Sunday, June 28, 2015

KETO: Macros, Ketostix, and Sugar Alternatives

   Being in and out of the ketogenic diet for the past years, I missed a couple of pretty important details along the way. Other than the importance of electrolytes, which I discuss in my post here:
KETO: Electrolytes

 There are a few other things to know about following a very low carb diet.


The "Golden Standard" for ketogenic macros are:
65% Fat
30% Protein
5% Carbohydrates

   I used to try to stick to these macros diligently, fretting about getting "enough fat" each day. However, the truth is that, as long as you are able to remain in ketosis, and are hitting your protein count: you can have as little fat as you'd like. That is, IF you have fat on your body. Rather than taking the old calorie count, finding whatever percent of your calories should be allotted to each category, and figuring it out that way, try this:

   Determine your body fat percentage/BMI. You can use an online calculator, like the one here, but know that these are notoriously inaccurate. You can also use a set of calipers, like these:

In any case, this is all a rough estimate. If you aren't completely accurate here, it won't be the end of the world.

So, take your handy BMI number, and input it into the following set of equations:

BMI * Current Weight = A
eg: If your BMI is 30 and you weigh 210 lbs, that equation looks like this: 0.30*210 = 63

Current Weight - A = Lean Muscle Mass

eg: 210 - 63 = 147

Lean Muscle Mass * 0.67 = Grams of Protein per Day for Muscle Maintenance
eg: 98g/day

   The 0.67 number is a rough estimate as to how many grams of protein are ideal per pound of lean muscle mass (More info on that here). So, this will get you an estimate of your daily required protein.

   So, hit your protein, remain under your cabs, and eat fat to satiety. It doesn't have to total at 65% of your day's calories.

   If you are short for time, or are having trouble hitting your protein goals, there are some protein bars that are quite popular among ketoers, and I personally enjoy them very much. Quest bars!
 My favorite flavor is cookie dough and my husband loves the cookies & cream flavor.

These bars are known for having the best flavors when it comes to protein bars, and an amazing texture similar to that of cookie dough. I highly recommend these!


   These guys come in 31 different flavors, and are the best-tasting protein bars I've ever had. Here are the nutrition facts for double chocolate brownie flavor:
  • 20 grams protein
  • 5 grams net carbs
  • 19 grams fiber
  • 170 calories
   These things are great! Best price I've seen is $2.08 per bar, generally they run up around $3 per bar at grocery stores. Multi-flavor packs cost more than cases of individual flavors, but I recommend starting with a multi-pack to see which flavors you like best.


   When we first started the ketogenic diet, ,we thought these were helpful little tools to determine whether we were in ketosis. In actuality, these are not very accurate at measuring whether you are in ketosis or not. What are these for, if not for helping people determine ketosis? Ketostix are actually intended to help diabetics avoid ketoacidosis - something you won't have to worry about if you are not diabetic.

More detailed info from u/bluefocus on Ketostix:
PSA: When and How to Use KETOSTIX

More info on Ketoacidosis:
Difference Between Ketosis and Ketoacidosis

 3) Sugar Alternatives

    There are a number of reasons to avoid or limit your consumption of fake sweeteners. Reason one is that even though these aren't regular sugar, for some people fake sweeteners can kick them out of ketosis. Most people, if affected at all, are only affected by certain types of sugar alternatives. Erythritol seems to be the best choice these days, as it has the lowest glycemic index, followed by Xylitol. Sucralose (Splenda) isn't too bad, but not quite as good as the others.

   Other than that potential risk of being booted out of ketosis, artificial sweeteners have been known to cause sugar cravings in some individuals. You taste something sweet, your body expects some sugar, and the cravings pile up. If you do not act on those cravings, then there's not much harm done.

    When my husband and I first started out, we knew we could have  sugar alternatives, and basically to only watch out for over-consuming some as they had minimal carbs or could cause diarrhea. My husband and I had cut out so many carb-laden foods that we were really being hit with cravings - hard. We tried substitutions for all of them. Low-carb breads, low-carb pancakes, low-carb cookies, etc etc. We probably had a faux carb food each day, at least. While we quickly noted our limits when it came to carb count of sugar alternatives, and even more quickly our threshold before we had digestive issues, what took much longer was realizing that some of those fake sugars were causing our progress to stall out. Only when I hit a long plateau did I decide to try a sweetener-free "clean Keto" week to test out this new theory.

