Starting Out On Keto

Some of the best support and information there is comes from Reddit, as well as being full of freaks and weirdos there are many many very well educated caring people who are willing to share their knowledge. That in mind here is the beginner summary from /r/keto…

(Specially for K8, Nugget, Grak, Ab and Beamhole)

Beginner’s tips

  • Focus on getting used to no/low carb first.
  • Eat if you’re hungry.
    • To complicate this a bit, keep an eye on your calories.
    • A loss of appetite is normal; usually it comes back – although not with the intensity you’re familiar with from carbs.
    • Some folks seem to lose a significant portion of their appetite and try to subsist on a fraction of necessary calories – for example, 300 to 400 calories per day.
    • I don’t care how much weight you need to lose, your body still needs protein to function.
    • Keep keto-approved snacks on hand when you get hungry

Start drinking water. A lot of water. Keep your electrolytes up – you’ll need more sodium, potassium, and magnesium than you think.

A quick word on macros:

  1. Protein is a goal, hit it as often as you can. You can go under, or over, and it isn’t the end of the world, or ketosis.
  2. Carbs are a hard limit (20 ~ 25 grams of net carbs). Your carb limit determines whether you are, or aren’t, in ketosis.
  3. Fat is a soft limit – eat until you’re full, but stay under the macro. If you finish the day, not hungry and under your fat macro, you’re doing good.
  • In the macro calculator, in the fat section, you will see a little “plus” sign. This will tell you your minimum fat intake per day.
  • This is a non-issue for most people, particularly if you selected “mostly sedentary” under your activity level.
  • If you picked a higher activity level, you may need to be more aware of your minimum fat intake.
  • You may also want to check out /r/ketogains for athletes on keto.
  1. You need to be mindful of your calories – you still need to eat under your calorie allotment if you’re trying to lose weight.


Matters of the Heart

I got my ultrasound results and just the same as the last 3 tests it has resulted in booking yet another appointment, this time with a cardiologist. I was told by my doctor that I have thickening of the left ventricle, something that I have since found out could be hereditary since my father and uncle have had the same diagnosis. Of course the fact that my dad has had a quadruple bypass doesn’t sit well with me since that’s not a road I really want to travel. Over the course of the tests I have noticed that my blood pressure was high, something that was noted by each tech but put down to situational stress. Being logical I thought that maybe if I went to give blood then that might help, and also be my good deed for the holidays.

You should be in the hospital, she said. I haven’t seen blood pressure that high in forever.

As if I wasn’t stressed enough. I was turned away from the blood clinic with a recommendation that I call my doctor or go to emergency. In case you are wondering what the numbers were, be prepared to be amazed at my surviving…

Of course Google didn’t help me much…

Your blood pressure is 231 over 97?

What your blood pressure values mean
Your blood pressure is: Too high – Hypertension Stage 1
But regarding your systolic (upper) value your blood pressure is rather:
Way too high – Hypertension Stage 3 / Hypertensive crisis

