Is your New Year's resolution to become a healthier you? Check out Travis' story on how he lost 154 lbs with the PBC. He is now living a healthy and satisfying lifestyle using his PBC and following the ketogenic lifestyle.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Travis Majors and I am a 46 year old husband and father of 4 kids from age 15 -24 and just 5 weeks ago became a grandparent. I worked 26 years in Law Enforcement/Public Safety/Emergency Management and am currently a Safety Director for Crude Oil Transport Company and have been doing that for around 5 years. I have many passions and hobbies which keep me busy along with 4 very active kids. I have coached youth sports for almost 20 years, played drums for about 25 years and I am also a huge sports fan. Lastly, what brings me here is my love for creative cooking, BBQ and the PBC.
When did you become the owner of a PBC and why did you purchase it?
I purchased a PBC about a year and a half ago from a BBQ store in Oklahoma City. I purchased it because of the price and because I had heard about vertical drum cooking for awhile but hadn’t physically seen one. However, when I finally saw the PBC in the store, I was in. I checked it out at the store and saw the quality of and simplicity of all of the components and set my site on getting one, which I did on a later visit. More importantly I should add that I received a really cheap department store offset smoker probably 15 years ago to try. I became extremely frustrated with smoking and BBQ because of my experience with it, which really delayed my BBQ journey in all those years. However this changed the day I purchased the PBC to give it another run and I am hooked hard now.
You lost 154lb by following the keto diet. Can you tell us more about your journey?
I would love to tell my story because I have come a long way in the last couple of years. I began this journey as the healthiest "fat guy" in the region. I had always done an annual physical and it always came back with a clean bill of health other than my weight. I had gained weight every year but had never had any issues with cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc., until……. my physical that happened the day before I started this journey. My doctor indicated that my A1C was elevated which meant that I would be on the edge of being pre-diabetic. At that doctor visit I weighted in at 468 lbs. Now, mind you I didn’t know I weighed that much, but that was what I weighed and that number hit me as hard as the potential issue with being a pre-diabetic. My doctor was cool and didn’t freak out he just simply said “you have to lose weight”, which I answered him by saying “OK, I will”. I left the doctor's office with the determination to get this done without medicine, programs, shakes, memberships, etc. I went straight to my office and googled “how to lower my A1C, without medicine” and several articles on the “keto diet” popped up. Prior to that day I had never heard of the keto diet so I started researching and started that day (22 months ago). I now weigh 308lbs with a target goal weight of 225 lbs, which I assume will take another year to accomplish.
How did the PBC assist in your weight loss?
The PBC was a huge factor in my journey because BBQ and Keto go hand-in-hand like best friends. I have always loved BBQ and had all of the confidence in the world in the kitchen but using the PBC was a whole new world. I also discovered that BBQ restaurants are sometimes very expensive and use sauces and stuff that is not keto friendly, which I was really needing at the time. Keto is structured for high fat, moderate protein and little to no carbs. Sometimes I would order brisket and it was bathed in BBQ sauce which went against what I was trying to do and needed to reach my goal of weigh loss. I set out to learn how to do it myself to save money and make sure that it was prepared in a keto style that would benefit me the most. As I began to learn myself, I started meal prepping and using all of these fatty proteins that I had BBQ’d over the weekend to provide what I needed throughout the week and BANG! I started really rolling and getting into a more sustainable groove.
"Literally go out and do it today! I’m not sure what today is for you but don’t wait. Don’t overthink it or research it to death, trust me, not very many people out there will start as heavy as I was, as addicted to food as I was, that had less experience in smoking/BBQ than I did at the time so I have traveled that road for you."
What’s your favorite things to cook in the PBC?
That is such a hard question because I am finding new ways to use it all the time. I constantly find new things to cook and it leads to a new favorite every time! I heard a songwriter say that his favorite song was the last one he wrote and I find myself in the same boat. Then suddenly I think about a previous cook I created and say "oh man that is my favorite". I will say that as of right now I am loving my bacon weaved smoked meatloaf on the PBC. It is my favorite - at least right now. Even as I am typing this I am wavering because I haven’t tasted a better pork rib than what has come out of my PBC, or pork butt or brisket, so…… I am not sure I can honestly answer that question right now. Oh, my chicken legs on the PBC are to die for too.
