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42 Days of Keto Chow – Day 43 (done)

This entry is part 43 of 43 in the series 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment

Took my final blood test and had my final DEXA scan. I did some updates to the experiment page too. Should have the blood test results by Wednesday of next week.

By | 2018-02-16T15:51:37+00:00 February 16th, 2018|Categories: 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

42 Days of Keto Chow – Day 20, off to S.F., Grape Seed Oil results

This entry is part 20 of 43 in the series 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment

I’m heading off to San Francisco in a few hours. Rather than worry about how to transport my shakes, I’m just going to do time-restricted feeding (“intermittent fasting”) by drinking all my meals this morning and afternoon, then I’ll eat again after I get home tomorrow. I had to bring everything I need with me to work, including an umbrella. Fun fact: I’ve been to San Francisco almost 10 times now, I’ve never been rained on (misted on, yes, but no rain) looking at the forecast, this might break that streak.

This morning I got back my blood tests from the week of doing Grape Seed Oil. Feel free to head over to the spreadsheet of results and check them out. Grapeseed oil is on Column O.

Let’s see… my LDL-P came way down (1242 to 849) – into the “normal” range thanks to the PUFAs, my LDL-C also came down (116 to 72) – again into the “normal” range. My triglycerides did indeed go up, though nowhere even close to the result I got with avocado oil in November: that one went from 113 to 199, this new test with grape seed oil went from 104 to 117. I guess we’ll see what happens with the subsequent tests with Saturated and MUFA: will the triglycerides go down or not?! While you’re on the spreadsheet, you can pop over to the other tabs and see the ongoing results coming in from the n=3 experiment that’s also going on. Both females have had really stable triglyceride levels, regardless of heavy cream or avocado oil. Makes me wonder if the 199 was a freak aberration (yes I was fasting at least 12 hours before the test).

So what else does the blood test show? On PUFAs my cortisol increased dramatically (9.8 to 12.7) and my fasting insulin predictably went down to 2.4. That’s actually the lowest I’ve ever gotten, 2.7 was the level when I did Avocado Oil. Oddly, my CRP (which along with cortisol is a marker for inflammation) was slightly up but still far lower compared to what I was getting in November.

N=me experiment: 4 weeks of *ONLY* Keto Chow – 3rd week tests back

This entry is part 190 of 191 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

I have the second-to-last 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 gum, 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 (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 latest blood test.

The week proceeding this test was interesting. The short version is: I was at a tech conference with no refrigeration so I was using avocado oil instead of heavy cream. Because of this, I was getting around 2g of net carbs (or lower) A DAY. On the test, my insulin was low, my glucose showed in the red because it’s so low, my LDL-P is below 1000 and my triglycerides are higher. It’s almost like my body is using lipoproteins to transport energy (adding another data point to Dave Feldman’s hypothesis).

The last 5 days since this blood draw, my ketones have come down from the 4.5-5.5 range to the 3.0-3.5 range and my weight loss has slowed a bit too. I’m guessing this is due to using heavy cream as the fat source. Starting today through the end of the experiment, I’m switching from all heavy cream to half heavy cream, half avocado oil. Avocado oil is OK but not nearly as yummy as heavy cream, so I’m hoping that by splitting it I can get the good taste plus lower net carbs. Even with 100% heavy cream, I was still under 10g net carbs though. Protip: heavy cream has half the calories as oil for the same volume. If you’re replacing heavy cream for oil you use 1/2 as much (roughly).

A few days ago a post showed up on the Keto Chow Subreddit: Full month on KetoChow – 13 lbs lost and loving it and this showed up last night: Week 1 with Keto Chow and not much else . . .– looks like I’m not the only one doing this, N=3 then =)

 

On a final note, I’d like to illustrate one of the interesting challenges with this experiment. The evening after I got this blood draw, I was in charge of preparing the food for a neighborhood game night (I was also in charge of bringing the Raspberry Pi with the 4 player arcade version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). I had previously prepared a brisket with my sous-vide (recipe and more coming =) so I just needed to smoke it, along with the chicken legs and the bratwurst. I also made pulled pork using the InstantPot. It was a truly glorious sight to behold once it was all done.

