Vegetarian's Blood Tests - Gawk & Advise
They're attached, and actually pretty good, overall. This was the WellnessFX performance and advanced thyroid packages.
I'm a vegetarian because I started spitting out meat when I was two years old, even though my parents tried to make me eat it. It disgusts me. I think I'd be healthier eating it, and I don't have a moral problem with it. So let's not make this a discussion about that. I take krill and cod liver oil. Considering collagen. I'm 28.
So, if you're just curious, check out the tests. I've been a vegetarian for 24 years (didn't spit out bacon ages 2-4).
If you're more technically inclined, I'd like some help getting leaner and adjusting the problematic biomarkers. Basically the below is all kinds of info in case you are technically inclined and want to offer advice.
Would love some advice on:
- Lowering Apo B, maybe LDL but that's less concerning
- General comments on cholesterol / whether I should be concerned?
- Lowering hs-CRP
- Thoughts? Wouldn't mind less estradiol and more free testosterone, but interestingly SHBG is fairly low
- Thyroid seems sluggish despite being "in range" - do you agree? If so, strategies for speeding it up?
- Cortisol is in range, but what's a good target for BP?
White Blood Cells
- Whoa. Eosinophils have me freaking out a little. Any thoughts?
- Anything that sticks out to you?
- Optimal health (as much as possible without meat and fish)
- Fat loss
- I'm balding more than either grandfather did, way more than my dad but I clearly have my mom's hair/skin genes. Want to make sure there's nothing I can do about it (like that it's not a thyroid or adrenal issue)
I'm 5'9", and started this journey when the scale read 205lbs. I was not muscular. I got to 190 with more muscle on the Slow Carb Diet, then got down to 180lbs over the summer with BPC, then was "off the wagon" while traveling and moving in September for 30 days. Went up to 187 during that time, no big deal. But then I got back on the same diet that was working for me, and gained weight. Weird. I was exercising, and some of it is definitely added muscle. I'm up to 195, but would like to be leaner. My body just does NOT want to shed fat. The only time it does is when I'm super super strict, and even then it's like half a pound a week (weighed last day before cheat meals, after peeing, accounting for water, etc)
My Diet, generally:
- 2-4 XL organic valley eggs a day, mixed with organic egg whites, scrambled lightly (no browning) in ~1tbsp Kerrygold with 1-2 cups spinach, and a tiny bit of Whole Foods salsa. Black beans if I want carbs. This has not triggered any problems with the BP Food Sense app. EDIT: black beans have been eliminated, carbs now come from white rice, sweet potatoes, BP berries.
- Organic cottage cheese (BP Food Sense OK) - generally 2% because I like the taste more than full fat
- Kale shake w/ cucumber, celery, kale is steamed/drained + 400mg mag glycinate and 600mg calcium EDIT: kale replaced with other greens, removed blended supps
- Upgraded MCT, alone, in coffee (not lately, see below) or in kale shake
- Hemp protein and seeds, sometimes as a shake, sometimes in the kale shake (whey gave me problems with daily use)
- Bit of Lindt 85%
- 90-150oz water depending on activity. Mostly tap, some Brita.
- BP green-side veggies in rotation, could probably have more
- I take full cheat days, with gluten, generally once a week. I've eliminated gluten for 14 days and felt no different.
- Occasional organic unsweetened greek yogurt, raw almond butter, raw almonds
I get 90-125g protein depending on activity level. I've gone as high as 60-70% fat, experimenting with more like 40% fat since stopping BPC. Generally 85-120g carbs / day, but a lot of that is fiber, never been sure if that matters.
Calorie wise, I've been up to 2,200-2,400 not losing fat, lost it around 1,800, but that stopped working in the fall. In January, just to make 100% sure it wasn't just about cutting calories, I dropped to ~1,400 calories a day and exercised lightly for about an hour 4-5 days a week. Cheat days Saturday. Lost around half a pound in 3 weeks. I wasn't even super hungry during that time, though I noticed it. Now I'm up at probably 1,800-2,000, feeling full.
