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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Low Carb Cruise II -- Will BELCHOW replace TWICHOO?

This post sponsored by:  ScreenHunter

Not really, that's just the name of the screenshot proggy I used to capture this comment I tried to leave on Jimmy's blog:

I'm not surprised that the lineup of speakers on the LC Cruise in May has changed dramatically since first announced.  It happened before in 2010 as I discussed in my last post.   I think this is rather poor form announcing this on his blog as just a "finalized speaker schedule".   This information is being circulated in rather low key fashion.  While I'm sure Jimmy is disappointed and worried many will cancel, I think he owes it to those he sold on the cruise with those names to let them know ASAP so they can make an informed decision if they still want to attend.  I also wonder how long he's known as well, as he confirmed several replacements prior to making the announcement.  Put in the context of "here's our amazing list", the change in two positions doesn't seem like much, but clearly Robb Wolf and Gary Taubes are a huge duo.

Honestly I'm surprised more are not registering their disappointment in this.  There's surely a hard core group of cruising friends for whom this is the social event of the year.  I sure can't blame them for that, but eh?  If it was me and I wanted to cruise with a bunch of friends, I would ... go on a really great cruise with a couple of friends!   I'm not a huge cruiser, but I've been on three and my close family has been on several more.   There's nothing about Carnival or that itinerary that floats my boat, and looking at the rates ... nothing special there either.   I've paid comparable or less for 10 day cruises on better lines.   And, umm ... even if I was up for informational cruising, this I just don't get.  Rather than sitting in a hot tub or soaking up VitD producing rays on the deck I can't see myself wanting to spend time in a dark room on what looks like folding chairs  listening to any of those speeches no matter how entertaining I hear a few of those speakers are.    I guess my point being, getting together with old LC friends aside, there's got to be a "celeb" factor involved in going on a cruise like this, and I'm amazed more haven't complained (or maybe they don't know yet?) that Gary and Robb won't be there.

OK, pre-ramble aside, reader FashionTribesDiet wondered what the loss of Wolf and Taubes meant for the future of TWICHOO and such.  Sadly FTD, although even the toothpick of TWICHOO has been badly worn, the fact that so many MD's and PhD's put their reputations on the line signing Taubes recent publicity stunt petition (more than 400 total at this point although that number includes imposters, dupes and the letterless) shows just much headway he actually has made.  If nothing else, there probably will always be LC Cruises for Gary Taubes, and Jimmy will be glad to have him back even if he left him high and dry for this dance.   If there is a prestigious obesity conference that invited Gary to address, unfortunately some people  of greater import than Jimmy Moore are still listening to his fairy tales.

I won't hold my breath waiting for the blog post on complete with lecture slides and video of his Belgian presentation along with his apology to all his fans for dissing them in favor of a better gig.  But I think that's the least he could do under the circumstances, plus it would make Jimmy look a bit better too.  Heck, surprise me Gary!  Show those fans who are at least partly responsible for your being invited to speak because of their steadfast support that you care and appreciate them.  

So anyway, I'm just having a little fun here in the Acronym Shop at the Asylum.  BELCHOW = Befuddled Evidence Leptin Carbohydrate Hypothesis Of Whatever -- since TWICHOO sounds a bit like a sneeze, this was the best I could come up with that sounded like a noisy bodily function ;-)  

