What's your favorite self experiment?

I’ve been tracking myself for a while and have found some interesting patterns in my life. Now I would like to investigate those patterns more deeply through self (N=1) experimentation. What have been your favorite or most successful self experiments? Personal stories are great so I can learn where you’re coming from.

One experiment I would like to try goes like this:

  1. (Optional) Get your gut microbiome analyzed (services like uBiome2 do this for ~$90). They do 16S microbe RNA sequencing (not the more expensive ~$300 “shotgun” approach). Great info here1 if you’re interested.
    I believe uBiome’s report indicates potential food sensitivities (but I haven’t recieved mine yet, this might be true only for more expensive services like Viome). For example, they could say Bananas might spike your blood glucose, and you should consider avoiding them, or ideally, investigate further which leads us to…

  2. Conduct N=1 blood glucose trials with that food. On an empty stomach, measure your blood glucose (with finger-prick devices meant for diabetics but very useful to biohackers). Then eat the banana and see if you have an unacceptably large glucose spike (bad). You might want to repeat this a few times to be sure.

In the above example, the gut microbiome sequencing streamlines the process by providing a shortcut into which foods one should examine first, but isn’t strictly necessary.

Thanks for any advice!!

There are two microbiome services that are more specialized on diet recommendations than uBiome: DayTwo and Viome. @sprague recently did some testing to see how well their recommendations worked for him. To determine how you respond to different kinds of food you normally eat under typical circumstances, you’d need to do hundreds of finger-pricks… I recommend using a CGM.


This one was kind of fun to do but I have since slipped a little off the wagon again

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Not really “favourites”, but here’s my thoughts around the subject:

I have taken periods of changed diet or daily yoga, and I’ve learned some things from that, but my mistake was not doing proper tracking back then. I really wish I had at least my waist and head ache logs from my yoga and glutenfree experiments; the only things I have from 2016 i heart rate and activity from fitness tracker.

Right now I’m doing the Maffetone Two-Week Test for carbohydrate intolerance. I believe it would show more if I had a blood glucose measurement, but I hope it will show something in the secondary measures (like sleep quality or head ache) when reintroducing carbs again on friday (after two weeks).

For the future, I’m also planning to try out a 30 second high intensity training before any meal with carbs in it. It has been said (on a podcast, not sure which one it was, a recent one from either mindvalley or bulletproof radio) that the body reacts quite differently on the quick carbs after even as little as 30 seconds intensive exercise.

Another plan is to explore the resistant starch, but I think I should start logging the state of my stomach or poo more closely before that.

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To note with microbiome testing, I don’t necessarily think logging is required. I mostly see people do it before (possibly during) and after an experiment. It’s quite expensive, especially to get the much higher quality Shotgun sequencing method (of Viome, or DayTwo for ~$300 as @ejain recommended) instead of the cheaper 16S method (of uBiome for ~$90).

This is my favorite 1-stop-shop for microbiome resources right now, make sure to scroll a ways down to check out the “Microbiome Labs Overview” section for a comparison of service: https://thequantifiedbody.net/microbiome-labs-richard-sprague/
@sprague is the featured guest of that podcast, and has also warned (very recently) of potentially erroneous nature of microbiome testing on Twitter:

Viome and Daytwo use higher quality (and expensive) sequencing methods, but you can’t easily access the raw data, making them less useful for before/after testing. For experiments and QS purposes, the lower price and raw data availability of uBiome/Thryve is hard to beat.

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