Advertisements

Archive for the ‘cooking’ Tag

To Supplement or Not to Supplement   Leave a comment

I get the question every now and again about what supplements I take on the ketogenic diet.  Which of course overlaps with the question of do you need to supplement on the ketogenic diet?  So I thought I’d take a moment to answer both for today’s blog.

The first one to answer is whether or not you need to supplement.  And the answer is no.   You don’t need to supplement.  The ketogenic diet will work without supplementing so you can’t really say it’s necessary.  Much like your car will continue to drive even if you don’t add a fuel cleaning additive to your tank when you fill up.  But your car can drive better if you do.  Similarly, you can operate better if you supplement.

So what should you supplement with if you’re going to supplement?  My list is pretty short, which isn’t surprising since I’ve already mentioned you can do without them.

First, a daily multivitamin is a good choice.   Your body requires a certain amount of vitamins and minerals to function properly.  While eating a proper ketogenic meal plan can include lots of dark leafy or cruciferous vegetables that will meet a lot of those needs, the reality is for many that we don’t get as much as we should.  And this can lead to deficiencies.  Taking a multivitamin every day helps ensure you are getting the proper amount.  While it’s always best to get these from whole food sources, it’s better to get them in a pill than not at all.

Second, while your body is turning itself into a fat burning machine it can struggle a little at first.  Energy demands can exceed your body’s ability to produce ketones. During that time it can be beneficial to supplement with exogenous ketones.  But I’d limit using them to the time while you’re adapting.  After all if you’re adding extra ketones into the system you lower the amount you need for your body to create.  And if the point of going on a ketogenic diet is to lose weight you should be encouraging your body to use its internal fat stores first, not exogenous one.  Having said that, from time to time when you need a little extra boost, exogenous ketones can offer that for you.  I just wouldn’t make a habit of using them.

Once you get the fatty acids flowing you need to get them into your cells to produce energy.  This is where L-Carnitine can be handy.  Your body produces a small amount of this transporter, but you can add more via supplementation.  As L-Carnitine helps shuttle fatty acid into the cells to create energy, supplementing with it can help you along on that goal.  As a reminder though you’ll burn fat either way so it isn’t a necessary supplement.  So if it isn’t in the budget I wouldn’t worry about it.

The last one I take and recommend is a vitamin D supplement.  Especially if you live in areas like the Pacific Northwest or Alaska where your sun exposure won’t be as great as if you lived in Florida or Hawaii.  Even if you live in those states, our lives are spent primarily indoors or behind protective glass like in your car.  As such you are likely deficient in this vitamin.  So I take a vitamin D supplement every other day to try to make up for that.  With a variety of health benefits, like bone density, sleep aid, and helps in weight loss it just doesn’t make sense to be deficient in it.

That’s it for whether to supplement or not.  This isn’t a list of all the supplements you could take, it’s just the list of the ones I do.  As a final word on the subject, keep in mind what the name implies.  A supplement shouldn’t be taken to handle all of a certain need.  A supplement should be an addition to a healthy diet and exercise plan.  If you’re relying totally on the supplements you should go back and fix your diet and exercise first.  I hope this helps and I hope you have a great day.  Peace.

Advertisements

01/14/19 Weigh-In   Leave a comment

Time for the weekly weigh in.  I noticed while looking back over the past few weeks I may have missed one or two.  I’m sorry for that.  You guys have been supportive of me on my journey and I want to keep you up to date as much as possible on it.  In the future I will endeavor to do better.  On to the numbers.

This week I weighed in at 262.6 pounds.  Last week I weighed in at 267.0 pounds for a total loss of 4.4 pounds.  Wow.  That’s quite a weekly drop.  Considering the up and down weigh ins over the past few weeks I’m hoping this means my body has figured things out and I’m back on track to losing consistently again.

My muscle mass was 28.6% this week, and 28.2% last week.  In pounds that’s 75.1 this week and 75.3 last week.  So a slight drop in muscle mass.  Which is somewhat expected considering the overall weight loss.

For body fat I am 34.9% this week and was 35.7% last week.  In pounds that’s 91.6 this week and 95.3 last week.  So 3.7 pounds of fat lost.  That’s a lot for one week.

