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Heart-repreneur® RadioPodcastsHeartrepreneur® Radio | Episode 160 | Finding The Sweeter Side Of Life With Natural Sweeteners with Thom King

March 5, 2019


There is one thing that Thom King came to know and that is about life being naturally sweet. As the founder and CEO of Icon Foods, Inc. and Steviva Brands Inc.—one of the largest importers, manufacturers, and distributors of natural sweeteners—he talks about the wonders of having natural sweeteners in your diet. Tying that to ketogenic, he shares his own struggles with weight loss and towards finding out a way to move past it, losing five waist sizes in the process. He talks about ketones while sharing the products that he has created that surprisingly work as an alternative to the sweeteners out there that we usually find in the grocery.

Listen to the podcast here:
Finding The Sweeter Side Of Life With Natural Sweeteners with Thom King
Guy Gone Keto: How to Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Achieve Lifelong Fitness

I’m excited about my guest. His name is Thom King and he says that he always struggled with his weight before adopting a ketogenic lifestyle. In Guy Gone Keto, which is a book that he sent me and I got to read it, it was amazing, he details how perseverance and high fat, low carb diet enabled him to drop five waist sizes in a single year. His essential wellness program includes tips for reading and understanding food labels, supportive techniques to make you feel capable and empowered, as well as tasty recipes and easy to follow meal plans that will keep you fit and healthy for life. Thom, I’m excited. Welcome to the show.

Thank you, Terri.

I had the privilege of receiving Thom’s book as well as some of his products. I read the book and I thought, “I can do this. It sounds simple.” I shared the book with my husband and the two of us started to follow the program. We have understood so much more. We go to the grocery store and we are much more educated than we ever have been. We also received some of the products. I made a recipe using the sweetener which is natural, wonderful, fantastic and it tasted better than ever. Here you are, you’re struggling with weight. How do you decide, with all the different ways people can do weight loss out there, ketogenic is going to be the way?

For me, it was pretty easy because my ingredient supply company, Icon Foods, supplied sweeteners to several companies that produce ketogenic products. I’ve always had a clear understanding of how keto works and clear back to when Atkins was a thing. I had the knowledge. I had to bottom out, as they say. I hit a point where the pain of my being overweight, unhealthy and the worst part of being a hypocrite like touting the keto lifestyle but not following it. It became painful that it started to outweigh the pleasure that I was getting from eating high carb meals, ice cream and drinking copious amounts of wine.

There are many different things going on out there. We’ve got people promoting veganism, people promoting high protein. How do they understand what ketogenic even mean? I’m not sure that people get it.

Your body is very miraculous. It has the ability to burn glucose but it also has the ability to burn what’s called ketones. Ketones are created in your liver when you eat fat. If you eat fat, your liver metabolizes it into ketones and then those ketones will start being your energy source. That’s the science end of it. The real basic is it is high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. 70% of your diet is going to consist of fat and that can be salmon or avocados. There are a lot of excellent fat-rich foods out there. That’s 70% of it, 20% is going to be proteins. That can be any type of protein. The other 10% is going to be carbs. These carbs are going to be coming from cruciferous vegetables. Think of anything that grows above the ground. You don’t want to eat roots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and things like that. You also want to stay away from corn because that’s a grain. Grains tend to be hypoglycemic and can spike your blood sugar level.

I got off the phone with a friend who said she wants to do ketogenic. She’s vegan and doesn’t know how she would do that. Can that be combined?

Yes, I was exploring doing 90 days of vegan and writing it in another book. I’ll give vegan-keto a shot. You can still get plenty of protein from peas, soy if you’re not adversely using soy. You get plenty of protein and the fat is pretty easy too. You’ve got coconut oil. You can use different nuts. You’ve got avocados. A vegan-keto diet would not be too big of a challenge.

I’m going to make a request. I would love for you to share that blog post when you write it. I’d be fascinated and I have some clients that I know would be.

