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Counting Carbs

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Well I've done it again.

I've jumped on the proverbial bandwagon and I'm happily trundling down the road. Only this time I'm a little hungrier.

I've never been one to stay off the bandwagon for very long. A quick peak in my parent's basement would reveal a lot of the girlie trends since 1974.

There's Strawberry Shortcake, a life-sized Smurf, not to forget Sammy Jo, David Francis and Keith Norman – my Cabbage Patch Kids. (If anyone is wondering, Norman is my dad's name and I felt somewhat obliged at nine years old to carry on his name – no offence to all Norm's everywhere).

There's a Mini Pops LP, a record called Eat It by Weird Al Yankovic and a purple cut off sweatshirt with a young Michael Jackson dancing on a bunch of squares that light up when he touches them. Sometimes I love digging through everything for a brief wander down memory lane.

But let's forget about dolls and records and Michael for a moment. I'm talking serious trends now.

Who else is on a low-carb Atkins style diet?

Let's face it. Summer is fast approaching. I've put on a little insulation over the winter and it's time to lose those extra pounds.

They say Atkins is the way to loose those pesky 10 or 20 pounds and any diet that says you can eat bacon and eggs every morning is OK in my books. But is it?

Now I'm not particularly interested in the science behind it all. You can get experts to tell you a low carb diet is good for you and critics who say the long-term effects have never been tallied. There are people who say it works for the short-term but when you start eating carbs again you pack on the pounds. But there doesn't seem to be too much debate that by cutting out carbs you can lose weight.

Here's the real crunch. The Atkins diet for me is like abandoning the basic principles of good healthy eating that I've been taught for the past 30 years.

Those principles were about watching the amount of fat in my diet, eating balanced meals and cutting down on red meat.

Let's review.

Bacon and egg breakfasts with sausage and black pudding from the Scottish baker were a staple in my household every Saturday and Sunday (until my dad had the quintuple bypass).

Though we tucked into these breakfasts every weekend, there was a deep sense that what we were doing really wasn't all that healthy for us. This thought was usually reinforced by my mother who would be eating bran flakes at the same table and extolling their soggy virtue. Since the bypass my dad's been eating bran flakes too and bacon and egg breakfasts have become a thing of the past, relegated to fond and delicious memories.

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