Every year since the inception of the “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” blog I have made it an annual tradition to identify ten of the most influential, news-making, momentum changers in the world of low-carb living. With the proverbial snowball already starting to grow and grow with more and more research and interest in the health and weight benefits of livin’ la vida low-carb, I’m pleased to announce the top 10 low-carb movers and shakers of 2008 (see who got named in 2007, 2006, and 2005):
1. GARY TAUBES
What more can you say about the man who has with the publication of a singular book brought enthusiasm and excitement back to low-carb again? That is precisely what Gary Taubes did last year with the September 2007 release of his instant classic blockbuster Good Calories, Bad Calories, one of the reasons he repeats for the second year in a row in my low-carb “movers and shakers” list. The seismic waves from Taubes’ book got an aftershock in September 2008 when the paperback version came out and he told me he will continue to push this message in the next few years as long as there is an audience who will hear him out. You can listen for yourself to just how impassioned Taubes is about the subjects he shared in his book in my podcast interview with him back in May (hear Part 1 and Part 2) as well as in this lecture he gave at many conferences this year where traditional physicians were in attendance. It is this kind of positive impact on the medical establishment that will bring public opinion around about low-carb diets.
2. DRS. MIKE & MARY DAN EADES
How can you do a list of the “movers and shakers” in the low-carb community and NOT list Drs. Mike and Mary Dan Eades? IMPOSSIBLE! That’s one reason they are the only 4-time repeat on this prestigious list and for good reason. They consistently defend and promote livin’ la vida low-carb from the prestigious position as medically-trained physicians as well as ambassadors for this way of eating to professionals and laypeople alike. Since the release of their popular low-carb programs called Protein Power and The Protein Power Lifeplan several years back, the first couple of low-carb has refused to let the pedal off the metal in telling everyone they come into contact with about how extremely healthy the low-carb lifestyle really is (that’s why I thought Dr. Mike would make an EXCELLENT presidential candidate). Through Dr. Mike’s always informative and entertaining blog posts to Dr. Mary Dan’s mouthwatering and delicious low-carb recipes, the continued impact of these two will be felt for many more years to come! In case you missed my podcast interview with the Eades’ earlier this year, check out Part 1 and Part 2. And be looking for their new release The 6-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle coming in March 2009.
3. DR. WILLIAM DAVIS
One of the newcomers to the low-carb scene in the past year has been Dr. William Davis from the “Heart Scan Blog.” Dr. Davis is a well-spoken man with solid research-based knowledge behind everything he says regarding lipids, heart disease, and health. The thing I like the best about Dr. Davis is that he’s a cardiologist who is open-minded enough in his thinking to come to conclusions about how to best help his patients through personal research and natural remedies for the ailments they may be suffering from. This is a rare commodity in the day and age of the “just take this pill to make it better” mentality. You wanna hear from a man who gets it…it’s Dr. William Davis (listen to my podcast interview with him from October 2008–Part 1 and Part 2).
4. LAURA DOLSON
My fellow low-carb bloggers on the Internet are such a special bunch of good people who are seeking to share the positive aspects of livin’ la vida low-carb in their own unique way. One of the best ones I have seen consistently provide professional, quality information about low-carb is none other than Laura Dolson from About Low-Carb Diets. After meeting with and getting to know Laura a little more in person earlier this year at an obesity conference in Phoenix, AZ, I was all the more impressed by the work she is doing at her web site. People often ask me if the growth of the low-carb blogging community is a bad thing. Uh, what?! It’s something I HIGHLY encourage others to become a part of quite often. In fact, I think it is FABULOUS to see such enthusiasm for this way of eating and I’m honored that this community is led by people like Laura Dolson.
5. MARK SISSON
Another low-carb blogger worthy of being named among the 2008 low-carb “movers and shakers” has got to be Mark Sisson from the “Mark’s Daily Apple” blog. Mark is a former Olympic athlete who realized after he messed up his body that the way he had always been taught regarding “healthy” eating was 100% dead wrong! That led him down a personal path to finding what he calls The Primal Blueprint to eat like our early ancestors did for optimal weight and health. And now he has built a HUGE following of fans at his blog sharing positive low-carb messages on a daily basis. In fact, Mark’s online presence has become so strong that he was featured on the Los Angeles, CA-based FOX News television affiliate for an interview about low-carb living! WOO HOO! Way to go, Mark, and keep fighting the good fight, my friend! Listen to my podcast interview with Mark Sisson by clicking here.
6. FRED HAHN
Another fresh face on the scene within the low-carb world as of late is fitness expert Fred Hahn, author of The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution as well as a companion blog. Fred eschews traditional cardiovascular exercise as irrelevant and unnecessary in favor of a safer and more effective program he calls “slow burn.” By lifting weights at a much slower pace than a typical trainer would have you do, Hahn believes you can fully exhaust all the muscles in your body within about 20-30 minutes a week. He suggests people combine this with a low-carb diet for maximum fat-burning results. It is INDEED a revolutionary concept which is why he is most deserving of being named to this list. I’ll be sharing a podcast interview I conducted with Fred Hahn on December 1, 2008 as he discusses his upcoming children’s book release entitled Strong Kids, Healthy Kids.
