ketosis

Top 3 ways to test for ketosis

Originally published on HVMN by Justin Liau, Michael Brandt and Nate Martins

HVMN lives on the bleeding edge of science. We try to stay up to date on the best methods to enhance human performance, including how to measure personal biomarkers. It’s a core principle at HVMN, an ethos to help anyone be the best version of themselves.

It’s also something we practice. CEO and Co-founder, Geoffrey Woo, measures his blood BHB levels using a blood reader device after drinking HVMN Ketone. These ketone levels are an excellent biomarker for tracking the effectiveness of fasting, ketogenic dieting, and exogenous ketones.


But there’s more than one way to test ketosis.

Why should you care about how high your ketone levels are?


HVMN takes a systems engineering approach to human performance: optimize inputs to achieve desired performance outputs.

Understanding blood ketone levels adds transparency and data fundamental to biohacking. It offers insight into where you might feel best, or help optimize diet to achieve personal goals. Many people monitor blood ketone levels while on the keto diet or taking exogenous ketones to verify that they’re actually in ketosis.


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Setting a baseline while on the keto diet is helpful, especially if you’re using the keto diet for weight loss and other health benefits like controlling metabolic syndrome. For those on the low-carb, high-fat keto diet trying to lose weight, moderate ketone levels could be an indicator measurement of your dietary needs to reach those weight loss goals.

When on the keto diet, fat stores are broken down and fatty acid concentrations increase in the bloodstream. Those fatty acids are turned into ketones in the liver. When ketone levels exceed 0.5mM, that’s considered to be a state of “ketosis.” Nutritional ketosis is defined as blood ketone levels ranging from 0.5 - 3.0mM by pioneering ketone scientists Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney in “The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living.”1

There are three methods to measure ketone levels; with this data, you’ll have the power to optimize your biohacking protocol.

Blood Testing

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Pros

  • Most accurate way to measure ketosis in mmol/L (mM)

  • Measures BHB, the predominant ketone in the body, rather than acetoacetate or acetone

Cons

  • You need a handheld device (i.e., Precision Xtra or Keto Mojo) and test strips, which can be expensive relative to other techniques

  • You have to take a finger prick blood sample which can be bothersome and invasive at first until you get used to it

When testing blood using a BHB/glucose meter, you’re getting the most accurate measurement available. The meters measure glucose or ketone levels depending on which test strips are inserted. Those with diabetes commonly use the same procedure and the same blood meters to measure their blood glucose levels. It's critical for people with diabetes to control blood sugar levels and also to avoid dangerously high levels ( > 20mM) of ketones, known as ketoacidosis.

A blood BHB/glucose meter provides the most accurate measurement available. These meters measure glucose or ketone levels depending on which test strips are used. Those with diabetes commonly use the same procedure and the same blood meters to measure their blood glucose levels. It's critical for people with diabetes to control blood sugar levels and also to avoid dangerously high levels ( > 20mM) of ketones, known as ketoacidosis.

Using a blood ketone meter device is simple. You’ll need the device itself, compatible test strip, a lancet device (to pick the finger), lancets (needs to prick the finger) and an alcohol swab for sanitation.

To take a reading, follow these steps:

  • Remove the cap from the lancing device and insert the lancet into the device

  • Rotate the tip of the cap of the lancing device and set it to the desired depth of puncture

  • Arm the lancing device by sliding the control button until you hear a click

  • Insert a strip into the reader

  • Swab the tip of your left index finger with a sterile wipe

  • Place the lancing device firmly on your left index fingertip

  • Press the button on the lancing device to puncture your fingertip

  • Gently squeeze your fingertip to extract a large drop of blood

  • Hold the reader and touch the bottom of the strip to the blood sample

  • Hold the reader in place and allow the strip to absorb the blood sample

Wait a few seconds for the reader to analyze the sample

All things considered, using a blood meter might seem like the obvious choice to measure ketone levels. But the finger prick and cost may lead you to explore other avenues for testing. Here are a couple more options.

Urine Testing

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Pros

  • Relatively inexpensive

  • Widely available in pharmacies

  • Non-invasive

Cons

  • Less accurate than blood

  • Over time the body adapts to excrete fewer ketones in the urine

    Urine testing was designed to measure acetoacetate–one of three ketone bodies. But it doesn’t account for BHB, so urine testing may not be the most accurate measure of ketosis.

    Since urine is a waste product, what’s displayed on the ketone urine strips is what the body is excreting. By nature, that may not be the best indication of how well the body is utilizing ketones as fuel. As you become more keto-adapted, you’ll excrete fewer ketone bodies through urine. Hydration status can also affect these ketone readings, and leads to inconsistent results–as relative hydration level can dilute the concentration of ketones in urine.

