Low Carb USA™ – First Keto Getaway in West Palm Beach, January 2017

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dr-m-cropped-photoThis inaugural Keto Getaway event is planned to have an interactive and collaborative feel to it.  Getting away from wall-to-wall lectures and leaving large blocks of time for Q&A and discussions that develop from these questions.

This event is to be held at the West Palm Beach Marriott Hotel.  This is an exclusive opportunity to get away and, instead of the wall-to-wall lectures common at most conferences, you will get to enjoy a mixture of scientific lectures in a more intimate setting with an extensive opportunity for one on one interaction with the speakers while you are enjoying the facilities of the resort and possibly even an activity or two.  One of our keynote speakers at the event will be Dr. Joseph Mercola.  Now you will finally have a chance to get all those questions answered!! Two specially prepared Low Carb dinners on the Friday and Saturday will also be a chance to spend time with the various speakers and pick their brains.

img_7764Other prominent speakers to appear will include Dr. Eric Westman, Dr. Dan Pompa, Dr. Jacob Wilson, Dr. Zach Bush, Ivor Cummins and  Dr. Jeffry Gerber, Dr. Georgia Ede and Miriam Kalamian.

Too often, attendees are cut short during the Q&A sessions and many often don’t even get a chance to ask their questions.  This format will encourage questions leading to dialogue on issues concerning the material being presented that may confuse or trouble the audience.  No question will be left unanswered.



Low Carb USA™ – San Diego 2017 Set to Be Bigger and Better Than 2016

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low carb usa san diego 2016 event speaker dominic d'agostino

This event is shaping up to overshadow the 2016 event with more prominent speakers added, a larger expo and much higher attendance.

In July of 2016 Low Carb USA, an organization focused on dietary education, hosted a landmark conference on the low-carbohydrate diet which was held at the Westin Gaslamp Hotel in Downtown San Diego.  Planning is now in full cry for the next one and, in spite of the fact that the 2016 event was a roaring success, the 2017 event is looking to totally outshine it.

Some of the big name speakers like Gary Taubes, Dr. Eric Westman, Dr. Jeff Volek, Ivor Cummins and  Dr. Dominic D’Agostino and will all be back, but some other really big names are being added.  Dr Joseph Mercola and Dr. Thomas Seyfried Dr. Stephen Phinney, Dr. Sarah Hallberg Nina Teicholz and Dr. Nicole Avena are already confirmed and more high profile speakers are expected to confirm in the coming days.

Taking heed of all the feedback received after the 2016 conference, the organizers have moved the conference to Wyndham® Bayside Hotel.  This great hotel is in a prime location right on the San Diego Bay with bigger conference facilities and more room for a bigger and better expo as well as a separate meeting area.  Parking and the negotiated room block are both much cheaper and the reception dinners are to be held on the Berkeley Steamship Museum where the attendees can stand out on the bow deck and watch the sun set over the bay.  All-in-all the Low Carb USA™ – San Diego 2017 conference is going to be spectacular!

You can find details Here.


Wine, Carbs and Hangovers

By | General, Low Carb, Science | No Comments

_MG_0004Whenever I find myself explaining the advantages and benefits of a Ketogenic Diet to someone, one of the first questions I invariably get asked is, ‘what about alcohol?’.  My answer has always been in 2 parts.  Firstly, the carb content of beer is really high and more than 1 beer is likely to kick you right out of Ketosis.  Even just one beer with a meal containing a few carbs can be enough to kick you out.  Most conventional wines have a high carb content as well, and a few glasses can have the same effect as a couple of beers.  Secondly there is the alcohol itself, and each person’s individual reaction to it.  Most people can have a small amount and, as long as they don’t exceed their personal carbohydrate threshold, they manage to remain in Ketosis.  I find I can drink a fair amount of rum and Coke Zero, for instance, and not get affected.  Others find that it affects them adversely and they always find themselves putting on weight for a few days after having a couple of glasses of wine.

And then there’s the hangover!  Although excessive alcohol is a contributing factor to a hangover, the sugar content of the mixers used and the preservatives and additives in most beers and wines contribute hugely to getting a really bad night’s sleep and feeling like crap the next day.  Wine, in particular, is guilty of this.  Many people, are finding that they seem to be less tolerant of a glass or two of wine and many have found that the feeling the next day is so unpleasant that they even refrain from drinking wine at all anymore.   Conventional modern wines are now much higher in alcohol, higher in sugar, and filled with chemicals and additives to improve texture, color, and flavor.  There are 76 chemicals and additives approved by the FDA for use in winemaking.  Also, short cuts in farming practices in the name of productivity and profitability often result in many conventional wines containing fungicides, mycotoxins and phthalates.  No wonder we feel terrible the next day!

