Beverly and Her Day 1

This entry is part 1 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

Hi everyone, I’m Beverly!

I am here because keto has changed my life and because Keto Chow has been a defining element in my personal journey from lifelong obesity and yo-yo dieting to an almost-normal weight for the first time at 50 years old.

This morning, I started my own 100-day challenge that I will be doing alongside Chris as he does his.  I will be sharing my weekly experiences and my story with you along the way.

When I read Chris’s blog last Friday, I said, “OH, I WANT TO DO THIS!!” practically before I read his entire post.  In my excitement, honestly, I did miss a few of his important points.  Oops!  Since I work in accounting, I’m a bit of a numbers junkie so that helps.

My weigh-in weight today for the DietBet challenge was 140.6.  I am overwhelmingly grateful to already weigh 120 pounds less than I weighed at my heaviest weight of 261.  This fact made it difficult for me to determine at what calorie point to start this challenge.  According to the Ankerl keto calculator, my maintenance point is 1300 calories per day.  However, I am a very lazy ketoer who has not recently tracked my food and does not know if that predictive number rings true for me.

Another critical point is that I do not have a goal weight.  Weight charts say that I am overweight but I am so much less overweight than I used to be that I just simply don’t know how much I should weigh.  I have never weighed less than 130 which is a number I briefly saw in May of this year.  Therefore, I will just use 1300 as my starting point (at least for a few days) and see what happens!  I’ll be keeping track in Cronometer.  Maybe I won’t even lose any weight on this venture.  We will find out as we go along!

I started living with a low carb diet (I mean this in the permanent sense of “how I eat” rather than in the temporary sense typically used) in May 2016.  By February 2017, I had lost about 80 pounds with “lazy keto” and leveled off around the weight of 180 without any effort or change in my eating habits.  When my husband started a medically-supervised weight loss plan in November 2017, I matched my efforts to his by using Keto Chow meal replacement shakes to keep my calories low like his.

Whoa!!  What happened?!?  My body, which had never weighed less than 170-180 since junior high, dropped about 50 more pounds in four months.  I was astonished as the weight loss occurred and I continue to be astonished to this day that my body was capable of such change and that Keto Chow was the right tool to help make it happen.

For this 2019 challenge, I am nervously sharing the following side-by-side photos which were taken this morning with a timer in my employer’s restroom.  After the last photo was taken, I hurriedly put my sweater back on before returning to my desk.  I never show my upper arms in public – and rarely even in private – so this submission is about keeping it real so that true progress (or lack thereof) can be seen in the end.

Yes, I have some loose skin after losing 120+ pounds!  Oh well . . . !  Thank goodness for shirts with ¾-length sleeves.

As I write this, I have nearly completed Day 1.  I have had two coffees with heavy cream and sweetener, two iced teas with sweetener, and three Diet Cokes – along with two Keto Chow shakes made with heavy cream (½ Chocolate + ½ Salted Caramel = one of my favorite combinations).  My not-yet-empty bag of roasted & salted almonds from last week sure looked tempting earlier so I promptly gave them to a co-worker.

I am looking forward to warming my third shake of the day in my huge soup mug and enjoying it as I unwind and talk to my wonderful husband about the day.

By |2019-03-20T14:52:00-06:00January 2nd, 2019|Categories: 100 Days of Keto Chow|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Beverly’s Week 1

This entry is part 2 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

Week 1 of my 100% Keto Chow challenge is now complete.  It has not been easy!  I really miss snacking the most.  A handful of almonds or a string cheese stick here or there sure sounds good to me.  When I feel the urge for a snack, consuming some table salt usually does the trick for a while.

But grocery shopping is a breeze!  All I needed to buy this week was heavy cream and avocado oil.  No thinking or meal planning required.  Soooo easy!

We have been busy with a flooring project in our living room after some ceramic tiles buckled a few weeks ago.  My amazing and hard-working husband did all of the difficult work but I did try to help a little bit.  Have you ever had a dust storm occur inside your home?  Let’s just say it is not fun but it has kept me occupied.  And we now have a beautiful wood floor in that room.