You see, the way Jimmy tells it, Robb was the first to drop, and his replacement was Wheat Belly.  But the Taubes back-out came later and must have sent Jimmy grasping to find a replacement of equal star power.  Honestly, regardless of my opinion of the man, I don't think you can find someone with even near that star power in LLVLC land.  So the backup plan quickly became two replacements.  The two?  The males of the Leptin Triplets, Dr. Ron Rosedale and Dr. Jack Kruse (or  L.Ron and Leptin Man as I like to call them).   I imagine Taubes might have spoken on sugar, but probably he'd go back to his classic Adiposity 101 lecture he's given so many times.  This is being replaced by lectures bookending the three days of presentations.  Jack will speak on "Factor X" -- which, if you listen to his Encore Week podcast, is whatever the audience wants him to speak on, but it's sure to invoke his Leptin Rx/Reset and leptin sensitivity.  On the back end L.Ron will entertain with Leptin, Insulin, Food And The Disease Of Aging” or what I'm sure we could rename "How Carbs Kill" -- oh wait, that's someone else's schtick, it's more how carbs cause leptin spikes cause leptin resistance and somehow via insulin and insulin resistance the whole shebang conflates to age you prematurely and keep you from the longevity I promise to my following at the Church of Scikrispology ... oh and you're all diabetic sinners!  Repent!  

Although L.Ron does like to work insulin liberally into the mix, and he may even be more anti-carb than Taubes, if that's possible, he's really all about leptin in the end.  And who can even figure out what Leptin Man is for because he's all over the map.  Although throughout his interview with Jimmy he kept using that "we" word and identifying himself with the low carb/paleo community, he eats carbs (and apparently a lot of protein) at certain times of the year and seemed outright insulted when he misinterpreted me as saying he was a low carber.  One wonders if that time in May is too soon for him to eat carbs aboard.   In any case, if these two stay even remotely true to their roots, the audience aboard will get a good dose of BELCHOW (the W = whatever because obesity is not L.Ron's focus, they share an interest in longevity, both have a little Woodstock wannabe streak in them, Jack's all over the map, etc.) .   If the audience is actually listening and learning, they'll begin to wonder why leptin is a word that very rarely passes through the lips of Taubes as he insists he is the only man on the planet that can save us from the havoc insulin has wrought!  They might just begin to wonder why leptin is so often ignored in LLVLClue-land.  Wheat Belly speaks more of addiction, battery acid, visceral fat and moobs than basic TWICHOO.   L.Ron and Leptin Man will talk leptin.  Can Andreas Eenfeldt save the day for TWICHOO??

I just have to laugh.  Fred's presentation on the cruise will be entitled:  “Exercise: The Truth And Nothing But The Truth, So Help Me Fred”   No comment....

Oh ... and someone on FB is super excited to meet Veronica Atkins.  Huh?  THAT I just don't get.  


Karen said...

I tried to see if you had a reply to your comment and saw nothing. Betcha it stays that way if your comment stays at all. So do you have an opinion on Wheat Belly? Have I missed your rebuttle to that?

Chris said...


If you listen to Robb's podcasts there is no way that he is low carb.....

Karen said...

Jimmy is headed paleo anyway! His lists he puts up when he isnt going to be around for awhile are mostly paleo. He is moving away from low carb whether he wants to believe it or not.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Hey Karen, I might have to buy and give away a free copy of Jimmy's book if he publishes that comment.

As to Wheat Belly, Davis' blog degenerated into Mercola land over the year leading up to the release. While I have no doubt many people can benefit from eliminating wheat from their diets -- some with true gluten intolerances, and others because wheat tends to be the basis of bread, pastries, fried food breadings -- he fails to lay out any sort of evidence that (1) wheat is fattening per se, and especially (2) even if it is that wheat leads specifically to visceral fat accumulation. If you use the search on the side bar on Wheat Belly you'll see I blogged on him quite a bit. What's up with the chin fat and baggy doctor coat on the pic from his Encore Week post anyway???

Fashiontribes Diet said...

My guess is that the Belgians invited GT for his marquee value - he's controversial & a relatively well-known author (NYT & all that) so they're banking on his presence creating interest & buzz for the event. I think the fact he ditched the LC crowd as led by JM reminded me of that book "A Confederacy of Dunces" where the main character tries to organize a revolution of the downtrodden with slogan painted on soggy bedsheets and lots (& lots) of BS/blather.

Karen said...