That was an awesome way to start my holiday, and of course what’s worse for super high blood pressure than the stress of having super high blood pressure?
I booked an appointment with the doctor and was in the office that afternoon.
Her AVERAGE reading was 188/97 which although much better still had my veins bulging out of my forehead like ship ropes since it’s still considered Hypertensive crisis. She told me if it was still this high in 3 days to go to emergency and tell them to fix me because too many days of these readings have me squarely in heart attack / stroke territory. She gave me a diuretic which I have to admit made zero sense to me and told me to avoid coffee and salt for a few days. Being an obedient patient I did just that and of course being off work would also help to no end.
The next day we had the big end of year party for gymnastics which was an amazing night, seeing so many old friends and all the kids having fun was just what I needed and although for the next 4 days my BP remained very high on Boxing day my reading finally dropped into the 170s and then the 160s. So I am finally down into Hypertension stage 2 which wouldn’t normally be a cause to celebrate but in this case I think coming back from what I could conservatively call the brink of a cardiac event is a good thing.
But I am angry. So very angry. The rational part of my brain is crying out like that 11 year old boy I once was that this isn’t fair. I tell my girls every day that life isn’t fair, but that doesn’t take the sting away. You have to work to make it fair, I tell them. But what is supposedly better for your health than a literal lifetime of fitness and careful attention to diet? Sure, I have strayed in the past, there was a time in that picture top right that I was 300+ but it was only for a handful of years. It’s been 10 years since that, no sugar, no grains, strict adherence to diet, no drinking for 25 years, no smoking for at least 10 more so in the end I am left with the question “why me”.
There is no reasoning with disease. There is no bargaining with illness and when I consider those around me who are struggling with what are considered far more serious health issues I can’t help but feel selfish. But standing at death’s door, no matter if it is only a selfish perception makes you feel very, very lonely. I have one athlete who I am constantly telling “Stop worrying about things that haven’t happened yet” and it was that thought that really made me pull back and put things into perspective. I was doing what I could. I knew that in the past more cardio at the gym had helped in how I felt so I was facing up to that task too. I had all my tactics in place and so I was faced with the knowledge that with everything I was doing, I had to fix my attitude.
“Don’t worry…”
“Why not?”
“Because it doesn’t help”
– Dr Who.
So I am not worried. I am doing what I have been told and I am monitoring my situation. I am going to work today and I will have a professional take my BP again to see if my home readings are close to reality. In the end though I have to understand what caused this to happen and although it’s been a pretty hectic couple of months with the gym I would point my finger directly at my work situation. Complaining won’t help, so I won’t. Decisions have to be made and plans need to be laid if I am to prevent cutting years off my life for the sake of times gone by.
Why me? It doesn’t matter. I am dealing with facts and not allowing my emotional side to become involved because if I do, things will go downhill in a hurry. Disease doesn’t care so neither do I. I will fight this with the detachment of disease itself. I will kill it with the same impunity with which it takes lives. Although I have spent some time being truly terrified of the future I have decided that I will survive. I am not done yet.


December Update

It has been a very hectic month or so for us, with the gym up and running, coaches meetings, theme weeks, Elves on shelves and finally managing to get the security system to cover everything we need. We have had boys going to qualifiers and doing very well and the rec program is running almost at capacity with another full winter session coming up. With the change in my hours I have been able to get to the gym on a regular basis making maintaining my weight and conditioning a bit easier. After the summer run I was down to 236 at around 17% BF which is down a little from during the year. I spent a lot of time around 18-19 so dropping just 1% was quite an achievement. That was before the carbs came back of course. Have I mentioned that I hate the carb reload that I do every year? It’s my chance to relax with my food a little and try to put on a bit of strength that I typically lose on Keto. However, this year it’s had some really weird effects that I am not happy with, mostly it has made me strangely emotional. It is supposed to be until Christmas, but to be honest I really don’t like what I am feeling so I think enough is enough and I am done with the reload. It is hard to explain the difference it makes to me but I will try.

Every day I eat the same food. It’s irrelevant to me. I don’t think about it, I don’t look forward to it, I don’t even consider it a treat or an event, it just is… However, bring some carbs back into my life and suddenly I can’t wait until 11am to eat. I can’t seem to control how much I eat and I am constantly hungry, a feeling that I just don’t have any other time of the year. I am up every couple of hours during the night to go to the bathroom and therefore I am short on sleep which makes things so much worse. The worst part of this is that I am targeting carbs which means that I am only eating them at certain times and I am keeping them under 100g and it is still messing with me. I want to say also that the carbs I am on are only yam, oats and blueberries so it’s not like I am eating sugar or grains but still the effects are very noticeable and like I said for some reason this time I find myself irrationally angry and sad at the strangest things.

So I think I am done, I still want to go for sushi before I stop but after that it’s over and back to keto and my emotionally stable life. And sleep I hope.

