My Non-Negotiable Essentials (5+ years of CKD + IF) Part 3/3


Previously Part 2 I disclosed my first half of the non-negotiables. Prior to this I introduced this entire writeup on how “non-negotiables” can be defined through a series of criterias. In this last part, I am sharing my remaining staples.

Other accessories.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar / Lemons.
  • Coffees, teas & herbals
  • Aspirin
  • Baking Soda

Apple Cider Vinegar / Lemons

ACV, in isolated use is of course not something I’d tolerate for hours, on daily basis. But I consider it a necessity for marinating and soaking oats for weekly carbohydrate refeeding / allowance days. ALDI® remain my preferred brand for many years because it is the only of its kind with a hint of sweetness. Barnes Naturals comes second. Where as Coles (Made in Italy) and Woolworths’ (Made in New Zealand) own products have the usual-offputting pungentness about them.

If ALDI is way too sour for some people, Cornwell is another brand worth trying. Strange, but this one actually lacks the overall “tanginess” that is characteristic of the Acetic-acid. Further, I find that the overall intensity is more mild and hence ~ least offensive.

Lemons ~ as condiment and a source of citrate  can be used from their juice, or from their rinds on both savoury and feature dessert meals.  In regards to its speculation at inhibiting ketosis at least in theory (as I covered previously) I am getting less bothered by this. In almost 90% of  all cases, I will certainly be breaking the fast by eating whole foods anyway, citrate somewhere in the food that I am eating, not just in lemon. Besides, those on therapeutic fasting, especially reserved for epilepsy ~ may consider citrates as a contingency against excess acidosis.

Coffees, teas and herbals.

Before proceeding, I have to firstly emphasize the problem I have been troubleshooting for a quite a long time. Namely ~ minor distensions throughout 18+ fasting windows, especially during daylight. Instant coffees (or just strongly brewed coffees in general), earl grey and chamomile ~ so far is the least, but not entirely free of problems.

But nonetheless for coffees in general I’d still go with wholebeans, preground, as well as also – instant freeze dried. The latter in particular is also convenient if I need something quick and minimal for pre/intraworkout ~ by simply combining sugar free cordial, extra salt (himalayan) and carbonated water.

When it comes to teas, I have been recently rotating inbetween green, earl grey and on recent interest – Chamomile. Chamomile in particular interests me because of its Apigenin content; which has been studied favourable on its AMPK raising effect (Hsu CM et al 2021).


— Please note that this entire feature writing is entirely focused on wholefoods. An entire discussion on non-negotiable supplements, eg. Vitamin D, K2, Betaine HCL are not and will not be featured here for accessible reading. —-

Even the most heatedly-debated NSAID is a a non negotiable. What do I use this for? Subject-to-monthly-rotation: pre ergogenic,  intra training aids as well as experimentally – insulin sensitizing agent next to Chromium Picollinate / Vanadium.

I am aware of the various doubts on its use for fitness training. But throughout my history of use on this, on/off basis ~ led me convinced that Aspirin is here to stay. Effects that I get, especially after prolonged exclusions  ~ is “Composure”. Here I refer to as controlled sense of “calm”, than feeling “agitated” or “wiry” throughout all my training windows.

I am also aware of the symptoms that I do get myself as indicators to dial back. Chiefly, minor tinnitus or ear-ringing is one such sign for me to start exclude them anywhere between a week to a several weeks.

Baking Soda

One would readily associate baking soda as an alkalizing agent, and that from Low Carb perspective, there is an interesting study proclaiming its enhancing effect on ketogenesis. Another that one may relate to is that it is an ergogenic agent. Although the latter is what I’d remain skeptical with a grain of salt (more on this later).

In my cases however it is more broad than that of adding in bicarbonate source to mitigate excess acidosis. But I am using more as a cleaning accessory as well as just as equally important ~ as odour control agent.

On the latter use case I swore by its use on controlling smells be it personal (body odour) as well as also general hygiene around the home. Sprinkling small amounts into shoes and/or clothing ~ the effect is almost immediate.

Baking soda is also what I’d use at times, where and when if I ran out of Sodaking® gas cylinder. Together with squeeze of lemon, ACV, himalayan salts and potassium salts (chloride, bicarbonates or citrate)  baking soda makes a readily accessible electrolyte drink throughout any prolonged fasting windows.

Now, onto the bad. I have had some very bad gut distensions when used as an ergogenic / training aid. Hence I would not readily prescribe nor suggest anyone to do this, despite studies suggesting otherwise. If anyone insists on trying – cycling between none, low and high intakes; days to weeks inbetween is worth considering before raising any conclusion.

Carb Sources.

  1. Oats (24-36 hour presoaked with ACV)
  2. Honey
  3. Jams (occasional)
  4. Flours
  5. Rice.

I save carbohydrates the last since it’s a subject prone to endless cricitism. But my retrospect focuses on the necessity. Less on indulgence. I of course, am not dogmatic. Many of these are rewarding enough as they are.

We can debate endlessly whether carbohydrates are needed. But for the life of sanity and economics ~ carbohydrates have some utility to reward me for being human.

Starting with oatmeals. Ideally, I pre-soak for at least overnight or 24 hours, with ACV plus for peace of mind at eliminating all enzyme inhibitors. However in my temporary accommodation I cannot cook. Hence, 150g worth of quick oats, boiling water, yoghurts, any available protein powders, and added flavouring incentives be it jams or honey ~ usually marks my first carbohydrate allowance / refeeding meal eaten usually after my 6th or seventh day of additional fasted (16/8) training on saturdays and sundays. But why Oat meal? Versatility for both feature savoury and dessert dishes. In a real hurry for dinner – 150g quick oats + boiling water, yoghurts, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder + proteins ~ suffice as an example. Collage below is a slightly more fancier (albeit rushed) time-poor sample feat chicken necks broth, with existing DIY puree pumpkin and boiled sausages.

Oats on stove + chicken neck DIY broth + pumpkin puree + boiled sausages.
Oats on stove + chicken neck DIY broth + pumpkin puree + boiled sausages.

Next would be rice.  No need for elaboration. Whilst I am yet to fully try microwave an entire batch of microwave for almost 15 minutes at a time (which that is also another restriction where I live, temporarily); rice, mushed together with milk, squeeze of lemon, honey and plenty of eggs and gelatin powder wins almost every single time as a rewarding refeeding meal.

Bread likewise needs no elaboration. In retrospect to prior years taught me both privilege and humility amongst failures ~ to just live in the present and to use as much what I have in my pantry. And of all – practice what I preach. Salt, water and flour, bit of ACV ~ pretty much compose my end of week carb allowances.

Humble and basic refeed days would have me raid the fridge for DIY liver pate, with stocks, and  yoghurts for savoury meal. For dessert based meal – full featured cakes using jams, syrups or honey, with eggs, source of fats available and milk easily suffice.   


We are living in a time where everyone, by now would have realized the impact of every thing they consume.

This is drawn from someone who’s been through “those times”. Not for comparative sake, but to keep things objective on the very things we must prioritize. Money is important. But what or how to spend it on, is arguably the more important question.

I wish everyone well and sound. Rags or riches – I believe we can learn from one another.



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