Diet Fail 2019 – Day 5: What I’m Eating and How I Smell

So another day has passed and I’m still at it. Whoo!

Ketones measured by the meter are at 1.0 in the AM. They usually climb to their highest by late afternoon. My Blood glucose was 116 – down by 10 points from yesterday morn.

I’m not really enjoying it though. I had been going great guns at keto during the summer. I lost about 20 lbs., but then I took a new job that I really like, but it is all-consuming. There’s just so much interesting work to do! Even given it has been a good experience, there was an upsurge in stress and this (mostly) was dealt with through food. Bad food. I find nothing can calm the soul better than 2 slices of pepperoni pizza from a local place that knows how to make pizza – not this Domino’s crap or the other chain faux pizza. Adding bread back into my diet also stimulated the dopamine I craved to battle jangly nerves. I’m not a sweets person – my problem is burgers, sandwiches, and pizza. There was also red wine mixed in there as well.

The problem with this way of eating for me is that I become ravenous. I am hungry even when uncomfortably full. There’s biochemical reasons for this – a bunch of ’em – but I won’t go there now. At present, all that needs to be known is when I eat like I want to, the weight piles on, my appetite goes through the roof, and I am one fat, sluggish, cloudy-headed dork.

That sucks. You only live once and for me, the evidence is clear: I can’t eat as I’d like because I’d like to eat crap every meal, every day. I also don’t have a well-developed ability for ‘moderation’, which many do and they helpfully try recommending it – but it is not in my DNA.

So here I am doing keto. There’s worse ways to go through one’s life, I suppose, but it still sucks. I am also not a big fan of trying to make concoctions to simulate high-carb foods. If I hit the lottery and could hire a personal chef, then perhaps it would be an option, but I’m not someone who looks forward to cooking so my meals tend to be simple and austere.

My meals don’t follow a schedule as I eat when hungry and our family does not adhere to formal mealtimes. I eat when hungry and, at least at present, don’t measure things. Right now I’m just starting to dial-in the foods I need to eat and the quantities. Baby steps.

So what have I been eating to get into ketosis fast? My first goto was an old trick: deli roast beef wrapped around a third of a stick of butter. This is pretty radical, but when I do this early on, I very quickly go into ketosis. I also notice that cravings go away in 72-hours – at least the physical aspect. the psychological aspect still remains. I still miss cigarettes every day and I stopped last decade.

This is making me a bit mopey.

Have you noticed yet that I’m not the most motivational of diet blogs? Where’s that cheery, peppy, positive vibe, dude? Sorry – you ain’t gonna find it here – at least now.

Other things I’ve allowed myself is tuna salad made with avocado mayo that costs a king’s ransom. I ate it on pork rinds. Pork rinds are NOT a particularly quality food as I’ve read the proteins are damaged and can’t really count toward your necessary protein intake, but they do have a cracker crunch available nowhere else in the keto universe – at least not without some kitchen magic or costly store-bought substitutes. You can get a big’ol bag of the stuff at Walmart for two bucks.

I’ve also eaten hot dogs wrapped in a slice of cheese with mustard. I’ve eaten the magic yogurt with inulin that I make myself. I also oven cooked chicken thighs with oil and seasonings and ate this with melted provolone cheese as well as topped with cream cheese. I’ve also made burgers and had them on a slice of cheese without ketchup. Not doing ketchup really sucks. There’s stupid-expensive ‘Primal Kitchen’ ketchup I simply don’t have the heart nor budget to buy. As part of my diet I also try to eliminate all artificial sweeteners – again, I got my reasons but don’t feel like explaining now.

I allow myself small amounts of real sugar as I will eat Ghiradelli 92% Dark Chocolate as my only sweet. Think of it as a palate cleanser more than anything as I will only have a few squares at most in the evening.