As for my gym performance I was able to bench 400lbs again last week which is a really good sign that my shoulder that was bothering me for a few weeks is finally getting better. I still feel a bit of a sting when I overhead press but I suppose with any shoulder injury that will take time to go away. At least now I am able to get back to weighted dips and flat bench which is a relief. I have also been working on the hack squat in an attempt to change the shape of my lower thigh area, something I think I lack. I know after my back surgery that my right leg won’t ever recover but it would be nice to have a little more size around my knee which I think may be working. It’s actually really embarrassing doing a new exercise because my weights are very light but to be honest a little humility in the gym is good for me.

I had my last heart ultrasound this week and I am still waiting on the results. The tech wouldn’t tell me the results because I suppose they aren’t supposed to and probably aren’t actually qualified to make a diagnosis. Once I get the results I will put them here but so far from the holter test, the stress test and the first echo they haven’t found anything wrong but they keep going back to the same question about if I ever had a heart attack which I find disturbing. Hopefully this last ultrasound will tell them exactly what it is they think they see in there.

As usual my conclusion is that I should probably be doing more cardio. And by more I mean any. Probably 10 minutes on the stairmaster would be a good start and it’s not that hard but it’s about the most boring thing I can imagine and time seems to slow down to a snails pace. I hate cardio. Hate.

August Update – Slow Keto

My first couple of updates were not earth shattering. I had planned a big 30 day test and expected to see some major changes but didn’t. For me, everything is better done slowly, maybe because of my age or my sedentary lifestyle these 30 day tests are often more telling as 90 day marathons. That said, I was not surprised to see that I gained during my forced overfeed and in the same tone I am not surprised that eating right at my TDEE of 2500 I am losing bodyfat.

Here are the numbers:

Before Oz 238 22%
After Oz 233 21% (1 week later)
After overfeed 239 22% (30 days later)
Currently after TDEE keto for about 2 months 234 19%

As you can see, I have dropped what I would consider a significant amount of fat. I am sure I have lost muscle in the process but my lifts are the same and my energy is fine. I measure myself daily with a Tanita impedance scale so my results on the daily are sometimes off but overall I have been reporting under 20% fat for 3 days now.

I will try to find some photos of all 4 times and post them together so you can see how things have moved along.

What do I think are the results here?

For a start, nothing is as black and white as CICO or KETO. I found that it’s possible to eat over my TDEE and not gain weight, but only to a point. At some point your body just can’t process everything and has to store the extra. I do find that it’s possible to overeat slightly and not have any ill effects on weight gain with Keto, something I have not found with any other eating system. It certainly appears to me that a keto lifestyle is a lot more forgiving when it comes to CICO. I have also reported in my previous posts very significant mental differences on keto and I do find my energy levels are stable but not high.

Here are the links to my Keto entries from before Australia until now.

Coming back to Keto
Chocolate covered macadamia nuts
Keto on vacation
Keto vacation update
Back home
My Keto experiment, starting the 30 days
Strict Keto. What I found out.

As promised here are the picture updates. Enjoy!

Starting out 238 22%
3 weeks of keto down 5lbs
Back up to 239 at 22 and soft
Current Aug 1 17 234 19% after 90 days keto


Strict Keto. Underfeeding, overfeeding and forced overfeeding. What I found out.

A couple of days before we went to Australia I finished watching Jason Wittrock’s 21 day keto challenge and was inspired to get back to real keto, high fat and moderate protein to see how I felt. The reason was I was interested in why Jason didn’t gain any weight while overfeeding on keto. Now the guy is a workout maniac, there is no way my life is a reflection of his and although I have gone over this before, I think a recap of what actually happened is in order.

While we were away I stayed pretty close to my TDEE, mostly because I wanted to get back to full keto without the overfeeding part. To be honest I felt much better, especially mentally once the vacation was underway. I managed to stick to the program through the vacation and didn’t gain any weight. Once I was back I resolved to start the 30 days overfeed and that is where we are now. It’s been about 10 weeks since I started and went on vacation. It has been about 5 weeks that I have been overfeeding and I have a startling revelation.