We went out to lunch with some family members on Sunday at a favorite local barbecue joint.  I drank a Diet Coke and totally enjoyed the opportunity to talk to a somewhat captive audience.  I think it can be more uncomfortable for the people around me than it is for me when they are eating and I am not!

The first couple of days this week, my calories were well over 1300 so the next time I made shakes, I used less heavy cream.  I almost always make three shakes at a time in my blender.  The first prep day, I used 8 oz per batch (810 calories).  The second prep day, I used 6.66 oz per batch (675 calories).  This lowered my calories enough so that adding heavy cream to my coffee no longer pushed my calorie count too high for the day.

Something else I did differently on the second prep day is I poured the blender contents holding three shakes into four bottles and added more water to each one so I would perhaps feel like I was getting to eat (drink) more food each day by eating four times instead of three.  I have mixed feelings on if that was successful or not.  I like my shakes thick rather than thin so maybe sometime I will pour the equivalent of three shakes into four bottles but not add more water to each one.  A challenge like this involves some experiments and small adjustments along the way.

My husband prefers avocado oil in his shakes plus he has different macros than mine.  So I end up taking notes every time I make shakes, and I often re-check my math before I start the prepping process, which is never a bad idea.  After our recent dust storm, I advised my husband that I would be adding some extra dust to his shakes for good measure.  ;)

While he is drinking mostly shakes himself, he does still have some small keto meals and snacks but usually when I am not around.  He admits that he really misses eating out with me but he supports my efforts and my focus on this project.

When I started out the week, we had only the Chocolate and Salted Caramel flavors in our pantry so it was exciting when an order containing the flavors Pumpkin Spice Caramel and Cookies and Cream arrived on Friday along with two more bags of Chocolate.  My husband and I both like the Chocolate flavor the best but we both also enjoy having something different once in a while!

My net carbs were a little high (in the 20s) all of this week because I was using Sweet’N Low sweetener packets in my coffee and tea (in case you don’t know, all those sweetener packets contain fillers and slight carbohydrates).  I have been aware of this for years but I was completely in denial about how many packets I was actually using each day!  Yesterday, I made the switch to liquid sucralose.  There will certainly be an adjustment phase as I get accustomed to the flavor difference and figure out how many drops I need to use but I am already pleased to see a lower net carbs total at the end of the day.

Have I lost weight this week?  Yes and no.  I dropped 5 pounds the first day, which was obviously water weight.  I went from 140 on January 1 to 135 on January 2.  The scales on January 8 again said 135.  Maybe the Ankerl calculator was right when it indicated 1300 is the maintenance point for me.  I am going to try for closer to 1200 calories per day in Week 2.

If you ever have questions or want to chat with other Keto Chow users, check out the Keto Chow sub on Reddit or the Facebook support group.

By |2019-02-20T14:06:46-07:00January 9th, 2019|Categories: 100 Days of Keto Chow|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

Beverly’s Week 2

This entry is part 3 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

My husband and I laugh at each other whenever we noisily slurp up the last few drops of a Keto Chow shake.  We always want more even though our stomachs are satisfied.  When I watched Chris’ Day 10 video, I totally could relate when he said he wants each flavor of Keto Chow to leave the consumer wanting more.  I always, always want more.  Yum!

Wanting more is something that makes this 100-day challenge (or any “diet”) difficult.  Even though I have eaten enough, I sometimes really want to eat more.  Food sounds good!  I encountered an awkward situation earlier this week when a group of co-workers went out to lunch for one individual’s last day of employment.  This co-worker is a friend so I wanted to go.  Just as I saw when dining out last week, other people are more uncomfortable with the fact that I am not eating than I am – but I did not like having attention drawn to me.

Today, I added a bit of chia seed gel to my lunch (Pumpkin Spice Caramel).  I used to do this frequently but had kind of forgotten about it.  While dusting last week, I came across the package of chia seeds and set some in the refrigerator to soak.  I really like the added texture and flavor!

