Thursday, March 12, 2015

USA Swimming Has Officially Entered the LCHF Fray

Yay!  A rebuttal fromUSA Swimming!  At least now I know that they are actually reading my stuff, eh?   

I am pretty sure they have been trying to pretend I don't exist since they turned down my application for the National Team Director position

Jill Castle is an MS, RDN, and has a website that promotes her two books on childhood nutrition, so I have to say she does have some skin in the game here.  I am not really making money on this stuff, but that is beside the point.  If she is so highly qualified, why is she making so many strong claims with no sources cited to back her up?

Read her article here at the USA Swimming website.

Her claims I can refute?:

“Both a low-fat diet supports and sustains cardiovascular health, and a high-carbohydrate diet is effective at fueling aerobic-based sports such as swimming.”

Well, actually, most of the gains in cardiovascular health with the low-fat diet come from people paying attention to what they eat and avoiding many of the foods that are obviously less healthy, like fried breading, sweets and sugary drinks.  As a matter of fact, this study addressed exactly that, and showed that while many diets made progress when leaving the crazy standard American diet behind, the low-carb diet did better in every measure of cardiovascular health, including more weight lost.  The low-fat diet has it's own risks that I would say are worse.

...and on the point of which is better to fuel aerobic-based sports, with the RQ improvements shown in the Manifesto, I would say that fat is the better fuel once adapted. Fat may not generate ATP as efficiently as carbohydrate to fuel high intensity exercise even with fat-adaptation, but if our goal is to train our bodies to draw more power aerobically by converting fast-twitch muscle fiber to become oxidative rather than glycolytic, I would say that excess carbs are adding interference that stands in the way.  This guy at Reddit did the complex math and it seems that glucose still wins by a hair, but the increase in hemoglobin due to the high presence of Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (a prevalent ketone body,) probably trumps it in athletics, before even considering the potential change-over in fast-twitch muscle fibers from type 2b to 2a, and the glycogen sparing effect, which would be pretty valuable, not just in racing, but in training as well.  My contention is that with a long-enough adaptation, the trade-off is better in the way it actually applies to our sport.  Plus, just because you are eating low-carb, it doesn't mean that muscle glycogen is never re-fueled. I am pretty sure that no matter what you eat, during taper with the decreased workload, your muscle glycogen builds back up even if it is done slowly. I truly feel that my Viking Method gives me the best of both worlds and as I have said before, I feel better at high intensity than I ever have.

The ability to perform high intensity work is compromised due to decreased glycogen (carbohydrate) muscle stores.” 

Ummm… I just covered that--  that was kind of the whole point of the Manifesto—to show that this might not actually be the case.  I think I have already presented a pretty good argument there, that with adaptation time even high intensity parameters can improve.  Are you gonna tell me that LeBron James isn’t able to be intense in practice and games? 

“The negative side effects of the high-fat/ketogenic diet for sport have been outlined in the research and include:”

-dehydration.  Yeah.  This one I admit.  When you no longer store as much glucose, you no longer store as much water... but has there ever been any advice out there for athletes that included drinking less water?  Drink when you are thirsty and supplement with electrolytes.  You should be doing that if you are eating high-carb too.

-hypoglycemia (low blood sugar): It has been shown repeatedly in studies, not only in athletics but even in starvation as well, that in the absence of carbohydrate the human body actually does a better job of maintaining blood glucose at healthy levels once adapted.  When we eat carbohydrates, our blood sugar spikes and dips as insulin fights to regulate glucose levels. When we don't, we stay at a healthy level.  Check out this interesting case of a 40 day starvation fast:

Not that I am recommending forty days without eating to lose that last few pounds, but hey... it worked for this guy.

