Secondary baseline results are in

As I mentioned a few posts back, since so much time had elapsed since the end of the paleo diet, I had blood drawn for an NMR and metabolic panel this past Friday. Liposcience’s lab must have been set on overdrive, as the results were made available to me today. With no further adieu (we’re looking at the fifth column here):

 Original NMR: 4/12/13Pre-Calcium Scan: 8/8/13Experiment Baseline: 9/27/13Post-Paleo: 10/19/13Secondary Baseline: 1/3/14Post-Potato: 1/27/14Tertiary Baseline/Post-Six Weeks Statins: 3/31/14Post-Mediterranean Post-PSMFPost-VeganPost-Experiment: Selected Diet w/Statin
Total Cholesterol218209224272212154126
Large HDL-P1.8< 0.7< 0.7<
Small LDL-P7716708141181395728528
Large VLDL-P0.< 0.81.1
LDL Size20.720.720.920.621.221.220.4
HDL Size<< 8.3< 8.3< 8.48.7
VLDL SizeNot measureable41.338.9Not measureable45.8Not measureable36.8
LP-IR Score44514646614043
 Experiment Baseline: 9/27/13Post-Paleo: 10/19/13Secondary Baseline: 1/3/14Post-Potato: 1/27/14Tertiary Baseline/Post-Six Weeks Statins: 3/31/14Post-MediterraneanPost-PSMFPost-VeganPost-Experiment: Selected Diet w/StatinREFERENCE INTERVAL
Glucose, Serum8590857695TBDTBDTBDTBD65-99 mg/dL
BUN1420129156-24 mg/dL
Creatinine, Serum0.920.810.840.940.880.76-1.27 mg/dL
BUN/Creatinine Ratio15251410179-20
eGFR103110109100107> 59 mL/min/1.73
Sodium, Serum140138139139142134-144 mmol/L
Potassium, Serum4. mmol/L
Chloride, Serum10310310110110497-108 mmol/L
Carbon Dioxide, Total252523242419-28 mmol/L
Calcium, Serum9. mmol/L
Protein, Total, Serum7. g/dL
Albumin, Serum4. g/dL
Globulin, Total2. g/dL
A/G Ratio1.
Bilirubin, Total0. mg/dL
Alkaline Phosphatase, S544961635644-102 IU/L
AST (SGOT)17151614180-40 IU/L
ALT (SGPT)23172313230-44 IU/L

Some of the numbers here are the best I’ve gotten back — most notably the HDL and Small-LDL particle sizes. It’s also interesting that even though these are only the third lowest LDL particle count numbers, the calculated LDL is the lowest yet at 145, though you can still see a consistent correlation between LDL-C and LDL-P, which isn’t really even thrown off by the record high triglyceride count of 86 (triglycerides are used to calculate LDL-C, which is why you’re always asked to fast). That number is what is driving up their proprietary LP-IR score to 61.

I’d say the results are pretty good. They’re certainly an improvement over the Paleo results. And really, all I did was cease mainlining meat and eggs. But I still ate them, along with my fair share of Christmas cookies and the like. I had holiday meals both out and in with my family and my girlfriend’s family, so again, what’s represented here is simply bringing fat and protein consumption back in line with an American average for the holidays.

This just has me more excited for the Potato results.

Potato Diet Day One Recap

I can’t believe I made it through an entire day of eating nothing but potatoes.

I don’t care how many people have done this diet for days or weeks — even one day is harder than it looks. I think it would be difficult on a nice summer day, but it’s especially so when it’s zero degrees outside and you’ve eaten all the potatoes you cooked for the day and your girlfriend gets a calzone delivered.

It’s strange how the mind works. There are at least a dozen foods I couldn’t care less about that the second I realized I was locked into one food for three weeks I wanted more than anything on earth.

It’s also hard (part of the potato diet’s design) to put down enough potatoes to get even close to the number of calories one could easily get at a single meal on a higher-fat/protein diet. My total for the day was 832, which came from approximately half of a 5 lb bag, boiled with salt and eaten with a few basic condiments. Yet aside from the psychological cravings, I wasn’t truly hungry. I survived DGF’s calzone, and we’re back at it today.

From Cronometer:

Potato Diet Day One: Food Intake

Unlike the Paleo diet, where I was eating 1-3 large meals each day, I split yesterday’s potatoes into six “meals”. This was because a) as I said above, it’s hard to eat a lot of potato in one sitting, and b) even though the half-bag of potatoes looked and sounded like a lot, I got worried I was going to be left with nothing by the evening (I didn’t feel like going through the boiling process all over again — there is something about this diet that makes you want to do all the prep for the day in one shot, kind of like doing a juice fast) so I decided to stretch them out. The last meal was around 5:30 PM, and like I said, when I went to bed around 11, I wasn’t actually hungry.

As for the condiments, I decided that if it’s fat and protein free, and has less than 1g of sugar/carbs per tablespoon, it’s allowable.

The macros:

Potato Diet Day One: Macronutrient Ratios

Pretty much to spec, even with the condiments.

And finally, the nutrition breakdown:

Potato Diet Day One: Nutrition Breakdown

Clear deficiencies outside of fat and protein (as in almost zero) when I first entered the numbers around 6 PM were B12, choline, iodine and selenium. I had some sub-lingual B12 lying around, so I took one of those (looks like a quarter of one would have sufficed), but the others remain. I’m not sure if I want to go three weeks with these buckets empty, so I may pick up some additional supplementation today. I don’t think it would be that big of a deal, though I am going to look through all the posts on MDA et al to see how others handled it.