    It comes down to this: urine ketone stirps are a cheap and easy way to get an understanding of early ketone levels, but for long-term use, they’re not the most accurate option.

    Breath Testing

    Pros

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  • After purchasing the device, it’s free each time you test

Cons

  • You need a handheld device (e.g. Ketonix)

  • Less accurate than blood meter

Breath ketone meters are relatively new to the market for testing ketone levels. They specifically measure the amount of acetone excreted in breath, providing readings that relate well to blood ketone levels at low concentrations.

But the research is limited. There haven’t been enough studies done to confirm the accuracy of breath acetone meters at higher levels, such as the level achieved after drinking HVMN Ketone. Acetone is the simplest and smallest of the three ketone bodies.

Choosing the Right Ketone Meter for You

In general, we recommend testing ketone levels if you’re trying to achieve nutritional ketosis or using exogenous ketones like HVMN Ketone.

If you're interested in achieving ketosis almost immediately, try our flagship product, HVMN Ketone. Blood ketone levels after using HVMN Ketone can reach 6mM, making it one of the most advanced ketone products on the market. You can try it here. Try consuming the product and testing blood ketone levels after to see the impactful results.

Fat burning mode via the ketogenic diet is tough to maintain–so it’s helpful to monitor ketone levels to make sure your efforts are worthwhile. While ketone readings don’t paint the whole picture of ketosis, they’re a large piece of the puzzle. You’ll have more transparency into what’s happening inside the body, developing an understanding of how fast and the level of ketosis you’re able to achieve.

Over time, some people develop intuition around what diet or routines lead to a given ketone level, but it’s helpful to establish a periodic basis for using an accurate ketone measurement device to get reliable objective data.

The Keto Secret: How to lose weight without starvation, calorie counting or exercise

Fire Team Whiskey Founder, former Army Captain Stephanie Lincoln was fed up. She was frustrated because she was doing “all the right things” yet her weight continued to climb. She was eating “whole grains”, low fat, counting and controlling every calorie, exercising for 1-2 hours a day and yet, continued to gain weight. She threw in the towel and decided to embark on a search for the answer to her weight gain and long list of medical complaints. She then discovered this way of eating called Keto. Learn more about why keto resolved every single issue, cut her body fat in half, and the 3 “hacks” that made transitioning to keto easy and sustainable. Watch this webinar and learn about how you can use keto and these 3 “keto hacks” to lose weight without calorie counting, starvation or exercise.

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey LLC 2019 All rights reserved.

I ate over half a gallon of coconut oil in 60 days and here is what happened....

With the recent attacks on coconut oil by the American Heart Association and the long running medical view that coconut oil (which is high in saturated fat) is a “poisonous” food for humans to consume, I decided to do my own N=1 experiment.

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I bought a big jug of coconut oil (over half a gallon) and consumed, cooked with, drank or used on my skin the entire jug in 60 days. Here is what this looked like for me:

Every morning I had two cups of coffee with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 10 tablespoons of heavy cream. For lunch, I had a coconut MCT oil shake in the form of a Fire Team Whiskey SpecOps Shake. And when I made dinner, any vegetable or meat I cooked on a skillet was cooked in coconut oil. And sometimes I use it on my skin if my skin is especially dry.

According to the American Heart Association, because I am eating so much saturated fat, my "bad cholesterol" should be through the roof, I should be getting fat, and that I should be about ready to have a stroke or a heart attack any moment. I have been eating well over their recommended daily limit of 13 grams of saturated fat a day for 2 years now. I average about 100 grams of saturated fat per day! My blood work is exceptional in every single area. My body fat is at 16.5 percent. I have never been fitter. I have never felt healthier. According to the American Heart Association, I should be terribly sick or a heart attack waiting to happen...yet I can hike up a mountain for days with a 50-pound pack on my back and leave everyone in my dust. My ticker seems to have no trouble ticking.

So what is the conclusion of my little experiment of consuming over half a gallon of the "deadly" saturated fat filled coconut oil in 60 days and 2 years now of eating about 100 grams of saturated fats a day? The American Heart Association guidelines are not based on sound science. They provide dietary guidelines based on very old, faulty science, and refuse to consider any information that conflicts with their own. (Want to learn more about this saturated fat/cholesterol myth? Read the book Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore, it will blow your mind!

Want to learn more about the health benefits of coconut oil and it’s derivative, MCT Oil? Check out this video below and go to this page with a summary of over 20 scientific articles about the health benefits of MCTs.

FTW Founder Stephanie Lincoln discusses what happened when she ate over half a gallon of coconut oil in 60 days and the 12 benefits of coconut oil.

Copyright Fire Team Whiskey, LLC 2019 All rights reserved.