For drinks, I am fond of coffee with cream – perhaps too much as I can drink a pot, a Trader Joe’s Turmeric and Ginger Tea that can soothe a stomach that just drank a pot of coffee, and Trader Joe’s seltzer.

This isn’t sustainable. There was no mention of vegetables and I *am* fond of them. Some people believe they are good for you, too. I need to cook more and plan more. hopefully that will start next week as I let the ketones do their appetite killing work and my brain fog lifts. I mean , last night I actually found myself motivated to tackle a few projects I’ve been putting off. I resisted the urge, but *did* find myself tackling some tasks rather than avoiding them.

By the second day, my Tums addiction disappeared as my chronic indigestion went away. That always happens, too.

I also noticed that it was late in the afternoon when I asked myself: did I eat today?

Forgetting to eat is one effect of my body running on ketones

This is the magic of ketogenic living for me.

Not so magical is the stench I give off the first few days. Day 2 and 3 I smelled pretty ripe. This has been a standard side effect of going into ketosis for me (which I have done a hundred times since 2003). It lasts a few days, I do not know the reason why, but it does subside. I’m much less odoriferous now.

TMI? Remember – I’m not asking you to read this…

Diet Fail 2019 – Day 4: My Supplement Stack

Hello, weary traveler of the Web!

Perhaps you are looking for a quality resource for ketogenic diet information and thought you’d take a look around?

Boy, are you in the wrong place!

I’m more of a ketogenic ‘performance artist’ as is evidenced by 500+ posts since 2007.

Still fat, by the way.

I *did* lose weight on a keto diet and kept a lot of it off for nearly a decade, but for some unknown reason, having my appendix removed in 2013 caused the weight to pile back on and I’ve never been able to get back to that 200 lb. weight that, while still a bit hefty, was OK.

I’m at 264lb. right now and would like to get rid of the ’64’ part of the above number.

I went on Atkins in 2003 and in 2 years went from 260 to 180. That was 16 years ago. I was keto before the term ‘keto’ was coined.

I’m way the fuck older, but given my success that first time, have perhaps deluded myself that keto is the only way to go. I’ve never bothered to try any other diet since.

There’s a few reasons why. I won’t be exhaustive, but put out a few things that draw me to this approach:

I don’t need that much willpower. Ketones in your body are an appetite suppressant. By day 2 doing this I was in ketosis and my hunger calmed. I still get hungry, but not ravenous. Carbs make me hungry even while I’m eating them – I’m thinking about what I’ll eat next even before I’m finished eating what I got. If I can get through the first few days it becomes way easier.

I can either prevent diabetes or manage it with fewer (or no) meds. Even the American Diabetes Association says this now, with a kind of ‘oops, I pooped my pants’ look on their faces after years of saying it’s dangerous and doesn’t work.

I like the way my brain operates on ketones. This is a weird one to explain. Believe it or not, people actually pay me to think (I’m still amazed at that fact). I have years of proof that when my body is in ketosis and a good part of my brain is using ketone bodies for fuel instead of glucose, I think clearer. I’m calmer and more motivated. I gotta keep those paychecks comin’!

I can lose weight if I apply myself. I can easily stay fat eating keto. I need a calorie deficit to lose weight. The appetite suppressant effects of the diet make it easier. The brain effects make me stick to it even when the scale does not move.

So with that brief intro, I’m going to segue into my supplement stack. I don’t feel like going into the ‘why’ at this moment, but I just set up my supplements for the next 30 days and thought I’d document it.

Now I’m gonna warn you: don’t do what I do! This is not a recommendation. I don’t give advice. I don’t have the background to give advice. In fact, this could be VERY BAD advice for some people. Fish oil is a blood thinner. If you are already taking blood-thinning meds you could trigger a Hemorrhagic stroke! Iodine can be bad for people with certain diseases of the thyroid. Those Brazil nuts? I take them for the selenium in them. The stuff has a very narrow window where it’s healthy – too little is no good, but too much over time can lead to selenosis, which can cause hair loss, nail loss, nausea, irritability, fatigue and some nerve damage.

