Subscribe to me on YouTube

Blood, Stress and Diet

Alexandra Williams, MA
Dear Blood Test, You Made Me So Very Happy

Dear Blood Test, You Made Me So Very Happy

Remember Blood, Sweat and Tears? If not, you can still read this post. It’s all about blood, stress and diet!

I recently won a free blood test from WellnessFX. The cool part? It included a consultation with a registered dietitian.

Maybe your reaction is, “Big deal. I get my blood drawn once a year during my physical.” Yes, but does your doctor actually take 20 minutes to explain what the results mean? And does your doc then make dietary suggestions? Aha, that’s the bonus.

I exercise quite a lot and take no prescription drugs, so I chose the RD for my consultation. But I could have chosen from their list of medical doctors, chiropractors, osteopaths or naturopathic doctors.

I drove to Ventura, California, for the blood draw, and was in and out in 15 minutes. A few days later I received my results, which of course, were only vaguely comprehensible to me (I do know how to read the cholesterol and iron bit, but that’s about it). The results categories were red, orange and green. I was green in nearly every category, which is the good color!

No magic here – the green is a result of exercise and a healthy diet (portion size and food selection). The only result of concern was my LDL – low density lipoprotein. That’s the bad cholesterol. For this, I blame my parents, as there’s a genetic component. I’m not a big ice cream or milk person, but I cook and bake with butter. So even though I don’t use a lot of it, during our consultation the RD still suggested I substitute olive or canola oil when possible. I’m putting her recommendations here because they are good ideas for everyone to consider:

Use unsaturated fats (olive oil, canola oil) in place of saturated fats (butter) when cooking.
Limit amount of butter added to food (1-2 teaspoons).
Avoid Trans Fats (hydrogenated oil, partially hydrogenated oil) often found in regular peanut butter, packaged baked goods, and fast food.

Decrease Your Stress or You'll Be a Mess

Decrease Your Stress or You’ll Be a Mess

She said my elevated bilirubin could be related to my self-reported high stress levels. Even though I do lots of exercise, I also have a lot of financial stress (anyone else paying out-of-state university fees?) and constant work deadlines. So I’ll consider yoga (probably won’t happen), more walks (probably will happen), or going to bed earlier (probably won’t happen).

Luckily the RD didn’t push me to take a bevy of supplements, as that wouldn’t be me, but she did suggest Omega-3 fish oil, which makes sense for someone who’s a vegetarian and over 50 (which I may or may not be)! Because I’m very picky, I went with the softgels from Pure Matters, a company that puts it right out there in their mission statement: “Our bodies and lives are the product of what we put into them. Our goal is to be the most transparent and holistic source for wellness and performance available.”

Omega-3 is good for your Heart. So are Tomatoes.

Omega-3 is good for your Heart. So are Tomatoes.

Whenever I remember that my body and life reflect my choices, it’s fairly easy to walk away from poor foods.

I wrote this post to encourage all of you to stay on top of your health. Get your blood checked. Move your carcass. Eat foods that are friendly to your body. Take supplements as needed. And be kind to those idiots who drive under the speed limit on a one-lane mountain pass when you’re late to work. Yeah, still working on that one…

Speaking of winners (me and you), have you entered our giveaway yet for a free one-year membership to Anytime Fitness? The deadline is 17 January, so get your entries in!

I was not compensated for this post. I was provided with the Omega-3 fish oil tablets from Pure Matters at no cost. All opinions, blood, stress and youthfulness are entirely my own!

You can get even more great health and movement tips by subscribing to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Click now on the icons above or below. We make it easy to share, subscribe and have fun exercising!

Photo credits: CreativeCommons.org: Debs (ò?ó)? (tomato heart)

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

, , , , , , ,

22 Responses to Blood, Stress and Diet

  1. Noelle McKenzie January 7, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    Having blood work tells you so much about your health! I had a report done about a year ago and found that everything looked good except my sugar levels were high. A basic physical annual check-up won’t tell you all the details such as your HDL cholesterol (the good stuff) count. It’s also important just to know your blood type! I wrote about my experience with blood type diets, Eat Right 4 Your Type, and it’s all very interesting stuff! For example, I read that my blood type, B, doesn’t do so well with chicken. Before I was eating a TON of chicken and I significantly cut back because of what I read. It’s definitely worth a read if you haven’t already checked it out.
    Noelle McKenzie recently posted..Pv Body special savings and 30 day challengeMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit January 7, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      Hi Noelle: I hadn’t heard of that book. And I’ve love it if you’d post the link to your piece about it so our readers can read your info too. I’m AB positive and a vegetarian, so I’d be interested to see what it says about my lifelong dislike of red meat.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Giveaway: Anytime Fitness Membership for a YearMy Profile

      • Noelle McKenzie January 7, 2013 at 9:00 am #

        I’m be happy to! I don’t believe in diets and therefore I don’t think that going vegan just because you support animal rights or think it’s “healthier” to cut out meat is the best way to make decisions about your diet. There’s a reason why some people thrive better on a high animal protein diet and why others thrive on a mostly vegetation diet and it has nothing to do with beliefs and has everything to do with your physiological make-up. I’ve included here some basic input on what foods thrive best with different blood types, but for a more in depth critique I highly recommend purchasing this book. It even goes so far as to delve into personality types and how that may be linked to your blood type. Hope you find this information helpful! http://www.fitnessawayoflife.com/latest-findings/eat-4-type/
        Noelle McKenzie recently posted..Pv Body special savings and 30 day challengeMy Profile

        • AlexandraFunFit January 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

          Thanks, Noelle. I think I’ll try to get this book at the library and read it on the plane this week. I’m not a diet fan either. Why would you want to do something that has the word “die” in it?
          AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Blood, Stress and DietMy Profile

  2. Danielle January 7, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    LOVED THIS! thank you!
    and come down and take my “Let it go” ( of stress , that is) yoga class, OK?