IS THE KETO DIET DANGEROUS?

Jillian Michael's recently went on a rant about the ketogenic diet and how she feels it is dangerous. The Ketogenic diet is a safe and healthy way to reduce your body fat and help all sorts of chronic medical conditions.

The Fire Team Whiskey nutrition plans walk our participants into a ketogenic lifestyle safely and gradually...avoiding the pitfalls of a sudden drastic drop in carbs and calories.

Keto is a form of eating that uses your body's natural ability to burn fat as energy. This state in the body is called KETOSIS. In order to burn fat as energy, you must greatly reduce the amount of carbohydrates and sugars in your daily diet. When your body runs of sugar to burn - it burns fat. This fat burn then creates the superfuel called KETONES. Ketones can not be stored as fat (unlike carbs) and are a super efficient energy source for your skeleton, muscles, heart and brain. Ketones produce almost endless energy and focus and have a ton of health benefits.* The Fire Team Whiskey® Caliber Nutrition Protocols, the FuelRation™ Keto Bars and SpecOps™ Shakes are all designed to support a keto lifestyle and keep your body burning and not storing fat

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After years of struggling with her weight, Fire Team Whiskey® Founder, CPT Stephanie Lincoln, discovered this way of eating and it changed her life. In fact, her body fat, fitness and health changed so dramatically thanks to the keto lifestyle, that she was inspired to share this way of life with Veterans, Military Members and First Responders. Why? Because Keto was the one way of eating that didn't require a lot of sacrifice and calorie cutting. Who wouldn't want to lose weight and still be able to eat bacon, cheese burgers, and steak?! 

The Fire Team Whiskey .22 Caliber Program starts you on your journey to ketosis. Unlike may other keto style eating plans, the .22 Caliber Protocol helps a person gradually transition into this way of life. No matter how busy you are, what shift you are on, or how much you travel, you can stay on your Caliber Eating plan. How is this possible? Not only can you get foods anywhere that follow the Caliber Eating plan guidelines, but you have the Fire Team Whiskey® FuelRation™ Bars and SpecOps Shakes™ to have on hand just in case you need a healthy keto snack or meal, right now

Join the FTW Keto Army and stop the yo-yo dieting, counting calories and worrying about the fact that you keep gaining weight as you get older. With the Fire Team Whiskey Nutritional Protocols, you will lose weight, burn fat, have endless energy and focus, never worry about weight gain again, all while LOVING WHAT YOU EAT! These Fire Team Whiskey Participants have discovered the life changing benefits of this way of eating and you can too!

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What is the keto flu and how do you cure it?

The Fire Team Whiskey eating plans and supplements transition our participants to a ketogenic lifestyle. We designed our nutritional programs to slowly walk a person to a keto lifestyle over the course of 90 days. Taking a slower approach can help you avoid the dreaded “keto flu” and this is why we designed our nutritional plans in this manner. It is important to be vigilant and to make these adjustments in your lifestyle by adding supplements and paying attention to potential signs of the keto flu. If you would like to take a slower approach to starting a keto lifestyle and try the Fire Team Whiskey Keto nutritional Programs, chech out your options by clicking on the button below.

This article was republished on the FTW Blog site with the permission of HVM

Authored by Dr. Brianna StubbsAarushi Bajaj and Nate Martins • December 14, 2018

You've decided to try the keto diet. The low-carb, high-fat diet can be great for performance and decreasing body weight, but the body needs a little bit of time to adapt to fat as an energy source. Often, there are some symptoms involved during this period of adaptation.

It's called the "keto flu," a commonly-experienced set of side-effects associated with carbohydrate withdrawal. This may sound like withdrawal from substance abuse; interestingly, recent studies have compared the effect of carbohydrates (particularly sugar) on the brain to that of addictive drugs like cocaine.1 Reported symptoms include: mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and dizziness. It can last anywhere from a day to a couple weeks.

Shortsighted dieters may allow keto flu knock them off the diet altogether–but after a period of metabolic adaptation, the body adjusts to the change and will reach a state where it's burning fat as a fuel source, a largely-stored, but for many, a largely untapped bodily energy source. There are several ways to reduce, prevent or manage symptoms of the keto flu. We'll discuss some of the most common symptoms, the science behind them, and offer some solutions to nascent keto dieters.

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Science Behind Keto Flu

Carbohydrates are the body's preferred energy source. When those are restricted, the body responds through a series of changes to transition from using glucose (stored carbs) for energy to using fat. This gear-switching is a good thing; but it's also the reason for keto flu. First, blood sugar drops and causes hypoglycemia,, which is low blood sugar < 55 mg/dL.2 In response, the body changes both the fuel it uses for energy and how neurons in the brain function. Second, changes occur in other bodily systems that alter electrolyte, water and hormone levels–this can lead to dehydration from following the ketogenic diet.


