Quarterly blood tests update – great results – read more!

Quarterly blood tests update – WFPB eating – Normal blood sugar with lots of carbs and fruits –  Cholesterol fantastic – Losing weight – Doctor amazed. Details below!

My blood test results are in, 35 weeks after recommitting to WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based) and following Dr. Greger’s guidelines in “How Not To Die.”

Note: My only exception to Greger’s Daily Dozen is I have been avoiding nuts because, like many people, I find that they do, in fact, impact on weight loss. See Chef AJ for example. She’s very supportive. 

In general, I stick with lower calorie density foods, including satisfying carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. Potatoes in particular are very filling and low in calorie density. 

And I eat lots of veggies, legumes, and have multiple fruits every day. In other words, I eat lots of carbs. Carbs do not impact negatively on blood sugar or weight. 

I avoid animal products, oils and other added fats (completely), added sugar (as much as is practical), added salt (as much as is practical), and also stay away from highly processed high calorie density foods, like breads. I don’t obsess about tiny amounts of animal products though, like bonito extract in miso soup at a restaurant. I’m trying to make this easy and sustainable. I will very rarely have some sushi with a friend. And while I go for brown rice when possible, I will eat white rice if that’s all that’s available.

I also log my food and exercise calories in MyFitnessPal, and keep within 1800 net calories per day (food calories minus exercise calories). There is no feeling of deprivation. If I’m hungry I’ll eat something, like a fruit, or edamame (great snack). 

Here are the results. Normal ranges are in parentheses. 

Total cholesterol (120-219)

  • Jun 8 – 136
  • Mar 19 – 133
  • Dec 20 – 124

HDL (35-80)

  • Jun 8 – 34
  • Mar 19 – 38
  • Dec 20 – 36

LDL bad cholesterol (70-139)

  • Jun 8 – 73
  • Mar 19 – 72
  • Dec 20 – 67

Triglycerides (30-150)  

  • Jun 8 – 129
  • Mar 19 – 114
  • Dec 20 – 100

While well within the normal range I’m sort of curious why it is going up over time. Normal fluctuations?

HbA1c (4.7-6.2)

  • Jun 8 – 5.5 (wow)
  • Mar 19 – 5.9
  • Dec 20 – 6.5

Previous quarterly values were 8.2, and 10.8. This value does not fluctuate over the short term. It’s a 2-3 month average. So it’s definitely staying in normal range at last.

All my blood values are basically in normal range. 

Weight loss is also going well, though slowly. Since September when I recommitted to WFPB my weight is down 19.2 kg = 42 lb.

My total weight loss following WFPB is down 36.8 kg = 81 lb since my peak back in 2012. 

My MyFitnessPal Streak Day is 2580 as of today. Daily logging in MFP has been a great sanity check and prevented me from having a complete rebound when I fell off the wagon in the past. 

The nutritionist, who I also met, now agrees that I am fine eating at least three fruits a day, which went against her original guidelines for people with high blood sugar. She agrees with me that blood sugar naturally comes down with weight loss, regardless of what you eat. At least in my case. I really do think that’s true. It’s always been my experience in the past. And she finally agrees that I’m getting enough protein. 🙂

My doctor continues to be amazed and says he’s never seen anything like it. While he’s taking a conservative approach, he is reducing my blood sugar medication as of today. Last time he wanted to wait a year before making changes. Since he’s my doctor, I will stick with his advice for now. 

I do not do intermittent fasting. It’s not necessary and I’m not interested in that.

My mantra if I ever feel tempted by anything I know is bad is, “Stay the course.” But you know what? I haven’t been tempted by anything bad at all lately. I was even good on my recent trip to Boston and St. Louis. 

My daily exercise is down because of an accident I had last month where I ended up in the hospital for 8 days. My strength hasn’t fully recovered. But I’m doing more and more walking each day and rebuilding my strength.

Onward!

Diet update after my U.S. trip – all is well!

I’m back in Japan after 24 days in the U.S. I’d like to give a brief report on how I did during this trip.

First the good news (for me). My weight this morning, on the scale I’ve been using for years, is exactly the same as it was on April 1 when I left for Boston and St. Louis!

Super yay!

What I did right:

Except for my two long-haul flights, where I ate the vegan meals (i.e. they probably included oils), everything I ate was compliant with WFPB eating, as per the recommendations of people like Ornish and Esselstyn and Greger. It was because of Greger’s “How Not To Die” that I recommitted to this way of eating in September. And because of this, my HbA1c is down to normal range, my blood pressure is great, my LDL is amazing, and I’ve lost a lot of weight.

What I didn’t do that I usually do (but planned this in advance):

I am also trying to lose weight, so normally I also follow Chef AJ’s advice and stick to foods lower in calorie density and log my calories and exercise in MyFitnessPal and stick to a net of 1800 calories a day or less.

In particular, except for this trip, I haven’t been eating breads or pastas and I’ve been avoiding avocados and things obviously high in calories, like nuts.

