We returned yesterday from the Low Carb Breckenridge. It was really an awesome time. We met a lot of great people, hung out at the “cool kids” party house, ate some yummy fat (along with a little protein =) – I consider it a rousing success and I still haven’t even gone through the stack of annotated business cards to follow up with people yet! Photo Gallery:
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.
I’m in the final stages of doing some changes to the Keto Chow recipe (v2.1) and I wanted to do a “burn-in” test to make sure that everything is working properly. Might as well experiment on myself, right? My plan for the next 4 weeks is to ONLY eat Keto Chow, drink only water, take fish pills, and have some salt if necessary. On Friday I went over to my local LabCorp and had 14 vials of blood drawn for 25 tests. Around vial 9, the vein in my left arm gave up and they had to pull the remainder from my right arm. Here’s what I got:
|GGT||Cortisol||Heavy Metals||Lipid Panel||Thyroid Cascade Profile|
|Apolipoprotein A-1||C-Reactive Protein||Hemoglobin A1c||Lp-PLA2 Activity||Uric Acid|
|Apolipoprotein B||Fasting Insulin||Homocyst(e)ine||NMR LipoProf +Graph||Vitamin A and E|
|CBC||Ferritin, Serum||IGF-1||Reverse T3, Serum||Vitamin D|
|Comp. Metabolic Panel||Free Fatty Acids||Iron||T3Free||Zinc, RBC|
My plan is to have 6 other tests done every Friday for the next 4 weeks:
|NMR LipoProf +Graph||Lipid Panel||Comp. Metabolic Panel||CBC With Diff.||Fasting Insulin||C-Reactive Protein|
Today I’m running a test on my Postprandial glucose after eating. It’s something I’ve done before but it was time for an update I’ll probably report on that tomorrow.
Now, here’s where it gets fun: I started my experiment yesterday and it’s going well so far. Then I started thinking about what’s going on in the near future and realized I’m going to be heading off to San Francisco for the DreamForce conference in 2 weeks. Crap. “That’s like the worst timing ever for a test!” I thought, then I thought “Might actually be good timing for a test” The likelihood of me breaking keto traveling while I’m doing a nuts-o test on myself like this is actually lower.
Big problem is: the “hotel” I’ll be staying at does not have refrigeration available. I’m going to need to come up with a game plan during the 5 days I’ll be traveling. Here’s what I have so far:
- I’m going to use avocado and MCT oil instead of heavy cream.
- I’m going to portion out the powder for meals into individual bags ahead of time.
- This week I’m going to test to see how adding the oil to the powder beforehand affects storage and taste.
- If that works, I’ll put the oil right into each bag, making a sort of thin oily paste.
- I’ll triple-bag the mix =)
- I’m going to find a place that has ice and ice water available (they have it all over the place at the conference) and mix my keto chow in HydroFlasks, they should stay good for several hours, more than long enough for the “just mixed” taste to go away (which takes like 30 minutes).
- I suspect I’m going to do some kind of intermittent fasting, maybe I’ll leave all of the stuff at my hotel and just eat 3 meals in a small window.
- I’ll bring soap and a bottle brush and wash out my HydroFlasks every night.
- I’ll have my magnesium supplements handy along with some salt. I’m planning on mixing salt with water to drink during the day if I feel like I need it.
Anyhow, that’s the plan. I’m posting this ahead of time to further decrease the likelyhood of me failing (accountability FTW!!!)
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.
— Dave Feldman (@DaveKeto) September 21, 2017
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).
I’ve attended, and even worked, booths at a fairly large number of trade show/conferences. This marks the first one I’ve ever PAID for. We really had a lot of fun, met some awesome people, and raised awareness of Keto Chow. Because of the number of photos, I’m going to point you over to this Google Photos gallery. All 4 of us at the conference were able to pop our photos into a shared pool, worked really well to gather them all up =)
Looks like next year Keto Con will be August 24-26, 2018. I’m guessing we’ll be there!
Yesterday we packed up enough food (Keto Chow =), water, cash, fuel, and portable toilets to last for at least a day and drove to Idaho to watch the Eclipse. To start: yeah, it was totally worth it. If you’re around in 2024 or 2045, do not miss the next one!
We left at 02:19 and arrived at our destination just before 6 AM in Terreton, Idaho. We had originally planned to go to the exact center-line of the path of totality in the middle of nowhere but after talking with my dad, who was doing a photography workshop for the eclipse in Wyoming, we decided to use his “backup location” and try for either the High School (which was blocked off), or a church (which wasn’t blocked off, had a nice lawn to sit on, was free, AND had a bathroom we were able to use) – so we went to the church =).
The orange in the map above is when we were driving faster than 70 miles per hour (112 kph) – which actually made up the majority of the trip. In all we drove 666 miles over 11 hours and 33 minutes. If we had tried to go home through Idaho Falls it probably would have taken just as long (or longer) – and we got to see Craters of the Moon National Monument as well.
Anyhow, how does Keto Chow fit into this? I brought along 8 meals of Keto Chow in a cooler, enough to last myself and my wife for 4 meals each. We ended up having two each. They were easy to pack and I didn’t have any worry at all about finding keto friendly food. Salted Caramel was quite tasty after a morning spent waiting for the eclipse!
