ketogenic

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N=me experiment: 4 weeks of *ONLY* Keto Chow – 2nd week tests back

I have the second round of test results from my experiment back. To quickly recap: I’m doing a test where I’m only eating Keto Chow and only drinking water. Nothing else. No snacks, no diet soda, no nothing. I am taking the Keto Chow fish oil pills as they are required to get the right EPA and DHA Ω3 fatty acids, and I was taking a magnesium malate supplement (I need more than normal) but I recently stopped that because the version of Keto Chow that I’m testing (v2.1rc2) has additional magnesium malate in it and the supplement I was taking had a gram of dextrose in it (which sucks). Here’s my complete food log and information from Cron-o-meter for the experiment so far, and here are my blood tests, updated with the results of my last blood test.

Insulin is up a bit though still quite low, my cholesterol is much the same as before other than my LDL-P count continues to drop. At this rate, it’ll be under 1000 around the time the experiment ends. CRP is higher but still in a good range. Still not dead from living on fat.

As discussed in my initial post about doing this experiment, I don’t have refrigeration available so I’ve been coming up with ways to adapt. Primarily I’ve been using avocado oil. I’ll be posting more about this when I’m actually back from the trip, but I’ll say right now that I absolutely prefer heavy cream. Avocado oil isn’t bad, and if I hadn’t ever tried Keto Chow with heavy cream I’d probably think it’s super awesome. For people with dairy or digestive issues, or people wanting something shelf stable it’s an amazing option that works very well. Avocado oil also has 0 carbs, which means my net carb totals for the days I ate only keto chow with avocado oil are a CRAZY low 1.4g – for the ENTIRE DAY. That’s insane, as is the 5.3 mmol/L of blood ketones I’m currently registering, I actually hit 5.5 a few days ago. Weird that the only ongoing biometric I have right now is blood ketones since I don’t have a scale or anything else. It’s going to be interesting Friday morning after I get home to see what happened to my weight this week =)

By | 2017-11-09T11:17:20+00:00 November 8th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, On Tour, Soylent|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments

Chris and Miriam on the “Be Well, Be Keto” Podcast

We met Tracee Gluhaich at KetoCon in Austin a few weeks ago – she contacted Miriam to see if she was willing to be on Tracee’s new keto podcast “Be Well, Be Keto.” Miriam said yes and asked if Tracee wanted us both on there – and she did =) About a week ago we recorded the interview via webcam and the podcast episode went live today! You can head on over to listen to the podcast here. Or you can watch the video from the interview below:

 

By | 2017-10-18T07:37:56+00:00 October 18th, 2017|Categories: Ketogenic|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Staying Keto on a River Trip, reminder: get your electrolytes

Last week I went on a 4 day Grand Canyon river rafting trip. It was really cool. I went to spend some time with my dad who was doing a Night Photography workshop – I didn’t have nearly as good of a camera as the other photographers, plus it was the first time I was actually shooting milky way photos instead of just holding the lights. I still got a few really cool shots:

If you want to kill some time there’s a photo album of all the various photos and videos I took. I also had a GoPro strapped to my chest taking a photo every 10 seconds that I later correlated with the GPS tracks. There are 3200 photos between album 1, and album 2. It’s a bit easier to watch as a hyperlapse video.

Going into all this I was worried about what I would be able to eat. I put on the sign-up form in the dietary restrictions section that I was on an “Atkins diet” (meh, it’s easier to explain than Keto and essentially I’m just continually doing the induction phase of Atkins, so whatever). The reply I got was:

Thank you for sharing your dietary restriction of “Atkins diet” with us.  Please review our menu below which does have many options that should fit your dietary needs.  Feel free to bring additional food items to supplement if needed.  When bringing supplemental items you will want to ensure that it would not require any special preparation or use of our cooking facilities.  Due to the demands on the guides they are not able to accommodate special requests.

