WomenWhoBiohack
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Biohacking For Women: An Introduction & Closer Look At Blood Labs That Don’t Lie

Talk about struggling to be part of the Boys Club.  “Biohacking for women” has TERRIBLE SEO results and no matter where I look, I can’t find a single woman to model my biohacking practices after.  My current idols include all of the usual suspects, Dave Asprey, Tim Ferriss, Abel James, (etc), but there are few public female biohackers. With North Korea and Iran high on my list of Things To-Do, I am fearless when it comes to pushing myself to the absolute limit (much to my mother’s dismay) so I’ve been playing ball with the boys and pushing body alongside them.  For the last 3 years, I’ve been hacking my body (and now my mind!) with food, habits, and supplements to build the life of my dreams. And now, I’m ready to share. But first:

Disclaimer: all material on this podcast is provided for information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this blogpost; readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and wellbeing.

All of my biohacking, habits, and supplement consumption is carefully documented and observed by my board-certified health practitioner. I encourage everyone to get blood work done before embarking on this journey to 1) be sure your body is in good physical condition to handle potential side effects and 2) to have a starting point.

So what is Biohacking?

“Biohacking is a crazy-sounding name for something not crazy at all-the desire to be the absolute best version of ourselves.”

There’s a great “Beginners Guide to Biohacking” on Bulletproof Exec that you can refer to for a more detailed explanation and breakdown. You can also watch CNN Money’s video-Smart Drugs: What Silicon Valley’s On for a quick snippet about what Biohacking is all about and what type of people engage in biohacking. There’s a bit of a negative undertone to it, but the reporter is just jelly that she’s not living the dream.
For me, my biohacking history unintentionally started when I was 16 years-old.  My Mom took me to a Naturopathic Doctor because I was in-and-out of the doctor’s office (and hospital!) with health issues ranging from constant colds/coughs to a wide range of stomach problems.  I was tired throughout the day, no matter how much sleep I got the night before, and I was missing 4-5 days of school a month-minimum-because of these chronic illnesses.

At 16, I lacked the maturity to really understand the importance of finding the source of my ailments versus just using subscriptions to suppress the symptoms.  But at 21, after a series of traumatic events, I decided that antidepressants or anxiety medicine was not an option for me. That’s when I discovered CrossFit and Paleo. Three years later, I’ve graduated from being a simple CrossFit junkie and have hacked my body and mind into an incredible force.

Today, I’m a healthy size 4/6 and can push 60 kilos (130 pounds) above my head, but I haven’t dieted in years. I can work 12 hour days without getting fatigued and sleep soundly immediately after.  My career is on fire, my relationships are concrete, and my self-confidence has never been higher.  People may not agree with biohacking, they may think it’s “voodoo magic,” but they cannot deny science; which is why I’ve chosen to publish my most recent blood labs for the world to enjoy.
DCIM105GOPRO

Daily Supplements:
– XCT Oil
– Probiotics
– GABA 
Food Staples:
– Lemon/Mint Water (2×1.5L per day)
– Unsalted Almonds
– Grass-fed Butter
– Coffee 
Gym Supplements:
– BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids 
Nootropics (“Smart Drugs”):
– Piracetam
– Aniracetam 

 

This might not seem like much, but I’ve seen loads of NOTICEABLE improvements when it comes to my overall performance.  The benefits of these staples/supplements can be found Bulletproof Exec and I encourage you to go read it for yourself.  I get most of my information from various podcasts about biohacking and nutrition because it’s WAY easier to absorb dense information from the world’s leading health and performance experts. My favorites are: Bulletproof Radio, Fat Burning Man, and Zestology (which I work for!).  Because I’m constantly hunting for new experts to be on Zestology, I’m exposed to a variety of opinions and experts that I may or may not agree with.  Also, each body has different needs so what works for me may not work for you and vice versa, but that’s part of the fun of being a human guinea pig!

