User Experiences

/Tag: User Experiences

Using Keto Chow while camping, hiking, traveling, etc…

I have people asking for solutions they can use for doing keto while camping, hiking, staying in a hotel (with or without refrigeration), or otherwise traveling. I thought I’d share some of my recent experience. The headline image above is from when I was making Keto Chow for 2 of my kids and my wife.

July 2018 has been a little crazy for me; with Keto Con, a 4 day-30 mile hike, family vacation, scout camp, Ketofest, and Low Carb USA all strung together. Particularly challenging was the hike, and later the scout camp with my oldest son since I wouldn’t have any refrigeration nor anything resembling a kitchen. The camp also wanted $6 a meal for amazing dishes like spaghetti, or grilled cheese sandwiches. My plan for the days I would be at camp was to bring:

They did have lots of clean, cold, mountain spring water available. The basic routine every meal went like this:

  1. I would grab my dry blender bottle.
  2. I’d put in the amount of avocado oil I wanted, it was marked on the side of the blender bottle with a marker to make measuring super easy.
  3. Add a scoop of Keto Chow powder.
  4. Add the water.
  5. Shake it up – from step 3 to step 5 you want to minimize time as much as possible to avoid clumps, try to hit fewer than 5 seconds.
  6. Go help some kid with something for 5 minutes (this lets the protein dissolve more so it’s not gritty).
  7. Drink
  8. Use the soap, water, and bottle brush to wash out the bottle – this is easier with hot water but I’ve used cold without problems.
  9. Leave the lid off and let the bottle dry.
  10. You’re ready for the next meal.

In the cases that I had access to refrigeration, using heavy cream was also an option instead of avocado oil. That entire sequence (steps 1-10) only takes maybe 5 minutes, not counting however long you take to drink the meal and it’s super handy when it’s raining but you already have your Keto Chow in your tent with you

So, there you go – a week’s worth of Keto Chow weighs around 1000g with 21 meals worth of avocado oil clocking in around 2000g (about a half gallon worth). Provided you have access to water, you can stick to a strict Ketogenic diet easily (oh and depending on the flavor you get, your net carbs for the DAY will be around 1.5-4g (more for chocolate compared to salted caramel and the others).

By |2018-07-31T11:57:39+00:00July 31st, 2018|Categories: Keto Chow, On Tour|Tags: , , , , , , , |1 Comment

Freestyle Libre Continuous* Glucose Monitor

To start, let me preface this with: I do not have Diabetes, either type 1 or 2. I did have “metabolic syndrome” before I started Keto 3 years ago but my glucose levels were always fine. I didn’t ever get my fasting insulin tested back then but I can only assume I was on the way to becoming a type 2 with higher than optimal insulin levels.

Anyhow…

Some months ago, there was a thread on a local Utah keto group that caught my interest. A lady was talking about how cool it is that her “Helo LX” watch claims to have support for measuring glucose “coming soon” (as of this writing, it’s been coming soon for a year and there’s no indication it will ever come since it’s not possible to do). That got me started down a bit of a rabbit hole. Another user on the group mentioned he had an actual CGM that was relatively cheap. I’m a bit obsessed with instrumentation so I asked what his setup was. Turns out he was using a new type of glucose monitor that can be adapted to serve as a “continuous” glucose monitor for about $75 a month, with or without insurance.

It may be helpful to check out Nerdabetic’s video playlist about the Freestyle Libre to get you introduced to all this craziness. Done? OK let’s go!

Abbott (the manufacturer of the Freestyle Libre) has a program in place that gives a $35 discount (the same you get with insurance) for people without insurance and it is possible to get Group #, BIN, and Member ID# codes that can be used as secondary insurance on top of your insurance (or get a free prescription discount card from www.Familywize.org or similar). The default price for a 3 pack of sensors is $110. Insurance brings that down to $75, though there are apparently ways to get that down even lower (top comment). If you happen to already have a Dexcom, Abbott will give you the libre reader and sensors for free.

