Yours Truly Does WellnessFX

_IAP8989Blogger. Novelist. Student doctor. Husband. Health freak. Nature-lover. That’s me.

You might not think you know me, but unless you’re new to the blog (which is great: welcome!), we’ve met before. I’ve been writing for WellnessFX since last August and have brought you testimonials, health news, exciting updates, and button-preserving recipes to get you through the holidays alive. So, yeah – we’ve met.

I’ve long been interested in health, fitness, and writing and I landed the perfect opportunity of contributing to the WellnessFX’s media team shortly after sending off my applications for medical school. I’ll be attending the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the fall. I’m truly excited about taking what I’ve learned about preventive medicine during my time with WellnessFX and applying it in my professional career.

Now that we’ve been formerly introduced, I have a story to share. It’s time for my draw. This is the WellnessFX experience. Uncensored and uncut.

The Platform

Let’s get some logistics out of the way first. WellnessFX offers a plethora of options, from Annual Checkup and Baseline to advanced panels like Thyroid and Performance. I am currently going through WellnessFX Baseline, which includes an extremely comprehensive panel of biomarkers and a 20-minute consult with a nutritionist/personal trainer.

The first thing you’ll be exposed to after becoming a WellnessFX member is the awesome interface. One of my college classmates and good friends (I heard about WellnessFX through him) helped design the interface all of our members use today, so I expected good things. After signing up for Baseline I was immediately able to see where I’d be analyzing my results, scheduling my consults, and going over my recommendations. It really is an easy-on-the-eyes, intuitive, painless interface to navigate. There’s a useful and friendly checklist near the top of the page that reminds me what I still have to take care of, like my medical history, for instance.

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Speaking of which . . .

“You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you came from.”

WellnessFX requires a short questionnaire to make sure your experience (especially the consult) is best tailored to you. At a total of 40 simple questions, I found this section ‘quick and easy.’ No, really, it was! I started answering questions at 1:43 p.m. and ended at 1:49 p.m. Granted, I don’t have much medical history to include. I have no allergies, am not on any medications, and don’t have a pre-existing condition.

Here are some of the type of questions I had to answer:

  • Who in my immediate family has had heart disease, diabetes, and cancer (the big three)?
  • Am I on medications?
  • How often do I workout?
  • What is my diet? (Here’s the cool part: I put in Paleo and the next couple of questions were tailored towards that. I was asked if I consume: grain fed meat, grains, or dairy. In other words, how hardcore Paleo are you really?)

The medical history step is essential to make sure you don’t spend 20 minutes talking about how to get your cholesterol down when you’re already on medication on it, for example.

The Draw

We often have in-office draws, one of the many perks of working for such an awesome team. While this isn’t completely reflective of the average member’s experience, I can say two things:

  1. It was pretty quick and relatively painless.
  2. I’ve read a LOT of customer testimonials, and most people have the same experience.

The LabCorp representative took three vials of blood and let me watch as he labeled each one using the information I printed out beforehand. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight at the time to have a co-worker snap a picture of me. I promise, however, that I would have been smiling. Instead, here’s a picture of me during an activity that was ten times as stressful: the banana hold.

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“I’d much rather be getting my blood drawn right now . . . “

The Results

I received my blood draw on Wednesday, May 8. My results were available online Friday, May 10. I was on the train when I got the e-mail notification and was able to immediately sign on to the mobile app and check out my numbers. Now how cool is that?

If I saw this much green every day I’d be rich enough to retire at the ripe old age of 25:

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Judging by the color coding, most of my numbers look really good. All that green, however, just made the one red stick out even more. As it turns out, I can easily highlight that problematic area and learn more about it. Here’s what that looks like:

Perfect. Perfect. Perfect . . . D'OH!!!

Perfect. Perfect. Perfect . . . D’OH!!!

Okay, A-Pob, let's see what your problem is . . .

Okay, A-Pob, let’s see what your problem is . . .

Is it wrong that I'm glad I have something I need to improve?

Is it wrong that I’m glad I have something I need to improve?

Choosing a Consult

I’m not going to lie. I have access to the (anonymous) feedback given for each of our practitioners. As you can see from some of my past posts, we all review the user feedback to encourage a better product all-around. So I have an inherit advantage in picking from whom I want to learn how to live my life. And you know what? It didn’t really matter. In all honesty, a vast majority of the feedback we receive is so positive that in the end I chose my practitioner based on my personal preferences.

In case you didn’t catch that: I have inside knowledge and I don’t even care! The pool is so great I knew I couldn’t go wrong.

So how did I choose a practitioner? My thought process went a little something like this:

  1. Practitioner or MD?  MD’s cost a little more and it seems they are best for people who have pre-existing issues or reasons that they really want to get into the thick of their numbers. My main priority? Keeping up good numbers, improving where I can, and making the best out of this paleo lifestyle.
  2. I played around with the specialty tab. I’ve been trying to eat Paleo for about a year now and I’ve been heavy into weight-lifting and working out since I was fourteen. I narrowed the practitioners own to those specializing in ‘Paleo’ and ‘Athletic and Fitness.’
  3. I’d like to say my next step was combing through all of the options, checking out people’s mission statements, seeing which interests matched perfectly with my goals. In reality? I glanced at the avatars and was sold when I saw this:

photos-original-5That’s Phil Menagh. His bio is pretty impressive, but here’s what stood out to me (yes, I did actually go back and read what he’s all about to validate my admittedly shallow vetting process):

  • Dietitian with Board Certification in Sports Nutrition
  • CrossFit Box owner, athlete, and strength and conditioning coach.
  • Strong belief in starting with real food first, smart supplementation second, and medications only when needed.
  • Specializes in Paleo Diet.

Sounds perfect. I can’t wait.

My consult is this Wednesday. Stay tuned for more insight and thoughts as I go through the WellnessFX experience. In the meantime (and this part is important): ask questions! But ask me as another WellnessFX member. Think of this as a chance to ask someone who’s going through the process what it’s like, what my options are, etc, etc! Any in-depth support should still go to Customer Service.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.