I eat a grain-free & dairy-free diet, but I’ve stopped referring to myself as “Paleo” or anything like that because it’s too limiting.  I eat low inflammatory foods and try to avoid sugary “Paleo-alternatives” because I want to be completely free of my food cravings and not just substitute them for something else.  With that being said, I am a slave to dark chocolate and there’s nothing anyone can say about it to change my mind.  When I say I haven’t “dieted in years” that’s because I literally eat whatever I want, but not necessarily everything that you want to eat.  After reading about the impact that grains and dairy have on the human body and through personal experimentation, I’ve cut out any desire, craving, or thought about these things. Period. Sometimes I indulge because I have to while traveling, but I never wake up thinking, “today I want a pizza.” My tastebuds have also changed so I don’t think that these things taste good anymore.  It’s not a gimmick, it’s not me trying to “inspire you,” it’s just how I feel.

Changing my diet allows me to absorb all of the good minerals and vitamins from food and not supplements. Supplements should be consumed as supplements and not as primary sources of nutrients.

If you won’t take my word for it, let’s just take a look at my lab work. The most extreme improvements can be seen in the following areas:

Haemoglobin (Red Cells)
– You’ll notice that my Haemoglobin score of 153 is WELL towards the high range of the 115-155 normal score.  This compliments my HTC score of 0.453 (range 0.33-0.45) and my Red Cell Count of 5.16 (range 3.95 – 5.15) which means, according to my doctor, that I have fantastic amounts of iron in my blood and energy for DAYS.  My Ferritin (Iron) score was a whopping 142 (range 13-150) with the female average coming in at less than 27 ug/L.

If you’re tired ALL THE TIME, your iron levels to could be to blame.  Look at your food sources and whether or not you’re consuming enough good leafy veggies.

LDL (Bad) Cholesterol
– There are two types of cholesterol: good and bad.  To hear an expert on Cholesterol clear up the confusion, listen to Bulletproof Radio’s interview with Chris Masterjohn here.  Chris is currently pursuing a PhD in Nutritional Sciences with a concentration in Biochem and Molecular Nutrition and he is SSOOOO much more qualified than me to speak on the issue, so I won’t even try.
– Now my LDL (Bad) Cholesterol comes in at 4.5 which is higher than the recommended cap of 3.0.  High cholesterol is a HUGE issue for my family and genetic so I was born to fail from the get-go; with that being said, I did drop down from where I use to be in college by 2/3s! It’s a long journey ahead and the odds are against me, but I feel confident in the strides I’ve made so far.  My doctor gave me some great natural cholesterol reducing options to pursue instead of taking Statins, which have had negative side effects on family members in the past.

DAMN YOU GENETICS!

ESR (Inflammation) 
– My ESR inflammation score of 5 is on the bottom range of the average 1-20 mm/hr because I intentional avoid inflammatory foods and managing my stress. This cuts down on brain fog, chronic illnesses, and cuts my risk for infections, cancers, and autoimmune diseases. Here’s an awesome article on the negative impacts of Inflammation (and what to do about it!) to consider before changing your own lifestyle.

If you want to really take a look at my labs, you can see that I’m well within all the the recommended ranges according to my board-certified GP and the lab professionals.  In fact, I’m well ABOVE the average score for women of my age and basically a vision of health… basically, almost, but not really.  There’s always room for improvements.

DCIM103GOPROBiohacking isn’t for everyone.  I’m not trying to sell you on this smart drug or trying to convince you that this food is “bad” for you.  I don’t care what you choose to do with your body and you shouldn’t care about what I do with mine.  I’m trying to create a safe space for female biohackers to know that they are not alone in the fight.  There’s a certain type of person who finds joy in biohacking and many of them can be found in high stress environments, like Silicon Valley.  If this doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in, that’s fine too.  As a woman entrepreneur in tech, I just want to support my fellow females in whatever paths they may choose because the world is a big lonely place.  So let’s make it smaller together.

Check out more photos like these on Instagram! It’s my fav.

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About Vanessa Elizabeth

Vanessa Elizabeth is a cultural chameleon currently based in London. She enjoys sports (such as CrossFit and dating), cooking, and demolishing her savings account. When she's not busy blogging about her feelings, she works full-time and practices Chinese with her English/German friends.

  • Mallory Jacks

    The discussion has begun! Thank you for putting out this content. I too am looking for female biohackers for guidance and inspiration. Looks like we just might be breaking ground here. I run social media for a nootropics info site http://www.nootropedia.com!