Well, there are several that could have fit this criteria, but I think this describes my interviewee to a T–The Starch Solution author and vegan activist Dr. John McDougall! My goal was to treat Dr. McDougall with all the respect I typically do of all of my guests, including other anti-low-carb vegans I have interviewed such as Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Neal Barnard. While I expected opposition to my point of view, I couldn’t have imagined the personal criticism and vitriolic attacks towards me for simply daring to question his nutritional beliefs.
To whet your appetite for tomorrow’s full-length interview, I posted a few clips on YouTube for you to get a feel for how it went. This was arguably the most challenging interview guest I’ve ever had! And that’s saying a lot since I’ve interviewed someone as bombastic as Durianrider before. Check these snippets out and don’t miss hearing my interview with Dr. McDougall in its entirety on Monday.
How many people have gone to see their primary care physician to have a routine cholesterol panel done as part of their annual physical checkup only to discover that they have what their doctor says is an elevated total cholesterol of over 200 mg/dL and LDL cholesterol of over 100 mg/dL? What typically happens next has become an all-too-predictable patten amongst most conventionally-trained physicians: you get a stern warning against eating too much saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet along with a fresh new prescription for a statin medication to deal with this brand new dastardly disease you have now been diagnosed and branded with known as hypercholesterolemia. Dum dum dum! This scenario has unfortunately unfolded again and again in most medical offices all across the United States and around the world and it truly saddens me that none of these doctors have ever stopped for a moment to ask a very simple yet obvious question: Why are the cholesterol levels elevated in my patient? Nobody seems to be asking this question.
This is precisely the reason why I have been writing a book for laypeople about cholesterol this year because there’s so much more to this story than simply treating patients with risky prescription medications that never really address the underlying issues behind why cholesterol levels are up in the first place. Cholesterol Clarity: What The HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers? written with my co-author Dr. Eric Westman is set to release in North America on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 (the international release date is September 15, 2013) and I can’t wait for it to get out there as a practical educational resource tool for patients and doctors alike who have become so utterly confused by all the maddening cholesterol chaos that is swirling around about this subject.
In the next few months leading up to the release of Cholesterol Clarity, I will be sharing some of the most interesting information that came up within the course of my research for the book that I think will be helpful to you in your own cholesterol journey. So many people are oblivious to most of the information I will be sharing because quite frankly nobody out there seems to care a bit in the world about figuring out why cholesterol might be elevated–they’re just obsessed with lowering it by any means necessary. Something is majorly wrong with this picture.
Today’s blog post contains information that is particularly personal and quite possibly relevant to my own issues with elevated cholesterol. I’m happy to share my story in the hopes that it might give you encouragement or at least something to consider as you weigh your options about what to do for your own health. One of the chapters in my upcoming book is called “9 Reasons Why Cholesterol Levels Can Go Up” and in that chapter I talk about how chronic bacterial infections in your teeth can be a causal factor in why cholesterol levels are elevated. I have long suspected this as one of the reasons why my cholesterol is higher than normal. And the increases I have seen on my cholesterol panels coincide with my teeth crumbling over the past few years. I could have seen this coming a long time ago.
When I was a kid, I didn’t think twice about crunching hard candy like lollipops and Jawbreakers and then leaving that sugary stuff sitting deep within the crevices of my molars without a second thought. Yes, I was stupid to do that and it led to me needing some pretty major dental work beginning in my early 20′s. As fortune would have it, I worked as a runner for a law firm in Memphis, Tennessee in 1991 after graduating from college and they offered not just health insurance but also dental insurance. Knowing that I had work that needed to be done on my teeth, I took full advantage of this benefit. Not surprisingly, I had multiple cavities and even a couple of teeth that needed root canals undoubtedly because of all that candy crunching I did in my youth. Payday had arrived for the sins of my sugar-loving childhood and it was at this moment in my life that I was subjected to mercury dental amalgam fillings that still exist in my mouth today. The consequences of this seemingly innocuous action may be impacting my health in ways I don’t want it to.
