Vee Jefferson took offense to my response to her anti-low carb column
Remember that Vee Jefferson blog post I wrote about a month ago? She's the registered nurse who wrote a column in the Augusta Free Press entitled "Low-carb diets - some dangerous truths uncovered" with some of the most outrageous and ignorant rants against livin' la vida low-carb that I've ever seen since I started blogging in 2005.
To refresh your memory, here are a few of her remarks about low-carb:
"These are the diets that can kill if the dieter is not familiar with the dangers."
"Without eating carbohydrates from plant sources like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans - foods limited or banned on low carbohydrate diet plans - it is difficult to get the daily recommended amount of fiber."
"As you progress on the [low-carb] diet, you will lose some fat, but you will also lose some muscle mass. And let's not forget that the heart is a muscle, too."
"If ketosis continues for long periods of time, serious damage to the liver and kidneys may occur. Liver failure means absolute death, because doctors can do nothing to fix this. Kidney failure means dialysis, and may eventually lead to death as well."
"When a person stays on a low-carb diet over a long period of time, one day they may notice that they are unusually weak. They may feel an overwhelming urge to lie down and may even feel dizzy and lightheaded. It's very important that you are aware of what is going on so that you will be able to treat yourself fast. You need sugar FAST! Any sugar is good. Drink a soda or some juice, eat some candy or anything you have that has a good bit of sugar in it. Then eat something starchy, like a sandwich or a potato, to maintain your blood sugar and lay off the diet now."
"What's the seriousness of very low blood sugar? You will eventually pass out, stop breathing, and die. If you're home alone, that means no one will be able to save you. If you're driving, it means you may have an accident and possibly hurt or kill someone else in the process."
"Diets low in carbohydrates may also be low in potassium. Low potassium, also medically known as hypokalemia, is potentially fatal. There may be no symptoms at all, but the condition is still just as deadly."
"One thing I really want the person considering doing a low-carb diet to understand is how dangerous a muscle cramp can be. No pain, no gain, right? Wrong! Your heart is a muscle! And what do you think happens if your heart starts to cramp?"
"If you do insist on starting on a low-carb diet, make sure you take a break from it at least every two weeks, by resuming a normal, healthy carbohydrate intake."
Okay, remember Vee Jefferson now? With such ridiculous statements as those, it's certainly hard to forget. While I held off on responding to her column for about a week after it came out, the overwhelming feedback from so many of you prompted me to write my response.
Well, guess who must have heard from so many of you and read my blog post--it was Vee Jefferson herself! She penned a response to me today entitled "On Blast by Jimmy Moore - the biggest loser ever!" where she accuses me of "blasting" her and "saying really nasty things about" her as well.
No, Ms. Jefferson, that is not what I did. All I did was simply point out the error in your opinions about livin' la vida low-carb because the information you were providing in your column was not grounded in any truth whatsoever. It was as if you never even opened up a book about low-carb and just shot from the hip. If you took personal offense to my response, then perhaps you could have done a little more research ahead of time before writing your insanely inaccurate column.
In fact, she even admits her ignorance about the low-carb lifestyle.
"My article was criticized because of it's lack of case studies and reference materials," Jefferson wrote. "And while it is true that case studies and references can add more legitimacy to any written work, the truth in this case is that I wrote this article from pure experience, both personal and professional."
So she's basing her entire column on her own experience, eh? How many people has she counseled who have been on a by-the-book low-carb diet plan, hmmm? I would venture to say that would be NONE. And yet she pretends to have some insider information about low-carb that she must tell the world before it's too late. Puh-leez!
Calling me the "poster child for low carb diets" and even congratulating me on my weight loss success (THANK YOU!), Jefferson said I have marketed myself as the "biggest loser" and that my web site is nothing more than marketing myself.
I've never called myself the "biggest loser" on my site, just "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Man." And I don't apologize for offering products and services on my blog that can help people who want to lose weight. As someone who has been morbidly obese and was able to overcome it after years of frustration, it is my duty and mission in life now to share with others that there is hope for a better day. If pointing them to some excellent, high-quality products that I believe in is part of that, then so be it.
But what about the marketing and commerce that Vee Jefferson is engaged in? While she claims to be only about "health education and promotion of disease prevention, not participation in juvenile marketing strategies and name-calling to belittle another" (which I didn't do), the truth is she IS about marketing her book and publishing company along with some Google ads on her blog. Even I don't use Google ads!
She links to her Jowaje Publishing web site on her profile page where as the owner/CEO of the Augusta, GA-based company she peddles her soon-to-be released book called "The Truth About Healthcare - Uncensored."
Quoting directly from her web site, here's why she created the company:
"Jowaje Publishing is an independent publishing company, created solely to publish the literary works of the author, Vee Jefferson, RN...the focus is on the author's first book, "The Truth About HealthCare - Uncensored!"...Tell us if you'd buy a book like this...get out your check books and credit cards! The "book" will be available for sale very soon! After much consideration, we've decided to offer the book as an ebook, which means instant gratification. You may still purchase a hard copy when available."
