Cruising through Banting

Emily Maguire, a qualified nutritionist with a BSc in nutrition and an MSc in Obesity Science and Management, has for the past 6 months been travelling around the word researching low-carb and ketogenic diets first hand.

Her journey began in SA with our very own International LCHF Convention held in Cape Town in February this year, and she has since traveled to numerous countries with the envious task of interviewing experts in the LCHF field at each new stop and publishing her findings on her blog

The Cruise

Recently, Emily attended the 8th Annual Low-Carb Cruise - an annual trip that brings the low-carb community together on a cruise ship (yes, you read that correctly) to learn and share through seminars presented by 20 speakers. This year there were almost 200 attendees of the LCHF Cruise and Emily was one of the speakers to share their experience with Low-Carb and Ketogenic lifestyles. “The Low-Carb Cruise always delivers on interesting and new research into the Low-Carb field. For me, this year’s most interesting speakers were Jamie Caporosso who spoke about Ketogenic diets in body building sports and Dr Justin Marchegiani who shared his research into hormonal imbalances and thyroid function whilst following a low carbohydrate lifestyle” says Emily. .

“There are other groups on the cruise, so it’s not exclusively for those who follow the low-carb lifestyle. Ironically, the meals on the cruise weren’t strictly low-carb so, naturally, the waiters received many odd requests such as ‘hold the potatoes and bread, bring on the heavy cream and avo!’ But there were plenty of low-carb options available, as well as gluten-free meals.”

Whilst the majority of the Cruise is filled with seminars, there is a lot of down time as well. This year the port stops included San Juan, Puerto Rico, Philipsburg, St. Maarten and Basseterre, St. Kitts. “The main goal of the cruise is have everyone in the community come together to support and learn from everyone else and to do it in a fun way. There are always such interesting stories, from both the speakers and attendees, on their journey into this type of nutrition” adds Emily.

The attendees of the cruise include MD’s, dietitians, nutritionists, bloggers, researchers and individuals with their own personal experience. The Low-Carb way of eating is still seen as relatively new and controversial and it’s important that new research findings are shared with the community. For example, Dr Marchiagiani presented data and case studies from his own practice which disproves the notion that low-carb diets can negatively impact a female’s thyroid function. Karaoke and trips up volcanoes were important additions to the lectures.

The cruise also acts as a platform for members to share their personal stories, which is a powerful reminder of how food can be your medicine. One of the members worked with one of the speakers, Dr Westman, for the duration of the cruise to try and get her diabetes under control. By the end of the week her diabetes figures were the best they had been in years.

“Aside from the obvious benefits of a community getting together to share experience and info, there are always speakers that you may not have come across before. The seriousness is fun too and low-carb dancing in the evenings is a highlight. On shore days, we head out on group excursions and if you like, there are activities planned. My hike up the volcano was one of them and I can safely say that there’s a difference between physical exertion and torture – the latter being the volcano category! I really hope to return for next year’s cruise.” concludes Emily.

The dates and ports have been announced for the 2016 cruise, all the details can be found on To learn more from Emily on a range of nutrition and dietary topics for a LCHF lifestyle please join our Beginner Banting Online Course

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