I made a mistake Monday night when I grabbed the wrong bottle of night-time cough syrup off a dark shelf in the middle of the night.  I didn’t realize it until the following night when I looked again and saw I had grabbed the regular cough syrup rather than the sugar-free version that is located right next to it in the cabinet.  The result of this can be seen on my net carbs chart above.  :(  Be very careful to read labels when purchasing any type of medication, including cough drops.  Calories and nutrition information are rarely included on the packaging so you have to look for any form of sugar listed in the ingredients.

Fortunately, this mistake did not knock me out of ketosis (stayed above 0.5!).  I typically check my ketone level in the evenings before I drink my 2nd shake.  The resulting numbers (see above) directly reflect how many hours it has been since I had my 1st shake.  If it has only been about two hours, the number is lower; if it has been four or more hours, the number is higher.  I’m going to make an attempt to be more consistent about my timing so that the results have more relevance.  And as you can see, I have forgotten to test my ketone level twice.  So now I have sticky note reminders in the refrigerator, on a cabinet door, and on the microwave.  :)  Hopefully I will not forget again.

For Chris’ DietBet challenge, I think I am going to qualify as one of the “winners” since the goal was to lose 4% in 4 weeks and I have lost about 5%.  Now I just have to keep that weight off!

Since my taste buds were given lots of powdered artificial sweeteners on a daily basis for nearly 40 years (since junior high school), I got used to them and I liked them!  I have not faltered in my decision to instead use liquid sucralose but I honestly am not enjoying my coffee or iced tea as much as before (huge bummer).  Hopefully I get used to the flavor of it!  In the meantime, it is good to see my net carbs and calories staying low (excluding, of course, the cough syrup incident).

By |2019-02-20T08:12:10-07:00January 16th, 2019|Categories: 100 Days of Keto Chow|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Beverly’s Week 3

This entry is part 4 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

Am I really going to do this for 100 days?  Oh my.  Right now, that feels like such a loonnngggg time.  April 12.  Ugh.  Yeah, so there is a part of me that is re-thinking my commitment to this project.  But the in-control part of me feels rather settled into this new liquid diet routine.  As much as I miss my favorite keto meals (chorizo & eggs, pizza toppings, taco salad, buffalo wings, omelet, grilled chicken Caesar salad…), I really love using Keto Chow for all of my meals.  The decision-making process regarding what will be for lunch or dinner is a simple choice between Chocolate Keto Chow and whatever other flavor(s) are currently pre-made and waiting in my refrigerator.  Yum!

No matter what Keto Chow flavor I choose, my last meal of the day is ALWAYS warmed up.  Oh, how deliciously comforting it is to wrap my hands around a large soup mug and sip warm Keto Chow.  If you haven’t tried it, you really should.  In my microwave, it takes three minutes to get to just the right temperature.  I stop it once or twice in the middle to stir it (if I don’t, the liquid expands a little too much for my mug and overflows).

Back when I first became a Keto Chow customer in November 2017, I went “flavor crazy”.  Oh my goodness!  At some time or another, I have tried every single shake flavor that is offered (the only one I really didn’t like was Banana).  In addition to trying all of the flavors and combining many of them (i.e., Strawberry-Banana-Chocolate, Chocolate-Caramel, Vanilla-Mocha), I bought 26 bottles of sugar-free flavored syrups (Torani and DaVinci brands).  I was out of control, trying different flavor combinations at every meal.  I even experimented with adding differing amounts of xanthan gum to my mixes.  It was so fun!  Things have calmed WAY DOWN since those days though.  Now I just have my few favorite Keto Chow flavors and my few favorite sugar-free flavored syrups always in stock and am completely satisfied.

Last Sunday, my husband chose his favorite local buffet for lunch.  He is so supportive of me in this project, the least I can do is accompany him out to a restaurant once in a while.  It’s not super-tempting to sit in a restaurant or at a meal with other people who are eating.  But it’s not super-easy either.  I’m not sure how to describe it.  It’s certainly not fun, that’s for sure.

Something my wonderful husband does regularly is pick up a diet soda for me whenever he is out for an errand.  Even though he does it often, it’s always a surprise and something I love about him.

