Lipid Levels on 2 (mostly) Pesco-Vegan Meals a Day

Back in March, I shared how my lipid levels improved when I cut out 90% of the meat and dairy in my diet. From Lipid Levels After Going 90% Pesco-Vegan:

…I cut out 90% of my meat and dairy intake last year. I also cut back on eggs. I increased legumes and non-gluten grains such as buckwheat, oatmeal, and quinoa. I still eat my seafood, which is why I am using the term Pesco-Vegan.

I wanted to see if my numbers continued to improve if I maintained that same diet while also reducing my eating window to two meals a day. I find it much easier to have a reduced eating window during the spring and summer. I have not had breakfast in a few months now. Some days I only have a single meal, but most days I have lunch and dinner, with about a 16-17 hour break between the last bite of dinner and the first bite of lunch.

💻 Let’s See the Numbers!

Every number trended in a positive health direction. 😎

Total Cholesterol

  • Aug 2019: 208
  • Mar 2020: 185
  • July 2020:  163
  • 22% reduction (1-year) 🙌🏼

LDL Cholesterol

  • Aug 2019: 141 😮
  • Mar 2020: 117
  • July 2020:  92
  • 35% reduction (1-year) 🎉

HDL Cholesterol (good)

  • Aug 2019: 51
  • Mar 2020: 53
  • July 2020: 57
  • 12% increase (1-year) 🥳

Triglycerides

  • Aug 2019: 79
  • Mar 2020: 61
  • July 2020: 58
  • 27% reduction (1-year) 💪🏼

TG: HDL Ratio

  • Aug 2019: 1.54
  • Mar 2020: 1.15
  • July 2020: 1.02
  • Looking good! 😃

Hemoglobin A1c

  • July 2020: 4.9%
  • Looking good! 😃

This was my first A1c test, which is a test normally given to those suspected of having high blood sugar. I didn’t think I was at risk, but why not find out if all those POTATOES and CARBS I’ve been eating are leading me to a diabetic future. Nope.

I couldn’t find good information on if there is an optimal number, but it looks like 4.9% is deep within the normal healthy range.

🏆 What Gets the Credit?

Are the improving numbers just a continuation of the dietary changes I made last year? Or is it the time-restricted eating window? Both? I also started taking a garlic supplement once COV-19 news broke, which could have helped.

Exercise is still about 10,000 steps a day. Weights have been replaced with push-ups and bodyweight squats.

My weight is likely the same. I don’t have access to a scale due to my gym being closed, but my waist tape measure has stayed almost the same. I might be down 1/4 of an inch. Nothing drastic.

🩸 My Statin-Free Program for Optimal Lipids

This is not medical advice, but wink-wink, these are the main foods I consume regularly to optimized my blood lipid numbers without the “help” of a doctor or pharmaceuticals.

  • Buckwheat Groat – cooked in a rice cooker
  • Beans / Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Steelcut oats with chia seeds – soaked
  • Almonds
  • Sardines – Olive oil or water, never in Soybean oil
  • Fruit and Veggies – including kimchi

A typical meal might be a big bowl of steamed buckwheat topped with a can of black beans. Then I’ll mix in a sliced red pepper and green onion. Finish with some chili paste and you have a perfect meal.

For dessert, I might have a frozen banana and some almonds.

blood test

Now that I won blood lipids and Vitamin-D, what test should I get next? 🤔

18 Comments

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  1. @MAS. Great post.
    I was able to greatly improve my numbers just by giving up dairy for 6 months. I then re-introduced dairy and they started trending in the wrong direction after 3 months.

    Do you track sleep at all? I was doing 4-5 hours a night and I noticed my weight creeping up. I modified it to 6-7 hours a night and my weight came back down.

  2. @Jim – I don’t track sleep now. I did for a few years though (March 2011 – September 2013). My sleep now is great. 8 hours each night. Easy to fall asleep, easy to wake up.

  3. Maybe our friend (another risk averse, sardine eating fellow) Clarence Bass was right all along.

    I always enjoy your posts a great deal MAS.

  4. @AL Re: “right all along,” It’s great how Clarence has stuck with his recommended diet (e.g., his morning oatmeal concoction) throughout the whole Paleo, IF, Keto trends.

  5. @ MAS
    Very good lab numbers!

    Potatoes are the # 1 enemy of Weight Watchers!

    Tim Steele is the man!

