What’s up with that cheese man, is a story within a story. Some of this is written in my prior END WET post, and some of this is in the KETO post from a couple of weeks ago. I feel the need to write this because my propensity to eat party cheese in the process of swimming distance, has reached the furthest rings of my inner circle, I’m getting crap for it, and I’m more than willing to own this. It all starts with END WET training. 36 miles in a dirty North Dakota river scares the living shit out of me, and I’ve been a glucose swimmer since I began swimming five years prior. Every time I sugar load my stomach turns into knots, and I get a terrible brain fog, so in my way I’d been praying for a solution.
In December 2016, I’m at a book fair selling copies of Saved with Honu, and up walks a gal who was selling a keto supplement interested in my story as a marathon swimmer. I run through it, we trade information, an hour later she drops me a free sample, buys a book and we go our separate ways. This starts a mass education project, and ultimately dietary, and supplication changes to allow for keto based training.
So, there I am flipping turns on a 4K day, working in keto, goggles are fogged over, and I’m lost in the music. I’m a little delirious because I’ve been picking up mass distance on my new diet, roughly doubled my monthly average. There’s someone in the lane next to me, and they have what I assume is a bottle on the deck. The first time I glance at it, it looks like a can of squeeze cheese, and I think; “What you’re thinking, disgusting!”. I’m not stopping, but I look again, still looks like the cheese, “Gross!”. Then I start to think; “keto, calories, fat, salt, protein, I wonder how many calories are in a can?”. I’m curious, yes gross, but it may be worth a shot. The other thing I think about is breathing, getting calories, time to feed, and breathing are major obstacles. “The cheese is pressurized, and I shouldn’t have to chew, ok, disgusting, yes, but I have to try it”. (BTW if someone at Nabisco is reading this and wants to sponsor me, shoot me an email.)
I pick up the cheese, and take it to the pool deck for a 10K trial. A can comes in at about 700 calories, is pasteurized so it won’t go bad, pressurized so you don’t have to squeeze anything, it floats, and has all of the keto mainstays, protein, fat, and salt. I’m super pleased with the trial, not only do I not have to chew, but It cotes my stomach, and does not cause gas. Taste, I could get used to it. Everyone has the same reaction, “that’s disgusting” then they gag a little, and maybe throw up a little in their mouth, but I see this as unnecessarily dramatic. Then they say, “maybe with some crackers?”, then I say, “remember, I’m in the water, and the point is to not have to chew!”, anyhow, crackers and water don’t do well together for long. I’m all about the utility at this point, and could care less about the taste. If you are tied to the taste of things, i.e. salty crunch, you’re not going keto anytime soon, I’m already there so I’m over it. Training continues to pick up with the cheese on my side, I’m also using dates, and a keto/sugar solution I lovingly call my “Sweet Salty Nut Balls”
Recipe: The Swim Genius’s Sweet Salty Nut Balls
½ cup Peanut butter
½ cup Nutella
½ cup Marshmallow cream
1 scoop whey protein
1 or 2 packages of gelatin
1 or 2 TB MCT Oil
Mix up the balls, roll them around in your hand, then dust them in Almond flour, chia seed, and a little salt. I found that putting a Gas-x in every other ball cuts down on any ongoing gas problems. They are really quite good, pop right into your mouth, and again, minimal chewing.
During END WET I would take in nut balls and dates on the top of the hour and cheese on the bottom of the hour. There are a couple more points to make about the cheese. If you are motivated by the thought of keto, and nice easy feeds, it’s not so bad. All you have to do is put the nozzle between your teeth, and tilt the can, no chewing, no choking. As the protein load is natural my recovery is shorter, the fat will keep me going even after the event. Fact, I put on 10 pounds for END WET, thinking I’d lose it within days of the event. I ate three cans of cheese that day, held all of the weight (13 hours, 48 minutes of swimming), and had to diet it off over the next three weeks. I suppose that means there is a buoyancy argument to all of this too. So that’s what’s up with the cheese, man!
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