My Before post: Clean Keto
My After post: Clean Keto After One Week

   What a HUGE difference it made! Now, I'm not saying my results were typical. Not everyone consumes as many faux-sweeteners as I used to, and not everyone is affected by them. However,  if you are at a stall or are having intense sugar cravings - it's worth looking into.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Breastfeeding while in Ketosis: Round 2

    Since my baby has been growing great, no issues breastfeeding, etc, and I found myself trending lower and lower in my daily carb counts; I decided I was going into full-on Keto again. I tend to average between 20 and 40 carbs per day.

    After a couple of days with this limit, I noticed Natalie wanted to nurse practically all day long. It seemed like a small drop in supply, as expected. However, the very next day my letdowns seemed normal, and I got the usual breaks between feedings.

    If some one else is consuming a high carb diet and wants to make the change with younger babies (~4+ months old), I would recommend starting at 100g carbs per day, and cutting 5g each day and monitoring your supply as you go along. More important than carb count while breastfeeding is your water and caloric intake. Be sure to be constantly drinking water; if you feel thirsty then you are already a little bit dehydrated. If you are having trouble with your calorie counts, I highly recommend MyFitnessPal. Great, intuitive site (and love the app!) with an extensive food database.

Above all else, I recommend going gradually into ketosis and calorie restriction while breastfeeding, especially if your baby is young, and if you are not at home with the baby for unlimited nursing during the potential conversion.

   Check out my previous posts on breastfeeding while in ketosis -
Low Carb or Keto While Breastfeeding
Keto and Breastfeeding Introduction
Keto While Breastfeeding: Days 1-5
Keto and the Breastfeeding Diet TIPS

KETO: Great Low-Carb Foods for Summer

It is officially Summer and the hot weather has been here in the northwest for some time now. When it's hot, certain foods just don't sound as appetizing.  Here are some awesome, low-carb foods for this Summer season! Of course, we gotta have some refreshing keto beverages to keep cool with.

Side Dishes
Everyday Paleo's No-Potato Salad
   I have made this "fauxtato" salad a couple of times now, and I just love it. I like to crumble the cauliflower pretty small, and give the garlic a quick stove top roast before I mix it all together. I also admit, I use regular old mayo instead of the paleo mayo listed in the ingredients. If you let this sit overnight, the flavors soak into the cauliflower a bit more for a deeper flavor. 

   There are endless combinations of salad out there, from the types of lettuce to the dressings and toppings you can put on. My favorites include chopped or shredded meat, cheese, nuts or seeds, hard boiled eggs, maybe black olives, and occasionally a (small) handful of dried cranberries on top. I tend to go for ranch dressing, but you can also do things like olive oil and balsamic vinegar, caesar dressing (check the label!), and I'm sure a few others.

Veggies and Dip 
   Much like salad, there are a number of dips that are acceptably low-carb for the ketogenic diet. As always, be sure to check each label before buying! Safe bets are on full fat ranch dip and hummus. The best low carb vegetables are zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, peppers, and even green beans.

   Limited amounts of berries can fit nicely into the keto lifestyle, but be sure to keep track of how many you are consuming. Blueberries, in particular, have ~4 net carbs per 1/4 cup. Strawberries and raspberries are between ~1-2 carbs per 1/4 cup.

Deviled Eggs
   There are numerous variations to this dish, a couple of my favorites are:
Avocado Deviled Eggs
Caveman Keto: Bacon Deviled Eggs

Main Courses
Meat and Veg Kabobs:
Caveman Keto: Sunflower Butter Pork Kabobs
Grilled Marinated Shish Kebabs

 Pulled Pork
 While you can look up any number of pulled pork recipes, my all-time favorite is this one:
Caveman Keto's Crock Pot Pork Carnitas
Cook up the pork in your slow cooker, then a quick stove-top fry to crisp it up a bit, and serve with taco ingredients! If you use this recipe, be sure to set aside the onions after cooking in the crock pot, they have a couple of carbs and can add up quickly.