For someone who acted all pompous and arrogant about my motives for marketing at my blog, Ms. Jefferson certainly takes the cake for marketing herself and her company as well. Guess what, Vee? That's America, my dear. People have a right to come and go as they please and spend or not spend money when given the opportunity. Nobody is forcing them to come to my blog or anywhere else for that matter. They CHOOSE to do it because they find value in what is being presented whether they buy anything or not. Many of them do as a show of gratitude for what I do.
Pretending you are only about education is dishonest. I make no bones about what I do at my blog: providing quality DAILY information to help people who want and need to lose weight by researching current news, products and services that will serve them well in their journey. Sure I make a little bit of money doing what I am doing, but I've invested literally thousands of hours to earn those dollars.
My regular readers will be the first to tell you they would pay me to write even more if it was possible. The few pennies I make here and there certainly aren't making me rich by any stretch of the imagination. But even if I was being compensated well enough for my work at the blog, again I must ask, "what is wrong with that?" This is a place that people want to come to for information and I should be able to gain from the time investment I have put in.
Jefferson then attempts to discredit me and my blog as unworthy to be a part of the health debate when she writes, "I have the credentials and experience to write about health related topics."
Oh yeah, that's right, Ms. Jefferson. Putting that R.N. after your name makes you such the expert, huh? Okay, fine. But have you ever lost 200 pounds, Ms. Jefferson? How about even 100 pounds? Hello? Oh, was that a "no" I heard from you? Just checking.
So, can I infer that since you don't have any direct personal experience whatsoever with losing a large amount of weight that you don't have a right to talk about weight loss issues? Of course I wouldn't. But at the same time you shouldn't dismiss the writings of someone who HAS lost a lot of weight and kept it off long-term.
I plan on livin' la vida low-carb for many years to come, so you might as well get used to hearing the name Jimmy Moore defending this way of eating. It has worked, is working and will continue to work until the good Lord decides to take me home. The scientific evidence continues to mount in favor of this amazing lifestyle change.
"Jimmy...dude...really, I've written only one article on this subject. I'm not the queen of anti-low carb dieting. I'm not the 2006 anti-fad diet guru either. But I will gladly accept my new title of anti-low carb pinhead of the year (given to me by Jimmy himself), if I save just one life. So now Jimmy, you really should take a Vee break and get on with your life already.
Actually, don't flatter yourself, Vee. You're just the latest low-carb antagonist PINHEAD that I have exposed at this blog. There are many more where you came from who have used some of the same erroneous arguments against low-carb and I've called them out as well. If you are going to write on a subject like low-carb, then at least do some homework first so you sound at least halfway intelligent in your column. That piece you wrote was so idiotic it was hard to know where to start.
"I never take for granted that the world is ignorant. I never take for granted that my readers are ignorant. But I do believe in educating people about the things that I have learned about, and I would never write an article about anything that I haven't researched or learned through experience. And in this day of computer savvy surfers, anyone with access to the Internet can do the same."
That's the difference between me and you, Ms. Jefferson. I don't insult my readers by calling them "ignorant." I happen to think the readers at my blog are among the most wise and savvy people on the planet because they are actually obtaining the latest news and information about health from non-traditional sources so they can obtain a broader experience in their education. No more settling for the status quo for them. It's time for a change.
The low-fat/low-calorie/portion-control diets that have dominated our society for decades are clearly not working, so people are curiously perusing any web site they can find that will FINALLY tell them the truth. That's what "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" is all about. Sure, there are tens of thousands of anti-Atkins, hate-filled sites about low-carb on the Internet about the so-called "dangers of low carb dieting" that are bought and paid for by anti-meat, radical vegan groups.
But sites like mine and many others are sharing the unbridled TRUTH about livin' la vida low-carb to those willing to listen and absorb it. It takes guts to do low-carb because you are bucking the trend, but millions of us are doing it with GREAT results in our weight and health.
At the end of her post about me, Vee Jefferson again takes the "just Google it" approach to educating yourself about low-carb.
"If you want more information on the subject, just type 'the dangers of low carb diets' in your favorite search engine and hit enter."
Is that how a registered nurse learns about matters of health? God help us!
Here's a quick word of advice for you, Ms. Jefferson. Try reading Atkins New Diet Revolution for yourself. You can get a handy-dandy copy of it in your local pharmacy or bookstore and it has all the facts about how this amazingly healthy diet really works. If you are truly about educating people, then it would be in your best interest to stop spreading innuendo and sensationalism about low-carb living and start learning what it's really all about.
Feel free to share your comments with Vee Jefferson by e-mailing her at Customersupport@jowajepublishing.com.
11-29-06 UPDATE: My fellow low-carb podcaster Brian Z from the "Atkins All The Way Weekly WrapUp" decided to write Vee Jefferson a personal note about why he has a problem with her viewpoints about livin' la vida low-carb.
I posted a comment (which is currently in moderation) to your blog post "Put on blast by Jimmy Moore - The Biggest Loser." I wanted to also send you an email because I think you have unfortunately written an article with so many untruths of yours that you could call it fiction. I hate to be so crude to a fellow writer, but it's obvious to me that you investigated only one side of the argument and posted your profession to gain credibilty.
