On Tour

//On Tour

A Keto family vacation

We recently did a family vacation down to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. When planning it, we decided to do all keto food for all 10 people going. It actually turned out really well and allowed a few of our children who hadn’t ever tried doing keto an opportunity to give it a try. Sadly they’ve gone back to eating carbs away from home but at least they recognized how crummy they felt eating candy the first time after the trip.

We rented a house (because frankly, it was cheaper than getting 3 rooms at a hotel, more comfortable, and overall better!). The kitchen was quite nice and there were enough beds for everyone that wanted their own bed could have one.

Our staples on the trip included:

  • Heavy Whipping Cream – mostly for making Keto Chow but we also used it to cover keto pancakes.
  • Costco rotisserie chicken breast – makes the chicken salad really easy, just add mayo and other seasonings.
  • Keto Chow – perfect for drinking while driving!
  • Far too many almonds.
  • Low carb tortillas from Sams Club – they’re 5g of net carbs each so I didn’t eat them frequently but for little kids they’re perfect.
  • Carb Control yogurt from Kroger – also 5g of net carbs, not the end of the world but you don’t want them all the time
  • Eggs – with 10 people we went through almost 9 dozen Xlarge eggs.
  • Cream cheese – for the tortillas and to make keto pancakes
  • Sugar-Free syrup.

FYI: the recipe for the keto pancakes is silly easy – 8 ounces of cream cheese + 8 eggs in a blender. Blend. Cook. Done.

Drag around, it’s a 360 photo:

By | 2018-04-13T11:56:13+00:00 April 13th, 2018|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic, On Tour|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Flavor of the Week December 25-December 31: 10% off sale on Strawberry 2.0 week packs

For the next week, you can get 10% off the 21 meal “week” size of Strawberry 2.0.2. Check out the reviews of 2.0 Strawberry!

Speaking of reviews, you should check out our store reviews on Google, and the reviews of Keto Chow. Here’s a “taste”:

Love the product, and turnaround and service are bar none the best I’ve experienced.

Here’s another, should be noted that I publish all of the reviews that come in – bad or good – as they are, typos intact. The only ones I remove are spam posts from people wanting you to buy pills to “enhance performance” and such:

This is by far the best shake I have ever had. I can drink it every day and not get tired of it. I crave it and look forward to having it. It feels like a treat. I blend it with ice and not as much water and use a spoon to eat it like ice cream. I’ve lost 40 pounds since starting keto chow.

By | 2017-12-25T06:23:00+00:00 December 25th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, On Tour, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |0 Comments

N=me experiment: 4 weeks of *ONLY* Keto Chow – 3rd week tests back

This entry is part 190 of 202 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

I have the second-to-last test results from my experiment back. To quickly recap: I’m doing a test where I’m only eating Keto Chow and only drinking water. Nothing else. No snacks, no diet soda, no gum, no nothing. I am taking the Keto Chow fish oil pills as they are required to get the right EPA and DHA Ω3 fatty acids, and I was taking a magnesium malate supplement (I need more than normal) but I recently stopped that because the version of Keto Chow that I’m testing (v2.1rc2) has additional magnesium malate in it and the supplement I was taking had a gram of dextrose (which sucks). Here’s my complete food log and information from Cron-o-meter for the experiment so far, and here are my blood tests, updated with the results of my latest blood test.

The week proceeding this test was interesting. The short version is: I was at a tech conference with no refrigeration so I was using avocado oil instead of heavy cream. Because of this, I was getting around 2g of net carbs (or lower) A DAY. On the test, my insulin was low, my glucose showed in the red because it’s so low, my LDL-P is below 1000 and my triglycerides are higher. It’s almost like my body is using lipoproteins to transport energy (adding another data point to Dave Feldman’s hypothesis).

