Welcome Asylum Visitor!
My name is Evelyn aka CarbSane and I have been blogging here at The Carb-Sane Asylum since 2010.
A little about me ...
I spent much of my early career as a research scientist in several industries, the most relevant one to this blog being the pharmaceutical industry. My background includes degrees in Biology (BS, RPI) and Materials Science/Metallurgy (MS, UConn), but I had a detour into Biomedical Engineering before quitting my job to go to grad school full time. As such I have a rather extensive background in multiple fields which gives me a bit of a unique perspective on things.
I have struggled with my weight since my late teens, and several years ago now lost a lot of weight on my third stint using a low carb diet. After losing that weight I hit the dreaded plateau so many reading this will probably be familiar with ... so I went seeking answers on the internet.
Why I blog ...
What I found in terms of the science put forth by low carb advocates was disturbing. The most prominent name, Gary Taubes, especially concerned me because his science was so wrong, outdated and yet repeated ad infinitum about the web. I do consider it an accomplishment to have helped expose a lot of this and changed a few minds about his flawed hypotheses. As I had previously experienced some health issues while low carbing, I began investigating the possible causes. Strange as it may sound, the idea to blog was more for myself, to organize and put all the links and commentary I was contributing at discussion boards in one place. But it was also to be able to share it with whomever might find the information useful. This quest woke up a part of me I don't get to use professionally these days ... I am the quintessential geek ... and it genuinely is a hobby and a personal interest to delve into the current research in nutrition and metabolism. I blog about what catches my interest at any given time.
But why not just stick to the science?
From time to time I discuss various personalities and the information they put forth. In most cases this IS sticking to the science. If a guru makes a claim that is not substantiated by science -- often in the name of "better science!" -- their information needs to be scrutinized by someone. So as the infamous (where I grew up anyway) broadcaster Bob Grant used to say "it might as well be me!" Most of these posts focus on the science being mangled anyway, but it is impossible to separate the topic from the personality at times. Still, I do my best to stick to that public record and what they are doing in the diet/health/fitness industry. It is relevant when those writing about adrenal fatigue, for example, are selling a line of detoxes and supplements. It is relevant when those promoting a weight loss scheme based on their personal experience are gaining weight. It is relevant when those touting their healthy diets are in poor health themselves, especially when they continue to blame their prior lifestyle for conditions that have popped up only with the new one. Unfortunately that means this blog goes through phases where it seems it's all negative ... but that is just the nature of scamming in this industry, and low carb and paleo are no exception, sadly.
Who is this blog for?
This blog is probably most useful to those for whom low carbing has stopped working, or never worked to begin with. By discussing what the science says, I hope to empower you in finding your own path out of carbophobia and fear of insulin. If you are thriving on a low carb diet, The Asylum is not for you ... I won't be upset if you don't read here. I also spend a lot of time researching diabetes as a lot of the good obesity/metabolism studies come from this area. So if you have diabetes in the family or have been diagnosed, I think you'll find some useful information here -- beginning with exploring beyond the reductionist "all diabetics need to eat LC" mantra. Lastly, since nobody else seems to be doing it, this blog contains information on what many of the experts and gurus are saying and the scientific validity of their claims.
What this blog is not ...
First and foremost, though I share personal anecdotes from time to time, this blog is NOT a personal one in nature. It is not a weight loss or diet blog. This is not a blog advocating for any particular type of eating. Because of my journey, the information here focuses on low carb diets when diets are discussed. There is a need for truthful information about what the science does or does not say about weight loss, fitness, health, etc., and I bring my perspective as someone who has been both lean and athletic and morbidly obese and everywhere in between ... but this is not about me. Seriously folks ... if you are relying on anecdotes from the anonymous and unaccountable on the internet for guidance, you are probably going to find yourself wasting a lot of time. My goal is to provide you with information with which to evaluate claims made by both "success stories" and their gurus so that you may make informed decisions for yourself.
Still have a question?
I'm always open to communication. If it's relevant to a conversation on the blog, and even if it's not, you can always feel free to ask in comments. Something of a more personal nature or just a quick comment? There are a few options, in no particular order:
- You can find me on Twitter: @carbsane
- You can visit: The Carb-Sane Asylum Facebook page
- You can find me on Google+: +The Carb-Sane Asylum
- You can email me: carbsane at gmail dot com