Monthly Archives: April 2016


Stronglifts5x5 update, random stuff

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Weight Lifting

My Dad made the news last night. Funny thing is I was in a bunch of the photos shown…. though you can’t see me because I’m hiding behind rocks holding lights =) Glorified light stand and pack mule I am. So I guess I made the news too =)

I had the day off yesterday so I went and found some of the stall mats I wanted to get. Indeed those things are heavy, like 100lbs each. I managed to get two of them onto a cart, into my vehicle and then my wife helped get them downstairs and under the equipment. My hands still hurt from gripping them. The StrongLifts program seems to be going well so far. I’m still lifting a mostly empty bar, concentrating on form more than anything. I am glad that my quads are happy now.

When I did my first lifting session a week ago I had some weirdness going on in my right quadriceps. It kinda felt like a cramp or something and I was rather worried it was going to be an ongoing problem or something. I didn’t know if it was related to being in keto for so long, not having lifted for so long or not enough magnesium since it felt like low magnesium even though I’m positive I’m getting enough. Anyway, the first two days after I lifted I was really, really sore. Then it went away and even though I’m lifting more (marginally: 55lbs 5×5 instead of 45lbs) it has not returned. I had previously noticed a tendency for my muscles to want to cramp up when I did serious stretching and starting lifting seems to have alleviated that everywhere. Should have done this a long time ago! My wife is also doing the SL5x5 program with me and she’s liking it so far. It’s quick and (for now) easy. The SL5x5 App is great and I finally got the watch integration figured out so I can see how many more sets I’m doing, how much weight and it even has a timer for how long to rest, it’s pretty awesome.

Now for the random stuff: I talked with a different co-packer that says they are able to do bags. This is a good thing since it would allow me to do a more incremental change with production instead of a major change to square bottles. It’s also good because it will keep shipping costs the same, I’m able to fit more bags in a box than I can fit hard walled bottles. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this may end up.

Next thing: I picked up a package of the chocolate “Keto Fuel” to see how it is (always a good plan to scope out your competitors). The guy in charge of SuperBodyFuel is allergic to a lot of things so he is VERY conscious about allergens in food. I’m lucky to only be allergic to cats (which is why you will never find any cats or cat hair in Keto Chow) so my recipes include potential allergens because the results taste better (to me). Anyway, Keto Fuel is “gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free”, It’s also barely not vegan (has trace gelatin from the vitamins). Because it’s dairy free it needs a plant based protein source and soy protein would invalidate the “soy free” claim so they use rice protein, which is what Rosa Labs Soylent 1.x also uses. Rice protein is a difficult beast because it can impart a gritty texture. The Chocolate Keto Fuel also has Cocoa powder for flavoring which can add some grittiness too.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with using Acacia Gum for fiber in Keto Chow instead of Psyllium husk powder, the result is what little discernible texture there was is now completely gone so I’ve been drinking almost oddly smooth stuff for a bit. The texture of Keto Fuel was quite a change compared to that. Personally I’ve had some REALLY gritty meal replacement drinks in the past and Keto Fuel is actually pretty smooth by comparison. It’s far smoother than People Chow was (corn Masa) and given the goals in the recipe I think it’s probably as good as you could possibly do. Now one caveat: I followed the instructions on the package with the heavy cream option instead of the olive oil option since I’m not lactose intolerant and know it’ll taste WAY better this way.  I drank one meal and kept the rest for family and friends doing keto to try. I’ll not lie: none of them liked it, but none of them have allergies that would prevent them from drinking Keto Chow. I’m of the opinion that if you do have problems with dairy, soy or nuts then it’s an excellent product; especially considering how difficult a ketogenic diet is with those kinds of restrictions.

By |2016-04-26T13:11:54-06:00April 26th, 2016|Categories: Future Foods, Ketogenic, Weight Lifting|Tags: , , , , , |6 Comments

Power Rack arrived this morning

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Weight Lifting

FedEx brought the power rack this morning. We got it assembled, and ready for today’s workout. Now I just need to visit Cal-Ranch or Tractor Supply and get some horse stall mats for the floor.

By |2016-04-22T09:48:21-06:00April 22nd, 2016|Categories: Weight Lifting|Tags: , |1 Comment

Started StrongLifts 5×5 at the Gym, couldn’t stand it – time for home gym

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Weight Lifting

I’ve been wanting to start lifting and StrongLifts 5×5 looked like a simple and effective way to get back into it (not to mention there is a seriously awesome app to keep track of it, it even has android wear integration!). I did lifting back in high school and some in college but that was 6 kids ago; and while my quads still look pretty awesome (if I say so myself, which I do) it’s time to take the next step. My brother advocated “renting” the equipment via a gym membership before outright buying so I decided to try that.

