The Blood Code: Unlock the Secrets of Your Metabolism
OK. I have to admit it. I’m a closet listener to Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show. I try to focus on podcasts that involve scientific and fact-based discussions versus inspirational stories. I know some of you out there venerate Mr. Moore for all he’s done for the low-carb community. I know some of you vilify him for “selling out” and see him as another in a long line of snake-oil salesmen hawking their latest eBook, eating program, meal replacement drink mix etc…
I’m somewhere squarely in between all of you.
Jimmy (can I call him “Jimmy”?) has a compelling story and a way to reach a broad audience. He has diversified his speakers to embrace more than just the low-carb/keto community and for these things alone, I applaud his efforts. However, his near constant references to his latest books and other media opportunities are distracting to the speaker as well as the listener and may, perhaps ever-so-slightly, undermine the credibility or objectivity of the discussion. Hat’s off to Mr. Moore for being able to wrangle a tie-in to his new book Keto-Clarity during a discussion about grilling meat – that takes some sales finesse.
However for us, his listeners, there is a lesson here – as there is in any information we take in – consider the source. Is this an informed individual making fact-based claims that can be supported by scientific or other reasonable evidence or is this a thinly-veiled attempt to sell something to you? You be the judge and you hold the presenter up against a high bar of reason. I think in most cases Jimmy Moore and his guests meet that bar (at least for me) and even if I don’t support the claims noted in the discussion, I consider it a launching point for me to find out more information so that I can move closer to the truth.
And I’d never pass on an opportunity to be on one of Jimmy’s podcasts if he were to ask.
But I digress…
I was listening to episode 825: Dr. Richard Maurer Offers Up Six Steps To A Healthy Metabolism which turned out to be a podcast on the right subject at the right time. This podcast highlighted Dr. Maurer’s six-step program to bringing metabolic processes back into alignment. The process of re-alignment involves a thorough understanding and close monitoring of blood chemistry results, skin-fold measurements, dietary adjustments to suit your metabolic functioning, fitness and nutritional support all conveniently mapped out in his book, The Blood Code: Unlock the secrets of your metabolism.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m struggling with a pretty significant plateau right now and feel that (from a blood chemistry perspective) I may have lost my way. I have questions. I want to know what I may be doing wrong and perhaps more importantly, I’m wondering if I have a variance from the baseline labs I just had done at the beginning of the year.
If you’re like me, getting a doctor’s appointment to have labs done requires an act of Congress. My doctor, wonderful as he is, won’t order labs without an office visit first. Once he does order the labs, I have a finite time to get the labs done before the orders expire. This doesn’t lend well to me running my own tests, like seeing what my baseline cholesterol would be without taking fibrates for 30 days. There has to be a better way.
It turns out there is a better way and it’s covered in The Blood Code book.
Step one of Dr. Maurer’s six-step program is all about obtaining a blood chemistry baseline by ordering your own lab panel through discount laboratories. It turns out you can order your own tests, without doctors orders, to evaluate your blood chemistry results. The Blood Code walks you through the process and how to interpret your results.
Step two involves assess just how much of you is body fat. This is done via a skin fold test, involving a set of relatively inexpensive ($20) calipers.
Step three is introduces you to your HOMA-IR calculation. HOMA-IR stands for Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance and is intended to convey the presence and extent of any insulin resistance you may be expressing. This concept is truly amazing to me because as I face my plateau, I know that I’m insulin-resistant, I just don’t know how severely IR I am. This calculation will tell me and allow me to tailor my eating style to best align to my level of resistance. It’s almost like finding the Rosetta Stone for my metabolic expressions.
Step four helps you adjust dietary and macro-nutrient intake to align to your IR expression. This is a bit of an interesting paradigm shift. You’re not adjusting your diet because you’re IR; you’re adjusting your diet to compensate for how your IR is expressed. If, like me, your body has evolved a natural inclination to burn less and store more, your diet needs to compensate for your tendency to store energy over burning it. Utilizing a fitness routine to regularly “wring-out” your energy stores also helps regulate energy storage with usage.
Steps five and six cover fitness and supplementation. Not too much news here. Strenuous exercise combining aerobic and resistance movements (cross training) reaps better benefits than moderate aerobic-only exercise. Supplementation is a case of caveat emptor.
The “Digging Deeper” chapter does contain an excellent primer on hormones that is very well worth the read. Not only may it introduce you to some hormones you’re not familiar with, it will help you understand some of the underlying interconnectedness between them and this, after all, is the real complexity in our metabolic process.
Overall, I strongly recommend the book. It’s helped me look at my conditions in a different light and encouraged me to take the bull by the horns and start monitoring and controlling my blood chemistry data. I’ll be ordering some test soon and will, of course, be sharing the experience and the results.