easy meals

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4 years of DreamForce, this year: Keto Chow only

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Introducing a new contributor & recipes section

We’re launching a new “Recipes” section of the site – in the “Information” tab. Many will use Keto Chow, but some may not – it’ll be a bit of a mix of the two =) Along with the new section, I’d like to introduce our new contributor: Victoria Jensen. She’ll be routinely posting new recipes. So far she’s posted one for Chocolate Mug Cake and a new one for Banana Nut Breakfast Muffins was posted today.

Victoria Jensen has been creating and improving recipes for over 10 years. She is passionate about physical health and loves to explore new food-related concepts in the health and fitness world. Her favorite thing to do is transform dishes she loves into diet-friendly meals. She now is exploring and improving Keto friendly recipes to share!

Here are all the recipes we’ve published so far:

Keto Chow Donuts
Raspberry Cheesecake with Keto Chow
Orange Cream Keto Chow (and other flavors) Orange Creamsicles
Smokey Asian Salmon
Roasted Asian Vegetables
Buffalo Coleslaw
Zucchini Brownies
Avocado Brownies
Rich Chocolate Avocado Frosting
Honey Mustard Wings
Homemade Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Tuna-Stuffed Grilled Jalapeño Poppers
Salmon Cakes
Keto Pancakes
Shrimp Scampi
Loaded Mashed Cauliflower
"Potato" Salad (cauliflower =)
Low Carb Bread - Coconut Flour and Flax
Easy Keto Egg Nog (year round!)
Chicken Coconut Curry
Keto Naan Bread
Sous-Vide Smoked Brisket
Garlic Riced Cauliflower
Keto Pepper Nachos
Banana Nut Breakfast Muffins
Chocolate Mug Cake
Keto Chow Bars/Brownies (REVISED)
Keto Chow Jello
Keto Chow Pancake and Muffin batter (updated)
By |2017-11-01T10:22:02+00:00November 1st, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Please participate in the 2017 “Complete Food” Survey.

This entry is part 2 of 204 in the series Ketogenic Diet

Please take 5-15 minutes to answer some questions about Keto Chow and any other “complete foods” you’ve tried.

For the last few years, there’s been a yearly survey to get some additional information about (s)oylent type foods, including Keto Chow. If you have a couple minutes, please participate in the survey. There are a bunch of coupon codes at the end (including $10 off Keto Chow) and your responses will help give insight into where we should be heading. Last year I was able to get some really interesting data in my own analysis (you can check that out here: Results from soylent eater’s survey – keto and gender analysis)

Here is the survey: https://www.surveybuilder.com/s/okZgK

New this year: we’re running a contest to help find a name for the industry. We’re offering a $1000 prize to the first person to suggest a name that captures people’s imagination. If you don’t want to take the full survey and would prefer to only participate in the naming contest, that’s here.

By |2017-08-20T17:48:30+00:00August 21st, 2017|Categories: Future Foods, Keto Chow|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Keto at a Conference, round 2

This entry is part 145 of 204 in the series Ketogenic Diet

A year ago I detailed how I used HydroFlask insulated containers to keep my Keto Chow nice and cold while I was attending classes at the DreamForce Conference in San Francisco. I did it again a few months ago when I used a similar tactic on a trip to DisneyLand. Well, last week was DreamForce again – but this time, I had a new trick in my arsenal: Keto Chow muffins. I used the “brownie” recipe since it makes nice, substantial, muffins that stood up quite well to being in a backpack for a few days. I cooked 12 meals worth a day before I left and froze them so they would last longer out of the fridge. When we reached the AirBNB (that was half way to San Jose, it was nuts) I put my bags of muffins in the fridge along with the Trader Joe’s shelf-stable whipping cream.

