Chains, Brands Go On A Low Carb Diet” the headline read. It’s everywhere. Packaged goods, retailers, marketers, are all cashing in on the latest diet craze. Even restaurants, including fast food, are jumping on the bandwagon with low carb menu
items like burgers without buns. A savvy consultant noted that this probably won’t be a big segment of the burger market. Duh! That and low carb beer. Honestly, will the public buy anything? Well, yes, that’s why we all have job security, remember?

The jury is still out on the high protein/low carb diet issue. Sure, people lose weight while they are effectively halving what they eat. I’m pitching my tent in the camp that questions the long-term value and the health risks. A friend of mine told me last night that after 5 days on the South Beach Diet, she couldn’t bear another sausage. She’d rather not eat. Now, there’s a diet plan! (We both laughed!) But healthy? (And, she ended up satisfying her hunger with, guess what? Carbs, of course).

I mentioned this to my friend and favorite authority on the subject of nutrition and fad diets, Zonya Foco, RD, and here’s her take on the topic:

“Every time I see another low carb product, it’s deja vu of the low fat craze of the 90’s.

“When you see this stuff, your question should always be this…is it really lower in calories and healthier for me? The low fat Snack Well cookies were an excellent example of the “low fat” product gone awry. A pure sugar and white flour cookie is hardly, “healthy for you.” In a similar scenario, the low carb salad dressings and bread products (so high in fat and protein and therefore higher in calories than their regular counterparts) will hardly help slim your waist or make you healthier.

“Whether the claim is low fat or low carb, don’t be blindsided by a food product that may be HIGHER in calories or is loaded with artificial sweeteners, fat replacers, and food colorings, giving you a negative health bang for your buck,” she continued.

“Don’t misunderstand me … it’s important for people to “turn down the volume” on carbohydrates. But Americans are not “low carb products deprived.” All we have to do is limit sweets (and sweet beverages) and keep starchy foods to a fist-size serving at each meal, and this will effectively fine tune the carb intake for most people. REALLY!”

That’s what Zonya says (And I for one, believe what Zonya says!). Do you have an opinion about this issue? We’d love to hear it.

Zonya Foco, RD, is the author of Lickety-Split Meals for Health Conscious People on the Go, and an authority on fad diets. If you’d like her fad diet book comparison (which I highly recommend), go to and click on  the free gift icon to download it.


I was so excited when I got wind of the American Heart Association’s “GO RED FOR WOMEN,” initiative recently. It’s a national call for women to take charge of their health and live stronger, healthier lives. So much of heart disease can be prevented when we take steps to reduce our risk. Please wear red, ladies, on Friday, Feb. 6, to show your support for awareness of women and heart disease. To learn more, go to

There’s big reason for concern according to my friend and respected speaker, author and physician, Dr. Karen Wolfe. She has a wonderful way of taking medical information and translating it meaningfully.

“Coronary heart disease is a woman’s concern,” she says, “every woman’s concern. One in ten American women 45 to 64 years of age has some form of heart disease, and this increases to one in five women over 65.”

“In general, heart attacks are more deadly to women than men,” Dr.Wolfe says. “Women are half as likely as men to survive their first heart attack, and significantly more likely than men to have a second attack within one year. Furthermore, diagnosing heart attacks can be more difficult in women than men because women tend to have less ‘typical’ symptoms. They can be easily ignored, mis-interpreted or confused with other ‘female’ problems both by women and the physicians and emergency personnel who attend to them.” Some of these atypical symptoms include:

1.Mild chest pain or discomfort
2.Unexplained anxiety
3.Flu-like symptoms
4.Nausea or dizziness
5.Palpitations, cold sweats or paleness

“I urge women to learn all they can about preventing heart attacks and getting the earliest possible treatment if they experience any symptoms of a heart attack,” Dr. Wolfe says. She is co-author with Dr. Deborah Kern, of “Create the Body Your Soul Desires, The Friendship Solution to Weight, Energy and Sexuality.”

In her heart health talk, “Listening to the Female Heart: The Whole Truth About Women and Heart Health,” she delves into the unique aspects of heart disease in women, including understanding, avoiding and surviving it. Unveiling the research that tells us the powerful role family, friends, faith and forgiveness play in health and healing, she gives women the emotional and spiritual aspects along with the physical.

In our next issue, we’ll feature a Women’s Heart Health event along with our list of heart health speakers and topics.

I have to admit that when I first heard the “Go Red” slogan, it felt a bit “sports-ey” to me, but since then, I’ve adjusted to the vision of seas of women in red and I “get it.” It’s a glorious vision. It’s a color that signifies passion and energy and, of course, love. What a statement we make when we do anything collectively. Go women! Go RED!


Mention chocolate as a health food and I’ll be the first one to hop on the bandwagon and wave a white flag. Yes, I surrender, especially to dense, decadent, dark chocolate. I’ve long preferred dark chocolate to milk chocolate (although I’ll never turn down a Hershey’s Kiss). Yet, ever since my friend Rob, exposed me to the real thing, 70% plus cocoa, I’m a total convert to indulging in the really good stuff. Like anything, as Zonya says, chocolate can be enjoyed in moderation. Oh darn, I wanted to eat the whole thing (all at once).

Well, anyway, speaking of chocolate and Zonya, Hot Fudge Brownie Cake, in her LSM cookbook, is an outrageously chocolatey treat. I made it for the first time one year at her company party at the lake in Michigan and was immediately enamored with it. If you have the cookbook, it’s on page 168. If not, write to me, and I’ll send it to you. It’s easy and sooooooo yummy and reasonably moderate in calories, fat, (and, TEE HEE, carbs, sorta!) Just send an email to and
ask for Chocolate!
Until next time, be good to yourself, for your well being and those you love.
My vision for The Speak Well Being Group is to be a connector for selected speakers I know, love and believe in, with the audiences who will be inspired, motivated, and possibly, transformed by their perspectives, knowledge, empathy, compassion, information and, most importantly, capacity to enjoy the process, laughing at themselves and with you.
You’ll find many of our speakers on our website.
Or please call anytime and let us assist you: 503-699-5031

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