OK, I can understand that. I looked over the menu and decided I would make whatever was available work. Worst case scenario I would just do intermittent fasting: eat when keto food is available and skip eating when it’s not. My dad (also doing keto) brought along a few cartons of Trader Joe’s shelf-stable whipping cream so we could make Keto Chow on the river. Here’s how it went down:

Day 1: Keto Chow for Breakfast. I had another one ready for lunch and decided to drink it early (at like 10) so I wouldn’t have to worry about keeping it cold. Lunch at the ranch was meat and cheese for sandwiches. I didn’t know what dinner was going to be so I ate some meat on a cheese sandwich. There was a guy named Leon from Australia that saw me eating it and asked if I was doing Keto or something… wait, what? Yeah, he had been doing keto for a few months but had stopped for their trip. I tell you: the day is fast approaching where I won’t have to explain my way of eating! Dinner that night was a bunch of carbs plus some roast beef grown there on the ranch. Only had salt and pepper, so I ate some of that too.

Day 2: Bacon, eggs, and carbage for breakfast, I had the bacon and eggs =) Lunch was on the river and was tuna salad cones (which I later adapted for my own use). I piled up some tuna and mayo onto cheese. The funny thing was others in the group were starting to copy us and skip the bread: “If they can eat the center of the sandwich then so can I!” Dinner was spaghetti and garlic bread. There was really nothing I could eat so my dad and I split a carton of whipping cream and had Keto Chow for dinner. Two of the guides are sisters and their mom was put on a ketogenic diet by her doctor so they knew what was up. They said their mom had a hard time finding keto food and sticking with the diet – I happen to have something that helps with that =).

Day 3: Bacon, eggs, and carbage for breakfast, I had the bacon and eggs =) Meat and cheese for lunch again (mostly cheese), more people skipping the bread. Dinner was steak and shrimp (plus some other stuff I didn’t care about).

Day 4: Big sausages, eggs, and carbage for breakfast, I had the sausage and eggs =) Lunch was a sandwich in the bus back to Las Vegas (I gave away the brownie, chips and got an extra mayo packet for my cheese and meat).

I felt like I was doing rather well sticking to my diet. I had been overdoing it on the protein a bit but I was still keeping the carbs down probably between 20-50g (yes that’s wide margin). BUT my electrolytes were getting low. I started to really feel it on the morning of the 4th day. An abnormally high requirement for Magnesium runs in my family and I had only brought 4 Magnesium Malate pills. My normal diet of Keto Chow for most meals makes that more than sufficient but that morning I was starting to feel cramps in my thighs, calves and other large muscles. I also had a headache growing and was feeling pretty tired. I had planned a bit ahead and brought along a bag of “Real Salt” that had some potassium chloride mixed in as well – I mixed about 2 teaspoons of that into some tepid water I had in my bottle and drank it. It was way saltier than I normally like but it REALLY tasted good: yep I was definitively low on salt. A few minutes later I felt just fine.

Day 0 of the trip, as we rounded a corner and saw Las Vegas off in the distance, I realized I was in Dave Feldman’s home turf. It was too late to hang out with him that night but we arranged to meet up after returning to civilization. We ended up at a Jason’s Deli having a very early dinner. Dave was doing another of his n=1 experiments on himself so his food was… uncharacteristic =) I’ll not spoil the surprise when he reveals his next results. Suffice it to say that he normally eats 3000 calories/day to maintain his weight and was currently gaining weight on 2000 calories/day because he was eating differently. He is sharing some advance info about his experiments over on his Patreon page though. I will report that Dave took photos of all his food so I didn’t get the $100 bounty prize for anybody that catches him not taking a photo before he eats.

Dave has gotten a lot of unjustified criticism from lipidologists (who, frankly, should have been the ones making the discoveries he is finding but they have too much invested in the current model to admit to being so terribly wrong). He is absurdly methodical with the way he does his testing and not only tracks, but takes a freaking picture of what he eats AND a picture of anything he doesn’t finish too – just in case there’s a potential question about his methods. He also declares his hypothesis PUBLICLY before doing a test instead of crafting the narrative to fit the results he likes.