Now that it’s been two decades since I first had all of that dental work done with a few more root canals and fillings along the way, the damage has already been done. Although for the past decade of my life I have consumed a healthy sugar-free, low-carb lifestyle, the teeth that were compromised in my mouth from my high-carb, sugar-fest days are in trouble. I can taste a funky bacterial flavor in my mouth ever since one of my teeth crumbled around a filling a couple of years back. And the mercury exposure from those silver amalgams are probably giving me a bigger toxic dose of heavy metal than I need to be having. Could it be that I’ve seen a precipitous rise in my cholesterol levels in recent years in direct response to my compromised dental health? This was a question I posed to some of my expert friends I interviewed in Cholesterol Clarity.
Family physician Dr. Rocky Patel from the Arizona Sun Prevention Center told me that he sees a lot of patients that contend with periodontal disease as a causal factor in various aspects of their health, including elevated cholesterol levels. “If we suspect a patient has an infection or gingivitis, we make sure they get a proper evaluation for bacterial load in the mouth. This could go undiagnosed for many years and be subclinical.” When I visited Australia in late 2012, I met a holistic dentist named Dr. Ron Ehrlich who explained to me that chronic dental infection can happen within the nerve of a tooth where the nerve has died and doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with any pain. Additionally, chronic infections that are deep within your jaw bone can be associated with extracted teeth and still harbor pathogens. And it was Dr. Ehrlich who made me seriously consider having my mercury amalgams removed when he said “If there are dental mercury amalgams in someone’s teeth, then it is stored in the kidney, liver and brain and to my mind would classify as a heavy metal impacting your cholesterol.” O…M…G! As soon as I returned home from my tour of Australia, I immediately sought out a holistic dentist in my area to deal with all of these issues.
After doing a quick search on Google, I found a holistic dentist in my neighboring city of Greenville, South Carolina named Dr. John Palmer from Palmer Distinctive Dentistry. From what I saw on his web site, I thought he’d be a great resource for me to consider my options about what to do regarding my messy mouth situation. Before I went to see Dr. Palmer this week, I decided to go see my traditional dentist just around the corner from me to see what he had to say about my situation. After taking the x-rays of my teeth that you see at the top of this blog post, he said I had two teeth that needed to be extracted and that the rest could be filled with mercury fillings. EEEEK! I asked him about the toxic heavy metal exposure and my dentist explained that the amount of mercury exposure in my mouth is about 1% of the mercury exposure in the atmosphere. Listening to his explanation, you could tell he was getting a lot of negative comments from patients and had to come up with something to counter it. I don’t know how true what he said was regarding the mercury exposure, but I decided to go see Dr. Palmer and see what he had to say about my situation.
When Christine and I entered his office, it was almost like walking into a spa. The decor in there was gorgeous and didn’t feel like a dentist’s office at all. The cheerful receptionist enthusiastically greeted us and took care of getting all of the information she needed to put my patient profile into their computer system. As soon as all of that was finished, I was immediately taken back to a patient chair in the back with a comfortable neck pillow placed behind my head. I’m LOVING this! A full HD digital camera shot of every part of my teeth was taken and a dental hygienist began examining my teeth to prepare the information for Dr. Palmer to make his evaluation about what to do for me. Although the full periodontal examination was painful to the point that I had to ask Christine to hold my hand so I could squeeze it to offset the pain, the compassion and kindness the dental hygienist showed me helped make the experience better than it would have been. All in all, she said my gums were healthy and noted I had some tartar buildup that needed to be cleaned at a later date. But as for the holes and metal in my teeth, Dr. Palmer said he would need to extract three of my teeth, put composite material in the ones with cavities and safely remove my mercury fillings. You could really tell he understood the needs of his patients and is dedicated to helping them get healthier.