The last 5 days since this blood draw, my ketones have come down from the 4.5-5.5 range to the 3.0-3.5 range and my weight loss has slowed a bit too. I’m guessing this is due to using heavy cream as the fat source. Starting today through the end of the experiment, I’m switching from all heavy cream to half heavy cream, half avocado oil. Avocado oil is OK but not nearly as yummy as heavy cream, so I’m hoping that by splitting it I can get the good taste plus lower net carbs. Even with 100% heavy cream, I was still under 10g net carbs though. Protip: heavy cream has half the calories as oil for the same volume. If you’re replacing heavy cream for oil you use 1/2 as much (roughly).

A few days ago a post showed up on the Keto Chow Subreddit: Full month on KetoChow – 13 lbs lost and loving it and this showed up last night: Week 1 with Keto Chow and not much else . . .– looks like I’m not the only one doing this, N=3 then =)

 

On a final note, I’d like to illustrate one of the interesting challenges with this experiment. The evening after I got this blood draw, I was in charge of preparing the food for a neighborhood game night (I was also in charge of bringing the Raspberry Pi with the 4 player arcade version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). I had previously prepared a brisket with my sous-vide (recipe and more coming =) so I just needed to smoke it, along with the chicken legs and the bratwurst. I also made pulled pork using the InstantPot. It was a truly glorious sight to behold once it was all done.

I didn’t eat any of it.

I had thought about eating some before, but I decided that there were too many variables shifting around (coming back from a trip, switching back from avocado oil to heavy cream, etc…) plus I wanted to keep the inputs clean. I fully intend to do a press release after all this is done announcing that I lived for 4 weeks on JUST Keto Chow and I didn’t want to have to add a little asterisk footnote: “*except that one meal where I pigged out on brisket” (on an aside, anybody know how to do a press release? =) Really, it was just like cooking any other meal I didn’t eat these last 3 weeks (like the CavemanKeto chili I made Sunday). Once committed to this course of action, I just keep going. It’s a little like fasting in some respects. I’m not the only one cooking though, my awesome wife has been feeding the kids some really great keto meals too.

Don’t worry: I put a bunch of the meat in the freezer for lunch on Friday after my final blood draw =)

4 years of DreamForce, this year: Keto Chow only

Every year there’s a really large (over 170,000 attendees) tech conference called DreamForce that’s put on by SalesForce in San Francisco. I’ve been attending since 2014, in fact, it was DreamForce 2014 that catalyzed my resolve to do a Ketogenic Diet. This year I didn’t just stay keto, I stayed 100% Keto Chow. I’m in the middle of an experiment where I’m only eating Keto Chow and only drinking water for all my meals. At first, I thought it was a terrible idea to do that during DreamForce, then I decided it was an awesome idea. Here’s how I did it.

In the past, I’ve stayed at hotels with refrigerators, this time that simply wasn’t an option. Most of the hotels near the conference were all booked up and the remaining ones fell into 2 categories: over $1000/night super swanky, under $75/night hostels with shared bathrooms. I went for the latter, luckily I got my own room without a bunk bed – but there wasn’t a fridge. I had to come up with a plan for preparing Keto Chow using only shelf stable ingredients. I’ve used Trader Joe’s shelf-stable whipping cream but I wanted to give Avocado Oil a shot, but before that – I wanted to give butter a shot!

I’m testing out a new version of Keto Chow, it’s very close to the current 2.0.2, just with some slightly different ingredients and with new flavors. One of these flavors is Savory Chicken Soup – it’s meant to be consumed while hot. If it’s hot, then I can use butter, which has the added bonus of not being liquid so I can make it easily through airport security without problems. I did the math and for my calorie target, I needed either a 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 1/4 cup of Avocado Oil, or a half stick of butter in each meal. So I put a bag of chicken Keto Chow and a half stick of butter into a HydroFlask. After going through security I found a coffee shop and the nice lady filled up my HydroFlask with crazy hot water (for free!). I dropped in the butter and Keto Chow powder and waited for my flight. I finally drank it around lunch time and it was still hot enough to slightly burn my tongue.

