Midterm season is upon us--as Cardio with Dr. Bill Hogan was
this morning featuring a 60-question variety of heart, EKG and
interpretation problems. If you've ever watched a medical drama
(and chances are good you have), you will probably find yourself
staring at the monitor trying to pick out abnormal P waves, a
spiked T wave, or a depressed ST interval. I know I was excited
when we learned about atrial fibrillation and later that night I
was watching a show where a patient was crashing and the doctor
yelled some combination of A Fib and STAT! (sick life
For those of you who don't know Dr. Hogan--well, he is an
interesting man. He comes across quite 'militant' and 'in your
face'. My tip is: DO NOT BE LATE TO HIS CLASS, or he will yell at
you and call you out right in the middle of lecture. He yelled at
my buddy going to restroom and told him to sit back down. What I do
appreciate about Dr. Hogan is that he is a very passionate
lecturer; he practically yells out during the lecture and provides
quality analogies, which maintains my attention throughout lecture.
On top of that, the cardiovascular system in general fascinates me
so I enjoy the material.
Me teaching how to palpate a sacrum in club.
The following is a recipe I'm passing on after RJ Burr
recommended I try it.
Paleo Cookie Dough (no
wheat, added sugars)
Ideally, blend all ingredients in a food processor and let sit
in the fridge. I don't have one so I added coconut milk and
garbanzo beans in a blend until smooth and then took it out and
added in the almond butter, chocolate whey protein powder, stevia,
and folded in the pieces of dark chocolate. Throw it in the fridge
and chill and eat it as is. No baking. Test it out. I thought it
What my friends and I noticed was the longer you've been eating
healthy and paleo, the better it tasted. My friend who eats
McDonald's a couple times a week hated it. My friend who ate
decently healthy thought it was 'pretty good'. RJ and I who are
strict paleo eaters absolutely LOVED IT. Funny, eh? Just an
Hope everyone had a great past week and enjoyed St. Patty's Day.
I had a different reason to celebrate on Thursday, I got my
completed "after" blood work back. I'm happy to report the
possibility of man boobs, a higher voice, and emotional roller
coasters are all OFF the table! My testosterone is successfully
back to normal at 607!
Just a quick recap of the events, my "before" blood tests
revealed that my testosterone was 615, which was a very good
number. Thirty days later, and 20 lbs. more lean mass, my levels
dropped to 298? (FYI, Normal Range: 280-900) So technically, I was
"within normal" BUT I was in a downward spiral that raised some
alarms. My hypothesis was my over-consumption of flax. So, I cut
out flax and 2 weeks later my levels went back to 607! That's a
doubling in 2 weeks, which is pretty epic in itself, unless the lab
test was faulty (another plausible, but less likely scenario).
I will report that I feel much more grounded, if that makes any
sense. It's hard to describe but I feel like I have my "will power"
back, and when I need to pull a long day of studying I can now,
whereas 2 weeks ago I felt "funky" and "unmotivated." Whether or
not that is just a placebo will remain a mystery, but I'm just
happy I got my T levels back to normal because I could really use
it gearing up for the next 27 days leading into final exams.
On the bucket list front, my buddy Kendall, who played Div 3
college basketball, has put together a 10-week plyometric workout
to see if I can jam a volleyball! Jamming anything has been a goal
of mine since I quit basketball in the 9th grade because I was 5'0"
tall. I have, of course, grown since then, but my maximum jump ever
is just clipping the rim. In short, this is going to be an athletic
performance experiment and come the beginning of next tri I will
attempt the "impossible" and try to jam a volleyball for the first
time in my life - not long after I thought jamming was going to be
one of those things that stay permanently on the list. Cheers to
March Madness, Adjusting, and Dave's
On the social front, this past weekend was really fun. On
Friday, a bunch of us got together and played a little Texas
Hold'em (I placed second behind Steve). Steve = GOOD. I haven't
played poker since high school, back in the days when Chris
Moneymaker won the Main Event and catapulted everyone and anyone to
think they could play at a high level with little to no previous
experience (if you played poker in high school you know what I'm
talking about). My only good poker skill is that I can read people
pretty good, but the one skill I've lost is figuring out the odds
and combinations of hands that the other players could have based
on the flop and turn. Either way I was happy to double my money as
it will pay for tutoring next week!
I'd also like to give a shout out to Canadian Dave! Happy 25th
Birthday! We celebrated his birthday on Friday after poker and then
laid low all day Saturday and watched March Madness and practiced
adjustments for the better part of 5 hours.
