GlycanAge is a biological age test paired with expert advice to help guide your wellness.

An All Encompassing Guide for Starting Your Health Journey

Join me in a discussion about health from two newbies and find out how to start your health journey in a way that will bring real, long-term results. If you want to make some changes in your life but aren’t sure where to start, this interview is the perfect first step.
Vanja Maganjić

With all due respect to all my other interviewees, this is a special one, since I got to interview my dear friend Marko Tarnaj. Join me in a discussion about health from two newbies and find out how to start your health journey in a way that will bring real, long-term results. If you want to make some changes in your life but aren’t sure where to start, this interview is the perfect first step.

Marko, tell me how you got started on your health journey. What inspired you to take your first test?

I really wanted to make some changes in my life, because I felt like my health had taken the back seat. So once we got a company-wide email asking if we’re interested in having our GlycanAge tested, I jumped at the opportunity. 

I think that the fact we got to do this as a company played a big part in it since it ended up being a bit competitive. We’re a young team so I recommended that whoever gets the worst score has to pay for everyone. However, we very quickly abandoned that idea. 

Ok, I’m hooked, tell us what type of results did you guys get? 

Haha… let’s just say that our sedentary lifestyle got the best of us. We got tested right after my 28th birthday and my GlycanAge was 46. As soon as we got the results, I knew I wanted to improve my score. 

What changes did you implement after the first test? 

Firstly, I knew that my diet was terrible and I was probably drinking more than I should’ve. I started to slowly change my diet by preparing my own meals instead of eating takeaway. I know that there are healthier options to choose from when you’re ordering food, but still, it tends to be very greasy. 

When I started to work from home, I ended up discovering easy recipes and started cooking for myself. My GlycanAge result was definitely the push I needed in order to improve my diet. 

Fitness-wise, not much changed. I have to admit that I have held a pretty regular regiment for years now. I would either go to the gym or work out at home, I’ve always stayed active. The biggest change here was the time of my workout.

When I was in college, I would train before noon, and once I started working it got pushed back to the end of the day, like 7 p.m. Now I start my workout around 4 p.m. and tend to end it around 6 p.m.

Was there anything challenging at the start of your health journey? 

I decided to cut out all sugary things. I still ate fruits and honey, but I didn’t have any sweets like chocolate for a month. That’s not an easy task, especially around other people, but I managed to keep my goal. 

Six months later I got tested again and this time, my GlycanAge was 36, which is 10 years less than the first time. I hope that in 6 months it will go down even more, hopefully, another 10 years. 

There were definitely some surprising parts to this journey. I was surprised to see how much diet impacts muscle recovery. Before I implemented any changes, I went to the gym three times a week, because my body needed a lot of rest. Now I go six times a week and I recover really fast. 

I think a lot of people underestimate the importance of diet, even though it’s always mentioned as a way to improve someone’s health. I was always an active person, but it wasn’t until I changed my diet that I noticed a real change. 

Once I started telling people about the changes I made to try and better my health, I got a few weird questions and comments. Everyone was asking if I had cut out bread and I didn’t, which was a surprise for some. 

I love bread and I would happily take in more carbs during heavy workout sessions. 

I love the bread positive attitude! Are there any other tips you can give people that are just starting out their health journey?

I would say that you need to stay positive, no matter the situation you’re in. Everything that’s happened to you in the past has led you to this moment and I try to be thankful for it. I’m thankful for all my friends and the people around me. 

Secondly, if you see a problem, don’t put it under the rug, but deal with it head-on. I noticed some breathing problems before the pandemic and I started doing breathing exercises. Try and work out things before they get too big for you to deal with them alone. 

Lastly, some days you’ll have to force yourself to go for a run or eat something healthy. But don’t worry, we all have those days. 

How do you track your progress? 

Honestly, with GlycanAge. I don’t look at how much I can bench press on a given day, nor do I weigh myself regularly. I do check-ins with myself and make sure to remember that progress takes time. 

I’m curious to see if the changes I implemented will accelerate the rate at which my GlycanAge will go down, or will it keep going at the same pace. That’s such an interesting part of human biology and chemistry and it’s fun to observe. 

What changes did you make in your diet? 

I started eating breakfast, which was a big change for me. I never ate breakfast before, so my first meal would usually be takeaway which mostly consists of rice, potatoes, and fried meat, which are not the healthiest options. 

I would also snack a lot in the evenings. Now I eat breakfast every day and I cook all my meals so I can make sure I eat a lot of vegetables. 

I eat porridge in the morning and I add peanut butter, chia, and honey or cinnamon. There’s a lot of things you can do with porridge, you just have to find what works best for you. 

For lunch, I usually make rice or pasta, but I always try to add some sort of vegetables to it. Sometimes I take a moment and think to myself when was the last time I ate this many green things. It’s fun to have moments like that and realize how much has changed since my first GlycanAge test. 

I love to explore new things and try different things while cooking. When it comes to meat, I mostly eat chicken and once or twice a week I’ll have fish. 

I make stews as well and when I come back from the gym, I’ll have a protein shake with lots of fruits. 

So you’ve cut out all snacks and dessert? 

I don’t snack anymore, and I don’t really eat any sweets. I got to the point where I don’t get tempted anymore because I eat enough during my three meals a day. 

In the end, I didn’t make too many changes, aside from starting to eat better and I think it’s such a great point to make for anyone out there too overwhelmed by all the different information on the Internet to start taking their health seriously. 

By changing just one aspect of your life, you can already see a significant change and feel much better. 


Vanja Maganjić

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