So I made an appointment at two local gyms to see what they offer. Lifetime was pretty much a country club with a price to match ($69 a person, $169 for 3+ “adults” over 13 years old, kids under 13 are $10). It was a really nice place with several hundred treadmills, indoor and outdoor pools and other amenities. VASA was more spartan with less available but again, a price to match ($10-25 a month). Both of the gyms are targeting people who want to do classes, who want to do cardio, who want to use weight machines with pulleys and cables. Both are sub-optimal for StrongLifts 5×5 because their free weight offerings frankly sucked.

StrongLifts 5×5 is pretty basic: you alternate 5 different lifting exercises 3 times a week: Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row, Overhead Press, and Deadlift. Each is 5 sets of 5 reps (hence 5×5 – except dead lifts which is 1×5), Squats is done each time or it would be 6 exercises. It ends up being really simple and doesn’t require a lot of equipment. Mostly you just need weights, a bench and a way to lift safely – that involves a squatting rack/power rack which is also used for bench press. If you have a full cage power rack you can do the whole thing without a spotter, on your own terms and schedule, so going to the gyms I was looking primarily at how many power racks they had. Lifetime had two fully enclosed free weight racks and four power lifting open cages – mostly for deadlift though you could easily use them for squatting. VASA had 3 full cages. Neither had a bench you could pull over to use in the cages so you would need a spotter for bench press. I was able to locate a roaming bar to use for barbell row/deadlift/overhead press at Lifetime but not at VASA. Neither were terribly accommodating to StrongLifts or free weights in general. At least they don’t have the moronic PlanetFitness “lunk alarm” used to actively discourage serious body building. I actually did a full SL5x5 session of lifting at LifeTime and I pretty much hated the entire experience. Waiting for a rack, waiting for a bench, searching for a bar, no bueno man. Add to that at the beginning of SL5x5 you’re just lifting a naked bar without plates; I felt silly at the gym.

So I came home and was at least grateful that I just did it as a trial run without actually signing anything. I decided half way through my first set of squats that I was going to clean up the basement and buy my own equipment. There was a really helpful post on reddit that pointed me over to the Titan T2 Power rack which I had previously seen on the SL5x5 site. On a side note: Titan has a 10% off code good until April 30, 2016 “REFUND10” – they also do free shipping which is crazy for how heavy the stuff is they are shipping. So I ordered the T2 then found a guy on craigslist that buys inventory from gyms and got some used plates, a bench and a bar. The guy gave my kids some mis-matched 1 lb hand weights because my youngest kept asking what he could buy with the $3 in his wallet. Nice guy.

Anyhow, I have a place set up in the basement and the power rack should be arriving Friday, which is pretty awesome for free shipping from Tennessee ordered Monday night. I’m looking forward to posting updates (and not being able to walk every other day).

By |2016-10-14T07:17:53-06:00April 20th, 2016|Categories: Weight Lifting|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

Want to participate in the “eaters survey”?

There is a survey for people who have tried products like Keto Chow. If you want to participate you can at (and if you don’t, that’s cool too).

At the end of the survey there’s a bunch of coupon codes for Keto Chow along with other powdered foods. If you’re interested, there’s some more info about the survey in the reddit thread about the survey.


By |2018-06-26T08:51:11-06:00April 19th, 2016|Categories: Future Foods, Keto Chow, Ketogenic|Tags: , |0 Comments

Testing with acacia gum progressing well, thinking about starting lifting

This entry is part 124 of 208 in the series Ketogenic Diet

So my test of Keto Chow with Acacia gum instead of Psyllium Husk powder seems to be going pretty well. Acacia gum doesn’t thicken like psyllium does so I’m having to use a thickening agent too, MOAR fiber I guess. It’s smoother that the psyllium, like really smooth with almost no texture at all except the peanut butter flour I added to this batch.

I’m still rocking 100% Keto Chow since Tuesday (well except the pickles I ate yesterday…. and then I drank all the pickle juice in the jar which was fun since they were hot chili pickles. My wife has planned for us to go out to dinner with friends tonight so I’l going to break my streak. I’m still down 4lbs from Tuesday.

I’ve been thinking about starting lifting at a gym, particularly since this post. It kinda snowballed yesterday when somebody posted a home gym on a yardsale site. I ended up talking to my brother (the one that is supposed to eventually post his experience with Keto and lifting) about it. His advice: “rent” the equipment with a gym membership, if you’re truly serious about it you can buy some later. OK, good plan. The price of the bowflex would be 3.5 years of membership at the gym nearest my house. Now the problem becomes: when will I have time to work out!? I think the solution will be to stash gym clothes in my car and stop on my way home. My awesome wife said she was going to suggest I start going to the gym but didn’t want to offend me =) So good timing I guess.