I did learn a very valuable lesson for dinner that night: don’t put the powder in with the oil until it’s time to add the water too. If you do, the powder and the oil will not ever fully mix with the water and you get floating crunchy powder blobs. It wasn’t fun, I only drank about 3/4 of it.


The rest of my meals were made in my HydroFlasks or Blender Bottle using Avocado Oil. I got a great tip in a comment that I should use a large syringe to measure the oil. That worked exceptionally well with a 60 cc/ml syringe. I would pour the oil into a disposable plastic cup and then fill up the syringe, squirt it into the container and repeat for all 3 containers. The only clean-up was wiping off the syringe tip with a tissue. I would have sandwich bags with the powder pre-measured in my backpack; and as soon as I got to a place with either ice water (regular Keto Chow) or hot water (the chicken soup one) I would prepare 2-3 of the bottles.

How is Avocado Oil? Well, if I hadn’t ever tried Keto Chow with heavy cream, I would think it’s awesome, but I have – so I still think it tastes far better with heavy cream and that’s what I’m using now that I’m back home. For shelf stable purposes, for people with issues digesting the heavy cream, for those that are lactose intolerant, or for people that want insanely low net carbs, avocado oil is an amazing option. I’m planning on putting a bunch in my basement for emergency food storage. Coupled with Keto Chow powder and water, I’m set!

Most of my Cron-O-Meter entries for the last week look something like this:

Yeah, that’s 1.4g of net carbs for the whole day! That’s insane. We’re talking 100% of my daily nutrition: with all my fat, all my electrolytes, protein, and more – with 1.4g of net carbs. Along with the low net carbs, my blood ketones were consistently in the 4-5.5 range.

Staying Keto Chow only at the conference really wasn’t that hard. When everyone else was standing in line for a lunch box, I was on-time for my next class. When everyone else was trying to find dinner accommodations, I drank mine (and often headed back to the hostel to sleep!). At the “DreamFest” concert, while all the people were scrambling to get hotdogs or the other food available (yeah like any of it would be keto friendly!) I just went and grabbed a seat – no fuss, no muss. The grand total cost of all my food for 5 days was $55.71 – that’s a screaming deal at just over $11 a day.

The picture collection at the top of this post is the “headshot” photos they offer for free in the “Admin” zone at DreamForce. I’ve gotten one each year I went. The first one was taken about 2 weeks before I started Keto. That year during DreamForce I gained 4lbs. The next 2 years I was, and stayed, keto – but I still gained 2-3 lbs during the conference. This year? I lost 2.2 lbs the 5 days I was gone.

N=me experiment: 4 weeks of *ONLY* Keto Chow – 2nd week tests back

I have the second round of test results from my experiment back. To quickly recap: I’m doing a test where I’m only eating Keto Chow and only drinking water. Nothing else. No snacks, no diet soda, no nothing. I am taking the Keto Chow fish oil pills as they are required to get the right EPA and DHA Ω3 fatty acids, and I was taking a magnesium malate supplement (I need more than normal) but I recently stopped that because the version of Keto Chow that I’m testing (v2.1rc2) has additional magnesium malate in it and the supplement I was taking had a gram of dextrose in it (which sucks). Here’s my complete food log and information from Cron-o-meter for the experiment so far, and here are my blood tests, updated with the results of my last blood test.

Insulin is up a bit though still quite low, my cholesterol is much the same as before other than my LDL-P count continues to drop. At this rate, it’ll be under 1000 around the time the experiment ends. CRP is higher but still in a good range. Still not dead from living on fat.