If you eat too many calories, you gain weight.

However, it’s not as simple as CICO because for the first 30 days I was over by 500 calories. My workouts were just about as regular as could be and although I haven’t been able to get to the gym quite as regularly as I would like it’s been pretty much par for the course in my day to day life. So what happened? Well, during that first 30 days I didn’t gain any weight. My fat % according to my scale went down very slightly but not enough that I could really point to a change. This was very weird to me. I knew I was overeating and not doing enough to burn off the surplus and yet I was the same…. day in day out.

So I decided to increase the surplus to around 1000 calories a day to see if I could test the limits of the experiment and almost immediately I started to gain weight. My workouts were very sporadic at this point, but I don’t think that was the issue, I think I got to the point where the keto diet couldn’t keep me in stasis any more and I found myself going up in both weight and %.

So this is where I am. I started around 238 and 22% when we went to Oz. I came back at around 233 and 21%. Since then, trying to match the 4000 calories a day that Jason did I have crept up to 239 and 22%, pretty much where I was when I began. How much of the weight loss on vacation was the travel and the environment and the fact I was very active compared to normal I am not so sure. However, what I do know is I feel different. Jason noted in his vlog that the eating was hard and that he often just didn’t feel like continuing. I felt the same way but I also felt the same way about the workouts and my coaching. Eating as such a big surplus made me cranky and I felt slow and honestly kinds fat and slow. I didn’t like it I have to be honest so I am deciding that going back to the smaller surplus is best for  me to try and see if I get any body recomposition benefits from eating more. I am going to try to increase my workouts a little, maybe adding cardio in the morning on days I coach. This isn’t a big change in expenditure, but I feel like my cardio is severely lacking right now and I think that may help to make me feel a little more “healthy” than I do right now.

So for the remainder of May and June I will be back on MFP, making sure I am slightly above surplus (for me that is around 2500-2700 calories a day plus a 500 surplus for 3000-3200 total feed) and I will see how the strict keto that dropped weight in Australia with all the extra exercise will do the same thing here with my regular life.

Eating 3200 calores a day, 4 days a week in the gym for about 45 minutes each (weights) and a plan to do 3 days of “cardio” which will probably be walking on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes 3 days a week. Today I weighed in at 239.8 and 22%. I would love to get below 20% and maybe below 220 by the end of June. But bear in mind that what I am actually doing is planning to LOSE weight  and % while eating MORE than I require.

That’s the “magic” of keto as far as I can tell…

My Keto Experiment. Starting the 30 days.

I promised before we left that I would start this 30 day test when we got back. I think enough time has passed to make it viable now. I have been sticking to the macros and calories pretty well and by now I have at least one workout for each body part done. Some days I feel like I am losing fat, other days not so much, it will be interesting to see what actually happens.

This is based on Keto, 75% fat 20% protein and 5% carbs (for some 75% is a little high, you can adjust your protein and fat a bit). For me this means 20% of my TDEE or daily calorie requirement is around 500 calories and 500 calories of protein is around 16 ounces of protein or450g. Please use myfitnesspal app or something similar to make sure you are getting the right macros.

I recommend for active people to start by figuring out your protein requirement. Regular people can get by on 1g of protein per KG of weight or 1/2g per lb. Active people or those with higher protein requirements can go north of 1g per lb. There is recent research that has proven that eating more protein than required has no detrimental effect especially when related to glucogenesis. Once you have your protein requirement you can fill the rest of your calories with fat and make sure your carbs are under 25g.

In the tradition of sharing my progress and experiments, I posted this to a forum in which I participate. My apologies for the wall of text, it’s mostly stuff I already posted here.

I was very taken by the 21 day overfeeding vlog and experiment that Jason Wittrock did and it inspired me to do some of the same. My purpose was not necessarily to overfeed purposefully but rather to see if the average person who is not a physique model or competitive lifter with sponsorships could garner the same kind of results. A lot of the comments about Jason’s results centered around his potential use of steroids and his questionable level of activity so I thought for the average old guy I would step up and see what happens.