-increased risk of kidney stones.  This was a side effect in studies on children using the ketogenic diet to treat epilepsy.  In those studies, besides carbohydrate being severely restricted, water was often restricted as well. (As she points out in her article, the ketogenic diet for epilepsy is very different from the one recommended for athletes.) In later studies they have shown that this is not a concern provided that a person is properly hydrated, and in cases where it became a concern a simple prescription of potassium citrate often solved the problem. Many people also assume that since a ketogenic athlete might eat more protein when they cut out the carbs, that this is inherently harder on the kidneys. This is a myth.  One meta-analysis found high protein consumption might actually be preventive regarding many of the ailments that standard nutritional hype attributes to it.  Mark's Daily Apple does a nice write up here about kidneys and diet.  It's worth a read and has great links to back it up too.  Even the American Diabetes Association had to admit that low-carb isn't a concern with kidneys after this study comparing LCHF to Mediterranean and Low-Fat Diets.

-acidosis—um, I think she is too educated to be making this mistake.  She is confusing nutritional ketosis with ketoacidosis. Silly diet experts. Ugh.  There are some concerns with pH levels and those articles often refer to the potential for developing kidney stones as well, but most ketogenic diet resources have tips to make sure this is not an issue.  If this is an issue, you most likely have something else going on and the diet helped to expose it.

-weight loss—for most athletes, weight loss is a healthy goal.  The trick is to lose the weight in a way that spares muscle mass, which is one of the biggest benefits of the ketogenic diet over a high-carb diet.  We have all seen athletes who put in the work but still carry extra weight and can't seem to get as lean as everyone else. Heck, I know a guy who trains for triathlons about twenty hours a week and destroys everyone in the Clydesdale category, but you would think after ten years of bad-ass training he might be close to his old fighting weight, right?  Not even close.  It is hard to fathom, but carbs signal the body to store fat, and it is amazing how well that can be done even in the face of super high energy burning.  This study kind of cracked me up, because they claim their results prove that calories in/ calories out applies for weight loss no matter the macro-nutrient content, but then they are actually showing that when the dieters decreased the carbs and upped the protein and fat, their body composition improved.  The excess calories were stored, so technically they didn't lose weight, which I guess proves their point, but if you read it carefully you see that one group ended up leaner and stronger, meaning one group stored their equivalent weight as fat and the other group weighed the same but had less body fat percent and more lean muscle mass. (Those who consumed normal- and high- protein diets stored 45% of the excess calories as lean tissue, or muscle mass, while those on the low-protein diet stored 95% of the excess calories as fat.) Now tell me, is there anyone on a weight loss diet who would be disappointed with their weight not decreasing when it was because they were leaner with more muscle?  On the reddit keto forums, if you browse for a while, you will see this very thing over and over... so many people post that they were frustrated with the scale not moving until they realized their pants were looser and they needed a new belt even at the same weight.  Are there any athletes out there who wouldn't want this?  My recent body composition stats gel with this finding as well, as I have gained muscle without lifting.

-poor growth- The ketogenic diet for epilepsy often has protein severely restricted to prevent gluconeogenesis, or creating glucose from proteins.  Sometimes this is enough interference to cause some patients to have a lessened effect in seizure control.  This is certainly not the recommendation for athletes, and in her article she even compares this diet to the macronutrient contents of the keto diet for athletes:  "The traditional ketogenic diet is a modified blend of nutrients consisting of 90% fat, 2% carbohydrate and 8% protein, and has been used in children with seizure disorders and more recently in the management of obesity and other conditions. The high-fat/ketogenic diet used in athletes and research studies is generally modified to 70% fat, 15% protein and 15% carbohydrate."  I am not sure why anyone assumes that eating less carbohydrate would interfere with growth considering that fats and proteins are the building blocks for our cellular structure, but okay... maybe those ultra-healthy eskimo's had loaves of bread stashed somewhere that they hid from the white man when we arrived and started documenting their habits.  There is a lot of great farm land up there in the tundra.
It is more believable that they had these than that they had wheat fields.