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Falling Blood Glucose

The physical consequences of sudden carb removal, we must first understand that our body generates energy using two main mechanisms: glycolysis (converting glucose to energy) and beta-oxidation (converting fat to energy).

Complying with a low-carb ketogenic diet means forcing the body to switch from using carbs as energy (via glycolysis) to using fats as energy (via beta-oxidation). After a period of adaptation, the body usually begins to generate energy from the breakdown of ketones (via a process call ketolysis) instead of glucose. This switch occurs because the body breaks down fatty acids into ketones so the brain can use them for fuel.3 

What happens when the body hasn't yet learned to burn fat and produce ketones? That's where hypoglycemia comes it. The result is a temporary energy deficit and low blood sugar. Remember: this is a transient period of adaptation. Switching to using fats and ketones as energy varies by person, depending on a mix of genetics and habitual diet; some individuals demonstrate a greater metabolic flexibility than others. These lucky individuals may show far fewer symptoms or experience the flu for a shorter duration.

Research has found the same pathways of the reward system in the brain are activated in both high-carb foods and cocaine or heroin. Both cause the release of dopamine (a "feel good" hormone). Regular carb consumption modifies gene expression and dopamine receptor availability in that reward system over time. This translates to a need for even more carbohydrates to have the same effect on those brain receptors. So the sudden removal of carbohydrates can lead to withdrawn symptoms, both physical and psychological.

Electrolyte Imbalance and Dehydration

Electrolytes are the minerals in the body that are derived from salts, e.g. calcium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and sodium. Electrolyte levels, controlled by the kidneys, are crucial for maintaining bodily functions such as heartbeat regulation and muscle contraction.4 

Why does the ketogenic diet cause these imbalances? Carbohydrate restriction, and thus insulin release. With a lower carb intake, insulin levels drop.

Insulin signals cells in the body to absorb glucose in the bloodstream, and signals the kidneys to store more water.5 Lower insulin levels (as a result of decreased carb intake) means the kidneys now store less water. This results in dehydration and the flushing out of electrolytes in the process.6 Stored carbohydrates (glycogen) trap three grams of water per gram of glycogen–so this also causes a depletion while on keto, further contributing to the reduced amount of water and electrolytes in the body.

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Hormonal Stress Response 

A poorly-formulated ketogenic diet (one too low in calories or deficient in micronutrients) can trigger a starvation response in the body, thus raising levels of cortisol (stress hormone). 7Cortisol release is the body's attempt to product the brain by raising blood sugar, trying to compensate for the now low blood sugar caused by carb reduction. If excess cortisol is released, stress response and blood sugar stability can become deregulated.

Thyroid hormones are also something to consider. They have several function, including the maintenance and regulation of carbohydrate/energy metabolism. The T3 (or euthyroid) is the most biologically active form of the hormone, and is linked to dietary carb consumption. T3 levels have shown to decrease in response to carb restriction below a certain threshold (which varies from person to person).8 The result may be fatigue or difficulty focusing through the adaptation period. Conversely, lowered T3 is also hypothesized to bring several benefits if thyroid function is normal. This includes improving longevity and preserving muscle mass.

While discomfort may result during the transition, you can rest assured that lowered T3 does not appear to be indicative of hypothyroidism.9  

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Solutions to Common Symptoms

Symptoms of the keto flu vary from person to person. But there are easy solutions one can leverage to help combat these symptoms.

If you're looking for a supplement to help with keto flu, try HVMN Ketone, our flagship product. HVMN Ketone can give you an energy boost without the need for carbs, while keeping your blood ketone levels elevated. Try it here.

Headaches

In ketosis, headaches can occur due to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. With low insulin levels, the kidneys go into a diuretic state, so potassium, water, and sodium are excreted. A silver lining here is the loss of excess water weight (and thus weight loss) with the decrease in stored water. Conversely, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance are the reasons for many keto flu symptoms. Monitor salt and water intake while on keto, and consider supplementing with electrolytes.

The necessity of electrolyte management is underestimated on low-carb diets. Even if macronutrient intake is monitored correctly, maintaining the correct balance of electrolytes often goes overlooked. The cause of electrolyte imbalance? Usually, it's eating too few mineral-rich fruits and vegetables when transitioning to the keto diet. Removing salt-laden, processed foods means the body is now cut off from the sodium or electrolyte sources it once had. While many keto dieters are weary of increasing sodium intake and raising blood pressure, removing processed foods from the diet and reducing carb intake already has a significant blood pressure-lowering effect.10

Supplementing other minerals is also vital. Magnesium is important for the body, contributing to muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and protein synthesis.11 Potassium is also helps proper functioning of the heart, digestion and muscle function.12 Foods rich in potassium and magnesium include tomatoes, avocados, salmon, nuts, leafy greens, and animal protein. Bouillon cubes, homemade stocks (like beef broth or chicken broth), and sea salt are all rich in sodium and minerals. One should consume these to minimize the risk of headaches. 