One of my sisters who lives out-of-state was in town for a couple of days this week and I had the opportunity to meet with her Monday after work.  She does keto too (and keeps Keto Chow on hand even though she’s not an every-day consumer like I am) so I knew I could count on her to place my order at Starbucks since she goes there literally every day and I almost never do.  I had a sugar-free cinnamon hot macchiato with unsweetened almond milk (or so they claimed unsweetened – I have to admit, I don’t fully trust restaurants) for what I think was – fingers crossed – 100 calories and 7 net carbs.  It was GREAT to spend time with my sister and enjoy a “treat” in sort-of a restaurant setting.  Even if the barista didn’t use the right ingredients, my ketones didn’t seem to be affected so it’s all good.  ;)

Speaking of ketones, I started checking them right before lunch instead of right before dinner a couple of days ago.  I’m just trying to be more consistent to check at/near the same time each day.  I also added trend lines to my charts this week just for something different.  Whoopty doo.  :)

With a Day 1 weight of 135.6 and a weight today of 131.8, I have lost almost 4 pounds in 3 weeks.  I think that is awesome!  I am back near my lowest weight and feeling much less like a stuffed sausage in my jeans.  I did NOT like that feeling, and I was determined to not buy a bigger size!

I have to say that Chris’ adding cheese to his Keto Chow soup had me a little bristly.  It seems like a slight stretch to say cheese is well within reason – but maybe I’m just jealous since I don’t have any Keto Chow soup on hand at the moment.  If I did, I guess I could make Keto Chow using cheese as my fat source.  Hmm, I hadn’t ever thought of it that way until just now.  I had thought of cheese as an extra in addition to the fat source (and therefore too many calories).  I think I’m liking (and approving of) this idea after all!  Now I have to add Savory Chicken Soup to my next order.  Thanks for the idea, Chris!

Beverly’s Week 4

This entry is part 5 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

When I arrived home after yoga last night, I said to my husband, “So… I have to try the Savory Chicken Soup tonight.  On my last blog last week, I indicated that I was going to try it – and this is my last chance before I write another blog entry.”  Yeeks!  I just honestly did NOT want to try it.  I had been avoiding it.  I have read too many reviews, comments, and questions from people not liking it or struggling to add the right ingredients to make it taste better.  That sounded like too much work and iffy results at best.

When the 2.1 flavor sample bundles were offered, I purchased four of them.  My husband and I went through the new flavor samples in record time but never touched the soup; four sample packages of Savory Chicken Soup have been in the pantry since last August.

As I pulled a pan from the cabinet, I said, “Now I have to see if I can remember how to use a pan.”  That made him laugh but it was true.  I don’t remember the last time I even used a pan or the stove.  I do not like to cook.  I put 2½ cups of water in the pan then slowly added the Savory Chicken Soup powder with a whisk.  With the burner on too high, I promptly scalded my soup and left a layer stuck to the bottom of the pan.  :(

I handed my mug of hot soup to my husband and made him try it first.  I was still super hesitant – and I was willing to give my honest opinion here.  But he liked it!  So I had to take it from him and try it myself.  After just a couple of sips, I added one bouillon cube which made it taste just right.  We both really liked it!  For what it’s worth, we decided that the flavor is “like warm milk with a hint of chicken” and agreed that this warm/savory meal option is a game changer.  At that point though, it was only water, soup mix, and bouillon – I hadn’t added any fat.  As I sipped on it, I tried to imagine if I would like it better with some cream or butter next time.  This time though, I was adding cheese!  :)  If Chris can have cheese in his soup, then – by golly – so can I!  I measured out 28 g shredded sharp cheddar (because that’s how much my calorie allowance permitted) and dumped it in.  I have to say it was almost heavenly.  After having only cold/sweet meals three times a day this entire month, I finally had a warm/savory meal in my hands.  It was so good!!  I never thought I would say this, but – I will actually be buying a 21-meal “week” package of this flavor.  And I am excited to try the two new soup flavors that are currently being tested!

