100 days

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Beverly’s Day 100 and Following

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

My anticipated weekend foods all changed that very first day of eating solid foods (but not like Chris who started with a keto cookie!).  My first solid food item was a string cheese stick Friday afternoon at work.  Friday evening, I had a grilled chicken breast with bacon and cheese.  A few hours later, I noticed that my jaw was SORE and it took me a few seconds to realize why – it was from chewing for the first time in months!  For lunch on Saturday, I had bacon and scrambled eggs; for dinner, I had a bunless bacon cheeseburger.  My jaw was sore again this day.  For lunch on Sunday, I had a chorizo and cheddar omelet.  There was so much yumminess in one weekend but the omelet was utterly the best!

In total, I lost 16.2 pounds in these 100 days.  For someone who has been obese her entire life before keto, this is absolutely nuts.  Who would have ever imagined?  Seriously, not me or anyone who has ever known me.

Many assume that I did this challenge in order to lose more weight.  But that is not why I did it.  I did get momentarily caught up in that thought along the way, but my reasons for doing this challenge did not primarily revolve around weight loss.  So why did I do it?  I had to review some notes I made for myself in the beginning.

  • to let Chris know he was not doing his project alone
  • to represent a product that has been the essential tool that changed my keto game forever
  • to support a company I trust and believe in
  • to accomplish the presented challenge
  • to see my own personal blood test results showing reactions to the different fat sources in a controlled setting
  • to dial my calories back in because I had gained a few pounds with lazy keto
  • to be a low carb rock in my diabetic husband’s world
  • to remain actively immersed in the keto lifestyle
  • to offer encouragement to others who might want to try something similar

This week, I am continuing with my choice as a preference of butter for my dietary fat.  In a pinch on Sunday and without thinking, I quickly made up one batch of shakes with heavy cream the way I used to make them so I would have shakes available the next day.  When I drank a shake Monday afternoon, I wrinkled my nose and shook my head.  I had to think about what was different about this shake than the shakes I had drank the previous day.  Heavy cream!  With no other way to describe it, the “mouth feel” is better with butter for me.  Butter is smooth and rich but without the extra filminess that I get from heavy cream.  Before this experiment, my choice was heavy cream so it is surprising that I reacted this way.  But it confirms for me that I do like butter the best!  That evening, I mixed up six days’ worth of shakes made with butter to get me through the rest of the week.  The latest blood test lab results arrived a couple of hours ago so I will be looking at those closely as well to decide scientifically if butter is an acceptable option.

Looking back at my first post, I am a little less than thrilled with the fact that I exposed my saggy elbows on Day 1 but – since I did – I have to do it again for Day 101.  sigh    I always wear a garment of some type that covers my elbows.  On these days pictured, I removed my sweater for the camera.  These elbows will never be seen in public again after this!  :)  However, I must say that I am not upset about having some loose skin.  It is a symbol of what I have accomplished and shows me how far I have come.  I think no one should avoid weight loss with the excuse that they are afraid they will have loose skin.

100 Days Keto Chow Challenge
L: 01-02-19 (weight 135.6)                                                                                R: 04-12-19 (weight 119.4)

These graphs make me curious about how they fit in with the rest of my keto journey which began in May 2016.  On keto since then, I have lost over 120 pounds.  My highest weight was 261 (previous to when I started keto) so, in total, I have lost over 140 pounds.  In a couple of weeks, I will write a post about my keto journey and will include a timeline that outlines what has worked for me along my way.

My current but changeable non-strict plan (read here: flexible) is to drink Keto Chow throughout the week (shakes each made usually with 2 tablespoons unsalted butter) while permitting keto snacks such as string cheese, boiled eggs, and pork rinds.  I will enjoy a variety of keto meals on weekends as desired.  Lazy keto is my absolute food dream come true.  I hate tracking.  I just need to be more careful about portion sizes now than I have had to be in the past.  To be honest, keeping portions small has been incredibly difficult for me this week but I am hoping to find it to be easier soon after I have fed my cravings.  If not, then I will need to take an honest look at the situation and make some tough decisions about my plan.