-high fats (lipids) in the bloodstream—umm… waitamminit.  Nearly every study done in the last ten years shows the opposite of this.  And even those who are hyper-responders, developing more cholesterol from saturated fats, are typically shown to still have less risk for heart disease over-all based on overall improvement in risk factors when going low-carb.  The studies that show increased lipids and risk for heart disease are the ones that increase the fat without significantly reducing the carbs.  Recent studies have shown that even with the extreme macro-nutrient ratios of the ketogenic diet for epilepsy, this is not a cause for concern as the elevated cholesterol levels that typically come with the diet in some patients eventually calm down.  The only reason everyone thinks that carbs are good for the heart is because fiber can reduce cholesterol.  Big whoop...  Most ketogenic dieters get more fiber from green vegetables, even without the grains.  Also, the health risks of high cholesterol might not even outweigh the health risks associated with high fiber.  The meds they give you to control your cholesterol have also been proving to be worse than high cholesterol itself.

Remember this graph from the Manifesto?:
'nuff said.

-vitamin and trace element deficiencies— Include your green veggies if you are worried about it, and if you go full carnivore, eat your eggs, sardines, shellfish and liver.  It’s as simple as that.  I am not sure I have seen a single study that shows these deficiencies even in severely restricted epilepsy patients.  As a matter of fact, liver is a better choice for vitamins and minerals than any grain or other plant matter out there.  

-anemia-- where is she getting this from?  If she is talking Iron anemia-- I am not sure I know anyone who eats more red meat than me, which covers that easily even without all of the other foods I get iron from.  B12:  fish, shellfish, liver...  What about folate?:  The low-carb veggies are some of the best for this one.  Try spinach, avocado, asparagus-- this one is new to me.

My contention here is not that we have to be in ketosis all the time.  Kids do naturally have it easier regarding moving in and out of ketosis as they generally have not developed the insulin resistance levels of most adults.  I just think that the standard high-carb recommendations are insane.  Come on!  700 grams!?  70% of calories from carbohydrate?!  Ben Greenfield recommends between 100-200 grams of carbohydrate for those in endurance training.  This recommendation is also echoed by Dr Tim Noakes in a recent podcast about LCHF and children. Dr Noakes even lays out a pretty good argument for why LCHF would be better for kids than the grain-based high carb diet too. There are plenty of articles out there about how to help your kids safely eat a low-carb diet if you take the time to look it up on the Google.  To put it simply though, if you cut out grains, sweets and fake vegetable oils you are about 80% of the way there.  Does anyone really think that would be bad for kids?

There is a new movie out called Cereal Killers 2:  Run on Fat.  Please, check it out.  This movie features some of the leaders in low-carb athletics.  You can also watch part 1 here.  They both do a fantastic job of laying out the case for low-carb and are just excellent films that stand on their own merit.

Also, yesterday I was invited to be on the Swimming Science Podcast with G John Mullen, so watch for a link soon!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Films to Spread the Word About LCHF.

By now I assume your compulsion to believe everything you read on the internet has consumed you and you are ready to take the Viking's advice to drop the carbs...  but if you are like me, you have that one MAJOR obstacle:  well-meaning family and friends who want to prevent you from clogging your arteries with this crazy diet.  They try to shove bread down your gullet and sneak it into your snacks to prevent you from getting that dreaded "bread-deficiency disease" that they all assume must exist since, well...  I guess since Jesus was such a nice guy and gave people all that bread back in the day.

Nosey acquaintances will very rarely read the scientific mumbo-jumbo you throw in their faces, and they are often quick to dismiss anything that isn't their idea. That free donut at the faculty meeting makes a compelling argument compared to some pieces of paper with charts and scientific proof on it that say bacon is a healthier option.  Also, we have commercials like this to thank for making breakfast cereal look like it will automatically make you awesome at things like mystery solving, crimefighting and gymnastics all at the same time.

The only way to win them over?:  a film festival.  Get out some pork rinds and cheese dip and get your education on.  Here are some of your best options:  (Sorry, some of these require payment to rent or buy.)

1. Fathead

2. Cereal Killers part 1

3. Cereal Killers part 2: Run on Fat

4. Carb-Loaded:  A Culture Dying to Eat

5. The Perfect Human Diet

...and just for kicks, I am adding Dr. Barry Groves' HOMO CARNIVORUS in case the high production values of the other movies seem shady to them and they just need a good old power-point lecture.  Please watch it if you haven't already.  It will blow your mind and leave you wondering if your mom permanently damaged your health by forcing you to eat all those veggies when you were little.