Last week, I rejoined a beginner yoga class that I had previously attended – I had stopped going at the end of September for a petty reason.  I have now been to three classes (Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday) and it feels great!  I am so glad I started going again.  I am not an athletic person and have never done much (any) exercise.  For some reason, beginner yoga suits me well.  It gives me an awareness of my body, builds a little strength, and improves flexibility and balance.

Slow weight loss can be unbelievably discouraging. I have no patience for just about anything.  Results are important to see when I am working hard at something.  When I weighed over 200 pounds, I lost and gained the same 30 (sometimes 70) pounds over and over.  The weight loss was usually relatively quick then compared to what I am encountering now.  Looking at my average weight per week, I have lost a little more than 2 pounds this month.  That is a bummer – but – it aligns with the facts:  female, short, middle-aged, desk job, sedentary.  So I have to accept it.  If I want the scales to move faster, I have to decrease my calories or increase my activity level.  Since I am not currently willing to do either of those things, I will stay the course and see where it leads me.

I have found that I am consuming my food later in the day than ever before.  Lately, my shakes have been consumed around 3:00-4:00 pm, 6:00-7:00 pm, and 8:00-9:00 pm.  Some would call this “intermittent fasting” (which actually means time-restricted eating) with a five- or six-hour eating window and 18-19 hours of “fasting” (18:6).  I have a difficult time claiming that I do intermittent fasting, though, because I allow myself one tablespoon of heavy whipping cream in my coffee each morning and because I often drink bouillon throughout the day to increase my sodium intake.  There are a dozen differing opinions on what a person can consume during their “fasting” hours.  By the standards which allow beverages under 50 calories, I am “fasting” from approximately 9:00 pm to 3:00 pm each day.  My reason for doing this is not for any of the typical benefits that people claim for “intermittent fasting” but rather for the reason that it helps me keep my daily calories in check.  The earlier in the day that I eat, the more total calories I will likely consume.  If I can postpone eating, it is easier for me to eat less.

The DietBet Challenge has ended.  I enjoyed interacting with some other participants in the “activity” area of the “game”.  Thankfully, I met the 4% goal with official weigh-ins of 140.6 and 134.2 (6.4 lbs lost).  I want my $10 back.  :)  Actually, I want my $20 back – I signed my husband up too!  He hasn’t done his final weigh in yet though so time will tell on the other $10.  I really hope everyone who joined the challenge meets their DietBet goal.  I saw this morning that there are two upcoming keto challenges listed in the DietBet games, and I am seriously considering joining both of those.

If you want to ask me questions, you can reach me through the Facebook Keto Chow Support Group or the Reddit Keto Chow sub where I am fairly active.  I love feedback and interaction.  Supporting others in their journey ultimately helps me be successful in mine!

By |2019-02-01T07:39:13-07:00January 30th, 2019|Categories: 100 Days of Keto Chow|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Beverly’s Week 5

This entry is part 6 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

So, my wonderful husband lost 6.8 pounds in January for the DietBet challenge!!  He did not “win” because he lost less than 4% of his weight but 6.8 pounds is a lot and I am so proud of him.  I considered joining another keto DietBet challenge but decided that probably was not a very good idea because it is highly unlikely that I would be able to lose another 4% in a month.  I am not willing to part with my cash easily.  ;)

You have certainly heard many keto people talk about their concerns regarding nutrients, macros, and supplements.  (Sometimes that concern is actually the thing that leads them to Keto Chow because it is nutritionally complete!)  Personally, I was never before concerned about nutrients and never tracked my macros.  I never even counted my carbs before starting on Keto Chow.  I just knew what foods were low carb foods, and I ate those foods – as much as I wanted to eat.  (Don’t knock it – I lost about 80 pounds that way!)  Becoming a customer of Keto Chow though led me on a path to understanding of electrolytes, macros, and calories.

For years, I had a shoebox full of vitamins and minerals that I took twice a day without fail, but I honestly didn’t know the reason why I took most of them.  After educating myself by reading everything on the Keto Chow website and all of the books and links that were referenced, I decided to enter into Cronometer an entire day’s worth of every single thing I was consuming.  It was eye-opening!  I realized just how many things I was over-consuming and where I was lacking.  I immediately made adjustments.  The supplements I take now are fish oil (1600 mg Omega 3), iron (27 mg), potassium (90 mg), and a probiotic.  The most important thing for me has been the increase of sodium.  Without extra sodium (substantially more than Keto Chow provides), I feel weak and shaky.  Now that the Fasting Drops are in stock, I am planning to order some of those!