Which brings me back to a concern I’ve had over the past few weeks as the scale has gone up and down.  I’m wondering if there isn’t something wrong with the scale.  I like the scale and all but if it isn’t giving accurate measurements week to week it isn’t of much use to me.  When I first started I got this one mainly because of the fact that it could handle my weight.  Most scales topped out at 350 pounds, just under what my actual weight turned out to be.  So I looked for a scale that could go up to 400 pounds, which I was sure I was under.  I’m going to keep an eye on things but if they seem to be off over the next few weigh ins I’ll consider getting a new scale.

I’ve been on vacation this week so I was worried about closing the rings on my Apple Watch.  Happy to say that concern was unwarranted.  I have closed all three rings every day this week.  And I accomplished that by getting in 3 exercise sessions a day.  Usually two walks and an extra more strenuous one like maybe jump roping.

Food wise I’m doing well.  When I fast I don’t feel hungry.  I’ve increased my water intake which has helped a lot.  Feel much better.  I also have made sure to keep up better on my electrolytes.

Meditation wise is pretty much the usual story.  Slow but sure improvements mainly in quality.  The effect on my mood has been noticeable.  Of course that could also be due to being on vacation.

I’ve put in for a few more jobs.  I’ve moved forward with the dispatcher job but haven’t heard back yet on the others.

All in all it’s been a great week.  I have most of this week off before having to return to work.  It’s getting closer to decision making time on when my exact last day will be.  I’ve found out on the dispatch job the interview period will be close to the end of the month so I’ve considered working one more full pay period at my current job so I’m not left in a lurch.  Also that gives me a little time to talk to people here who work for companies I’ve applied for to see what’s going on with my application or how I might improve my odds of getting jobs with them.  But one way or another I’ll be moving on to greener pastures soon.

That wraps it up for this weeks update.  I hope you’re having a great day and I’ll see you next week for the next update and tomorrow for the next blog.  Peace.

Is This Or That Food Keto?   Leave a comment

One of the questions I get the most by people considering going on the ketogenic diet is if certain foods are keto or not.  The reason being of course that they’re concerned about what they will have to give up.  The problem is the answer will always be the same, no matter what food they mention.  And the answer is no.

That’s because no food is ketogenic.  There isn’t some magical keto ambrosia out there that will instantly make you the Greek god of ketosis.  There isn’t a food out there that will put you into ketosis just by eating it. That’s not how the ketogenic diet works.  Ketogenic is an overall principle or lifestyle choice.

When you eat a diet that is high in fats, moderate in proteins, and very low carb you enter the state of ketosis.  While there are foods that are certainly more friendly to a state of ketosis, and conversely ones that are very averse to ketosis, any food can be included in the ketogenic diet within certain boundaries.

I’ll give an example.  Tonight for dinner my Dad made a pot roast with potatoes and carrots.  Now the pot roast of course is very ketosis friendly.  High in fat, moderate protein, and no carbs.  The carrots are in the middle.  In small quantities they won’t hurt your state of ketosis.  The potatoes on the other hand are not ketosis friendly.  High carb (as vegetables go), low protien, and no fat.  Having said that I could have had a small bite or two of potatoes and been fine.

So make your decisions.  Ketosis unfriendly foods in very small amounts won’t take you out of ketosis.  But where’s the line between being in and out of ketosis?  And if you have that small bite, will the small bite be enough?  Or will you indulge?  If it’s in the middle, like say a Halo Top Ice Cream, than sure, give yourself a treat, but keep it in moderation.  And of course if the food is ketosis friendly you can eat away, just don’t exceed your caloric needs for the day.  And that’s the answer to “is this or that food keto?”  Have a great day.

New Video Up On YouTube   Leave a comment

This is a review of Keto Meal replacement shake by American Metabolix.  Sometimes life gets busy, or maybe you’re on the road or away from home, and you just don’t have the time or ability to make yourself a full keto friendly meal.  So what do you do?  Well American Metabolix has the answer for you.  Have a quick, easy to prepare, and delicious Keto Meal shake.  While this video is specific to the Vanilla Cake flavor, they do also offer Blueberry Cheesecake (which I’ve tried and love) as well as chocolate (which I’ve not tried personally but considering how well the two I’ve tried taste I’m sure it’s pretty good too).  Links to the products mentioned in the video, and to one of my favorite sources of information on all things keto, Logan Delgado (aka Goody Beats), are included on the YouTube page in the description.  If you try it, let me know what you think in the comments here or on YouTube.  If you check out Logan’s social media let me know what you think about him as well.  He’s a great guy and I’m sure you’ll want to follow him too.  Have a great day.

