Vinnie, Ketones, and the Joy of Peeing Purple

This blog post has been simmering for some time, and I have been struggling with how to put some things into words, so I decided to see if I can’t just combine my intended post of the progress with NSNG eating, along with some observations.


For those that don’t know, NSNG stands for No Sugar No Grains. There are MANY articles out there that dispute this method, as there are many that agree with it, but the bottom line is this; if I have been eating the “approved, conventional wisdom” way for a year while training 6 days a week and constantly in caloric deficit, yet gaining weight, then there is something wrong with the CW out there, at least in my case. Then during a meeting with our coach she said “John, there is this podcast I want you to check out by Vinnie Tortorich”. I always take KC’s advice (well, 90% of the time) so I immediately went home and download the first five casts.

I know it sounds cliche, but it may have changed my life.

Everything he was saying made sense. He had even mentioned at one point that to see how we have been duped to just go out to a local triathlon or marathon and watch the racers coming in near the back of the pack. These are people that trained just as hard, or in some cases harder, to complete these events, yet they have not lost a pounds, and in some cases, gained weight. I felt like he was talking to/about me.

I started into the eating lifestyle right away. I had tried Atkins before but this was different … fruit was ok … so it wasn’t that difficult for me to get into the swing of it. I loved the FAT SHAKES and BULLET PROOF COFFEE that they spoke about. I devoured the Podcasts, and eagerly await new ones on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I branched out to other podcasts to find more information, and even some opposing, or slightly different takes (Garden Variety Triathlete, Ben Greenfield, Rich Rolle, The Science of Slim). And then … some great started to happen …I started losing weight ….

I had dropped from 300 pounds to 235 in my first year of triathlon (2011) but started looking onto how my more fit and lean teammates and friends were eating and fueling, so during season 2 (2012) I went back up to 260 pounds. I hovered between 250 and 260 for more than a year. No matter how much I trained, how “healthy” I ate, the weight would not come off. I was on the NSNG eating lifestyle for a month and was down 22 pounds. I am, as of today, at 239.6 pounds.

So, let the detractors spew their beliefs in the conventional way of thinking, calorie in-calorie out, low fat, high carb. It may work for some (my beloved little rubber people), but I am living, walking proof that calorie in calorie out, low fat, high carb does not work, at least not for me. Ketosis has become my friend. I admit that I have become a bit “fanatical” about peeing on a stick, but man there is something cool when that thing turns purple, showing you that fat is being burned. I have run half marathons in the past and felt like death warmed over. Now I run and feel like I have energy to spare. I bike 50-60 miles and don’t really feel tired. I even have a decrease in lactic acid build up in my legs. But to top it all off, I got in the pool yesterday and swam, SWAM, 3200 meters straight (2 miles). That, my friends is a first.

Huge thanks to Coach KC for turning me on to this podcast and way of thinking. I wish I had found it sooner. And thanks to Vinnie and Anna to doing this podcast. Cannot wait for the book to come out! In addition, thanks to these podcasts, we are attending a day long Chi Running clinic in Orlando to learn a new way of running that may improve the length and distance of our running, while minimizing the injuries and … well … overall suckiness of running (due to my body weight running is not a fun thing, but a necessary evil. I am hoping to change that.).

In case you were wondering. MY fat coffee is 8 ounces of coffee, one tbsp. Kerrygold Butter (grass fed, unsalted is a MUST), 2 tbsp. heavy cream, and 1 tbsp. coconut oil. It helps to use a blender, and sometimes I blend with ice. Tastes out of this world. The fat shake I make is 1 cup of heavy cream, three eggs, and maybe some blueberries (but not required), or a dash of vanilla. You might also try cinnamon, or another type of fruit. Everyone has their own way of making these, but the end effect is that it sticks with you and provides day long energy. I have had some GREAT runs and bikes fueled only by a pre-race drink, only taking water and salt licks with me.

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