Monthly Archives: January 2017

//January

Update on Keto Chow 2.0 – another delay, but there’s hope!

To recap for those who don’t live and breathe this stuff:

  • I’m in the final stages of having Keto Chow produced at a contract manufacturer.
  • Keto Chow 2.0 differs from Keto Chow 1.9 on the protein/flavor/sweetener – I’m not able to get Dymatize Elite in 500KG batches so by necessity we have to get our own stuff to replace it. The most obvious difference will be the flavoring in KC2.0 will be our own stuff.

Anyhow, we ran into a problem with the manufacturing. I had the co-packer make me some new test batches and the flavors came back really weird. Initially, I thought it was the potassium chloride we added but after extensive testing, it turned out to be a problem in the protein powder. The initial tests they did were with a random equivalent protein powder and the new samples were straight from the bulk powder they purchased for our batches. We’ve gone back and tried some different flavoring and some bitter masking agents but to no avail.

I’m not going to sell a product I don’t love. It has to have a “wow, that was really good, I want more!” going for it or it’s not going to be released.

So, as of today, we’re going to use a different protein powder from a different manufacturer. It’s likely this will add some to the cost, I’m hoping it’s less than $1-2 and we’re still aiming to have KC2.0 cost less than KC1.9. This means that Keto Chow 2.0 is going to be delayed. If we can find a direct drop-in replacement for the protein powder it may be as little as a week before we get things going.

We’re coming up on almost a year since I decided to start this endeavor – I hope we can be shipping 2.0 well before Fed 15th.


Update!

This morning we headed down to the manufacturer to work on the problem. We brought along a Keto Chow 1.9 rich chocolate in powder form, a bag of Dymatize Rich Chocolate for comparison, and a blender bottle of mixed Chocolate Peanut Butter. He had complained that it didn’t taste very good and he didn’t feel confident evaluating the mixes so when he had the Chocolate Peanut Butter (with the heavy cream) he was astonished in the extreme “Oh wow, that’s actually really good” – yep that’s the goal! We did a bunch of various tests combining different stuff together but the most telling test was when we tasted the plain whey protein in water… and the bad taste was there! After that, he said he was going to go back to the distributor and get a refund and/or exchange it for a different protein. He said the protein guys may send out a food scientist to work on the problem but ideally, we may have a solution (maybe) quickly.

Flavor of the Week Jan 30-Feb 5: 15% off sale on all sizes of Gourmet Vanilla

New week, new flavor on sale! This week it’s 15% off all the different sizes of Gourmet Vanilla. A lot of people like to use Vanilla as a base for adding additional flavors. You can get sugar free syrups from DaVinci and Torani that work well.

By | 2017-01-30T06:54:31+00:00 January 30th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Check Out “Carb Loaded” – available free on YouTube

Excellent documentary about a super skinny guy that was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. Does a great job at simply explaining many of the key points of a high fat, low carb diet. Here’s their “press release” description from their website:

It’s a classic image. An athlete bingeing on massive amounts of carbs before a race. It is believed that by consuming carbohydrates beforehand, an athlete is more likely to complete endurance events. Many people dress and talk like their sports heroes. They also EAT like them. While dressing and talking like your favorite athlete might not hurt you, many experts say carb-loading without the intent of strenuous physical activity can be destructive. This is just one aspect of our food culture to be addressed by Lathe Poland in his upcoming documentary, Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying To Eat. Lathe, a slim build man in his mid 30’s, was diagnosed with Type2 diabetes in late 2010. “I wasn’t overweight. In fact I weigh the same now as I did back then. To be honest, I was completely blown away when my doctor gave me the diagnosis. Why would a seemingly healthy 30 something man like myself get a disease like this? My misconception like most people was that there were two scenarios where you get diabetes…Either it’s hereditary and it’s not your fault, or you eat junk food like it’s going out of style and end up diabetic.”