Chicken tacos
Cool Ranch Crockpot Chicken for Tacos or Tostadas
I use this recipe for the chicken only, regular tortillas (even corn tortillas) have far too many carbs for the ketogenic diet. I highly recommend Mission's Low Carb Tortillas - They look like this (affiliate link):

Otherwise you could always do romaine leaf taco boats, or taco salad!

Primitive Palate: Everything Bagel Dogs
These are so awesome and fulfill that expected bread-like texture we are so used to having our hot dogs with. And so simple! 

So far I haven't ventured out and tried too many popsicle recipes. If I am feeling particularly lazy, I will make jello popsicles: Just make regular (sugar-free) jello, then put into popsicle molds.

Otherwise, I had great experience whipping up some heavy cream, folding in some Orange Mio, and freezing those into orange creamsicles! Super tasty and nostalgic.

Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles

Any keto or low carb recipes you really enjoy in the hot weather? Post in the comments!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

KETO: Electrolytes

Even though I've been in and out of Ketosis a number of times, I still occasionally get lazy and need a good wake-me-up about eating right.

This happened to me last night. Leg cramps, light-headedness, achy joints, and general sluggishness. When I awoke this morning I was very tired, I felt sick. However, I knew right away what was wrong with me: My electrolytes were very low. This can happen if you aren't careful in general, and is a bit easier to do while in ketosis. Because there are so few carbs to hold onto water in your body, you tend to urinate more frequently - this depletes you electrolytes faster. And if you're breastfeeding AND in ketosis? You are losing your hydration at an elevated pace, all the more reason to be sure you are keeping your electrolytes in order!

Other than supplementation, which is fine, here are ways to make sure you are keeping your electrolytes in order.

The general amounts of electrolytes for adults are the following:
  1. 5000 mg of sodium chloride
  2. 4700 mg of potassium chloride or potassium sulfate (if you are breastfeeding, this jumps up to 5100mg per day)
  3. 300 mg of magnesium (chelated)
Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate
NIH: Magnesium
R/Keto: More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Potassium

Keto foods high in Magnesium:
Leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, full fat plain yogurt, and dark chocolate.

Keto foods high in Potassium:
Dark leafy greens, squash, full fat plain yogurt, fish, avocados, and mushrooms.

As for sodium chloride (salt), the easiest way is to drink bone broth, or add a little bit of salt to your meals.

Affiliate Links-
Electrolyte Combo Supplements:
Emergen-C Electro-Mix

Boullion Cubes

Morton's Lite Salt

Sunday, June 14, 2015

KETO: 5 Amazing Low Carb Desserts

Ever since we discovered our local Fred Meyer sold Erythritol, we have been using it as our only artificial sweetener. It tastes great! Hardly distinguishable from actual sugar.

Sugar-free almond paste or marzipan
My husband and I have one major, sugary weakness; marzipan. The almondy flavor and sweetness is just amazing. This recipe is all of those things AND NO SUGAR. Instead of the sweetener this recipe calls for, I used 2TBS powdered Erythritol.

Cheesecake with a brownie crust
This cheesecake was fantastic. I loved the chocolate crust. It was even better topped with whipped cream and keto caramel sauce (recipe further down).

Keto Chocolate Mousse
Much like the cheesecake, this is super tasty, and we loved it even more with that keto caramel sauce!

Keto Caramel
This stuff is amazing. Use it warm as a caramel topping, mix it into your coffee, freeze it into caramels.

White chocolate butter pecan fat bombs
So tasty, easy to make. I thought the original recipe was a little heavy on the coconut taste, so I used more butter and less coconut oil.

Keto Orange Creamsicles
We spotted some Orange flavored Mio at the store the other day and grabbed some, thinking we would mix it into a little bit of heavy cream as a quick fat bomb as needed when it hit me: Whip that heavy cream up into creamsicle whip cream! As tasty as that was (and believe me, it was tasty) I knew it just wasn't quite the same. So I froze it up into popsicle molds. Took me back to when I used to get orange creamsicles when I was a young kid. I couldn't say exactly how much mio I squirted into it, but it couldn't have been more than half a teaspoon for 4oz heavy cream. Easy to experiment and try it out as you go along!

