We took a comprehensive wellness test with surprising results
Heavy metals in South Bay sand? Who knew?
- Illustrated byChristine Georgiades
We all know that knowledge is power, but when it comes to our own bodies there is so little we actually know about what’s going on inside us. And this is not for lack of wanting to know … it’s lack of information or a way to test how our bodies are actually performing under the stress of our daily lives and the environment we live in.
Many of us in the South Bay are health-conscious—we strive to exercise regularly and eat organic foods when we have the option. Some of us also take a mindful approach to de-stressing, with helpful practices such as meditation. But it still left us curious: Was there any impact? And how can we measure the results?
The Solution, located in Hermosa Beach (thesolutioniv.com), offers a comprehensive test to see how well our bodies are actually performing. These tests not only show how we are treating our own bodies but also how our bodies are performing in relation to our environment. In the past, in-depth tests like these were usually only available to super-athletes, but now The Solution is making this accessible to everyone.
So we decided to check it out. We’re both the same age and live somewhat similar lifestyles. We took the test and compared notes!
Tanya: I was going into this test quite confidently expecting my results to show how well I take care of my body. I feel like I eat well and exercise regularly, so I was hoping the test would be a confirmation that what I’m doing for my body is working … kind of a stamp of approval.
Darren: I went in just the opposite. Although I’m a pretty healthy person, I was sure they were going to find some big deficiencies.
T: My main concern was that I might not be absorbing some of the nutrients I was eating due to the fact that my gallbladder was removed eight years ago.
D: Interesting. Let’s go over the testing process.
T: This was pretty painless and not time-consuming. We booked an appointment, filled out some paperwork and showed up to The Solution to give them a urine sample and get blood drawn at their office. They then put both of us on a special InBody composition analyzer, which measures the percentage of your body fat, muscle and water balance. Measuring your weight alone is not the best indicator for one’s overall health. This machine gives you a comprehensive analysis of your BMI, your percentage of body fat in segmented areas such as your arms and legs, your skeletal muscle mass and your basal metabolic rate. Amazingly, this machine breaks down a lot of valuable information in less than 60 seconds. Our blood was sent to a diagnostic center, and that information was graphed and sent back to The Solution.
D: Once they received it, we came back to hear our full-body analysis. Lauren at The Solution took the time to go over the whole test and explain it all in layman’s terms and answer any questions or concerns. They also work out a plan to get you back on track in the areas you might need help on. I like having a roadmap.
T: OK, D. Let’s talk vitamin D.
D: Both of us were low on that. But I guess that’s pretty common for most people.
T: This information to me was crazy because I am in the sun every day living in Southern California, raising three very active children. I even take a daily vitamin D supplement. But apparently my sunscreen is blocking all UV from entering my body.
D: How about your post-gallbladder removal concern?
T: I’m actually absorbing the fatty acids from my food, which I thought would be a problem without my gallbladder.
D: What else was surprising for you?
T: I found that I was lacking in alpha lipoic acid, some major B vitamins, magnesium and slightly low on my omega-3s. I also found that I had a high heavy metal marker—especially my mercury levels. This was alarming to me because apparently the majority of us living in the South Bay have high mercury levels, which means that this may also be an environmental issue. And not just because I love sushi.
D: My heavy metal levels were normal, but I also spend less time at the beach. But I do love my sushi.
T: Anything that surprised you about your results?
D: That my levels were all pretty normal. I had a couple deficiencies, but nothing catastrophic. I started taking a few supplements, like B and D, to balance things out. But overall it was good news.
T: I felt so empowered by learning all of this information about my body that I decided to take another test that offers to check my gastrointestinal system. Bacteria live throughout your body, but the ones in your gut may have the biggest impact on your wellbeing as they line your entire digestive system, mostly living in your intestines and colon. They affect everything from your metabolism to your mood to your immune system.
D: What did you find out?
T: This test can tell you so much about what is happening in your gut—whether you have an infection, an imbalance of bacteria or are possibly carrying a parasite. After my GI test results, I also realized I needed a powerful probiotic to keep my gut in check. Knowledge is power, and now I feel with all of this information I am truly proactively working with that knowledge to better my health. It’s a powerful feeling.
D: Have you made any other changes post-tests?
T: Lauren gave me a list of foods I could eat to help me in the areas where my body is lacking essential nutrients and vitamins. I am taking daily supplements that she recommended to help boost these deficiencies, as well as some supplements to help with my metal detoxification. I have been on this regimen for about three months, and I feel great! I have energy, my skin is clearer, I haven’t been sick and I generally feel healthier and stronger.
D: You look marvelous! Let’s keep up the good work in 2019.
To celebrate Chef Makoto’s first lead performance on The Food Network’s Iron Chef America, Sashi welcomed Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Top Chef champion Michael Voltaggio, Ironnori’s Noriyuki Sugie and Patina’s Waylynn Lucas for a once in a lifetime culinary experience. Guests enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a six-course tasting menu, and a special screening of Chef Makoto’s episode. Photography by Aaron Bush, aaronbush.com.