Ready Made Keto   Leave a comment

Ok, so I’m not really that great a cook.  I usually do easy stuff like Brussels sprouts with bacon on top in the oven, or really easy like salami with cream cheese.  I know how to cook eggs and can make simple keto stir fries.  Sometimes though you just want a tasty meal that doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part.  So I’m putting together a list of ready-made keto meals.

The first on the list is Sated (www.sated.com).   Sated is a meal replacement drink that’s designed around the macros of the ketogenic diet.  It comes in two varieties, Sucralose sweetened, and naturally sweetened using Ethyritol, stevia, and monk fruit.  The sucralose variety comes in chocolate and vanilla flavor.  The naturally sweetened is available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.  All the flavors taste good and are easy to mix.  When I ordered for the first time they had a starter kit that included a Blender Bottle with it, but that option doesn’t appear available anymore.  I’m guessing any shaker bottle that can hold 20 oz will do.  To mix you include one scoop of oil and one scoop of powder with 12 oz of water and then shake away.  If you buy using one time purchase the box will cost you $90, which may seem like a lot until you consider that it’s 30 servings of a 400 calorie keto meal.  So $3 for each meal is actually quite reasonable.  However, you can shave $18 off the price by opting for the monthly subscription.  The customer service is top-notch (I had a bottle of oil with a broken seal so a bunch leaked out, four days later I was holding a new bottle at no extra cost and I didn’t even have to ship back the old bottle) and they will soon be offering ready-made drink cartons.  On a side note if you order Vanilla it’s easy to add flavoring like cinnamon or pumpkin spice to mix it up a bit.

My second option is also a meal replacement shake.  This one is made by American Metabolix (https://americanmetabolix.com).  They offer a variety of keto friendly products but their Keto Meal keto shakes are the ones I’m talking about today.  Same as Sated, the shake’s macros are aimed at the ketogenic diet ratios.  The available flavors right now are Vanilla Cake and Chocolate.  They just demoed two new flavors for pre-order, Blueberry Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Cookie, but they are currently out of stock and I don’t know for sure they will be available again.  I’ve only tried the Vanilla Cake, although I did order the Blueberry Cheesecake.  The Vanilla Cake is good, but I do like the Sated Vanilla better.  You get 40 servings per tub of Keto Meal but the servings are only 210 calories, half of a Sated serving.  The cost per tub is $79.99, but if you subscribe monthly you get a discount (10% off).  Where Keto Meal has it over Sated is it’s easier to mix.  With Sated you have to add the oil, which is an extra step.  And if you get clumsy, a very messy step.  With Keto Meal it’s just the powder.  This makes it quicker to make, plus you can take it with you by putting a scoop of powder in a Ziploc bag.  You can’t do that with the Sated. Also, I think that the Keto Meal mixes better.

The third option is the priciest, but you’re getting actual meals out of it.  And it has the greatest variety.  It’s called KetoFridge (https://www.ketofridge.com).  This one is a meal prep service.  They offer a weekly rotating menu of keto approved foods to choose from.  The minimum order is $69, which is easy to get to quickly.  Some meals, like the keto pizzas they offer, will give you enough for two portions, but most are designed around a single serving.  They’re easy to reheat in the microwave or oven and taste oh so delicious.  I’ve not had anything yet from them I didn’t like.  My favorite dinner is the pepperoni pizza.   My overall favorite though are their blueberry scones.  The weekly selection is rather large so I won’t be able to list it all, you’ll have to go to the website to check it out yourself.  Plus, as the menu does rotate anything I mention here could be gone later.  They do also carry pre-made drinks and desserts from Leopard Spotted Hippo.  They are tasty, but not cheap.  I usually order a few items once a month as a treat for myself.  The catch is that you have to eat most of it up within a week of receiving it so only order it if you’re planning on using it the following week.  They do not offer a subscription service and they don’t usually offer a discount.  But still a good company to deal with.

