Perfect Health Diet: The Results Are In, Part 1

I’m still healthy!

I finally got bloodwork done and had my annual physical.  Here are the stats, compared to my levels from about a year ago:

HDL (“Good”) Cholesterol:

  • Then: 80
  • Now: 77

Negligibly worse.

LDL (“Bad”) Cholesterol:

  • Then: 131
  • Now: 122

Slightly better.


  • Then: 42
  • Now: 50

Slightly worse.

My triglyceride and HDL levels (both then and now) are considered really good.  My LDL levels are slightly high–in the borderline range, according to standard medical authorities.  But, both the PHD book and my physician say my LDL level is nothing to worry about considering my good HDL and triglyceride levels.

TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone):

  • Then: 1.055
  • Now: 1.674

Mainstream medical guidelines say anything below 5.5 is normal.  PHD says aim to get your TSH below 1.00.  So the increase here threw me for a loop.  I started taking an iodine supplement about two months prior, however.  Perhaps this is making my thyroid levels fluctuate?

Vitamin D

  • Then: not tested
  • Now: 29 ng/ mL

This is very very low.  I asked to have it tested,on a hunch, and am glad I did.  My doc put me on 50,000 mg weekly for three months, then I’m supposed to have it retested later.  Apparently vitamin D deficiency is very common but often undiagnosed, and related to a whole host of health problems.

The easiest, most natural source of vitamin D is sunlight, about half an hour of direct sun on the face and arms, once per day, is supposed to supply enough.  Given my family history of skin cancer and personal aversion to cold weather, however, I’ll probably need to supplement vitamin D for the rest of my life.

Glucose (blood sugar):

  • Then: Normal (not sure the exact level)
  • Now: 80 mg/dL (normal)


  • Then: Normal (not sure the exact level)
  • Now: 12.1 g/dL (very very bottom of the normal range)

Low hemoglobin basically means you’re anemic.  My levels here confirm my feeling that iron supplementation is a good idea for me.  I definitely felt an increase in energy when taking Floradix.  I’m now taking 18 mg Ferrochel iron, which supposedly is absorbed well by the body, but I don’t feel it’s working as well as Floradix.


  • Then: 1_6
  • Now: 1_7

Slight increase.

Womp womp womp.


I’ve been thinking all of this over and have decided to make some changes to our diet in the coming year.  Stay tuned.  [For part 2 of this post, click here.]

Happy New Year!

13 thoughts on “Perfect Health Diet: The Results Are In, Part 1

  1. I thought that winter sun any distance from the equator was inadequate to give necessary Vitamin D anyway? Can’t wait to hear what you decided. I’ve been off PhD for a while (6 months) and I feel about a thousand times worse than I did when I was on it (tired, bad mood, low energy, cravings, uncontrollable eating, and now headaches, which I’ve never had before, ugh!). I’m gearing up to go back on now that I feel like I’ve nailed down all the things I was having an immuno-response to. I decided I’m going to experiment with the idea that I’m fructose sensitive, which means you also have to beware of things called fructans which aren’t necessarily in sweeteners — things like coconut and alliums (onions, garlic) have fructans. It seems to explain a lot of what I was struggling with.

    Good luck!

    • Wow, doing PHD without onion and garlic and coconut sounds challenging. I used coconut milk or shredded coconut in a lot of treats. And onion and garlic as seasoning in almost everything savory. Hope it makes you feel better!

    • Hi Suzette! Hmm, not really. Everything’s basically the same. It does go to show that eating red meat and butter and eggs won’t necessarily raise your cholesterol! Also, my blood pressure has remained at a healthy low.

      I wish the PHD were the weight loss panacea for me that it is for others, but it’s been clear for a while that it isn’t. And of course, I haven’t been following it 100%. But it’s clear to me by now that if i want to drop pounds i need to cut calories.

      • This is interesting to me. I don’t find PHD to be a weight loss panacea ether, and I’ve read a lot of comments from people who have felt better and relieved health problems but still had problems losing weight (esp. women on the lower calorie spectrum). Even Paul Jaminet says that cutting calories is necessary to lose weight.

        I keep asking myself if it’s worth it. But the thing about PHD for me that makes me keep coming back to it is that it’s the only diet that has made it possible for me to cut calories without hunger and the times when I’ve done it perfectly/mostly perfectly I’ve lost a lot of weight rapidly without hunger and without gaining it back. My problem is that I’ve discovered so many food sensitivities (probably from a really bad gut dysbiosis) that it triggers cravings and fatigue and makes it hard for me to stick to the diet. It’s so discouraging to cut things out of the diet and keep finding yet another thing that triggers a bad reaction. I’m hoping with this whole fructose malabsorption thing I’ve finally found the key and will be able to stick with it. I’ll report to you. I also found I absolutely MUST eat the bone broth and egg yolks or I spiral back into cravings and malnourishment.

        Laura, have you tried intermittent fasting (i.e. consuming all calories in an 8 hour window)? I found that weight loss occurred really easily and rapidly for me when I did the intermittent fasting. I didn’t eat from 4 PM to 8 AM and tolerated it really well for over a month and lost about 10 lbs, most people it seems do like a noon to 8 PM feeding window it seems. anyway, these discussions are always interesting to me.

      • I’ve done intermittent fasting, well . . . intermittently. 😉 It isn’t too hard, especially when I took supplements and ate well balanced meals beforehand. I didn’t really lose weight or notice other positive effects so I haven’t stuck with it.

  2. I have been waiting for this! So interesting. I would also be interested to hear just some field observations as well, as in, how has your attitude towards food changed your everyday outlook, how do you “feel” on a daily basis, what is your activity level like compared with a year ago.

    As for calories, they are literally the only thing that changes my weight, but not my attitude. I can eat absolutely nothing but peanut m&ms and not gain any weight if I keep track of calories, but I also feel horrible. If I stick to three sit down meals a day, I inevitably gain weight because I am eating so much at each meal to fill up, but I feel pretty good about myself and my energy level. So anyway, just interested to hear how your everyday experience has changed over the last year.

  3. We just bought this cookbook (kindle version because it’s cheaper). We haven’t tried any recipes yet, but I’m looking forward to trying them soon!
    There is a Forks Over Knives DVD available on Netflix that is a great introduction to the findings from Dr. Campbell (author of China Study) and Dr. Esselstyn. Check out the reviews on amazon for the DVD.
    Two weeks ago, Earl had to have emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder. His gallbladder didn’t become unhealthy overnight, but started giving him serious problems immediately following a weekend (Mary Beth’s wedding weekend) full of eating a lot of fatty meat. It was a big change in his diet, as he usually eats meat only sparingly. It is very likely that the gallbladder became unhealthy from excessive cholesterol and fat in his diet. Now I’m even more convinced of the wisdom and benefits of a low-fat plant-based diet!!

  4. I feel like for me, losing weight is a lose-lose situation. The only way for me to lose is by cutting calories or carbs (like in Atkins, which is probably the same thing as cutting calories.). Both techniques make me absolutely miserable, so I have to wonder if it’s really worth it. I’m starting to come to the point where I’m just trying to accept my body the way it is, instead of always trying to lose, because I feel like I’m healhty now, I would just prefer to be thinner.. I’ve been blessed with a really good metabolism in that I don’t gain weight easily (except when pregnant) and I don’t lose weight easily (except after giving birth). But, the rest of the time, I pretty much stay the same…unless I try really, really, reallly hard to lose and make myself and everyone else miserable and that usually doesn’t last long, because it’s miserable.

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