When the examination was finished, we went back to the front to talk about what all of this work would cost and I was bracing for $8,000-10,000 to do the whole she-bang. I knew whatever the cost would be that I needed to have this done as soon as possible to get healthier and test my theory that my elevated cholesterol could be a direct result of bacterial infection and heavy metal exposure. Imagine my pleasant surprise when the cash cost came in at $3536! Yes, that’s still a whole lot of money, but I knew it meant we would be able to get this done. I asked what the earliest appointment they had available to do all of this work in one day and they said July 3, 2013. BOOK IT and let’s get this show on the road.
Yes, I’m taking a huge financial hit doing this, but the potential positive effects that could happen to my health as a direct result of getting this done make it all worth it to me. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I recheck my cholesterol numbers six months after getting this work done and magically all of my cholesterol levels drop back down to normal again? If this happens, wouldn’t it make those medical doctors who blindly offer up a statin drug to patients with “high cholesterol” look kinda silly for merely putting a Band-Aid over a gaping wound without looking for the source of what was causing the injury in the first place? I can’t wait to see if my suspicions regarding my own elevated cholesterol being related to my poor dental health are correct. We’ll know by early 2014.
What do you think about all of this? Have you ever heard of your dental health playing a direct role on your cholesterol levels? Why aren’t more doctors digging deeper looking for answers to why their patient’s cholesterol is elevated rather than taking the easy way out by pushing statin drugs to artificially lower cholesterol? Do you have any experience with getting your dental health in order and seeing positive changes happen with your cholesterol numbers and overall health? Let’s hear from you in the comments section below. I can’t wait until my teeth are whole again at the beginning of July. The payoff will be the results of my NMR Lipoprofile test in December or January. We shall see. STAY TUNED!
As I’m working with my publisher polishing off the final elements of my August 27, 2013 release of Cholesterol Clarity: What The HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers? it’s gonna be an intense back-and-forth process that will require 100% of my attention all month along. I’ll be sporadic at best with time for blogging for the rest of this month. When that book is completed and ready to be published, then I’ll be back. My goal right now is to return to my regular podcasting schedule beginning again on Monday, June 3, 2013 with brand new interviews and the return of “Ask The Low-Carb Experts” and “Low-Carb Conversations.” Check out the guest hosts and Classic interviews I’ll be sharing with you in the month of May 2013:
Hollywood trainer Vinnie Tortorich and his podcasting sidekick and voice over talent extraordinaire Anna Vocino, co-hosts of the “Angriest Trainer” podcast, are this week’s guest co-hosts for Episode 676 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show.” Vinnie appeared as a guest on this show in Episode 651 earlier this year and both he and Anna have a ton of experience running their own fabulous low-carb/health podcast. Vinnie, aside from being America’s Angriest Personal Trainer, is also a trainer-to-the-stars who has appeared (twice!) on Oprah. His co-host Anna is a successful comedian and actress having appeared on The Office, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital and multiple episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live! She’s also a highly-sought after vocal talent in video games and commercials. Listen in as this dynamic duo explains why Vinnie’s so angry, and why maybe you should be too!
Clinical Nutrition Specialist and bestselling author Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman is our guest today in this LLVLC Classic interview in Episode 677 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show.” We continue bringing you some of our favorite long-lost interviews from the archives every Wednesday! Today we have the world famous author of the book The Fat Flush Plan. Dr. Gittleman is the author of over 30 books on all areas of health and nutrition including diet, detox, cleansing and parasites, women’s health, men’s health, menopause, beauty, and environmental health including a couple of New York Times bestsellers. She has also appeared on some major media outlets, including 20/20, Dr. Phil, The View, The Early Show, Good Morning America, Extra, Fox News, PBS, CNN, Good Day New York and The 700 Club! Listen in as Dr. Gittleman and I discuss her fabulous book Get the Sugar Out: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar Out of Any Diet to help those of you still struggling with the sweet tooth. Listen and enjoy this LLVLC Classic episode!