Next week, my incredible husband is taking me on vacation to a BEACH!  It has been about 15-16 months since we last took an entire week off from our jobs so this is exciting.  As ever, we are planning to take our Keto Chow supplies with us so we can make shakes for two meals each day.  I do not want to focus on food or restaurants.  My husband disagrees with me slightly as he is looking forward to lots of shrimp and fish!  (yuck)  While a bit of sunshine and warmth is quite welcome and anticipated, what I really want is a break from everyday life and some time alone with the great man I married.  :)

Beverly’s Week 14 (Week 8 of Science) Day 99 !!!

This entry is part 15 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

The final week is here!!!  Today is Day 99!  Tomorrow evening, I will be enjoying my first solid meal since January 1.  Woo hoo!  :)  I will be making scrambled eggs and bacon.  On Saturday, I plan to have chicken wings.  On Sunday, I plan to have a cheese omelet.  After this weekend – meat, meat, and more meat.  Meat is what I want.  I was surprised to hear Chris say in his Day 99 video that he is planning to eat only Keto Chow and meat.  That is exactly what I am planning to do!  I copied him for this 100 day challenge, but I promise you that I am not copying him now.  I just want meat!  Is there a meaning behind the fact that he and I are both craving meat?  Hmm, I will let you decide that.  I have an interest in the zero carb (carnivore) lifestyle so I am moving in that direction but beginning loosely by incorporating my own guidelines/allowances as I do with IF (Intermittent Fasting or Time Restricting Eating) by allowing heavy cream in my coffee and mugs of warm bouillon throughout the day.

Here is my last official batch of shakes made with butter as the fat source.  I let them rest for a minute to release some warmth before adding the lids.  In truth though, the water I used was barely warm.

These buttery shakes are delicious!  I am a sweets fiend so I made (left to right) Cookies and Cream, Snickerdoodle, and Salted Caramel this time around.  Although I said this is the last official batch of shakes made with butter, I do plan to continue using butter as my preferred fat source in my shakes unless there is a reason to stop based upon the blood lab test results.

Along with eating meat, I am also looking forward to returning to lazy keto.  No more continuous tracking of consumption.  No more daily morning weigh-ins.  No more daily afternoon ketone tests.  No more Friday morning trips to LabCorp.  (The next set of results are due in this afternoon so those should be posted on Chris’ spreadsheet very soon.)  And probably no more consuming the majority of calories between 4:00 and 8:00 pm. (still debating this as it helps to avoid snacks but my blood sugar gets a little too low in the afternoon).  I will continue drinking Keto Chow shakes every day.  I will continue attending yoga classes.  I intend to continue prohibiting snacks but know I am weak in this area.

This weekend, I will be re-stocking our refrigerator and freezer because I essentially emptied both completely before this challenge began, much to my supportive husband’s dismay.  Along with happy anticipation of having groceries in the house again, my fantastic husband is really looking forward to us eating out together again.  We both completely enjoy across-the-table time with each other, and we both totally miss it.  Although we have gone out a few times during this 100 days, it was certainly not as often as it was before.  We can and will have regular date nights again!

This past Monday, I had a quick visit at my doctor’s office for a prescription follow-up.  When the doctor entered the room, he said, “Have you lost more weight?”  My response was that I didn’t think so, maybe a couple of pounds.  The nurse piped up and said, “Yes, she’s lost 13 pounds since her last visit in December.”  Well, cool!  I was not thinking about the 100 day challenge and recent weight loss nor was I considering when I had last been in their office.  They were exactly right though.  I have lost 13 pounds since December!  That number matches mine exactly.

Interestingly, my weight seems to have settled at 122 without any intent or effort.  I first reached that weight on February 22 which was Day 52 of the challenge.  Now 47 days later on Day 99, I still weigh 122.  Based on this fact (nearly 7 weeks at the same weight), I might venture to say that 1200 calories is maintenance for me.  Or perhaps this is a “stall” and I would lose even more if I continued this journey for longer.  As I transition back to lazy keto and eating animal products again, I will see what happens.