As discussed in my initial post about doing this experiment, I don’t have refrigeration available so I’ve been coming up with ways to adapt. Primarily I’ve been using avocado oil. I’ll be posting more about this when I’m actually back from the trip, but I’ll say right now that I absolutely prefer heavy cream. Avocado oil isn’t bad, and if I hadn’t ever tried Keto Chow with heavy cream I’d probably think it’s super awesome. For people with dairy or digestive issues, or people wanting something shelf stable it’s an amazing option that works very well. Avocado oil also has 0 carbs, which means my net carb totals for the days I ate only keto chow with avocado oil are a CRAZY low 1.4g – for the ENTIRE DAY. That’s insane, as is the 5.3 mmol/L of blood ketones I’m currently registering, I actually hit 5.5 a few days ago. Weird that the only ongoing biometric I have right now is blood ketones since I don’t have a scale or anything else. It’s going to be interesting Friday morning after I get home to see what happened to my weight this week =)

By | 2017-11-09T11:17:20+00:00 November 8th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, On Tour, Soylent|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments

n=me experiments – 100% Keto Chow, blood tests, dealing without a fridge

This entry is part 188 of 202 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

I’m in the final stages of doing some changes to the Keto Chow recipe (v2.1) and I wanted to do a “burn-in” test to make sure that everything is working properly. Might as well experiment on myself, right? My plan for the next 4 weeks is to ONLY eat Keto Chow, drink only water, take fish pills, and have some salt if necessary. On Friday I went over to my local LabCorp and had 14 vials of blood drawn for 25 tests. Around vial 9, the vein in my left arm gave up and they had to pull the remainder from my right arm. Here’s what I got:

GGT Cortisol Heavy Metals Lipid Panel Thyroid Cascade Profile
Apolipoprotein A-1 C-Reactive Protein Hemoglobin A1c Lp-PLA2 Activity Uric Acid
Apolipoprotein B Fasting Insulin Homocyst(e)ine NMR LipoProf +Graph Vitamin A and E
CBC Ferritin, Serum IGF-1 Reverse T3, Serum Vitamin D
Comp. Metabolic Panel Free Fatty Acids Iron T3Free Zinc, RBC

My plan is to have 6 other tests done every Friday for the next 4 weeks:

NMR LipoProf +Graph Lipid Panel Comp. Metabolic Panel CBC With Diff. Fasting Insulin C-Reactive Protein

Today I’m running a test on my Postprandial glucose after eating. It’s something I’ve done before but it was time for an update I’ll probably report on that tomorrow.

Now, here’s where it gets fun: I started my experiment yesterday and it’s going well so far. Then I started thinking about what’s going on in the near future and realized I’m going to be heading off to San Francisco for the DreamForce conference in 2 weeks. Crap. “That’s like the worst timing ever for a test!” I thought, then I thought “Might actually be good timing for a test” The likelihood of me breaking keto traveling while I’m doing a nuts-o test on myself like this is actually lower.

Big problem is: the “hotel” I’ll be staying at does not have refrigeration available. I’m going to need to come up with a game plan during the 5 days I’ll be traveling. Here’s what I have so far:

  • I’m going to use avocado and MCT oil instead of heavy cream.
  • I’m going to portion out the powder for meals into individual bags ahead of time.
  • This week I’m going to test to see how adding the oil to the powder beforehand affects storage and taste.
  • If that works, I’ll put the oil right into each bag, making a sort of thin oily paste.
  • I’ll triple-bag the mix =)
  • I’m going to find a place that has ice and ice water available (they have it all over the place at the conference) and mix my keto chow in HydroFlasks, they should stay good for several hours, more than long enough for the “just mixed” taste to go away (which takes like 30 minutes).
  • I suspect I’m going to do some kind of intermittent fasting, maybe I’ll leave all of the stuff at my hotel and just eat 3 meals in a small window.
  • I’ll bring soap and a bottle brush and wash out my HydroFlasks every night.
  • I’ll have my magnesium supplements handy along with some salt. I’m planning on mixing salt with water to drink during the day if I feel like I need it.

Anyhow, that’s the plan. I’m posting this ahead of time to further decrease the likelyhood of me failing (accountability FTW!!!)