Personal trainer and podcaster Tony Federico of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast is joined by special guests Stefani Ruper, Todd Dosenberry and Joshua Weissman in his guest hosting appearance in Episode 678 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show.” We are excited to bring you another fantastic guest host, Tony Federico from the “Fitness In An Evolutionary Direction” blog and the awesome new Paleo Magazine Radio (PMR) podcast. Listen in as Tony hosts a fabulous episode featuring “The next generation of Paleo” featuring three inspiring guests who are active in the Paleo movement and are all under the age of 25! Stefani Ruper is the voice behind Paleo For Women and has relied on a combination of Paleo living and natural medicine to correct her health. Todd Dosenberry from Primal Toad discovered Paleo via Mark Sisson at the tender age of 21 in 2010 and he’s been living the life ever since. Finally, 17-year old Joshua Weissman from Slim Palate managed to not only lose 100 pounds on a Paleo diet, but to also escape from an adolescence filled with bullying. Listen in as these four share loads of wisdom beyond their years that should make you very proud for the future of this movement in the decades to come.
Milwaukee, WI-based cardiologist and perennial New York Times bestselling author Dr. William Davis is our guest today in this LLVLC Classic in Episode 679 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show.” We’re super excited to bring you a pair of great interviews with Dr. William Davis long BEFORE he wrote his blockbuster book that he’s now most famous for called Wheat Belly. In case you weren’t a listener way back when these interviews first aired, you may not realize that even before Wheat Belly came on the scene, Dr. Davis was popular enough to be selected as one of the show’s top five guests of the year, returning for our annual “Encore Week” episodes as one of the best of the best from that year. We knew then that Dr. Davis was destined for greatness and it all started right here on “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show.” Don’t miss this fantastic LLVLC Classic episode where Dr. Davis reveals his thoughts on cholesterol, heart disease and why he advocates for getting a heart scan as a means for determining your true heart health risks!
Guest co-hosts stand-up comedian Dan French, registered dietitian Amy Kubal and moonshine expert Corben Thomas from The Health And Comedy Show podcast bring their own unique style of podcasting to Episode 680 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show.”Dan French is a fantastically talented stand-up comedian, speaker, writer, and teacher, whose unique career includes being twice nominated for Emmys as a late night comedy writer while also having a Ph.D. in Rhetoric. He lost over 100 pounds on the Paleo diet and now infuses the Paleo message into his comedy routine called “The Comedian’s Diet.” Amy Kubal from “Fuel as Rx” is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian specializing in the Paleo Diet and performance nutrition. She holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Colorado State University. Corben Thomas from “Paleo Life 365″ is a “regular Joe” who spent a long time going through just about every major diet plan until he discovered Mark’s Daily Apple and settled into the Paleo lifestyle which he continues to enjoy to this day! Listen in as these three extremely funny folks take us all on a spin through the world of health and fitness with a decidedly skewed (and sometimes whacked out!) perspective. I just happen to be a BIG FAN of their “Health And Comedy Show” podcast and think you will enjoy them too.
Nourishing Traditions author and founder of The Weston A. Price FoundationSally Fallon is our guest today for this LLVLC Classic in Episode 681 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show.” Sally has had a lifelong interest in the subject of nutrition which began in the early 1970s when she read the book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by a dentist named Dr. Weston A. Price. That book was so eye-opening for her that she eventually created a foundation based on the work that he did and even wrote a fabulous bestselling book about the traditional food principles in Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. These days Sally and The Weston A. Price Foundation advocate for eating (and in some cases legalizing) healthy, natural foods and she is one of the leading voices in the real food movement that is going strong today. Listen in to this LLVLC Classic interview where Jimmy and Sally take on topics as diverse as real raw milk, prison food, animals killed in the raising of grains and vegetables and so much more!