When I wrote my post last week, January hadn’t quite ended.  I can now report that my official weight loss for January was 3.6 pounds with an initial weigh-in on January 2 of 135.6 and a February 1 weigh-in of 132.  It is sooooo difficult to be excited about 3.6 pounds but I am trying to be.  Losing (almost) one pound per week is great but it does not sound like much.  :(

Times like this, I have to remind myself of how far I have come.  I recently posted this picture on Reddit.  My mother had said to me in December, “Could you have ever imagined you would look like this at 50?”  Heck, no!  I have been struggling with obesity since fifth grade!  Her comment really hit me and made me start thinking about how I felt about myself and about my life when I was 40 and made me take this comparison photo.  When I was 40, I could have never imagined so much could change in my life.  Now at 50, I am so grateful to realize that big changes can occur at any stage in life.

When I was heavier and yo-yo dieting, slow/small results would have sent me on a sugar binge cycle that resulted in certain weight gain and possible derailment of further efforts for weeks or even months or sometimes years.  It did not take much to make me think that efforts were not worth the results.  I finally possess the maturity (hopefully) and the wisdom (only by experience) in life to continue making the same choices each day as I would have if I had lost two or three times as much last month.  Being on a liquid diet is hard work though.  It takes determination and commitment to face the challenges of social discomfort, hunger, lack of variety, absence of chewing motion, mourning of snacks…  seeing results is what makes those challenges worth it.  I am trying to remind myself that persistence will be the key.

This week, I have really struggled with “hunger”.  I just want to eat!  During the day at work, I feel like I think about snacks all day long.  When I was at a Mexican restaurant with my husband on Sunday, I was overwhelmed by the smells and the sizzling plates.  But I keep on powering through.  Maybe I need to buy some sugar free gum…  My meal times continue to be 4:00 pm, 6:00-7:00 pm, and 8:00 pm.  And I am getting plenty of calories.  But I do miss eating.  Here again, I have to remind myself of previous times in life.  Last time I did a liquid diet (November 2017 to February 2018), I was doing 900 calories a day.  So what I am doing now is much easier than that was.  (The results I saw during that time were awesome though – I lost 50 pounds in four months!)

Tomorrow morning, I am headed out of town to visit one of my sisters.  I have been fretting a bit about how I am going to manage my liquid diet while being away from home for four days.  Baggies of Keto Chow samples and bouillon cubes will be with me, and I will be fine.  My focus and attention will be on my sister and her family rather than on the food (or lack thereof).  I am so excited to go spend time with them!


Beverly’s Week 6

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

This has been a fun week for me!  Spending three days with one of my sisters and her family was a much-needed and enjoyable break from regular life.  I missed my great husband and my little dogs but three days goes by in a blink.  When scheduling my trip and then during the time leading up to the trip, I was a little nervous (for lack of a better word) about the liquid diet aspect of life and how that would translate when traveling.  I even considered choosing a trip date post-April-12 when I was booking my flight.  But I honestly did not want to wait that long to see her!  A few days before the trip, I finally reminded myself to focus on enjoying the trip rather than overthinking the diet.

What could I have possibly been worried about?  Everything went GREAT!  In an airport, I paid $2.47 for a cup of hot water so I could mix up some bouillon.  I will try to do that differently next time.  ;)  When I was feeling a little shaky during a flight, I tipped a little salt packet onto my tongue and chased it with some bottled water.  My fantastic sister made my diet a breeze for me by stocking up before I arrived on everything I would need including heavy whipping cream, diet soda, and flavored sparkling water.  She already had large Blender Bottles.  I remained hydrated during each day’s activities and easily stayed on my usual schedule.  When she started making dinner for her family each day, I started mixing up my first shake of the day then had my other two shakes within the next few hours.

The most difficult part of the trip for me was Sunday morning du