Day 100 – 100 days of Keto (Chow) retrospective plus a rant about skinny weight loss coaches

This entry is part 81 of 81 in the series 100 days of keto

Weight change for the 100 days: 209.9 lbs to 205.4 lbs. That’s not really stellar progress but compared to gaining I suppose I’ll take it. I also didn’t “cheat” once; meaning I didn’t ever deliberately eat foods containing sugar, starch or other carbohydrates – but that wasn’t a surprise, aside from “robins eggs” that are still kicking around my house I’m not tempted at all by carby foods. For the most part I did have 3 meals of Keto Chow a day for the 100 days but it’s the “extra” stuff that was detrimental.

This 100 day experiment was a good experience though. I can see a direct correlation between my progress and the amount of malitol I consumed, for one thing. Malitol is a relatively common “sugar free” sweetener. And by “sugar free” I’m using the loose standard the food industry uses since it is a sugar alcohol and is arguably better than sucrose, though not by much. Because malitol is cheaper than most of the sugar alcohols like Erythritol it gets used pretty frequently in sugar free stuff. Like Russell Stover chocolates, sugar free lemon heads and others. My advice to myself and to others: if it has malitol then you can’t subtract the sugar alcohols from the total carbohydrates. In other words: just avoid it entirely. Go get some Swerve sweetener and make your own stuff instead. Seriously, it’s my downfall and I’m finally coming to terms with it. As much as people rail against aspartame and sucralose at least I know they don’t affect my metabolism.

So, I didn’t lose much weight during the experiment, what about blood ketones? First off: measuring your ketones is generally a really bad idea. It’s motivational to get some of the urine test strips when you are very first starting out doing keto since you can see a tangible and almost immediate result. As your body adapts to ketosis the urine test strips become useless though, you stop producing extra that gets excreted and the strips stop working. So you can test with blood tests or breath acetone tests. The blood tests are like $2 each and the breath tester is $150. You also fall into a non-constructive pattern if you are constantly testing and “chasing ketones”. You’re better off just limiting your carbohydrates, tracking food in general and keeping at it. Keep Calm and Keto On (KCKO) as they say. So I did measure my blood ketone levels every day. Near the end of the experiment I discovered that I was doing it wrong! Thanks to the “dawn phenomenon” my glucose was high and ketones were low every morning when I tested. That can partially account for why I only averaged 0.5 mmol/L during the experiment (you want to be in the 1.5-3.0 range). the rest of it is the aforementioned malitol.

So here’s where I get into my rant: I feel your pain because it’s my pain too.

Losing weight can be very, very difficult for people (at times it can also be really easy for others). The irony is that almost all of the people you see that advocate exercise, active lifestyles and other “traditional” forms of weight loss have never experienced Metabolic Syndrome, Insulin Resistance or Diabetes. You see the rail thin “never been overweight” paragons of fitness selling exercise plans to get people skinny, or body wraps, or ab crunchers. Even the models they use for weight reduction surgery look like they’ve NEVER been obese. They just don’t understand, and it drives me nuts. Unfortunately society as a whole also subscribes to the notion that all you have to do to be skinny is exercise, fat people are lazy, it’s a moral weakness.

Being fat is a lack of character so far as being allergic to peanuts is a lack of character. Some people can’t handle gluten, others get sunburn almost by looking at a photograph of the sun. Are those problems with their moral fiber, with their will power? Should society look down on them? Maybe they should just try not being diabetic, or celiac , or ginger. Your body’s ability or inability to process glucose/carbohydrates isn’t your fault. If people happen to have won the genetic lottery and their cells haven’t become resistant to insulin yet then that’s also not something they should be applauded for. That’s just how your body may be.

When I was a skinny little kid with asthma I couldn’t gain weight for anything. Then I overcame that and, by the outward indicators, slowly worked up resistance to insulin. I stopped processing glucose like I was supposed to. I don’t know if that was genetics, environment, or (more likely) a result of what I was eating combined with the two.  Regardless, I got fat and stayed fat. To date, the only thing that has had a consistent effect on my weight was coming to terms with how I personally metabolize glucose (or rather don’t). Switching to a ketogenic diet has impacted my health and weight tremendously and I don’t see any reason I would ever stop. Why eat bread when you can eat bacon?

So I consider these 100 days a success for the additional experience I gained. Sure it would have been awesome to be down to 180, but when people report that they’re having issues losing weight I more than understand. I’ve had the same frustrations and maybe even done the same things that are hindering your/their progress.