This is the shortened version of the 360 video I recorded yesterday – only 4 minutes long. Covers about a minute before totality, totality and just after.
We returned from Ketofest yesterday morning, very early yesterday morning, from Connecticut by way of New York City. There were the usual multiple hour delays, both coming and going – at least my traveling companion was enjoyable to be with =). We attended Ketofest just as regular people, rather than trying to be a vendor – which was a good thing as it let us learn from others. That said, it was impossible to miss us: the Keto Chow t-shirts were a bit obvious
The “Keto Food Pyramid” was something I put together a few months ago, planning to put it on the back of a shirt – but the project kinda died with all the problems we had with Keto Chow 2.0 production. Last week I decided it would be a good idea to have them for Ketofest, so I ordered 6 (3 for each of us) from Vistaprint and had them before the end of the week; though at $18 each (delivered) they’re not really viable for selling – we are working on having a couple hundred made with on a dark gray shirt instead of white. We got a lot of compliments on the pyramid and the shirts, it was a good conversation starter though I’m not sure how many people noticed that the base of the pyramid was Keto Chow =)
We did bring a bunch of chocolate Keto Chow samples – they were handy to have when we talked to people about what we do: “here’s my business card, and here’s a sample of Keto Chow – you mix it with heavy cream and it makes a complete meal.”
Anyhow – Ketofest. Friday we flew from Salt Lake to JFK (2 hour delay) and then drove to New London, CT. New London was right in the middle between New York and Boston, there were more flight at better times at JFK so we went with that. Fun fact about New London: even on a Friday night, EVERYTHING shuts down at 10 PM – this was a problem because we planned on grabbing some heavy cream on the way. Turns out there was a 24 hour Super Walmart just outside New London but we didn’t find that until Saturday morning. I mixed up some Keto Chow with water, stuck it in the fridge and we went to sleep. Next morning we grabbed some heavy cream, added it to the previously mixed Keto Chow and headed off to Ketofest.
There were some issues with the registration bags (they were sorted by first name – oops!) but we got to meet a bunch of great people and it was surreal having everyone around already know what keto is!
Ketofest consisted of 2 days: “Social Saturday” and “Science Sunday”. The majority of Saturday was cooking classes, eating fatty meat (a 250lb pig brought in and roasted by a local pig farm – I can imagine Carl calling the place: “yeah we want the fattest pig you have and when it’s cut up we want ALL the fat left on it, can you bring extra fat?”), and hanging out.
The cooking classes were in a “Maker Space” where you have a commercial kitchen, a wood shop, 3d printers, laser cutters and more (I would have LIVED in a place like that as a kid), it was REALLY hot in there until I plugged in the big fan and got a cross-breeze going. Richard was helping Brenda make her famous pork rind waffles:
We hadn’t signed up to taste the waffles and it was standing room only, but I’ve made them myself so no big loss. They did have left over Smoked Salmon Asparagus Frittata that we got to try (my wife made more last night for dinner!). Fiorella’s Polenta Poppers were good enough that my wife made those last night for dinner too. We left before Richard started his “Pulled Beef 6-ways” where he was doing a speed-run of 6 different uses of frozen pulled beef:
We headed off to the plaza to eat some roast pig
While there we bought some keto bagels and then it was back to the cooking classes, they had some left over beef that was really good, and then we watched how to make some lemon cake (which was fantastic):
Following that, we went on a Segway tour of New London, ate at Hot Rod’s (Cajun dry rub wings for me, prime rib for my wife and a pint jar of bacon for an appetizer). Then it was time for the movie at the Garde Theater:
Ivor Cummings had secured permission for us to watch “The Widowmaker” – he’s been helping David Bobbett (the guy who funded the movie) get the word out. Powerful movie. After the movie I was walking behind a bunch of people who were talking about the science behind the coronary calcification test, they joined up with a bunch of people in the lobby talking science. I saw Dave Feldman so I went to say “Hi” but I didn’t want to interrupt the conversation. I’m glad I didn’t, I was standing in a circle comprised of a veritable cornucopia of doctors, scientists, and nutrition geeks – some of the biggest names in LCHF: Ivor Cummings, Jeffry Gerber, Dave Feldman, and some others that I don’t have the face matched up to the name =)
I’m actually a bit sad that I didn’t record the conversation. It’s the sort of thing that should have been a panel discussion with everyone on stage.
The next morning we headed back to the Garde to bask in science. We got to talk to Dave Feldman again, he even posed for a “Keto Chow Group Shot” with his own blender bottle of Keto Chow =)
The speakers were awesome, my wife got to meet Megan Ramos and I got to talk to her husband Angel (who was standing off to the side, eclipsed by the notoriety of Megan, but he’s doing some cool stuff in nutrition too!). There was some excellent food to be had and I would have loved to stay and see all the presentations but we had to drive back to New York and Google was saying it was a 2-3.5 hour drive (that’s a pretty large window!) ended up being about 2.75 – but don’t worry: the plane sat at the gate for an extra hour waiting for a fuel form!
