Incredible bloodwork results at the end of HealthKwest

Disclaimer: This post is part of my participation in the Genghis Grill Health Kwest Challenge. #Healthkwest #GenghisGrillAd

Before sharing the big news, I want to share a bit of background on why this is such a big deal to me (but if you want to skip down to the charts to get the big news, go for it.)

The background: My wife is a medical doctor so as you can imagine she cares a lot about my health. She can’t be my doctor (generally a bad idea for a doctor to treat their own family) but she can’t help but worry about my health, especially since in her medical practice she sees the real impacts of the choices we all make about diet and exercise.

I’ve tried hard to live in a healthy way since getting married (3-1/4 years ago), but it hasn’t been easy. I have type 2 diabetes which causes a lot of related health issues, and hence requires a lot of regular monitoring. So in December of last year, I got some bad news on my blood work. While my blood sugar levels were under control, I was seeing some very bad things when it come to the composition of the cholesterol in my blood. My total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides were all too high and my HDL (“good”) cholesterol was to low. Based on this information, my doctor decided to put me on a statin. I was not keen on doing this, but I understood that the risk factors for heart disease are much higher for diabetics, so I agreed.

And then a few weeks later I got word that I was chosen to be a finalist in the Genghis Grill Health Kwest. I decided to push hard in the contest to lose weight but didn’t expect the diet to make a real dent in these numbers. Despite this, I decided to get another round of bloodwork done so I could compare my “before” and “after” numbers from HealthKwest. (this would be the February numbers in the charts below)

Then I did (and am still doing, until tomorrow) HealthKwest. I restricted my calories (at first 1800-2000, later 1500-1800 per day) and exercised a lot (normally ranging from 1-3 hours per day). I of course ate at Genghis Grill every day, but was strategic in how I built my bowls:

1. Ration meats (4-5 oz. per bowl) or use tofu and beans instead of meat.
2. Ration or eliminate carbs – At first I did half serving of brown rice, later I went with cabbage instead of rice.
3. Load up on the veggies and fruit – I aimed to make my bowls at least double the size of my bowls in the past, which took some careful stacking.
4. Use the regular portion of sauce, but go with some of the lower calorie choices.
5. Use soy sauce and spices freely to boost the flavor.

And then for my other meals of the day I went with the same approach. All of the veggies and fruits I wanted, limited meats and carbs.

As for beverages, I mostly drank water, unsweetened iced tea, hot tea and coffee. And on most days I enjoyed a 4 oz glass of wine.

In other words, this is a very healthy doable diet, full of fresh and tasty foods.

And I’ve seen results. I have lost weight, but I’ve also had increased blood sugar control (enough that I’m now off of my diabetic medicines). And I’ve felt great.

But it gets better.

The Big News:

Today I got my new blood work results from this week. Here are the charts that show my results over the last few months, followed by the American Heart Association’s Guidelines for the particular cholesterol level in question:

:Total Cholesterol Chart

Less than 200 mg/dL Desirable
200-239 mg/dL Borderline-high risk
240 mg/dL and above Very High risk


Triglycerides chart



Less than 150 mg/dL Desirable
150–199 mg/dL Borderline-high risk
200–499 mg/dL High risk
500 mg/dL or higher Very high risk



LDL Chart

LDL Cholesterol Level Classification*
Less than 100 mg/dL Desirable
100–129 mg/dL Near optimal/above optimal
130–159 mg/dL Borderline high
160–189 mg/dL High risk
190 mg/dL and above Very high risk

*Risk factors for heart disease include: family history of early heart problems (before age 55 for men, and before age 65 for women), smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, being male and over 45 or female and over 55, and having HDL levels below 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women.
HDL Chart


HDL Cholesterol Level Classification
Less than 40 mg/dL for men; less than 50 mg/dL for women Major heart disease risk factor
60 mg/dL or higher Gives some protection against heart disease



Conclusion: After getting today’s results, my doctor is now pulling me off my statin prescription (and of course I’m also off all of my diabetes medicine). Instead she wants me to continue eating and exercising like I have on HealthKwest. I think this is a prescription I can follow.  Such incredible news!

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