Dana Carpender, author of nine cookbooks, including the best-selling 500 Low-Carb Recipes, started her writing career as a self-published author. In 1995, after years of creative low fat cooking featuring whole grains and other “healthy” carbohydrates, and despite five step aerobics classes per week, she found herself a size 20, and gaining! Worse, her blood pressure was rising, and she was left dragging by energy swings. Dropping carbs long before it was fashionable, Carpender lost 40 pounds with no hunger, achieved normal blood pressure and excellent blood lipids, and found herself with more energy in her forties than she’d had in her teens.
Taking her long-time fascination with nutrition, and a passion for sharing that life-changing experience of going low carb, Carpender wrote How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds, printed a first run of one thousand copies, and started selling them online through Amazon and low-carb specialty merchants. To gather an audience, she started Lowcarbezine!, a weekly online newsletter.
That self-published book sold an unheard-of thirteen thousand copies, and netted Carpender a publishing deal that led to the best-selling 500 Low-Carb Recipes, and all the books that have followed. Lowcarbezine! gathered over 25,000 subscribers before morphing into the popular Hold The Toast Blog. New Years Day 2011, she launches Dana’s Low Carb For Life, an internet radio show and podcast.
All of this has established Carpender as the knowledgeable, funny, and occasionally opinionated Every Woman who knows how to make eating healthy fun, easy, and delicious. 500 Low-Carb Recipes, published by Fair Winds Press in 2002, has sold more than 500,000 copies to date, and won the Carbohydrate Awareness Council’s Consumer’s Choice Award for best cookbook of 2003. Her other books include 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes, 500 More Low-Carb Recipes, The Low-Carb Barbecue Book, Low-Carb Smoothies, a revised, expanded edition of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds, The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook, featuring recipes that take both calorie count and glycemic impact into account. For McGraw-Hill, she wrote The Glycemic Load Cookbook with Dr. Rob Thompson, and also contributed recipes to Dr. Thompson’s The Low Starch Diet.
Never embracing the “meat and eggs only” philosophy, Carpender’s recipes feature a bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables, every variety of protein, nuts and seeds, healthy fats, and a wide variety of flavors from around the world. Knowing that bodies have differing tolerances, she offers alternatives whenever possible, letting readers adjust the carbohydrate and calorie levels to their own needs. Her instructions are clear and concise, and occasionally funny. On the rare occasion she calls for a hard-to-find ingredient she offers sources. And all her recipes include a full nutritional breakdown, including calories, carbs, fiber, protein, and fat.
A fierce proponent of real, nutritious foods, Carpender also emphasizes that regardless of carbohydrate or calorie count, everything we eat should serve our health. She examines the nutritional value of all types of foods, while taking into account people’s needs for practical meal solutions and short-cut preparations.
In her blog, Carpender also examines everything from the ongoing research into carbohydrate-restricted nutrition, holiday survival tips, product reviews, and even the occasional rant about the pushing of junk food on the American family. She values especially the feedback from her readers, and the “finger on the pulse” it gives her.
Carpender has appeared on television, radio, and in print across the country. Her appearances have included The Weekend Today Show, Fox and Friends, The Wayne Brady Show, and many appearances on QVC. Print credits include Woman’s Day, Low Carb Energy, and The National Enquirer.
Carpender lives in Bloomington, Indiana with her husband, two dogs, and a cat, all of whom eschew junk food. When she’s not cooking, writing, or reading the latest nutrition research, she power-walks, read mystery novels, and is an enthusiastic Toastmaster, taking the occasional trophy.