Anyhow, it was a really fun conversation and totally worth the detour.

I tried to find some magnesium supplement pills when we stopped in Mesquite, but all of them were magnesium oxide. Effectively worthless as the least bioavailable form of magnesium. I dosed up on Magnesium at 2 A.M. when I got home and felt just dandy when I woke up 3 hours later to get the kids ready for school (my awesome wife left for the Kansas City Low Carb conference while I was on my way home).

Flavor of the Week August 21-August 27: 10% off sale on Vanilla 2.0.1 week packs

For the next week, you can get 10% off the 21 meal “week” size of Vanilla 2.0.1. Check out the reviews of 2.0 Vanilla!

Speaking of reviews, you should check out our store reviews on Google, and the reviews of Keto Chow. Here’s a “taste”:

I am so glad I found keto chow. I am starting a major weighloss / lifestyle change journey. I am a mom of 2 and my hubby and I work total opposite schedules and to be honest I suck at meal prep. I knew in order to make this change and succeed I would need something quick, easy and yummy and I found all those things in keto chow. I am a huge fan!

Here’s another, should be noted that I publish all of the reviews that come in – bad or good – as they are, typos intact. The only ones I remove are spam posts from people wanting you to buy pills to “enhance performance” and such:

My husband and I have found the one thing that is making it so much easier to figure out and stay in ketosis! We have found something that makes all the difference in the world for newbie “keto-ers”! What is the secret yu ask? Keto Chow! We have loved it so much we are recommending and buyint the sample pack for all of our friends who are now asking us what we are doing to lose our weight. Some say they have tried it but have a hard time sticking to it past five days. This is exactly what happened to us until we found Keto Chow! This product has made life so simple and so enjoyable to stay on that we have both make it to the 2 month mark and 20 pounds lighter! Our favorites are chocolate peanut butter, and strawberry. We love to mix berries in with the strawberry and feel like we are still getting our fruit fix. The chocolate peanut butter tastes so good we feel like we are still getting our Reese’s fix. Thank you Keto Chow for helping me to stay on the Keto Diet to truly change mine and my husband’s life!

Happy Eclipse Day! Dunno about you, but I’ll be headed to Idaho for the “Zombie Apocalypse” with a cooler full of food (mostly Keto Chow), extra 22 gallons of fuel, and a portable toilet =) Big shout out to our employees that will be shipping out orders!

By | 2017-08-21T01:16:32+00:00 August 21st, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Availability on Salted Caramel, Samples, and Sample all the Things! (Caramel on Thursday)

We’re currently out of Salted Caramel in the large 21 meal bags, we are also out of stock on the Sample all the Things! bundles we have been making until we get the individual meals/sample ready, because we only had the mass-produced individual meals/samples for Keto Chow 2.0 available in the Chocolate flavor.

I just talked to the new company we’re using to package the individual meals. They’re currently about half way through the flavors and are hoping to have the rest done early next week. If all goes well, we might have “for realsies” samples available sometime Tuesday evening (don’t hold your breath though). Regardless, next week we should have individual samples ready for sale, both in the bundle and individually!

UPDATE: As for the Salted Caramel weeks, that mixed Friday afternoon, is being packaged, and is scheduled for delivery on Thursday, August 17.

It’s fitting that right as we sold out of the final 22 samples of Chocolate Fudge 1.9, we also got word that 2.0 will soon finally be complete!