Lathe’s general practitioner wanted to start him on three different prescription medications, IMMEDIATELY. He recalls, “I guess what alarmed me was the ‘matter of fact’ rubber stamp approach. Is this the way it was for everyone? Feeling very discouraged, I resigned myself to the fact that I would be taking medication the rest of my life.” Not long after that, Lathe heard an NPR news segment about cases of diabetes and pre-diabetes skyrocketing. “I remember that was the tipping point for me,” he continues “for my own sanity, I needed to piece this puzzle together.” That journey began when Lathe spoke with his business partner, Eric Carlsen. Since 2004 the long time friends have run their own video production company. Lathe was interested in making a documentary, uncovering the reasons behind the shocking rise in diabetes over the last two decades. Eric though was a bit skeptical at first. “We have been producing video together for over eight years, so I have a lot of confidence in Lathe’s individual talent and our ability as a team. But the scope of what he was talking about was a bit overwhelming to say the least.” Buoyed by his friend’s enthusiasm, Eric finally agreed they could do it. The next obstacle that needed to be addressed was how to finance the film. “I had heard about filmmakers using crowd funding sites as an alternative to seeking financing from studios or private investors,” Lathe relates, “and I wondered if we could do the same.” Lathe and Eric decided they would use KickStarter.com to host their crowd funding project. However, as they continued their research they realized yet another challenge had to be met. Eric continues, “Crowd funding sites are a phenomenal tool, but they’re only effective if you attract a crowd. We knew we would have to build awareness and create an audience prior to launching our KickStarter campaign.”

As it turns out that audience would come from a multi-pronged approach. The two friends designed a website and set out to get experts to contribute content to the site. They also decided to make use of social media, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As content on the site grew, so did their fan base on Twitter and Facebook. At least once a month Eric and Lathe create an update video and post it to YouTube and their website, informing interested people how the pre-production work is progressing. The pair decided they would include their outtakes for each update at the end of the segment. Lathe explains, “We wanted people to be able to relate to us right away. By letting them have a behind the scenes peek at what we were doing, it seems to attract a lot of interest in the project. We get great feedback when we post our video updates.” The duo plans to launch their KickStarter campaign in March of 2013, with the goal of beginning full scale production by late this spring. If all goes well they hope to complete filming toward the end of 2013. “It’s a way to take a negative (having diabetes), and turn it into a positive,” Lathe observes. “The idea is not to just scare people, but to help them realize that they have a measure of control over their health and the health of their kids. It requires education, and we get to play a small role in that process…what’s not to like about that?”

By | 2017-01-26T14:35:05+00:00 January 26th, 2017|Categories: Ketogenic|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

21 days progress with strict Keto: Awesome Sauce! (also 2 years since my last “cheat” meal)

This entry is part 154 of 179 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

As mentioned earlier, starting January 1, 2017, I committed to writing down everything I eat in Cron-o-meter before I eat it. Turns out this works quite well, which I already knew but somehow was ignoring and doing “lazy keto” for the last few months by only eating Keto Friendly food but not really tracking food closely. Yes, Jalapeño poppers are, generally, keto friendly – but if you eat 20 of them you’re going to go over your net carbs for the day. Anyhow, I’m doing great and still writing everything down. I’m also still lifting – today I’ll be squatting 90lbs, it’s starting to get harder =) A couple days ago I failed to notice it was the 2 year anniversary of the last time I had a “cheat” meal on January 21, 2015. Since then, I’ve only deliberately eaten non-keto food once: a bite of breaded fish in September 2015, spat it out. I expect that I’ll be living HFLC for the rest of my life, sounds fun.

“Cheating” on Keto is self-sabotage. Imagine you’re trying to climb a giant sand dune. It’s really hard to get up to the top (and you get sand in your shoes, guaranteed) but once you’re there, staying on the top is easy. It’s especially easy compared to the amount of effort required to get back on top if you decide to roll down to the bottom. Being fat adapted is very similar to this: you’ve worked so hard to get your body burning fat instead of glucose, why would you ruin months of work? My advice: embrace living keto, focus on the awesome foods you can enjoy, not the foods you choose not to eat (not “can’t eat”).

Here’s an updated weight log of my progress:

Calories consumed per day (I had a tummy ache on Jan 15, ended up fasting a bit over 2h hours):

Net carbs per day:

Flavor of the Week Jan 23-Jan 29: 20% off sale on all sizes of Cookies and Cream

New week, new flavor on sale! This week it’s 20% off all the different sizes of Cookies and Cream. This is one of my favorite flavors and what I was drinking most of last week.

On a side note: we did decide to make some additional day packs because we ran out pretty quick and Keto Chow 2.0 isn’t quite ready yet (hoping we can start production later this week).