Oh yeah... you should expect to be forced to watch the anti-LCHF movie that is based on vegan principles: "Forks Over Knives."  T. Colin Campbell makes a pretty compelling case in his film based on one of the largest nutrition studies in history, referred to as the "China Study,"  but anyone who directs you to that needs to be directed to this:  Raw Foods SOS

At Raw Foods SOS, a former Vegan and statistics fetishist, Denise Minger, butchers Dr Campbell's interpretation of data to show that maybe Vegans should just shut up and eat a steak. This is seriously worth the read.  She also wrote a book called Death by Food Pyramid that thoroughly explains the screwed up scientific and political breakdown that led to our government food guidelines getting so off-track.

Let me know what you think after you have your movie marathon.  I just watched Cereal Killers 2 for the first time this morning, and I have to say it is an excellent film that I hope a lot of people see and consider carefully.

Monday, March 2, 2015

THE VIKING MANIFESTO Part 7: How Do I Get Started on the LCHF Diet?

THE VIKING MANIFESTO: Piecing Together a New Approach to Nutrition and Training for Swimmers from Scientific and Anecdotal Evidence.
Part 7:  How Do I Get Started on the LCHF Diet?

Mark’s Daily Apple just helped you lose the extra weight with one drawing.

If you are still following along with the Manifesto at this point, then you must at least be intrigued enough to want to know what the low-carb, high-fat diet would look like in real life.  You may not quite be ready to drop the traditional nutrition info recommended by USA Swimming in articles like this, and presentations like this, but you at least want to know how different this might really be.  I doubt anyone wants to take it as far as I have, which means going almost completely carnivorous, but if you read below you can see that it doesn’t have to be that extreme.    This cat lived to be age 39 on bacon, eggs, broccoli and coffee. It can’t be that hard, right?  

39 year old cat.jpg
Bacon, eggs, broccoli and coffee.  This is key in my plot to break Jaring Timmerman’s records in the 100-104 age group.

The question is, do you have the nuggets to give this a try long enough to adapt and see if the low-carb, high-fat diet is really for you?

If you were to just jump in and try a low-carb high-fat or ketogenic diet, you would most likely feel miserable for a while and your performance in practice and meets would tank.  My contention throughout this multi-part series is that if you stick with it long enough to adapt your performance will recover in every way, and will improve significantly in some of the most important parameters of swimming training.  Add the correct training and this effect can be enhanced even more. So far though, I haven’t really gone into detail about how you would go about making the switch to LCHF in the most safe and efficient way.  I believe that this is optimal for everyone, but I also know that people who don’t have the force of will to be meticulous about it at first may have a bumpy ride.  

My basic advice?

  1. Do not jump into this in the middle of a season.  Use the time between seasons to get started because it is best to give yourself some adaptation time without the stress of a heavy training load.  There will also be a period of time where performance in practice and meets may suffer.  To give yourself the best chance of sticking with it you should use the pre-season to adjust.
  2. Make a doctor’s appointment.  Talk to your doctor about the change you want to make.  If you are nervous about taking nutrition advice from a stranger with an obsession with Norse culture, ask the doc for a full metabolic panel so that you have stats to compare later to know if there are any issues that come up that would cause you to need to adjust what you are doing.  This is not just about cholesterol.  Thyroid stimulating hormone, C-reactive Protein, A1C and other measurements can be included and monitored as well.  You will see some details below on why this might matter, but honestly, I wish I had done this myself just so that I could have shown off my improvements with some real stats.  Be prepared for push-back from the doctor though-- this is not what they were taught in med school so once in a while they might try to talk you out of it just because they don’t know much about it.  I printed stuff to bring to my doctor but she didn’t need to see it.  She was immediately on board and encouraged me to keep it up.
  3. My Fitness Pal and Runkeeper are your new best friends.  It is vital that you track your calorie burning and food intake, at least for the time that you are learning how to manage this diet.  This is not just for calories sake, and not just to monitor your macro-nutrient percentages.  It is also important to track sodium and potassium due to the water-shedding effect of LCHF.  If you want to see what I really eat and how I really train, ask to be my friend within these apps.  These apps are now just a routine part of my day.
  4. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ADOPT THIS LIFESTYLE WITHOUT THOROUGHLY READING UP ON IT.  Think about it.  You are taking nutrition advice from a stranger on the internet who you know nothing about except that he likes his hats to have horns.  Do your damn research and don’t just take my word for it.  At the bottom of this post will be a list of recommended reading.  Some of it should be considered REQUIRED READING and they will be marked with a **.  Do not skip these!