Day 099 – 100 days of Keto (Chow)

This entry is part 80 of 81 in the series 100 days of keto
  • Weight: 208.0
  • Blood ketones: 0.1 mmol/L

So I’m stuck in a up and down cycle – it’s entirely what I’ve been eating and has a simple explanation, despite that I’ve decided it serves as good experience; I’ll call it “gives me a better understanding of what others are going through” yeah – that’s it. I’ll harp on that a bit more for tomorrow when I do my retrospective on the “100 days of Keto (chow)”

The acacia gum fiber did not come yesterday, which kinda sucked – I had the day off work and I was all prepped and ready to spend a few hours testing it out. Instead I’m going to have to figure out some time later this week to do that =(. We got a shipment of Choline that was DL instead of L – apparently their product codes got messed up. I’m getting a credit for it but now I have to dispose of 100kg of Choline DL-Bitartrate. That’ll be fun.

By |2016-04-12T09:05:09-06:00April 12th, 2016|Categories: 100 days of keto, Keto Chow|Tags: , |0 Comments

Days 096, 097 & 098 – 100 days of Keto (Chow)

This entry is part 79 of 81 in the series 100 days of keto
  • Weight: 206.6
  • Blood ketones: <0.1 mmol/L
  • Weight: 205.5
  • Blood ketones: dunno
  • Weight: 207.5
  • Blood ketones: 0.2 mmol/L

Saturday was a busy day with loads of physical activity in the yard with the kids, followed by everyone but me getting a slurpee (I had some diet rootbeer instead) then we hit the park and played there until the rain came and sent us running for cover. I made some Keto Chow muffins that I ended up having for breakfast this morning. I used my immersion blender and it worked WAY better than a regular blender for making the muffins. I’ll be doing that in the future now.

Yesterday we had a little get together. We brought deviled eggs and little cups of chocolate mousse. About 1/4 of the people there were doing keto and our friends brought some smoked pulled pork and low carb tortillas. I ended up so full I didn’t even bother eating dinner, so only 1 keto chow for me yesterday.

Anyhow, today was keto chow muffins with some creme cheese. I’m planning on shakes for lunch and for dinner too.

By |2016-04-11T08:31:56-06:00April 11th, 2016|Categories: 100 days of keto, Keto Chow|Tags: , |0 Comments

Day 095 – 100 days of Keto (Chow)

This entry is part 78 of 81 in the series 100 days of keto
  • Weight: 206.0
  • Blood ketones: 0.2 mmol/L

Had an awesome time at the IFT Food Suppliers trade show yesterday. Met some great people and might have found some new suppliers for ingredients. It was funny to see some of the places I’m getting some of my current ingredients from too. I happened upon one supplier that does fiber and asked if they have psyllium husk powder. They don’t but the guy asked what I was using it for, I gave a quick explanation to which he responded “wait, you’re doing Keto? so am I!” We had a rousing conversation that went all over the place but the end result was I’m going to be getting a sample shipment of their acacia gum fiber and their thickener to test in Keto Chow. Allegedly it’s a far better source of fiber than psyllium so I’m anxious to try it out. We’ll see!

By |2016-04-08T14:42:54-06:00April 8th, 2016|Categories: 100 days of keto, Keto Chow|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Day 094 – 100 days of Keto (Chow)

This entry is part 77 of 81 in the series 100 days of keto
  • Weight: 204.8
  • Blood ketones: 0.2 mmol/L

Yesterday I only did two keto chow shakes – we got a new waffle maker and my wife made keto waffles, figured we might as well go all-in on “breakfast for dinner” so I cooked a bunch of bacon and sausage. Also yesterday I got some preliminary figures for the costs of the protein for keto Chow 2.0. In the early stages I had asked for a blend of Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein isolate and Casein Protein (milk). Casein has some advantages in that it’s slower to absorb which can keep you feeling full longer, it’s also beneficial for weight lifting with a higher glutamine content. The problem is: it’s three times the cost of concentrate, it also adds an additional allergy possibility. From the looks of things we’re going to be using a blend of whey isolate and concentrate that is very similar to the Dymatize and I’ll probably add a recommendation that anyone doing body building use casein to supplement the protein in the Keto Chow (which is likely going to be just a touch higher than the current recipe).

This evening I’m going to check out the IFT Food Suppliers event, with any luck I might be able to find some additional industry leads for production/packaging or ingredients. Only problem: I’ll have to do it quick because weigh-in for the Pinewood Derby is at 6:30 and I don’t want to miss the event!