I’ve got no problem doing that. I do a lot of crazy biohacking like tweaking my microbiome. I’ll dose myself with them to the point where I start feeling physical effects from it so I know what the threshold is. I will dive into vegan-keto and everything will be completely transparent. People will able to see my ketone levels, blood sugar levels, weight and we’ll see how effective it is.

For the audience, if you’re interested in the vegan-keto like I am, when Thom tells us how to connect with him and follow him, know that’s something else available. Let’s shift a little bit. The products that have been created are amazing. The barbecue sauce is ridiculous. It’s phenomenal. Talk a little bit about that. Before you and I met, I was looking for fruit sweetener online. I found all these different fruit sweeteners and I started to read about a lot of them. They didn’t sound like they would fit the bill. Coincidentally, I held off. I didn’t buy any. I now have it in my possession through you. I’ve fallen in love with it. Talk a little bit about the products.

The products are the creation of me being selfish. I felt the things that I’ve been missing in my diet like I couldn’t have ketchup. Ketchup has more sugar in it than ice cream. I couldn’t have ketchup. I couldn’t have barbecue sauce, which means all the barbecues are out the door. The other sauces I was missing. I got in the lab, started creating them and tweaking them using the sweeteners that we sell to food manufacturers to create these things. It took me a good long time to get them tweaked in exactly how I want them. I still don’t think they are 100% but they’re really solid. I can do a little more work on it but I love getting customer feedback. I’m trying to create these products not for myself but for a keto audience as well. If anybody ever buys a product and they’re like, “This could be a little sweeter. This could be less vinegar-y or this needs to be thicker,” I love getting feedback like that because it allows me to get those products dialed in. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback. Several customers said that it doesn’t affect their blood sugar levels at all. It also keeps them in ketosis and it’s because of this one particular sweetening compound that I used.

For my husband and me, we’ve been confused about food labels. He is a diabetic and he’s read a ton of stuff. I’ve read a ton of stuff. We combine together and there’s so much different information. What is this that I can simplify? Why are we as a society confused when we go to the grocery store?

There might be a tiny bit of deception involved. A consumer has to participate in their own wellness and part of that is educating yourself. Understanding what hidden sugars are. If you start reading the labels of products that you buy, the first thing is to go to the nutritional facts panel. Look for added sugars. Those particular sugars will take you out of keto. They’ll put you in train wreck because if they have regular sugar in them and sugar is a molecule that contains both glucose and fructose. Glucose is going to spike your blood sugar levels. Fructose is going to prevent your liver from metabolizing fats. If you take in too much fructose, your liver can’t metabolize it all. It does push it out in the form of lipids, which are bad fat. It ends up gathering around your middle and that’s how you start developing metabolic disease.

In life, there will be pains that will outweigh the pleasures we get from the things we are used to. Click To Tweet

I want to remind the audience to pay attention to this because we’re talking to Thom and he dropped five waist sizes in a single year. Every time I say that I’m like, “That’s huge.” Doing ketogenic, is there any downside like we’re going to be exhausted? Is there anything like that when we first start?

I know that some people experience what’s called the keto-flu, where your body is starting to become fat adapted. You can feel fatigue and maybe achy but that passes after the first week. I never had the keto-flu and I’ve never had that period. I’ve always been able to get my body into ketosis without any of the side effects. I would say one thing that’s important is that you drink enough water. It’s super important to hydrate. If you’re hydrating, it’s even more important that you build up your electrolytes. Electrolytes are salts. Use regular salt in your water or potassium. Your electrolytes can get pretty low because your body has to work when it metabolizes fats into ketones. Making sure you’re hydrated. That’s a big part of avoiding the keto-flu and then also taking in what’s called exogenous ketones. These can be ketone salts or ketone esters. You can find those online. They’re usually in the form of the stuff called BHB, which is beta-hydroxybutyrate. It’s almost like instant ketones, which you can put it into your system and it’ll help keep you into deep nutritional ketosis.