I didn’t eat any of it.

I had thought about eating some before, but I decided that there were too many variables shifting around (coming back from a trip, switching back from avocado oil to heavy cream, etc…) plus I wanted to keep the inputs clean. I fully intend to do a press release after all this is done announcing that I lived for 4 weeks on JUST Keto Chow and I didn’t want to have to add a little asterisk footnote: “*except that one meal where I pigged out on brisket” (on an aside, anybody know how to do a press release? =) Really, it was just like cooking any other meal I didn’t eat these last 3 weeks (like the CavemanKeto chili I made Sunday). Once committed to this course of action, I just keep going. It’s a little like fasting in some respects. I’m not the only one cooking though, my awesome wife has been feeding the kids some really great keto meals too.

Don’t worry: I put a bunch of the meat in the freezer for lunch on Friday after my final blood draw =)

Keto Chow 2.0 and its effect on my Postprandial Blood Glucose

This entry is part 189 of 191 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

Quite some time ago I tested Keto Chow 1.5 and how it effects (my) blood glucose levels. Time to run the experiment again! This time I didn’t forget to not eat so I started with a clean sample. My first meal was at 11 am, with my previous meal 17 hours earlier at 6 pm (18:00). I also recorded my ketone levels, which were kinda sad at 0.5 both times I tested (but up from the previous day). I’m using a KetoMojo ketone/glucose tester which has ketone strips that only cost $1 (compared to $2-5 a test depending on which tester you get). The short version of the results is: there wasn’t any significant change in my blood glucose following meals of Keto Chow 2.0. I’m also not anemic and not Diabetic, at least when I’m consuming Keto Chow =) One other interesting thing to note is that my average (mean) blood glucose last time I tested like this was 94, this time it was 87. Cool beans.

Here is the data table for my tests.

Time Glucose mg/dL HCT % HB g/dL Ketones mmol/L
9:30 83 49 16.6 0.5
10:00 77 46 15.6
10:30 89 39 13.2
11:00 83 41 13.9
Consumed Chocolate Keto Chow
11:30 77 45 15.3
12:00 82 41 13.9
12:30 88 48 16.3
13:00 95 44 14.9
13:30 96 49 16.6
14:00 95 41 13.9
14:30 85 46 15.6 0.5
Consumed Chocolate Keto Chow
15:00 88 41 13.9
15:30 89 39 13.2
16:00 90 40 13.6
16:30 90 43 14.6
17:00 84 43 14.6

You can expect another test like this in a week or so regarding Keto Chow 2.1 and its effects on (my) glucose!

By | 2017-10-24T08:00:54+00:00 October 24th, 2017|Categories: Keto Chow|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

21 days progress with strict Keto: Awesome Sauce! (also 2 years since my last “cheat” meal)

This entry is part 156 of 191 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

As mentioned earlier, starting January 1, 2017, I committed to writing down everything I eat in Cron-o-meter before I eat it. Turns out this works quite well, which I already knew but somehow was ignoring and doing “lazy keto” for the last few months by only eating Keto Friendly food but not really tracking food closely. Yes, Jalapeño poppers are, generally, keto friendly – but if you eat 20 of them you’re going to go over your net carbs for the day. Anyhow, I’m doing great and still writing everything down. I’m also still lifting – today I’ll be squatting 90lbs, it’s starting to get harder =) A couple days ago I failed to notice it was the 2 year anniversary of the last time I had a “cheat” meal on January 21, 2015. Since then, I’ve only deliberately eaten non-keto food once: a bite of breaded fish in September 2015, spat it out. I expect that I’ll be living HFLC for the rest of my life, sounds fun.