First six weeks of challenge with heavy cream:  2.0
Week 1 of science with heavy cream:  2.53
Week 2 of science with heavy cream:  2.66
Week 1 of science with avocado oil:  2.5
Week 2 of science with avocado oil:  2.83
Week 1 of science with avocado oil & MCT oil:  3.23
Week 2 of science with avocado oil & MCT oil:  3.11
Week 1 of science with butter:  2.53
Week 2 of science with butter:  2.11

Next week, I will submit one more post with a few comparison photos and some final thoughts to wrap up my time visiting here on the Keto Chow blog.  See you then!

Beverly’s Week 13 (Week 7 of Science)

This entry is part 14 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

What a week it has been!  The beginning of the “butter phase” began Thursday evening when I prepared enough shakes to get me through the weekend because my fantastic husband was taking me away for a couple of days.  Because Chris had generously shared a new flavor with me, I had more variety than I was expecting to have available this week.

I made three shakes of each of the following flavors (pictured left to right):  Chocolate, Creamy Tomato Basil, and Savory Chicken Soup.  All the shakes turned out beautifully!  I was SO looking forward to tasting each of them – I honestly was ready for the two oil phases to end.

Mixing my shakes with butter as the fat source was a breeze.  It was no different than mixing shakes with heavy cream or with oil(s) for me because I already mixed all of my batches of shakes in a blender.  For people who typically use a Blender Bottle for mixing, there may a bit of an adjustment phase with mixing if they decide to try butter.

My first shake on Friday was the new flavor!  You can almost see how appealing it looks in the photos I took.  I could not decide which picture to add, so I am adding both!  I have to say it is very exciting to have another savory option on the menu.  (I can’t wait to try the Spicy Taco flavor that is also being developed.)  My second shake of the day was Chocolate, and I was swooning over it!  Creamy deliciousness has been returned to me!  Did I warm it up the way I thought I would need to do for a shake made with butter?  No way!  That Chocolate shake looked all the same as a made-with-heavy-cream shake to me so I went for it with my straw.  Ah-maze-ing!

While I can’t find the original post now (I was going to give them credit), I know someone commented on the Facebook support group on Friday that mixing the Salted Caramel flavor shake with butter as the fat source was a good combination.  Well, duh!  Butter is a primary ingredient of caramel.  I did not have any Salted Caramel in stock, so I quickly placed an order for Salted Caramel along with Snickerdoodle because – again, duh! – butter is a primary ingredient of Snickerdoodle cookies – and Cookies and Cream because – well, because it is my favorite flavor.

Chris has reported that his Chocolate shakes made with butter separate a bit after blending.  For the record, this has not been my experience.  This Chocolate shake (shown on the left, taken during my lunch break today) is from a batch I made Sunday evening – and today is Wednesday.  Zero separation.

Last week after I had a mini-meltdown about the scales no longer moving with a downward trend, a new friend kindly brought my focus back to my original goals.  Why did I even do the challenge?  Was it to lose weight?  No.  I said that I did not have a goal weight and that I did not know if I would even lose any weight on this journey.  When I unexpectedly started seeing real weight loss by Week 7, I got caught up in that.  Can I weigh less than 130?  Can I wear a smaller size of jeans?  Can I get below 120??  Can I weigh less than a certain sister/friend?  I think that a focus-shift like this is a natural thing to have happen to anyone, especially in our culture.  This new online friend was so thoughtful and gentle in her approach to me, that I was receptive to it in a way that I might not have been with someone else.  So I appreciate her.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention something else important that I experimented with on this butter phase – salted butter vs unsalted butter!  After that first weekend of using salted butter with all three shake flavors, I decided to give unsalted butter a try with my sweet flavors.  My vote for mixing with the sweet flavors is for unsalted butter but both are good!  You might try out different options yourself.  But definitely go with salted butter for the savory flavors!

In previous weeks, I pointed out that my ketone numbers went up when I was consuming MCT oil.  Well, guess what?  Those numbers came right back down when I stopped consuming MCT oil.  Check this out:

First six weeks of challenge with heavy cream:  2.0
Week 1 of science with heavy cream:  2.53
Week 2 of science with heavy cream:  2.66
Week 1 of science with avocado oil:  2.5
Week 2 of science with avocado oil:  2.83
Week 1 of science with avocado oil & MCT oil:  3.23
Week 2 of science with avocado oil & MCT oil:  3.11
Week 1 of science with butter:  2.53
Week 2 of science with butter:  ?