And the potassium?

potassium levels can rise to high levels, leading to dangerous heart rhythm problems and even cardiac arrest. Because of this potential danger, the FDA limits over-the-counter potassium supplements (including multivitamin-mineral pills) to less than 100 milligrams (mg).

I’m taking 10 times that amount.

So remember: I am a Stunt Dieter. Do Not try This as Home!

Supplement Dose Amount Active dose Cost/Day
Magnesium Malate 1250mg 3 450mg $0.19
Vitamin K2 MK7 Version 200mg 2 200mg $0.33
Costco Vitamin D3 6000IU 3 6000IU $0.07
Iodine 300mcg 2 300mcg $0.05
Probiotic n/a 1 n/a $1.24
Carlson’s The Very Finest Fish Oil 2tsp 2 3200mg $1.26
B12 Sublingual 5000mcg 1 5000mcg $0.07
Mature Multi 1 pill 1 n/a $0.03
Brazil Nuts 1 nut 1 68-91mg $0.05
Potassium Citrate 1/2 tsp n/a 1000mg $0.05

The total for the above daily dose: $3.34 US.

Until next time.

Lose 20 Pounds on a Keto Diet – But You’re Probably Not Going to Like This Post

On April 2, 2018, I was 269.8 and my blood glucose, which had more or less behaved by staying in the 120s, had begin rising into the 140s in the morning and staying there all day.

Not good.

My cocky, thin doc, who I am sure thought me just another fat slob, had told me years ago that, considering my family history, there was no way I *wasn’t* getting diabetes. “It’s going to happen sooner or later.” He said, seeming to enjoy saying it.

I swore I would bury this doctor at that moment.

Since I’ve been more or less on a low carb diet since the Atkins Craze of 2003, and although during this time there were long stretches where I didn’t follow the diet at all, overall, the past 15 years I have probably kept my carbs lower than the average person. Nearly Every. Single. Day. of these past 15 years has seen me in front of my computer, typing out the goals for my fresh start at my diet. I’d have good streaks – and bad streaks. Sometimes I didn’t get through lunch.

I’ve had this blog for a loooong time. But writing about failing all the time was getting kinda old. So I more or less stopped and wrote only when I thought I had something interesting to say or to report.

I’d been losing and gaining back the same 10 pounds for years – how dull is that? I decided that, unless I could lose 20 lbs., it was not worth my time nor your to blog about weight loss.

So today I can report that I just weighed myself and I was 248.6 lbs. Over 20 pounds lost from the start.

My blood glucose levels have also fallen by 40 points.

You’re probably not going to like how I did it – but stick with me here: there’s something weird and different this time than every other time. I am going to try and explain it the best I can, but first let me explain a little bit more about why I got to the point where I decided I needed to make a change.

So I’ve told this story before and I won’t go into detail, but I was 207 lbs. and actively following a low carb diet when I got appendicitis and had my appendix removed. Within 9 months of that surgery my weight ballooned to 287 for reasons no one can explain, then came down a bit and settled in the 260-270 range.

I had kept off maybe 50-60 lbs. of an initial weight loss of 80 lbs. When I went on Atkins in 2003 for most of a decade at that point – which is statistically impossible. The disheartening truth is – even for the folks who lose weight – most gain it all back in 5 years.

At least that *was* the thinking. Things might be changing. I certainly did.

Gaining all that weight after surgery was a real bummer. Much of that time I was doing low carb and it just didn’t seem to work. It probably has something to do with the appendix removal – but we really don’t understand the appendix that well yet, so any statement would be conjecture – we just don’t know.

My asshole doctor said: “It’s because of lack of exercise after surgery.” Idiot – I didn’t exercise BEFORE surgery!

There’s an old joke: why do people say ‘I found my wallet in the last place I looked!’? Who keeps looking for their wallet after they found it?