Well I dont want the book!!! LOL I will check it out. Didnt think of looking under Labels
@Fashiontribes ROFLOL BS/blather

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

@Karen: I think Jimmy's been trying to co-opt paleo to keep LC going ... all the while in the past year paleo has become less and less equated with low carb. Jimmy's got a problem ... Livin la vida paleo doesn't have quite the same ring.

@FTD: If this is a lesser known conference inviting him for that reason, it's more of a middle finger to Jimmy & Cruisers. I'm not aware that such conferences with established prestige engage in this sort of thing!

river rance said...

Why would anyone pay money to go on an average cruise line with a poor itinerary to hear recycled information from the same speakers? What's to be learned? JM has lost 100# on low fat and 100# on low carb, now he's paleo?
Calories don't count and you'll get fat exercising (akt Taubes)…oh and most recently JM's problems are solved he's applying a testosterone cream…to do what? Living la vida morning wood? Taubes,Eades,Moore,Sisson, et al., circle jerk?

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Yeah rr, but it's really all the more reason that the "celebs" such as they are come through. Looking at the schedule of presentations, if someone gets their money's worth they're sitting in darkened rooms during the prime sunning and funning hours of the three sea days. I am just not seeing using vacation time and spending the money to go to begin with -- at least on a Richard Simmons Cruise to Lose that's what you do and with most theme cruises the theme is for the whole boat or a considerable group. Even 250 is a drop in the bucket on a cruise ship. So while there's surely LC friendly food on a cruise, it is more likely a constant barrage of not-so-LC friendly stuff. And you've paid a bundle and whatcha gonna eat? So if the idea is to immerse yourself in LC, that's not likely to happen. I felt so bad for one of the coordinators Becky Gandy last year when she blogged about being "caught" by the carb police eating pancakes with real syrup! Jeez. On my last two vacations I was the same size at the end, not even tight pants, as the beginning eating moderately of anything I wanted. And I did that when I was hard core low carbing too. I do like the all-you-can eat thing about all-inclusives for another reason. You order something and you don't like it? Order something else. That dessert sounds great? Have it, take two bites, that's enough! I guess I wonder how much fun those who struggle staying LC have on such cruises too.

Sigh ... I've probably said too much about this by now. Sometimes I just can't wrap my head around certain things, and this is one of them.

Fashiontribes Diet said...

@ river rance Agree totally. Now, if JM had kept it off after losing it, that'd probably be worth paying (some) money to hear how. However, he's huge - and call me a skeptic - I tend to resist taking diet advice from someone fat. He's now dissing Weight Watchers - the fact Charles Barkley promotes it - however, for me personally, it's the only way I found to lose all my extra padding and, the hardest part, am maintaining my loss. It contains everything I need to stay skinny: restricting calories, tracking everything you eat, maintaining a regular exercise program and, yes, eating carbs. And I'm skinny and he's not. So where he gets off scoffing about WW is simply beyond me. Fool. *sigh*

Tonus said...

What I don't get is how he can continue to mock alternative approaches to weight loss as failures because they leave a person hungry and unsatisfied, when his chosen approach has not curbed his tendency to eat far more than he needs.

If the failure of low-fat and low-calorie diets is that they are not satisfying enough, then the logical conclusion is that the best diet is the one that provides the necessary nutrition while preventing overeating. LCers often apply this logic to non-LC approaches, but when LC doesn't prevent overeating, it's a sign of a damaged metabolism? Errr... okay.


As for the LC cruise, I can understand why people would want to join one even aside from having one or two high-profile speakers show up. Yeah, I expect that the opportunity to chew the fat (metaphorically or otherwise) with a Taubes would be a highlight for the attendees. But in the internet and social-media age, people form large and tight-knit communities where few (or even none) of the participants regularly meet face-to-face. So the cruise can be an opportunity to meet each other in the flesh and spend some time doing the old fashioned get-together type stuff, the stuff we did before we were reduced to 256-color icons and underlined screen names.