I had 2 samples of Keto Chow left in my cargo pockets. The driver of the parking shuttle saw our Keto Chow shirts and asked us what that was about, said he was always having a hard time finding keto food he could eat that was easy and portable (ha, seriously?!). He got those last two samples =)
Keto Chow will be at KetoCon coming up September 1-3, 2017 in Austin, Texas. We’ll have a booth and everything – planning on having samples to taste. I’ll have the booth number later, but you’ll be able to come by and talk to Chris and Miriam in person! Remember that fist bumps are less likely to communicate disease compared to hand shakes =)
Here’s a list of the people who will be talking at KetoCon, and here’s the announcement video from the crowdfunding campaign that was originally used to launch it:
and the KetoVangelist podcast where it was announced. So hey, if you were thinking about going to KetoCon, be sure to stop by and say “Hi”. If you didn’t know about KetoCon: surprise!
We’re also going to be at KetoFest in July but just as regular Keto people, not vendors.
It’s February… again. That must mean it’s time for the #rootstech conference. Like last year, the last several days we’ve been setting up computers and the rest of the week (through Saturday) we’re running computer labs. Every year I’m always faced with the decision of what to do for food since there’s not any food at the conference that’s not carbs, carbs, carbs, with a little protein and fat. I can either bring Keto Chow in HydroFlasks, or I can just not worry about eating and Intermittent Fast instead – eating all my food when I get home. Today I’m opting for the fasting approach because sometimes it’s easier to not eat anything. I’ll be drinking water throughout the day and I have a bunch of Keto Chow at home for when I get done… at whatever time that is. I might drink 3 shakes or I might drink one and then melt a bunch of cheese and eat it with a fork.
To start off, I was listening to Episode 49 of the “2 Keto Dudes” podcast and they shared the content of a really good post on their Ketogenic Forums: “It’s Easy… Until It’s Not… And then it’s Easy Again.” If you’re starting out with Keto and the initial drive is flagging a bit, there’s some really good advice in there:
Going Keto, particularly if you’re not coming from a similar discipline like low-carb, or paleo, can have its challenges.
Those of us who’ve been doing it for a while can be pretty enthusiastic in our promotion of keto, which may at times make it seem easier than it really is.
Here’s the thing. Keto is easy, until it isn’t, and then it is again.
What do I mean by that?
Any time we start something new, particularly something that we perceive to be good for us, we’ve got a deeper reserve of willpower and enthusiasm that will carry us through the first phase of trying to build that habit. And, as it happens, keto has some seriously yummy and satisfying foods to sample, so between those two things, the first week or so of keto can feel like a breeze. Most people drop several pounds almost immediately as they burn off glycogen (and dump water), so there’s a short-term “win” feeling, too.
Then, things can get hard. Many people hit the dreaded “keto flu” when their bodies aren’t yet fully-adapted to making and burning ketones instead of glucose, yet they’ve drastically cut back their supply of glucose. This can include tiredness, dizziness, and generally feeling crappy. Most of these symptoms can be eased with some bone broth, or supplementing salt (salt water), etc., but it still stinks.
On top of that, if you don’t have a ready store of keto-friendly recipes, the meal plan can get a little boring. While it sounds wonderful to have bacon and eggs every morning, most of us enjoy some variety, too.
And at the same time that the keto flu hits, for many folks the weight loss stops, or slows significantly.
This is the point where many people get frustrated, and some quit, thinking that Keto doesn’t work.
DON’T DO THIS!!!
Once you get past this point, things start to get easier. When you have become fat-adapted, you will have more energy, and feel better, and probably far better than you did eating carbs.
And when you have been eating keto long enough for it to become a habit, something that is simply how you live, you won’t struggle with cravings (not as much, anyway), and you will be healing your body.
As has been observed in many threads already, each of us is slightly different. Younger folks, in general, will probably find it easier to lose weight more quickly on keto, while those of us who are a little more…seasoned…sometimes need to throw in intermittent fasting, or extended fasting, to get the fat mobilized.
At the end of the day…if you’re just getting started, be prepared for there to be challenges along the way. You may have some slip-ups where you indulge in carbs and end up regretting it. Or you may just be wishing that you didn’t have to eat defensively at restaurants, or read the labels on everything carefully to avoid hidden sugars. That stuff is a pain. But it’s worth it. Keep Calm, and Keto On, and you will be building a habit that promises good health, and a hopefully longer, healthier life.
It’s worth it.
He has some additional followup comments there in the post too. And if you’re getting started with Keto, I recommend listening to Episode 48 of the podcast “Starting Keto” – it’s good enough I have it linked in the “tips” section of the Keto Chow preparation Instructions.
My friend Steve has been doing Keto on and off, mostly to be supportive of his wife (he needs to lose weight like I need a hole in my leg – that was at his house BTW) but I think it’s also helping with his Gout. Gout is funny on Keto, it seems to either make it WAY worse (Steve’s initial experience) or it helps to alleviate the problem A LOT. Anyhow, he works construction and sent me a couple photos of Keto Chow on the construction job site