My 80-lb. loss on Atkins convinced me there was no other way than a low carb diet for me – but it didn’t seem to work anymore – and I had read and learned too much to just move on to some other diet.

So for a while, I gave up.

I also changed my route to work. Instead of highways with grassy edges, I took a slower but shorter route along what used to be a country road that is now dotted with at least 20 fast food places along my route.

My commute is long and my family doesn’t have regular evening meals for the most part – everyone seems to be somewhere else than the dinner table at the proper time – sadly, this is more normal than it should be these days.

So pizza might be lunch for me, and McDonald’s, usually, would be dinner if I didn’t go home and cook or eat leftovers. I also had a brief but intense love affair with bologna on Kaiser rolls as a breakfast for a while. This was pure comfort food as a kid, conjuring up my Mom and Dad and our breakfast together on Sundays after church. (OK – we didn’t have bologna sandwiches – we had eggs and bacon with the rolls  – but the Kaiser Rolls would bring me back to that table in the 1970s.)

And I didn’t think about it too much because my weight hovered in that 10-lb. range and another attempt at low carb or keto would bring me back to the low end of 260.

Then I’d fuck things up, eat more crap, and go to the top of the range again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

But this time it was the blood glucose that made me take action. I’m not a hypochondriac – imagining diseases – but I am a bit obsessive on tracking stuff – and the words of that doctor whose funeral I plan to attend still burned hot in my memory. This 20-point rise was fast – I was eating the same crap but now my pancreas apparently said: “Fuck this!” and decided to give up.

I know a lot of the science behind this – I was becoming increasingly insulin resistant to the point where my pancreas simply couldn’t keep up.

The poor thing needed a rest. So on April 2, I decided to start my diet again – but I needed to do something different – the old script wasn’t working. I was also older and what worked for me 15 years ago might not work now.

I had no doubt that a low carb / keto approach was the only way – but within those labels are a world full of different ways to approach this way of eating.

I’ve written way too much already so I’ll continue what I did differently in a part 2 of this post.

Update: here’s part 2 for those of you who care.

The Keto Dream

I had ‘the dream’.

I’ve had these dreams only a few times in my life. They occured when I had made a change so profound and that I had internalized so deeply that my brain seemed to squirt out these dreams – perhaps as a cautionary tale – or as a confirmation I was doing the right thing.

A previous time I had a similar dream I had changed careers, changed jobs, had a crazy boss, worked in a new, high-stress environment, got married, and was buying a house that was a ‘fixer-upper’ (though I was no handyman) that I wasn’t sure we could afford.

I had a dream that they had rehired me at my old, comfortable, zero-growth-potential job. They walked me back to my old desk and I settled in – then a lightning bolt of terror went down my spine that woke me up with that: “Thank GOD it’s a dream!” feeling.

I took that as: as tough as what you’re doing, you’re better off – hang in there.

Last night, on Day 46 of my current diet, where I am still experimenting – trying to hack together a list of foods I eat and don’t eat, as well as when I eat – both for health as well as for fitting into my lifestyle and simple pleasure, I had the first dream I remember in a while.

In it I was given some sort of chocolate/peanut butter candy. Something with a crunch. I remember little about the dream in particular except that I was offered the stuff and took a big bite. I felt the sweetness in my mouth and a sudden terror came over me as I asked myself: Why are you eating this?!? YOU. DON’T. EAT. THIS!

It was real fright and panic.  

Like the previous dream I had over 20 years ago, whatever part of the mind that is in charge of dreams seems to think, in my estimation: what you’re doing is the the right thing – hang in there.

I told my adult daughter last night: You know what sucks? I gave up bread, McDonald’s, pizza, deli sandwiches, cake, dairy, artificial sweeteners – and you know what? I feel way better. I had so much energy today – I went to work and zipped through a number of different tasks, my brain felt sparkly and sharp, I was full of ideas, rolled with the punches, was in a good mood, and the day flew by.

