Lessons learned from the Low-carb Cruise

I just returned from Jimmy Moore’s Low-carb Cruise, a 7-day excursion to Jamaica, Grand Cayman Island, and Cozumel aboard the Carnival Magic. During our 7 wonderful days, a number of authors and experts spoke, each offering their unique perspective on the low-carb world. The focus was the science, experience, and practical application of low-carbohydrate diets.

The event kicked off with a roast by Tom Naughton of Fat Head fame, who entertained with his insightful low-carb humor and predictions of my demise at the hands of Monsanto!

Among the most important lessons provided:

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt of the Diet Doctor blog discussed how Sweden is leading the world as the nation with the most vigorous low-carbohydrate following, witnessing incredible weight loss and reversal of carbohydrate-related diseases way ahead of the U.S. experience. I spent several hours with Dr. Eenfeldt who, besides being an engaging speaker, is a new father and an all-around gentleman. At 6 ft, 7 inches, he also towered high above all of us.

Dr. Eric Westman of Duke University and author of The New Atkins for a New You debunked low-carbohydrate myths, such as “low-carb diets are high-protein diets that make your kidneys explode.”

Dr. John Briffa, creator of the popular blog, Dr. John Briffa: A Good Look at Good Health, and author of the wonderfully straightforward primer to low-carbohydrate eating, Escape the Diet Trap, stressed the importance of never allowing hunger to rule behavior. Dr. Briffa’s serious writing tone conceals an incredible charm and wit that took me by surprise, having spent several thoroughly engaging hours over breakfast, lunch, and dinner with him over the week.

Fred Hahn, exercise expert, founder of Serious Strength and author of Slow Burn Fitness Revolution and Strong Kids, Healthy Kids, debunked a number of trendy exercise methods, boiling many of the purported benefits of exercise down to that of increased strength.

Dr. Chris Masterjohn of The Daily Lipid and supporter of the Weston A. Price Foundation program, provided a comprehensive overview of the data that fails to link saturated fat with heart disease. He also helped me understand the analytical techniques used in studies of advanced glycation end-products.

Denise Minger, brilliant young usurper of China Study dogma and blogger at Raw Foods SOS, proved an engaging speaker and a truly real person (since some critics of her analyses have actually questioned whether there was even such a person!). She also proved every bit as likable as she seems in her captivating blog discussions.

Dr. Jeff Volek, prolific researcher from University of Connecticut, author of over 200 studies validating low-carbohydrate diet effects, and author of the recently released book with Dr. Stephen Phinney, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, debunked myths behind carbohydrate dependence and “loading” by athletes. He also talked about how assessing blood ketones may be the gold standard method to ensure low-grade ketosis on a long-term low-carb effort.

Over a bottle of wine, Jimmy Moore and I reminisced over how his modest start with no experience in blogging or media has now ballooned to an audience of over 100,000 readers/viewers.

All in all, Jimmy’s Low-carb Cruise experience was worth every minute, with many wonderful lessons and memories!

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43 Responses to Lessons learned from the Low-carb Cruise

  1. deb b says:

    I would LOVE to attend the LC cruise – but have a serious motion issue/problem. Would love to hear anecdotal reports of how cruisers with this issue fare on the Carnival Magic.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I, too, was terrified on my first cruise. (This was my second.) I was impressed that there is really very little rocking, these darned ships are so gargantuan. I get car sick sitting in the back and sitting in buses, but had next to nothing on the cruise.

      I did see many people wearing the sea sickness patches behind their ears, however.

      • kris says:

        There are seasickness wristbands you can buy (at walgreens, on board the ships, etc.), that just put pressure on a specific pressure point on your wrist. No medication whatsoever. I get motion sickness and have been on many cruises and they work 100%!!

  2. Louis White says:

    Did Jimmy Moore happen to mention why the LC seems to not be working for him? It makes me worry that he appears to be well on his way to gaining back all the weight that he lost years ago. He admitted that he was about 303lbs in one of his most recent posts from April 2012. We all hope he can get his health sorted out so that we can all continue to listen to his show for many years to come! All the best

  3. tracy says:

    Just wanted to stop in and thank you for your work. I am glad I read your book and tried this way of eating, but after seven months without weight loss and the excruciating gallbladder attack I had two weeks ago I think I will move on to eating a low-fat diet.

  4. Mark says:

    Dr. Davis,
    I found this awesome review of Wheat Belly from Sept. 2011 at Dana Carpender’s low-carb blog “Hold the Toast”
    Dana has written quite a few low-carb cookbooks and is currently writing a paleo diet cookbook. She was blown away by your book. Sorry, I didn’t know where else to post this.

  5. Caroline Tobin says:

    I didn’t really get to talk to you on the cruise, although I did get to sit next to you on the boat to the stingrays :)

    I just wanted to let you know that your talk made a great impression on my husband (on me too, but I’d read the book, so it was not new to me the way it was to him.)

    We are recommitting to wheat-free low-carb now that we’re back home, and especially to getting our 5 year old off wheat as well. (Our younger 2 are already wheat free thanks to multiple food allergies.) We’ve already explained to him that wheat is not good for anybody, which he repeats, even though he still loves to eat bread, crackers, etc. whenever he gets the opportunity. At least at home, though, he will no longer have the opportunity.

    Thank you for all you do, and keep a watch out for the Monsanto assassins lurking in your bushes.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Thanks, Caroline! So that was you with the stingrays!

      It’s great that you are starting the kids out early. They won’t be perfect, but at least they will become familiar with what all this means. They will be far better off in the long run.

  6. EatLessMoveMoore says:

    Jimmy’s silence on Jack Kruse is deafening…

    • Dr. Davis says:

      But I don’t believe Jimmy is doing anything more than respecting his privacy.

      After Jack Kruse was hijacked by some wacko on Twitter.

      • Lea says:

        I think it’s unfortunate that you’re perpetuating the idea that Dr. Kruse was “hijacked by some wacko on Twitter.” I believe it’s fairly well understood at this point that the offending Tweet (meant as a joke, albeit an ill-timed one) originated from a parody Twitter account that Jimmy Moore himself followed. Dr. Kruse was no doubt aware of the account, as Jimmy and others had called his attention to it on Twitter. I would estimate that 90% of the posts from that account were direct quotes from Kruse himself. The text of the Tweet in question was, “security confiscated dynamite. talk won’t be as explosive as one at PaleoFx. still have vial of Legionnaires for epic biohack. #lccruise12.” The Tweet references Dr. Kruse’s use of dynamite as a prop during his keynote address at PaleoFX and his bizarre claim that he injected himself with MRSA prior to elective surgery. The term “epic biohack” has been used by Dr. Kruse himself to refer to his self-experimentation and is not, as some have suggested, synonymous with “bioterrorist attack.” I’m unclear how Homeland Security or the FBI interpreted such a Tweet as a serious threat. What I do know, however, is that Dr. Kruse’s behavior in the wake of “Kruse-gate” was offensive to many members of the paleo community. Without evidence, he accused some of his most vocal critics of starting the account and of calling Carnival and alerting them of a “threat.” He repeatedly stated that the FBI was hot on their trail and that the “perpetrators” would spend years in prison. Was any of this true? Apparently not, as the putative “perpetrators” have reported that the FBI has never contacted them. At first, it seemed that Dr. Kruse was going to exploit this cruise situation for publicity. In the end, however, he discredited himself and provoked the ire of multiple paleo luminaries, including Robb Wolf.

  7. EatLessMoveMoore says:

    Amen, sista…