“Cheating” on Keto is self-sabotage. Imagine you’re trying to climb a giant sand dune. It’s really hard to get up to the top (and you get sand in your shoes, guaranteed) but once you’re there, staying on the top is easy. It’s especially easy compared to the amount of effort required to get back on top if you decide to roll down to the bottom. Being fat adapted is very similar to this: you’ve worked so hard to get your body burning fat instead of glucose, why would you ruin months of work? My advice: embrace living keto, focus on the awesome foods you can enjoy, not the foods you choose not to eat (not “can’t eat”).

Here’s an updated weight log of my progress:

Calories consumed per day (I had a tummy ache on Jan 15, ended up fasting a bit over 2h hours):

Net carbs per day:

3 years of powdered food (“soylent”) – from People Chow to Keto Chow

This entry is part of 40 in the series DIY Soylent

On January 13, 2014 I did the first post on my blog about trying “soylent”. It corresponds to my first submission on Reddit (my reddit “cake day” is January 9, 2014 BTW).  The Image up top is of my very first batch of powdered food, People Chow 2.3.0 at the time (I still have all 3 of those blender bottles, used the yellow one yesterday). It’s been an interesting journey. You can read some of my earlier “in review” posts if you want the full story:

3 years ago I weighed 260lbs (I’m 5′ 13″), my low point was at 200 in October 2015. I slacked off and did “lazy keto” without tracking my intake, just sticking to low-carb foods, and you can see that on my graph:

 

Recently I re-committed to getting back on track for realsies. It’s a bit pathetic: I know exactly what I need to do to lose weight – it’s rather simple so I should just do it, which I am. Since January 1, 2017, I haven’t eaten anything until after I logged it in Cron-O-Meter. Unsurprisingly, it’s working quite well. Guess I should have read my own stuff =) I was at a post-new year’s high of 223.7 and now I’m at 215 after a week and a half.

You can expect to see my weight graph more frequently now as it goes down further (and I’m less ashamed of the trend =). So there you have it: 3 years of blogging about “Engineered Staple Food” aka “soylent” – this post is number 371.

Excellent, short, BBC documentary on low carb diets

This entry is part 148 of 191 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

Over the weekend, a link to an excellent documentary showed up on /r/keto. It’s really a good overview of a high fat, low carb diet with a decent amount of time spent showing how to do it effectively. They do an excellent job exploring the controversies too. I would absolutely recommend it for anyone wanting to know some of the quick details of keto (and it’ll be a good intro to the junk you’re going to hear from doctors and family when you start!). For those in the US: a “stone” is 14 lbs; for those elsewhere, it’s 6.35kg – they really like their archaic weight measurements!

I read through some of the comments, one thing that jumped out was his GP (primary care physician) told him she can’t say how this affected his liver and kidneys. Yeah, they have blood tests for that. I’ve gotten them. She’s hard to take serious saying things like that. She also recommended he do it for only 3 weeks. Today is my 3rd Halloween where I will not be eating any candy since I started keto 3 years ago just before Halloween. Doing it indefinitely is awesome!

Others noted that it’s ironic that all of the doctors they interviewed who advocate the government dietary guidelines are overweight and some are obese. Especially the guy in charge of the obesity clinic, if he can’t lose weight on the accepted low fat diet, how can they expect people to take their stance seriously?

I also loved this comment:

“What we are concerned about is the lack of substantial long-term evidence for it’s ease of use…”

The “ease of use” argument always gets me. The only reason you could consider a LCHF diet harder to follow is because of how everyone else eats. If we never had to go to work events, family events, or parties where there’s nothing but carbs and everyone questions our diet, it wouldn’t be hard at all! But some of these doctors/dietitians in here are saying that’s a reason to question the inherent effectiveness of the diet. Makes no sense.

If the youtube link stops working, you can also get it from here.