It seems like there’s a connection: eat like shit – feel like shit. Duh – right?

It’s different to know something in an academic fashion and feeling it in every cell of your body as you live it.

I think I am nearing a point where I’ll have a steady path. There’s still tweaking to do, but I am beginning to lose weight again after giving up dairy and artificial sweeteners, but I am still learning, taking a very different approach to keto than I would have done in the past – and wading through some contradictory information to determine what works for me. No dairy and artificial sweeteners was tough for a few days – and I could not have this at the start of the diet as it would have been too overwhelming to do everything all at once – but now I’m grudgingly OK with it – I do miss the cheese WAY more than the artificial sweeteners, though.

Everything points to: I think I’m on the right path for me. Keep going.

Day 40 on my new approach to a keto diet

There is no one ‘keto diet’. It has many variants that appear more or less the same to the outsider but are very different to someone deep in the thick of it – like Protestantism.

And like Protestantism, each of these variants interpret the same documents that underlie the practice, apply them differently, then follow, or try to follow a certain high-level dogma that results.

Like any set of competing belief systems, there is a necessary infighting between the variants about details. Just one of the many differences is the use of ‘exogenous ketones’. This is a product that most often contains beta-hydroxybutyric acid, which is the ketone fuel your body creates and runs on when on a keto diet. Some people have put this into a supplement and sell it.

Some variants of the keto diet think this is fine. Others will remove your post from their Facebook group if you even mention them.

Another controversy is: how much protein? Some groups recommend a lot less than others – and both scoff at the other’s interpretations of the documents that support their position.

The same goes for fat. All the groups want you to moderate it, but some make this central to their belief system – others seem to pay lip-service.

Lastly (though by no means the last), there is what I would call the position on what I would call ‘Keto food porn’. To me, this is the intricate and tortured attempt to create keto meals that resemble their high-carb inspiration, or inventions like a bacon-weave taco shell, or a round meatloaf with cheese in the center, wrapped in bacon.

Keto is very trendy right now (which will probably pass as it did before) and people are bringing enormous creativity to foods and recipes.

Some people love this. Some people think this encourages consuming extra calories, and the first group replies: who cares about calories? Just eat to satiety.

On this 2018 version of a keto diet, as usual, I came up with my own road to follow. While this time I have immersed myself in the most current thinking, joining over a half-dozen Facebook groups and listening to at least 50 hours of keto podcasts to learn what the current state of keto is.

One thing it does NOT seem to be is ‘Atkins’. While I believe that none of these people would be talking about keto if it wasn’t for Dr. Robert Atkins, who died in 2003, few people discuss him, and the current products the company he started are not held in high regard.

While you might be forgiven for using these products, you would not be applauded.

Another worrisome thing is just how dangerous this diet can be if you do it wrong – and most of these people climbing aboard the keto bandwagon do not understand the seriousness involved in altering your body fuel source and the serious medical problems it can cause. I will leave the authoritative research to others – and to you to dig up – again, I have nothing to sell and nothing to convince you to believe. These are the things I’m concerned might happen to people who achieve nutritional ketosis but are ill-informed about the pact with the devil you sign:

  1. Alcohol. If you are deep in ketosis, too much alcohol can lower that threshold for alcohol poisoning. Having a ready supply of carbs in your body can help mitigate a bout of binge drinking that ketones cannot, apparently.
  2. Pancreatitis. If you are unknowingly predisposed to this, a massive cheat can push you into this condition
  3. Gallstones. I had read that fat is necessary for the prevention of gallstones. Fat-phobic people predisposed to gallstones who try a high protein and lower fat version of keto might set themselves up for this. There could be other reasons as well.
  4. You can get dehydrated easily and your relationship to water needs to be watched. Too little OR too much can be bad
  5. Electrolytes. One thing normies eating a standard diet don’t tend to worry about is their electrolytes. People doing a keto diet do need to be careful about this because your need for sodium, magnesium, and potassium change. This can screw up the electrical system in your body – and you know what your electrical system does? It controls the beating of your heart! OK they say, I’ll just take supplements. Not so fast. TOO MUCH can be as bad as TOO LITTLE. People are messing with system not only they don’t understand, but that their doctors don’t understand.

