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Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”
~ Charles Darwin (it's evolutionary baybeee!)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

carbsmart??


You've probably all seen it somewhere perusing the low carb web ... the carbsmart affiliate logo, or even that yellow and blue CS.  Carbsmart is ... err was ... an online retailer of low carb foodstuffs -- mostly the stuff we'd call junk foods.  For over a decade low carbers could order up their favorite goods from this outfit.  As many low carbers do still depend on some of these "frankenfoods", I actually have no problem with outfits like the former C filling their needs.  In my opinion this is "honest business" whether the founder and CEO weighs 180 lbs or 380 lbs.  Cwas a "middle man" in such potential low carb frauds as Dreamfields pasta and similar products, and I hold DF's makers responsible for that fiasco.  I also have no problem with C advertising on websites and blogs with subject matter likely to attract potential customers.  I'm a bit more critical of same-said bloggers and website owners, especially more recently when these folks are making $$ off these affiliations, posting reviews that at least infer endorsement, but having long since altered their personal diets to avoid the very "candy cigarettes" they make money from.  It's a step up from making money from Google Ads for Medifast and Jillian Michaels, but not a large step in my book.


cropped - full picture link from Jimmy Moore Twitter
So why am I bringing this up?  Well, because CS has changed its mission, and now it is far more important who owns and writes for the outfit.  I tweeted on this, but after looking a little more closely at CS, I think this deserves more than a quick mention, especially considering the wording of the press release about the switch. You see Andrew Dimino founded the company in 1999 as an online retailer.  The picture upper-levt shows him with Dr. Atkins who died in April 2003, therefore it's likely around 10 years old.  Hardly a slim guy, but I've seen older (removed?) pics of Andrew on the web from pre-weight loss so he did lose some weight.  On his LC Conversations podcast with Jimmy last year, we learn his losses were about 50 lbs.  Pictures from the 2010 cruise showed an obese man, and upper-right is a recent picture from this month's meeting of Nutrition & Metabolism Society / American Society of Bariatric Physicians.   There's no tippy-toeing around that he's an obese man now.  For all the talk about LC and aging and health and all that .... no comment.  

So I learned of this latest development from long time affiliate Dana "fighting the LF lie since 1996" Carpender.  From the press release dated 4/16/12:
CarbSmart, the leading resource of information about the low-carb lifestyle and popular online retailer of low-carb products, is tightening its focus in order to bring the low-carb, diabetic, and Paleo lifestyles to more people who will most benefit from them.
On April 13, 2012, CarbSmart closed its online store and turned its focus to reaching millions more people with its message about the benefits of the low carb lifestyle. “We’re building a supportive community of people who successfully live the low carb lifestyle and help others learn how easy it is to do,” says company founder and president Andrew DiMino. The company’s goal is to reach 5 million new readers within the next 12 months by delivering honest, reliable information about how to live a healthier life through the low-carb, diabetic-friendly approach to healthy eating.
Ex-cyooze me?  Dimino himself may be successfully doing something related to low carb, but easily achieving a healthy weight ain't one of them!
“We’ve helped people from all walks of life learn how to eat healthier and achieve their ideal weight the low carb way,” says DiMino. “However, there’s more to be done and we’re ready to take the company to the next level to do it.”
How can he say that with a straight face when Amy Dungan, who also hailed the change on her website,  no doubt (or we'd have new after pics!) weighs substantially more than her before pic.  At least her 2001-2002 weight loss success story is not on CarbSmart, but it's the only one of her's still on her website as of this post. It's changed a bit hemming and hawwing ... but there's a whole lot of dishonesty in what's omitted here.
So to skip forward, I’ve spent the last several years doing my best to stay on plan and get back to that size 6. So far it’s been an elusive goal. I do well for a while, lose a good bit of weight, then life kicks me in the junk and I slowly fall apart. I’ve yet to find a fix for my stress issues. But I’m trying. And I’m making progress in small steps. I WILL see that size 6 again. And I’m still healthier than in my low-fat-someone-please-put-me-out-of-my-misery days, despite the extra weight. I’m still medication free, and still feeling very good, with the exception of minor flare-ups when I do allow myself the wrong foods. My self-esteem has also taken a hard hit over the years and I fight it daily. Especially with my failings being so public. Like I said in the beginning, I’m no one special. I’m not a guru or shining example. I’m just a gal trying to make it all work and sharing what I learn with others along the way. And I like bacon. Lots and lots of bacon.
1st before/after - direct image link
It's hard not to sympathize with someone who struggles, but it's also hard to grin and bear such deceit.  If you're bearing all in public, then tell it like it is.  Since posting publicly available pictures already got me booted from everywhere they can boot me from, I'll post some more here.  Not to waste too much space, just the original from 2001/2 and a pic of Amy & Jimmy from last summer's LC meetup @ Dana's house down below.  Skip forward indeed!  Let's not even discuss the 2007 weight loss, right?   

