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Six key takeaways from a recent InsideTracker test

It’s amazing how much data there is from a simple blood draw. With InsideTracker, a quick and easy blood draw is transformed into careful analysis and customized recommendations on how to improve areas that need work.

I have been using InsideTracker for several years now and its personalized analysis and recommendations have been a boost to my endurance running. It’s impossible to really know what is going on inside without these tests.

InsideTracker is recommended for athletes of any skill or experience level, as well as anyone else wanting to learn more about various markers that define their health. To learn more or to order a test, visit and use this code for 15 percent off.

Here are six important things I learned from my most recent test from a blood draw taken Sept. 11, which was about five months after the previous one.

  1. On the bright side, my Inner Age is 37.2 – pretty good for someone who turned 50 last year. Still there are lots of areas to improve.

  2. Thirteen of the 43 biomarkers tested were deemed to be “at risk.” The majority were optimized (24) and there were six classified as “needs work.”

  3. The inflammation group was noticeably “at risk,” due in large part to the training that I have been doing for my 100-mile race in early November. My white blood cell count has consistently been in the “at risk” area. Foods that will help my inflammation rebound include various nuts, avocados, quinoa, chickpeas, chia seeds and Navy beans.

  4. My creatine kinase levels returned to an optimized level after being off the charts high in April. It went from 365 to 98; anywhere between 44 and 196 is considered optimal. The surge in April is directly related to running the Boston Marathon a few days before the blood draw.

  5. My Vitamin D levels have been slowly falling out of the optimal zone and into the “at-risk” area. It’s narrowly out — 32 is the bottom of the optimal range, and my last two tests have scored 31 and 30. This is likely a product of moving most of my runs from the evening to the morning before the sun comes out. I’ve been taking a Vitamin D supplement almost daily, and will need to continue that especially now as there are fewer hours of sunshine in the day now.

  6. Based on my diet preferences — gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free, these are the foods recommended by InsideTracker: chia seeds (daily tablespoon), avocado (one cup daily), chickpeas (one cup, four times a week), toasted sesame seeds (one ounce daily), rolled oats (one cup daily), pecans (one cup daily), sunflower seeds (one cup daily), almond butter (one tablespoon daily), pistachio nuts (one cup daily), almonds (one cup daily), Navy beans (one cup four times a week) and quinoa (one cup daily).

What’s next

That sounds like an incredible amount of nuts each day. I’ll definitely put more emphasis on almond butter, chickpeas, avocados, chia seeds and quinoa while having some nuts on a daily basis. It’s also worthwhile to look back at progress from my goals after my test five months ago.

After my April test, I included some next steps in my blog. Here they are along with a progress update:

  • Magnesium: Add a magnesium supplement. Achieved

  • Nuts: Hit daily target of consuming nuts or a nut butter. Maybe not daily, but pretty close

  • Water: Increase water consumption, especially with warmer weather here. Solid progress

  • Seeds: Increase seed consumption to four times weekly. Didn’t count this but sounds about right

  • New proteins: Experiment more with tofu, try out teff and adzuki beans. Yes on tofu, not yet on the others

  • Rest: Sleep longer and meditate more regularly. Not achieved

With my new set of data and recommendations from InsideTracker, here are the goals for the next several months:

  • Avocado: Have some daily.

  • Chickpeas: At least four times weekly.

  • Nuts: Hit daily target of consuming nuts or a nut butter.

  • Water: Increase water consumption, especially with warmer weather here.

  • Seeds: Increase chia seed to daily.

  • New proteins: Include more tofu, teff, Navy beans and adzuki beans in my diet.

  • Rest: Sleep longer.

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