So I can see why a person would still want to go on the LC cruise, even if the event doesn't seem so, uh... palatable on its face. I'm more intrigued by what this might mean for the future of the LC cruises and for Taubes and his 'relationship' (as it were) with the LC community. I think that the infrastructure is there for supporting him long past the time when it becomes clear that he's gotten over them (if that is indeed the case). Plenty of smaller lights have (IMO) hitched their credibility to his wagon, and have much to lose if he leaves LC fandom at the altar. It could be amusing to watch.

Or maybe my imagination is getting the better of me. *goes back to sculpting a scale model of a fluffy LDL particle*

Karen said...

I watched the video's he put up and I saw them differently than JM did. Oh well. He seees it the way he wants to. Poor guy.

Sanjeev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


"I think the fact he ditched the LC crowd as led by JM reminded me of that book "A Confederacy of Dunces" where the main character tries to organize a revolution of the downtrodden with slogan painted on soggy bedsheets and lots (& lots) of BS/blather."

I will now forever picture JM as Ignatius Reilly!

Someone should send him a Stormy Kromer (lately resurrected as ironic hipster fashion) and he can wear it with the earflaps down.


As far as the cruise, I was offered a spot as a speaker a few years ago. Even then I did not care to affiliate as a low carb writer, so I declined. Like you, I was horrified at the level of obesity among both cruisers and speakers in videos on Jimmy's site.

It is doubtful if large honoraria are offered for this, and having read and sympathized with the linked essay by David Foster Wallace, it does not seem farfetched to have folks with valuable time and real careers opt to do something other than go on a cruise - any cruise.

Sanjeev said...

Ignatius will do, considering the other choice from the book is the proprietor of the clothing company ... wasn't it James or Jimmy Pants?

a bad choice - since our Jimmy Moore eschews exercise, he doesn't pant.

If a sad 90s joke will do for a name, then Jimmy Pants ... NOT.

All this talk of cruises reminded me of a Gary North[0] article where he claimed some older folks were living on these ships full time, getting off one, staying in a hotel for a day to or a few and boarding another because they were cheaper than retirement homes.

[0] I won't link to it; one can never tell what his agenda is, and IMHO he always has one.

Christopher said...

@ Evelyn - Well, your comment's still not there (Surprising? I highly doubt we'll hear any more about Cruisegate, actually - that one's safely down the memory hole (if I may add one more classic lit reference...). The surprising thing to me was that you were even able to submit it in the first place. I was banned months ago - when I was even somewhat on Jimmy's "side". Made the fatal mistake of asking the wrong questions, I suppose (or maybe the right questions, come to think of it). I'm surprised there's anyone left to comment on his musings. Then again, who really knows what the original comments look like - something that certainly happened to me before being banished. The opening sentence would be conveniently spliced to "Thanks for all you do, Jimmy!" with much of the substance in between gone who-knows-where.

One last thing - all this attacking WW over at LLVLC totally perplexes me. So Jimmy and others are bashing a WOE that, arguably, as many or more have successfully lost weight with as LC? Of course there are massive issues with the whole low fat paradigm - but there seem to be even bigger ones with the eat-as-much-fat-as-I-want-and-not-get-fat worldview. JM is but one particularly glaring example (I don't buy all this "deranged metabolism" stuff for a second. Funny how that term came into wide usage around the time the menus blog disappeared). Anyway, it's disconcerting to see so many people saying they couldn't deal with WW because of "hunger". I think that's the problem with Americans and diet: they want their cake AND their tray of paleo lemon bars. In 2004-2005 I lost well over 100 lbs. counting calories (to reasonable levels). Oh, and I exercised. Haven't heard that word in LLVLC-land in a while.

BigWhiskey said...

well, let me try this again...Resveratrol is getting beaten to a pulp...

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

@FT, Kurt & Sanjeev: Ignatius it is!

@Kurt, one of these days perhaps I'll share my thoughts on cruises in general. They perhaps color my opinions here, but then all the more reason for the theme part of going on such.