It is for these reasons I DO NOT RECOMMEND A KETO DIET! The science surrounding this diet has been my primary hobby for more than a dozen years. To the regular person who comes along with no interest in learning the intricate details, I would not recommend this to them unless they had medical supervision by a doctor who knew the ins and outs of a ketogenic diet – and good luck finding one!

Stop reading yet? No? Ok – the rest of you left, let’s continue.

So what am I doing differently this time?

The first thing is that I have simplified my diet considerably. I have given up almost all artificial sweeteners (except sugar-free ketchup – not ready yet), dairy, nuts, cheese – and of course all grains and carby foods like potatoes. I now drink black coffee and plain water.

A partial list of what I’ve been eating for the most part?

  • Ground beef (moving toward New Zealand raised grass-fed beef)
  • Chicken thighs (moving toward organic – and I’d love to find pastured but haven’t yet)
  • Steak
  • Pork belly
  • Fire-roasted tomatoes and green chilies (for my chili)
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Organic chicken broth
  • Lettuce (iceberg for now until people stop getting sick off of romaine which is a ‘thing’ as I write this)
  • Beefsteak tomatoes
  • Acocados
  • Asparagus
  • Organic celery
  • Eggs (organic and pasture-raised when possible)
  • Bacon
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut flour
  • Mushrooms
  • Pickles
  • Kimchi
  • Organic hot dogs from grass-fed cows
  • Sauerkraut
  • Psyllium husks

And I am planning to try experimenting with adding:

  • Ghee (aka clarified butter – considered OK in a dairy-free diet by people not eliminating dairy for religious or ethical reasons)
  • Broccoli florets
  • Nutritional yeast (a powder that sorta kinda of tastes cheesy, is full of nutrients, and might be good sprinkled on my broccoli)
  • Cabbage

I did not start here 40 day ago. It took a while to convert from my diet prior to April 2 where my primary food group was McDonald’s. What prompted the change was a sudden, worrisome trend in my blood glucose. I was seeing numbers up to 140 in the AM and they would stay elevated – even with taking metformin.

In less than 2 weeks I was able to get that number down by 20-40 points. In the mid afternoons I can see numbers in the low 80s – and this is with my stopping the metformin over 2 weeks ago.

Carb withdrawal at first was miserable. I comforted myself with an abundance of American cheese – God, I love the stuff! I also guzzled down seltzer loaded with Orange-Tangerine artificial sweetener in the evenings.

I also had Greek yogurt in work and Kerry Gold butter in my coffee. That was after the coffee and heavy cream I had in my coffee at home. I usually didn’t eat solid foods, though I would grab an Atkins shake and have some chicken broth with extra salt at lunchtime. This seemed to help with the mild headachy feeling I would get – but otherwise I felt good. Here and there was 2 squares of dark chocolate.

I gave up on the Greek yogurt because it seemed to trigger hunger during the first week.

There were some trashy, though low carb choices, along the way. Oscar Mayer bologna as well as bologna’s more refined cousin, Mortadella. Kielbasa. Pork rinds. These didn’t impact my blood ketones, which I measured obsessively. I got as high as 3.5.

I stopped negotiating with myself in the second week. I no longer thought about ordering McDonald’s and not eating the bun. I could watch people in work and at home gobble up carbs – even pizza – and it not bother me. It wasn’t willpower – it was that I had detoxed myself from carby foods and no longer had an interest. While I would not say even now that I don’t miss pizza, I don’t have this terrible craving for it, either.

Besides – I had substituted a bunch of junky keto-friendly foods to take the place of the high-carb junky foods.