  3. Aileen January 7, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    Thank you for this..I have had to have blood checked about six times a year the last two years and I have become a bit of an expert. It is always fascinating how our genetics and lifestyle can change things. Great article!

  4. Jody - Fit at 55 January 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    I really wanted to do this one BUT with no health insurance, honestly, I was nervous if they found something & it hit my record, I would never be able to afford it so I did not as much as I wanted to….

    Like you, in the past, my LDL was higher even though I ate well & exercised BUT my HDL was so high that it counter balanced it.. I have always had a higher LDL & higher HDL.

    Great post about this though! Really can help people!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & the Sun; Happy Bday Time Again Too!My Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit January 7, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

      Ah, I totally understand the insurance issue. I’m like you; HDL is very high, so the RD wasn’t concerned about the LDL. But I like to worry. And I like to aim for only the green categories. So I want to get that number down, even if it means unbuttered toast!
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..BlogTour: Cologne, Amsterdam and Gifts for Your HomeMy Profile

  5. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta January 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Aw, come on, try the yoga. Stress is one of the main reasons that I added yoga back into my program last year. And it helps!

    I actually need to go back for a second round of blood tests to see if the changes I made have lowered my LDL (and increased my thryroid). Thanks for the reminder.

    To increase my omega 3s, I chose to use flax seed or chia seed once a day. Easy to add to a smoothie or oatmeal (that’s what my WellnessFX RD recommended).
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..Finally! 2013 Fitness GoalsMy Profile

  6. Kim January 7, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    You’re really speaking to the subjects familiar to all of us in this class of ‘certain age’. What our bodies compensated for before does not seem to last forever. I’m probably almost as active as ever and yet the cholesterol rises. I eat like some variant of vegetarian (fish) and yet the the various markers continue to go up. I probably have fresh fish 3 times per week and get a serious quantity of omegas. Likely just the machine breaking down and not as efficient as it once was. How to deal with this stage of life is a good ongoing topic. Thanks.

  7. Alison @ racingtales January 8, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    Yeah, I had bloodwork done last year and the results are still sitting in the envelope. There were no red flags but I agree it would be nice to sit down with an RD and find out what the numbers really mean.
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..BelVita Breakfast Biscuits – Not Just for Breakfast!My Profile

  8. Urban Fit January 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Aren’t avocados an excellent source of the acids and nutrients you refer to in this post? I’m trying to stick to a vegetarian diet but sometimes it’s hard for me to find good sources of these nutrients other than nuts.
    Urban Fit recently posted..The start yet againMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit January 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

      Well, avocados have a lot of benefits, that’s for sure. They grow easily here in Santa Barbara. Avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C,K, folate, and B6. They have 15 grams of unsaturated fat (the good kind), and only 2 grams saturated fat. Some people don’t like them because one avocado has more than 300 kcals. I’m a vegetarian and the hardest thing is finding the right kind of Omega-3, since the plant-based ones are good, yet don’t have all the sub-categories that are necessary. Hence, the supplement.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Food, Glorious Food: What do a Steam Oven and Cologne Cathedral Have in Common?My Profile

  9. deepak sai ram January 11, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    hey that was a very good message. Even Oats can be a good substitute to reduce LDL cholesterol. Most of us do not pick choices, when it is health preference. but to be happy eating what we love is needed. so picking up our choice of the best available preferences and their perfect substitutes is very right act. i support that!!

  10. Evelyn January 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Hi Alexandra,

    I had no idea that you were over 50. You and your sister are in great shape. I admire that!

    But anyway, I am glad you shared this information, because it is so important that we stay up on these like this. I’m guilty and this year I will do better.

    Best of the best,

    Evelyn
    Evelyn recently posted..Baked Sweet Potato with Lime and CilantroMy Profile

  11. Nicholle Olores January 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    It is good to know that you are a health conscious minded and that is really important to consider. By the way thanks a lot for sharing this.
    Nicholle Olores recently posted..Tips for Getting Quotes for Timber Joinery ProductsMy Profile

  12. Sara January 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    I’m particularly interested in blood since mine went haywire last year! So, thank you – this is a great and informative post.
    Sara recently posted..Media Kits: Why Your Blog Needs OneMy Profile

  13. Anchit Shethia August 12, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    Whenever I feel stressed, I go out for jogging, listen to music and start with my Water diet to get the blood pressure levels down. Its important to have a health conscious mind :) Thank you for sharing this article.
    Anchit Shethia recently posted..10 Proven and Effective Home Remedies for DiabetesMy Profile

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Supplements for Boomers: Pure Matters | Fun and Fit: with Fitness Pros & Identical Twins, Alexandra and Kymberly - February 10, 2013

    […] GlucoChon MSM Formula (joint & tissue health). If you read my previous post about getting my blood tested, you might recall that the consulting registered dietitian recommended Omega-3 Fish Oil to me. […]

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge