Okay, I have found some time to finally go over some of my genetic reports! I am super excited to dive in to part 1 of my blood test blog post series. Before I get started, I want you to know that I personally paid for these tests myself. It was a hefty fee of…$1,600 (!!!) for 4 tests from Next | Health in West Hollywood. Yes, that is a lot of money. And you know what – because it was a fancy clinic in West Hollywood, I probably was overcharged. But, I looked for clinics for a looooong time on Yelp and spent hours researching clinics on Google, and this was the only place that had all the tests I wanted. So, I decided that if this was what I needed to pay in order to better understand my body, then I’d do it. Plus, I’d rather pay for insight on my health over any luxury handbag, any day!
Here are the 4 Biomarker blood tests I ordered:
1) Genetic Fit – This test looks at specific genes related to what types of workouts, diet, and diet plan work best for my body. It’s a baseline of diet, nutrients, and exercise based off of single (or multiple) genes.
2) Food Sensitivity – This tests 96 different foods and determines which ones my body creates an immune response to by releasing antibodies. The foods that I test positive for (creates an inflammatory response) may cause bloating and discomfort, indigestion, and leaky gut. By testing for it, the goal would be for me to eliminate foods causing inflammation in my body.
3) Baseline Test – This provides an overall view into my body’s metabolism and excretion abilities to see how effectively I am oxygenating my tissues, as well as current tracking of inflammatory markers, current hormone status, and vitamin levels. This covers my blood cell count (red and white blood cells and any abnormalities), metabolic panel (kidney/liver function), vitamin D, vitamin B12, lipid panel (cholesterol), thyroid panel, hormone panel, blood sugar, and inflammation.
4) Micronutrient – This tests 33 essential vitamins, minerals, amino/fatty acids, anti-oxidants, and metabolites to evaluate any deficiencies going on on a cellular level. It allows me to see what imbalances may be present in my cells, and helps me to understand what supplements I should be taking to correct for these imbalances. Correction should allow for proper cell function through out my body. Signs of deficiencies include fatigue, sleep issues, mood imbalances, inability to loose/ gain weight.
I originally did not feel like the micronutrient test was necessary, but it was part of a larger “discounted” package, so I added it in anyway.
BLOOD TEST #1: GENETIC FIT
Today, I want to go over the “Genetic Fit” test!
When I got my results back in, I had a full 2 hour, very informative sit down with a nurse practitioner at the clinic. I asked every question I had on my mind, and then he said I could email him anytime if I ever had any more questions.
So, let’s jump right in!
Under “Diet & Nutrition”, the nurse practitioner said that he usually never sees people who gets the “low carb diet” type as their best diet. And when I say “best diet”, I mean the best diet for maintaining a healthy body and for optimal weight loss. Low carb means non starchy vegetables, high quality proteins, and healthy fats.
This is interesting because from my past experiences, I’ve had the best results whenever I’ve gone low carb. Also, I’m currently REALLY high in fats (around 50-60%) , so I will need to dial that down especially since I am not following a keto anymore. It says I should be consuming 30% healthy fats, 40% complex carbs, and 30% lean protein – so that means 44g of fat, 133g carbs, and 100g of protein per day based on my daily 1,334 net calorie intake (before workouts). I just inputted that into MyFitnessPal, so will do my best to adjust to this new goal! It’s nice to have some clarity on the protein grams too. Already this test has answered one of my biggest personal nutrition questions, so…IT’S WORTH IT! (Haha, I’m just going to have to keep justifying this purchase so I can amortize the tests.)
The test mentioned that I have a genetic variant that is associated with an “increase food desire” so I have to work harder than others at self control. YUP. SO TRUE. I love eating. I could seriously be a competitive eater. And the whole “eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full” thing doesn’t really work for me because I could eat forever and ever.
The test said I have a higher than average risk for elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol and that I should limit my saturated fat intake. Interesting. My dad has high cholesterol and so does my grandma.
So saturated fat foods I should avoid include:
- coconut oil
- dark meat poultry
Ha, this looks like a keto essentials grocery list. I guess I was right to move away from keto!
Good unsaturated fats that are recommended for me include:
- fish (polyunsaturated)
- walnuts (polyunsaturated)
- almonds (polyunsaturated)
- flaxseed (polyunsaturated)
- chia seed (polyunsaturated)
- pumpkin seed (polyunsaturated)
- poultry (polyunsaturated)
- eggs (polyunsaturated)
- avocados (monounsaturated)
- extra virgin olive oil (monounsaturated)
Apparently, people with my genotype “who have a diet that includes more polyunsaturated fats rather than saturated fats tend to have a lower body weight compared to those who do not.” Okay, upping the fish intake NOW. Also, love eggs. YAY another reason to eat them!
The test checked to see if I have genes that might cause me to snack uncontrollably, constantly be hungry, and have problems feeling full. Well you guys, looks like my genotype is not at fault for this. Looks like I am actually just an EMOTIONAL EATER! Hahaha. Well, I can tell you that since logging my food in MyFitnessPal, I have not snacked uncontrollably and I have not overeaten. So, for now, that part of me is tamed.
My genotype is associated with “an increased desire or willingness to put forth additional effort to obtain [my] favorite foods.” This basically means if I really want to eat something I will go out of my way to climb over obstacles to get it. I wonder though, if that is just my super motivated personality?
Additionally, it says I do not have a sweet tooth. True.
Caffeine Metabolism: It says I am a fast metabolizer of caffeine. CORRECT. The nurse said “I bet you can drink matcha at 9pm and go to bed at 10pm.” I was like – umm I just did that yesterday. So funny that these tests are like horoscopes, but backed by science. Makes it so much more fun!
