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Beverly’s Week 10 (Week 4 of Science)

This entry is part 11 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

Another great week on this 100 day challenge is complete.  In a sense, it is not even challenging.  I am back to a mental place where this is easy, and I know longer feel extra hungry like I did last week.  I had thought that the avocado oil was less filling for me but now I do not think that at all since I am having an easy week.  I am sure that my body fluctuates and has differing levels of hunger sensations despite the fact that I am eating exactly the same amount and type of calories every single day and living at the exact same level of activity every week.  That only makes sense but is frustrating when I feel more hungry.

Every weekday morning of this challenge (aside from the days I was out of town), I have packed my lunch box with one Keto Chow shake, two diet sodas, and three sparkling waters (because that is what fits in it perfectly!).  I add some Blue Ice mini freezer blocks on top of the canned drinks.  The front of my lunch box has a zipper pouch which perfectly contains my Keto Mojo supplies.  With this, I am all set for the day though I usually buy more diet soda during my lunch break and/or from the vending machine in my office building.  This is the same lunch box I used last week for my two-day trip with my husband.  I placed six Keto Chow shakes in this box (three for each day) and used a different container to carry all my other beverages.

By yesterday morning’s scale reading, I have lost 15 pounds.  But Tuesday morning, the scale indicated I had lost 16.2 so I am excitedly headed back there and beyond.

Over the weekend, I told my great husband with a chuckle, “It really will not matter when the 100 day challenge is over – I am still going to be drinking Keto Chow every day!”  The difference will be that I will usually drink it for two meals a day instead of three.  Plus, I will not be tracking every calorie and data point with such precision and compulsion.  I will no longer check my ketones and glucose every afternoon.  I will no longer weigh myself every morning.  And I will no longer go to LabCorp every Friday morning!

But there are still four weeks remaining…  I am almost half way through the science portion of this project!  I completed two weeks with heavy whipping cream and am now almost finished with avocado oil.  Starting on Friday, I will be replacing a portion of the avocado oil with MCT oil.  I will do that for two weeks followed by two weeks with butter.

MCT oil will be new for me.  Other than measuring a tablespoon into my coffee every morning during a short phase a few years ago after a friend told me it gave her great energy, I have never used it.  The bottle I had purchased back then was eventually discarded and now a new one has been purchased for use Thursday night when I do my meal prepping for the coming week.  I am interested to see if MCT oil affects my energy level, if it upsets my digestion, if it changes any of my cholesterol numbers, or if anything else noticeable occurs.

My husband’s most recent favorite mix is Chocolate / Strawberry.  His previous favorite had been Chocolate / Caramel.  (The side photo shows an extra scoop of unflavored protein powder on top that I add to his shakes since his macros require more protein than mine do.)  Last night, he mentioned a concern that we are using up our canister of Chocolate too quickly since he likes Chocolate mixed with ALL of his flavors.  No worries – I plan ahead for such things and have three bags of Chocolate in the pantry.  Chocolate is the only flavor I keep “stocked up” on.  The other flavors are only ordered after they run out (or slightly before if I notice it and want to replace it right away), but Chocolate is a must-have.  If we only ever had Chocolate, my husband would be fine with that.  I like it but I enjoy several of the non-Chocolate flavors more and think they offer better variability for my tastes.

If you want to contact me, please post a comment on this page or remember you can easily find me through Facebook or Reddit.

p.s.  If you are a numbers geek or want to see how the cholesterol lab tests are comparing, go look at Chris’ spreadsheet.  I am “Female 3” and have my own tab.  There are charts on a different tab named “100 Days of Keto Charts”.

Beverly’s Week 9 (Week 3 of Science)

This entry is part 10 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

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!

Beverly’s Week 8 (Week 2 of Science)

This entry is part 9 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

The recent flood of Keto Chow recipes being posted by Taffiny, Amanda, and Chris are killing me!  They all look so delicious and mostly doable – even for someone like me who can’t cook.  When I am on the blog site, I just have to slide my screen right on past those recipe posts and plan to come back to read them more closely after solid food is back on my menu.  If you have not checked out the recipes, I recommend starting here to see what I am talking about.