That’s it for this list.  Although there are just 3 overall options listed, between the three you’re looking at a lot of meals that won’t require much of any cooking skills on your part.  If you do decide to try them please leave a comment letting me know what you think of them.  This wraps up today’s post and I hope you’re having a great day.

Your Great Experiment   Leave a comment

I was talking today with a coworker about the ketogenic diet.  She was interested in knowing what I was doing to lose so much weight since the beginning of the year.  And I didn’t mind sharing.  In fact, I’d say that the problem tends to be getting me to shut up after I get started talking about keto.

As much as I love keto and as much success as I’ve had with it, though, I always try to remember to share that not every diet will work the same for everyone.  And I think that’s a good thing for everyone to remember for a great many things in life.

When I first tried losing weight a long while ago I tried simple calorie restriction.  It’s worked for many a person, but not for me.  I lost a little weight at first but after a short while my body just adapted to the lower calories by slowing down my metabolism.  I was tired and cranky all the time.  My cravings went up, and soon enough I just broke and went back to eating what I used to, and lots of it because I was starving.

I tried creating a caloric deficit from the other side of the equation, increasing the calories I burned each day via more exercise.  Again, I lost a bit up front, but then I just started feeling hungrier all the time and eventually broke again.  And I felt terrible to boot as I know that lots of people have lost weight this way.  So what was wrong with me?

Over the years I tinkered with lowering calories and increasing caloric burn in shifting amounts but it all wound up right back reaching the point where I lost the willpower to keep at it.  So eventually I just gave up trying for a while.

Then a few years ago my friend wanted to try the Whole 30 plan.  She felt it would be easier if she had an accountability buddy to do it with her and asked me if I would go Whole 30, too.  I got a copy of the book “It Starts With Food” by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig.  I liked the premise of it and felt it was something I could stick to for 30 days, especially if my motivation was to help a friend.  So I told her I’d be happy to try it.  I dropped a lot of weight quickly and was really happy with the results.  I felt better and had way more energy.  It’s a great diet plan that has worked for a lot of people.  I highly recommend it and have included an affiliate link to the book below (just click the pic).

The problem came after the 30 days was over.  If I had continued to follow the Whole 30 eating plan I have no doubt I’d have continued to lose weight.  The worst mistake I made was after the 30 days was up I decided to reward my willpower with a mocha, as I couldn’t have one for the last 30 days.  It seemed innocent enough.  After all one mocha wouldn’t erase all the success I just had.  And it’s true, that one mocha didn’t.  But the mocha I had a few days later, and the trip to Dairy Queen I justified using the same “just one” principle, plus other justifications slowly led me back to my old habits.  So the diet was great, my desire to stick to it wasn’t.  The only difference was instead of reaching a breaking point where my will just snapped, it was more a slow downhill slope that eventually created enough momentum to knock my willpower out.

This brings us to January 1st of this year.  I started the keto diet.  Like with the Whole 30 I wanted to be prepared by studying up on it.  So I purchased a copy of “The Ketogenic Bible” by Jacob Wilson and Ryan Lowery (there’s also an affiliate link for it, just click the pic).  And I started doing research online, including following people on YouTube who were living the keto lifestyle.  And a friend of mine had great success with it so I was really excited to see what it held in store for me.

The best part was that I knew I wouldn’t fall into the same trap I had with Whole 30.  Although I do enjoy one day off from keto a month, I knew the rest of the month I needed to be strictly keto.  Unlike the Whole 30 where one mocha wouldn’t wipe out all the rest of the proper eating I was doing, one mocha on keto stops the diet in its tracks.  Doing that for one day a month is ok because it won’t override the other 29 days of staying keto.  But it’s definitely knocking you out of ketosis on the day you do it.  A day of fasting after my day off and I’m quickly back in the game.

And it’s worked.  I’ve steadily lost weight on keto.  Sure, there have been a couple of upswings in weight since the beginning of the year, but I’ve still managed to lose a lot of weight.  Because I’ve stuck with it.  I’ve found what works for me.  I clearly needed the disciplined nature of keto so I couldn’t allow myself to make excuses.

Which is why I titled this post “Your Great Experiment.”  Not every diet your friends have had amazing success on will work for you.  Or the supplements that your friend has taken that increased her endurance while running may not move the needle for you at all.  Or running itself may be a terrible exercise choice for you.

