Monthly Archives: May 2016

Keto Chow 1.5

This entry is part 128 of 186 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

TL;DR: swapped psyllium husk for acacia gum, added more xanthan gum resulting in better texture and improved bowel… stuff.

It’s been some time since there was a major formulation change in Keto Chow, it’s been stable for over a year. As part of the progress towards Keto Chow 2.0 I’ve updated the recipe. On paper it looks like a nominal change: replaced one ingredient and increased another. Functionally it’s a significant revision.

For those unaware: I’m working on getting Keto Chow mixed and packed in a co-packing facility. There are a bunch of reasons for this, primarily it will increase the amount of stuff I can make since it’ll no longer be such a manual process. It will also free up a lot of time =). In order to do this I’m needing to find replacements for the problematic ingredients that can’t be found in 100kg+ sizes (the vitamins, protein, flavoring) in addition to finding a co-packing facility. I’m in the latter stages of getting the vitamin mix replacement, the second revision of the protein+flavoring should be coming sometime in the next week or two and it’s almost time to “for realsies” sign papers with co-packers.

Several weeks ago I went to a trade show with various food ingredient vendors. I knew my Potassium and Xanthan Gum supplier would be there, the people I’m getting the vitamin pre-mix from had a booth and I was surprised that the lady I buy peanut flour from was there too (“hey, I buy your stuff… wait a minute, I buy it from YOU!”). I was looking for an alternative vitamin pre-mix supplier but was also on the lookout for protein sources and especially a solution to my Psyllium Husk problem.

Psyllium Husk provides fiber (and is the primary ingredient in metamucil if you are wondering) as well as acting as a thickener; it grows in India. All psyllium husk is shipped from India and while getting it in small quantities in the United States is easy, buying a palette worth is difficult without going directly to the manufacturers in India and buying an entire shipping container worth. Don’t get me wrong, a shipping container in my back yard would be kinda cool but I didn’t want to go that route. I found a company in Chicago that would sell psyllium by the 25kg/55lb bag but their supplies were sporadic and if they were out of stock I was out of luck and would need to go back to buying 12lb bags from AllStarHealth. No bueno.

At the show I happened upon one booth for a company specializing in dietary fibers. So I asked if they had psyllium husk powder and the guy asked me what I needed it for. Honestly that was the best response: instead of just saying “no”, he figured out what my “pain point” was. Turns out that guy in the booth was doing dietary ketosis, said “oh you don’t want psyllium, THIS is the stuff you want to use for keto” and so I was introduced to Acacia Gum.

Acacia Gum – Features and Benefits. This was sizeable enough I decided to put it into a separate post so it’s easier to refer to, go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.

Now, as I said earlier: Psyllium Husk also acts as a thickener and while Acacia thickens liquid a little, replacing psyllium with acacia left the mixture rather watery. I tried some other thickening ingredients but came back to Xanthan Gum which I was already using. I upped the amount almost 3x and the thickness was just right.

I considered Keto Chow 1.0.4 to be exceptionally smooth with practically no gritty texture (especially compared to the stuff I had in the past that was full of coconut flour and chia seeds). Apparently psyllium husk powder does have some texture/grit to it because the change was notable. Keto Chow 1.5 has no discernible (to me and those I’ve had test it) texture. It’s seriously like somebody melted a milk shake. It also mixes better: there’s no need to do a second mixing 5 minutes after initial mixing to prevent the fiber from accumulating on the bottom in clumps. Acacia Gum is also nicer to your intestines and seems to eliminate some of the bowel issues people were experiencing  when initially starting. For lack of a better way to say it delicately: you should be able to put more trust in a fart being just a fart, especially at the beginning.

We do have some of the old recipe still on the shelves but most of the flavors will be transitioned over to 1.5 in the next week or so. If you don’t notice the texture at all in the older formulation it won’t be a big deal but if you’re anxious to get the new stuff just put a note in your order comments and we’ll do our best to send the new stuff. We have most of the week packs in 1.5 and a few of the day flavors. Samples are all currently the old stuff.

Sous Vide Update: Yeah, it is yummy.

Completely unrelated to Keto Chow but still quite relevant to ketogenic diets. The chuck roasts I had cooking for 44 hours with my Sous Video “Precision Cooker” finished cooking (like yesterday but whatever, I was going for awesome overkill). Turned out awesome.

On an unrelated note, I’m claiming a personal victory: none of my kids cut any of the fat off the meat. All of them ate ALL of it, in fact they ate most of one of the plates full by themselves (I think it was mostly the 14 year olds but whatever). Only my wife cut some fat off, old habits die hard after a life of “fat is bad” indoctrination.

By | 2016-10-14T07:17:52+00:00 May 19th, 2016|Categories: Ketogenic|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Site fun, Sous Vide, Stronglifts Update

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Weight Lifting

Been having fun with the site lately. And by “fun” I mean it’s been wonky since Sunday when the two web/database servers were getting hammered hard, load average was up around 50+. I’m hopeful that it’s settled down now. Most recently I got a fun error with SQL where people couldn’t place new orders, got that fixed but we didn’t get any orders for most of Wednesday morning. Anyway I have multiple app servers and database servers now for extra fun redundancy – Looking forward to boring normalcy =)

In completely unrelated news, I grabbed a Sous Vide (soo VEED) precision cooker and last night started some meat cooking at 136° F for 44 hours. It’ll be done Thursday at which point I’ll sear the outside for maillard reaction fun. It probably won’t be as good as the prime rib I got a few weeks ago but should still be nice and yummy, with very little effort on my part.