Cramps

Cramping is the most common sign that electrolytes are out of balance.

The common mistake is not drinking enough water to compensate for water during the keto transition phase, which may result in low blood pressure and constipation, other than just cramps.6 Causes for cramps can also be caused by low potassium or low magnesium. Animal protein is an excellent potassium source, and the juices from cooking meats should be retained for this purpose. For magnesium, seek out leafy greens; the darker the better!

Constipation 

This may be a result of the digestive system transitioning on keto. Any dramatic lifestyle changes impact gut microbiome, inevitably altering bowel movements. Dehydration can worsen constipation (because of the increase excretion of fluids by the kidneys). Eliminating high-carb fruits and vegetables can also reduce dietary fiber and contribute to constipation.

Eat plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, exercise and drink plenty of water every day. But be warned–eating excessive fiber can also lead to constipation, so finding a balance is necessary. That balance is something that can only be determined from personal experience.13 MCT or medium-chain triglyceride oils are a solution. This may help to relieve constipation, as fat can help push bowel movements through. Finally, care should be taken to ensure your calorie intake is adequate, as not eating enough calories can also contribute to constipation.

Bad Breath

Some keto dieters experience bad breath, discerningly fruity or similar to nail polish remover. Besides the oder, this might be positive–it's an indicator of a body in ketosis. However, it's usually reported to go away within a week or two, once the body adapts to the new metabolic state it is in. Maintaining good oral hygiene, increasing water intake, and using gum or breath freshener can help mask or reduce the smell in the interim while the body is still adapting. 

Fatigue, Low Mood, and Cravings 

As the body adapts to ketosis, decrease in energy levels and weakness are often reported, which can impair physical performance. Fatigue can last anywhere from three days to weeks as the body prepares new enzymes for the diet.

The tiredness may be caused by thyroid hormone and cortisol changes; the body is trying to compensate for the lowered carbohydrate intake by releasing more cortisol, which raises blood sugar. The possible result? Irritable mood and reduced sleep quality. Since cortisol levels are likely to reduce again when the body becomes keto-adapted, these symptoms should be temporary. To lessen fatigue, water and mineral intake should be carefully monitored (and likely increased). B vitamins, particularly B5, are vital for helping with fatigue and lethargy. It's crucial to eat enough calories from fat for sustenance, as being under-fueled can also cause fatigue.

Removing glucose from the diet can affect mood and cause cravings. Replacing foods you crave with low-carb alternative or removing food "triggers" can help reduce the psychological (and thus physiological) symptoms of carb withdrawal. While there are low-carb recipes for some of your favorite treats, many people who have successfully transitioned to the ketogenic diet say that just going “cold turkey” on sweet-tasting things and refined sugars helps to get rid of those nasty cravings sooner.

You may be doing keto wrong.

The ketogenic diet is difficult to maintain–there’s a ton of misinformation and pseudoscience out there about the best ways to burn fat. Subscribe to receive the latest facts and techniques (backed by science) for executing keto properly.

Summary

Keto flu systems are often transient, disappearing completely after keto-adaptation.

Lifestyle determines length and severity of the keto flu for the individual, with symptoms likely greater for individuals who ate a high-carb diet previously. Even during transition, the symptoms can be alleviated if treated smartly. A well-formulated low-carb diet can progress without significant symptoms if the common mistakes of poor mineral intake, lack of fiber, electrolyte imbalance, and dehydration are addressed.

Avoid falling into the common trap of assuming your body is not suited to the low-carb diet after just a few days, and instead, consider careful monitoring of water and mineral intake particularly for the days/weeks it takes your body to adapt. Have a look online for some keto support groups if you have questions, and perhaps think about trying exogenous ketones, like HVMN Ketone. Exogenous ketones can give you an energy boost as beta-hydroxybutyrate without the need to take in carbs.