In the process of putting things together for our Low Carb Conference in July, I was approached by a guy called Todd White who told me he had some ‘Keto-Friendly’ wines he would like to make available for tasting at our expo.  Sugar free, carb free, preservative and additive free and, ‘you can drink them without getting a hangover’, he claimed!  To combat the side effects that were detracting from his immense enjoyment of wine, Todd founded Dry Farm Wines.  By selecting wines from vintners who used only traditional, organic, and natural winemaking methods, Todd could drink and enjoy wine again without the side effects.

Dry Farm Wines All Share Natural Farming And Traditional Winemaking Rituals, Including:

    • Natural, organic or bio-dynamic viticulture/farming
    • Dry farming, no use of irrigation
    • Old growth vines, generally 35-100 years
    • Hand harvested fruit from low yields
    • Minimal intervention in the vinification and aging
    • Wild native yeast in fermentation
    • No commercial yeast for flavor alteration
    • No or minimal filtering/fining
    • No or minimal use of new oak
    • No or minimal addition of SO2 (sulfites)
    • No chaptalization (adding sugar to the grape must in fermentation)
    • No chemical additives for aroma, color, flavor or texture enhancement

Dry farming means relying entirely on natural rainfall as has been done for millennia in Europe.  A dry farmed vine produces a more complex, deep flavored fruit that can be picked when it’s less ripe (and much lower in sugar content). Their use of old-growth vines also improves the quality.  The more mature a grape vine, the deeper its roots and greater its ability to draw moisture and minerals from the soil.  The way the wines he selects are fermented is different, too.  Rather than using commercial yeasts, they are fermented using the wild, naturally occurring yeasts found on the grapes. This lends more complexity and a unique quality that you simply won’t find in a conventional wine.

Laboratory Instruments

Laboratory Instruments

Because the Dry Farm Wines are sugar free and carb free, they are perfect for those following a Ketogenic diet.  Todd is strictly Ketogenic and has remained in Ketosis for many years despite drinking copious amounts the wines he procures.   All of their wines are scrutinized and investigated carefully to meet exact and specific standards, including lab analysis by a certified enologist.  First, says Todd, a wine must be soulful and delicious and then it must meet our purity standards.

In lab testing they are looking for 4 things:

Statistically Sugar / Carb Free

Their wines are lab tested for fructose and glucose, the two sugars found in wine.  All of their wines are <1g/L of total sugars, statistically sugar free. These low/no sugars are naturally occurring, nothing added or taken away.

Ethyl alcohol is carb free.  Carbs in wine come from the sugar content, as their wines are statistically sugar free, they are also statistically carb free.

Mycotoxin/Mold Free

All of their wines are tested for the mycotoxin Ochratoxin A.  All of their wines meet the E.U. standard for screening at less the 2 parts per billion of OCA.  There is no standard or testing of U.S. Wines for OCA.  OCA is a known carcinogenic.  To give you a reference point, OCA in coffee is allowed in the E.U. up to 10 parts per billion.

Low Alcohol

Wines can range in alcohol from 7 – 24% alcohol by volume.  However, alcohol on the label is not required by the US Government to be accurate.  It is simply “stated” and there is zero U.S. enforcement for accuracy.  They test every wine to verify it is at or below what is stated on the label and their wines do not exceed a naturally occurring 12.5% alcohol.  They do not select wines that have been processed with artificial alcohol reduction techniques.


The US government restricts added sulfites in wine to 350 ppm (parts per million).  For now, they have created a standard not to exceed 75 ppm in their wines and most of the wines they represent are below 50 ppm.

Like many practices in the wine world, added S02, (sulfites) is a source of some controversy.  Here is what is known for sure…all wines contain some sulfites, as they are naturally occurring.  Winemakers often add S02 to a wine as a preservative, meant to stabilize and preserve the wine.

Whether added sulfites affect how you feel (actual allergies are quite rare) from drinking is also a matter of considerable debate.  The debate also continues as to whether added S02 punches some of the life and taste out of wine, as it is a sterilizer.  Dry Farm Wines generally feel that wines that are lower in sulfites, are more alive and real, with more vivid soul and personality.

