|2nd Annual Low Carb Meet & Greet last year in 2011|
Yesterday, I traveled four hours to the home of Dana Carpender for the 3rd Annual Low Carb Meet & Greet. After my drive through the record-breaking 100+ degree weather, I found that the party had been moved indoors, and what a relief that was! Even so, with fifty low carbers in Dana's house, it was still pretty warm, and I snagged the spot over the air conditioning vent more than once while I was there!
It was so fun to get to meet some of the movers and shakers of the low carb movement and get to ask questions about their views, their health and progress and the ways that their blogs, podcasts and websites are impacting the state of the health here in America and even around the world. They are such a fun group and so giving of their time to effect change for the good of all of us, healthy and struggling alike.
|Me with Dana Carpender and That Nice Boy She Married, aka Eric Schmitz|
You will recognize Dana Carpender from her website Hold the Toast. I added Dana to my blog roll last year and have learned so much about the low carb movement from her. I did have the chance to have a long discussion with her yesterday, and got to sample some of her favorite low carb dishes, too! What a neat thing to do to open her home each year to host a party like this.
|Me with Jimmy Moore and his lovely wife, Christine|
It almost seems silly to give Jimmy Moore any introduction at all, but in case you are new to low carbing, Jimmy is an American blogger and author who is best known for his Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb books and blog. He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs promoting a high-fat, moderate protein, low carb diet plan. I had the honor of being a guest on his podcast in 2010 (which you can listen to here), as a result of being a "success story" in the newest Atkins book, The New Atkins For a New You, which was published that year. Jimmy is a hoot and it was so fun to finally meet him face to face.
|Dana Carpender, Gracie the Incidental Beagle and Jimmy Moore|
If you follow his blog, you will know that he has started a new n=1 experiment involving nutritional ketosis, which you can read about here. After losing almost two hundred pounds and then gaining a portion of it back, his struggles with trying to find "the magic bullet" that will take care of his weight problems in a permanent way have been well documented by Jimmy himself on his blog and in his podcasts. I admire his transparency in this matter, and I have always tried to emulate that honesty here in my blog. I must have done a good job of that, because my detractors seem to have memorized all of my failings!
I think that everyone there wanted to hear a first hand account of how his latest experiment is going, and I was no exception! Jimmy graciously took 15 or 20 minutes explaining to me what he is doing and how he has started losing weight again (yay!) as a result of tracking the ketone bodies in his blood with a specialized meter, similar to a blood glucose meter. After hearing more about it, I will be getting The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance, and trying out this experiment for myself to see if I can whittle off those last pesky 10 pounds! I am very anxiously awaiting Jimmy's next report of his progress. Onward and downward, Jimmy!
|Me with Amy Dungan|
A new person on my radar is Amy Dungan, the author of the Healthy Low-Carb Living blog. I had heard her name a few times, but just checked out her blog a few days ago. I added her to my blog roll (look right and scroll down) and I'm very interested to start trying to keep up with her and her posts. Like me, Amy has had her ups and downs with low carb living, and I admire her stick-to-itiveness and resolve to never give up. We also got to talk one on one for at least a half of an hour, as she shared her journey with me and the hopes she has for her blog. One fun thing - Amy looks so much like my daughter, Emily, and I could not resist telling her that and showing her Emily's senior portrait. Not only did Amy say there was a resemblance, but showed me photos of herself at a younger age to show how much she really did look like my daughter! (Amy's husband John was there, too, but was absent at picture-taking time.)
As the party was winding down and most of the folks had departed for home or hotel, several of us lingered in the living room and chatted. There was a nice gentleman sitting in the chair next to me, and presently, he extended his hand to me and said, "I don't think we've met. I'm Andrew. And how do I know you?" I was so happy that I could at least say I was in the new Atkins book! And, lo and behold, he was none other than Andrew DiMino, president, founder and publisher of Carbsmart.com. He told me about how he started in the business, and how he has recently made the decision to discontinue the online store at CarbSmart and focus on the online magazine. We also got to share before and after photos of each other, which was fun. Of course, I had to show him my morphing weight loss video on youtube.
Andrew was very patient to listen to my woes concerning my struggles with my weight and the attacks I came under writing this blog, and encouraged me to press on. Thanks for that, Andrew! Here is a little funny thing - earlier that day, I needed to test my camera, so I pointed it at Andrew (whom I had not yet met) and asked if I could snap his picture. And then I ended up having a great conversation with him a few hours later.
I was wondering what was going to offered in the way of cold drinks at the party. I have been off of diet soda for a while (although, I must admit I have one rarely as a special treat), so I was thinking I would be drinking water all day. I was so pleased to find out that Zevia had sponsored the party, and provided a ton of free cans of their all natural soda. I sampled the grape, orange and dew flavors, and I really liked them! Learn more about Zevia here, and where to purchase it in your area.
All in all, it was a great time, and was surely worth the trip! I'm sure I will attend next year, if Dana and Eric decide to continue this tradition, and maybe I can find a friend to bring. Maybe my husband!
In closing, I want to share this photo I took of Amy and Jimmy. Amy found these shirts at Walmart and could not resist buying a couple for herself and Jimmy, and, of course, they had to model them and have their picture taken! Both Jimmy and Amy have their detractors, but have managed to keep a positive and upbeat spirit about the whole thing. Obviously!