This podcast was recorded a while ago (January 28, 2018 to be specific), took Steve a while to get it posted – probably because it went kinda REALLY long. I have to say: this is by far one of my favorite podcast interviews so far. Steve let me (over) indulge myself and give a rather complete history of Keto Chow and my journey thus far. It was also nice to be talking to someone who really likes what I’m doing. I just checked my email and I have one from him way back from May 2015! This one will be tough to beat. It goes on rather long at nearly an hour and a half but if you’re up for it, I recommend checking it out!
I was using the website “Live Chat” to talk to a guy that uses Keto Chow, turns out he does a podcast, not one that has anything to do with Keto or nutrition but, well I’ll just quote from his subreddit:
The C-Realm community concerns itself with such topics as peak oil and resource depletion, the manufacture of consent and worldview management by the corporate media, social transformation, accelerating technological development, and the varieties of psychedelic or entheogenic experience.
The podcast I was on was one of his “Members Only” Vault podcasts. After a month or so he posts them to the Internet Archive which is where you can find the interview I did. Added win that he found a screenshot from Futurama of “Batchelor Chow” which is where the “chow” in Keto Chow comes from. Anyhow, check out the podcast.
In other news, I added a “Keto Chow in the Media” page where I can link podcasts like this, news stories, and the like. You’ll find my recent press release about the 4 week experiment there too.
I want to help people change their lives… and help them not go nuts in the process.
Nutritional Ketosis (aka “Keto” or “Ketogenic Diet”) can be highly effective but it’s daunting, especially for beginners. Keto is the only thing I have ever tried that has had any lasting effect on my health and my weight. I consider it like the “Konami Code“: a cheat or hack, because of how effective it has been in turning around my life (and the lives of family, friends, and former strangers =). I’m committed to helping others get into the Keto lifestyle and Keto Chow makes doing Keto easier; not only for beginners that are just starting out, but also for grizzled veterans who have been doing keto for years.
My first introduction to the ketogenic diet was when our oldest son started having seizures. After trying most of the common anticonvulsants (with no success) the neurologist sent my wife home with some information on a dietary treatment to control the seizures. He told her that if they didn’t have success with a medication soon then we would need to try a ketogenic diet. Glancing through the information he provided, my initial reaction was “holy crap, that sounds impossible!” all of the dietary restrictions and rules were more than we could handle. We would be like this family. The next medication worked and I all but forgot about the ketogenic diet. Years later it came up again when I decided I needed to lose weight.
When you first start doing Keto, there is a lot of information to be learned. There’s new vocabulary, new science, new lists of things you should or shouldn’t eat. It can actually be a bit dangerous if you don’t do sufficient research and don’t know that insufficient electrolytes will make you feel terrible (it’s called “Keto Flu” and it isn’t any fun) – that was one of the mistakes I made when I started Keto. I also started keto using a meal replacement shake that was loaded with coconut flour, chia seeds and other gritty stuff.
My goals in making Keto Chow were:
- Make figuring out Keto easy. Easy on your brain and easy to prepare the food.
- Keep people from running into electrolyte deficiency (the aforementioned “Keto Flu”).
- Make it tasty enough that you’ll not just tolerate it but honestly, actually, for realsies, enjoy consuming it (and want more).
- Make sure people are getting the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients they need to be healthy. Likely healthier than ever before.
Here’s the honest truth: I completely and entirely believe in this product and the Ketogenic diet. It’s not the end-all, be-all answer to everything in the world and I don’t eat it all day, every day for every meal (because: bacon and cheese). But I do have it for most meals.
I made Keto Chow for myself, it just happens to be the sort of thing that other people like too. It’s easy to prepare meals and I don’t have to worry about missing out on weird vitamins or minerals. I hit my macronutrient goals. I’m getting my electrolytes and it’s REALLY good tasting – like I’m always sad when my Chocolate Peanut Butter is empty. I mix up a couple days worth at a time and am able to just grab containers out of the fridge on my way out the door. Let me give you an example:
Last weekend our family went to help some friends cut wood. They use it to heat their home during the winter and you can get a permit to take dead pines (either that or they eventually fall over and block the road; the pines, not our friends =). It’s insanely cheap to get the permit ($5 a cord, 4 cords minimum – a cord is a really arbitrary measurement). We had to leave by 6 AM to get down to the place at the time we wanted. While I was packing the cooler with food for the kids I threw in several “blender bottle” containers full of Keto Chow… and that was it! I drank one on the drive and the other in between chopping up the tree. It’s easy, it’s effective and it’s tasty. I even brought along Keto Chow to Disneyland.