Here is where they are…most of the wines in their collection of natural and organic wines have no added S02 or very minimally added to stabilize preservation.  They prefer to drink wines that are low, generally below 50 ppm.  They suggest that you experiment with different wines to see how sulfites affect your taste and body;  they publish S02 levels on each wine from their lab.  They do not select wines for their collection that exceed 75 ppm.

slideshow_1Having received and tested a selection of the Dry Farm Wines, I am happy to report that all the claims he makes are true, especially the one about the hangover!  We had a few friends over for an extensive testing evening and after finishing all 6 bottles, no one reported a hangover or adverse reaction of any kind the next day.  Pam also reported that she had not put on any weight in the days following the tasting which is always a big problem for her with conventional wines.  As a result, we have entered into an affiliate agreement with Dry Farm Wines and encourage you click on the links on this page and claim your penny bottle from them by signing up for a membership now.  Get back to enjoying wine again without any side effects.


And So It Begins!

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As more and more real scientific studies are done regarding the current USDA nutritional guidelines it is becoming increasingly evident that they have been the cause of a catastrophic epidemic of chronic disease including Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Hypertension and Morbid Obesity.

The introduction of the so called ‘Prudent Diet’ has led to the misconception that eating fat, especially saturated fat, is bad for you and that it is a primary cause of high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.  This is simply not true and the guidelines were based on what can only be described as a manipulated study by Ancel Keys in 1953.  The truth is that a High Carb Diet, high in Refined Sugar and Processed Carbohydrates is really at the root of Obesity and Diabetes as well as other chronic illnesses.  Vegetable (seed) oils and other vegetable based products such as margarine are also a contributing factor to cardiovascular disease, although manufacturers don’t tell us that.

As a result, the Low Carbohydrate (or Ketogenic) lifestyle is becoming more and more popular around the world.  In South Africa it has become known as ‘Banting’ and has taken on a life of its own.  It is named after a British undertaker in the 1800’s called William Banting who was very obese and desperately wanted to lose weight.  A man named William Harvey was his doctor and he proposed a radical eating plan that was High in Fat and Low in Carbohydrates.  His Weight Loss was spectacular and he wrote an open letter to the public, the “Letter on Corpulence”, which became widely distributed.  As more people started following this eating plan to lose weight, the term “Banting” or to “Bant” came about.

Multiple studies recently have shown that Carbohydrate is the one macronutrient that is not essential for human life and that eating saturated fat does not, in fact, lead to higher levels of the small dense LDL cholesterol particles in the bold stream which are the ones now thought to be markers of elevated cardiovascular risk.  Rather it is the inflammation caused by carbs that appears to be the main cause of heart disease.  Many people report relief from a large range of chronic ailments, once thought to be incurable, in a relatively short time after adopting a Low Carb Lifestyle.

Movements are popping up all over the world to bring the message to the public and try to educate them on the right way to eat and help reverse the horrendous effects of the last 40 years of government policy.  In Sweden, the government is the first in the world to reject the High Carb guidelines and to introduce Low Carb High Fat or LCHF nutritional guidelines instead.  In South Africa, the Banting Lifestyle is a phenomenon. and there are Banting restaurants and Banting food stores popping up everywhere.

However, we have noticed that no such momentum has been picking up here in the US.  There is a certain amount of noise within the bubble of a relatively closed circle of academics here, but the word is not getting out to the public effectively, at least not in my opinion.

Pam and I were sitting in a sports bar in Carlsbad. CA on January 26, 2016 (my birthday) and we were discussing the fact that there seemed to be more inertia here in the US than in most other western countries.  Out of nowhere I suddenly said, ‘We should put on the biggest convention ever, right here in San Diego and change all that.’   Gary Taubes was quick to point out to me that there are numerous socio-economic reasons for the extra inertia here as compared to other countries, which may be true, but I still feel like we need someone to take up the charge.

In South Africa it is led by Professor Tim Noakes who is a legend.  I don’t know who it is in Sweden, but it has to be someone.  Someone has to do it here too, so here we are!  (Oh, and I’m no legend, by the way).  I reached out to a couple of researchers and people in the space (who didn’t know me from Adam) and told them I was planning to put this on and would they be prepared to speak.  The response was overwhelming.  The response also from people wanting to attend has been equally impressive.  So, within a matter of a few days, I was creating an entity, searching for venues, creating social media accounts, creating a website, writing blogs, looking for funding and booking speakers.  Talk about a whirlwind.

Just the other day, someone sent me an email where he quoted this observation by Winston Churchill.  Somehow it resonated with me.  The quote goes: “there comes a special moment in everyone’s life, a moment for which that person was born.  That special opportunity, when he seizes it, will fulfill his mission – A mission for which he is uniquely qualified.  In that moment, he finds greatness.  It is his finest hour.”