By | 2017-08-15T12:54:46+00:00 August 11th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Go get a Coronary Calcium Scan #CAC

Last month, my wife and I went to KetoFest in Connecticut. On Saturday, we watched “The Widowmaker” – it’s a documentary about the Coronary Artery Calcium Scan and its effectiveness at directly predicting the likelihood of coronary heart disease because it’s measuring the actual disease as it’s happening – direct observation. If you happen to have a Netflix subscription, you can watch the full documentary here. On the way out of the theater, I was walking behind Ivor Cummins – who helped with the movie and has been helping David Bobbett (the guy who paid for it to be made). Ivor and a bunch of other big names in the keto world proceeded to have a rousing discussion that really should have been recorded for posterity. One big discussion point was that the movie leaves out the “extraordinary” measures taken by David – he went on a ketogenic diet. Apparently, the film makers decided to leave that part out =).

There is some criticism of the movie – how things were presented and the need for clearly defined “good” and “bad” guys. The movie makes two important points: coronary stents don’t prevent heart attacks and coronary scans can identify advanced coronary artery disease before heart attacks happen. Regardless of the presentation, and how the film makers decided to edit things (like leaving out Keto!), finding out your calcium score is important.

Anyhow, I determined to get a CAC – and so I did. Turns out you can get them where I live for around $70. Unless you live in Texas, insurance won’t pay for it to be done – which is odd since it’s required for all astronauts and US Presidents – I suppose they’d rather pay thousands for heart surgery instead of less than $100. Anyway, out-of-pocket was simple and easy. Took longer to fill out the papers than getting the actual scan. Now I have the results of my blood tests AND I have a Coronary Artery Calcium Scan as well. Turns out that living mostly on fat (and mostly SATURATED fat, specifically), I’m doing just dandy – thanks for asking =)

The patient has a total Calcium Score of 0.

This places the patient into the 0th percentile in comparison to a group of patients asymptomatic for coronary artery disease with the same age and gender. This means that 0% of males aged 40-44 have calcium scores lower than the patient.

Coronary artery calcification is a specific marker for coronary atherosclerosis. The amount of calcification correlates with the severity of coronary atherosclerosis. A score of 0 implies a low likelihood of coronary obstruction, but cannot totally exclude the presence of atherosclerosis. A high score indicates a significant plaque burden and relative risk for future cardiovascular events. It should be understood that calcification is not site specific for stenosis but rather indicates the extent of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries overall.

There was no identifiable plaque detected. Patient is advised to adhere to general guidelines on diet and exercise.

I’ll ignore the “general guidelines on diet” part, thank you very much =) If you’re curious and would like to see the full content of my CAC report, you can check that out here.

By | 2017-08-09T07:46:08+00:00 August 9th, 2017|Categories: Ketogenic|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Vanilla and Salted Caramel Keto Chow 2.0.1 now in stock

This entry is part 179 of 190 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

Good news: Salted Caramel is back in stock and we finally have Vanilla available! Both are version 2.0.1 – I’ll get to the minor version bump in a bit.

Following the fun we had with Vanilla before, when we got today’s batch of Vanilla Keto Chow we pulled a bag from each lot and tested them to make sure the viscosity and flavor were correct – they passed! We did the same thing with the Salted Caramel (it’s standard procedure now). Anyhow, today was Vanilla and Caramel; tomorrow we are supposed to be replenishing Banana and Mocha with Chocolate coming Friday or Monday if all goes well. All are a smaller batch to tide us over until they can deliver the full order of 2.0.1.

Speaking of 2.0.1: It’s a relatively minor change, the only difference is a change in the amount of iron – previous versions of Keto Chow provided 100% of the RDI (18mg a day) if you did 3 meals of Keto Chow. This is the recommended amount for pre-menopausal women; but for post menopausal women, or for men, that amount is borderline high. 40mg a day is the short-term upper tolerable limit, but I didn’t want to be causing a slow build-up of iron in men (especially in myself =) if Keto Chow was used exclusively for all meals over months. The downside to this change is that many women will need to supplement their iron using something like this, this, or this in order to prevent anemia if they use Keto Chow exclusively for all their meals. An occasional meal with red meat will also work (and let’s be honest, you could really go for a rib-eye right now – amiright?). The new packaging notes this change, also the packaging is actually accurate now – no more “label correction” sticker!