Another week of the science phase has not provided me anything interesting to report on the blog this week.  I continue to plod along.  Week 8 is closing soon and there are six weeks remaining.  It feels really good to be counting down the days and weeks as they pass by now that we are past the halfway point.  My scale weight did not change this week (but my weekly average weight went down again which is sweet!).

This week, my wonderful husband worked so many hours at his office that we did not have any chance to eat out.  I am certain that he missed the face-to-face across-the-table time as much as I did but we will likely make up for it in coming weeks.  I did meet up with one of my sisters at a nearby restaurant on Saturday where I arrived a few minutes before she did.  I found myself fixated on the enticing salad descriptions.  All of a sudden, my mind snapped awake and said, “Stop looking at the menu, you fool!”  :)  Then I had to just laugh at myself and find something else to look at.  (If you are starting to get the impression that I have lots of sisters, you are right!)

Being in restaurants while on a liquid diet has not been very difficult for me.  I do not feel the need to explain anything to anyone.  I order my beverage when it is time then simply say “nothing for me, thanks” when the waiter/waitress is taking meal orders.  I am truly NOT tempted to deviate from my current eating plan.  Sitting in a restaurant with someone else while they eat is somewhat uncomfortable though.  Even at home, that feeling is sometimes there – like when my extremely supportive husband is innocently snacking on nuts or meat/cheese.  The idea of chewing something tasty sure sounds good.  The desire to eat is there but the commitment to my eating plan is stronger.

Friday will be the start of using avocado oil as my fat source.  I will be scouring the Keto Chow sub on Reddit and the Facebook support group for tips on making Keto Chow shakes with avocado oil before I begin.  I make my husband’s shakes with avocado oil but he does not seem to mind the floating residue the way I do.  Maybe I can find a trick for how to successfully mix oil and water (ha!).

In a meeting I attended a few days ago, the speaker used the word “endurance” which caught my attention, and I jotted it down in my notes.  The definition reads, “the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way” and “the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity”.  I like this word!  Perhaps the word endurance can be used to describe me and my efforts in this 100-day challenge…  I would really like to think so even though Keto Chow is not the least bit unpleasant.  :)

Beverly’s Week 7 (Week 1 of Science)

This entry is part 8 of 16 in the series 100 Days of Keto Chow - Beverly's Experience

Hello Keto Chow blog readers.  TODAY IS DAY 50!  Even though these 50 days have been really quite easy for me, I am excited to be at this point in the journey.  Up until now, I have not been fond of knowing what day I am on.  There were too many days ahead – I just couldn’t deal with it in that sense.  I would rather just think of it as an indefinite lifestyle decision.  As I told my sweet husband when we did our liquid diet together over a year ago (with no anticipated end date), “This is life!”  I said it all the time (eyes rolling, even at myself).  It just is what it is.  Deal with it.  Move along.  I have a dry sense of humor and a practical approach to life so this is just how I am.

This week is still technically Week 1 of the Science Phase (this Week 1 ends Thursday night – the weekly starting point is now Friday morning instead of Wednesday morning).  Since the fat source for the first two weeks is heavy whipping cream, everything in my diet and life is same-same as it has been the past 6+ weeks!  I am still doing 1200 calories per day, still drinking my three shakes between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. each day, and still going to yoga classes three times a week.  The only thing that is different for me during Week 1 and Week 2 of the Science Phase is a standing appointment for a blood draw first thing every Friday morning.  Then there is the looming dread of Weeks 3 through 6 where I will be using oil(s) as my fat source.  I am not looking forward to that because I really love the way that Keto Chow shakes taste when they are made with heavy whipping cream!

I said I would not be sharing charts anymore – but I have to!  I have something important to show you.  Check out how my weight loss has like been these 7 weeks to see what true weight loss looks like (it is NOT linear):

This whole time since January 2, I have been trying to not expect weight loss because my weight was already “acceptable” and because I had never tested the 1200-calorie daily limit to see if I could lose on that amount.  But look what is happening – I am losing weight!  I have lost 12.6 pounds in 7 weeks!  If you look at the numbers closely, it almost looks like my body held onto the weight I was at for over five weeks before finally giving up and deciding to start losing again.  Who would have guessed?!  Not me!  (There are four blank days because I did not weigh myself when I went to visit one of my sisters.)

My weekly average chart interests me (and surprises me) also.  It is not at all what I expected would happen.  I was quite content to see a weekly loss of less than 1 pound per week.  Yet here I am with a total loss of 12.6 pounds and an average of 1.8 pounds per week – crazy!