Have you experienced keto flu symptoms while transitioning onto the keto diet? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Scientific Citations

1.Ahmed SH, Guillem K, Vandaele Y. Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care. 2013; 16(4):434-9.2.Desimone ME, Weinstock RS. Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia. [Updated 2017 Sep 23]. In: De Groot LJ, Chrousos G, Dungan K, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK355894/3.Manninen AH. Metabolic Effects of the Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood “Villains” of Human Metabolism. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2004;1(2):7-11. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-1-2-7.4.Balcı AK, Koksal O, Kose A, et al. General characteristics of patients with electrolyte imbalance admitted to emergency department. World Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2013;4(2):113-116. doi:10.5847/wjem.j.issn.1920-8642.2013.02.005.5.Rubenstein AH, Mako ME, Horwitz DL. Insulin and the kidney. Nephron. 1975; 15(3-5):306-26.6.Artunc F, Schleicher E, Weigert C, Fritsche A, Stefan N, Häring HU. The impact of insulin resistance on the kidney and vasculature. Nature reviews. Nephrology. 2016; 12(12):721-737.7.Waldman HS, Krings B, Basham SA, Smith JW, Fountain BJ, McAllister MJ. Effects of a 15-Day Low Carbohydrate, High-Fat Diet in Resistance-Trained Men. (1533-4287 (Electronic)).8.Pasquali R, Parenti M, Mattioli L. Effect of dietary carbohydrates during hypocaloric treatment of obesity on peripheral thyroid hormone metabolism. Journal of endocrinological investigation. ; 5(1):47-52. [pubmed]9.Fontana L, Klein S, Holloszy JO, Premachandra BN. Effect of long-term calorie restriction with adequate protein and micronutrients on thyroid hormones. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. 2006; 91(8):3232-5.10.Chen L, Caballero B, Mitchell DC, et al. Reducing Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Is Associated with Reduced Blood Pressure: A Prospective Study among U.S. Adults. Circulation. 2010;121(22):2398-2406. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.911164.11.Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals, NIH12.He FJ, MacGregor GA. Beneficial effects of potassium on human health. Physiologia plantarum. 2008; 133(4):725-35.13.Ho K-S, Tan CYM, Mohd Daud MA, Seow-Choen F. Stopping or reducing dietary fiber intake reduces constipation and its associated symptoms. World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG. 2012;18(33):4593-4596. doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i33.4593.

FTW Fat Bomb Shake

FTW Fat Bomb Shake

Ingredients:

1 scoop Keto Joe SpecOps™ Shake

1 Keto Chocolate Chip FuelRation™ Bar 

Directions:

Add 8 oz of water to your blender

Add 1 scoop Keto Joe SpecOps™ Shake

Add cut or broken off pieces of a full Keto Chocolate Chip FuelRation™ Bar 

Add ice if desired

Blend and Done!

Copyright 2018. Fire Team Whiskey, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 

FTW Keto Bread Recipe

FTW Keto Bread Recipe

 

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 40 min

Total Time: 55 min

 

Ingredients:

½ cup melted butter

2 tbsp. coconut oil

7 eggs

1 tsp. baking powder

2 cups almond flour

½ tsp. xanthium gum or baking soda

½ tsp. salt

 

Directions: (makes 16 slices)

  1. Preheat oven to 350*.

  2. Beat eggs for one minute.

  3. Add coconut oil and melted butter to eggs and mix for one minute.

  4. Mix all dry ingredients well.

  5. Add ½ of dry ingredients to wet ingredients an d mix well.

  6. Add second ½  of dry to wet and mix well.

  7. Spray bread loaf pan with non-stick spray and add mixture evenly.

  8. Bake at 350* for 40 minutes or until done.  Check middle with a toothpick or fork.

  9. Let cool for 5 minutes, then cut sides with a knife and flip over on a plate to cool completely.

  10. Enjoy!

 

Nutritional Info: (one serving = 2 slices)

Calories: 234 – Fat: 23 grams – Carbs: 1 gram – Protein: 7 grams

 

Copyright 2018. Fire Team Whiskey, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 

FTW Keto Bagel Recipe

FTW Bagel Recipe

 Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time:  14 minutes

Total Time:  19 minutes

 

Ingredients: (makes 6 servings)

1.5 cups Almond Flour

1 tbsp. Baking powder

2.5 cups mozzarella cheese shredded

2 oz. cream cheese

2 eggs (beaten)

Seasoning of choice (everything but the bagel seasoning)

 

Directions:

1.       Preheat oven to 400*.

2.      Combine almond flour and baking powder and mix well.

3.      Combine mozzarella cheese and cream cheese in separate microwavable bowl and heat on high for 2 minutes. (stir every 30 seconds)

4.      Combine flour mixture, cheese mixture and eggs in a large bowl and mix well.  Knead the dough until fully mixed. (used cooking spray to keep from sticking to hands.

5.      Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6.      Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 6 parts.

