Canary in the mine


DISCLAIMER: Consult with your physician before making dietary changes that may affect your health. I am a data point of n=1.

I realize I’m an oldster (56) and a canary in the mine, but I wanted to share the results of my adhering to my DIY “cardiac chow” in my attempts to improve my lipid panel stats. The aim of my adaptation is to provide a more heart-friendly soylent, following Dean Ornish’s and Caldwell Esselstyn’s guidelines.

I started on my DIY on July 20, after starting to eat heart healthy in June. I’ve used it for 95+% of my meals. I tinker with it constantly, and the recipe has been through many iterations. It started out as a fruit smoothie and is currently more of a canonical (dry ingredient) soylent. The nutrition profile is tweaked from the U.S. Gov profile for a 55+ male. I recently had a comprehensive metabolic panel run and had normal results across the board.

This recipe contains 12% fat, but only 3 grams per day of saturated fat; the remainder of the fats are unsaturated and omegas. To accomplish this 12%, the oil component is omitted completely. Additionally, cholesterol is less than 10 mg and sodium less than 1500 mg. I take 2 fish oil capsules for Omega-3 and -6 fats to compensate for the omission of the oil component, not for cardiac reasons, but rather for their other general health benefits. The vitamin K does not meet US Gov DRI, but this is desirable in my case, as I am on anticoagulants. It has a lot of fiber for CV and GI reasons, and it makes it more filling.

Below are my last three lipid panels, which show continuous improvement. My ratio would be lower, but for my stubbornly low HDL, which doesn’t budge upwards even with exercise. However, HDL by itself is not a reliable indicator–I had a heart attack at the end of May! Note: I’ve been on a statin throughout this time period.

Results for 5/16/14
Cholesterol 169
Triglycerides 156
HDL 44
LDL 94
Chol/HDL. 3.8

Results for 7/21/14
Cholesterol 123
Triglycerides 116
HDL 28
LDL 72
Chol/HDL 4.4

Results for 9/25/14
Cholesterol. 100
Triglycerides 90
HDL 28
LDL 54
Chol/HDL. 3.6

Again – a big fat YMMV here, but for my purposes, my DIY has served me admirably. I plan on adding more heart healthy meals as my repertoire expands, but the DIY is a great base to build from.


You may want to read a few articles on whole blood viscosity.


AFAIK I did not have unusual viscosity. I currently have a sample being tested for abnormal clotting, but my cardiologists at U-Mich consider that unlikely. However, I’m being treated with a strong blood thinner as a precautionary measure (SOP for post-MI patients).

I am a puzzling case as my numbers appear relatively benign, yet I have very aggressive heart disease. So I do everything I can on my end.

I will most def read up on WBV however. Thanks.