KETO: 4 Delicious Low Carb Dinners

Today's post is more or less a recipe dump. Here are my favorite recipes from the past month!

Caveman Keto Chili
I generally get sick of chili fairly quickly, as in, after one bowl. That was not the case with this recipe! Very easy and delicious slow cooker meal.

Pork Carnitas
I am all about the crock pot, and this recipe delivers! Slow cook the pork with flavors, then a quick pan fry to crisp it up a bit - amazing! Serve in low-carb tortillas or inside romaine lettuce boats.

Buffalo chicken jalapeƱo popper casserole
My mom found this recipe for one of our get-togethers and it is SUPER tasty. Just a little bit of heat, lots of cream cheese and chicken, this recipe has it all.

Lasagne Stuffed Peppers
These were incredibly easy and so cheesy and delicious. Highly recommended.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Quick Keto Guide

One of the toughest parts about trying to be healthier is deciding how to do so. Part of that determining process should involve a degree of research in order to find out what is healthy, what will get the best results, and more.

This guide is intended as a basic starting point for anybody considering the ketogenic or low carb lifestyle.


What is the keto diet?
The ketogenic diet is essentially eating few enough carbs (from all sources) that your body goes into ketosis and burns fat instead of carbs for energy. Many people use this lifestyle to lose weight, but there are also a great number that maintain the ketogenic lifestyle for the cognitive and health improvements.

Why cut out carbohydrates?
All types of carbohydrates, be them from fruit or vegetables or cake are digested by the human body into sugar. If you cut these from your diet, you body's easiest fuel source is gone and it will instead burn fat.

How do I follow the ketogenic diet?
While there are few hard set rules for the most part - some people also avoid artificial sweeteners or even cheese and peanut butter. But, eating few enough carbs that your body enters ketosis is the one requirement.

What foods do I avoid?
All high carb foods like breads, sweets, and starches should be skipped or extremely limited. Most fruits and many vegetables have high sugar levels as well.

What foods do I eat?
Meats and full fat dairy have the lowest carb count. Leafy greens, the squash family, and cruciferous vegetables are pretty low in carbs as well.

How many carbs per day is the limit?
For nearly all people, consuming fewer than 20 grams of carbs per day is all but guaranteed to put you in ketosis. Many people can go up to 50 or even 100 if they are very active. It varies individually.

What if I don't have enough time to home-cook all of my meals?
There are many ways to quickly get food and remain in ketosis.
Here is one post for quick keto meals, otherwise check out the other recipes I've posted:

Keto Breakfasts
Keto Snacks 
Keto Lunches
Keto Dinners
Keto Desserts

Additionally, U/AreYouReadyToReddit has a great 6-day starter meal plan

What is the Keto flu?
The Keto flu refers to a transitional period when your body is switching its fuel source from carbohydrates to fat. Initially, the body might feel a little bit more sleepy, less energetic, to even more full-blown flu-like fatigue symptoms. This depends on the diet followed previously. The higher the previous carb count, and lower the fat, the bigger of a transition the body will need to go through. This period varies in length, depending on how low your new carb count is (how quickly you will burn through your body's glucose stores), and other individual factors.

To get relief from keto flu symptoms, and in general, be sure to drink lots (LOTS) of water. Also try drinking broth, and supplementing your electrolytes during this phase. You want to get around these amounts of electrolytes daily:
   -5000 mg of sodium chloride
   -1000 mg of potassium chloride or potassium sulfate
   -300 mg of magnesium(chelated)
After the keto flu subsides, you can experiment with dropping supplementation and getting all of your electrolytes through your food. Other than bone broth, you can make sure to eat a good variety of foods high in magnesium and potassium, and make sure to add some salt to your meals.
U/AshSimmons' post on "Keto Flu - Symptoms..." has more information on the Keto flu.

More quick Keto guides:
U/pineapple_King's A Practical Guide to Keto for Lazy People
U/nothingtoseehere28's Beginner's Guide to Keto
U/stupidrobots' The Keyto Keto Success and...