When someone asks me what it is I did to lose all this weight, I ask them “do you really want to know, or are you just making conversation?”  I don’t want to suck any unsuspecting friends into the rabbit hole with me just because they were being nice.  If they want to know, I send them this brief write-up I have saved on my phone:

Target around .8-1.2 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight.  ( I calculated that by subtracting my % body fat from my actual weight.)  More protein is okay sometimes, but less is not if you are working out. Stay between 0 and 150 grams carbohydrate.  The rest of your calories should come from fats. This is where you get your energy from. On the days you don't work out, stay at the lower end of the carbohydrates. When you are working out consistently and you have reached the weight you want to be at, it probably won’t hurt to have more.   Between ten and thirty percent of calories is plenty even for an ultra-endurance athlete. A ketogenic diet is normally considered to be one that stays below 50 grams of carbohydrate, but in heavy training you can probably be in ketosis without going quite that low.

Recommended foods: fatty meats (too much lean meat is high protein, low fat); olive oil (cold); coconut oil (the only one to cook with besides animal fats like lard); butter; heavy cream instead of milk; nuts, but not peanuts; seafood (get some canned sardines in olive oil, shrimp, etc.); lots of eggs; avocado; green leafy vegetables.

AVOID: partially hydrogenated oils; wheat, beans, rice, potatoes, legumes; sweets; sugary drinks, including sports drinks; anything deep fried and breaded is from the devil.  It is easy to over-do fruit: fructose refuels liver glycogen, which stands in the way of fat adaptation a little. Ideally the carbs you eat should go toward refueling muscle glycogen rather than liver if your goal is to stay in ketosis.  The more fibrous fruits, like berries, are best.

ELECTROLYTES: you will want to drink lots of water because the lower you go on carbs the more it is like a diuretic. This causes you to pee out electrolytes. The recommended supplementation is 5000 mg sodium, 1500 mg potassium, and 300 mg magnesium although sometimes it helps me to go higher. If you get leg cramps at night take another magnesium and/or back off the water a little and see if it helps.  I have even been adding a half-teaspoon of baking soda to my water once in a while and it seems to help with my leg cramps as well.

Basically, keto looks like this:
keto food pyramid.JPG
Yup.  You are flipping the food pyramid upside down.

Once you get used to eating this way, you may not feel hungry as often as you did before.  Part of the reason I started tracking with My Fitness Pal was because I could go so long without eating that I worried I wasn’t eating enough.  I now have to double check to make sure I am getting enough food to maintain my weight.  I am not kidding.  I no longer have the blood-sugar dips, afternoon sleepiness or food cravings that were once a normal part of my day.  Yes, the carb cravings eventually go away.  The hardest part of this diet is social:  you will be amazed at how much carbohydrate is thrown in your face every day, and you will eventually marvel at how much of what others eat is stuff that you no longer even consider to be food.  The guilt trips people lay on you over not eating a cracker can be sheer lunacy.

At first it was like this.  Now I walk into the teacher workroom and in my mind, those donuts might as well be bicycle parts.