So my husband had given me a weekend away, and I rewarded him with…  wait for it…  crankiness.  This is sadly true.  I was mentally and emotionally out of my mind for several days (most of last week and over the weekend).  While I am feeling better this week, I am still evaluating my feelings, behaviors, and the reasons (hoping I can think of some justification).  One fact is that this journey has been challenging in ways I did not anticipate.  The first time I took this “only Keto Chow” road, I did not have a scheduled end date – I was doing it indefinitely.  So I never before had an “APRIL 12! APRIL 12! APRIL 12!” chant playing in my head like I do this time.  I do not like the sound of that chant, so last time around was easier in that regard.

My sweet husband said to me excitedly last night, “One week plus one day!”  Yay, he is so right!  In a sense, it is hard to believe the time is nearly here.  But it is.  And it is exciting!  I think the least I can do is let my husband choose the restaurant and/or the meal…  that first weekend…  and every day…  for the rest of our lives.  I just might owe him that!

Beverly’s Week 12 (Week 6 of Science)

This entry is part 13 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

Since I am currently eating my first meal of each day at 4:00 p.m., I am not calling my first meal “breakfast” and my second meal “lunch”.  My fantastic husband and I ask each other things like, “which shake is that?” or “how many shakes do you have left?” to communicate which “meal” of the day we are eating or anticipating.  I do refer to my last shake of the day as “dessert” though and probably always will.  That last shake of the day is always warmed in a big mug, and I always look forward to it.

So…  you can see…  I have not lost any weight in over five weeks.  In fact, I am up six pounds from my lowest weight.  This morning, the scales said 124.8 (down 10.8 pounds since January 2).  The first time I saw 124 was on February 17 (more than five weeks ago!).  My lowest weight was 118.8 on March 18 (down 16.8 pounds since January 2).  That was 9 days ago!  This can be flat-out discouraging and is a perfect example of why I do not normally weigh myself every day.  Those scale numbers can sometimes even affect my mood though I try to tell myself they do not matter.

But let’s look at this again.  Literally as I am writing this post, I am looking at the chart above my words and am seeing (being reminded) that I essentially lost no weight the first five weeks of this journey – so this recent five weeks of essentially no weight loss is really the same as that.  Right?  Hmm, that gives me a slightly new outlook.

Since I eat exactly the same thing every single day, there is certainly no direct connection between my morning scale weight and my daily caloric intake or food choices.  Times like these are when we dig in our heels and remind ourselves to KCKO (Keep Calm, Keto On).  I wanted that weight loss trend of Weeks 6 to 8 to continue on at the same rate.  I was excited by it!  But that is not the reality of my journey.  And I am overall still trending in the right direction so I should be encouraged by that reality and stay the course.

And I can now know/show that higher ketones for me do not equate to greater weight loss.  I am maintaining/gaining weight yet my ketones are higher now (especially after adding MCT oil) than they have EVER been.  Higher ketones do not mean faster weight loss.  Good to know!

First six weeks of challenge with heavy cream:  2.0
Week 1 of science with heavy cream:  2.5
Week 2 of science with heavy cream:  2.7
Week 1 of science with avocado oil:  2.5
Week 2 of science with avocado oil:  2.8
Week 1 of science with avocado oil & MCT oil:  3.2
Week 2 of science with avocado oil & MCT oil:  3.1

The butter phase of this challenge is going to be so much easier now that Chris has discovered that butter will not separate after being emulsified into a shake made with warm water.  With this information, I know I can pre-mix my shakes just like I have done all along.  And since Chris is sending me a bag of the Creamy Tomato Basil soup, I am excitedly planning to incorporate that flavor into my rotation!

There are only 15 days remaining on this 100 day journey!! Can you believe it???
All I can say is this:  I am ready to EAT MEAT!

p.s. If you are someone who likes charts or who is interested in the cholesterol results of the science phase, please visit Chris’ spreadsheet.  (I am “Female 3”.  The “100 Days of Keto Charts” tab is super interesting!)