Triathlete and host of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast Ben Greenfield is joined by his Canadian sidekick Brock Skywalker as our special guest hosts in today’s episode of The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show With Jimmy Moore!Ben Greenfield is considered by some to be the Internet’s premier free source of information on exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlons and wellness. Today he and his “Ben Greenfield Fitness” podcast sidekick Brock Skywalker have been kind enough to fill in while I’m resting up from the recent Low-Carb Cruise, shipping off a my book to his publisher and preparing to return to podcasting at the beginning of June! Ben is taking calls from listeners in this episode and has some highly controversial things to say about very low-carb diets that induce ketosis. In light of my phenomenal results from my one-year nutritional ketosis experiment, this ought to be interesting. Also, you won’t want to miss hearing when Ben sets his apartment ablaze mid-show–see if you can find when! There’s a lot to this episode, so don’t you miss a single second.
Physician and low-carb diabetes advocate Dr. Richard Bernstein is our guest today for this LLVLC Classic Episode 681 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show.” In this repeat of one of our all-time favorite interview guests, the great Dr. Richard Bernstein discusses the struggles he’s gone through to overcome inertia and avarice on the part of the American Diabetes Association, drug manufacturers and many others in the status quo who maintain that diabetics should not even attempt to regulate their blood sugar through diet and merely rely on drug therapy as their sole means for controlling their disease. Dr. Bernstein thinks that is nonsense as you will hear him passionately share with Jimmy in this pair of LLVLC Classic interviews. He is the author of a fantastic book that should be a part of every low-carb library called Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars and we cannot recommend it highly enough to those dealing with some form of blood sugar health issue. Some of what you will hear will be shocking to say the least, but Dr. Bernstein remains cautiously optimistic about the future prospects of low-carb diabetes care. If you or someone you know has diabetes, then you can learn a lot from this man who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for over six decades and counting.
Guest host Clark Danger from The Paleohacks Podcast interviews Paleo intermittent fasting advocate Brad Pilon in today’s episode of The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show With Jimmy Moore! Clark is a 21-year old college student in Seattle, Washington, but he has crammed a lot of living into those 21 years! In addition to his studies, he is also a drummer, a volunteer for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization, the fabulous host of the new “Paleohacks Podcast” as well as a fitness blogger at ClarkDanger.com. Long-time listeners of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” will remember I interviewed IF specialist Brad Pilon in Episode 596, but Clark brings his own unique perspective in his interview. Brad is the author of Eat Stop Eat and The Zen Of Nutrition and is a former Research & Development Manager at one of the world’s foremost nutritional supplement manufacturers. He is a keen advocate of intermittent fasting, but has a broad interest in the science of nutrition as you will hear in this special guest hosting podcast interview he did with Clark Danger!
Nutritional Psychologist and author Julia Ross is our guest today for this LLVLC Classic Episode 685 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show.” In today’s final LLVLC Classic episode before I return next week, we share a couple of fantastic interviews he did with Julia Ross, nutritional psychologist, eating disorder specialist and the author of The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure. Julia believes that by following the advice in her books or by consulting with her at her practice, virtually anyone can overcome carbohydrate addiction in just a matter of days with a simple dietary intervention. Listen in and enjoy one of our favorite “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” interview guests of all-time!
I return to podcasting again on Monday, June 3, 2013
Although my one-year n=1 experiment of nutritional ketosis is over now, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep checking various markers to see how eating a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet is impacting different parts of my health. I’m continuing to stay in a constant state of ketosis (yes, I’m still testing blood ketones twice daily and recording the readings to make sure I continue the progress I’ve made) attempting to keep blood ketones at a level sufficient for continuing the fat-burning I have seen over the past year. After I attended and spoke at Ben Greenfield’s “Become Superhuman” conference in March, one of the people who attended is a chiropractor who offered to have my hair analyzed to determine the mineral content and any toxins in my body. It sounded pretty cool although I did have to shave my hair pretty close to the scalp to get the necessary sample for the test. But as you will see from the results of the Analytical Research Labs report below, becoming close to bald for a brief period of time was TOTALLY worth it:
Here are the highlights of the analysis conducted in late April 2013:
BELOW IDEAL: Calcium, magnesium, sodium, copper, manganese, chromium and selenium
ABOVE IDEAL: Iron
TRACE MINERALS VERY LOW: Nickel, cobalt, molybdenum, lithium and boron
TOXIC METALS PRESENT: Aluminum and cadmium
So you might be thinking what the heck all of this means. Knowledge is power and knowing where you stand helps you put a plan of action into place to do something to dial in your health even more. Here are the things I’m doing in response to this hair analysis:
1. For the high-iron, I’ve been giving blood every 58 days at my local blood bank. I’ve been doing this for the past 18 months.