*The Freestyle Libre differs from true continuous monitors (and likely circumvents a bunch of patents) by making you tap a reader device to the sensor in order to gather data via NFC, It’s a bit like paying using your phone. You tap and get the last 8 hours of readings. The official Libre reader device costs another $100 or so  and for my usage is only useful for starting up the sensors. Here in the U.S. There are some interesting limitations to the Libre sensors (that only apply if you use the official reader):

  1. After starting a sensor, it won’t give you data for 12 hours. Abbott recommends starting a new sensor before the old one expires…
  2. In the U.S. sensors only work for 10 days. Everywhere else they work for 14 days, meaning you can go for 4 weeks on 2 sensors instead of 3 sensors. If you use a 3rd party app, it’ll also work for 14 days.

There are several phone apps (mostly Android) that can talk directly to the NFC tag on the Libre sensor, making the official hardware reader almost unnecessary. You can initialize the sensor using an Android app called “Glimp S” – but the NFC hardware in my Pixel device has weirdness so I just use the Libre reader for that one thing. I don’t know if there are any iOS apps that can start a sensor, I’m guessing not without additional hardware.

Here’s what I did:

  1. First I had to convince a doctor to write a prescription for one. In the United States, they’re only available with a prescription. I made an appointment with my doctor, and when I told him I wanted one he was a bit baffled as to why I wanted one. I didn’t want to get into my history of n=1 experiments but he thankfully decided to go for it. Ultimately my history (pre-keto) of having “metabolic syndrome” was sufficient for the script for the Freestyle Libre.
  2. I started using Glimp and direct NFC but I had to reboot my phone every time I wanted to get data off the Libre.
  3. I ordered a Blucon Nightrider that takes the NFC data and sends it over BlueTooth every 5 minutes. It’s apparently compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Soon there will be similar devices like the T-mini (Poland) and MiaoMiao (China).
  4. I’m using xDrip+ to pull data from the Blucon > Libre. iOS users should check out Spike.
  5. I ordered an arm-band holder for the Blucon so I could keep it in place during the day
  6. When you start up a sensor and are using xDrip or one of the other apps, you have to add some blood glucose calibration points. I use my trusty KetoMojo for that. As time goes on, it’s a good idea to add new ones every few days. Below are some examples of: sensor is a few days old, shows 48 blood glucose. I added a calibration point and it shifted the readings up to 89. A few hours later I added another one and it was already right-on at 92.

So now we come back to my doctor’s question of why I’m doing this. Well, #1 it’s interesting to see how my blood glucose reacts to food and activity. For the most part my readings are really stable because I stay pretty strict with eating keto. #2 reason is that I’m planning on incorporating the data into future n=1 experiments. Should you get one yourself if you’re not diabetic? Probably not, unless you’re crazy like me.

By |2018-07-03T16:04:39+00:00July 3rd, 2018|Categories: Ketogenic|Tags: , |2 Comments

5 days, 3 podcast appearances

This entry is part 202 of 203 in the series Ketogenic Diet

It’s been a bit of a fun week. On Sunday, Keto Connect posted their Keto For Normies episode interviewing Chris and Miriam. On Tuesday, Jimmy Moore posted a Livin La Vida Low Carb podcast with Chris. On Thursday, Daisy Brackenhall posted a Keto Woman Podcast episode with Miriam. Some of the podcasts were recorded several weeks ago, it was just a big coincidence that they all went live at (almost) the same time. For those wondering: we don’t have any new appearances scheduled but we’re happy to come on your podcast if you’d like =)

All I can say: I’m so glad we already had Keto Chow 2.1 in stock before the episodes went up! =)

By |2018-04-20T09:06:56+00:00April 20th, 2018|Categories: Keto Chow, Site or Store Stuff|Tags: , , |0 Comments

A Keto family vacation

We recently did a family vacation down to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. When planning it, we decided to do all keto food for all 10 people going. It actually turned out really well and allowed a few of our children who hadn’t ever tried doing keto an opportunity to give it a try. Sadly they’ve gone back to eating carbs away from home but at least they recognized how crummy they felt eating candy the first time after the trip.