Staying Keto on a River Trip, reminder: get your electrolytes

Last week I went on a 4 day Grand Canyon river rafting trip. It was really cool. I went to spend some time with my dad who was doing a Night Photography workshop – I didn’t have nearly as good of a camera as the other photographers, plus it was the first time I was actually shooting milky way photos instead of just holding the lights. I still got a few really cool shots:

If you want to kill some time there’s a photo album of all the various photos and videos I took. I also had a GoPro strapped to my chest taking a photo every 10 seconds that I later correlated with the GPS tracks. There are 3200 photos between album 1, and album 2. It’s a bit easier to watch as a hyperlapse video.

Going into all this I was worried about what I would be able to eat. I put on the sign-up form in the dietary restrictions section that I was on an “Atkins diet” (meh, it’s easier to explain than Keto and essentially I’m just continually doing the induction phase of Atkins, so whatever). The reply I got was:

Thank you for sharing your dietary restriction of “Atkins diet” with us.  Please review our menu below which does have many options that should fit your dietary needs.  Feel free to bring additional food items to supplement if needed.  When bringing supplemental items you will want to ensure that it would not require any special preparation or use of our cooking facilities.  Due to the demands on the guides they are not able to accommodate special requests.

OK, I can understand that. I looked over the menu and decided I would make whatever was available work. Worst case scenario I would just do intermittent fasting: eat when keto food is available and skip eating when it’s not. My dad (also doing keto) brought along a few cartons of Trader Joe’s shelf-stable whipping cream so we could make Keto Chow on the river. Here’s how it went down:

Day 1: Keto Chow for Breakfast. I had another one ready for lunch and decided to drink it early (at like 10) so I wouldn’t have to worry about keeping it cold. Lunch at the ranch was meat and cheese for sandwiches. I didn’t know what dinner was going to be so I ate some meat on a cheese sandwich. There was a guy named Leon from Australia that saw me eating it and asked if I was doing Keto or something… wait, what? Yeah, he had been doing keto for a few months but had stopped for their trip. I tell you: the day is fast approaching where I won’t have to explain my way of eating! Dinner that night was a bunch of carbs plus some roast beef grown there on the ranch. Only had salt and pepper, so I ate some of that too.

Day 2: Bacon, eggs, and carbage for breakfast, I had the bacon and eggs =) Lunch was on the river and was tuna salad cones (which I later adapted for my own use). I piled up some tuna and mayo onto cheese. The funny thing was others in the group were starting to copy us and skip the bread: “If they can eat the center of the sandwich then so can I!” Dinner was spaghetti and garlic bread. There was really nothing I could eat so my dad and I split a carton of whipping cream and had Keto Chow for dinner. Two of the guides are sisters and their mom was put on a ketogenic diet by her doctor so they knew what was up. They said their mom had a hard time finding keto food and sticking with the diet – I happen to have something that helps with that =).

Day 3: Bacon, eggs, and carbage for breakfast, I had the bacon and eggs =) Meat and cheese for lunch again (mostly cheese), more people skipping the bread. Dinner was steak and shrimp (plus some other stuff I didn’t care about).

Day 4: Big sausages, eggs, and carbage for breakfast, I had the sausage and eggs =) Lunch was a sandwich in the bus back to Las Vegas (I gave away the brownie, chips and got an extra mayo packet for my cheese and meat).

I felt like I was doing rather well sticking to my diet. I had been overdoing it on the protein a bit but I was still keeping the carbs down probably between 20-50g (yes that’s wide margin). BUT my electrolytes were getting low. I started to really feel it on the morning of the 4th day. An abnormally high requirement for Magnesium runs in my family and I had only brought 4 Magnesium Malate pills. My normal diet of Keto Chow for most meals makes that more than sufficient but that morning I was starting to feel cramps in my thighs, calves and other large muscles. I also had a headache growing and was feeling pretty tired. I had planned a bit ahead and brought along a bag of “Real Salt” that had some potassium chloride mixed in as well – I mixed about 2 teaspoons of that into some tepid water I had in my bottle and drank it. It was way saltier than I normally like but it REALLY tasted good: yep I was definitively low on salt. A few minutes later I felt just fine.

