Well, I was surprised again!! Just as I was surprised by the excellence of Savory Chicken Soup after being so reluctant to even try it, I have now been surprised by the palatability of using avocado oil consistently as my only fat source every day. I like it! I am stunned and yet very thankful for this, considering I agreed to this project which requires me to use oil as my fat source for four weeks. (This will be followed by two weeks of using butter, but I am not too concerned about that since I like butter in my Savory Chicken Soup.)
In the past, I have used avocado oil as my fat source for on-the-go Keto Chow shakes when traveling but never used it regularly the way I am right now (which includes refrigerator storage for days at a time). After seeing my husband’s made-with-avocado-oil shakes in the refrigerator with floating oily residue, I was not looking forward to this oil phase of the project. I have been dreading it, frankly, and bracing myself for white-knuckling it through each day. But… the flavor and texture are so good! What was I worried about?
What saved me is a user on Reddit gave me a important tip that made all the difference so I have to share it: blend the shake mixture for LONGER and at a HIGHER power level. Early in my Keto Chow experience (late 2017), I ended up with butter chunks in my shakes because I was blending my shakes in the blender for too long and/or at too high power level. I am not sure which was to blame. Since that happened though, I barely blend my shakes at all – I activate the blender for mere seconds each time. No wonder my husband’s avocado oil shakes looked so unappealing to me – I haven’t been fully mixing his shakes either! The oil was literally just sitting there on top without any emulsification. Now that I know this, my husband’s shakes are looking much better too. ;) My sweet husband is a trooper and a great sport, what can I say!
I am using two tablespoons of avocado oil for each Keto Chow shake. Three shakes adds up to nearly 1100 calories for me each day so I am left with an allowance of 100 calories for bouillon, coffee, tea, sodas, artificial sweeteners, supplements, and sugar-free gum. Most people think that these things do not have any calories or carbohydrates but I can assure you that they DO (or mostly do)! It is a disappointing realization if you think they are all zero carb or calorie. (Remember to always check labels, don’t always trust labels due to FDA regulations for rounding down, and add everything you are consuming to Cronometer for accurate daily totals because those “partial” carbohydrates can add up. If you don’t track every day, I recommend tracking a full day once in a while just to get an idea of where you’re at.) My average daily calorie count for these past nine weeks is currently at 1180 so I am on track with that. I have lost 14.8 pounds so far which makes my average 1.65 pounds per week. Not too shabby for someone like me (short, older, sedentary, female, acceptable BMI)! Additional numbers for me include average ketones of 2.2 and an average GKI of 1.7.
There IS a downside to the oil for me… I am feeling less full. I feel more hungry (and often!) even though I “shouldn’t”. So that part is a bummer. I will keep my eye on the timeline and look forward to seeing if there is an improvement in satiety with the next fat source change – and will probably look forward to going back to heavy whipping cream later in April for this reason. :) But it is so good to know that avocado oil is a true option for daily use!
Much like Chris, I spent many months last year testing my body’s responses to different artificial sweeteners by using a continuous glucose monitor and a ketone meter. I did not encounter any concerns. So my opinion regarding artificial sweeteners is this – if I can stay in ketosis, achieve my weight loss/maintenance goals, avoid sugar cravings, and enjoy a sugar-free product, then I will continue consuming it. This is a godsend for me, truthfully. With a project this challenging, I can surely imagine a greater level of difficulty without the enjoyment factors of diet soda and artificially-sweetened coffee.
My amazing husband and I are traveling today and tomorrow. He had to attend business meetings this afternoon and all day tomorrow so I have the opportunity to take two days off from work and visit my favorite aunt! With about seven hours in the car each day, I have to stay attuned to staying hydrated. I love eating snacks while on a road trip so I do miss that! To prepare for the trip, I loaded six already-mixed Keto Chow shakes into my zipperless lunch box so I would have three handy for each day. I also packed straws, bottles of sparkling water, and cans of diet soda. I refilled the Fasting Drops flask that I keep in my purse.
Friday morning will be the fourth blood draw at LabCorp. I have looked at the results each week, compared them to each other, and even compared them to a decade’s worth of annual lab tests. I really don’t understand what I see except that – at a glance – my cholesterol is high (it always has been) but my good cholesterol is also high (again, it always has been but it is now higher than I have ever seen it before). I will leave the analysis to someone smarter like Chris or Dave Feldman (if he ends up looking at my numbers).
I will check in next week!