A few weeks ago I told you all about hiring Eric Hulse to help me with some health issues.
After a visit to my doctor earlier this spring I got back some blood work that I felt, as a professional in the health and fitness industry, was less than stellar. My blood pressure hovers at borderline high, as does my A1-C1 or blood sugar levels. My energy levels are not as high as I’d like them and to be honest, neither is my libido. Last fall, when I stopped intermittent fasting, I saw a jump in body weight that I can’t entirely chalk up to increased muscle mass.
My doctor wasn’t concerned in the least. “I’d just keep an eye on it,” he said. “It’s not like you’re going to have a stroke.”
But this wasn’t good enough for me. I knew there was something I could do. I may just be on the threshold of potential problems that are still years down the road, but I’ve come to learn I can be somewhat of an arrogant bastard and stroke, cancer, heart disease are not options. If I do come down with one of these issue later in life I will know I’ve done everything in my power to prevent them. This is why I hired Eric.
Two weeks ago I mailed off the lab samples I’d collected for the two tests he requested. The first was designed to look at liver function and the second to take a look at my hormone levels. Through Fedex I mailed two vials of morning pee and four of spit I’d collected at four different times during the day. You’d think the pee would be the gross one, but not by a long shot. Have you ever looked at 3 ml of your own spit? It makes me gag just to think about it.
Last night I spent an hour on the phone with Eric going over my results.
Turns out I’m somewhat of a conundrum. Go figure.
My spit showed that my cortisol levels were all elevated, well above what’s considered high. My ego was flattered by my testosterone levels being well over twice what’s considered high normal, but my progesterone was three times that level.
What this means is that my hormones at present are out of whack.
The chronic stress of running a business, trying to make an impact in the Fitness Industry on a paradigm level, the physical demands I put on my body, and raising teenage girls, plus the death of my father and the demands of managing his estate, have over the last two years added up. What I’m experiencing then health wise is simply the accumulated effect of chronic stress. Welcome to the 21st century.
In addition, my bile salts were high indicating some liver congestion and a diminished capacity for it to do its job.
Up until now I’ve been quite pleased with my conversations with Eric. His suggestions were all in line with things I currently did or at least made efforts toward. The changes I made were minor or just a more wholehearted effort toward something I was “kinda” already doing. Things like drinking more water. I knew I needed a gallon a day I’d just been falling a little short of that mark. Hearing that from somebody you just paid several hundred dollars somehow makes it easier to comply. Being acutely aware of gluten sensitivity in my family I maintain a very low gluten diet. His suggestion to trade my nightly beer for a gluten free alcohol was no biggie. I love my Rye whiskey, so two fingers of rye was an easy trade.
I knew this was too good to be true and last night the hammer fell.
First the easy part. Eric prescribed a battery of eight different supplements designed to support my fatiqued adrenals, my sluggish liver and my less than stellar digestive system. All kinds of herbs and probiotics, all staged at different times of the day, close to 20 capsules a day. Not so bad, I can handle that.
My diet, however, has taken the thrashing I feared all along. For the next 90 days this is what my diet will NOT contain.
- No refined sugar. Yeah, I expected that.
- No grains. Yeah, I expected that, too.
- No alcohol. Ouch. Okay, I expected that too.
- No dairy. Crap. Really? I drink raw milk and eat grass fed butter which are usually considered gold in these circles, but in order to relieve as much dietary stress as possible we going to remove all potential issues and after the 90 days slowly start adding stuff back.
- No eggs. Come on now, really? No eggs? Yeah, no eggs. Seems some poor fools don’t digest egg protein well. Thanks to them I’ve just been denied a primary source of protein for the next 90 days. This one is gonna hurt.
I contacted my friend, Chip Conrad. While in Asheville he mentioned his two “go to” meals, one of which involved chia seeds. I was hungry and I needed some help fast. This is a tasty snack. I call it:
Chip Conrad’s Aztec Bowl of Tasty Goodness3 tbsp Chia Seeds and Hemp Seeds Water Peanut Butter Blueberries Bananas Put the seeds in a bowl and add water. How much is kinda tricky but add more than you expect as the chia seeds are really thirsty. Let sit for about 4 minutes. The seeds will form a porridge like substance (Yum!). Add peanut butter and fruit and stir.
This makes a nice fruity cold porridge that’s quite good for breakfast. It’s also very filling. You could always make it a hot cereal by adding hot water. I’m told that if you add your favorite protein powder it makes an awesome “pudding.” But since protein powder is a) dairy and b) processed I won’t know for 90 days.
Beyond that my diet for the next 90 days is fruit, nuts, meat and veg. All I can say is I better be ripped when this is done. I know I say six pack abs don’t matter, and to me they don’t, but if I’m gonna be THIS disciplined I better be able to do laundry on my stomach.
If that happens, watch out. I’ve always said if I did have a six pack I’d stick to wearing vests only. Well, maybe a vest and a cowry necklace. Crocodile Dundee, here I come.
Last night I came home starving. I’d had a good lunch of barbecue, black eyed peas and turnip greens (yep, that’s right, Southern by the grace of God) but that was long gone and by 7pm I was famished. As I pulled into the driveway my dear wife was grilling steaks. Inside she had roasted green beans and Yes! Thank you Jesus! she had baked potatoes. I sat down to a hearty plate and then watched with complete dismay as my wife and daughter began to doctor their potatoes with butter and sour cream. What the f*ck was I to put on my potato?
Salt. Pepper. Green onion. Stupid diet.
My meal was good and since I’m denied all grains I’m going to be relying heavy on the potato, both sweet and Idaho, for some carb substance. I won’t be worth crap without it.
All I can say is if my PRs start suffering I’m really gonna be pissed.
So here’s where I am now:
Weight: 276 lbs.
Biceps: Left 16 1/2″ Right 16 5/8″
Waist (navel): 44 3/8″
Hips: 45 1/2″
Thigh: Left 26″ Right 26″
Calf: Left 17 5/8″ Right 18″
I’ll keep you posted on my progress and my issues as they arise. At present I know food is primary. Stopping my day in order to eat is generally a pain in the ass. I try to do too much and keep putting food off until later. Like now. I’m close to finishing this post and then I’ll train, only it’s 11:30 and I haven’t eaten since 6. Looks like it’s time for another bowl of Aztec goodness.
To our perfect imperfection,