We rented a house (because frankly, it was cheaper than getting 3 rooms at a hotel, more comfortable, and overall better!). The kitchen was quite nice and there were enough beds for everyone that wanted their own bed could have one.

Our staples on the trip included:

  • Heavy Whipping Cream – mostly for making Keto Chow but we also used it to cover keto pancakes.
  • Costco rotisserie chicken breast – makes the chicken salad really easy, just add mayo and other seasonings.
  • Keto Chow – perfect for drinking while driving!
  • Far too many almonds.
  • Low carb tortillas from Sams Club – they’re 5g of net carbs each so I didn’t eat them frequently but for little kids they’re perfect.
  • Carb Control yogurt from Kroger – also 5g of net carbs, not the end of the world but you don’t want them all the time
  • Eggs – with 10 people we went through almost 9 dozen Xlarge eggs.
  • Cream cheese – for the tortillas and to make keto pancakes
  • Sugar-Free syrup.

FYI: the recipe for the keto pancakes is silly easy – 8 ounces of cream cheese + 8 eggs in a blender. Blend. Cook. Done.

Drag around, it’s a 360 photo:

By |2018-04-13T11:56:13+00:00April 13th, 2018|Categories: Keto Chow, Ketogenic, On Tour|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

“Flavor” of the Week March 26-April 1: 10% off sale on all flavors of 2.0 samples

This week’s a bit odd but we’re going to do it anyway. For the next week, you can get 10% off the single meal “sample” size of all the flavors. Unlike most of the “Flavor of the week” sales, this one I actually can show a “you got 10% off” message in the cart, it’ll be nice to not have to answer that question for a week =)

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

I love ordering Keto Chow, I’m kept up to date on every step of my order and they ship lightning fast. Everything is always packed safely and arrives in perfect condition.

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. This review actually comes from Facebook:

I’m not on a keto diet, at least not yet. Rather, I wanted something convenient that would also be filling while I attempt to keep my blood sugar under control and not antagonize issues I have after losing my gallbladder. And it had to be non-tortuous to consume. Not a simple task. In the search for a meal replacement shake that could help me, I discovered Keto Chow. I ordered some sample packs to try and I was more that surprised…

Keto Chow, as it turns out, checks all my boxes.

I can prep it the night before and it’s ready for when I need it, which is great. The flavor gets better and doesn’t suffer, like some other shakes, with that time to sit. But if I’m in a rush, letting it sit for a half hour works. You do have to let it sit for optimal flavor, but that’s not hard.
I feel full after consuming it for a substantial amount of time afterwards, which keeps me from snacking on things that otherwise goof me up.
My blood sugar is freakin’ stable! (HUZZAH!)

And, in regards to not having a gallbladder and little TMI — I have dumping syndrome. But I’m free of having to be near a bathroom when I eat Keto Chow. Yes, even with the high fat content from the heavy cream. I can’t guess how other people who lack a gallbladder and have this issue will respond, but I get dumping syndrome mostly from sugars/carbs, seemingly not solely fat content. I think Keto Chow’s protein content and use of Acacia Gum for fiber all works for me here but this is anecdotal theory. I have had other shakes that send me over the edge and into a deep state of regret 30 minutes post consumption. Keto Chow had no such issues, even when I drank two meals in a day. Keto Chow for the win.

Over my little trial period with Keto Chow I had some initial issues with how delicious it is. I eat when I’m hungry, not to snack, so it’s exceptionally deceiving to me that I’m actually not drinking a milkshake or other goodie. It took me awhile to kind of ‘trust’ it wasn’t going to put me in danger of adopting another chin, entering a diabetic coma, or having an Al Roker In The White House level incident.

Frankly, eating Keto Chow can feel like borderline gluttony and that I’m getting away with something, which is pretty humorous.

I highly advise trying the flavors first. I found some flavors to be more to my liking than I thought I would. Now I’m excited to try the other flavors coming out, too, and buy a larger quantity to keep stocked up on this.

To the people at Keto Chow — just keep up the good work. This is a delicious product and it’s really a convenient meal replacement. This works for so much more than just strict keto, in part because it’s well made and yummy.

By |2018-03-26T06:09:46+00:00March 26th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

KetoFest 2018 – Coming up this July in Connecticut

Richard and Carl of the “2 Keto Dudes” Podcast hosted a really great keto conference last year (which we attended) nearby Carl’s home in New London, Connecticut. They’re planning on doing it again this year on July 20-22 – but it will only happen if enough people sign up for the Kickstarter to make it happen. They’re at 66% of their goal with 11 days left.

If you are near that area and want to attend (or you’re like us and are planning on attending, despite living on the other side of the country) please check out their campaign. There are only 15 of the “VIP Party” slots left – we missed out on that last year; we’re stoked to be going this time.

We’re also going to be at KetoCon in Austin, Texas – June 15-17 if that’s close to home for you.

By |2018-03-20T10:04:36+00:00March 20th, 2018|Categories: Ketogenic|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Chris on the FanPress podcast – the history of Keto Chow, nutrition, and more

This entry is part 197 of 203 in the series Ketogenic Diet

This podcast was recorded a while ago (January 28, 2018 to be specific), took Steve a while to get it posted – probably because it went kinda REALLY long. I have to say: this is by far one of my favorite podcast interviews so far. Steve let me (over) indulge myself and give a rather complete history of Keto Chow and my journey thus far. It was also nice to be talking to someone who really likes what I’m doing. I just checked my email and I have one from him way back from May 2015! This one will be tough to beat. It goes on rather long at nearly an hour and a half but if you’re up for it, I recommend checking it out!

http://fanpress.co/show3/

Keto Chow at the Low Carb Breckenridge 2018 Conference

This entry is part 193 of 203 in the series Ketogenic Diet

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:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/tvZBAtxJoqfjR8qH3

I had a chance to do a “5 Minutes of Fame” quick presentation about my most recent experiment – ended up at 2:47 which left extra time for Siobhan Huggins to go 6:57 =)

Clinging with all their might

This entry is part 192 of 203 in the series Ketogenic Diet

OK, so I recently did an experiment where I consumed the same 2000 kCal a day for 6 weeks. I was messing around with the source of the bulk of those calories, mostly using different fats but the final week I substituted out all of the saturated fat I ate the week prior, and instead ate candy. Remember – still the same 2000 calories. I had been losing weight pretty consistently the 5 weeks I was living on fat. I gained weight the week I was eating the same 2000 calories from carbohydrates. It’s all documented ad nauseum on the experiment page, with data, graphs, DEXA scans, and more. I posted about it on reddit and have gotten some rather interesting comments from people who insist that the type of calorie is irrelevant and the only cause for weight gain is eating too many calories and not exercising enough. I’m rather forthcoming with my views on the subject (I think sugar is fattening and fat is not).

Today I got the best one yet. I said:

It’s like saying “Bill Gates is rich because he saves more money than he spends” or “The room is crowded because more people entered than left”. Sounds rather silly right? That’s because it’s the EFFECT and not the CAUSE.

To which they replied:

Bill gates isn’t rich because he saves more money than he spends. He’s rich because he takes in more money than he spends… which sounds an awful lot like calories in calories out.

Wait…. what? I’ve never had anybody actually think that “he makes money” is the CAUSE and REASON Bill is rich (as opposed to his ruthless business acumen and the lucky break he got with licensing QDOS, among other things) but if that’s what someone wants to believe, that’s what they want to believe.

By |2018-02-26T15:37:14+00:00February 26th, 2018|Categories: Keto Chow|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Results and conclusions from 6 week fat experiment (42 days of Keto Chow)

This entry is part 44 of 44 in the series 42 days of Keto Chow Experiment

I have my analysis done on the data from my 6-week experiment doing Keto Chow for all my meals and swapping out different types of fats to see how they impact my lipid panels. It’s all chronicled over on the page about the experiment, along with an extensive array of graphs and other fun stuff.

I also proved that at least in me: eating 2000 calories a day of mostly fat with some protein I’ll lose weight. Switch that to 2000 calories of mostly carbohydrates with a little fat and the same amount of protein (and again, the same 2000 calories), I will gain weight.

Fun stuff!

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