But, Viking… none of these foods come in a box?!  How am I supposed to do a ketogenic diet around my crazy work schedule?  This was actually the hardest part for me at first.  I thought this diet would be expensive and I assumed I would not be able to do it since I am at the pool for most of my meals.  When I did the math on the two or three fast food combo meals a day I was eating before, I realized pretty quickly that keto could be cheaper… but then I had to prepare my own meals.  How do I manage that?: Simple-- I have a mini-fridge, a microwave and a George Foreman grill.  Easy peasy.  I stop by the grocery store on Monday mornings on the way to work and get my food for the week.  If I have time to stop by the butcher I stock up there as well.  (They sell individual 8 oz club steaks for $3.75!)   I learned to make some really kick ass scrambled eggs in the microwave and the rest is pretty easy.  Plus, anything can be made yummy with either cheese or Frank’s Red Hot all over it.  Am I right?  

DaVinci. Galileo. Edison. Tesla. Foreman.  This grill might be one of the most life-changing inventions in history.

Also, there are a million places online with keto friendly recipes, and many of them are creative ways to have your favorite non-keto meals in a low-carb way with substitutions.  You will see a lot of things like crushed pork rinds used as breading, or pizza crusts and taco shells made of bacon or cheese, which is better than bread anyway.  I mean, really… if you think even the Doritos taco shell beats a bacon taco shell, you got issues.

Can there be dangers associated with going low carb?  Well, yeah, but they can be managed.  Electrolytes are something that need to be taken seriously.  They are vital for heart function, and too much potassium can be even worse than not enough. I supplement daily with magnesium and potassium just to be sure I stay in a good range and I pay attention to MFP to make sure.  I also do not avoid salty foods. Ben Greenfield wrote an excellent article about what he believes are the four dangers of going low-carb, and fortunately he is a guy who not only manages this in his own triathlon training but is also a personal trainer who helps other athletes as well.  In this article, he recommends between 100-200 grams of carbohydrate for those who train with high-volume for a few reasons, which is still very low.  (He trained and rocked an IronMan this way.)  When he did his AMA on reddit I asked him how many carbs are necessary for my particular low-volume training regimen and he said I should be fine with 40-60 grams of carbohydrate which is about where I land naturally.  Of course, there are those out there doing high volume training with carb counts lower than mine, and Dr Attia is one of them, as he tells us in this podcast interview he did with Ben Greenfield. In that interview Dr Attia goes into detail about electrolytes, heavy training, and many other details about mistakes he made in managing the diet and I consider it mandatory listening. Unfortunately, in that interview, Dr Attia also says he wouldn’t recommend ketosis for a pool swimmer, but on that point I disagree with him simply based on my personal experience. (I don’t think he has ever heard of USRPT.)

Paul Jaminet, author of The Perfect Health diet, has also written a series of articles laying out what he thinks can be dangerous, even going so far as to speculate that there might be a “carbohydrate deficiency disease.”  He also claims that there are “nitrogen balance” issues with eating too much protein.  These are worth a read.  I am not trying to scare you away, of course, but I want you to see some points on the other side of the argument, so that if you should run into any problems you might have a resource to seek out changes that can make this diet more beneficial to you.

Are carbs gonna kill me if I eat them every once in a while?  Nah…  Mark’s Daily Apple has an 80% rule, meaning that we are creating good habits and if you change your lifestyle to eat right 80% of the time you are probably doing just fine.  I still enjoy ice cream with my kids once in a while.  I do avoid grains as much as possible, including rice and corn because they make me feel like crap.  Beans also give me stomach issues.  To be honest, most of my carbs are from fibrous green veggies, nuts, dark chocolate and red wine. Plus, Dr Attia claims that after exercise we may be able to eat some carbs without interfering with ketosis at all by calculating the glucose deficit based on workload, which is pretty handy for when you just feel like scarfing down something sweet.  There are also variations of the diet that are outlined in the /r/keto FAQ that incorporate carbs on a schedule so if you are struggling with straight up keto you can look into those to see if they work better for you.  Of course, after adapting for a while you may not feel the need.

...sometimes a treat is worth it.

What about cholesterol?  Well, just last week our government announced they will be removing cholesterol rich food avoidance from their guidelines.  Yup, eggs are back.  I recently wrote a post on cholesterol that has some links embedded within it if you are concerned and want to read up, but in the list of resources below I have the ** next to the /r/keto FAQ.  It is required reading and goes into detail about cholesterol and what to watch for when you get that metabolic panel at the doctor’s office.  Essentially, high cholesterol isn’t as great an indicator of heart disease as we have been told.  Here is a nice chart that shows how a typical person changing from the standard American diet to LCHF will fare regarding risk factors for heart disease:


A typical day of eating for the Viking?  

