Neuroplasticity and the “New Year, New You” Craze

Hi everyone –

Happy 2024! There’s something special about entering a new year. It might seem arbitrary to mark a new beginning on a calendar, but I find joy in the collective spirit of starting afresh. Life, after all, is a series of new beginnings.

In my last newsletter, I delved into why we often fail at maintaining resolutions. This time, I’m focusing on strategies to make our goals more achievable, starting with a crucial step: bloodwork.

Recently, a friend shared an Instagram post from a well-known fitness influencer who began the year with extensive health commitments, including a full range of medical tests. My friend wondered if this was over the top. My initial response was: if you have the resources, why not?

Some of these tests listed actually could be excessive, and most will be out of pocket and pretty expensive. There is also the reality that there is a lot of unnecessary testing in the medical community that the American Board of Internal Medicine and others are rightly trying to dissuade (sadly, a lot of it is driven by providers fearing legal action if they don’t do “everything” even when not medically warranted.)

But in a world where 60% of our workforce has a chronic condition, 30% have 2+ conditions, 50% of cancers are preventable, and younger and younger people are living with diabetes, obesity, inflammatory conditions infertility and GI issues, everyone should get bloodwork when it’s so widely available and the benefits are so widely established. These tests are vital for early detection of diseases. Often, waiting for symptoms to appear means facing more significant health challenges.

Foundational blood tests are frequently overlooked, yet they are crucial. They can detect early problems, leading to impactful interventions, prevention, or even reversal of chronic illnesses, and in some cases, can be life-saving. Beginning the year with this data provides a baseline and measurable goals, fostering accountability and motivation through clear, quantifiable targets.

However, merely getting tested isn’t enough. It’s equally important to consult a doctor who can interpret the results within the context of your personal health history and lifestyle.

This January, I’m undergoing several tests. Most are part of Parsley’s standard annual bloodwork panel. I’ve also chosen additional tests to optimize specific health aspects, understanding my lifestyle’s risks and my health history. Having had three children in the past six years, I’m vigilant about monitoring for health issues I’ve previously faced and those I’m at risk for.

My Personalized Parsley Baseline Labs:

  1. CBC – Red and white blood cell counts
  2. CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel) includes electrolytes, kidney function and liver function, plus GGTP a measure of liver oxidative stress.
  3. Thyroid: TSH, Free T3, Free T4,  (+ Thyroid autoimmune antibodies if you are a new and symptomatic)
  4. Key Nutrients: Vitamin D3 as Vitamin D, 0H-25, B12, Folate, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc, Copper, Ferritin
  5. Blood Sugar: Hemoglobin A1C, and fasting Insulin
  6. Inflammation: hsCRP, ESR, homocysteine
  7. Toxins: Mercury, Lead
  8. Free and Total Testosterone, and DHEA-S: Because I am focused on building lean muscle mass this year! Note: I’m skipping estrogen and estrogen metabolites, and progesterone as I don’t have symptoms that I would act on using these numbers at the moment – and I test regularly – but at Parsley, we do test full hormones for those patients who have indications.
  9. Advanced Heart Health: Lipid Panel (Total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, Triglycerides) and Apo-B and Lpa.

This panel will give me an overall picture of where I’m on track, where I’m at risk, where I’m off course, and where I have room to optimize. Reminder: having a normal result doesn’t mean you have an optimal result!

I’ll share my results when they are back and what I’m doing to move the numbers. Knowing your stats is a very compelling way to maintain a resolution. At the end of the day, we all need a way to track progress. Without the data, especially when it comes to our health, we tend to drift.


Product Recommendations:

  1. I’ve been taking Host Defense Lions Mane Mushroom supplements regularly for focus and cognitive function. I was taking them at night but experimented in the morning and I’ve noticed enhanced daytime clarity.
  2. I have been loving Endura from Metagenics for overall hydration, clarity and a reboot the morning after having a glass of wine (which disrupts my sleep every time).

What’s New at Parsley: If you’re thinking about resolutions and testing, Parsley can help. Use my code RBMD50BACK on sign up for $50 back after your first medical visit!. Note that this code can’t be combined with other offers.

‘Til next time,