2. For the low selenium, I’ve been consuming 2-3 Brazil nuts daily for the past four months.
3. For the very low presence of trace minerals and micronutrients, I’ve added in some trace mineral drops and a green drink daily starting three weeks ago. **SEE BELOW FOR RECIPE**
4. For the high aluminum (which happened as a result of heavy use of conventional underarm deodorant), I’ve switched my deodorant to this one a couple of weeks ago which has been marginal at best so far. I’m really hoping to find an aluminum-free deodorant to get rid of the toxic levels of aluminum being absorbed into my body through my skin.
5. Continuing to educate myself on how to improve each of these numbers to the ideal levels. Your input is welcome if you have any expertise in this area.
It wasn’t all bad news with the hair analysis. The ratios measured on the report found my Ca/Mg ratio is stellar at 6.5 showing incredible blood sugar/pancreas health, my Ca/K ratio is incredible at 5.2 exhibiting awesome thyroid health and an Na/K ratio of 2.20 indicating superb adrenal, vitality, immunity and overall energy. All in all, I’m glad I had this test run and I encourage you to ask your doctor, naturopath or chiropractor about getting this hair analysis test done for yourself.
I posted this photo of my green drink on my Facebook fan page and people were begging me to share what I put in it:
This recipe is still evolving as I keeping thinking of new things to put in it, but here’s the current concoction that I whip up in my blender every morning:
**JIMMY MOORE’S GREEN DRINK RECIPE** Almond milk (and raw cream which I recently found a source for) Garden Of Life RAW Organic Green Super Food Coconut oil Full-fat Greek yogurt 87% dark chocolate Cashew butter or almond butter Avocado Cacao nibs Trace mineral supplement Stevia Ice
Use the amounts of these ingredients that you desire. The consistency of my drink comes out like a thick milkshake and it tastes pretty good. I can’t drink it very quickly, but I get it all down within a half hour. All the healthy fats in this drink along with the micronutrients keep me satisfied for hours and hours. The good thing is I am able to stay in nutritional ketosis drinking this despite the fact it has a good number of carbohydrates in it. I’m anxious to see how adding this green drink and trace mineral supplementation will improve my health even more.
I’ll continue to monitor all of these things and report back to you anything new that I discover. If you have any insights, personal experience or stories to share in response to something you read in this blog post, then feel free to share that in the comments section below.
It went over so well in 2012 that we decided to bring it back again in 2013! It, of course, is the pre-Low-Carb Cruise dinner and roasting of the guest speakers by the lovable little FAT HEAD himself Tom Naughton (by the way, if you haven’t picked up a copy of Tom’s new FAT HEAD Director’s Cut yet, it’s got brand new updated footage and interviews with more experts–GET IT!). Tom did another spectacular job roasting the guest speakers on this year’s Low-Carb Cruise, including Robb Wolf (who unfortunately had to miss because his mother was hospitalized just days before we sailed–Tom still roasted him well), Diane Sanfilippo, Jonathan Bailor, Dave Asprey, Dietitian Cassie Bjork, Dr. Jason and Mira Calton, Dr. Dwight Lundell, Jackie Eberstein, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, Dr. Jay Wortman and a special little segment about me at the end that I’m sure many of you will get a kick out of. We had a spectacular time on this year’s cruise and hope to have you join us in 2014. Details on the next one coming up in July at LowCarbCruiseInfo.com! Plus, the lectures from the 2013 Low-Carb Cruise will be available in the next month or so. I’ll share how you can access those when they become available.