The problem was that I was heading to Australia for almost 3 weeks and the effects of jet lag and travel would confuse the results. I decided to start anyway, since I have been doing Paleo / targeted keto for around 8 years already. My goal personally was to drop my protein intake because I had a sneaking feeling that my issues with not losing weight, or not being in control of my weight loss and gain was due to eating too much protein. Turns out this was partially true, I was actually too low on fat. So I set my goal at 75% fat 20% protein and 5% carbs. I would still hit my 1g per kg of protein which is the level I am comfortable with and keep my carbs below about 25g.

So who am I? Here is what you need to know going forward.

I am 6ft 240lbs and 49 years old. My body impedance scale calls me around 21% fat and although it’s probably not empirically accurate it is relatively accurate to itself. So good for comparison, not good for claiming my actual % I am sure. I do have pictures that I will post with the full writeup when I get a chance probably in a few days time once things have settled down again.

I have a day job that forces me to work at a desk much of the day. I go to the gym 4 days a week and the days I don’t go to the gym I coach 4 hours in the evening. My history of weight lifting is relevant I played rugby to a high level when I was younger and since then have always lifted weights so I have about 35 years experience behind me. I also have 2 back surgeries behind me in 2001 and more recently in 2012 so I am restricted with the amount of work I can do. 3 years ago I managed to get back to a 1000lb total for my lifts, but I think those days are behind me now.

As far as the eating went, I immediately ran into the same issues that Jason mentions in his vlog. I had a really hard time getting enough food in me. The diet is very satiating as we all know but when you go this route it’s actually to the point of turning you off from eating at all. Over the course of the 21 days I never managed to hit 4000 calories and rarely was able to manage 3000. I did keep track with MFP making sure I was hitting my macros every day and was actually impressively consistent. The problem was that while I was away my workouts were vastly different, as was my activity level. I went from Canadian winter to Australian fall (hot) and that also messed with me a little bit so the fact that I ended up losing about 8lbs was misleading. I realized as I got back that the point of the trip was really just to get comfortable with the eating pattern so that when I resumed my lifestyle at home I would be ready to go.

My “results” were interesting. I managed to drop around 8lbs but weighed myself a day after getting off a 20 hour flight so have no idea what that effect was. The % fat was up about 1% which was discouraging but again with not doing my weight training this is hard to accept as a real result. What I did notice was that I was performing mentally on a whole new level. My attention span was better, my retention of technical information was better (I was reading some technical performance literature while I was away) my dreams were far more lucid and enjoyable and in general I felt mentally far more on point. I found certain days when I only had keto coffee for breakfast I had some slight indigestion issues which was fixed by slightly weaker coffee and a bit of extra cream. My energy levels were not bad at all, given the time change was 15 hours and I have no idea of the effect of the jet lag I will have to wait for the next 30 days to comment accurately on how this strict keto has affected my energy levels day to day.

We have been back for about a week now and I have kept up with the diet. My plan was to start April 1 and go the whole of April to see if I could compare results to Jason but in retrospect it seems a bit pointless and I will tell you why. Most people want to know the efficacy of a diet. How easy is it to stick to and will I see results? The simple fact of this kind of keto (75% fat/20% protein/5% carbs (under 20g)) seems to be that there is no need to overfeed to see what happens because most of the time you won’t be able to stomach the amount of calories it would take to go over your limit on a day to day basis. My TDEE is around 2500 calories which, if I compare myself to an average 160lb dude is quite a lot I know but I think it would scale the same way and as Jason found, they would have a hard time managing to hit their goal.

So my goal for April will be to hit my TDEE or slightly over and see if I can lose some body fat with my largely sedentary lifestyle and advanced age. I am no Jason Wittrock or Rich Piana so I am interested to see just what an adapted keto lifestyle will bring to your average guy.

Back Home – Stayed on the wagon, 28 days now.