7.      Roll pieces into 6-inch logs and form a circle and lay on parchment paper.

8.      Bake at 400* for 14 minutes.

9.      Let cool for several minutes and enjoy!

 

Nutritional facts: (one serving)

Calories: 360, Fat: 28 grams, Total Carbs: 8 grams, Protein: 21 grams, Sugar: 1 gram

 

Braised Steak with Mushrooms and Onions

Sunday is my "crock pot" and meal prep day. A crock pot meal is an easy way to get a couple of meals for the weeks done with very little effort. Basically just cut some stuff up and throw it into the pot. So if you use the excuse of "I don't have time to meal prep". You need to get yourself a crock pot. Here is the recipie to this delicious and very comforting stew like dinner I made as a part of my meal prep this week. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 white onion, diced

8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

1 Teaspoon of brown sugar

1 TBS of dried Thyme

1/2 cup of beef broth

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

2 Teaspoons of instant tapioca pudding powder

2 8 ounce beef blade steaks

Instructions:

Place onion, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, brown sugar  and olive oil into a microwave safe bowl. mix thoroughly Microwave for 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in beef broth, tapioca powder and soy sauce. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and place into the slow cooker. Cover and cook 6-7 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. 

After cooking, transfer steaks to a serving dish. Skim any fat off the top layer of the leftover broth. Spoon the leftover vegetable gravy/sauce into the serving tray with the steaks. Let steaks rest at least 5 minutes before serving. For you carbivores, serve over rice or noodles. For us low carbers, serve over steamed broccoli or veggie rice. Enjoy!

 

© Fire Team Whiskey, LLC, 2018, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

I Can't Belive I can Eat Steak and Lose Weight

The #1 reason why I love being on a low carb/high fat/moderate protien diet is that I dont feel like I am missing out on anything! Even breads and sweets can be made with almond flour and sugar substitutes like monk fruit and stevia, so there is no problem at all with me saying "no" to the bread basket and desert at the restaurant....I have my own just as yummy alternatives at home. Our Fire Team Whiskey Protocol Participants agree! I hear almost weekly from our Enlistees: "Are you sure I can have bacon?" "I can have steak?!" and "I get to eat cheese!". Yes, yes and yes. And the pounds start melting off. You feel like you are living in "opposite world" where everything you were ever told about losing weight (i.e. the low fat, high carb standard American diet) is not true. Here is my weekly "I can't believe I can eat steak this and lose weight" staple:

STEAK WITH CREAMED PARMESEAN SPINACH AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS

INGREDIENTS

2 six to 8 ounce steak filets

2 cups of baby spinach leaves

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup white onion, diced

1 cup of heavy cream

1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, grated

2 cups of Brussel sprouts

Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Himalayan sea salt or kosher salt

Black pepper

2 TBS of ghee (if cannot be found, use olive oil) 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare vegetables. Mince garlic, dice onion and cup Brussel sprouts into halves. Grate 1/4 cup of a block of hard parmesan cheese.

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Pour 4 Tablespoons of olive oil evenly on the pan. Add salt and pepper in an even amount on the pan (this it to your own taste, I prefer a lot of salt and even more pepper). Roll the Brussel Spouts in the olive oil, salt and pepper, coating each. Ensure the Brussel Sprouts are arranged in a single layer on the cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until browned. 

Place skillet on a burner on high heat with 2 tablespoons of ghee. Let the ghee melt and start to pop (high flash point...be careful of the hot oil popping up and burning you!). Place the steaks on the skillet and let sit until well browned and seared on each side. Dont press the meat, just let it sit to sear, this preserves and seals the juices inside to make the meat more tender. After both sides are well seared, place the steaks on a aluminum foil covered baking pan. Place the steaks on the bottom rack of the oven. Cook to your preferred temperature (I like my steaks a little more well done, others prefer more rare. My suggestion is that you check the meat every 5 minutes and use the "finger press" method or a meat thermometer to ensure your meat is cooked to your liking). After removing steaks from oven, let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

Place a skillet on the burner to medium heat. Place one tablespoon of olive oil into the skillet with the minced garlic and onions. Sauté until the vegetables turn clear and pliable. Pour the heavy cream and cheese into the skillet, stir until the cheese begins to melt. Add the spinach and continue stirring until the spinach leaves wilt thoroughly and all of the ingredients are blended together. 

Enjoy! 

© Fire Team Whiskey, LLC, 2018, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

MRE™ REPLACEMENT SUPPLY

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Why are we calling this package the MRE™ Replacement Supply? If you are a current or former Military Service Member, you are very familiar with the DoD Meal, Ready-to-Eat™ (MRE™). The Department of Defense somehow concluded that this was the way a Warrior should be fueled.  We at Fire Team Whiskey® HIGHLY DISAGREE. The average calories in one MRE™ is 1,250.  The macronutrient balance average in one MRE™ is as follows: CARBOHYDRATES: 51%, PROTIEN: 13%, FAT: 36%. One MRE™ contains an average of 57 grams of sugar. According to DoD, they recommend that a Military Service Member consume three MRE™s per day in order to ensure proper caloric intake in the field. This equals to roughly 3,750 calories per day with over half of these calories being carbohydrates. The recommended daily calories for an average male is 2,500. For a female it’s 2,000. No matter how hard you are working in the field, you are not burning anywhere near the additional 1,250 to 1,750 calories. Also, if you eat 3 MRE™ meals in a day, you are consuming an average of 171 grams of sugar. With 4 calories per gram of sugar that equals 684 calories from sugar in a day. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 150 calories from sugar a day for men and no more than 100 calories from sugar per day for women. 