Breakfast:  six eggs scrambled in the microwave with Kerrygold butter, heavy whipping cream, Morton’s light salt, and occasionally some bacon cooked in the microwave as well.  Lots of coffee.  

Lunch:  Steak.  Usually not over $5 worth.  I don’t avoid the fat and gristle.  The cheap cuts are actually healthier most of the time as the expensive ones are often too lean.  Once a week or so, I add 4 oz of liver, and butter to go with my steak.

Dinner:  Salad made from raw spinach, nuts, olive oil, avocado, and some kind of seafood like sardines, salmon/ tuna from a pouch or shrimp that just need to be thawed with running water.  

If I am busy and get stuck hitting the drive thru?:  Many burger places just lettuce wrap their burgers and that makes it pretty easy.  Some, like Wendy’s let you order combo’s with side salads and ranch dressing rather than fries. Hardee’s and Wendy’s also put great coupons in the Sunday paper, and Wendy’s also puts coupons on their receipts.  Occasionally I can get two ⅓ pound burgers at Hardee’s for $4, and a triple baconator can be $4 as well if you pay attention to your coupons and deals.  Hardee’s is so keto-friendly that they have a low-carb breakfast bowl, and Sonic will even let you just order bacon and eggs if you sweet talk them. Dollar menu burgers are great too with no bun and no ketchup.  Sometimes I even use the meat from McDoubles as the bun for my grilled chicken club.  

meatatarian delight.JPG
Not kidding.  I invented my own McMeatatarian Delight.  

Also, in my town every BBQ place does all-you-can-eat ribs on Tuesday nights.  They all know me by name.

All-You-Can-Eat Ribs.

Snacks to put in your swim bag?  Quest bars are keto-legal even though they list as high-carb, simply because most of the carbs are fiber, leaving only three or four grams of active carbohydrate. (Some people doing this diet subtract the fiber carbs from the rest to come up with “net” carbs.) Quest bars are pretty common in supplement and nutrition shops.   Even better though are KETOBARS.  This is a company that was started by a redditor who saw a need and I love them.  If you order some, leave them a note that the Viking sent you.

I plan to keep writing on this topic, and may post a bit more at SwimSwam, but a lot of additional posts will continue to be made at The Swim Brief, as they will be supplemental and will often be about my own personal second-swimming-career adventure.  I love discussing this stuff so please don’t hesitate to shoot questions my way, and if you see me on deck feel free to grab my attention.  I learn new things every week and I love to share.  I don’t expect everyone out there to have read every detail of the Manifesto, but I hope that a lot of coaches have it saved in their browser to go back and catch up if they haven’t kept up.  I also hope that readers take time to browse some of the many links throughout the articles as there is so much more info out there if you just keep following the science.  As you can see, this stuff is slowly hitting the mainstream so my ideas here may not seem so far-fetched in the near-future.  

I am not the only low-carb swimmer out there, and I have a feeling that soon we will start seeing more and more keto swimmers crawling out of the woodwork.  Until then, I hope to swim fast enough to make more SwimSwammers and SwimBriefers do a double-take and go back to read up on how I am getting the job done.  Wish me luck.

Recommended Reading and Resources:

The Eating Academy, Peter Attia, MD **be sure to read their FAQ as well!  **be sure to read the FAQ and Keto in a Nutshell!!  
The search function within all of the keto subreddits can also help you find answers to just about any questions that come up!!


Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD

Grain Brain by Dr David Perlmutter

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney

Movies and Videos:  (lots more are listed in the /r/keto FAQ and “nutshell”!)

**and of course, you can always contact me through SwimSwam or the Swim Brief if you would like to learn more.  


Keto Diet, Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal:

keto app logo.PNG  runkeepermyfitnesspaljoinhands.jpeg