I am anticipating that my weight will stall again right where it is and bounce around like it did in the beginning for a few weeks.  But I could be wrong again.  I can’t wait to see what happens these next 50 days!

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 during the layover between flights.  Even though I had a coffee earlier, a water on the first flight, and was sipping on a diet soda, I just wanted to eat.  It wasn’t the food I was seeking though – rather, it was the comfort and relaxation I was wanting.  I was exhausted – I had gotten up at 3:00 a.m and I was longing to be home.  All I could think about was the fact that almonds and possibly Quest bars were right there at every snack stand and shopping spot located such short distances away.  I gathered my resolve and buckled down to staring at my phone intently.  I scrolled through all the comments on my familiar Reddit keto sub groups and the Keto Chow Facebook Support Group.  Being engaged in these active support systems really helps me every day so it fits that this is where I turned when I was struggling.  By the time I arrived home, I was ready to drink the two Keto Chow shakes I had left in the refrigerator before my trip (thank goodness my husband didn’t drink them!).  After a nap and a few chores, I mixed up a bunch of shakes so that my husband and I are both stocked up again – 12 shakes for him (4 each of Strawberry, Chocolate, and Salted Caramel/Chocolate) and 18 shakes for me (6 each of Snickerdoodle, Cookies and Cream, and Salted Caramel).

My ketones were a little wonky on the days around the trip (charts are below as usual) – and I forgot twice to even check them.  The day after I returned home, the scales indicated a weight loss of 6 pounds which I’m sure was due to hydration levels especially since my weight went back up 3 pounds the next day.  After this week, I think I’ll skip adding the charts when I write each week (they are boring since the numbers are the same every day) but I won’t stop tracking the data.  I think I included the charts in the beginning for accountability.

Tip:  Those little salt packets are great to keep in your purse.  You can pick up a couple when you see them in fast-food restaurants.  Or you can keep a little flask of Keto Chow’s Fasting Drops with you.  I will have mine soon because I have an order (along with Savory Chicken Soup and Chocolate) arriving later this week.

Chris mentioned me by name in his Day 41 video!  It is cool to me that he remembers I once did “only Keto Chow” for longer than he ever has.  Woo hoo!  In his video, he gave me credit for over 160 days…  the stint he was referring to started at the beginning of November 2017 and lasted until sometime in March or April 2018.  Unfortunately, I do not remember the exact ending date or exactly how many days I did (Chris might know better than I do!).  That extended liquid diet was interrupted in the middle by a cruise in January 2018, though, so I never felt I could claim the entire length of the liquid diet anyway.  While on the cruise, my husband and I ate one or two reasonably small keto meals and drank one or two shakes each day (we both lost weight!).  During those five months of liquid diet, I was journaling my experience on Reddit under a username that I have since deleted – so I lost a lot of information and stories that I wish I still had.  :(  Little life regret.

By the way, does anyone else shake their Blender Bottles as aggressively as Chris shakes his?  Has anyone else even noticed what I’m talking about?  I watch him in wonder because when I mix a shake in a Blender Bottle, it goes quickly:  water, cream, powder, lid, sideways shake, upwards shake-shake-shake, more water, shake-shake, done.  He shakes and shakes and SHAKES each bottle!  I am physically unable to put the amount of effort into mixing a shake like he does.  So thank goodness the product doesn’t require it.  :)

Back at work on Tuesday, I forgot to eat lunch.  Of course, I am technically speaking of my first shake of the day which I have been drinking at 4:00 p.m.  At 4:50 p.m., I suddenly realized I had not eaten yet.  I didn’t even feel like I needed to eat!  This was unusual because most days I am counting down the time for 4:00 p.m. to arrive.  Since I was heading to yoga soon and didn’t want to wait until 7:00 p.m. for my first shake,  I went ahead and drank it about 5:15 p.m.  Hunger has been almost non-existent this week.  This is a huge relief after having many days of thinking about food all day long.

Speaking of Chris and his videos…  I really enjoy listening to him (along with Miriam and others when they chime in) talk about the day’s happenings.  It makes me smile to know that I am not alone on this liquid diet journey!  Like him, I am starting to make plans for what those first meals after April 12 will be…

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!