Successful?  Here's Amy's bio from CarbSmart:
direct image link
Amy Dungan is a low carber, writer and photographer residing in Illinois with her husband and two children. Having written for a variety of internet publications, she currently serves as Webmaster and Features Editor at CarbSmart. She also writes for Examiner.com and runs the popular Healthy Low-Carb Living website. In her free time she enjoys embarrassing her kids in public, spending time with her husband, and contemplating the true meaning of bacon.
So ...

The new CarbSmart press release continues:
The next level is to bring news of the low-carb lifestyle to everyone who can benefit from it. This is critically important according to DiMino who points out that in spite of the many diets and exercise programs now available, obesity is not beating a retreat. Instead, obesity is steadily on the rise with more than 35.7 percent of the U.S. population today considered obese compared with only 28.1 percent in 1999 when CarbSmart first opened its online store
Ummm ... so after the major LC boom in the intervening 13 years when no doubt DiMino's company made buku buckaroos serving 15 million people, the obesity rate has risen?  Do these people have no clue how unsmart pointing this out is??  Clearly it's not the carbs or the 15 million people would already be off the rolls of obese ... including DiMino and Dungan, right??
The company’s decision to close its online store and focus on building a strong, supportive, online community was the result of a lot of thought and research. DiMino, who admits to struggling with being overweight his entire life, started CarbSmart after successfully losing weight on the low carb diet popularized by Dr. Robert Atkins. DiMino was so pleased with his success with the Atkins Diet that he determined to make healthy, low carb foods more widely available to others who were seeking a healthier way to eat and manage their weight.
“Providing low-carb products is only the first half of the equation to winning the war with obesity,” says DiMino. “The second half is helping people obtain reliable information, so they can make educated, informed choices about which products are best for them, how to make the right diet choices, and how to easily make the low-carb lifestyle part of their daily lives, even when they’re working or on vacation.”

IS THIS GUY FOR REAL???  THIS is Andrew DiMino!  

What sort of reliable information is he going to be disseminating with the new magazine when he can't even be honest and upfront in the press release.  You read that and you would think he was at least winning the battle somewhat -- a la Jimmy Moore -- but no.  

Do these people have NO shame??

Apparently not.  :-(

And now back to Dana:
“CarbSmart Magazine will continue to regularly provide free, up-to-date and unbiased information about the low carb lifestyle,” says managing editor Dana Carpender, who is also a best-selling low-carb author and columnist. “We’re expanding our focus to cover such topics as how to be successful on a low-carb diet and how to control or eliminate diabetes. We also will continue to evaluate and report on the latest research and information about living a healthy life by eating low-carb, diabetic, and Paleo diets. We intend to report on how to eat healthy while traveling and provide readers with practical tips about how to incorporate healthy living into every aspect of their daily lives.” Carpender, who blogs regularly at HoldtheToast.com, adds that CarbSmart is developing video cooking demonstrations, webinars, and podcasts to provide information that will help the magazine’s readers achieve their healthy eating goals.

Unbiased?   If Dana weren't so open about using HCG, and taking several prescription meds for myriad illness she's been diagnosed with only in the past year or so (ADHD, PCOS) not to mention sleep disorders and whatnot, this wouldn't be disgusting.  But really.  Here's the new logo.  Trusted?  I report, you decide.

Over and out before I lose my dinner.

17 comments:

AgingHippie said...

http://180degreehealth.com/2010/03/poor-poor-jimmy-moore

http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/?p=7447

My Severe Hyperinsulinemia Has Mandated I Go On A High-Fat, Low-Carb 'Eggfest'

So, you might be wondering just how this whole “eggfest” experiment has been going for me so far in the first 10 days or so.

Very economical–5 dozen eggs, 2 lbs butter, and 1 pound of cheese for $20

OMG!! BTW - look at that picture

AgingHippie said...

http://www.diet-blog.com/11/nutritional_fanaticism_i_extreme_low_carbers_pt_2.php

Lerner said...

ha, looking at AgingHippie's cite:

"Carbsane: For my money the most scientifically complete blog on the planet when it comes to debunking the dogmatism of extreme low carb-dom. Very scienc-y but excellent insights and commentary."