The thing to keep in mind is, just because one thing didn’t work for you, doesn’t mean you’re destined to fail at all things.  Thomas Edison famously stated that he didn’t fail 10,000 times developing the lightbulb, instead he discovered 10,000 ways not to make a lightbulb.  He experimented with a lot of different methods and one finally paid off.

So treat your life like a great experiment to find your best version.  Try this, that, or the other.  Figure out what works, and keep it.  Find out what doesn’t work, and discard it.  But keep running the experiment every day.  Eventually by implementing all the things that work, while not wasting time on the things that don’t, you’ll arrive at your best version of yourself.

Was I happy I had failed so many times before?  Of course not.  But I kept running the experiment and eventually found what works for me.  And now I keep running the experiment by continuing with keto while trying new things like meditation (it works and I’m keeping it) and supplements (a lot don’t work so I don’t waste my money on them, but a few have shown promise).  And I’ll continue to run my experiment until my final day so that when my time comes to an end I’ll leave with a smile knowing I’ve done everything I could to be my best version.  Have a great day.

Not Being Hungry Anymore   Leave a comment

If I had to share what I think is the biggest benefit of keto with you, surprisingly I wouldn’t say the easy weight loss.  It tends to be the reason most people do.  They have pounds to lose, usually a lot of pounds to lose, and they’ve heard about how successful people have been dropping those pounds on keto.  It’s the original reason I started.

But having been on the diet for well over a half a year now I’d say the number one benefit is not being hungry anymore.  I used to be a slave to my hunger, now I’m not.  How did this play out in every day life?

Well before on a glucose based diet I couldn’t go very long without getting hungry.  And the longer I went being hungry the worse my food choices would be when I got a chance to eat.  As an example, if I got hungry at work I’d have a certain period of time before I could do anything about it.  On my job I can’t just stop doing what I am doing and go get something to eat.  I have to wait until the next break or possibly after work to get something. After work being the worst case scenario.  If I got hungry an hour or two before work ended I’d be spending from that moment forward until I got in my car wanting food.  What’s the quickest way to fix that problem once I was off the clock heading home?  Stop at a drive thru.  And of course at that point I wasn’t thinking about what would be the healthiest way to deal with these hunger pangs.  I wanted easy carbs and I wanted them now.

This is what led me to gain all that weight.  The quickest and easiest ready to go carbs, that travel well, all tend to be bad for you.  And making it worse is the fact that these carbs don’t keep you sated for long so the cycle begins again.

Now I’m keto.  Things are totally different.  If I look back at the times since the beginning of the year when I was hungry they all revolve around the times when I was back on carbs.  Mainly my week off I just took, or my regular, monthly day off from keto.  Other then that I just don’t feel hungry.  Ever.

Using the work example, as I don’t ever feel hungry I’m not experiencing cravings on the way home.  So it’s easy to make it back to my house to cook a proper meal.  A meal I’m cooking not in response to a craving but because I know it’s time to nourish my body.  And when you’re making your meals revolve around nourishing your body, not stopping your cravings, you make better choices about what you eat.  The better you choices, the better your body.  This creates a cycle, too, it’s just a good one to be caught up in.

This is a very important point to bring up about the keto diet, or what I prefer to think of as the keto lifestyle.  A lot of people associate it with weight loss.  And certainly it’s great for that.  My monthly average weight loss from when I started is still nearly 10 pounds a month.  But if you associate keto with just weight loss it’s easy to assume that once you’ve lost all your weight there’s no longer any benefit to being in ketosis anymore.  And that’s simply not true.

So even if you have low body fat, or even ultra low body fat, if not being a slave to hunger and having hunger pangs all day is a good thing in your book you should try the ketogenic lifestyle.  Not having hunger pangs all day also adds other benefits to your life.  When you’re not focused on how hungry your belly is you can spend that time focusing on other things.  Also, the main reason you don’t have the hunger pangs anymore is you have plenty of energy already.  Hunger is your bodies way to tell you it needs more energy.  Fasting is also way easier when you naturally don’t feel hunger pangs.  I’ll cover all of these in greater detail over the next few blogs.  That’s it for now.  Hope you’re having a great day and take care until next time.