For more information check out these sites:
Keto in a Nutshell FAQ

Thursday, May 21, 2015

7 Easy Keto and Keto Crock Pot Meals

Crock pot meals:

Caveman Keto's Pork Carnitas

These are super tasty and quick to make! You add the ingredients to the crock pot after minimal prep, cook it up like a typical pork roast, then fry the shredded pork for a few just to crisp it up. Serve in low-carb tortillas with cheese, sour cream, olives, and whatever else you enjoy.

Caveman Keto's Caveman Chili

Super easy as well! Just brown the ground meat and cook the bacon before hand (I did mine the night before - never any spare time in the A.M.), slow cook all that tasty business all day long, top with sour cream and shredded cheese and eat.

Cauliflower Pizza Casserole

Tasty and easily adjusts for different pizza variations to satisfy your pizza cravings.

Coconut Curry Chicken

Skip potatoes, replace rice with riced cauliflower, and skip raisin topping!

Regular meals:

Unbreaded Chicken Cordon Bleu

All you do to make this recipe keto friendly is skip the bread crumbs!

Steak with veggie side dish

Great veggies to go with a nice steak include broccoli, salad, mashed cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, and a squash medley!

Low carb Soft tacos

For these you can either use those awesome mission low carb tortillas, lettuce wraps, or even taco shells made out of cheese. Pretty much all taco fillings are low carb - just keep an eye on tomatoes and salsa, there are a couple carbs in those.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Low Carb or Keto While Breastfeeding

   Since my second baby was born in February, I have been eager to get back into my low carb lifestyle. However, as studies of breastfeeding women are unethical (thus no studies have been done on breastfeeding while in ketosis), I have been hesitant to jump right back to fewer than 20 carbs per day while my daughter is so young.  I have been limiting my carbs to 100g per day at most. From my recently carb-heavy diet to ~75-100 per day, I saw absolutely no drop in my supply. But. Keep in mind that I did not watch my calorie intake in the slightest.

   The two most important things for maintaining your breast milk supply are sufficient calories and water intake.  I plan to keep myself in the range between 50-100g carbs per day for now, easing my intake of the sugars and starches gradually down. From others' experiences, they only went through a 1-2 day temporary drop in supply, and they supplemented with their freezer stash. If you do this, be sure to pump for an extra "feeding" in order to prompt your breasts to continue to produce more milk and increase your supply.

   If you choose to do this, I would also recommend you make the change just before a day or two off in order to offer lots of time for baby to breastfeed and ramp that supply back up. Once my baby reaches about 4 months I will feel more comfortable dropping below 30 carbs/day! If you haven't checked it out yet, here are my previous posts from being in ketosis while breastfeeding my older baby a few years ago:

Ketosis and breastfeeding introduction

Breastfeeding and the keto diet TIPS

Breastfeeding while in ketosis days 1-5

I apologize for the quick entry! I plan to contribute more again shortly.

See my more recent post here:
Breastfeeding While in Ketosis: Round 2

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dispelling Vaccination Myths: part 1

     With the multitudes of clashing information out there, it can be easy to come to different conclusions regarding immunizations. The purpose of this series is to shed some light and dispel the biggest myths surrounding vaccinations.

Myth 1:
"Decline in Rates of diseases prevented by vaccines are due to better hygiene and healthcare; not vaccines."

Vaccine-preventable diseases vs. Death rates

     This first graph is often reported as the proof that disease rates for vaccine-preventable diseases were in decline long before the vaccines were in effect; purportedly due to better healthcare, sanitation standards, and cleaner living. Looking at the graphs, it appears to give a clear conclusion in opposition to vaccines. However, it is important to note the distinction that these graphs show death rates in decline - not rates of the disease being contracted declining.This simply means that people were living with these diseases, or at least for longer periods before succumbing to them.
     With advancing healthcare and cleaner living standards, it is no wonder the death rates were in decline even before the invention of vaccines. People who contracted polio were no longer dying so quickly - in fact, with the invention of the iron lung, those people could continue to live for up to decades.