As has become our annual tradition on the Low-Carb Cruise since 2010, Tom and I did our karaoke rendition of the Oak Ridge Boys classic song “Elvira.” I remember when he first asked me to sing this song with him a few years back, Tom said,”you know this song, right?” Ummmm, kinda. I knew the chorus from hearing my mom play that song as a kid, but I didn’t know the verses at all. That’s never stopped me from singing anything before so I just made up my own notes using the lyrics. It’s been the way I’ve sung it every year since! ENJOY!
After one year of daily testing of my weight, blood sugar and blood ketones, my n=1 experiment of the concept known as “nutritional ketosis” has come to an official end. Wow, what a year it has been! Little did I know when I started this personal journey just 12 months ago that it would be such a resounding success on so many levels and helping so many of my readers get back on track again after getting just as frustrated in their low-carb lifestyle as I was. We’re all better now as a result of this great adventure.
Deep down inside I was hoping and praying that I could find a way to get my low-carb plan rolling again for me when it had seemingly stopped working in recent years. What I discovered was that it wasn’t so much that low-carb failed me as much as it was that I was making some key mistakes that needed to be corrected. The changes I made were nuanced, but obviously much more profound than I realized. That’s the biggest lesson I have taken from this experience. Now I’m in a much better place than I was even after my original 180-pound Atkins diet weight loss success. If you missed following my NK experiment over this past year beginning in May 2012, get caught up here: Day 1-30, Day 31-60, Day 61-90, Day 91-120, Day 121-150, 151-180, Day 181-210, Day 211-240, Day 241-270, Day 271-300 and Day 301-330.
Let’s take a look at the guy I was BEFORE I started this experiment in earnest last May. I’ll tell you a secret about this fella: he was not a happy camper at all with where he was physically and emotionally despite seemingly doing all the right things to be at his optimal weight and health:
That was then, but this is now AFTER 12 months of NK:
Can you tell I’m just a wee bit different now than I was then? That’d be an understatement! While the weight loss is evident, how about some of the health changes? Look at a recent blood pressure and heart rate reading I had:
Yowsa! Those numbers are pretty stellar and greatly improved from the 160/95 blood pressure and 69 heart rate prior to starting nutritional ketosis. These numbers went from okay to spectacular! They weren’t the only things that got better. Check out what my A1c was just a few weeks ago:
YES! As exciting as the weight loss has been doing this, it’s the health improvements that have made me most proud. Although the official one-year of public updates are over now, I will obviously be continuing to monitor my blood sugar and blood ketones along with other key health tests while continuing to purposely put myself into a state of nutritional ketosis by consuming a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb nutritional approach. When I attended the American Society Of Bariatric Physicians medical conference in San Diego, CA last month, I was able to publicly thank Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek for writing the book that inspired my n=1 called The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. So many physicians attending the event came up to me asking about what I did. It’s something that has the potential to help so many more people. More on that after I share my final 30-day update with all my latest numbers. Let’s take a look what Day 331-360 ended up looking like:
AM BLOOD KETONE LEVELS – DAY 331-360
It was a pretty typical month for AM readings averaging around .8 millimolar with a few high days while I was in San Diego. I’m still not sure why my ketone levels seem to soar when I am away from home. Whether it is the change in food or something else, I find it intriguing that it seems to happen without fail. As long as I am above 1.0 millimolar most of the time, I know I am burning fat for fuel. If you’re testing in the morning, don’t be discouraged if your numbers are lower. Just keep tweaking by lowering the carbohydrates, lowering the protein and upping the fat. It’s something that Dr. Phinney discussed in this lecture he gave about “The Art And Science Of Nutritional Ketosis”:
Some have wondered how often they should be testing their blood ketones and the answer to that is up to you. I think if you measure once or twice in the morning and night each week should give you an idea of where you stand. How about my PM ketone levels for Day 331-360? Let’s take a look:
PM BLOOD KETONE LEVELS – DAY 331-360