If you are curious, you can read the entire Keto Chow changelog/version notes – going back to the very beginning with version 0.7 =)

By | 2017-07-05T21:25:22+00:00 July 5th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic, Site or Store Stuff, Soylent|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

One is the cause and one is the effect, conventional wisdom has them switched

So I was listening to the 2 Keto Dudes podcast and something Richard Morris said struck me as extremely important. There’s a lot of heated debate in fitness and nutrition about “Calories In = Calories Out” – also known by the shorthand CICO. The basic premise is that: You lose weight if you eat fewer calories than you need, including calories from exercise. This thinking also assumes that people who are fat got that way because they eat too many calories (it’s a character flaw they should be deeply ashamed of) and they stay that way because they are too lazy to just exercise (again, it’s a character flaw they should be ashamed of). People who are fat got that way and stay that way because they indulge in “sinful” behavior and as a society we condemn them, mock them and denigrate them openly. It’s pretty much the only socially acceptable prejudice nowadays.

I think that line of thinking is stupid and reprehensible, among other things.

 

Here’s what I got from Richard’s comments. Conventional wisdom says that:

(Calories Consumed) – (Calories Burned) = (Calories Stored as fat)

Everything I’ve seen (with decent science behind it, and the fundamentals of how insulin works) say that instead:

(Calories Consumed) – (Calories Stored as fat) = (Calories Burned)

It’s a slight change in the order – which one is the cause and which one is an effect, but let’s look at what this means: If we take the standard CICO model and I eat 2000 calories a day, my BMR burns off 2500 calories (it was actually 2218 last time I had it measured but let’s keep the math simple) and I do absolutely no other exercise during the day I would have a negative energy balance of 500 calories. The standard model says each pound of fat is 3500 calories, so my 500 calorie deficit would have me losing 1 lb a week. Isn’t that a nice simple story? Guess what, our bodies aren’t that simple, especially considering the active metabolic management we have going on. If you cut intake by 500 calories a day, your body isn’t going to simply continue on at 2500 BMR, it will adapt down to fit the energy it’s given… unless you are able to mobilize the stored energy you have it your fat cells.

There’s a problem with that: if you have high levels of insulin in your blood, your body WILL NOT allow you to access energy stored as fat. From an energy balance standpoint, if your insulin is too high, you have the same energy stores as a theoretical person who has 0% body fat. Neither of you will have access to stored energy in fat and both will run out of energy when your blood glucose drops. “Carb Coma” anyone?

So let’s look at that second equation, it may not be a perfect model for the human metabolism but it’s far closer to explaining the observable data. So I eat 2000 calories in a day. If I eat mostly bread, fruits, and other carbohydrates; my body will dump insulin into my blood in an effort to deal with the potentially toxic levels of glucose running around. My cells (particularly my fat cells) will key off the insulin and dutifully pull the glucose out of the blood. I’ll be able to burn some of that 2000 calories in my muscles but much of it is going to go straight to fat storage. Let’s say that 500 calories (a number I’m making up out of thin air, again: easy math) gets stored – that means I only get to use 1500 calories for “keeping the lights on”… except I need 2500 today. My body will figure out a way to keep things going, either by breaking down non-essential muscle cells or other means, but you can be certain I won’t feel like running up the stairs, going for a walk… or anything. I’ll just want to lay down and find some food so my cells can get some energy (except the same insulin issue will arise). Eventually, my cells will get used to reduced calorie availability and my base metabolic rate will go down to fit what is available. Nature abhors a vacuum.