Don’t get too excited, I am not ready for any results yet. I have slept maybe 5 hours over the last 4 days and have been going to the gym and coaching, frankly I don’t know how I haven’t collapsed. Here are some interesting things that I have found since on this strict keto thing for around 30 days now.

1. My mind is a lot sharper. I find my brain in constant movement, at first I thought it was just keeping me up at night out of spite but my retention of a technical manual I have been reading has been amazing.
2. My dreams are far more lucid and entertaining. This is probably the same thing as point one but interesting to note.
3. Twitchy legs are annoying. I find I am far more twitchy now than I was, if I am out during the day I am OK but if I sit still for too long my legs go crazy and it’s honestly stopping me from sleeping or even relaxing at times.
4. My energy at the gym is an unknown, I didn’t have access to my regular gym stuff so I can’t compare apples to apples, and since I am still very jetlagged I can’t compare currently how I feel with before I went away. Same goes for my weight and fat %, I am still not back to normal cycles and until I am, any statistics will be skewed. I will tell you that when I did weigh myself I was about 5 lbs down and 1.5% up but let’s wait on that.
5. Eating 4000 calories a day on this strict keto is no joke. My appetite has been virtually zero since I started and honestly there were times when I just couldn’t bring myself to eat. I was only hitting around 2500 a day and it was a struggle. I am not sure I would be able to manage 4000 every day. I know the whole point of his experiment was to see if overfeeding would affect him but even with my usual workouts I can’t really imagine hitting those numbers. Besides, I think if someone saw a person my age with a sedentary job killing off fat % eating 2500 or 3000 calories a day it would point in the same direction.

I think I will wait until the weekend to make any judgements. I need to get at least one workout per body part in to get the glycogen up to where it was before I left and get my sleep straightened out so that I am not skewing results with the jet lag. Once that is done, I should have a baseline for the at home test which I will start on the Saturday which is April 1.

Keto Vacation Update

Ever since I have tried the keto diet I have had two notable issues, one that I can’t seem to get the keto sticks to reflect any kind of ketones in my pee which hasn’t really bothered me since everyone says the pee sticks are unreliable. Second, I have always suspected that my protein intake was too high, I have long held the belief that I should be on the higher end of the 1g per lb rather than 1g per kg putting me up at 240g of protein a day. It seems that this seemingly minor change has made a big difference to my status since I am seeing changes this time around that I haven’t seen before. For a start the pee sticks are deep red going from the second to third level of reactions, something I have only ever seen once before. Second the amount of protein I am eating is around the 100-120g mark which puts me at the lower end of the 1g per kg or relatively speaking half what I would normally eat. The bulk of those calories have been coming from healthy fats with my intake around 80% every day.

So what has changed? Well we are recovering from our travels, being on the opposite side of the planet has had it’s drawbacks with jet lag and travel exhaustion but I think we are recovering now. For the first time I feel like I have really bad restless leg syndrome. I don’t know if this is part of what people mean when they say they have lots of energy but this is irritating as all hell. I know I have lost weight on keto previously but I think that was calorie restriction more than anything and I never really felt different from an energy standpoint. This time around I seem to be able to work out no problem, have energy to do things during the day and since I am not sitting at work all day but rather out enjoying the Australian Gold Coast it’s really not a fair comparison to my Canadian life. The big difference is the twitchy irritating feeling I get in my legs when I sit around for too long which I can’t tell if it is part of having more energy or just some annoying side effect of what I am doing Anyway, I left Canada at my yearly heaviest of just under 240lbs and I expect that when we return I will be down around 235 given the extra activity that I can’t escape while on holidays. Since I can’t really compare apples to apples I can’t say what the strict keto is doing but what I an can say is that I have been struggling with hitting 2500-3000 calories a day so I can’t imagine how 4000 calories would happen. I have to say I am not a 155lb short guy I am a 240lb 6 footer so I am amazed at how Jason managed to get the food done. The great thing is that so far I have been able to stick with the keto and that means I should be off to a good start when we get home.