    I know that I am late to the AirFryer wagon, but I wonder how well an AirFryer cooks potatoes?

    Fish oil is not being used in the pharmaceutical industry. Doctors are not prescribing this. There is a lack of efficacy data!
    Dietary fat has a very short metabolic distance to enter fat cells. Dietary fat and oils inflame the endothelial cells of blood vessels. An effort to dramatically cut oils with an AirFryer is logical.
    3 cheers for Tim Steele and his courage to swim upstream against downstream misinformation from dieticians .

    Marc RPh

  6. @Marc – Looks like the AirFryer is built for potatoes.
    https://thewholecook.com/easy-diced-air-fryer-potatoes/

    However, I think this would make the potatoes too easy to overconsume. Good if one was trying to gain weight, but not if one was trying to lose.

  7. I hope Tim Steele is AirFrying some potatoes in his next book! The Hack could be back!

    There is very little oil used in the AirFry method. Overconsumption could be cured by eating potatoes raw, but overconsumption of potatoes is Supposedly a non-problem with the Hack. Good is good!

  8. I actually went out and bought the “typical meal” of buckwheat, beans, red pepper and green onions and am trying it for lunch this week. I picked up some gochuchang for the chili paste. Three days in I’d say its pretty darn good. It might not be realistic, but I do kind of wish there were more blog posts on the internet about painfully simple to prepare and eat food that fills you up and carries real health benefits. I tend not to digest whole grains well, oats and barley for instance are definitely not things I can eat regularly, but buckwheat hasn’t been too much trouble so far.

  9. @tml_mpls – I **love** buckwheat and it just got some press recently for its life extension benefits.

    I use some form of this formula for most of my meals now:

    [A] Base: buckwheat, rice, potatoes
    [B] Lean-Protein: lentils, legumes, sardines, (eggs sometimes)
    [C] Veggies
    [D] Spices

    Steel cut oats are the other options, in which I mix a bunch of stuff into.

    Since I’m only eating 2 meals a day, this is working great for me.

  10. I cut out red meat a year ago, 9 months later I was borderline anemic, so I don’t think it’s wise for women to cut out our best source of Iron, 100% However, I want to also cut out dairy for religious reasons, mostly because I feel bad for the cows : ( I’ve heard they cry when their calves are taken away. But also because cheese is the #1 most addicting food? Their something in dairy (a hormone?) that makes it addicting? My source is a Youtube video…

  11. edit: Now you just need to check your mercury level from eating all that fish!

  12. @Julia – Sardines are considered a low mercury food. It is on the “Best Choice” list.

    https://www.fda.gov/food/consumers/advice-about-eating-fish

  13. Good to hear that this template is continuing to work out so well. Did you remove the last of the dairy (nonfat greek yogurt etc) from your diet as well? Are you supplementing with any of the recommended vegan vitamins/minerals (b12 etc) or relying on the sardines for most of those? Are you eating fish every day? What’s your maco breakdown been like and has your physique changed much if you’ve gone lower protein? (Lol, sorry for all those q’s!, feel free to ignore)

    I actually switched back to a paleo/whole30 OMAD currently (lean poultry, salmon/sardines, lots of fibrous vegetables) in order to lose weight very quickly and experiment with my mood/focus levels, but your template is what I plan on adopting long term again eventually.

  14. @ant – I still have trace amounts of dairy, which is why I use the 90% number.

    I supplement with the Methyl version of B12. Some site (forgot the name) used my 23andMe data to show me that my body prefers the Methyl variation.

    I have fish maybe every other day on average.

    I don’t know my macros. With buckwheat, legumes, and sardines, I’m NOT sure my protein is lower. It may be the same.

    Whole 30’s demonization of nightshades is idiotic for most people. Dave Asprey even concedes 80% of people are fine with nightshades. But other than that, your diet sounds solid.

  15. @ant – fixed my comment typos. ‍

  16. Oh I don’t avoid nightshades, I guess I shouldn’t have said whole30, more like low-carb/lowish-fat paleo (like Art Devany). That has always worked amazingly for me, but for long-term healthspan/longevity (taking cues from Valter Longo) and some ethical/spiritual reasons I would prefer to be more plant-based and minimize animal products to the least amount of nutrient-dense animal foods (probably sardines & bivalves) I can get away with.

    Thanks!

  17. Beans look pretty good as part of a reasonable diet!

    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnme/2020/9140907/

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