On the other hand, let’s assume I eat 2000 calories in a day, but most of that is in the form of calories that do not create an insulin response: a moderate amount of protein (so I don’t have to cannibalize muscles to rebuild cells), the smallest amount of carbohydrates possible, and the remainder of those calories as fat. This page about “Intermittent Fasting” does an astounding job of explaining how the different macronutrients affect insulin (and debunks the “you should eat many small meals” myth), but the short version is: fats have little discernable insulin response, protein has a slight-to-moderate response and carbohydrates cause a massive insulin response. Don’t believe me? ask a type 1 diabetic about dosing insulin for 500 calories of rice vs. 500 calories of cheese. So back to the thought problem: I have 2000 calories but my blood sugar didn’t spike and my insulin didn’t spike either. For argument’s sake let’s say 100 calories get stored away somewhere (probably as glycogen in my liver or muscles) so I still have 1900 calories to work with. I need 2500, so I need 600 more from somewhere… well my insulin is low… so I can mobilize energy stored in fat cells! Holy cow, I have all the energy I need! (usually 100,000 calories or MORE).

The funny thing is: this all still works if you decide you’d like to fast for several days. Your insulin is low and you have all the energy stored you could possibly want. Many people report massive energy after 36+ hours of fasting (you still drink water and get electrolytes). Anyhow, that’s the rant for today. If CICO is true then if you are overweight it’s because you suck as a human being, stop eating so much and should just get up and move more – is that really so hard? If the alternative is true (and I believe it is), then you are overweight because the foods you’ve been told are “healthy” (“low fat” cookies? “whole wheat” bread?) have messed up your insulin response to the degree that you are storing much of the energy you consume. So get rid of the rice, the pasta, the bread, THE SUGAR and go for the foods that will make you healthy. A ketogenic diet is essentially taking this a bit to the extreme, it’s a major intervention for people whose metabolism and insulin response are broken because of years of too much junk. Many people appear to be just fine living mainly off carbohydrates, that’s fine for them – I’m not one of those people.

I tell people I don’t eat sugar because I’m allergic to it, “how do you know you’re allergic to sugar?” they say. Simple: it makes me fat.

By | 2017-06-21T10:24:19+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Categories: Ketogenic, Weight Loss|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

The end of an era and anniversaries – all the 1.9 is mixed

This entry is part 171 of 190 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

I’ve been mixing Keto Chow (and People Chow before that) since January 2015. Yesterday, 29 months later, we mixed up the final batch of Keto Chow 1.9. All the Dymatize protein is used up and the front room and “dining room” of my house are no longer storage rooms for supplies and equipment. I’m not going to lie: I was pretty gleeful going around with a vacuum cleaning up all the powder that has defined a large part of our lives for the last 2 1/2 (almost) years. It tends to settle on every surface in the house, even upstairs. I even took the computer our and blew it out with the air compressor (I think there was 50g in there!). The ironic thing is we’ve been waiting for the end of mixing to start a remodel on part of the house, specifically the aforementioned front room and dining room. Drywall work starts Monday. Guess everything will be dusty again! =)

Early next week we should start getting the remaining flavors of 2.0. They’re all mixed (and I’ve tested them to make sure we won’t repeat the problem with Vanilla) And hopefully, we’ll get the samples soon after that.

Fun story: 17 years ago I married my amazing wife. I proposed 2 1/2 weeks after we met because I waited a week, concerns about the ring and all – turns out you can propose without a ring and let her pick one later (crazy, right?). The night before we got married, my wife’s bridesmaids did a sleep-over at the apartment we were going to be living in (I was still living in my parent’s basement) and the morning of our wedding, May 6 2000, they were frantically getting ready. In the midst of all the commotion, the bacon that was cooking for their breakfast was forgotten and started to burn. There was a lot of smoke. When I saw my soon-to-be wife and embraced her for the first time on our wedding day, I said the 4 words that have come to symbolize so much in our relationship:

“You smell like bacon…”

I’ll never live that down =) Makes for a great story though, the kids think it’s funny and so does she – she just likes to rib me a bit, especially when I cook bacon and it smells like our wedding day all over again. Holy cow we looked like little kids! I do weigh less now than I did back then though =)

By | 2017-05-06T07:09:57+00:00 May 6th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments
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