Make sure that you’ve read the first post on my InsideTracker journey titled “Get your blood tested! I’m doing it. Here’s why…“
I just got off the phone with Laura from InsideTracker and couldn’t be more impressed with the info that InsideTracker provides, and how they address your future improvement(s). I have a lot of work to do…
But before I go into what I need to do to improve let me revisit where I’m coming from…
How I’ve been feeling before InsideTracker
Do you ever have the feeling that something might not be right (health wise), but you can’t put your finger on it, and it’s not bad enough to go to the doctor…?
That has been my life for the last couple of years as it relates to athletic performance (in my case competitive CrossFit). Some days are good, and some days are not so good, but most days are a lot worse than they were a few years back. There are people that say it’s just aging, but those people are wrong.
FINALLY we all have an affordable way of testing what’s going on inside our bodies, and we have qualified professionals to hold our hand through the process.
Some might ask “why not just go to your doctor?” I’m sure that there are some absolutely amazing general health doctors out there, but I haven’t found one that is interested in looking at why the problem was caused in the first place rather than throwing drugs at it. Not to mention most doctors have almost zero nutrition education. No joke.
But, if you happen to have a qualified doctor at your disposal, by all means share your InsideTracker results with them. It’s never a bad idea to have other smart people help you out.
Anyway, back to my story…
Getting my blood taken
After signing up for my InsideTracker Ultimate plus InnerAge blood test package I scheduled a blood test at a local Quest Diagnostics lab.
The blood test requires you to be fasted for 12 hours, so I made sure to take the test in the morning, so I wouldn’t have to go without eating for too much longer than I was used to.
When I showed up at the testing facility the technicians were super friendly and helpful.
I’m not sure about any of you, but I do NOT like having my blood taken, and it’s not uncommon for me to feel like I’m going pass out during the process. I can’t say why this is… I’m breathing the whole time, not looking at the blood being taken, and am actually pretty relaxed going into he blood draw. But it sometimes happens. I let the lab techs know this, and they had me do the blood draw laying on the floor, and told me that it’s actually pretty common for men to have this issue. If this is true or not I’m not sure, but it made me feel better. 🙂
I was in and out of the lab in 15 mins max. Easy breezy! I do recommend bringing some food with you to eat before you drive away. It makes me feel better.
The test results
So, I had my blood taken on a Thursday morning and my results were in the InsideTracker system the following Monday morning. That’s the fastest turn around time that I’ve ever had for any lab results. #speedmatters
Just a side note…
In talking with people about doing this testing I’ve had a few people tell me that they don’t want to know what’s going on inside them. Or they are scared that something might be wrong with them.
Is this you?
I think this a totally real fear. And you get to decide how to look at this. You can be scared and do nothing, or look at it like this…
…think about how you feel now, then imagine feeling better than you do now. Yes, chances are you can definitely feel better. Now imagine how you’ve felt on your best days. Doing testing like this gives you the tools to feel your best, WAY more often.
And prevent anything that might not be a big deal today, but could be a huge deal in a few years.
Anyway, back to my actual results…
When I went to look at my biomarkers there were some that didn’t surprise me and some that I was very surprised about.
Here’s what InsideTracker found:
The 3 things that I need to focus the most of my efforts on improving are:
– Free testosterone. It’s very low, and seems crazy that I can be still improving in the gym having as little free testosterone as I do.
– Fasting blood glucose was too high. This was probably the most surprising for me considering that I time all of my carbohydrate intake daily.
– Ferritin was too high. This is my stored iron which I’m told could be caused by eating a lot of red meat, which I have been.
As you can see (below) I also had several other biomarkers that “need work”. One of them that was of particular interest to me was the creatine kinase marker. This marker can tell you how well you respond to exercise. Because my creatine kinase was high after a day of rest it can be concluded that I am an easy responder to exercise.
What CrossFitters are told…
Over the years of doing competitive CrossFit training I’ve always felt like I was going in and out of a state of overtraining, and felt like I was training too much (or with too much volume). Typical signs of overtraining are: loss of appetite, loss of sex drive, lack of motivation for work and working out, and having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep.
If you’re a competitive CrossFitter you’ll know what I’m talking about, and you’ll also know that most high level CrossFit coaches will push you to train more rather than less.
While attending the Misfit Athletics training camp the coaches acknowledged that some people could get great results with much less volume than other athletes, but they didn’t know of a good way of figuring out how to tell. I’ve also had other coaches tell me that there’s no such thing as overtraining, just under recovering.
Well, what this high level of creatine kinase tells me is that I can get more results by training less than I am training now. Yep, less is actually more for me. Craziness! And that training as much as I am now is overtraining my body, AND likely causing my low testosterone levels.
This is actually what my gut has been telling me for years, but when you have high level coaches telling you otherwise it’s hard to listen to your body (even though you should).
The InsideTracker system
Stepping back for a second on my results and talking about the process, or what you get with InsideTracker.
Once you log into your InsideTracker account it will tell you what you need to work on, and then walk you through a series of question (as you can see in the pictures).
They ask you what your main goals are, and ask you what lifestyle changes you’d like to focus on to help reach your goals. For example, if you’d like to focus on changing your nutrition, but not take many supplements, you can prioritize food, and de-prioritize supplements. It’s a very cool system!
You then get to pick the top 5 interventions that you’d like to add to your lifestyle, out of the 20 that are recommended for you. Or at least I had 20 recommended…
Lastly, you can set up reminders via email, text or both where you’ll get pinged daily or weekly to remind you about your lifestyle changes.
What I’m going to do
Now that I know why I’m feeling that way I am, I can start to move forward, and make improvements.
Here’s what I’m going to implement with my diet:
– Eat more salmon, pollock, and wheat germ to improve my testosterone.
– Eat more rockfish, pork loin, and dairy to lower my ferritin (stored iron).
– Eat more oatmeal, beans, and wheat germ to lower my fasting blood sugar.
– Drink more coffee and dairy to interfere with iron absorption.
– Supplement with cinnamon to help lower my blood sugar.
– Eat less red meat to lower my ferritin and blood sugar.
– Avoid anything with iron in it to lower ferritin.
My lifestyle changes are going to include:
– Limiting my CrossFit workouts to 60 minutes (down from 120 minutes).
– Limit CrossFit to 4-5 times a week. Taking the extra day off if I feel tired.
– Meditating for 1 hour at least 3 times a week using Holosync.
Things that I’m going to continue doing:
– Sleeping 9+ hours every night. I’ve been doing this for years, and highly recommend it.
– Maintaining a stress free attitude.
– Going on long walks and hikes, and not feeling like the intensity has to be high.
Now that I have all of these things to work on, I’m going to get to it! I think the hardest thing for me to implement will be reducing my CrossFit training volume. It’s pretty hard to do less than those around you and expect more results, but that’s where I am right now.
I will also be retesting with InsideTracker in about 3 months. They recommend 2-6 months between tests. You should take less time between tests if you have things that you really need to work on (like me). If things are looking good you can take more time.
My Offer for YOU
Because I’m working with InsideTracker they’ve given me a discount code for me to share with all of my readers (you). I highly recommend that you checkout the Ultimate Plan and optimize your life.
AND if you’d like to hire me as your online nutrition coach I can personally review your results and we can design a diet that will work best for you and your goals. You can find more info about my workout program (The Get Better Project) here.