Princess Dieter said...

Well, frankly, this smacks a bit of Heidi Diaz and Kimkins: Selling a weight loss plan, using "old" photos more often than not, and not really being slim anymore while promoting the be-all, end-all effective way to eat to lose weight.

I think they need to hire people who ARE slim and fit using low-carb, cause those photos are not examples of people being slim, fit, healthy doing lowcarb. It's just not. It's kinda a fraud in that way, a la Heidi and her fudging.

I have no problem with enterprise, moneymaking, etc. But really, if it doesnt' work for them, at least say, "Well, I'm struggling, but there are the superstars who will guide you who have lost a lot and kept it off for 5, 10, 15 years." If I'm an obese CEO, I can't call myself an expert on slimming and health....but I can hire someone who is. :D

AgingHippie said...

http://data.massivehealth.com/

WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Ya know, it's almost worse! At least Kimmer was a "success story" IF those pics were indeed her. These folks routinely post current pics, make mea culpas about gaining all their weight back or struggling not to ... yet their public facade is filled with out-dated face shots and retouched photos. And yet they are supposedly so *nice* and one dare not be "rude" by pointing out they are poor ambassadors for the lifestyle they claim is healthy and promises weight loss nirvana. It's almost like they're flipping off their readers in the part of the picture that has been cropped out.

If I'm an obese CEO, I can't call myself an expert on slimming and health....but I can hire someone who is.

How very true ... I thought I'd at least be reading somewhere in the press release that Volek & Phinney, or heck, even Boy Wonder Attia had been signed up to provide informative articles.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

@AH: he's 30 lbs HEAVIER now

@Lerner: love Mike!

Lesley Scott said...

When I was still under the influence of the TWICHOO kool-aid, I would eat those Atkins bars & the fake Snickers ones actually precipitated a mini-binge one day which made me see these things for what they are: Frankenjunk parading as something edible. I look at all these LC "gurus" who are fat or pudgy - Ignatius, this Carbstupid character, Dana & her cocktails of HGC etc - & none of them look anywhere close to how I'd aspire to look, which is why I wonder about how it is they're considered authorities on weight loss.

But then the fact they're all eating all this Frankenjunk makes me appreciate what that couple behind the Whole9 advocate: not "paleo'izing" pizza or brownies or dessert or whatever, but completely changing what you eat & probably more importantly: why. It's strict, the Whole30, but the fact it's even difficult to comply 100% for a month definitely made me think about how far we seem to have strayed from how we were designed to eat.

And don't get me started about these LC fools telling people not to move too much. Wha?!

Muata said...

@ Evie - I have to admit that it makes me especially upset when obese folks hustle the obese! I'm more willing to give the Sissons and Hortons of the world a pass for making a buck off of the obese with pipe dreams that they'll one day be as buff and svelte as these "never been obese" guys, but I have a particular disdain for obese hustlers and con-men! I don't know ... maybe it's because I was morbidly obese and know all too well the struggles and desperation of needing to lose 100+ pounds! Guys like this just make me sick (to put it bluntly!) because they have absolutely NO SHAME! Look at his pictures! I mean, come on are you serious? I can't believe the language he uses in the press release ... BTW, when was the pic of Jimmy and Amy taken?

@Lesley - I know exactly which Atkins bar you're talking about - I used to buy them by the box. But, the ones I binged on were the fake Reese cups, which was also the day I found out just how "sensitive" I was to sugar alcohols ... I'm just glad I was at home!

Woodey said...

Funny how Amy is living a life of feeling great and yadda yadda yadda, ummm then why are you medicating yourself with food to the point that you are way off your original weightloss accomplishment.

I see people like her and Jimmy as emotionally damaged people who need the community they are with to pump them up. High school is over guys, everyone has problems so get over it. Jimmy has insulated himself to the point that any dissenting comment is removed and that person is blocked. Pisses me off when they air their personal sh*t to leech sympathy from people struggling through their own issues. Slurp sh*t Jimmy that your wife can't get prego, I got my own struggles that kick my ass.

Dana Carpender is another example of an emotionally dysfunctional person who needs the spotlight to pump herself up. I see it time and time again with celebrities and their fragile egos in dire need of that spotlight to feed them. The problem is their ego has a hole it in and there is nothing that will be able to fill it, its a drain on others. I say the best thing in the world is to ignore them and make them suck it up like everyone else has to do. They will either kill themselves or find a way to make it work, just like every single one of us has to.