So I use it myself, how about other people? PrimitiveOrigins posted that he had lost 100 lbs on Keto Chow, complete with before and after pics. I asked him for a full review, here it is:
About a year and a half ago I was having a bunch of medical issues and it seemed my diet had to change and I needed to lose some weight. So after trying diet after diet nothing worked. A lot of this had to do with the nature of the diets themselves, I’m very “black and white” as a person and the diets I was attempting were very just avoid carbs at night or try to eat vegan for breakfast and lunch. That is fine for some people, but since these diets gave me an inch I became a ruler. I needed something as strict and rigid as myself, I stumbled across keto. It seemed very easy for me to do. Want pizza? Nope, can’t have it: carbs and sugar. Want a pineapple? Full of sugar: nope. So I went forth with this idea and it was fine for a while, but I soon realized I disliked cooking and eating; only keto gave me a realization that I was only eating for fuel so I started looking for something that would fit that idea.
I found Soylent quite quickly and marveled at the idea; this was exactly what I was looking for, but soon realized it wouldn’t work for me as weight loss was my goal and Soylent doesn’t really provide efficient weight loss. So I started looking for keto version of soylent and discovered […] Keto Chow. I placed my first order of a months’ worth of rich chocolate.
I explained to my wife what I was planning on doing, she was skeptical to say the least (amplified by the fact that the order came in a ziploc bag lol.), but I pressed and she agreed if anything was going to work it would be this. I got my order and mixed everything up and the next day I would have my first meal.
I had my first meal. Taste wise, I did not enjoy rich chocolate at all, but again I was drinking it only for fuel so I pushed through it. I drink 2 a day as it works for my schedule better, one at around 6am and the other at around 6pm, I have done this for about a year and a half now.
The toughest part was training myself out of eating socially, that took about a month to get used to. Once that was over it was smooth sailing, I started mixing my own.
I didn’t see any weight loss, but I got a scale and I was reading it on the scale, so something had to be working. It was insanely motivating and frankly addicting. When people would offer me food or soda my gut reaction was like: “Are you insane? I’m not working out and I’m losing weight at an aggressive rate, you couldn’t pay me to stop this!” My friends all thought I was nuts for the first month or two then after I dropped my first 50lbs or so they were very interested and I had at least 4 friends try it. None of which could stick with it as aggressively as I did/do. It’s a wonderful meal replacement, but real weight loss takes dedication and I was determined.
I’ve “cheated” on Keto Chow by, now and then – maybe once a month, getting plain meatballs from Noodles&Co. or having scrambled eggs and bacon and that was great while it lasted, but I was having some stomach trouble from that so I gave it up.
Overall my plans for the future are: Keto Chow until I cannot anymore. One of the reasons I’m going to be doing keto chow the rest of my life is because I had undiagnosed absence seizures. For the longest time, my wife and I just thought I’d get mixed up when speaking because of my stutter and forget what I was talking about. I’d have really bad headaches and get randomly tired throughout the day. I was going to the doctor to make sure I wasn’t losing weight too fast and that everything was going smoothly. It was, but one day I happened to “cheat” and grab some Noodles&Co. meatballs before my Dr. appointment; and I had an absence seizure right in front of him. He noticed and we started testing for epilepsy. Apparently I have a good deal of food allergies that also trigger seizures, but apparently I was an undiagnosed epileptic for some time and thanks to you I’ve been seizure free for almost 2 years. (Minus the forced ones.)
It’s so cheap, it’s so simple. I see no reason to ever change my diet at this point. My wife and my friends are all used to it; it’s a bit strange explaining it to new people, but the results speak for themselves. Overall I’ve never been happier or more healthy and it’s all thanks to Chris.
Seriously, that’s just awesome. This is why I make Keto Chow.