Iron Lung Ward - Rancho Los Amigos Hospital
Iron Lung Ward in Rancho Los Amigos Hospital
     What's more relevant to the introduction of regular vaccinations, let's consider the cases of disease itself (Measles, in this case) versus the introduction of vaccines.
Cases of Measles vs Introduction of Vaccines

Measles Elimination In Canada

     For some context of vaccine success from other continents, here is a quote from CDC (linked through WHO at the bottom). This quote is in regards to developed countries who started with high vaccination rates. Those rates decreased as people saw less of each disease, and the diseases bounced right back, despite similar or better rates of sanitation and healthcare.

     "Finally, we can look at the experiences of several developed countries after they let their immunization levels drop. Three countries – Great Britain, Sweden, and Japan – cut back the use of pertussis vaccine because of fear about the vaccine. The effect was dramatic and immediate. In Great Britain, a drop in pertussis vaccination in 1974 was followed by an epidemic of more than 100,000 cases of pertussis and 36 deaths by 1978. In Japan, around the same time, a drop in vaccination rates from 70% to 20%-40% led to a jump in pertussis from 393 cases and no deaths in 1974 to 13,000 cases and 41 deaths in 1979. In Sweden, the annual incidence rate of pertussis per 100,000 children 0-6 years of age increased from 700 cases in 1981 to 3,200 in 1985. It seems clear from these experiences that not only would diseases not be disappearing without vaccines, but if we were to stop vaccinating, they would come back."-- CDC Atlanta "Six Common Misconceptions about Immunization"

 Historical Comparisons of Morbidity and Mortality for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States

Historical Comparisons...METHODS

Resources/More Information:
JAMA - Historical Comparisons of Morbidity and Mortality for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States
WHO - Six Common Misconceptions - "2. Diseases had already..."
The Intellectual Dishonesty of the "Vaccines Didn't Save Us" Gambit  

Myth 2:
"Complications and risks of vaccine-preventable diseases aren't that bad."

     Many of those who are against vaccination claim that contracting one (or all) of these diseases is not all that dangerous. Here are the statistics on several vaccine-preventable diseases.

      Complications of contracting the measles range from common and inconvenient to life-threatening dependent on a number of factors.
     Common complications include ear infections (1 in 10 children experience this) and poorly treated/untreated could potentially lead to permanent hearing loss. Additionally, 1 in 10 adults are likely to experience diarrhea.
     Severe Complications include pneumonia and encephalitis. Up to 1 in 20 children with measles will get pneumonia, which is the most common cause of death in young children with measles. Roughly 1 in 1,000 children who get measles will develop encephalitis, which is swelling of the brain. This can lead to convulsions - ultimately it can cause the child to be permanently deaf or with an intellectual disability. For pregnant women, measles can cause premature birth or a low birth weight baby.
     There is also a very rare long-term complication that develops roughly 7 to 10 years after a seemingly full recovery from measles - Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). When measles was widespread and quite common, this disease of the nervous system occurred in 4 to 11 out of 100,000 people who had contracted measles.

Source: CDC: Measles | Complications

For more in-depth details on complications of the Measles disease, visit CDC Pinkbook: Measles | Complications

Pertussis/Whooping Cough  
      As with the measles, pertussis can have some life-threatening complications stemming from contracting the disease.
     Infants and young children are at the highest risk for severe complications from pertussis. Infants who contract the disease are about 50% likely to be hospitalized from it. Of those hospitalized, there are a number of further complications, including:
  • 1 in 4 (23%) get pneumonia (lung infection)
  • 1 or 2 in 100 (1.6%) will have convulsions (violent, uncontrolled shaking)
  • Two thirds (67%) will have apnea (slowed or stopped breathing)
  • 1 in 300 (0.4%) will have encephalopathy (disease of the brain)
  • 1 or 2 in 100 (1.6%) will die  
Source: CDC - Pertussis | Complications
Infant Complications of Pertussis - 1990-1999

     In teens and adults, the complications are milder, but still can be cause for concern in many individuals.
     One study showed that less than 5% of teens and adults who contracted pertussis were hospitalized, and pneumonia was diagnosed in 2% of those. Another study showed the following common complications:
  • Weight loss (33%)
  • Loss of bladder control (28%)
  • Passing out (6%)
  • Rib fractures from severe coughing (4%)