Here’s a snip of what I have been eating while here:

Keto coffee
50g pecans
50g macadamia nuts
200g medium beef
60g of shredded cheese
5 eggs
9 tbsp Cream
Spinach or avocado


Keto On Vacation

This is going to be a challenge. I have found that there is something called thickened cream they use here to make food with and it’s heavy cream with gelatin or some other thickening agent added to it. Apparently they can’t steam it or make coffee with it but they can add it to a coffee if you insist. It isn’t bad but as far as having keto coffee on the road it’s virtually impossible. The woman at Pacific Fair almost fainted yesterday when I suggested she should put some butter in the cup as well as the cream. We have done some grocery shopping and managed to score all the regular stuff and have found the butter is yellower and the eggs are more orange then anything we get at home. The beef is all grass fed as is the butter and the burgers and sausages we had for dinner last night were excellent. Sticking to the full keto that I am supposed to be trying when I get back is going to be a little tricky, a bag of pecans and a bag of macadamia nuts cost me $30 although everything here seems a little pricey to me. I will do what I can, but I think there may be some sushi in my future and probably some other things that I wouldn’t be having once I get back.

Weather is nice, I managed to do a shoulder workout yesterday so activity is possible with the small gym on the property. There are 2 pools, on indoors and one outdoors which is exceptional for an apartment complex. Also a BBQ setup outside (I mean a proper 30 foot long counter with built in steel BBQ units) which is great and we used last night for dinner. I know the study that Jason Wittrock was referring to when he did his 21 day test was an overfeeding study so extra calories shouldn’t matter so much but I haven’t felt great waking up the last 2 days. I will put that down to jet lag for the time being and try to consciously only eat when I think I need to, hopefully that will settle my system down a bit.

So far so good though, still on full keto and trying to stay that way.

Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts

So I have to admit I don’t really like chocolate. I spent 3 summers packing chocolates in the old Sterling Road Rowntree / Nestle factory in Toronto including time spent on the night shift polishing smarties… Yes, that’s a thing. During that time I ate a lot of chocolate, but I was a University student so I was burning energy like crazy at the gym and playing rugby so eating several bars of chocolate a day (or the insides of Coffee Crisps) was not a problem. However, it wasn’t too long before I started to go off the idea of chocolate. Since then, having been exposed to real hand made Swiss Chocolate in Switzerland I found I had really spoiled my taste for the stuff and so when I finally gave up sugar all together it just didn’t bother me. Which is actually funny because two questions I get a lot in my life is how do I manage without alcohol (from the men) and how do I go without chocolate (from the women). Neither is particularly hard for me, I guess with 28 years sober under my belt I am reluctant to give that up and with 8 years of sugar free living at this point I am just over it. I get that it’s just not that easy for most people but I have the worlds deepest and widest stubborn streak when it comes to will power so for me when I make a decision, that is the hard part done.

But back to my nuts. As Jason noted in his first few days of his keto challenge his appetite for macadamia nuts disappeared very quickly and his solution was to make a chocolate covering for them. So I thought I would give it a try.

100g of macadamia nuts
50g of pasture butter
2 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
a little stevia

I melted the butter in the microwave, mixed in the powder and threw in the stevia and nuts. It was very easy, I threw them in the freezer on a pieve of parchment paper and let the cold do it’s thing. I have to say they came out very well. For a lot of people, myself included, the bitter taste of pure cocoa powder isn’t pleasant which is why I don’t eat dark chocolate, but when it is mixed with fat and has a bit of stevia it’s actually pretty good. It does have a strong bitter finish but with the salt from the nuts it’s strangely appealing. The macros in case you are interested are as follows (this is for half the serving):

ITEM Calories Carbs Fat Protein Sodium Potassium
Kirkland – Dry Roasted Macadamia Nuts, 50 grams 411 7 43 4 179 0
Butter – Salted, 25 g 179 0 20 0 144 6
Cacao Powder, 1 Tbsp 35 3 2 2 2 71
625 10 65 6 325 77