Day 0 of the trip, as we rounded a corner and saw Las Vegas off in the distance, I realized I was in Dave Feldman’s home turf. It was too late to hang out with him that night but we arranged to meet up after returning to civilization. We ended up at a Jason’s Deli having a very early dinner. Dave was doing another of his n=1 experiments on himself so his food was… uncharacteristic =) I’ll not spoil the surprise when he reveals his next results. Suffice it to say that he normally eats 3000 calories/day to maintain his weight and was currently gaining weight on 2000 calories/day because he was eating differently. He is sharing some advance info about his experiments over on his Patreon page though. I will report that Dave took photos of all his food so I didn’t get the $100 bounty prize for anybody that catches him not taking a photo before he eats.

Dave has gotten a lot of unjustified criticism from lipidologists (who, frankly, should have been the ones making the discoveries he is finding but they have too much invested in the current model to admit to being so terribly wrong). He is absurdly methodical with the way he does his testing and not only tracks, but takes a freaking picture of what he eats AND a picture of anything he doesn’t finish too – just in case there’s a potential question about his methods. He also declares his hypothesis PUBLICLY before doing a test instead of crafting the narrative to fit the results he likes.

Anyhow, it was a really fun conversation and totally worth the detour.

I tried to find some magnesium supplement pills when we stopped in Mesquite, but all of them were magnesium oxide. Effectively worthless as the least bioavailable form of magnesium. I dosed up on Magnesium at 2 A.M. when I got home and felt just dandy when I woke up 3 hours later to get the kids ready for school (my awesome wife left for the Kansas City Low Carb conference while I was on my way home).

Keto Chow at KetoCon 2017

This entry is part 185 of 202 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

I’ve attended, and even worked, booths at a fairly large number of trade show/conferences. This marks the first one I’ve ever PAID for. We really had a lot of fun, met some awesome people, and raised awareness of Keto Chow. Because of the number of photos, I’m going to point you over to this Google Photos gallery. All 4 of us at the conference were able to pop our photos into a shared pool, worked really well to gather them all up =)

Looks like next year Keto Con will be August 24-26, 2018. I’m guessing we’ll be there!

By | 2017-09-06T08:09:43+00:00 September 6th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, On Tour|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Keto Chow at the “Zombie ApocEclipse”

This entry is part 183 of 202 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

Yesterday we packed up enough food (Keto Chow =), water, cash, fuel, and portable toilets to last for at least a day and drove to Idaho to watch the Eclipse. To start: yeah, it was totally worth it. If you’re around in 2024 or 2045, do not miss the next one!

We left at 02:19 and arrived at our destination just before 6 AM in Terreton, Idaho. We had originally planned to go to the exact center-line of the path of totality in the middle of nowhere but after talking with my dad, who was doing a photography workshop for the eclipse in Wyoming, we decided to use his “backup location” and try for either the High School (which was blocked off), or a church (which wasn’t blocked off, had a nice lawn to sit on, was free, AND had a bathroom we were able to use) – so we went to the church =).

The orange in the map above is when we were driving faster than 70 miles per hour (112 kph) – which actually made up the majority of the trip. In all we drove 666 miles over 11 hours and 33 minutes. If we had tried to go home through Idaho Falls it probably would have taken just as long (or longer) – and we got to see Craters of the Moon National Monument as well.

Anyhow, how does Keto Chow fit into this? I brought along 8 meals of Keto Chow in a cooler, enough to last myself and my wife for 4 meals each. We ended up having two each. They were easy to pack and I didn’t have any worry at all about finding keto friendly food. Salted Caramel was quite tasty after a morning spent waiting for the eclipse!

This is the shortened version of the 360 video I recorded yesterday – only 4 minutes long. Covers about a minute before totality, totality and just after.

By | 2017-08-22T07:23:03+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic, On Tour, Soylent|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments
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