For liquid Keto Chow, I brought along 4 days worth of Cookies & Cream in day packs – made for easy transport and since I was mixing up 3 blender bottles at a time, I used a carton of cream and a day pack of Keto Chow in their entirety each time. The blender bottles would go in the fridge for overnight chilling and most of the time I just kept it in the blender bottle and had that for breakfast with 2 meals worth of the muffins in ziploc bags in my backpack (along with keto snacks). Here’s my backpack ready for a day of class:

Ready for Class

The muffins were nice and flexible since they should last unrefrigerated for at least 3 days. If I ended up having something keto at a restaurant, the muffins would go back into the fridge when I got home for the next days’ meals. In all, it worked out great: I stayed in ketosis, didn’t gain any weight on the trip, and didn’t have to worry about meals. This last point was really important as our AirBNB sucked for finding a place to eat. One of the guys I was traveling with ended up having several of my muffins on several occasions rather than going out for food after a long day walking around.

I ate Keto Chow in class, in line, walking down the street, I even ate two of the muffins on Alcatraz island (in the area where food is permitted, naturally).

20% off all flavors of Days

This week we’re going to try something different: instead of doing a sale on a specific flavor, we’re doing a sale on a size! We introduced day packs as an option in June 2015 and they’re quite popular for testing out a bunch of flavors, or for easier storage or transportation. I’ll be blogging more about it in a bit but on my recent trip to San Francisco I used day packages. People in high-humidity areas also tend to like them since they can be used quickly after opening without falling prey to the humidity.

So, grab some day packs. If you’ve never tried making keto chow in a blender, 3 meals at a time, now’s your chance (I put in 237ml of heavy cream, the powder and enough water to fill it up to 48 ounces, blend and split between 3 containers at 16 oz each). Or maybe grab some strawberry and some Torani or Da Vinci sugar free syrups and have a flavor party!

For fun:

By |2016-10-14T07:17:50+00:00October 10th, 2016|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Revised Keto Chow Brownie/Muffin recipe

This entry is part 143 of 204 in the series Ketogenic Diet

My original Keto Chow brownie/bar recipe was a bit of a hack, luckily one of my readers refined the recipe and shared his changes. The result is a much better “brownie” recipe that also makes extremely good muffins. Here is the updated recipe, and here are some photos from last night:

I’ve made it “Brownie” style in a pan and then cut up but I ended up with an uncooked center section. Splitting it up into “muffins” removes that problem entirely and makes it less crumbly so it’s easier to transport. I made 6 “meals” with 3 muffins being a meal.

Personally, I like this better than the muffins made with the pancake/muffin recipe since they don’t collapse after cooling. I’m planning on making a batch next time I’m traveling since it doesn’t absolutely require refrigeration for a few days and transports easily.

How do you explain Keto Chow?

This entry is part 141 of 204 in the series Ketogenic Diet

There was a great thread over on reddit “How do you explain Keto Chow?” – good stuff, but there were 2 responses that are awesome. I’m going to edit them so my kids can read them without their eyes melting and fix some spelling and grammar issues.

It usually goes like this:

ppl: Hey, WOW, you’re looking great! Are you on a diet?

Me: Yes!, Have you heard of Soylent?

ppl: Hardy har har ‘soylent green’, you eat people

Me: This is a food replacement drink that gives me exactly the calories/vitamins/nutrients/minerals that my human body needs.

ppl: … , so you’re not eating?

Me: I have engineered my food to give me exactly what I need with none of the bad stuff.

ppl: … , but like you’re not eating, I like food, is this what you eat for Thanksgiving?

Me: No, Of course not, eating Keto Chow is what allows me to have a few cheat days while still keeping me slim and healthy

ppl: What the crap is Keto Chow?

Me: explains ketogenic diet

ppl: …

ppl: I like food, you’re weird, eating that much fat is bad for you, why can’t you just eat salad?

Me: Keto Chow means theres no more cooking, cleaning, running to the grocery store, paying a small fortune every 5 days for fresh fruit and veg, no more logging and guessing what to enter into MyFitnessPal

ppl: …, You’re so lazy, and weird, who doesn’t like food?! changes subject

and one of the replies:

I like to get Metaphysical on them.

ppl: Why don’t you just eat food?

Me: What is food?

ppl: You know, stuff you eat! Stuff you CHEW on you know!

Me: So if I put a lego in my mouth, crush it with my teeth and swallow it, does that make it food?

ppl: Noooo….

Me: So what makes it food?

