Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bio-markers- my own improvements with weight loss and a low inflammatory diet

I'm a total graph/data person. I'm also a scientist in the health care field. So my bio-markers (AKA- blood work) are important to me.

Looking at my blood work data encouraged me to:
1. Loose weight.
2. Lower my fasting blood glucose (and HA1c)
3. Lower my blood pressure.
4. Increase my HDL
5. Lower my triglycerides
6. Lower my HDL/cholesterol ratio (lower ratio/lower risk)
7. Lower my CRP (r)  (inflammation marker)

A lot of my blood work was in the "normal" range, but the values were not optimal.  I would not say I was particularly healthy at the higher weight.  I am so glad I did not wait for a major health event before I gained some clarity and started removing the barriers to weight loss.

Both weight loss and low inflammatory foods opened up more than just a thinner body. I'm in a healthier life. The combination opened up a much wider benefit than I could ever imagine. I feel younger now than when I did in my 20's. Fountain of youth! 
In 2010, I was about 60-70 pounds over weight.

In 2011, I was about 20 pounds over my current weight and 7 pounds over my "healthy BMI" and using Take Shape for Life (Medifast) during weight loss.

In 2012, I was switched over to a mainly Paleo/Primal low inflammatory.

What worked:
1. Taking action
2. Loosing weight
3. Eating low glycemic
4. Eating low inflammatory Paleo/Primal (no grains, no to very low processed sugar)
5. Setting up a sustainable plan to avoid re-gain and old habits.

What did not work in the past:
1. Not taking action (I wouldn't even want to look at the blood work)
2. Weight gain
3. Eating higher glycemic foods
4. Eating grains, pasta, breads and baked goods
5. Falling back into old habits and lack of structure.

Geek out on the graphs below (I used the Gazelle app to create the nifty graphs below)


  1. Good for you. I had fasting labs drawn on Monday. They did the full nmr lipid profile. I've been exercising much more consistently since the last time I had one, so this should be interesting.

    1. PJ- I want a full lipid panel done next time. I think I can talk my doc into a VAP panel to see the breakdown of all the different LDL particles. Hope you see some good results on your blood work.

  2. Love the graphic representations! Also: low inflammatory foods got me to my DREAM weight, a weight I thought was impossible because I didn't understand how grains and legumes and dairy were affecting me!

    1. Jeanette, I'm glad you are having success with the low inflammatory foods. It makes all the difference- weight loss/maintenance and overall health. the total package. I know 5-10 years ago I would not have believed it. I'm middle of my BMI and more comfortable that the top of the BMI. :) Dairy, legumes, wheat..... glad you found what works

  3. That's awesome! Those bp current readings are insane! You are such an inspiration!

    1. Gwen, I know! I do use a little bit of pink sea salt to season my food. I wonder if I'd still be standing up right sometimes on my BP!!! Happy as I was sometimes boarderline here and there while overweight.

  4. Hi Karen! I've never had the CRP test done. I heard that it is supposed to be the most important test of all of them to show arterial inflammation problems.

    The rest of those numbers, I watch mine too. Many people have told me that it is more important what is happening with the internal numbers than what fitness does for a person's looks. So true, yet more hard to grasp.

    :-) Marion

    1. Hi Marion. Yes a Highly Sensitive CRP is supposed to be good. There can be some high CRP values in the less sensitive CRP testing that can be less predictive of cardiac problems- say body/tissue inflammation from arthritis. The more sensitive tests are supposed to be better at indicating cardiac health.

  5. Congratulations on such positive data! Charts and graphs are fun to look at. I'm a visual person, and I always gravitate toward graphic representations of information. I was astounded when I watched that you-tube video showing the increase in obesity since the 80s. Amazing!

    1. I love graphs and graphics, Kaki. I can asses a lot of data quickly if it's graphed out in a well laid out format. Thanks for stopping by the blog.

  6. That is fantastic Karen! It is tough when you do what is right but genetics kick in. I fall in that category. Even on cholesterol lowering meds, things would be so much worse, had I not lost wt and changed the way in which I eat, as well as staying active.
    The majority of the changes I've made in my eating resulted from your comments on Lyn's blog and from Norma's influence. I am very grateful to those who do it right and lead the rest of us into implementing changes, by writing about it. There are a couple of more bloggers who influenced the way in which I approach my health, one being Screaming Fat Girl, but the decision to feed (as opposed to just fill) my body was affected by reading blogs like yours and Norma's, as well as the comments of people like Vickie.

  7. Isn't it amazing how even when you have certain information right in front of you, all the important numbers, you can still be in denial of just how unhealthy you really are? I love how you laid out the graphs and charts.
    P.S. How on earth do you have the patience of Job with certain bloggers? (Myself included.)
    P.P.S - Apparently, I am joining you & Jeanette in this whole Paleo thingy, w/the exception of real half-n-half in my morning coffee.

    1. Kelly, I'm so glad you are giving Paleo ( and just unprocessed foods in general..) a try for weight maintenance. Getting and keeping a clean diet is so under promoted for weight maintenance. And for general over all health. You are so young. Glad to see you trying. The half and half is considered "primal" pretty much. I wouldn't worry. :)

      See how many people you run into a fit blogging. I'd love to go in a future year and represent the Paleo/Primal/Clean eater's maintenance group, if there is one. Spy for me!!! ;)

      I have lots of patience in general. Just planting the seed, like a good gardener. What grows depends on the person and their choices. Keep up the good learning as

  8. This really goes to show how important diet is when it comes to weight loss. People can spend hours a week in a gym, but then you see them eating big, unhealthy meals, making all that hard work for naught. I'm on paleo upon the suggestion of my personal trainer and it's working really well so far. Even without weighing in, I can feel the results. Thanks for sharing, Karen!