Beverly’s Week 11 (Week 5 of Science)

This entry is part 12 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

My 100-day experiment of eating “only Keto Chow” continues with today being Day 78!!  We are well into the final quarter of the challenge.  When hearing Chris say in today’s video that there are 22 days remaining, I felt like “only 22 days”?  Wow, this is really almost finished.  Three weeks is nothing compared to 14!  At this point, I feel I could continue indefinitely.  This has once again become a comfortable habit and routine for me (I have done this before and for longer than this!).  However, I am certainly looking forward to incorporating a few of my favorite keto meals into each week.  My neglected husband probably can’t remember the last time we ate out together, and I know we will both be looking forward to that.  I honestly can’t remember the last time we ate out either.  We went out to eat a few times during the first month (well, he ate and I drank a beverage) but we have not been out recently.  I find myself contemplating which meal (or meals) I will enjoy that first weekend… sausage and cheese omelet, pizza toppings, buffalo wings, chef salad, cheeseburger, taco toppings, grilled chicken caesar salad?

This week was the first week of the science phase using MCT oil.  This ingredient has posed no problems or challengers for me.  I notice absolutely no difference between using avocado oil and now using avocado oil and MCT oil.  For each 3 shakes, I use 6 tablespoons of oil to get the right amount of calories for me.  So for this phase of the experiment, I am replacing 1 tablespoon of those 6 with MCT oil.  I have not noticed any change in energy level nor any digestion concerns (I am still taking a probiotic).  There is no flavor difference.  The only thing I have noticed is my daily ketone level has increased significantly.  This number is not necessarily important to me but I do find it interesting.  I have never seen readings in the 3s before.

Week 1 of science with cream: 2.5
Week 2 of science with cream: 2.7
Week 1 of science with avocado oil: 2.5
Week 2 of science with avocado oil: 2.8
Week 1 of science with avocado oil & MCT oil: 3.2

So what will the average be next week?
What will the average be while on butter?
I am curious.

My personal dietary journey this week has not varied.  I am a creature of habit (aren’t we all?).   I eat the majority of my 1200 calories between 4:00-8:00 p.m.  I do allow myself one 16 oz. coffee with 1 tablespoon heavy cream (50 calories) in the morning, and I drink bouillon pretty much any time I want to (5 calories per cube).  I drink lots of diet soda and sparkling water.  I go to yoga 3 or 4 times each week.

My weight loss remains at exactly -15 pounds as of Tuesday morning (same as last week) but I did see -16.8 pounds a day or two ago so I continue to be hopeful to keep going in that direction but I am not holding my breath.  It is very likely that my body is finding the final weight where it wants to stop losing.  I have heard that can happen.  Or maybe it is just “pausing” again before the next stretch.  Time will tell.

My dear husband is traveling on business this week so I have enjoyed a few quiet evenings alone at home watching movies he might not want to watch.  As always, I enjoy my mug of warmed Keto Chow as my last meal of every day.  I call it my daily “dessert”.  It is thick and rich – I slowly eat it with a spoon, savoring every bit.  This week, I have been loving on the Snickerdoodle flavor.  I have found that cinnamon does not mix in well if I add it right before drinking my shake so, instead, I add an extra amount of cinnamon while the shake mixture is in the blender and it’s perfect!

My husband and I have a weekend away planned for March 29.  I had been thinking in my mind all along that I would still be on oil as my fat source so I would just have my pre-mixed shakes ready to go the night before to put in my lunch box like last time we traveled.  But… uh, oh… March 29 will be Day 1 of using BUTTER as my fat source.  This will not be as easy as I thought – I can’t pre-mix shakes with butter!  So I called the hotel to inquire if a refrigerator and microwave were provided in each room.  Good thing I called because those items were NOT already included.  (Really?!)  For a fee of $20 each, they can be reserved and added to the room.  So, whatever.  I will pay another $40 per night since both items will be necessary as I will be making my shakes on-site at meal times.  I am looking forward to the two-week butter phase though.  Not only will it signal the closing of this experiment, but I think it will be delicious!