You are very creative with your cooking and very active on Instagram. How did this interest start?
I have always been creative in everything I have ever done because it challenges me and is just what I need to be personally satisfied and content. I guess in all of my passions there is a creative element that I seek out. First off, I am people-pleaser and as you know some people just are naturally happy so I find that to be a challenge and has forced some of my creativity. In cooking though the thing that people as well as I can always go back to that dish or piece of food that was just special. I am always trying to find that something special. With the keto meal plan it limits you to certain items as well. With any restriction I have ever been given I always tried to find a way to enjoy the unrestricted things within that restricted area. Let me give you an example. Without the ability to enjoy starches, carbs, legumes, fruits, etc. I had to find the “keto alternatives” that I could replace some of those items with to fill that hole I was going to have. I no longer had mashed potatoes, corn, pinto beans, fried potatoes, cream gravy… (oh lord, I have to stop talking about these) to use in my meals. I found myself with zucchini, brussels sprouts, radishes, cauliflower, etc. I would like to state for the record, I love all of the first-mentioned items and hated all of the second-mentioned stuff, before following the keto meal plan. With creativity, trial and error, and a handy spiral notebook, those mushy, bitter and soggy brussels sprouts eventually turned into smoked, seasoned and crispy brussels sprouts which I finish of pan-frying with bacon and onions. The zucchini turned into spiralized noodles that I toss with pulled pork and grilled jalapeños. This is the creativity and “new ideas” that has helped me sustain this meal plan for almost 2 years and will propel me into the next year of this journey with all of the confidence in the world.
What’s your advice to someone who is looking to start the keto diet using the PBC?
Literally go out and do it today! I’m not sure what today is for you but don’t wait. Don’t overthink it or research it to death, trust me, not very many people out there will start as heavy as I was, as addicted to food as I was, that had less experience in smoking/BBQ than I did at the time so I have traveled that road for you. I feel very strong about this because if I can do it - absolutely anyone can do it. I watched hundreds of videos, read tons of reviews and articles, and wasted a bunch of time. Then I opened the lid of a PBC at a retail store and said “that is the one I want”. I also want to add that I live in Oklahoma and we have extreme weather and my Pit Barrel Cooker has been the most consistent cooker in the elements amongst my “big offset” smoker, pellet grill, charcoal grill and propane griddle. The PBC can handle it all!
Any last thoughts?
I would but first I would like to thank you guys at PBC for giving me an opportunity to share my story and passion with others. I can’t say enough how grateful I am to be featured by you guys. As a customer of yours, I think it is so amazing that PBC is paying attention and highlighting actual customers that are using their products rather than forgetting us after we buy a product. Secondly, I want to tell everyone out there that the PBC has been a huge part of my keto journey but more importantly it has been a bigger part of my weight loss and getting healthier journey than anything else. I say that because the PBC will work for any meal plan. It will absolutely kill the carnivore diet, which is obvious, but I really feel like it would be a great addition for even vegan’s that want that smoky charred texture on their vegetables and fruits and really any type of meal plan between both of those extremes. When I started this journey, I was determined that whatever I chose, whether it was keto, paleo, whole 30, carnivore, etc. it had to be something I could sustain in my “ecosystem”. By that I mean it had to work in all the setting I would be in. It had to work in basketball gym concession stands, on the road traveling from one state to another, with fast food drive through’s and all the other things that is part of my everyday life or I wasn’t going to be able to accomplish what I needed to accomplish. I’m not sure if keto is the answer for everyone, probably not, but I can say research what they all offer and find one that works for you and get after it TODAY. I can say that the PBC will work for anything you decide to do because of how simple it is to operate, its portability, its ability to function without electricity or anything other than what you can bring in your hand. I want to leave with this. No matter what you want to achieve, whether it is getting healthy, finding a new career, becoming a pit master, etc., I have learned to be successful in anything you have to have dedication, discipline and direction. I could have been the most dedicated and disciplined person in the world but if I didn’t have direction it was have been wasted energy. You can interchange any of those three and remove one of them and your chance of success with take a hit. Keep on keeping on and I will see all of you on IG or Facebook.