By | 2017-01-23T06:08:24+00:00 January 23rd, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Recommended reading for those starting Keto; Keto Chow at the construction site

This entry is part 153 of 179 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

To start off, I was listening to Episode 49 of the “2 Keto Dudes” podcast and they shared the content of a really good post on their Ketogenic Forums: “It’s Easy… Until It’s Not… And then it’s Easy Again.” If you’re starting out with Keto and the initial drive is flagging a bit, there’s some really good advice in there:

Going Keto, particularly if you’re not coming from a similar discipline like low-carb, or paleo, can have its challenges.

Those of us who’ve been doing it for a while can be pretty enthusiastic in our promotion of keto, which may at times make it seem easier than it really is.

Here’s the thing. Keto is easy, until it isn’t, and then it is again.

What do I mean by that?

Any time we start something new, particularly something that we perceive to be good for us, we’ve got a deeper reserve of willpower and enthusiasm that will carry us through the first phase of trying to build that habit. And, as it happens, keto has some seriously yummy and satisfying foods to sample, so between those two things, the first week or so of keto can feel like a breeze. Most people drop several pounds almost immediately as they burn off glycogen (and dump water), so there’s a short-term “win” feeling, too.

Then, things can get hard. Many people hit the dreaded “keto flu” when their bodies aren’t yet fully-adapted to making and burning ketones instead of glucose, yet they’ve drastically cut back their supply of glucose. This can include tiredness, dizziness, and generally feeling crappy. Most of these symptoms can be eased with some bone broth, or supplementing salt (salt water), etc., but it still stinks.

On top of that, if you don’t have a ready store of keto-friendly recipes, the meal plan can get a little boring. While it sounds wonderful to have bacon and eggs every morning, most of us enjoy some variety, too.

And at the same time that the keto flu hits, for many folks the weight loss stops, or slows significantly.

This is the point where many people get frustrated, and some quit, thinking that Keto doesn’t work.

DON’T DO THIS!!!

Once you get past this point, things start to get easier. When you have become fat-adapted, you will have more energy, and feel better, and probably far better than you did eating carbs.

And when you have been eating keto long enough for it to become a habit, something that is simply how you live, you won’t struggle with cravings (not as much, anyway), and you will be healing your body.

As has been observed in many threads already, each of us is slightly different. Younger folks, in general, will probably find it easier to lose weight more quickly on keto, while those of us who are a little more…seasoned…sometimes need to throw in intermittent fasting, or extended fasting, to get the fat mobilized.

At the end of the day…if you’re just getting started, be prepared for there to be challenges along the way. You may have some slip-ups where you indulge in carbs and end up regretting it. Or you may just be wishing that you didn’t have to eat defensively at restaurants, or read the labels on everything carefully to avoid hidden sugars. That stuff is a pain. But it’s worth it. Keep Calm, and Keto On, and you will be building a habit that promises good health, and a hopefully longer, healthier life.

It’s worth it.

He has some additional followup comments there in the post too. And if you’re getting started with Keto, I recommend listening to Episode 48 of the podcast “Starting Keto” – it’s good enough I have it linked in the “tips” section of the Keto Chow preparation Instructions.


My friend Steve has been doing Keto on and off, mostly to be supportive of his wife (he needs to lose weight like I need a hole in my leg – that was at his house BTW) but I think it’s also helping with his Gout. Gout is funny on Keto, it seems to either make it WAY worse (Steve’s initial experience) or it helps to alleviate the problem A LOT. Anyhow, he works construction and sent me a couple photos of Keto Chow on the construction job site

Another Step Closer to Keto Chow 2.0

This entry is part 152 of 179 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

Yesterday we picked up the large “week” bags from the printer and delivered them to the manufacturing facility.

At this point, there’s very little left to do to get going:

  • They still need to do some quality control tests of the full recipe stack to make sure it tastes the way it should.
  • I need to sample the tests.
  • If there are problems, re-test.

I’m hopeful we can get full production going this week or next week. While we were there, I snapped a picture of the mixing machine they’ll be using, ladder for scale:

By | 2017-01-17T08:17:20+00:00 January 17th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Flavor of the Week Jan 16-Jan 22: 15% off sale on all sizes of Strawberry

New week, new flavor on sale! This week it’s 15% off all the different sizes of Strawberry Blast. Of all the flavors I personally think strawberry has one of the more mellow flavors – lends its self to adding other flavors quite well.

