Doug from Victoria, Canada
Actual Age: 51 / Internal Age: 22
“If you’re going to have a heart attack, the first indicator is usually the heart attack itself,” says Doug, a 51-year-old retired Naval Officer who I’m interviewing today.
Doug has been using iHeart to track his internal age for 6 months now and his active engagement in the Heart Health Community Facebook Group made him stand out as a fascinating user case. For 30-minutes, we spoke mostly about the vegan diet he adopted in January of this year after some blood tests encouraged him to take a more active role in his health.
Doug retired in the summer of 2015 after 25 years in the Canadian Navy, and the lack of daily physical training started to take its toll. Add to that the fact that winter in Quebec City, where he lived at the time of his retirement, makes exercising especially challenging, and the shape he’d been in for most of his life was becoming more challenging to maintain.
In 2016, he moved to Victoria, BC, where the milder winters permitted more frequent exercise. To his surprise, however, January’s blood work revealed high cholesterol. Despite frequently walking and cycling, generally eating well, and not smoking or drinking, Doug was pre-diabetic.
He researched his options and decided to challenge himself to completely remove animal products from his diet for 30 days. “I’d worked as a certified health and wellness coach for 18 months after retirement and had never come across this before, but I learned that not eating meat can help to lower cholesterol.” Within a very short period, Doug started noticing the physical benefits of his decision and at the end of the 30-days he had the same blood tests taken again. After just a month, he found that his numbers had all returned to normal including his C-reactive protein, a blood born indicator of inflammation, so he decided to keep up with veganism.
“Over the course of the 30-days, I was witnessing my baseline iHeart reading start to drop. That was a huge motivator. I had more energy and even walked 200,000 steps one week, which is double my normal amount.”
Throughout our conversation Doug is emphatic about his choice to become vegan. It’s now been 6 months and his iHeart baseline has dropped from an original internal age of 28 (not too bad in the first place!) to the low 20’s, averaging 22.
“If you’re going to focus on heart health, you can’t look at the heart in isolation. What you put on your fork really has an impact on your heart, and the body treats animal products like a threat.”
“iHeart is so simple to understand and it provides an internal dashboard for your heart and how its performing. We live in very interesting times and it was only a matter of time before something like this came up. I knew I had to try it! I’m 51 but I literally feel 21. I feel like I’m a fraud! I’m going through the world with a much younger sense of myself.”
Doug was keen to share a few of the resources that have contributed to his learning around this subject, including a couple of his favourite new breakfast recipes:
Berry & Oat Bowl
- Steel cut oats
- Three-blend berries
- Coconut sugar (small amount)
- Almond milk
- Salad mix
- Other assorted fruits and vegetables
- Coconut water