I did a podcast a few weeks ago, called "Taking the Vee out of Vegetable" I listed you as the con view and a survey of hundreds of Atkins dieters across the country as the pro view. You can read that study by looking at the URL in my shownotes. I called your scare tactics and "research" out on the podcast and debunked all of your myths as well.
Don't feel bad about that, it's my job to inform the public. Fortunately I am not bullied by nurses and doctors that are ignorant to the benefits of Atkins. I've gone to 4 doctors in my area due to insurance coverage changes and each one has given me kudos for lowering my blood pressure, raising my HDL, lowering my LDL, and losing over 100 pounds, when I tell them that I've been on Atkins since October 2003, they have all congratulated me.
Actually, that's not necessarily true, one took issue, but when I told him what I eat in a week, he said, word for word, "Wow, that sounds great, I didn't know you could eat pork, chicken, and vegetables on Atkins. I'll have to check it out better."
Now, I want to try and tell you the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Don't worry, many in your field of work don't understand this and think the two terms are the same, or AKAs of each other, until it's pointed out to them, then that specific day of class in college comes back to them. :) There are even tons of sites out there that confuse the two, so don't feel bad. As we all know, if it's on the Internet, it must be true.:
(Taken from the New England Journal of Medicine- 1998)
Ketosis: aka (Benign Dietary Ketosis) The process of Lipolysis/Ketosis during which fat is burned for energy. First the fat is broken down into its constituents, Glycerol and free fatty acids, which are further broken down into ketone bodies. These are smaller fragments made of carbon that can be metabolized for fuel when there is little glucose (from carbohydrates) available. As the name implies, BDK is safe and allows the breakdown of body fat for fuel, resulting in weight loss. Most people can achieve BDK by consuming fewer than 40 grams of carbohydrates daily.
Ketoacidosis: A state in which there is an abnormal accumulation of ketones, which changes the body's PH to acidic. This usually occurs in diabetics whose blood sugar is out of control, alcoholics and people in a state of starvation. Ketoacidosis is not to be confused with ketosis, which is a perfectly normal function of burning fat for energy.
There are so many issues I have with your article as far as your scare tactic of, "Do the Diet and You'll DIE!!!!!" It's so silly that it seems to be satire. Unfortunately, there are so many rumor mills and media outlets that are ignorant about what Atkins is all about and they publish this information as gospel. Everybody has a brother-in-law or a cousin who did Atkins wrong and told people how to do it wrong and so on. If people would only read the book!
Like in my comment on your blog, I ask you to send me an email with your honest to God food diary and exercise plan for one week. I guarantee that a physician, with no ties to you or I, will consider mine a healthier lifestyle. Will you take the challenge, or do you just throw emails like this away?
Here's what Atkins doesn't allow:
3. Heavy Starches
Here's what I also do on my diet (which is what Atkins vehemently suggests in his book, for all those who read it):
1. Eat more vegetables than I ever have in my life
2. Work out for an hour a day at the YMCA 6 days a week. (I can even swim 8 laps without stopping now)
3. Feel more energized and ready to go than I have in 15 years.
I trust that you'll find the diet as healthy as, if not healthier than, yours unless you are a workout fiend. (I gather not, since you are a nurse and probably work way too much).
I'm with you that there needs to be accountability for the "Steak and Eggs, all you can eat" diet--that diet is severely unhealthy. That is what Jimmy and I and tons of other people are trying to do, educate people so that these rumors stop. What you are doing is stopping people from becoming healthy by scaring them. The main issue is that many feel these two diets are the same and you should have put in your article some mention about the dangers of doing Atkins wrong. Not the dangers of doing Atkins.
I realize that an email from me is probably not going to change your mind as I never went to medical school nor am I a registered nurse. I'm just a huge fan of a man who did, and was a vitamin and nutritional expert. I also have a soon to be brother-in-law who has been a doctor for over 20 years and without knowing it, has been giving people nutritional advice that is similar to low-carb to achieve a more healthier way of eating.
We actually had another discussion on Thanksgiving and he had, at that point, read the Atkins book like I asked him to and our conversation went very well. He was also surprised by so many misconceptions of others like yourself. You have to understand that neither I nor Jimmy or any other low-carb supporter can allow your article to go unchecked because to do so would be a travesty to the millions of people that low-carb living, specifically the Atkins lifestyle, has changed forever.
Thanks for your time,
EXCELLENT letter, Brian! Feel free to share YOUR comments with Vee Jefferson in a comment at her blog or in an e-mail.
11-29-06 UPDATE: Well, I guess the heat got too hot for Vee Jefferson from so many of you who wrote to her about her blog post about my response to her low-carb rant because she has since pulled it from her blog. Here's the short, but sweet message she has posted in place of the diatribe that was there on Tuesday:
Actually, Vee, it's MERRY CHRISTMAS! Glad to see you now agree with me and my readers that your comments were foolish.