How can people get in touch with you? Where can they get the book, buy the products and all of that good stuff?

They can go to and there you’ll see my blog posts. We have a meal planner and a keto analysis tool, it’s absolutely free. Go check it out. If you buy the book off of the website, I’ll autograph it and we’ll throw in some cool swags. Go to and on any of the socials. @GuyGoneKeto on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you go to the website and shoot us an email, I get copied on them all and it will ultimately end up with me. I can reach out to you personally or if you want to direct message me on any of the socials, I’m always here to contribute.

I have learned so much and I know that this is going to help others. I appreciate you. Thank you for being on the show. For the audience, go over to Thom, thank you.

Terri, I really appreciate it. You have a great show and this is a great contribution that you make to the world. Thank you for letting me be part of it.

You’re welcome. It’s fun for me. I get to interview great people like you that bring value. Guy Gone Keto, that’s where you’re headed. I want to remind the audience, you get two great gifts for being an audience. The first thing that you get is a free site where you can download most of the products that I sold over the years for thousands and thousands of dollars. I give them away. Anything that will help you build a business and create more of an extraordinary life is in there. That is at You literally go over there, you set up a free account and you will get access. Go under Start Here. The other thing is I am giving away my $5,000 program, Get Hot Paying Clients. It’s at Head on over there. You will take a course that will change the trajectory of your business. Thank you for reading the blog.

Important Links:
About Thom King

Who Is The Guy Behind Guy Gone Keto?

Thom King always struggled with his weight before adopting a ketogenic lifestyle. In Guy Gone Keto he details how perseverance and a high-fat, low-carb diet enabled him to drop five waist sizes in a single year. His essential wellness program includes tips for reading and understanding food labels, supportive techniques to make you feel capable and empowered, as well as tasty recipes and easy-to-follow meal plans that will keep you fit and healthy for life.

Thom King is the founder and CEO of Icon Foods, Inc. and Steviva Brands Inc., one of the largest importers, manufacturers, and distributors of natural sweeteners. A self-described “bio hacker,” he has made it his life’s work to study food science and use his knowledge to help people eat healthier, avoid harmful sugars, and maintain diet and exercise habits that defeat the metabolic disease. His company, based in Portland, Oregon, derives its name from stevia, the South American plant extract that is calorie-free yet three hundred times sweeter than sugar, and does not contribute to the combination of metabolic diseases that Thom calls “diabesity.”

Emulating such renowned entrepreneurs such as the Wright Brothers and Steve Jobs, King started his company by first asking the thecritical question, “Why?” Based on the understanding that it’s only by determining the “why” of what you want to do that you can achieve lasting success, King’s business isn’t simply something he does for a living. It stands as a testament to who he is, what he does and how he lives his life. King’s “why” is simple. A bit of a foodie and health nut, food has always been a passion for King —particularly high-quality food that makes the planet a healthier place and maintains a level of sustainability. He founded Steviva as a way to effectively help combat metabolic disease and the “diabesity” (his self-coined term) epidemic in this country by offering clean-label sweetening systems to replace sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup.

Answering the need of food companies to manufacture products lower in sugar (and to adhere to new FDA disclosure guidelines), Steviva offers a wide range of industrial-size, high-quality clean-label sweetening systems for food manufacturers, plus smaller, pack-size sweetening optionsfor health-conscious consumers. Through Icon Foods, King’s goal is to eliminate metabolic disease, one meal at a time. While what his company offers is impressive, it is the “why” behind it all that makes King’s business truly unique —a company built on quality, health, heart, and loyalty.

Believing “quality always costs less,” King structured Steviva around the principles of W. Edwards Deming, an American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant best known for his workwith Japanese leaders after WWII. An accomplished businessman, author, television producer, filmmaker, and filmmaker, Thom King began his life journey in Colorado (via Wisconsin), where he studied marketing at the University of Colorado. He graduated from Chadwick University with a BA in environmental studies, then went on to attend graduate school at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied intellectual property law.


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