As I explained in my first post—Part 1—I am embarking on a 6-week Paleo experiment.

The purpose of the exercise is to document the impact of the diet on my life under normal conditions, which will hopefully be instructive for other people.

To accurately document any changes we needed two things: (1) professionals to help me measure my physical and emotional state, and (2) initial measurements.

Here’s how it’s all going to work.


Who Is Helping Me?

I am going on the Paleo diet with the help of physician, Linda Assatourians, MD, Cherie Lester, Holistic health Coach, and Richard Smith, PHD Psychologist.

To start I had several conversations with Cherie Lester.  We discussed the basics of the diet, what to watch out for nutritionally, where to shop, and what kinds of foods to eat.  She also provided me with a list of web resources.

 

Medical Testing Picture

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

 

The Initial Results and What we are Testing

My physician is Linda Assatourians, M.D.  She has been my primary physician for 10 years.  She and I are going to take blood tests before and after the diet.  Here are the tests and the results before I began the diet (blood taken on 2/26/13):

Weight: 210 pounds

Heart Rate: 58

Pulse: 128/71

Complete Blood Count (CBC): Normal

For information on what a typical CBC measures read this.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: Normal for the most part.  I have a higher than normal ASP (69) which is a test for liver function. For the full range of diagnostics read this.

B12: Normal. For the science if B12 read this.

Vitamin D: Normal is above 30.  Mine is 26 which is a bit low but if you have ever met me you’ll soon see why—I am the palest person on the planet and humans only get Vitamin D in sufficient quantities from the Sun, or eating an entire tuna.

Iron: Normal. See this for more information about iron.

Lipids:

-Total cholesterol: 173

-HDL: 77

-Triglycerids: 73

-LDL: 81

This is one of the most important tests because I am going on a relatively high animal-based fat diet that has been linked to all sorts of health issues.

 

Mental Health

Nutrition, or lack thereof, can have more than just physical effects.

Therefore, we are testing the psychological effects of the Paleo Diet with the help of Richard Smith, Ph.D.  Dr. Smith has known me for over 10 years. We used a 1 – 10 rating scale on three variables: mood (higher being better mood); anxiety (higher being more anxious); irritability (higher being more irritable).  The primary results:

Mood: 7

Anxiety: 5

Irritability: 3

The idea being that if the numbers differ after the conclusion of the diet, we might also be able to see a correlation in the physical test 

 

Activity

So how active am I and what will I be doing over the next six weeks?

We are now moving from winter or indoor training most of the time to spring and outdoor training most of the time.  To make things easier I am going to keep doing what I am doing right now but add a bit more running.

-       6 hours of yoga per week

-       20 miles of running per week.

By doing both yoga and running I will be testing the three most important attributes for athletes: strength and agility (yoga) and endurance (long distance running).

 

Summary

There you have it folks, an overview of my current physical condition and mental state. Now let’s dive into the diet and see what happens.

Make sure to check the Paleo Experiment Facebook page for updates—and please leave any comments or questions you have for me!