To Ketofest and Back Again

I was having success with the ketogenic diet and beginning to incorporate fasting into my routine. My wife was encouraged by my success and looking to find out more information.  She is a pharmacist by trade and all of the information I was telling her went against her training as a diabetes educator.  But she couldn’t argue with my success and she wanted to start experiencing the benefits of the ketogenic diet herself.

At this point I had listened to over 100 hours of podcasts, read a lot on the ketogenic forums and had educated myself quite a bit.  I was looking for a way to help motivate her and bring her up to speed while learning even more myself. Luckily 2 Keto Dudes came to the rescue once again with Ketofest.  They were planning a ketogenic festival in New London, Connecticut July 14-16 2017.  I had heard about it early on and had wanted to join the Kickstarter created to secure the minimum funding needed for the festival, but I thought it would be a hard sell to get my wife to agree to spend our precious vacation time going to a festival for my diet.

But seeing my success, she wanted some success of her own and was open to the idea of investing in the keto way of living. In May we purchased tickets for Ketofest 2017.  I thought this would energize both of us and give us great information about the keto way of eating.  We planned a two-week road trip going from Minnesota to New London and back again.  And to make it a well-rounded vacation, there were plenty of things on the trip that didn’t revolve around keto. We were stopping to see her high school best friend, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio and Niagara Falls on the way there.  Then visiting Boston, Portland Maine, some friend in Ottawa, ON, Canada, and her brother’s family on the way home.  So lots of other fun things packed into the two-week trip.

We packed keto snacks, loaded the GPS up with destination addresses and downloaded audio books in preparation for our cross country trek.  We started the trip off by listening to “Keto Clarity” by Eric C. Westman MD, and Jimmy Moore.  This is a great overview of what Keto is and why it works.  It gives great insights as to why we don’t need to fear fat and and that in fact sugar is the real enemy.  Of course when we heard Dr. Westman speak at Ketofest, we expect to hear a bell and then, “Doctor’s note with Dr. Eric Westman” because that was peppered throughout the audio book.  The book is also interspersed with “Moment of Clarity” quotes from several experts in the ketogenic diet field which gives insights into the state of the science evolving around keto.

Our next audio book on the way to Ketofest was “The Complete Guide to Fasting” by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Jason Fung.  It really helps to line up the nuts and bolts about why and how to fast.  It explains how fasting can help increase your insulin sensitivity by giving your body a break from insulin production.  It also explains that until recently fasting was a common part people’s lives, and it hasn’t been until the last century or so that fasting has become a dirty word.  Fasting can also be a way to reset your system if you’ve gone off the tracks.  It will stabilize your blood glucose, lower your insulin and help to reduce carb cravings.

When finally arrived in New London, our appetites for keto information where thoroughly whetted by the audio books we had listened to en route. We started off by attending the HEALcare clinic on Friday, July 14.  This was a group led by Dr. Eric Westman and Dr. Atkins’ long time nurse Jacqueline Eberstein.  They were able to share information learned from being “in the trenches” with keto.  Jackie Eberstein has been eating low carb for about 40 years and has incredible amounts of wisdom to share.  Dr. Westman explained how he started off skeptical at his first visit to Dr. Atkins' clinic and he wanted to do a study to figure out what worked and what didn’t.  Spoiler alert: low-carb/keto worked great, better than the standard American diet.  It was nice to be able to personally meet two giants in the keto movement.

Next came “Social Saturday”. We signed up for a walking tour of New London.  Being from the Midwest, it was a good way to get educated on the history of the east coast, particularly the whaling heritage of New London.  Then we attended an exercise classes given by Allan Misner, the host of the “40+ Fitness Podcast”.  The Triple Tabata HIIT Fitness class completely wore me out.  Between that and the Beginner Strength Fitness Class in the afternoon, I was unable to walk normally for a few days.  It was an excellent workout even if I did overdo it a little bit.

There were also cooking classes.  We used our tasting coupons to taste the Lemon Dream Cake and Shrimp Pad Thai.  Both were very yummy keto dishes.  In addition, there was a pig roast, charcuterie, jerky and other keto fare to eat.  Several restaurants in New London also added keto options to the menu.  Hot Rod CafĂ© had some awesome wings, particularly good were the garlic pepper dry rub wings. They were among the wings best I’ve ever had.  Another place we tried made Carlshead pizza (a ketogenic pizza Carl Franklin derived from the Fathead pizza recipe).  And there were several other options we didn't get a chance to try.

Next was “Science Sunday” where there were several awesome presentations.  I could write a blog post for every presentation, but in the interest of brevity, I’ll just give a few highlights. Ivor Cummins was very entertaining and informative.  I’d highly recommend hearing him talk if you ever get a chance.  I also found Amber O’Hearn’s presentation about the carnivore diet interesting.  She eats only animal products, no plants. It turns out eating plants may not be necessary for people to be healthy.  Dave Feldman’s talk about cholesterol was also very informative, describing how your cholesterol scores depend greatly on your diet in the days preceding the test. It was also nice to meet Megan Ramos in person after listening to her on podcasts.  In fact, I don’t think there was a bad talk among the bunch.  Overall a great day.

Now that Ketofest was over, we needed to begin our trek back home.  But we still wanted more keto info.  So “The Obesity Code” by Dr. Jason Fung was queued up as the listening material for the trip home.  Of the three books we listened to, this may have been my favorite.  It was jam=packed with information that explains why keto and fasting work, and why they work well together.  Switching your body from sugar burning to fat burning has wonderful side effects.  In fact since becoming fat adapted, my wife says it feels like it is the first time she has ever had control of her hunger.   I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

After we got home we still had a thirst for more information.  We learned of KetoCon, a ketogenic conference put on by Brian Williamson of the “Ketovangelist” podcast and Jimmy Moore.  It was over Labor Day weekend, but we couldn’t quite justify the expense of traveling to Austin, Texas right on the heels of a two-week road trip.  Luckily there was a live streaming option available.  So we bought tickets and spent all weekend soaking in keto knowledge.  It wasn’t as fun as actually being there, but there was lots of good information, well worth the price of admission.

We were armed with information and motivation, poised with the tools for even more success!  There were also lots of conversations with dozens of people doing keto and there is no substitute for that type of interaction.  If you ever get a chance to attend Ketofest, KetoCon or anything like it, I'd highly recommend it.  Until then you can always check out some of the excellent keto books available.

In my next post I discuss my struggles breaking below the 300-pound barrier permanently.  You can also read my previous post which discusses my addition of fasting into my routine.


  1. I met more than one Minnesota couple at KetoFest. Did I meet you? Great write up! I'm from Minnesota as well...

  2. Yes we met. I was the red head sitting a few rows behind you on science Sunday.

    1. Oh of course. I remember you well. I'd say your name but not sure you want it published here:)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


Why Exercise?

Devouring Information