@Christopher: The screenshot is of the comment I tried to leave. It never got posted & I didn't expect it too. Yeah, the WW bashing and the like is getting quite bizarre. Someone was hungry on WW so that didn't work, but they're never hungry on LC (but don't look now it's not working either).

@BigWhiskey -- I guess Ted Hutchinson doesn't have a reason to drink his bottle of red wine per day any more.

@Karen: JM has his own worldview ;) Must come with ALL that muscle he's added this past year.

@Tonus: I see the community get-together idea here, but that's where I'd rather do something else. It sounds great at first blush. Then I look at the boat and the itinerary and I start adding up the $$ and I'm thinking of other ways I'd like to spend the time and money.

Fashiontribes Diet said...

@ Kurt

"Someone should send him a Stormy Kromer (lately resurrected as ironic hipster fashion) and he can wear it with the earflaps down." LOL. Agree!

@ christopher

"Cruisegate" - that cracked me right up! :)

"Anyway, it's disconcerting to see so many people saying they couldn't deal with WW because of "hunger"." One thing that stunned me when I read the JM/Ignatius anti-WW post was the number of commenters either complaining that writing down what you eat was just "too much work" (is brushing your teeth daily too much work? what about getting dressed for work?) or that WW is "low in calories". Well duh. And their weird fixation on WW being "low fat" - it actually is whatever you want it to be. You can choose to spend your daily points on a meal of roast chicken with a baked potato & veggies braised in homemade bone broth (like I often do) or nuke one of those awful processed WW frozen-dinners the brand sells or even fix up a heaping of the LC'ers beloved extra-fatty meat fried in additional coconut oil & further embellished with pats of butter if you so desire. *sigh* Ignatius is peddling a whole lotta hooey about something he knows nothing about when it comes to WW.

@ Evelyn

I know you don't really buy the notion of food addiction, but I wonder if there's a middle ground with "trigger" foods (SG's "high reward" foods I guess). For me there are certain food items that I just can't have around and have expressly forbidden the hubs to ever bring into the house under threat of bad-bad things (for him). So I wonder if the JM crowd is just too obsessed with their trigger foods to ever contemplate having to give them up? In part, I guess, it was the vitriol & nasty tone of the JM crowd that had me scratching my head. It's a mystery to me, especially when WW is a viable solution for many people.

Do you think it's that they're just too lazy to actually write down their food, measure their portions and commit to some kind of regular exercise or, like you've pointed out, they just wanna believe in weight loss fairytales? Yes Virginia, there is a magic Weight Loss Potion (or testosterone cream) out there and it's located in LC Country, Land of the BELCHOW.

Sanjeev said...

Indeed such a gift would be a cromulent Kromer.

Anonymous said...

Maybe no one else did WW 20+ years ago when it was low carb? Bread was seriously restricted, and you did't get a banana or potato til after week 10 or so. The Points program is much more sane.

Re: Trigger foods, I used to eat at least a half bag of caramels a day. I would get anxious is there were no caramels in the house. I kept them hidden. With potatoes in my diet, I can be around sweets, no problem - caramels are safe. I don't even struggle. Not sure if I was misinterpreting a "give me starch" signal or what.

Love that DFW essay. I would go on a cruise if I were going to Europe anyway and had time to take a boat instead of flying.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

@FTD: Yes, I believe in trigger foods, I just don't have any anymore. There's something, for me, about allowing myself to eat anything in moderation occasionally that killed the trigger food thing = binging. Most of that was worked out before I tried LC the first time, however, so there was still a problem with diet mentality and being on or off a diet that still did me in. However I am struggling lately with having relaxed my eating, now the junk hubby brings into the house seems more appealing just because it's there, and between semesters I'm home a lot. It's harder to eat just a few, so I've asked hubby not to bring the stuff home or hide it. Out of sight, out of mind.

bentleyj74 said...

I believe trigger foods are real but I do think the angst is exaggerated. I love chocolate chip cookie dough even more than I love cookies but I'm not going to be found huddled in a bathroom stall with a spoon and a lighter if ya kwim ;)

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