It’s an average of 1.6 which is nearly double the morning readings. That’s what you can expect from your nighttime blood ketones as long as you measure at least four hours after your last meal. You should be able to be well above 1.0 millimolar with your PM blood ketone levels when you’ve found your carbohydrate tolerance and protein threshold. Fat is your friend, so eat up on the healthy natural saturated and monounsaturated fats. How about the weight loss in Day 301-330:
WEIGHT LOSS – DAY 331-360
As has been typical since the weight loss has slowed down in recent months, the loss is not a steady daily movement. There’s a bit of ebb and flow and I realize that’s all a part of it. Up a little, down, down, down, up, up, down down down…I don’t fret about what my weight is doing in the day-to-day because in the end the trend is still down. Now that my experiment is finished, I may not weigh everyday anymore. I merely did that as a measurement for this n=1 test. I ended up with a 3.8-POUND WEIGHT LOSS which is about a pound a week. Not too shabby after a year of doing this. WOO HOO! What does that make my total weight loss for this one-year experiment? Check it out:
CUMULATIVE WEIGHT LOSS – DAY 0-360
The final tally came in at a TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS OF 78 POUNDS for this experiment. If you had told me in May 2012 that I’d lose 78 pounds to get back to a weight that is lower than I saw at the end of my Atkins weight loss success in 2004 and that for the first time in my adult life I am wearing shirts that begin with an “L” in front instead of an “X,” I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But it’s not only happened, I’m still excited about what the future holds now that I’ve found that sweet spot that works for me. Not everyone necessarily needs to be in nutritional ketosis to see the same kind of changes that I have seen. But if you’ve struggled and can’t seem to get anything else to work, it’s certainly worth giving it a try. Now let’s look at my AM blood sugar levels in Day 331-360:
AM BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS – DAY 331-360
Yes, I had a few funky blood sugar readings while I was traveling in San Diego and then on the trip to Texas for the Low-Carb Cruise. The average fasting readings in the morning were around 85 which I’ll take every day of the week. Yes, I’m still taking the blood sugar lowering supplement Glycosolve (two in the morning and two at night) to go along with my nutritional ketosis. How about my PM blood sugar readings in Day 331-360:
PM BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS – DAY 331-360
An average of 86 for this cycle which is right where I like it. The fact that my A1c is as low as it is at 4.3 shows that my blood sugar control has been stellar. I fully intend to keep this trend going. It’s interesting how very little it takes to make my blood sugar go up. Even a little bit of cashew butter sets it off–and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of vegetables could as well. Perhaps that could be a future n=1 test to see what impact consuming green, leafy vegetables has on my blood sugar and blood ketone levels. Stay tuned!
Now that the n=1 of nutritional ketosis is over, that doesn’t mean I won’t keep testing stuff. Someone in Spokane, Washington asked me if I tested for pH balance to see if I’m acidic or alkaline and I did this urine test daily over a two-week period–I’m almost always alkaline in the 8.0-9.0 range. One of my medical friends paid for me to have my hair analyzed for minerals and toxins and I’ll share the results from that test in another post soon. If you want to help me keep running tests on my health, then feel free to e-mail me what tests you would like to see along with making a donation towards this effort through PayPal:
Where do I go from here? Stay the course, keep doing what’s working for me, encouraging others in their own NK journey, tracking my health progress along the way, sharing any interesting data with you on my blog, doing lectures on my nutritional ketosis experiment (and even presenting a poster at Ancestral Health Symposium in Atlanta, GA in August 2013) and pursuing my next big goal–I WANNA SEE MY ABS! Yes, I realize this is a very challenging goal and that’s the point. I will do what I gotta do to make it happen. It may take a few years, but I’ll never stop pursuing this goal.
The day before I left on the Low-Carb Cruise, I signed the book contract to write my next book about my nutritional ketosis experiment called Keto Clarity tentatively set to release in March 2014. This has the potential to help so many people…I can’t wait to get the message out there to the masses! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all of your amazing support of me throughout this one-year experiment. I’m grateful for all of your encouragement and motivation to keep me going even when the going got tough. I feel like I’m just now getting started and I can’t wait to see what happens next.