Great thread Karen.
Lessons learned the hard way:
1. Meal replacements. Low-Carb bars, and even protein shakes, are not "meals". They may be better than starving or eating carbs (well, that is questionable in the case of the bars...), but that does not make them into a real-food meal.
1b: Mock Danish is not a meal.
1c: Four mock danish is not a 'big' meal. LOL.
2. Milk. I would buy a little milk for my daughter on the way to school, and she wouldn't drink it all. Then I would have the 'clean your plate' issue and the 'yeah but I spent money on it' issue and the 'it's just a little, technically I could arrange my carbs to have just a few tablespoons of milk' issue. What really happened is that it sent my carb and sugar cravings into the stratosphere (and messed up my eating for the rest of the day, as I then couldn't have the carbs I'd planned in various meals).
2b: She can drink milk at school with lunch. If I can't have it, then at home, she can drink what I drink -- water. It not only won't kill her, it will be good for her. I have stuff she can eat that I can't, esp. fruit, fruity yogurts, and occasional treats. But in general, low-carb foods are not some bizarre specialty item like medicine, that is only for me. Eating meat dishes and salads with green veggies as her dominant foods (beyond the stuff I mentioned I keep around), and the megadose of carbs she gets in school (sigh), is not unreasonable of me nor unhealthy for her.
2c: My first responsibility food-wise is to myself. It is not unfair to expect that I will not cook and distribute high-carb stuff to others. We do not make recovering alcoholics bartenders, and it would be ludicrous to assign one to 'pick up the beer' for the family barbecue. Obesity KILLS. While others act like it is some kind of social game, for me it could be life and death. My survival is more important to me than other peoples' hurt feelings. If they are not adult enough to understand the seriousness of this issue, they can get stuffed. The people most likely to make lowcarbing difficult are the same people who tend to have the most opinions about my being obese, ironically.
2d: If somebody living with me wants to have high-carb food, I understand perfectly. I also understand that we can have our own areas of the refrigerator, and they can learn to cook. If I had my cousin TJ, the body-builder's ability to stand around food and have zero interest in anything but Tuna and Water (around his competition times), then hey, no big deal, let me make you some mashed potatoes! But if I don't, then asking others around me to be responsible for _themselves_, instead of indirectly causing me grevious harm by expecting me to babysit their eating habits differently than my own, is ridiculous. (Note: also, eating MY reserved food is a crime. Period.) I realize that women, especially those over 35, often have trouble with this with their husbands. I divorced my husband and a small part of it was because he sabotaged my attempts to get healthier by doing LC. At first it's just health, but at some point you realize it is really life and death -- not just medically, but psychologically and socially. Pretty ironic that many people quite literally have to die for the one person they love enough to die for. 'Nuff said.
3. Cheese. If cheese were a god, it would be my religion. Too much melted invokes my 'texture-snob' nausea, but otherwise, I think I could go on a mostly-cheese diet and be happy. Alas, probably the thing in milk I respond to, affects me with cheese too, at least if I'm eating it in quantity. It sparked cravings (much more mild than milk, though).
3b. I was using cheese to 'drown' a variety of things for taste, instead of learning to really enjoy a piece of chicken or steak, without dumping a boatload of cheese and sour cream or whatever on top of it. Those things are nice, and it's fine to have them in a meal if you can, but again, they're playing into the same taste-game as high-carb stuff. The beauty of low carb is that it can teach your body to be sensitive to and appreciate the sugar in a ring of raw onion, in a thin slice of tomato, and the very thought of asparagus (which I hated till LC) can be downright orgasmic when you are craving something lighter than meat. By making everything with immense amounts of cheeses and creams and so forth, one almost misses the chance to really TASTE these foods.
4. Fake anything. I am tempted to rename my 'mock' everythings to something else. As long as I think of something as 'almost-like-pizza', I sort of miss real pizza, and notice what is not quite the same. If all LC recipes are stand-alone, they are just fine, even wonderful. I'm reminded of this health bar I used to visit where I would have carob 'Hercules Flips'. Now, if you were expecting it to taste like a chocolate shake, it would frankly be sickening. But once you accepted it as a 'carob hercules flip', you realized it had its own distinct taste like nothing else, and was wonderful. My point is that psychologically, I don't want to be The Pretender when it comes to food. I don't want to spend my life "almost" having pizza and "almost" having this or that. I am thrilled there are so many awesome LC-variants on dishes we're used to. But the "almost-somethings" make me feel deprived on some level. Either it's a low-carb food when made one way and it's "the same thing", or it's a different, UNIQUE food that low-carbers came up with, and it is its OWN thing. I know this sounds like stupid semantics, but my psychology is a big thing when it comes to sticking with LC, so I take such subtle things seriously.