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.

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

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).

Keto Chow at the “Zombie ApocEclipse”

This entry is part 183 of 190 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

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.

By | 2017-08-22T07:23:03+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic, On Tour, Soylent|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments

Keto Chow 2.0 Samples and “Day” packages, where are they?

TL;DR: there will be no “Day” packs of Keto Chow 2.0 – just get three samples; except that we don’t yet have the samples yet, because: reasons.

With Keto Chow 2.0 being manufactured in a commercial facility there were some changes to the product line that needed to be made. One of the decisions we had to make was about the 3 meal “day” packs. Having 3 sizes per flavor is… well… 50% more than having 2 (I can Math!) and having more products adds complexity and diminishes economies of scale. So instead of having Day packs, the plan was that we would price the individual meal (samples) low enough that you could buy 3 for close to the cost of the “day” package. By doing this we could aggregate the quantities for the samples and days together and the aforementioned economies of scale would kick in – if it costs 1x each to make 2000, then it costs around 0.6x to make 56,000. That sort of thing.

So with that plan in mind, we ordered the packaging material to make really a lot of samples. We were supposed to be getting samples of each flavor as each flavor became available and all would be well. Except that didn’t happen (as you may have noticed – we don’t have any samples of Keto Chow 2.0 right now).

The machine that forms the packaging is having problems with the printed plastic film – specifically the flat sheet is formed around a metal horn and then sealed into a long tube, and as the film goes past the metal former it’s dragging on the metal and breaking. Right now we have a few dozen samples but nothing like what we need. Here’s a video that shows how stick packaging is supposed to work:

Cool right? Except when it doesn’t work =( So the plan now is to reprint the packaging on a different film, we’re supposed to be getting the packager and printer together to determine what media to use so we can get things rolling as soon as possible, hopefully we can have some progress this week and maybe get something in by mid June. The saddest part is the $7800.40 worth of printed film that’s useless – maybe I can use it as 6 inch wide wrapping paper for the next 200-300 years.

By | 2017-05-30T08:02:00+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

New Video on Preparing Keto Chow 2.0

This entry is part 175 of 190 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

Now that Keto Chow 2.0 is available, I figured it was a good time to do a new video on how to prepare Keto Chow, specifically 2.0 now that there’s a scoop included. I also wanted to show off the cool shirt my wife bought me and the awesome scar on my left bicep I got when I attacked myself with a quadcopter a while ago =)

Now, the production quality isn’t the best and the circumstances were actually pretty bad. I did have a really nice microphone (that was hooked up to my cell phone, strangely enough) this time so the sound quality is considerably better, but I ran into a bunch of issues:

  • My house is undergoing some pretty serious remodeling, now that we stopped making 1.9, so I couldn’t do the video in my house where I have supplies on-hand. Instead, I had to take everything to our warehouse and shoot the video there. I used the backdrop we bought for KetoCon but the field of view was too wide so I rolled over a pallet of blender bottles to hide some of the background.
  • I screwed up doing the blender and ice – only had a little ice left when I did the second take.
  • Then the large warehouse door was opened in the middle of take 2. I didn’t have any more ice so I had to just roll with it.
  • I flubbed what I was saying a few times but couldn’t re-shoot it – whatever! =)

In case you were curious here is the stick blender I was using. It’s really expensive but works exceptionally well. For comparison, here’s one of my earlier videos back before I started doing Keto, I’m less of a man now =)

Keto Chow BlenderBottles are back in stock

We ordered a bunch of Keto Chow branded BlenderBottles back in January to restock the ones we were using up rather quickly – we still ended up running out of stock on just about all the colors. Well, that’s over and we have all 10 colors back in stock, including black. We actually have another, even larger, order going already – it’s super fun trying to anticipate how much we’ll need 4-5 months in advance.

The previous 2 orders were small enough, we were able to simply drive 20 minutes to the BlenderBottle offices and pick it up, this order was three 8 foot pallets, so we had it delivered instead =) Anyhow, you can order them on https://store.ketochow.xyz/28-oz-keto-chow-blender-bottle/

By | 2017-05-08T07:48:33+00:00 May 8th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Preparation, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Sometimes it’s just easiest to fast!

This entry is part 157 of 190 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

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.

By | 2017-02-08T09:22:04+00:00 February 8th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic, On Tour|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Recommended reading for those starting Keto; Keto Chow at the construction site

This entry is part 155 of 190 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

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.


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

Keto Chow branded Blender Bottles now available in 10 colors

This entry is part 152 of 190 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

I’m happy (my wife is even happier!) to announce that we now have 10 colors of Keto Chow branded 28 oz. Blender Bottles (actual, genuine, Blender Bottles – not cheap knock offs) in stock and available. This comes after about 2 weeks of delays due to holidays and snowstorms. They all look pretty awesome with the Keto Chow logo. We’ve had black ones with the logo for a while but reserved those for the “Sample all the things” flavor sampler, now anyone can get them in a wide variety of colors:

We still have around 20 of the regular Pink Blender Bottles without the Keto Chow logo. We don’t have to observe the “minimum advertised price” rules with the ones that have our logo on them, but the plain ones can’t be advertised for any less than $7.79 – but if you order some and add coupon code PINKBB you might see that price drop $2.

By | 2017-01-05T13:26:49+00:00 January 5th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow, On Tour, Preparation, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , , |0 Comments
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