2016-05-17 20.20.11

2016-05-17 20.34.10

2016-05-18 18.21.17Lastly, weight lifting is still going well. I’m on my 5th week and I still haven’t missed rep. That’s kinda expected since I started with the bare bar (45lbs) and have been working my way up according to the plan. Honestly this was a good thing since I needed to work on my form…. a lot. Currently I’m at:

  • Squat: 105
  • Bench Press: 85
  • Barbell Row: 95
  • Over-Head Press: 70
  • Dead Lift: 145

Eventually I’ll miss a rep and the app will have me increase the weight slower but for now it just keeps going up.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

By | 2017-01-26T19:29:21+00:00 May 18th, 2016|Categories: Site or Store Stuff, Weight Lifting|Tags: , |4 Comments

Old flavors, new flavors, dead flavors.

This entry is part 127 of 186 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

My wife just reminded me that I need to post something about the state of the flavors of Keto Chow. The ones I can get have diminished significantly in the last while:

  • Piña Colada: discontinued
  • Smooth Banana: discontinued
  • Butter Cream Toffee: discontinued
  • Cinnamon Bun: discontinued
  • Mint Chocolate: not certain, most of my suppliers have removed it from their sites, and it’s getting harder and harder to source. Might not be long for this world =(

We still have some stock of a few of the discontinued ones (mostly samples and days) but we’ll be watching the stock levels closely. The ones I can still get easily:

  • Rich Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry
  • Snickerdoodle
  • Chocolate Fudge
  • Cookies and Cream

So I guess it’s good timing that I’m getting closer to having my own flavors for Keto Chow. Speaking of that: today I received the first 5 samples of the protein + flavoring that I’ll be using in Keto Chow 2.0. I’d be mixing it up right now but we made 12 meals worth last night and don’t have any clean blender bottles available (not to mention I need to drink down the supply in my fridge). Closer and closer every day!

The Biggest Loser Diet – Explained!

This entry is part 126 of 186 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

This week results of a study were posted showing that contestants from “The Biggest Loser” from several years ago had mostly regained all their lost weight. From the conclusions offered in the findings it would seem there is no way to lose weight. The subjects metabolisms slowed down so much that it was nearly impossible for them to maintain their weight loss. Doctor Jason Fung does an excellent job of distilling what’s really going on here. I suggest you head over and read his article. I’ll wait.

This is what is sometimes termed ‘starvation mode’. This is what people imagine happens as their body starts to shut down in order to conserve energy. Basal metabolism (Calories Out) falls and you feel like crap. As you eat less, your body burns less calories, so that eventually weight loss plateaus. Then you feel like crap, so decide to eat a bit more (your hunger hormones are also rising like a spire), but not as much as you used to. But, your ‘Calories Out’ is so low that you get weight regain. Sound familiar? Happens to every dieter out there. What’s unfair, is that their friends and family silently blame the victim of having ‘fallen off the wagon’, or not having enough will power. Actually, the dietary advice – Eat Less, Move More is guaranteed to fail. So don’t blame the victim when they actually do fail.

You did read the article right? If you didn’t the TL;DR is:

  1. Caloric Reduction as Primary strategy puts you into starvation mode (lower metabolism).
  2. The key to losing weight in the long term is maintaining basal metabolism, or keeping ‘Calories Out’ high.
  3. Failure rate of Eat Less, Move More is proven to be 99% or so. This remains the diet advice favored by most physicians and dieticians.
  4. Actual starvation (fasting or bariatric surgery) does not put you into starvation mode (metabolism remains high).
  5. Ketogenic diets do not put you into starvation mode either (metabolism remains high).

My own experience confirms this. When I had a DEXA scan done I also did the resting metabolic rate test. Despite being on a Ketogenic diet for over a year and a half, my metabolism isn’t crazy low, quite the opposite:

The RMR report also said I probably want between 1776 and 2218 calories a day for weight loss; and that my metabolism is 10% faster than people of similar sex, age, height and weight. There were some less than useful platitudes about “you must burn more calories than you consume to lose weight” which is the same as saying “you must save more money than you spend to save money” or “if more people leave a room than come in, there will be less people in the room” – um… thanks?

So. If you want to lose weight because your body doesn’t handle carbohydrates well (like me!) and keep it off, it seems these are the steps:

  1. Switch to a ketogenic LIFESTYLE – no cheating, no end. If you go back to eating the sugary junk that got you fat in the first place, what do you think will happen?
  2. Do intermittent fasting (just don’t eat for two meals but keep drinking water) or outright fasting (24 hours without calories)
  3. If you’re feeling ambitious, try lifting weights. I’m currently a few weeks into StrongLifts5x5 (along with my wife, she’s awesome by the way; our anniversary is tomorrow) and so far it’s been simple and easy to stick to. Takes around 30 minutes, three times a week.
By | 2016-10-14T07:17:53+00:00 May 5th, 2016|Categories: Ketogenic, Weight Loss|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments