Monday, September 16, 2013

Blood work results 2013- eating low inflammatory for weight maintenance and overall health

 Each year, my employer offers a blood draw. If I participate, don't smoke, either loose 1 BMI point OR maintain in a normal BMI OR have a waist <35 inches (40 for men) OR enroll in a weight loss life coach, I get a health insurance discount. 

$30 per month is a lot as a single head of household. The medical bills that were going to accumulate due to chronic diseases from obesity and what likely would have been diabetes, not to mention cardiac problems or stroke would have seriously impacted my family finances.

 Let's see, I can find effective ways to loose weight AND keep it off for the long term OR I can pay $30 more a month, with many more $25.00 medical co-pays, chronic and/or acute disease. Not to mention paying for lots of clothing due to yo-yo dieting. What should I do?

That's why the Refuse to Regain book (Barbara Berkeley, MD) made so much sense. I lost weight, but weight maintenance required a whole other set of strategies.  Not just weight maintenance, but overall good health.  Not just physical health, but also better financial health.

Here's what a low inflammatory, no grains, very little processed sugar, diary free bio-markers looks on an annual blood draw.
Key to the columns: Left to right
2013 - Weight Maintenance fairly clean Paleo food template, no nuts
2012- Weight Maintenance Paleo food template with nuts and occasional Medifast snacks
2011- Medifast, still in weight loss at 137 pounds
2010- Standard American Diet, 187 pounds,

If you are approaching weight maintenance or are struggling- get the Refuse to Regain book, look into a low inflammatory diet. My health, finances, and family is forever changed in a good way. Did I mention I feel 27 years old instead of 47?  Win-Win-Win = total awesomeness

What works for me
1. Optimizing my food template, no wheat, little processed sugar.

What did not work for me:
1. Eating a Standard American Diet with processed food and expecting to be healthy.

Wow!!  The thing I'm most proud of is my hs-CRP dropping from 6.8 to 0.4.  With a stable weight and low inflammation and good glucose and blood pressure control- It's clear to me I've optimized my biomarkers for now.

All the better to put life into living and spend time engaged in my career, family, and hobbies. This will eventually allow me to give back to my community.  Awesomeness!

July 2013

2006, not even my highest weight

Yes, please! Must have caffeine!

Egret strolling on the beach, funny to watch

Walking to the car and I get to see great coastal gardens


  1. Hi Karen! I've read the the CRP is the most important number of all of them--and your number for that is TINY. It's really cool to see your numbers over the years go down.

    I also have a cholesterol number that is on the line, but quite a few people have told me that number by itself with all the other numbers, such as triglycerides and CRP, being low that it is not a big issue. I don't know, but I always do what I can to be healthy. :D

    1. Marion,- yes, hs-CRP is an excellent marker- IMO. As long as there is not inflammation from another source. Here's a link to a trusted lab web site

      I'm so not worried about my cholesterol being near the cut-off. Total cholesterol isn't a marker for much of anything (except to sell cholesterol drugs!!). But the Triglycerides, the HDL are important. The doctor is not worried about my total cholesterol at all, based on my other numbers.

  2. Hi Karen, Your blood work numbers are very impressive. My annual blood work will be in November. I'm going to request another CRP reading. Last year mine was high. All other numbers were very good for me. Since last year 2012, I've lost 50 pounds, and went strictly Paleo sometime in the Spring of this year. I seem to remember I had an infection I was using antibiotics for too, so maybe that affected my CRP reading...I don't know? Anyway, congratulations on improving your health!

    1. Good idea on the re-draw, Mark. Other inflammation can show even in hs-CRP. See the link above in my response to Marion.

      I think grain/free is totally underused in weight and disease management. So glad you are seeing the results. :)

  3. (The only problem with the CRP for some of us is that it is SO affected by inflammations that are transitory. Karen has solved that problem!)

    GREAT GREAT job, Karen! You are such an inspiration!

    1. True about the transitory inflammation- like dental work, arthritis, etc.

      It's been fun watching your arrival to weight maintenance, Gwen!

  4. Great Stuff Karen, you have done very well.

    Your walks and love of photography just shows, it all goes to help good all round health.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks, Jan. I had fun taking these photos. I always take my camera because there are always cool things to photograph. :)

  5. Awesome, Karen. I hope they didn't give you a hard time about your total cholesterol.

    I'm still (trying to be) in weight loss--though my body seems to think this is maintenance. My CRP is elevated. Can you elaborate a little on the low inflammatory approach?

    1. Thanks, Jan K. I looked at my prior results with my doc and told her I wanted a VAP or a small ion mobility panel (where they breakdown the LDL into different particles, etc) The doc was not even motivated to do that... (low risk) so I was happy she took all the results into consideration.

      I eat a mainly Paleo style template of foods. Basically no grains, very little processed sugar, no dairy, no nuts (post thyroid disease). All of those foods really caused my gut and my body a lot of inflammation. Also, I rarely get sick any more( knock on wood!). Once I ate the meat/eggs/seafood, veggetables, a few fruits and some oils (olive, coconut, avocado)- that's all low inflammatory for me.

      Everyone is different on what is inflammatory.

  6. Karen this is fantastic! Well done :D

    I also wanted to thank you for welcoming me back into blogging, it was a bit daunting at first but now I think it'll be a great thing! :D

  7. Awesome results Karen! You inspire me! Thanks for being my sounding board when I doubt myself:)

  8. Nice article. very interesting, thanks for sharing.