It was right about one week ago that Christine and I stepped off of the Carnival Freedom ship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after spending a tremendously encouraging, educational, and inspirational voyage with over 100 of my fellow low-carb enthusiasts. The annual Low-Carb Cruise has become the highlight of the year for so many of us in the low-carb community since we started this tradition back in 2008. What started out simply as a way for us to connect with our online low-carb friends has exploded into something bigger than any of us could have ever imagined. Little did we know what was to come when the 19 of us who originally went on that first official low-carb cruise set sail. We couldn’t have dreamt it would become the life-changing event that it is today. And the 5th Annual Low-Carb Cruise coming in May 2012 is already shaping up to be the MOST AMAZING Low-Carb Cruise we’ve ever done! More exciting details about that in a moment.
Welcome to this special edition of “Fun-Filled Friday” where I generally talk about anything and everything under the moon, post fun and funny photos and videos that interest me whether they deal with livin’ la vida low-carb or not, and just overall have a great time letting loose to end the week. I’ve been playing catch-up all week this week after being gone on the cruise and those 3,000 e-mails that piled up while I was gone have been kicking me in the tail. But I’ve gotten through them now and am almost back to my regular routine again (which is already pretty crazy even without being a week behind). There’s just so much to blog about and so little time. We’ll get ‘er done when we can I assure you. But lemme tell you all about this amazing cruise we were just on with all our rowdy low-carb friends. I could write a book and half about it, but I’ll stick with the highlights.
Since we’ve been going on these low-carb cruises for a few years now, we’ve made some really fantastic relationships with people from around the world. That picture of the guy choking me is Chris who along with his wife Ailsa have made an annual trek to the United States from the UK to be with us on this cruise. What wonderful people they are and I couldn’t imagine having a Low-Carb Cruise without their two smiling faces gracing us each day. Don and Debbie are also fantastic friends from the western United States who have been positively impacted by the Low-Carb Cruise–Don, in fact, lost an incredible amount of weight a couple of years ago after hearing about this way of eating on the cruise. WOO HOO! Kim has been a sweetheart to have with us as well as the stalwart of them all helping to keep us all in line–the one and only Becky Gandy. While I might be the face of the Low-Carb Cruise because I’m not afraid to stand up in front of people and talk (and as my wife Christine would tell you, talk and talk and talk…), Becky and these other ladies who are all dear friends are the real iron horses that help make this happen each and every year. Becky’s organizational skills for doing the administrative behind-the-scenes work are very much appreciated by me and the fruits of her labor and all the other members of the Low-Carb Cruise Committee have been evident in the steady rise in attendance each year–especially the past two years when we’ve been around 100 people. It takes some special people to accommodate a group that size and they’ve done it graciously and voluntarily. For that, I am so incredibly grateful for their sacrifices to make this happen! Love you gals!
This year we had quite the surprise when 20 people from Sweden decided to join us on the Low-Carb Cruise. In case you haven’t been paying attention to what’s been going on in Sweden regarding diet the past few years, a revolution has sprung up. I blogged just last month about a brand new survey showing nearly one out of every four Swedes are eating lower-carb and 5 percent of the population is hard-core doing what they call LCHF (Low-Carb, High-Fat). It’s the kind of trend I could see happening with livin’ la vida low-carb in the United States once the fat-phobia begins to subside. Led by the amazing Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt who gave us an impassioned lecture on what is happening in Sweden right now, this group of Swedes were incredible examples of what real food, low-carb living is REALLY all about. Butter, bacon and eggs good. Bread, burgers with the bun, and sugary sweets not so good. Unlike what that marketing rep Erin Fray shared in my podcast interview recently about a product called “The Swedish Diet” (you’ve GOT to see what Dr. Eenfeldt says about this weight loss supplement supposedly from Sweden here), LCHF is the real deal. This really impressed upon the U.S. and Canadian low-carb cruisers who might have been a little lax in their low-carb lifestyle that it’s time to get really serious about doing this low-carb, high-fat thing in earnest. I cannot tell you how many people have talked about how they will be refocusing their diets when they return home from the cruise as a result of their encounter with the Swedish LCHF people. They’ve already told me they are aiming to bring 100 people to the 2012 cruise–the more the merrier! And I’ve even personally invited one of the heroes of the LCHF movement Dr. Annika Dahlqvist to be with us next year as well. We love the Swedes! I’ll be blogging more about the Swedish low-carb movement again very soon with a possible project that could have me visiting Sweden for several weeks sometime in the next year. More about that coming soon.