In the end, the Potato Diet is clearly going to be the biggest drag of the experiment, so wish me luck. And thanks to those reading for your patience. There was a lot of crazy going on between the end of the Paleo diet and now, though after yesterday I’m wondering what part a subconscious resistance to a monodiet played into the delay…

As always, feedback is welcome.

Paleo results finally up, and (unfortunately) additional Potato Diet postponement

Hey everyone, I’m back! Kind of. Long story short, as I’ve mentioned in a few comments, some medical and personal issues threw me way off track with the experiment about six weeks ago, right after I finished the Paleo phase. After getting mostly back on track recently, and after some encouraging comments from a few peeps over at, I finally got the Paleo testing results up, and was fired up to get going with the Potato phase this week. Which I did — for exactly one day this past Wednesday. But the end result of the aforementioned medical issues was a final surgery of the nose — a septoplasty, septal perforation correction, and turbinate reduction — on Thursday, one day after getting restarted. I thought the potatoes and post-surgical recovery would go hand-in-hand, with some plain mashed potatoes the perfect complement to the general pain and difficulty eating. However, between the objective suspicion that pushing a (debatable) limited-nutrition diet while going through some significant (two-week plus) healing, while subjectively just straight-up not having the psychological fortitude to sustain such an extreme diet while being in this state, made me decide to once again push back until after the holidays when all the splints are out of my nose and I’m (hopefully) back to full dancing speed again. There’s also the issue of all the meds/nutritional support I got during the procedure itself, and continue to take now, throwing the results off. I would like to restart on 1/1, and I guess it’s appropriate — I can embark on my radical diet on the national day of radical change lol.

Thanks for the handful of people who have stumbled upon my little experiment over the past few weeks and have commented here and elsewhere with support. I am committed to completing it to the best of my ability. I’ll admit it has turned out to be a bigger challenge than I imagined. I also embarked on this back in October as a single guy, and now find myself in a pretty awesome relationship with a woman who is both interested and understanding about what I’m trying to discover and accomplish. But winding down a Friday evening with your 20th potato of the day has a lot less appeal when you have a beautiful girl in the mood for Thai. But she also is incredibly supportive and wants me to see this through in the end — as do I — and so we shall.

I hope this was coherent through the haze of meds. I’ll be back in hopefully no more than a week or two.

Paleo Day One

Day one of the Paleo Diet (yesterday) is in the bag. It wasn’t that difficult; having a simple, stripped-down low-carb paleo day is something I’ve done countless times before. One day of anything is easy — doing something consistently is hard. That being said, let’s go to the tape… or screenshots. From Cronometer:

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 3.11.24 PM

Cronometer puts the calorie total in with the macronutrient breakdown (see below), so I’ll do the math for you: 1685, which is at the high end of the range I set for the experiment. As I mentioned in my experiment overview, I’m regulating and tracking calories in order to keep as much controlled and consistent as possible across the five diets, and in order to hopefully lose weight/fat throughout the course of the experiment. I’m sure there’s people who might think that 1700 calories is actually a bit on the low side for a 41-year old male, but based on my height (5′ 7″), starting weight (219), an assumed lean-body mass of about 155 lbs, and desired rate of loss (2 lbs/week), at least five different formulas put the target calories closer to the low end of the range I set (1500). I’m also aware that the majority of Paleo framework implementations seriously de-emphasize calories and calorie/weight tracking, but this is a short-term experiment, not a long-term implementation, to track and count we must.

So — looking at the day, we have:

  1. The Supplements: Covered in this post.
  2. Breakfast: Some protein and medium-chain fatty acids to kick start the metabolism.
  3. Lunch: This is kind of a misnomer; I actually had this about an hour or so after the tuna. I usually don’t eat three (or six) meals a day on Paleo, it usually looks more like an intermittent fasting implementation — one to two meals within an 8-10 hour window. Also, for the curious, a coney (née, “Snappy Griller”) is a Syracuse, NY cultural staple — a unique version of a German weisswurst — that I grew up on, usually in a New England roll with mustard and a dill pickle, but here standing in for breakfast sausage. As sausages go, it’s reasonably clean — it’s primary ingredients are simply pork, water, veal, egg whites, dextrose, and salt. So though sausage and hot dogs are usually paleo-questionable at best, this one gets a tradition and quality pass.
  4. Dinner: Some sort of sauteed grass-fed ground meat and veg is my go-to paleo meal. I took a pic for posterity, but it usually isn’t remotely photogenic

Grass-fed beef, spinach, sweet potato. Textbook.



This smacks of way too much effort

The Grace Jerk Seasoning is straight from Jamaica, no BS or preservatives, and unlike most seasoning pastes, it’s actually hot as hell.

So how did we do in the macro department?

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 3.11.55 PMUnfortunately you can only see the numbers on the pie chart when you rollover in Cronosync, so in case you’re not super-spatially gifted, it worked out to 62.8% fat, 26% protein, and 11.2 % carbs. Not perfect, but I’d say within tolerances. I’ll generally try to adjust on a day to day basis intra-diet, i.e., today I’ll try to come in a percent or two under on the carbs.

(Note: For transparency and experiment accounting purposes, a sortable chart of all food consumed during the course of each diet will be posted in its specific site section at the conclusion of each.)

And finally, the nutrition breakdown:

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 3.12.36 PMPretty good. The only “deficiencies” are in iodine (maybe I should pick up some dulse), potassium (which is hard to max out on unless you’re eating a dozen — or thirty — bananas a day), and calcium (I’m built like an orc, and my arteries and neurons have enough, thanks). Also a legit O-6:O-3 ratio, and Cronosync really doesn’t like zinc supplementation.

So that’s day one. Like I said above, easy enough, but consistency will be key.

What do you think? Too simple? Not enough variety? Let me know what you think.