To be clear: I started this particular go at the diet primarily for my health. And that worked: I lowered my blood glucose and stopped taking metformin. I also pulled off 10-12 pounds in 2 weeks. That was nice – but not the primary goal.

After the first 2 weeks the scale did not really budge, however, and while I was still committed to the diet for health reasons, I did want the weight loss to be part of it.

Finally, on day 34 I decided I might be strong enough to pull off eliminating all dairy and artificial sweeteners.

Boy oh boy, did this suck!

The cheese got replaced with more calories from meat and tomato slices with my burgers. While I still continue to use sugar-free ketchup, the amount of artificial sweetener is trivial compared with how much of the orange-tangerine stuff I would blast into glass after glass of seltzer on ice.

I started eating avocados more regularly. They can be tricky as they go bad so quickly but I’ve been able to manage. Once almost ripe, they keep in the fridge for a few days. When you take one out, eat it that day. Mostly works well.

I don’t drink the Atkins shakes. I’m drinking my morning coffee with coconut milk – and recently nothing. I no longer put butter in my coffee at work – and find that a little coffee goes way farther than it used to. I sometimes find myself not drinking any coffee at work – and when I do, it’s black. I don’t really drink fats anymore.

While not every day, on some days I find myself only eating one large meal a day. This happened quite by accident, but then I found out it was a ‘thing’ – OMAD (One Meal A DAY) or 23/1 Fasting. It seems there’s this notion called an ‘insulin holiday’. Here’s how I understand it. It is not only sugars that trigger insulin: proteins trigger them almost as well. So while your blood glucose might be low, your insulin might still be high – and as you have insulin resistance if you’re like me, eating nothing for a while gives the body a chance to not have to produce insulin as if you were snacking all day – and this might lessen insulin resistance over the long-term – at least that’s how the thinking goes.

There is a trick to this, however: eat too little and you put your body into ‘Starvation Mode’. Do this and your body can do all sorts of things – like make your hair fall out while holding on to every last calorie like a miser – and make you feel quite crappy – and there are voices on the Internet that don’t think this can be done without putting you into starvation mode.

So what I am doing is counting my macros more closely. I used a calculator I found here, and it gave me these ranges:

Calories:     1200 – 1892

Carbs:        20

Protein:    94-124 (104 is ideal)

Fat:        77-155

So the lower end is my target – and that ends up being one very satisfying meal per day. I don’t do this on all days – sometimes I have an avocado at work, and/or chicken broth. Sometimes I just have salt in water – depends on how I feel.

But you know the weirdest part of this: my narrowed food choices are liberating!

My diet seems easier. I’m not futzing around with food or thinking about food all the time. Diets can make you obsess about food more than not being on a diet. The simplicity makes things easier to track – and I hate tracking. The overhead of the diet is a lot less. I have more time for other thoughts than what I am going to eat – and amazingly enough – I don’t feel deprived.

That was the last thing I ever expected to say.

I could go on – like about what supplements I am taking – but I’ll stop here for now.

 

 

 

Beef and Bacon Keto Chili Recipe Version 2

I’ve been more strict in counting my carbs, and while the last Bacon & Beef Chili was great, there were carbs in some of the things I added and didn’t taste the difference.

Version 2 leaves out the unnecessary ingredients, really ups the bacon to the majority of two packages, and adds more flavor with an additional pepper and mushroom to add a nice texture.