The 2012 blood data was following the Slow Carb Diet. I was a pizza/pasta vegetarian until probably 2010 when I started making improvements.
Why no BPC?
I've done it in the past and liked it, lost fat on it in the past. Since I was gaining weight in the fall on it, and because I suspected I might have thyroid issues, I've taken some time off. In the past I've also been able to do IF with a 6 hour eating window with just espresso in the morning, not adding fat. Right now I still have coffee after breakfast, just not with butter and MCT. Generally Upgraded beans but I don't stress if I run out before my next order comes in, just buy a bag of other high quality stuff. Based on my thyroid levels, do you think I should be able to handle it BPC and IF? My last (sightly higher) TSH reading in 2012, I was not drinking BPC. Drank it from approximately Jan 2013 - November 2013, but not at all in September due to travel.
- 8,000 iu D3 (Whole Foods brand)
- 5,000mcg Jarrow B12 + source naturals megafolinic
- 2,200mcg K2 (Life Extension Super K)
- 200mcg Selenium w/ 30iu vitamin E (Life Extension Super Selenium Complex)
- 5mg biotin (Whole Foods brand)
- 400mg magnesium glycinate (Kal brand - cheaper, right form, is this a mistake? Before bed)
- 225mcg iodine + 500mg l-tyrosine 2-3x daily with meals (Pure Encapsulations, to support thyroid)
- Krill Oil 500mg morning and night (Brand varies, I buy by price so long as they're Neptune capsules)
- Fermented Cod Liver Oil - 2 caps morning and night (Green Pasture)
- Himalayan salt ~.7 tsp
- Potassium chloride 99mg Whole Foods brand, kinda whenever I remember with meals, 0-3 a day, probably not making much of a difference.
Recent Additions, probably didn't affect the blood test: Source Naturals OptiZinc (30mg zinc monomethionine + 300 mcg copper sebacate) nightly, Pure Encapsulations copper glycinate 2mg every other day. These two were/are an experiment to address common vegetarian deficiencies and support hormones.
Generally since 2012 it's been kettlebell swings to max reps (~150 these days) 1-3 times a week with a 50lb kettlebell, then once or twice a week weight training using 20lb dumbells and the kettlebell for some stuff like goblet squats. I used to try to hit failure, but that's become harder as I've gotten stronger, I'm overdue for heavier weights. I try to vary things up and hit a lot of different muscle groups, but never hit them hard more than once a week. For a few weeks last year I did daily hill sprints during IF, but that depleted too much glycogen and gave me problems. Lately I've switched up the kettlebell days, trying to keep my heart rate moderately high for longer, doing an hour of as many cycles as possible of: 25 swings, 30 bent two-hand rows, 20 deadlifts, 7 thrusters, 10 pushups. I don't go super hard, so that's 8 cycles max so far.
- I'm not super energetic but don't have fatigue or brain fog. Strong nails, hate heat but can take cold no problem. Like cold showers in the winter with the window open if I want to try cold thermogenesis. Have a little trouble falling asleep and waking up, but I've been like that as long as I can remember, and it's not extreme, just night owl stuff. I get a solid 7-8 hours a night, confirmed with a Zeo before my headband wore out. I had trouble breaking past 50 minutes of deep sleep, REM wasn't a problem.
Very slow metabolism, ~40 hour intestinal transit time (um, measured by seeing partially digested beans after I hadn't eaten them for 40 hours) and I'm not very affected by things that affect others on this forum. Have a cheat meal with sugar and gluten, don't feel crappy. Take half a tube of Glutathione Force, don't feel it.
In general pretty good. I only get gas if I change my diet, but it goes away in a day. Even with beans. Never had any kind of stomach problems except for 4 days when I boiled the beans before cooking with them, discussed here.
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