That's it for me this week. Hope everyone starts enjoying the
somewhat warmer weather!
Hola! Hope everyone had a relaxing week because mine was all
over the place. By now my head has been spinning like a top for 48
hours since Friday's 'after' blood tests came in. Before I get to
that I wanted to talk about Tri Games.
So what are Tri Games?
Every trimester National has a friendly sports competition
between all the tris. In the fall, it was flag football; but on
Friday it was DODGEBALL! I was so excited to find out that we were
going to play a school-wide organized dodge ball tournament! Our
trimester had not made a good showing in the fall tri games by
getting knocked out in the earliest round, so this winter we were
up to avenge our pride.
How did we do this time? We rocked! We steam rolled our way to
the finals proudly sporting our tri colors (yellow) only to lose
against the superman dressed Tri 5's (blue). The whole thing was
run in the gym and there was plenty of laughs, sore rotator cuffs,
(I couldn't feel my arm after the finals), and Dr. Darby? Yes, even
Dr. Darby (our neuroanatomy teacher) made a surprise visit and
cheered us on. Perhaps it was because she had just graded our neuro
written midterms and wanted to see our smiling faces before we saw
our actual grades! (perhaps not ;) Nonetheless, the whole event was
an absolute blast and a wonderful excuse to throw out your shoulder
trying to establish top tri dominance!
So what about those blood tests?
Well, my 'after' blood tests came in this week and I was
expecting great results considering my bio-impedance came back
rather phenomenally. At my meeting before with Dr. Anderson, he
spilled the beans by saying I was going to be "surprised." I was
rather dumbfounded until I got to read my 'after' testosterone. It
had PLUMMETED in HALF (I can't recall exact numbers but 600 to 300
something)! I was shocked and nobody in clinic knew how the heck
that would be possible. I gained 20 lbs. of muscle and lost fat and
did it on half the testosterone? You're running a fun joke aren't
you? Apparently not.
So I left the clinic with a rather strange taste in my mouth.
The kind of taste you don't know whether to be excited or scared.
Had I miscalculated my diet? Had I not consumed enough fat? Had I
eaten too much for my body? Had I taxed my endocrine system? Was
the trend to continue downward? My mind was absolutely (and still
is) spinning. My cholesterol, despite eating a pound of grass fed
beef and 4 eggs a day stayed about the same (within a point or too
difference), which defied some conventional cholesterol theory. I
had been comfortable with that, however, more and more research is
now showing that saturated fat and exogenous cholesterol (dietary)
are not the bad culprits of heart disease and hypercholesterolemia
(high cholesterol) as once thought (refined carbs are).
However, this made the previous finding of lowered testosterone
even more plaguing. I had eaten PLENTY of fat (60% of my diet) and
protein (25%) to have PLENTY of building blocks for hormone
precursors but something happened along the way that screwed that
up. What could it be?
Flax: A Misunderstood Male Nightmare?
About 10 minutes after I got home from the clinic, I went to
make a shake and low and behold grabbed a jar of my favorite
almond/flax seed nut butter from the fridge. I ate A LOT of this to
increase my calories, fat and protein to hit the lofty goals I set
for my food intake over the last month. I looked down at the jar
and did one of those grossly exaggerated double takes. Flax seed!
WHOA. What's the matter with flax seed?
It's estrogenic! Apparently VERY estrogenic. It contains
phytoestrogens not unlike soy, yet the research isn't as clear as
it is with soy on the ill effects of flax when over-consumed. It
seems I became a guinea pig for flax seed consumption warnings. I
did a couple pub med searches without a whole lot of findings until
Dr. Anderson found one that said 30g/day of flax didn't have a
'statistically significant' drop in testosterone levels. The
problem? I was consuming on AVERAGE 150g and up to 240g a few
times. It wasn't all flax (mixed with almond butter) but at those
levels who knows. Another cited study confirmed it was
Next Order of Action?
Well, if you want your manhood to stay in tact (I assume you do)
and not grow breast tissue (I assume you don't) it's time to
rethink how much flax you want to consume as a male. If you were to
read the benefits of flax you'd think it was a super food that
should be consumed all the time for its omega 3's that fight
inflammation and speed healing time. However, if you take things to
the edge, which I have, a weird knack for doing, then you may want
to reign in the "everything in moderation" button.
So, will I start losing my hair and libido? No. Will I be
cutting flax out of my diet and retesting in a month to make sure
I'm back on track? Heck, yes.
Sooo much fun is there!
• MPI Gait Seminar
• Trimester Wind Down
• Chiro Games
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