I have zero sympathy for people who lie, manipulate, cheat, and drain others so they can try to get a leg up in life. BOTTOMFEEDER!!

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

I'm with you on being disgusted with these folks. This is why I find Kresser and Mark to be far more innocent in this because both at least live what they advise -- I just wish they considered where the obese are coming from as they have many in their respective audiences. The pic was taken at the 2011 LC gettogether at Dana's house last summer.

Re your comment to Lesley, perhaps that's a bit of the "magic" on the LC junk -- there is a built in "out" so you can only overeat so many!

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

I remember Amy once commenting on the comraderie and feeling like she belonged that she gets from the LC community. I think that's wonderful ... but it is also a group of mutual enablers. Through the years I'm convinced Jimmy became addicted to his challenges -- so long as his weight didn't get too out of control, when he was losing fast everyone was cheering him on. I think that's very addictive. Amy is chasing a romantic notion of that size 6 as her ultimate success, but she only spent like 6 months of her life at that weight. It's ridiculous to blame carbs for that, I rather suspect that had she not tried so hard to stay LC, as we've discussed over on the discussion board, she'd probably not have gained so much back and gained so much more (as I did as well). Trying to stay LC is a killer when it's not working for you. Dana is on Wellbutrin for her ADHD I think. More than anything else I believe this is why she's lost weight recently. Also demonstrates that thinner isn't necessarily healthier.

Woodey said...

I can relate though because I have done that myself. It is very addictive and it really does feel good to have a support group like that. I went to Amy's site and noticed all the pictures up are from 10yrs ago...good sign that a diet is not working.

I was spitting some venom this morning in my post,I'll try to tone it down a bit more in the future. I don't think you or others want to wake up to me ranting about people who I think can go off themselves. I'm still a bit heated, but I'll try to get my point across without being so brutal.

I think LC will work for some people, but people like myself cannot do the strict LC diet. I like food too much and I am an emotional eater so trying to be super strict and constantly trying to deny myself just doesn't work in the long run. In all honesty I was surprised I lasted as long as I did. I gave it a year before walking away, but I haven't completely turned my back on it. I'm just more balanced with my diet.

I've noticed that I have been able to lose weight while adding carbs back into my diet. I focus on eating carbs that have nutritional value such as humus, rice, brown rice pasta, sprouted breads, and so on. This keeps me from feeling left out and prevents binging.

I have my struggles with depression and can relate in some ways to Amy, maybe her diet adds to it? I told my therapist about the LC diet and how I had cut out vegetables and fruits for fear of the dreaded carb. She said that wasn't good and will only contribute to my depression. It's funny, I thought I was happy and doing well on LC, then I went back to adding stuff like fruits and veggies as well as the foods I mentioned and I feel so much better. I also stopped eating so much darn fat. God I used to chug that stuff thinking I was doing myself a big favor.

I moved to a city four years ago that didn't have a Trader Joe's and when they finally put a store in six months ago I was sad because I couldn't shop in it, because they sold carb foods. First day I went shopping in there after quitting strict LC I spent $150 and was as happy as a kid in a candy store. Their Mediterranean humus is to die for!

David said...

Don't knock Wellbutrin. If it works to suppress people's binge eating desire then it's a lot better than lots of unsustainable n=1 experiments.

It's also anti-TNF so has some beneficial applications in winding down some of the side effects of lipotoxicity whilst the root cause is being addressed. Helps with leaky gut, liver inflammation and all sorts. No wonder people feel better on it.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Welcome David ( don't recall a David with a picture on here)! I'm not knocking it, I'm merely saying that Dana has in the past couple of years lost quite a bit of weight that she had regained in intervening years. Wellbutrin is known to suppress appetite/binging so I'm merely pointing out that her more recent losses are less likely due to LC than to side effect of her med.

foodteacher said...

Wouldn't it be lovely if Jimmy secretly went out and got a job and then just took the site down?

Sanjeev said...

> but easily achieving a healthy weight ain't one of them!

Ain't?

VERY nice ... a fellow "ain't-er", spreading good English, irregardless of the grammar Nazis and Taliban.

If you grew up where they don't tell you to never ues ain't it's not as big a deal though.
________________
“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.”

Mark Twain quotes (American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 1835-1910)

> OMG!! BTW - look at that picture
OMG - look further down !!!!Oh Oh Oh Oh - em - geee !!! - KETOstix (!!!!)

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