But this time I figured for my trip I’d concentrate on healthy WFPB eating and not on weight loss and see what happens.

So I splurged on things like WFPB compliant delicious breads I found in the U.S. – eating lots every day. And also lots of guacamole and other things I normally don’t eat.

Depending on the scale I used, I could see weight fluctuations of just a few pounds, so I knew things were “basically under control” so I was really pleased to check this morning, at the usual time, and see that I didn’t gain any weight at all!

I also got in less of the “Daily Dozen” than I usually do during this trip, and walked less than I usually do.

Going forward:

So now I’m back in Japan. I’m following the Daily Dozen again, and will get back to daily walking more, and am back on lower calorie density foods so I can continue my weight loss journey. In other words, just go on as usual.

Since I had such great success without counting calories the last few weeks, I may try an experiment with that – but just sticking to the lower calorie density foods – and see how that goes.

All is good.

Stay the course!

Normal blood sugar at last! Eating whole food plant based…

I just got back from my quarterly checkup at the hospital and am happy to report that my blood sugar, HbA1c is finally in the normal range.

This is 22 weeks after recommitting to WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based) and following Dr. Greger’s guidelines in “How Not To Die.”

Note: My only exception to Greger’s Daily Dozen is I have been avoiding nuts because, like many people, I find that they do, in fact, impact on weight loss. See Chef AJ for example. She’s very supportive.

In general, I stick with lower calorie density foods, including satisfying carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. Potatoes in particular are very filling and low in calorie density.

And I eat lots of veggies, legumes, and have fruits every day.

I avoid animal products, oils and other added fats (completely), added sugar (as much as is practical), added salt (as much as is practical), and also stay away from highly processed high calorie density foods, like breads. I don’t obsess about tiny amounts of animal products though, like bonito extract in miso soup at a restaurant. I’m trying to make this easy and sustainable.

I also log my food and exercise calories in MyFitnessPal, and keep within 1800 net calories per day (food calories minus exercise calories). There is no feeling of deprivation. If I’m hungry I’ll eat something, like a fruit, or edamame (great snack).

My doctor said he’s never seen anything like it.

Here are the results. Normal ranges are in parentheses.

Total cholesterol 133 (120-219) – great
Change from 124 on 12/20/2018

HDL 38 (35-80) – great
Change from 36 on 12/20/2018

LDL bad cholesterol 72 (70-139) – great
Change from 67 on 12/20/2018

Triglycerides 114 (30-150) – normal
Change from 100 on 12/20/2018

I guess the changes above are just normal fluctuations.

HbA1c 5.9 (4.7-6.2) In normal range! Yay!

HbA1c change is from 6.5 on 12/20/2018, 8.2 the time before, and down from 10.8 at peak. This value does not fluctuate over the short term. It’s a 2-3 month average. So it’s definitely in normal range at last. And has been consistently getting lower.

All my blood values are in normal range.

Weight loss is also going well. Since September when I recommitted to WFPB my weight is down 14 kg = 31 lb. That’s 1.4 lb/week, which is reasonable. Some patience is needed.

My total weight loss following WFPB is down 31.6 kg = 69.5 lb since my peak back in 2012.

My MyFitnessPal Streak Day is 2489. Daily logging in MFP has been a great sanity check and prevented me from having a complete rebound when I fell off the wagon in the past.

The nutritionist, who I also met today, is worried that I am eating at least three fruits a day, which goes against her guidelines for people with high blood sugar. Yet my blood sugar has consistently dropped, and is now finally in the normal range. She insists I’m eating twice as much fruit as I should and said I should cut down. We left that vague since I promised I would eat more tofu for protein. 🙂

As far as medication goes, I asked my doctor if I can stop taking it, and he recommended being cautious and seeing how it goes for the rest of the year. Since he’s my doctor, I will stick with his advice for now.

I do not do intermittent fasting. It’s not necessary and I’m not interested in that.

My mantra if I ever feel tempted by anything I know is bad is, “Stay the course.”

Onward!

Feeling great on WFPB (whole food plant based) so far

My house, is a very very very fine house.,.

With salad legumes, brown rice, and nutritional yeast in the cupboard.

Salad mixed greens, eggplant, mushrooms, and grapes in the vegetable bin.

Also cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, potatoes, and sweet potatoes in the vegetable bin.

Also flaxseeds. And some edamame to snack on later.

That’s dinner you see – veggies over brown rice. The sauce is boiled down water from making the veggies, mixed with spices (turmeric, smoked paprika, ginger, black pepper) and nutritional yeast. It turns into a rich, creamy/spicy sauce that way. I had that after a large healthy salad.

There are other frozen vegetables in the freezer.

I feel great eating this way. Down 26.5 lb the last 125 days. That’s about 1.5 lb/week. Not bad considering how satisfying my meals are and not feeling deprived at all. That’s 65 lb lost in all by the way – eating WFPB (whole food plant based).

Stay the course!