Debug Me: Learn to Optimise Your Personal Health

Written by Christopher Kelly

Nov. 18, 2015

I’m standing on stage at QCon San Francisco ready to give my presentation of Floyd’s results and I’m certain I’m about to become one of those people whose mind goes blank in front of live audience. I’m used to public speaking, my podcast recently reached 50,000 downloads per month, but nothing would have prepared me for this. I rehearsed and recorded my talk on YouTube so that Dr. Tommy Wood could review everything I was about to say. Perhaps I could just press play and then sit down with the audience? Turns out it’s not so easy.

If you’ve ever wondered what causes cotton mouth on stage

It’s norepinephrine: the dastardly catecholamine closely related to the stress hormone cortisol that features heavily as a topic in my talk. Save a few schoolboy errors, a slide depicting my sexual dysfunction that could easily have caused offense, staring at the slides I knew almost by heart instead of making eye contact with the audience, my talk went well. There were lots of questions at the end, so many that eventually my group was ushered out into the corridor, surely a good sign.

The opportunity to be on stage and talk to an audience of 100 doesn’t come easily

For the past three months, I’ve been working with Floyd, the cofounder and CEO of C4Media, the company behind the QCon software developer conference, and If you’ve ever had the chance to meet him, you’ll know his attention to detail and focus can be intimidating at times. Floyd came to me as a referral from entrepreneur and Paleo Living Magazine editor Jeremy Hendon, and his main complaint was fatigue that limited him at work.

I love working with developers

Floyd is a software developer, and I love working with developers because they are technical, competitive, wiley and smart. Point them in the right direction and they always get great results. When a developer orders a biomedical test, they always do a great job of figuring out exactly what the results mean.

Floyd was cautious at first and did his due diligence throughout

Floyd came to me with test results in hand and looking for a second opinion after the practitioner who ordered the tests offered an expensive and complicated solution. Salivary cortisol was low, a stool parasitology and microbial study showed infection and overgrowth. A urinary toxic elements test showed high levels of lead and mercury, but I doubted this test’s utility as the reference ranges were questionable, something I discussed in my talk. Micronutrient testing showed a deficiency of vitamin B12.

Using the saliva and stool test results, I designed a supplement protocol that would support Floyd’s adrenal function and kill the bacterial and parasitic infections. Floyd checked the ingredients on everything, always looking for an appropriate correlation between the prescription and the test results. He even asked for a third opinion, and eventually chose my protocol.

Feeling so much better

Floyd has been taking supplements and implementing some of my diet and lifestyle hacks such as monitoring blood glucose, and just weeks later, he “feels so much better”. If he didn’t I might not have had the chance to be up there on stage!

The transcript that follows

Is a follow-up call made between Floyd and my wife Julia. Julia is a food scientist and nutrition coach working along side me at Nourish Balance Thrive. I’m hoping that this extremely honest insight will help you know what it’s like to do some testing and fix the problems that you find.

Julia:    I'd like to ask is when you were thinking about starting to work with us, what was going on in your mind at that time? Was there any obstacle that was standing in your way that was maybe preventing you from working with us or anything that was maybe just holding you back a little bit and what cleared that up for you?

Floyd:    It's a really good question because I probably was an unusual client. Okay, so I'll take the context of the question to be after I had the initial consults, is that what you mean?

Julia:    Yes.

Floyd:    I did a bunch of tests with a different practitioner who turned around and had an unexpectedly high price tag and kind of membership thing and I didn't want that. I just want a protocol, someone I trust, I'll do it. I'm more of a do-it-yourself kind of guy. So I asked for referrals and Jeremy Hendon recommended Chris and I liked the protocol that I got. And Chris worked off the test that I had already done.

Initially, what held me back, I was still -- I didn't really know enough myself about the space and about the specific protocols to address the parasite and bacterial amounts that I had. I guess the main thing that held me back a little bit initially was Chris just sounded little uncertain when he was saying certain things in the call. I would tell him this directly too because I ended up choosing to work with you guys in the end and it turns out your protocol was great and just the way he explained it, I felt a little, didn't feel very confident because it's my health so I was very concerned.

He said, a few things, "Oh, a multivitamin should sort that out." When you say the word "should" to someone in the context of their health, it doesn't quite sound good, right? And I asked a few very specific questions about what, why this particular thing was prescribed and his answers didn't sound very scientific. So that kind of made me hold back and go and do more research.

The third practitioner gave me a protocol and then I personally compared all the protocols and the ingredients and what they say they're for and I compared it against what the Doctor's Data results and some of the other reports said were the best practices. And in the end it turns out that your protocol was the right one. It's just that the names of some of the ingredients didn't line up. For example, quassia was said to be a common as antimicrobial agent for all the parasites I had but I was looking for quassia as a keyword in the ingredients that you gave but it wasn't there. But then I discovered that amargo is another word for quassia because quassia is Latin.