… Continue as necessary until it is established that food doesn’t have to be chewed, it is something consumed to provide energy and nutrition for life. Ergo KetoChow is food.

This can actually be really entertaining and MIGHT make them reconsider what they think about food. It also might not (probably not) but it can make them look pretty foolish for a little while.

By |2016-10-14T07:17:51+00:00September 21st, 2016|Categories: Keto Chow|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Why I make Keto Chow

This entry is part 140 of 204 in the series Ketogenic Diet

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:

  1. Make figuring out Keto easy. Easy on your brain and easy to prepare the food.
  2. Keep people from running into electrolyte deficiency (the aforementioned “Keto Flu”).
  3. Make it tasty enough that you’ll not just tolerate it but honestly, actually, for realsies, enjoy consuming it (and want more).
  4. 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.

Keto Chow Bars/Brownies (REVISED)

Personally I think Keto Chow is pretty awesome and works great for most situations. The major drawback I see is that it requires refrigeration and also a sealed container to transport it if you’re doing something like running around a conference or Disneyland – in which case you need to use an insulated container (which honestly works extremely well). But what do you do if you want to save space, reduce weight and (from what I can tell so far) not have to keep it refrigerated for the day?

Make some Keto Chow Bars/Brownies/Muffins.

The basics are: you’re adding eggs and baking soda to make it more substantial; and for the calories you’re using butter and peanut butter since both store well (and taste yummy). For my test I made 6 meals worth (2 days) so the pictures are double the recipe shown here (1 stick of butter instead of a half stick). I also used Rich Chocolate though you can easily use any of the other flavors – next time I’m doing it with snickerdoodle!

The one caveat with the bars: they are pretty dry – you’re going to want something to drink while you’re eating but water is easy to store, transport and locate on the fly.

This recipe has been updated with suggestions from the comments.

Print Recipe
Keto Chow Bars/Brownies (REVISED)
Portable, solid Keto Chow
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
meals
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
meals
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add the liquid ingredients to a mixing bowl
  2. Add dry ingredients and start mixing. I recommend using a mixer.
  3. Spoon into a pan and smooth it out. For best results use a cupcake pan.
  4. I baked it at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes
  5. For maximum freshness, put each "meal" worth into a bag and refrigerate the bag. My guess is that it will keep just like the brownies you are familiar with. Out of the fridge they should be good for 1-3 days.
Recipe Notes

According to my calculations, each serving/meal should be:

  • 522 calories
  • 34.3g protein
  • 5.9g net carbs
  • 37.7g fat
Share this Recipe
By |2016-10-14T07:17:51+00:00August 1st, 2016|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic, On Tour|Tags: , , , , |12 Comments

Keeping the kids alive until Mom gets home

This entry is part 132 of 204 in the series Ketogenic Diet

This week my wife and 3 of our kids are at a girl’s camp, so I’m working from home so there’s somebody here in case something explodes… or somebody looks at the 6 year old wrong and the world ends. Last night I was buying food for my wife to take (camping while doing keto can be challenging if you’re the only one doing it). I was going to grab some easy frozen food so I could have the 3 that are staying with me stay alive and healthy – then I remembered that I have this tasty drink that I make and the kids are always stealing.

Disclaimer: Keto Chow is not designed for children, that said it’s better than the frozen pizza and corn dogs I was going to buy (yes very low bar).

For lunch they were dead set on making turkey lettuce wraps (thereby stealing my low carb tortillas) but I put a stop to that, told them I had a surprise for lunch. When I brought out the blender bottles, my youngest said “Keto Chow, ooh yeah!’

Between the 3 of my kids and the neighbor kid that was over playing, they drank 2 containers. I told them they get to vote and pick out the flavors for tomorrow since today it’s all Snickerdoodle.

Speaking of flavors, since I put the Banana and Butter Toffee samples on sale they’ve been moving steadily, just today somebody decided to buy half of what I had left of the banana. In related news we found a week of banana hiding in the snickerdoodle so I put it back in stock with a quantity of 1.

By |2016-06-14T14:25:35+00:00June 14th, 2016|Categories: Future Foods, Keto Chow, Ketogenic|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments
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