So what about the speakers on The 4th Annual Low-Carb Cruise? We had some really fantastic ones again this year, including Tom Naughton from FAT HEAD, Jackie Eberstein who worked with the late, great Dr. Robert C. Atkins himself for 30 years, low-carb physician Dr. Mary Vernon, Fred Hahn from Slow Burn fame, a reproductive endocrinologist who uses low-carb diets with patients named Dr. Michael Fox, bestselling low-carb cookbook author Dana Carpender, and, as I mentioned above, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt from Sweden. There have already been some incredible wrap-up posts written about the cruise and the speakers from several bloggers who were on the 2011 Low-Carb Cruise, so I’ll link to them here:
Laura Dolson from About.com Low-Carb Diets
Fred Hahn from Slow Burn Fitness
Tom Naughton from FAT HEAD
Becky Gandy from The Weight Down
Ailsa Washington from Beyond The Extremes Of Weight Loss
Anita from Truth And Lies About Food
Reports from others on the official Low-Carb Cruise Facebook page
Since I was in charge of making sure all the speakers were set up and ready to give their lectures, introduce them to the cruise attendees, and other such duties of hosting the Low-Carb Cruise, I didn’t get to pay as much attention to the details of what was said by each or to take notes. I knew I had plenty of others there to do that who would do an excellent job. But the overall message I heard from each of the speakers this year rang through loud and clear: eat real food, make sure you consume a high-fat, low-carb diet for optimal health, always be on the lookout for quality science that actually means something, don’t watch The Dr. Oz Show if you expect to expand your knowledge about healthy living (seriously, that came up as a common theme), realize that LCHF is becoming a worldwide phenomenon and be ready to help spread the message when it happens where you live, carry on the legacy of Dr. Atkins by sharing your health/weight loss with the people you encounter, women’s health mostly centers on controlling insulin which can be limited by eating a high-fat, low-carb diet, strength training is essential to making your body a lean, mean fat-burning machine, and the lives of real people are being radically changed for the better each and every day thanks to the tireless efforts of physicians who are committed to sharing low-carb nutritional therapy with their patients. There’s so much more I could say about the conference part of the Low-Carb Cruise this year, but I don’t want this post to go on and on and on. Perhaps I’ll write some follow-up posts about it.
Several of our speakers set up video of their talks to place on the Internet so you can enjoy hearing what they had to say. In 2012, we’ve already hired someone to do this for us so we can make a DVD of the event for those who can’t come next year (and it’s gonna be a CAN’T MISS one I assure you!). Dr. Michael Fox gave an outstanding lecture on women’s health (which surprisingly appealed to many of the men in the audience), but his camera stopped recording shortly after he started. But we did salvage two of the lectures–the always hilarious and informative Tom Naughton with a presentation called “Science for Smart People” you’ll see posted on YouTube below and Dana Carpender’s “Behind The Low-Carb Headlines” (posted in two parts on her blog here and here):
It wasn’t all just some stuffy low-carb lecture-fest on the Low-Carb Cruise–this was a CRUISE after all! Here are some random pics of our fun in the sun and nightlife on the Carnival Freedom with stops in Key West, FL, Grand Cayman Islands, and Ocho Rio, Jamaica:
Some low-carb cruisers like Nick were a little more “loving” than others–ummm, EWWW!
Speaking of EWWW, I was terrified swimming with the stingrays in the Caymans…
Hundreds of them would swim right by your legs and I was terrified…
When we moved over to snorkeling near the coral reefs, that was more my speed…
The turtle farm in the Caymans was also pretty cool…no snapping turtles, so we’re good…
After a long, hot day of baking in the sun, nothing beats an ice cold coconut water…
They tried hard to get me to drink–champagne, wine, margaritas…OH MY!
I didn’t mind singing “Elvira” with my buddy Tom during karaoke time…
In Key West, we had some fun in the “living pictures” section of their historical museum…
We even managed to record some “Low-Carb Conversations” podcast episodes…
If you went on the 2011 Low-Carb Cruise or if you’d like to get a feel for what it was like from people who were there, then be sure to listen to the next four episodes (#9-12) of the “Low-Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore & Friends” podcast devoted to some of the highlights of the cruise. I have but merely scratched the surface of what the cruise was like this year…you really have to be there to experience it to know why so many of us keep going back year after year. It is THE low-carb event of the year!
But you might be asking, “Jimmy, what about next year’s cruise is gonna make it so spectacular?” I’m glad you asked! Besides getting the chance to meet some truly remarkable people like you can do every year, we’ve got not just two but THREE days at sea when we can do the low-carb conference part of the trip. That allows me the opportunity to invite even MORE people to come on board as guest speakers and we already have some marquee names in the low-carb/Paleo world lined up for you, including:
We’ve got a few more pending confirmations from people who will complement this all-star line-up! Landing Gary Taubes for the Low-Carb Cruise was HUGE because he usually only lectures to physicians, researchers and other medical professionals, but he wanted to reach out to the low-carb community as a way of giving back for all of your support of his work over the past few years. I promise you will NOT want to miss this unique opportunity to meet Gary and the rest of the speakers when we set sail on The 5th Annual Low-Carb Cruise next year! Here are the details about the cruise we will be taking in 2012 so far:
DATES: May 6-13, 2012 (7-day cruise)
WHERE: Galveston, TX port
WHAT SHIP: Carnival Magic
WHAT DESTINATIONS: Montego Bay, Jamaica, Grand Caymans, and Cozumel, Mexico
EXPECTED ATTENDANCE: 500+ enthusiastic Paleo/low-carbers
Details about signing up for the 2012 Low-Carb Cruise will be coming soon to LowCarbCruiseInfo.com as soon as we get everything set with Carnival. If you’ve been even THINKING about going on one of these cruises, then I HIGHLY suggest you consider this one which by all accounts looks to be our biggest and best yet. Don’t regret not going–be sure to be one of the first to sign up when registration begins sometime in June or July 2011. We’ll certainly let you know when, where, and how much to sign up in due course. We missed you this year, but we hope to see you on The Low-Carb Cruise in May 2012!
That’s it for this special edition of “Fun-Filled Friday.” I have a TON of stuff to share over the next few weeks on Fridays, but keep the fun, funny, and interesting stuff coming by e-mailing me anything you see that fits the bill. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a fabulous weekend! I’ll likely be blogging some this weekend too to get caught up on some more stuff!