Julia:   The names are very confusing.

Floyd:    Yes. So, for you in particular, I was kind of looking to see, okay, Doctor's Data says this is what I should take. I was looking for those ingredients in the prescription and it turns out they were all there. It's just under different names. So once I discovered them, I thought - oh wow, okay, so your suggestion was actually the best one.

I like your do-it-yourself nature of your programs, like suggesting uBiome and the heart rate tracker, which I haven't done it yet. With you guys, I learned how to monitor my own blood glucose, which is nice, as opposed to this other practitioner, had this crazy monthly fee and would kind of just take you step by step. I don't really need that. I just wanted to work with someone that knows what they're doing, would tell me to do it and I can go in an evidence-based manner. Yeah. So, in the end, you guys were the best. It wasn't clear from that first call. I was a little uncertain in the manner Chris delivered his prognosis. Anyway, I don't want to sound negative.

Julia:    No, not at all.

Floyd:    At the end of the day, I'm working with you, guys.

Julia:    That's why we’re doing this--we thought you'd have a really thoughtful answer and that's how we grow and get better. If we wanted just sunshiny feedback, we would have called different people.

Floyd:    So here's the thing. Maybe this is just me but I kind of expected to see kind of a one to one solutions to all the things that were on the test because that's the purpose -- I thought that's the reason to get the test, is I'm going in an evidence-based manner. So for example, there's one thing I didn't do that Chris asked. I didn't get that Thorne multivitamin because I'm already kind of a juicer and blender and that, and I actually scored really high for the majority of the nutrients on those tests. It was only three in particular that was below average.

A different practitioner had told me which specific ones to take like folate and K2 and B12. So rather than take the Thorne multivitamin, I just took the specific ones I needed for my specific situation because I blend fruits and vegetables and add phytoplankton to my water. I don't want to take a multivitamin if I'm already taking more of a food oriented supplementation approach.

Julia:    I think that's great. The multivitamin is something that we do recommend to everybody. A lot of our clients are really educated and far more kind of in line with your approach, but there's also a lot of people that don't and so it's just one of those nice blanket things that we can recommend. I think that you're doing the right thing.

Floyd:    Yeah. So maybe just for me, I might want to see was -- Okay, based on your specific results, you might want to take these specific vitamin supplements. Or here's a multivitamin that will take care of everything.

Julia:    Okay. That's perfect.

What did you find as a result of working with us?

Floyd:    Oh, I feel so much better. First of all, I feel like I got a great value because I ordered exactly what I need and we got the consult and you told me what to do. It's excellent value. I don't feel like I'm being strung along to pay more money for things that are kind of obvious or common sense. You guys are really no nonsense, here's what you should do and here's how you can take care of yourself. And I really like that because I'm very self-sufficient person in general.

I feel like it is do-it-yourself. I feel at home with you guys. I can just go and order more test when it's the right time. On the converse, I don't sometimes know when is the right time to do certain things but I think I was supposed to have the follow-up consult with Chris. I'm going to do that next week. So he'll tell me what to do. That's good. But, yeah, overall, I feel better. I feel what I'd been taking to address adrenal and parasites is working. I feel, my gut feels tremendously better than before. And I'm a believer. I was a bit of afraid taking something that sounds like a steroid like pregnenolone but I do feel better.

Julia:    That's good. You have to remember that the supplements are a short term fix. It's not supposed to be on it for the rest of your life.

What are other benefits about working with us? Have you found any other benefits?

Floyd:    I think the benefit is that I can always email and ask question and I get a response. Sometimes I feel guilty because I feel like I haven't paid you guys enough to give me that kind of help. You answer my questions. I haven't asked that many but when I have it's cool. I've been not paying a monthly fee but Chris is available to answer questions which is nice.

Julia:    Hopefully that can continue. We're still not sure if that's the best business model but we do really enjoy working with everybody. I think that's something that Chris really enjoys, he also continuously learns by helping everybody that way. So he's learned a ton just by doing it. It's part of our kind of ongoing education. But, yes, the time it takes to do that for everyone quickly becomes overwhelming.

The next question I have is: would you recommend Nourish Balance Thrive to others or have you recommended Nourish Balance Thrive to others?

Floyd:    I would and the fact that I recommended him as a speaker at my own conference is a big deal, that's a big endorsement. Yeah, he's talking to his own people there, computer scientists. And you'll be impressed that QCon is the only gluten free tech conference in the world.

Julia:    I am thoroughly impressed and excited.

Floyd:    I care about health. We even have gluten free pasta at QCon and we also put bread on the table as an option. In the past, we didn't. We got a lot of complaints. But all the actual buffet dishes are gluten free.

Julia:    That's awesome. I'm really excited about that. I'm really looking forward to taking part in that and seeing it at all. It's going to be really cool.

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