Bitter Taste: It says that I am someone with an “enhanced bitter taste perception.” OMG!!! TRUE!!! I hate chocolate, alcohol, and arugula because they all taste TERRIBLE to me. Extremely medicinal.
Lactose Intolerance: It also said I am lactose intolerant. I already know this. 23andMe said the same. I am also Asian, and most Asians are lactose intolerant. I pretty much cut dairy out of my diet a few years ago to help clear up my skin, and it helped enormously. I started eating cheese again when I went on keto, but I think it’s time to stop that. I don’t mind an occasional cheese, but I guess I should opt for Daiya vegan cheese when given the opportunity.
Overall, the test says that I have a genetic variant associated with being overweight. 23andMe said the same thing. So now, I know it is 100% true that I have a harder time than others when it comes to weight loss.
It says that my optimal workout routine for weight loss should include endurance exercises like:
- Walking briskly
- Running / jogging
- Climbing stairs
- Playing sports such as tennis, basketball, soccer or racquetball
It says that weight lifting is less beneficial than endurance training when it comes to weight loss for people with my genotype. But no worries aint ever gonna stop weight lifting and Pilates! I love my muscle and I love my strength gains!
Aerobic Capacity (VO2MAX): I have decreased aerobic capacity. I guess that’s why I hate cardio so much. I CAN BARELY BREATHE. Hahaha. I bet my sister would score well in this arena since she is a kickboxing instructor!
Muscle Power: I do not have the genes of elite power athletes, such as sprinters and powerlifters. All good. Not trying to be a world class Olympian.
Weight Loss Response to Exercise: I have a genetic variant that is associated with being overweight and obese. It says I must exercise regularly or else I could be obese. Wow, I am fortunate that I enjoy exercise and that it is also my career.
Blood Pressure Response to Exercise: I have a high likelihood of having elevated blood pressure without exercise. However, good news is that I actually have very very low blood pressure. It might be all the exercise I do.
Loss of Body Fat in Response to Exercise: My genotype says that in order for me to lose fat, I have to exercise harder and put in more effort than other people.
MY BODY & WEIGHT:
Weight Loss Regain: I am more likely to gain weight back, meaning I have difficulty keeping weight off after losing weight. This means that the maintenance phase after my 90 day journey will be very important to track.
Metabolism: My genes say I have normal metabolism. We will discuss this more later, as there are MANY other factors that affect metabolism and you will see what I mean when we discuss the other tests which include my lagging thyroid.
METABOLIC HEALTH FACTORS:
Elevated LDL (bad) Cholesterol: I have an above average probability of having high LDL (bad) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the kind of cholesterol that can form plaque and build up in the walls of my arteries, leading to heart attacks and strokes. My grandma on my dad’s side died from a stroke.
Decreased HDL (good) Cholesterol: I have an above average probability of having decreased HDL (good) cholesterol. Supposedly high levels of HDL are supposed to protect against heart attacks, while low levels of HDL increase the risk of heart disease. This is definitely something I should be conscious of.
Elevated Triglycerides: I have an average likelihood for fat being stored in my body. Nothing alarming here.
Elevated Blood Sugar: I have an above average likelihood for elevated blood sugar, meaning that if I did have high blood sugar levels, I might have insulin resistance which leads to type 2 diabetes. More to discuss on this when we go over the other blood work.
The main things to take away from the Genetic Fit test are:
- My genes make it harder for me to lose weight and to keep extra weight off.
- My genes require me to eat a low carb diet in order to obtain my optimal body.
- My genes require me to work out and live an active lifestyle or else I will become overweight or obese.
Side note: When I got the report back, I saw that the name of the lab was “Pathway Genomics” and that the test was called “PathwayFit”. I immediately looked them up and read that Pathway Genomics is a privately-owned biotech company that provides genomic testing services to healthcare professionals and direct-to-customer kits. On their site, I saw that you can order the test for $299 as a physician. I don’t know if you can order the blood test as a normal civilian, so I guess that is where the 34% markup came in (I paid $400)!
Fit Journal entry. Yesterday I finalized my heels choreo in the morning and then Rosanna came over at night and we practiced together for a couple hours. It was so fun! We were sweating, and now I am all bruised and sore from all the floor work and hair whipping!
Hahaha. I cannot wait to film this on Friday. Tutorial should be up on Sunday!
13% carbs, 68% fat, 19% protein
Shishito peppers and mahi mahi with hot sauce over cauliflower rice. Seasoned with some coconut aminos.
Oh and side note…Sir George got a new hair cut!!! Look how poofy and circular he looks!!!
Ugh. Sir is perfection and I love him soooooo much!
16% carbs, 61% fat, 23% protein
I had a cauliflower cheese pizza with a side salad drizzled with chipotle honey vinaigrette! It was so good! But the pizza was too cheesy for me. I don’t think I will be buying the Cali’flour pizzas anymore! That was the last of em.
32% carbs, 58% fat, 10% protein
Seaweed crisps. Yum.
New creation! I mixed coconut milk with MCT oil powder and it tasted like a boba drink! OMG, delish!
Overall, I came in at 1,316 calories, 58g carbs (17%), 93g fat (64%), and 61g protein (19%).
So, now that I know my breakdown should look like 133g carbs (40%), 44g of fat (30%), and 100g (30%) of protein – I can adjust accordingly. Before I do anything too drastic (since what I am doing now is working), I want to go over my food sensitivity test. I will try to do that tomorrow so we can get a better picture of what this macronutrient breakdown should actually look like food-wise.
Finally, I want to leave you with a picture of my new shoes and a rainbow that came into the office yesterday and landed on my feet :)