Health Data & Food Info

My primary objective is to maximize my functional health span (what I can do) and delay the onset of chronic disease (lifespan). This doc provides background on how I define and live out the pillars of this.

My food lifestyle focuses primarily on minimizing inflammation and maximizing happiness, which for me means eliminating depression. I measure a host of markers with regular blood tests.

An increasing number of studies link inflammation with big problems such as depression, chronic disease, cancer and early death. Recently a number of studies have found the only common link between those living longer than 100 years is a pattern of low inflammation markers. It pays to focus on inflammation.

None of this started intentionally nor was I as focused on food science then. I 2015 I wanted to feel and look better. So I started to eat less things that made me feel bad and more things that made me feel good. During my no drinking experiment, I took my first blood test and discovered high inflammation markers.

From there my lifestyle turned into an obsessive science which, while complex on the surface, is actually quite simple in practice.

In September 2015 I quit drinking for a 30-day blood test experiment. At the end of the month, I felt so good that I didn’t start again.

I no longer require medication for anxiety, depression or high blood pressure (all of which I was on at age 32). My body fat is consistently below 15%. And I’m really really happy.

My definition of clean eating could be described as Paleo+. See the food rules below for more.

(* = recently updated)

Nutrition

What I Eat + How I Eat
I’ve been evolving this since March 2015. Updated July 2020. It’s worth noting that in the second half of 2020 I’ve been using a local meal prep service for lunch and dinner and love it.

I consider this a lifestyle, not a diet. A friend once I asked me how I think about diets, this was my response.

Cronometer Food & Activity Tracking
I track 90% of what I eat. Cronometer also imports sleep and activity. My coach watches this and will yell at me if I’m off on something.

Supplements
I have what some might call a gnarly supplement routine. Each thing has a purpose, sometimes I cycle things out after a bit but a lot of them have remained steady for years.

Glucose Tracking with Levels
I’m an investor in and friends with the founder of Levels Health. I generally stay within my target range of 70-100 mg/dl, spiking knowingly by eating a piece of pie or some other indulgence occasionally. So I don’t wear the CGM very often anymore.

Training

As of mid-2020 I’m on a bit of a fitness bender and found a flow that doesn’t lead to overtraining. I wear a Garmin Fenix 6X and if we were friends on Garmin we could challenge each other:

  • Strength training four days/week and condition two days/week with Central Athlete. My coach builds mobility work into my workouts.
  • All six days I do a second thing, usually in the mornings, splitting between a rowing program 3x per week (indoors or on the river), yoga 2x per week (on the two heaviest lifting days) and at least two days of a fun thing (biking, hiking, long walks with friends).
  • I sporadically use GoWOD for mobility work and for pre and post-workout stretching. It’s cheap and great.
  • I’m just getting into gravel biking and love it though I suck.

Sleep

I’ve used an Oura ring for several years to help with sleep tracking, avoid overtraining and to understand negative and positive impacts of daily choices on my sleep. I only wear it when I’m in bed.

Blood Testing and System Health

Blood Testing Records and Logs
I use WellnessFX (via Quest Diagnosics local centers) to conduct quarterly comprehensive blood tests. I sometimes supplement individual tests and add the results there. You can see how I’m addressing the cholesterol-related numbers here.

*DEXA Scan Logs
I get a DEXA scan every month. Like most people I want to minimize body fat but I’m primarily concerned with reduction/elimination of visceral fat and android(waste)/gynoid(leg) fat ratio.

Heads Up Health
I use Heads Up to consolidate all of my data including Garmin activity, Cronometer, blood testing, sleep and more. I review it frequently to learn about correlations and adjust.