Source: CDC - Pertussis | Complications

Pneumococcal Disease(s) 
      The most severe type of invasive pneumococcal disease is meningitis. For children under 5 years old, roughly 1 in 10 dies of the infection, while others may develop hearing loss or developmental delay.
     Bacteremia is another type of invasive pneumococcal disease which infects the patient's blood. Children with this form of the disease have about a 4% chance of dying due to the blood infection.
     Pneumonia infects the lungs and can cause varying levels of illness in people of any age. Complications of pneumonia include empyema, pericarditis, endobronchial obstruction with atelectasis, and abscesses in the lung. Around 5 in 100 people with pneumonia will die from it.

Empyema - Infection of the areas between membranes surrounding the lungs and chest
Pericarditis - The inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart
Endobronchial obstruction - When the airway that allows air into lungs is blocked
Atelectasis - lung collapse
Abscess - collection of puss
 Source: CDC Pneumococcal Disease | Symptoms & Complications

Resources/More information:
CDC - Measles | Complications
CDC Pinkbook: Measles | Complications
JAMA - Trends in Pertussis Among Infants in US, 1980-1999
CDC - Pertussis | Complications
NHS - Whooping Cough - Complications
CDC - Pneumococcal Disease | Symptoms & Complications 

Myth 3: 
"Ingredients like formaldehyde, mercury, aluminum are harmful in vaccines, especially for young children."

     In many vaccines Aluminum salts are used as adjuvants, which are substances that increase the body's immune response to the vaccines. The types of aluminum salts used in some vaccines in the US include aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, alum/potassium aluminum sulfate, or mixed aluminum salts. These have been used in vaccines like the DTaP, pneumococcal conjugate, and hepatitis B vaccines, as well as others, for over sixty years, and have only rarely been associated with severe reactions.
Source: FDA - Common Ingredients in U.S. Licensed Vaccines

     A PubMed Study compared the MRL (minimum risk levels; established by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) to the body burden of aluminum from vaccines as well as diet through the infant's first year of life.
"We conclude that episodic exposures to vaccines that contain aluminum adjuvant continue to be extremely low risk to infants and that the benefits of using vaccines containing aluminum adjuvant outweigh any theoretical concerns."
Source: (ABSTRACT) Updated Aluminum Pharmacokinetics Following Infant Exposures Due to Diet and Vaccination

     Except for some flu vaccines, since 2001 thimerosal has not been added to any of the scheduled childhood vaccinations. It is used as a preservative in multi-dose containers of immunizations, which helps to keep the costs down for people getting vaccinated.
Source: CDC - Thimerosal 

     Formaldehyde is used in vaccines in order to inactivate viruses to avoid causing the disease to actually be contracted with the immunization. It also is used to detoxify bacterial toxins - as is the case when used in the diphtheria vaccine.
     Formaldehyde is naturally produced by the body when making amino acids, producing energy, and more basic bodily processes. It is also found in our everyday environment. While excessive amounts of formaldehyde may cause cancer, the highest risk is from air pollution, and generally occurs with those who work with formaldehyde directly. When it comes to infants, studies have shown that for a newborn of 6-8 lbs, the amount of formaldehyde at a given moment could be 50-70 times higher than any single vaccine would deposit.
Source: FDA - Common Ingredients in U.S. Licensed Vaccines

Aborted Fetal Tissue
     This quote from NCBC summarizes it best:
"Descendant cells are the medium in which these vaccines are prepared. The cell lines under consideration were begun using cells taken from one or more fetuses aborted almost 40 years ago. Since that time the cell lines have grown independently. It is important to note that descendant cells are not the cells of the aborted child. They never, themselves, formed a part of the victim's body."
Source:  NCBC - FAQ on the Use of Vaccine #descendCell