7. KENT ALTENA
Reaching back out into the great low-carb blogosphere, you can’t help but notice the tremendous work that Kent Altena, aka Bowulf, is doing at his blog and with his YouTube videos. You’ve seen ‘em and learned from this amazing man who started at over 400 pounds and was able to shed 200 pounds off of his body by following the dictates of the Atkins diet in conjunction with a deliberate exercise routine. In fact, today Kent is running in marathons and wears a shirt showing how many bags of sugar he has shed off of his body. I featured Kent Altena during my “Week of Weight Loss Wisdom” podcasts back in June and count him as one of my favorite low-carb buddies on the Internet today. This guy rawks!
8. DR. MARY C. VERNON
For people who are outside of the low-carb research community, you may not know very much about Dr. Mary C. Vernon. But let me tell you something, she is a real superstar for this way of eating and deserves a medal for all the tireless efforts she puts into promoting low-carb to other physicians who are interested in learning more about how it can help their patients. That’s one of the reasons why she got close to winning Diabetes Educator of the Year in 2007 and why I have nominated her again for this prestigious award in 2008. Dr. Vernon is one of the kindest, most approachable and fun-loving doctors you will ever encounter in your life. Her energy level and infectious attitude about livin’ la vida low-carb makes it impossible to not listen to what she has to say about the subject of diet and health. Hear for yourself what I’m talking about in my recent podcast interview with Dr. Mary C. Vernon (listen to Part 1 and Part 2).
9. DR. ERIC WESTMAN
Whether you realize it or not, much of the low-carb research that has been released this decade has one man to particularly thank for that. He is Dr. Eric Westman from Duke University. Dr. Westman was brave enough to begin working on studying the high-fat, low-carbohydrate nutritional approach seriously and having his work published in some very prestigious major medical journals several years back and remains on the forefront of continuing the research for many years to come. In addition to his research, Dr. Westman also sees patients in the Durham, North Carolina area implementing low-carb strategies for helping with such health problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more. I was privileged to meet with and observe Dr. Westman in action in May and got a feel for how much he truly cares about the people he is trying to help. This is a quality that cannot be taught–he just has it! THANK YOU for all the great work you are doing and will continue to do, Dr. Westman (read my blog interview with him and listen to my podcast to hear what this amazing man has to share about the low-carb lifestyle!).
10. JACKIE EBERSTEIN
Last, but most certainly not least, I want to recognize and honor the work that Jackie Eberstein is doing to promote healthy low-carb living to the masses. Jackie worked directly with the late great Dr. Robert C. Atkins for 30 years as his faithful nurse and so she is arguably the most knowledgeable expert on the Atkins diet in the world today. Her experience working with Dr. Atkins’ patients for so many years has given her insights into how this way of eating can help people overcome weight, beat their Type 2 diabetes, lower their blood pressure, improve insulin regulation, and so much more. For people looking to start the Atkins diet, I often point people to this page on Jackie’s Controlled Carbohydrate Nutrition web site for an overview of what the diet is all about. She is a true wealth of knowledge about low-carb and shared that wisdom with us on my podcast show in June (listen to Part 1 and Part 2). You can meet Jackie Eberstein as well as Dr. Westman on our upcoming 2nd Annual Low-Carb Cruise to Mexico in January 2009.
Honorable mentions: DR. RICHARD BERNSTEIN, DR. BARRY GROVES, DR. JAMES CARLSON, ARTHUR DEVANY, DR. KEITH BERKOWITZ, DR. RICHARD FEINMAN, DAVID MENDOSA, DR. JAY WORTMAN, DR. JONNY BOWDEN and DANA CARPENDER
Did I miss someone OBVIOUS who should have been on this list of low-carb “movers and shakers” in 2008? I tried to add a few new faces to the bunch this year to give honor to a variety of different people working across various formats to impact the world of low-carb living. But I’m happy to entertain your feedback about the people I named and who else should have been listed for their contributions to the promotion of the low-carb way of life. Share those in the comments section below.
11-6-08 UPDATE: Some of the top 10 nominees have contacted me today to respond to being named in the Top 10 Low-Carb Movers & Shakers of 2008:
To be put in the company of Mike, Gary and the others is a true honor Jimmy! I’ll be working hard to keep it up. Thank you so much.
All the best,
Really appreciate your adding me to the 10 Most list. I’m honored. Thanks.
Thank you so much for the honor of naming me again this year and in such distinguished company.
Just noticed that I was listed in your blog! That’s so nice and it’s a great list.
I am still honored to be considered amongst the big names of the low carb industry and that people still discover what low carb and Atkins Diet means through my videos. I truly don’t think I am worthy of the honor, but I appreciate the thought. Keep up the great work, and spreading the gospel of healthy living and eating.
Thanks for including us in your movers and shakers post. We appreciate it.
Dr. Mike Eades