So here’s the ingredients and the numbers:

Ingredient Calories Fat Net Carbs Protein
2 lbs. 80/20 ground beef 2272 179 0 152
5 Tbsp bacon fat 570 60 0 0
2 packages of bacon, precooked 840 42 0 56
1 can Trader Joes Chiles 40 0 8 0
1 14.5 oz can Trader Joes Fire roasted organic tomatoes with green chiles 87 0 14 4
1 large green bell pepper 48 0 8 2
1 large red bell pepper 48 0 8 2
2 tbsp chili powder 42 2 2 2
2 tsp ground cumin 16 1 2 1
Trader Joe’s – Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms – 10 oz Container 72 0 10 7
Salt 0 0 0 0
Pepper 14 0 1 1
Total for the entire pot 4049 284 53 227
Total Per Portion (1/12) 337 24 4 19

(The portions last time were a guesstimate. This time I put the chili in 1 cup covered glassware. While I already ate some, I think if were using one cup of the stuff, the number are pretty correct.)

The instructions are simple:

  1. Melt the bacon fat in the bottom of a pot
  2. Set the burner to high and add ground beef, black pepper, and some salt (add to taste later)
  3. Let it cook on high while you deal with cutting the vegetables and bacon, stirring occasionally
  4. Dice the bacon and toss in the pot
  5. Cut the peppers and toss in the and give it a stir
  6. Toss in the can of chilis and tomatoes
  7. Add the remaining spices. I tend to go heavy on the chili powder and grind the cumin in a mortar and pestle – what a great fragrance
  8. Add salt and pepper, but remember that there’s a lot of salt in the bacon so don’t overdo it.

Now set it to a low simmer and let cook for 2 hours to let the flavors meld.

The verdict: very enjoyable. As I am attempting to cut back on dairy I’ll skip the cheeses and sour cream – but you’re free to use it if you like.

Beef and Bacon Keto Chili Recipe

A quick update for the old gang: I’ve been away because, well, I had nothing to write about. On April 2nd, however, I went full-bore into a strict ketogenic diet. I’ve written a whole lot about that, but it’s not ready for publishing yet – but how about a recipe?

I’ve been deep into ketosis and have been very strict for the past 2 weeks. I use the weekends to cook and wanted to have a goto meal for the week so I thought: why not chili?

In the past I have not watched my carbs as closely as I am now, and it has paid off: a 10 lb. loss in 2 weeks, a 20-40 point drop in blood glucose levels, and ketones as measured by a blood testing meter averaging between 2-3 mmol/ml.

So unlike in the past where I might have gone apeshit with onions and other higher carb vegetables, this chili measures nutrients down to every damn spice.

So here’s the ingredients and the numbers:

Ingredient Calories Fat Net Carbs Protein
2 lbs. 80/20 ground beef 2272 179 0 152
5 Tbsp bacon fat 570 60 0 0
7 slices bacon 308 25 1 20
1 medium onion 46 0 3 1
1 can Trader Joes Chiles 40 0 8 0
1 14.5 oz can Trader Joes Fire roasted organic tomatoes with green chiles 87 0 14 4
1 large green bell pepper 48 0 8 2
2 tbsp chili powder 42 2 2 2
2 tsp ground cumin 16 1 2 1
2 tsp garlic powder 18 0 4 1
Salt 0 0 0 0
Pepper 14 0 1 1
Total for the entire pot 3461 267 43 184
Total Per Portion (1/10) 346 27 4 18

It was a pain in the ass to pull these numbers together – especially as different sources give different nutrient counts for the same thing, but I think this is about as accurate as I’m going to be able to get it.

The instructions are simple:

  1. Melt the bacon fat in the bottom of a pot
  2. Set the burner to high and add ground beef, black pepper, and some salt (add to taste later)
  3. Let it cook on high while you deal with cutting the vegetables and bacon, stirring occasionally
  4. Dice the bacon and toss in the pot
  5. Cut the onion and toss in the and give it a stir
  6. Do the same for the pepper
  7. Toss in the can of chilis and tomatoes
  8. Add the remaining spices

Now set it to a low simmer and let cook for 2 hours to let the flavors meld.

The verdict: pretty darn good. I’ll be eating this all week. I found it very flavorful by itself, but I’m sure with a little shredded cheese on the top – and maybe a dollop of sour cream – I’d be in some serious flavor territory.