By | 2016-10-31T11:25:36+00:00 October 31st, 2016|Categories: Ketogenic, Weight Loss|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

NMR Cholesterol Blood Test Results: I’m still alive (what a relief!)

This entry is part 142 of 191 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

Several months ago I got a letter from my health insurance company telling me that they thought I should start taking statins.

Number A) That’s crazy!

Number B) No freaking way am I taking statins, given what I know about their side effects.

Number C) Are we looking at the same results? Because the ones I’m looking at are awesome.

It was time for me to go to my doctor and I had decided it was time to get either a VAP or an NMR Lipid Profile done. Why? LipoProtein particle count is important. Far more important than the density of the lipids within the protein so far as being an indicator of likely cardiovascular disease (CVD).

So I went to my doctor a few weeks ago, told him about the letter and told him I wanted to do an NMR or VAP. His initial response was “how on earth do you know what those are?” Next he pulled up my previous results and was rather confused since according to him my numbers were fine “are you sure they got the right person?” Anyway, he asked which one I wanted (NMR or VAP) – I wasn’t picky so I just said “Whichever one is more expensive.” I figure if they’re saying crazy stuff about me taking statins, they need to pay for it. So I got an NMR, the results took about 2 weeks to come back. Turns out that 2 years of a ketogenic diet is treating me just fine. So, let’s compare my “regular” lipid panel numbers!

March 2014 was 3 months after I started People Chow (high carb). January 2015 I was 3 months into keto. May 2015 I was 7 months into keto. September 2016 and I’m very close to 2 years of keto. I’m at less than half my previous triglyceride number, HDL continues to climb. Total Cholesterol and LDL are up as well but that’s why I wanted the NMR.

3/20/2014 1/6/2015 5/4/2015 9/8/2016 target
Cholesterol 142 135 161 174 0-200 mg/dL
Triglycerides 160 96 75 70 0-200 mg/dL
HDL Cholesterol 43 45 49 53 40-60 mg/dL
LDL (calculated) 67 71 97 107 0-160 mg/dL

lipid_graph

OK, now for the NMR numbers:

Test value target
LDL Particle Number by NMR 943 <1000
LDL Cholesterol 107 < 100
HDL Cholesterol 53 >39
HDL Particle Number 32.3 >=30.5
Small LDL Particle Number 212 <=527
LDL Particle Size 20.7 >20.5
Large VLDL Particle Number 1 <=2.7
Small LDL (Particle Number) 212 <=527
Large HDL Particle Number 3.3 >=4.8
VLDL Size 43.1 <=46.6
LDL Size 20.7 >=20.8
HDL Size 8.6 >=9.2
LP Insulin Resistance Score 46 <=45

Conclusion from my doctor? “Great on LDL number. Size is good. HDL is good, particle number is a little low but not alarming alone. Overall, I would NOT take a statin at this time. Insulin resistance is slightly elevated.” He’s talking about that last number. It’s a score LabCorp assigns based on a couple factors as explained in their test detail document:

Metabolic Syndrome Markers. Three parameters (average LDL size and pattern, large HDL particle number, and large VLDL particle number ) are reported that are closely associated with insulin resistance and increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Well yeah, Back 2 years ago I decidedly had metabolic syndrome and was well along the path of developing “type 2 diabetes mellitus” as they say. Not any more =)

On a final note, I used the numbers I got from this test to complete a “Healthy Living Assesment” for my health insurance (hey, $70 is $70!) the computer recommends I eat less fat to be more healthy. –SIGH–

By | 2017-01-10T09:20:29+00:00 September 21st, 2016|Categories: Ketogenic|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Why I make Keto Chow

This entry is part 140 of 191 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

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.

Awesome user success post from Reddit today

This entry is part 137 of 191 in the series Ketogenic Soylent

Just saw this posted over on /r/keto, thought you’d all enjoy seeing it (make sure you check out the photo gallery). 350 to 225lbs.

 

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