By | 2017-01-16T07:54:13+00:00 January 16th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |0 Comments

3 years of powdered food (“soylent”) – from People Chow to Keto Chow

This entry is part of 40 in the series DIY Soylent

On January 13, 2014 I did the first post on my blog about trying “soylent”. It corresponds to my first submission on Reddit (my reddit “cake day” is January 9, 2014 BTW).  The Image up top is of my very first batch of powdered food, People Chow 2.3.0 at the time (I still have all 3 of those blender bottles, used the yellow one yesterday). It’s been an interesting journey. You can read some of my earlier “in review” posts if you want the full story:

3 years ago I weighed 260lbs (I’m 5′ 13″), my low point was at 200 in October 2015. I slacked off and did “lazy keto” without tracking my intake, just sticking to low-carb foods, and you can see that on my graph:

 

Recently I re-committed to getting back on track for realsies. It’s a bit pathetic: I know exactly what I need to do to lose weight – it’s rather simple so I should just do it, which I am. Since January 1, 2017, I haven’t eaten anything until after I logged it in Cron-O-Meter. Unsurprisingly, it’s working quite well. Guess I should have read my own stuff =) I was at a post-new year’s high of 223.7 and now I’m at 215 after a week and a half.

You can expect to see my weight graph more frequently now as it goes down further (and I’m less ashamed of the trend =). So there you have it: 3 years of blogging about “Engineered Staple Food” aka “soylent” – this post is number 371.

On track with my New Year Resolutions

This entry is part 151 of 179 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

I have two health-related resolutions this year:

  1. Strength training 3x a week (StrongLifts 5×5).
  2. I’m not eating anything until it’s ALREADY logged into Cron-O-Meter.

So far, so good, on StrongLifts 5×5. I did it 3x last week (which is the recommendation for the program): Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday because Friday was a crazy evening. I did StrongLifts regularly last year but we remodeled some bedrooms in the basement and the workout area was turned into a bedroom with the power rack cage becoming a closet. That’s all done, as well as the Christmas mayhem so it’s time to get back into lifting! These first few weeks are relatively easy since the SL5x5 app had me “deload” all the way back down to starting weight. I see that as a good thing since even squatting an empty bar that first time made me sore for 4 days. There’s an excellent article over on Art of Manliness about various fitness programs – he didn’t like StrongLifts as much as he likes Starting Strength due to the number of reps. I might check that one out at a later date if I hit a wall. SS has an app but it’s $9 and I doubt it has the amazing Android Wear integration SL5x5 has. It’s seriously awesome to track my workout entirely on my watch.

As for tracking my food in Cron-O-Meter, I did this 100% all last week, I have a perfect record for 2017 =). Writing down what I eat before I eat it has an interesting effect on reducing what I’m eating. Either I decide not to eat something because I’m too lazy to write it down; or I write it down, check to see how the addition affects my macros and decide “yeah, not going to eat that after all.”

Due to the aforementioned laziness, all but one of my meals last week were Keto Chow. It’s pretty easy to enter 3x “Rich Chocolate with 50ml heavy cream and MCT” from the list of frequent foods. Saturday evening we needed to drop off some kids for a thing and then hang around for 2 hours until they finished, so we took the remaining children to dinner at Red Robin. I knew this was coming so I messed around with their nutrition calculator page (requires flash) and decided on the Guacamole Bacon Burger. I added the standard one in Cron-o-Meter, then edited a copy to change the values for carbs, fat, protein etc… I haven’t tried to do that on mobile, doing it in a web browser with multiple windows open was quite simple. Red Robin is pretty proud of the fact that they can make any burger “wedgie style” (lettuce wrap), and you can do bottomless steamed broccoli or side salads instead of the fries. I opted for the salads, ended up getting 3 of them by the time I was done =) You can see the spike in calories consumed:

Anyhow, looking at the averages for the last week, I’m quite happy with the 18.9g net carb average. I could probably go higher than 20g/day but I’m going to keep it low.

In the end, one of the big ones is: how is this affecting my weight? I’m happy to report that: Hey! I’m losing weight again! That big spike (banana for scale) in the graph below was the morning of Sunday, January 1 2017.

We had a New Year game party with our friends (who are also doing keto) and our kids (not doing keto). We made individual “fathead” (keto) pizzas for us and regular dough pizzas for the kids. I ended up eating a lot of salt and it clearly shows that following morning in water weight. I didn’t eat anything that wasn’t keto friendly that night but you eat too much keto food and you’ll be over your macros easily. I also noticed that my weight doesn’t fluctuate as much when I’m mostly eating Keto Chow and the mild heartburn I had in the morning since mid-December is gone.

So, here’s to a successful new year for everyone! May the odds ever be in your favor!