I struggled to drag myself out of bed each day and had some lingering aches and pains in my knees and back, fought bouts of anxiety at times and just had a general lethargy from the moment I awoke to the time I tried to retire for the night – and falling asleep wasn’t easy either despite all the daytime fatigue.
Wasn’t a healthy lifestyle supposed to make me FEEL healthy?
I had been at this fitness game for 10 years by this point, and though progress was slowly being made, I felt there must be a better way and not have it impact my day-to-day life, after all fitness should help you live a better life, not be the only reason for living and detract from everything outside of it.
So, on a whim, I decided to book a physical with my family doc and get some blood work done.
To my dismay, when the results came back, not only were my cholesterol values out of whack but I had the testosterone levels of an 80-year-old male. But rather than be put on statin drugs (for cholesterol), and deal with those complications the rest of my life, I resolved to get my health right the natural way, and then retest three months down the road. After some resistance, I escaped the doc’s office without a prescription (statins have been linked to lowered testosterone in men – cholesterol/testosterone relationship) and set about getting my health under control without pharmaceuticals.
Found a reputable local source for grass-fed beef and swapped out all my store-bought animal meats except lean chicken (toxins are largely contained in the fat of feedlot animals), emphasizing a return to the old way of eating, direct from the farmer with nutrient-dense foods. Also swapped out run-of-the-mill eggs for the free run variety, and bought wild caught instead of farmed fish. (I.E. Salmon. You’ll be able to tell wild from farmed – wild salmon will have more of a reddish hue, not the bright pink associated with farmed after it’s been coloured with artificial dyes)
Cut way back on the fasted, steady state morning cardio sessions I had been doing (I suspect they were wreaking havoc on my testosterone:cortisol ratio). Instead, reduced steady state cardio and replaced with less sessions, focusing on keeping them short and intense in a fed state (HIIT).
Cooked pan-fried meals exclusively in extra virgin coconut oil (dropped olive oil even) and started using grass-fed butter. Started each day with black coffee mixed with a teaspoon of grass-fed butter blended (before it was cool and came with names like “Bulletproof”) and still stick to that ritual to this day.
Greatly reduced my sugar consumption (it was a good run, Lucky Charms) and started supplementing with Glucose Disposal Agents, notably cinnamon powder and alpha-lipoic acid.
Supplemented with 2,000IU of vitamin D per day and ZMA before bed. Vitamin D levels have been directly correlated with testosterone production in men, with research showing men with higher Vitamin D3 levels have higher Free Testosterone. Zinc and magnesium (in ZMA) are generally depleted in athletes via sweat, and have also been linked to healthy testosterone levels.
June 15, 2012 (Pre-diet changes)
Triglycerides 1.5 (range 0.56 – 2.3)
HDL 0.6 (0.9 – 1.6)*
LDL 3.71 (Optimal <2.57)*
Total CHL RATIO 7.67 (Optimal <4.98)*
Testosterone 6 (8 to 35)*
September 11, 2012
Triglycerides .60 (range 0.56 – 2.3)
HDL 1.45 (range 0.9 – 1.6)
LDL 1.12 (Optimal <2.57)
Total CHL RATIO 2.85 (Optimal <4.98)
Mitch Calvert has a loveable cat named Chelsea (blame the shelter for the name) who is affectionately known as Chels.
He is a certified personal trainer with a B.A. who has been featured on elitefts.com, STACK.com, and was ranked as one of the top 10 fitness blogs by BreakingMuscle.com in 2013. He is based in Winnipeg, Canada. You can find his 12 week somatotype diet program, Endomorph Evolution, on www.mitchcalvert.com.
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