It was last October, around October 15th I think, that I went Paleo for the first time. I had just finished reading It Starts with Food and decided a Whole 30 was a fantastic idea.
I haven’t looked back.
Before my first Whole 30 I frequented Subway for their low fat sandwiches and ate plenty of turkey bacon, veggie burgers and soy milk. I ate cereal and bread daily and if I went to Chipotle or any Mexican style restaurant you could bet your pants I wanted beans – hey, that’s “free food” since it is all fiber! Since then I haven’t had much cheese, bread or beans. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had cheese of any sort. I deny bread all the time and even can skip the free bread that is brought before dinner at many restaurants. I eat real bacon, real food and am not afraid of fats. I am afraid of grains and overly processed food that is full of junk, hormones, GMOs or other non-food substances.
After about nine months of eating Paleo I wondered what my blood looked like.
Prior to going Paleo I weighed about 210 pounds and watched what I ate, portion sizes and worried about calories. Since then I now weigh 205 and don’t look at labels except to make sure I am eating real food. Forget calorie counting! Who needs to count calories when you eat real food? Losing weight wasn’t my goal when I went Paleo, it was to live healthier and feel better. I generally sleep better, my skin is clearer (I used to get red dry skin on my forehead in the winter and that never happened this winter) and I feel much better when I exercise. I continue to improve my fitness, too, despite very little “carbs” as known by many Americans (pasta, rice, bread, etc). My 5k times are improving and my times in CrossFit are always improving.
Anyway, let’s take a look at my blood. Last time I had my blood checked I had pretty good results already. I was a lot healthier than prior to losing weight. It was September of 2012 and the “flagged” items that fell outside of ideal results were:
- My white blood cell count was 4.0 1000/uL when it should be between 4.1-11.0 1000/uL. Just barely outside of ideal levels. From what I can tell this is nothing to be worried about.
- My lymph percentage was also high as it was 45% when the ideal range is 21-43%. From what I can tell that means I might have had a virus?
- My carbon dioxide levels were also just barely outside of normal levels. Again, a sign that I might have been fighting off a virus of some sort. Nothing to worry about.
- For some reason my HDL was marked as high with a marker of 69, but from what I can tell that is perfectly OK, if not ideal.
Those were the only numbers called out as “out of range” on my blood test from September of last year. What it seems to mean to me is that at the time of the test I might have had a viral infection of some sort, but that there wasn’t anything to worry about.
In my most recent test:
- My WBC was 5.7 and inside ideal ranges.
- My lymph percentage is way down to 27% and inside ideal ranges.
- My carbon dioxide percentage didn’t change, but apparently they changed the acceptable level and now I fall into the new acceptable level.
- Doesn’t look like they measured my HDL.
So, whatever, right? I’m not sick this time. What about some other numbers?
- My blood glucose is lower now, just slightly.
- My overall cholesterol number has dropped slightly.
- My LDL count has dropped fairly significantly.
Again, not much change. My blood pressure was also tested and “really good” according to the nurse, but I am pretty certain it was “pretty good” last time, too.
What do I make of this? Well, I didn’t have a lot of improving to do anyway and after eating fully fattened foods for nine months I am not suddenly in danger of a heart attack. If anything, I did get healthier.
Just another reason why I shake my head when my “health coach” asks me if I am still “not eating grains” every time I speak with her. (Hey, if I talk to a “health coach” about once every five or six weeks my job will give me an extra $50 bucks or something.)