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Let’s compare this to the Fire Team Whiskey® .22 Caliber Eating Plan. The .22 Caliber Eating Plan for a day includes 3 meals and 2 snacks (allowing for one FuelRation™ Bar and one SpecOps™ Shake to be one of those meals or snacks during the day). The average total calories on the .22 Caliber Eating Plan is 2,139.  The marconutrient percentages are as follows: FATS: 60%, PROTIEN: 25%, CARBOHYDRATES:  15%. This balance is called Ketosis, using fat as your body’s energy source.  Fat as fuel lasts longer, so you don’t have to constantly eat for energy and don’t have to eat very much at a time. Fat keeps you feeling energized because fat burns much more slowly than carbohydrates. Fat also provides a much more efficient fuel for brain functioning, providing improved focus, reaction time and processing time.  The .22 Caliber Eating plan also averages less than 25 grams of sugar per day, which actually meets the more stringent World Health Organization’s recommendation of no more than 25 grams of sugar per day.

Let’s replace the MRE™ with food that makes sense for a Warrior to be consuming. Food that provides long lasting energy, requiring less eating. Food that prevents blood sugar crashes and carbohydrate overindulgence inducing sleepiness. Let’s replace the need for Warriors to constantly consume energy drinks and sugar to get through a day. Let’s replace the food that reduces attentiveness, focus and causes fatigue with food that increases reaction time, attention and energy. Get a MRE™ Replacement Supply box and replace two meals or snacks a day for 30 days with our Warrior Fuel. Feel the difference for yourself! 

 

© Fire Team Whiskey, LLC, 2018, All Rights Reserved

The Match Vs. The Candle

Many of our new enlistees on the Fire Team Whiskey™ Caliber Protocols may be surprised when they see the eating plan for their Caliber. Each Caliber eating plan is a little different, but they all have one thing in common, it's focused on helping your body burn fat as fuel instead of glycogen. To most people this makes sense. We all want to burn fat right? But most people don't realize that the way they eat on a daily basis basically guarantees that no fat is being burned and even worse, the way that they are eating is encouraging the body to store more fat. I have a great illustration to describe this. Your body can only burn 2 kinds of energy: glycogen and ketones (a by-product of breaking down fat).  Think of glycogen as a match and ketones as a candle. Matches are easy to burn, right? They are a quick and easy source of fire and light but don't last very long at all. A candle is easy to light, but it takes a very long time to burn the candle wax. That fire has to work constantly for a long time to completely consume the wax of an entire candle. Because it does not take much energy or effort, the body likes to burn glycogen, a by-product the carbohydrates and protein that you eat.  It's quick, it's easy and the body can store it away in fat cells for later use if it has too much. As long as the body has plenty of matches, it never tries to burn the candle.  In order to burn those candles, the body has to stop refilling those matches. On the Fire Team Whiskey™ eating plans, we are getting you to eat in a pattern that allows for your body to run out of matches. This means, reducing the consumption of those things that refill those matches (carbohydrates and proteins) enough to force your body to burn the candle (body fat). I can hear you asking; "Why don't most people eat this way?" Its simple: because it's hard to switch from matches to candles. When your body is used to burning glycogen, it has a hard time remembering that there are plenty of candles around to burn. If you have ever stopped eating sugar or caffeine for lent, it's this same feeling. Your body is going through withdrawal. Initial feelings of fatigue, intense cravings, and all-out moodiness will happen. But once your body has adjusted and the brain has had some time away from those mood-altering substances, it adjusts. Your body comes out of that withdrawal, looks around and says "Hey, look at all these candles!" Then the magic happens....ketosis (or fat adaptation). Your body is an energy machine. You have no fatigue. No afternoon sleepiness after lunch. No "food coma". Your mind is sharp. You don't need that dose of caffeine to get you going. Suddenly in the gym, you feel like you can workout forever and never get tired. Your body has endless energy because most people (unless you are severely anorexic) have plenty of body fat stored to fuel our bodies for months without the need to eat. Curious? Enlist in one of our Caliber Protocol's and see for yourself!

 

© Fire Team Whiskey, LLC, 2018, All Rights Reserved