As a self-appointed wellness ambassador I feel a certain responsibility to practice what I preach from working out and eating clean to how I handle the cheat meal. I tend to run in circles of likeminded people and am therefore exposed to a variety of health and wellness experts. Recently I ran into an old colleague of mine, Nick. Nick has an unusual background – he was a rodeo champion, pro wrestler, bodybuilder and martial arts expert. A real man’s man with a big heart. At our last breakfast meeting he informed me he met a doctor like no other. He suggested I contact him.
I did some research and was impressed with who was about to become my new medical advisor. I decided to give him a call prior to my visit. Turns out we met in the 80s during my bodybuilding days. He suggested I bring my wife Brenda to my consultation, and she was delighted to join me, as she is also on a continued quest of self-improvement. He warned us that the initial blood panel would be more extensive than any I’ve had before. It was. 21 pages to be exact of everything you could imagine – cholesterol, hormones, DNA, genes, liver, nutrient profile, and more. Later that week when the results came in he suggested that Brenda and I do our consultation together to save time. It lasted FIVE hours! And as ADD as I am, it flew by. Brenda and I live in the same house, take the same supplements and virtually eat the same foods (the good and the bad), yet according to our blood work it was like we were from different planets.
Some people lie a lot about what they eat and how healthy they are, primarily to themselves. The blood doesn’t lie. The first thing he tells me is I’m going to die. …What?! Just not of a heart attack. Oh thank goodness, he scared me. Brenda and I eat the same things, work out together and sleep about the same amount, yet our blood profiles couldn’t be any further apart! Her triglycerides were very low, and while mine weren’t alarmingly high, they were three times hers. Her carb intake was spot on and mine was too high. He asked me if I enjoyed anything? WHAT? He said I’m lacking nutrients that stimulate brain activity for enjoyment. He told Brenda she needs more protein and that I don’t need as much as I’m currently consuming. It was all there in black and white. While we both received a good bill of health, there were multiple ways to improve, including being more open-minded to suggestions. That can be hard for some of us, especially as we get older and set in our ways. We returned after 60 days for a follow-up, and we had both improved on our path.
The biggest lesson learned is we are all different. We assimilate, process and react differently to everything from food, nutrients, sleep and exercise. I can give you one assurance: If I can improve on my sleep, nutrients, cholesterol, hormone balance, thyroid, body fat percentage and overall health profile, so can you!
I don’t believe you need a 21-page blood profile to get started. Make it a point to drink more water, reduce sugary beverages, add a healthier meal, take vitamins or go for a walk. These are all a step in the right direction and a great start. We are all different and unique. While we cannot change our genetic profile, we can certainly take good care of our bodies to live a healthy and productive life. What are you waiting for? Come join me!!