There’s a subreddit called /r/subredditsimulator where automated reddit robots can go around and “play”, generating random posts based on probability. Regular users can’t even post there. Yesterday I hit the big time because /u/keto_ss decided to tag me in a post
I am a bit more willpower than average, so when I ordered the sampler, /u/chrisbair told me to stop drinking water, from nausea to headaches to lethargy.
Don’t know why I would have done that =) Then again, I don’t think robots should drink water so I suppose it’s accurate. The bot has posted other fun stuff like
You have to take a new picture. I’ve tried them all and then reheat them in the oven for a minute or 2 and then gained back 100 lb. It’s easy to make with a food scale, so I am going for.
I started Keto on October 20, 2014 and started posting my experiences on November 4, 2014. A lot has happened in a year, I’m 77% the man I used to be; so let’s do a retrospective.
I initially started keto without having done the right research and didn’t know what “keto flu” was or how to avoid it; but I did know that I needed to get my weight under control and get healthy. I never got tested but based on how my body was acting, I was pre-diabetic or at least insulin resistant. Keto was exactly what I needed. I feel this burning desire to make little business cards and hand them out to teenagers that… well, look like I did at that age:
The changes go beyond just weight loss. For the first time in years the cells in my body have adequate fuel since it’s not being shoved into fat cells by insulin. I go to a class and don’t fall into a “carb coma” after lunch. My blood tests are awesome and my blood sugar is normalized.
Anyway. I started doing Keto using a recipe of ketogenic “soylent” called KetoFood. Initially with the “induction phase” one and quickly switching over to the “ongoing phase” recipe because the induction one was really, really gross. KetoFood served me well for the time but still wasn’t very pleasant and had a horrible texture since it’s primarily coconut flour, chia seeds and raw cocoa powder (with a bunch or oil). To this day I still gag when I smell chia seeds. In early December after I had been choking down KetoFood for about 6 weeks I was sent a sample of KetoSoy by Ted Tieken. It was far and away so much better than KetoFood I couldn’t believe it – MIND BLOWN. See, most people do a ketogenic diet using “real food” (instead of “fake hippie garbage“) but I have an unhealthy relationship with food and on top of that, doing food replacement shakes is really convenient – and that convenience and the results I was already getting had me resigned to the notion that ketogenic soylent was going to be barely palatable.
Around the same time a new keto soylent recipe was published by Kenneth Swanson. Instead of copious amounts of oils for the calories, Ken’s recipe used heavy cream. It was far smoother than anything else I had tried at that point too which was a nice respite for my “gritted-out” palate. I had enough supplies to make roughly 10 days of this recipe and ordered more of the protein powder too late for it to arrive in time for a second batch before I ran out. So I was forced to go back on KetoFood for a week. It was at that point I decided I was going to kill off my KetoFood and create a new recipe. I was still selling People Chow pre-mixed for people but didn’t have my heart in it. I eventually abandoned all of the other recipes in favor of the new one I was working on. January 1, 2015 I posted for the first time about what would become Keto Chow. I had finally worked out a suitable protein powder and over the next month or so I messed around with the recipe ingredients to further cut down on gritty texture and simplify the ingredient list. I posted the recipe for Keto Chow 0.7 for anyone to use and abuse. Not opening the recipe didn’t even occur to me: we’re all in this together and frankly there’s no way I could mix up enough Keto Chow for all the people that are mixing their own (plus it would be kinda a jerk-move since I was pulling ingredients and concepts from Ken’s Recipe, KetoFood and even People Chow).
Oddly enough, right about the time I was launching Keto Chow, I participated in a community weight loss challenge and to prepare for it I indulged in my very first “cheat” (week). The thing with ketogenic diets is it’s kinda binary: you’re either under your carb goal and in ketosis… or you’re not. If you “cheat” and eat food with sugar or the like (including fruit) then you won’t be in ketosis. Anyhow I ate carbs with reckless abandon, gained a ton of water weight thanks to glycogen and ultimately ended up getting second place. Fortunately that was the last time time I did that and I’m not planning on doing it again. The longer I go without eating carbs, the less appealing to me they become. Nothing tastes as good as I remember it and the few things I have tasted I usually end up spitting out without swallowing and eat some bacon instead.