      A quick summary on how this is used toward vaccines: A primary cell culture is taken directly from living tissue. By isolating single types of cells within a culture we can develop a cell line, which can then be used for continuous observation and control otherwise not possible. Using these cell lines, researchers are able to grow human pathogens and attenuate (weaken) them. One way of doing so would be to alter the virus so that it is unable to grow successfully in normal human body temperature. They do this by repeatedly growing the virus in human cells kept at low temperatures, meaning it works better on low temperatures; worse in actual, live human beings.
Source: History of Vaccines - Human Cell Strains in Vaccine Development

Resources/More Information:
FDA - Common Ingredients in U.S. Licensed Vaccines
CDC - Thimerosal 
(ABSTRACT) Updated Aluminum Pharmacokinetics Following Infant Exposures Due to Diet and Vaccination
CDC - Parents' Guide: Pt 4 -  FAQ
History Of Vaccines - Human Cell Strains in Vaccine Development
National Catholic Bioethics Center - FAQ on the Use of Vaccines

Myth 4: 
"Risks from the vaccines themselves outweigh risks from the diseases they prevent."

     Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is often referred to as the evidence of large amounts of complications due to vaccines themselves. However, it is important to consider this (from the CDC on the actual VAERS site):
      "When evaluating data from VAERS, it is important to note that for any reported event, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established. Reports of all possible associations between vaccines and adverse events (possible side effects) are filed in VAERS. Therefore, VAERS collects data on any adverse event following vaccination, be it coincidental or truly caused by a vaccine. The report of an adverse event to VAERS is not documentation that a vaccine caused the event."
Source: VAERS - Guide to Interpreting VAERS Case Report Information

     In other words, there is no evidence behind the claims made by those who posted.

     And now, some specific comparisons between the severe risks of vaccine-preventable diseases, and the severe risks of immunizations for those diseases.
MMR Complications
     Fewer than 1 in 1,000,000 have a severe allergic reaction
     Even fewer than that (so few that the number cannot be pinpointed) can develop deafness, long-term seizures, permanent brain damage
Source: CDC - What are the Risks from MMR Vaccine?

     1 in 1,000 develop Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) - up to 25% of these result in long-term brain damage
     60-70 in 1,000 develop seizures
     2 in 1,000 result in death
Source: CDC - PinkBook | Measles | Complications

     1 in 20,000 young children can develop permanent deafness
     2 in 100,000 children develop encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
     15 in 100 adults will develop meningitis (infection of the covering around the brain and spinal cord)
     5 in 100 adults will develop pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas)
Source: (PDF) CDC -  Mumps | Complications from Mumps

     1 in 6,000 cases develops encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
     Up to 85% of infants infected during the first trimester of pregnancy will be born with birth defects, which could include deafness, eye defects, heart defects, and mental retardation
Source: (PDF) - Rubella: Questions and Answers

DTaP Complications
     Fewer than 1 in 1,000,000 report serious allergic reaction
     Even fewer (so few that the number cannot be estimated) develop long-term seizures or permanent brain damage
Source: CDC - Side-effects | DTaP

     1 in 10 patients can die even with treatment - without treatment the number is as high as 1 in 2 people die.
Source: CDC - Diphtheria | Complications

     About 11 in 100 reported cases are fatal
     About 50-70 in 100 develop aspiration pneumonia
Source: CDC - Pinkbook - Tetanus

     1 in 20 children develop pneumonia (much higher in infants younger than 6 months)
     5 in 100 adults develop pneumonia
     4 in 100 adults fracture their ribs from coughing
Source: - Pertussis: Questions and Answers

Resources/More Information:
CDC - What are the Risks from MMR Vaccine?
CDC - PinkBook | Measles | Complications
(PDF) CDC -  Mumps | Complications from Mumps
(PDF) - Rubella: Questions and Answers
CDC - Side-effects | DTaP
CDC - Diphtheria | Complications
CDC - Pinkbook - Tetanus - Pertussis: Questions and Answers

Further reading:

It is important for everyone to read and do their own research, and make certain to avoid echo chambers where people just continuously repeat and reiterate the same points. Find new resources, but be sure to check for validity of the source. 

CDC - Finding Credible Vaccination Information

(PDF) CDC - 2014 Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule

If you would like more explanation or in-depth answers, or you have alternate sources you would like me to consider, please leave me a comment. Also, feel free to comment on the vaccine myths you'd like to see discussed.