Speaking of bacon, I don’t exclusively live off keto chow, far from it; but I do stick to keto. With my wife doing keto too now (along with a growing list of family and friends) my kids are even getting less carbs. Nobody ever complains when I make sausage, bacon or eggs and cover everything with liberal amounts of cheese. This Saturday we’re doing a neighborhood Haloween party with a chili cook off and I’ll be bringing a giant batch of Caveman Keto Chili (though I use sausage instead of ground pork). The one thing I do need to cut back on though is sugar alcohol treats – stuff like Quest Bars and the like. You can see on my weight graph from the beginning of this post the plateaus where I’ve stopped losing weight (like the last 2 weeks). If I knuckle down and stick to eating only Keto Chow and ultra low carb foods then it picks back up.
One thing I have noticed over the past month or so is that I’m losing fat in my arms and legs. My quadriceps are getting pretty crazy looking and I’m starting to get veins popping out on my biceps. This is especially interesting because I stopped exercising when I tried to drill a hole in my leg back in June. Before I started keto I was exercising 1-2 times a day, either on the elliptical or running yet I was still gaining weight. The big change was stopping eating carbohydrates. Exercise just makes me hungry (unless I have excess energy).
So here are shirtless before and after pics. You’ve been warned. I’m 258lbs in the one on the left (November 2014), 210 in the middle (April 2015) and just barely under 200 on the right (October 2015)
In the end, I’m 77% the man I used to be but my wife still likes me =)
If you’re interested, here is the body fat percentage graph for the last 11 months or so since I got a withings scale that tracks that.
…and if you’re really interested, here is my weight history going all the way back to October 2006.
The first dip was doing the “Shangri-La diet” The second big dip was when my wife and I did a program where we removed sugar, flour and other foods from our diet. As obvious as it is now I didn’t make the connection then. The second to the last small dip right before keto was the 9 months I was doing People Chow.
Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that I won’t be shipping any orders starting Thursday, April 2 until Monday, April 6. Going to spend some time with the family, and then spend 2 days getting all the back-orders out =)
I’ve long maintained that participating in this community and also working along with the community is really nice. Overall (and in most instances specifically) everyone is super agreeable and just gets along. When enough people asked that I decided to I start mixing people chow for people one of my major concerns was dealing with jerks.
To date I have YET to deal with a jerk, I can’t decisively say that fear was unfounded but it seems so. I have always maintained that I seem to be dealing with a bunch of people that are pretty similar to me and I’ve always tried to operate the selling stuff as if I was one of the customers. There’s a delay? Send an email. Send tracking info for all packages. Don’t be a jerk (myself to the people I’m mixing for).
So here’s where this rant comes from (background over): Yesterday I got an order from a guy with a note saying that I had accidentally sent him an extra week and the order was paying for the extra week and was therefore already complete, have a nice day.
I was stunned.
I hope we can all be that awesome. Anyhow, rant over. Thanks for not being jerks and being cool.
Something that’s been bugging me is how slow my own site (right here) got after I upgraded WooCommerce to 2.2. It got excruciatingly slow and it was super frustrating to me and (I suspect) to people coming here. I did a major upgrade of the server infrastructure yesterday and the site is now running extremely well with 1-2 second response times instead of the 9-15+ seconds ones I was experiencing before. So teh snappy is back and I’m super happy about it.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I won’t be shipping any orders next week. I’m planning on shipping out everything that comes in before noon on Saturday, September 13th and won’t be doing another round of shipments until Saturday September 20th. I’ll be helping my dad with http://www.meetup.com/NightScape-Photography/events/154916402/ I get to be the pack mule to lug around lighting equipment and such, then I get to shine lights at stuff. It’s something we’ve done for the last 3 years. You can see some of my previous work:
- Hole in the Wall Arch
- Park Avenue
- Delicate Arch
- Castle Rock (can’t see my work as well in this one, I was really far away – check out the maps he linked in the comments)
On a side note: they say never tell people you’ll be out of your house so you won’t get robbed. I personally be gone but the house will be far from empty and the neighbors tend to notice people coming and going so don’t try to rob me OK?
I also raised prices on the mixed People Chow a bit and put on a small handling fee to the shipping, people with subscriptions in place will not be affected. The reasoning for this: my wife told me to do it, that’s reason enough for me.