Blast, Bother and Darn It

After all the travelling and excitement of the last few days I really wanted a sleep in this morning. Unfortunately I had a Doctors appointment at 9.15 am which I just made by the skin of my teeth.  ;-)))

I had had a blood test at the beginning of the week – a routine one to check that my Vit D levels were up at normal range as they were way down three months ago. My blood pressure is fine but this test the Doctor decided to check my cholesterol levels as well.  Just routine she told me.

I must admit sitting in the waiting room feeling really smug that the results of these tests would be the same as all the others.  While I’m not super fit I do try to eat well – we won’t mention the biscuits and cakes and the fact we have real butter, cream and milk on the table – and I do try to make sure we have a very balanced diet. I’m not a fan of exercise and the idea of sweating out in a gym with lots of other people just brings me out in goose bumps.  I always fell like I’m on the move enough around home that I really don’t need that half hour  daily walk and that what I eat is burned off reasonably well. Ok I have put on weight but after three children, hormones, turning 45 and any other excuse I can think of – I thought that was pretty normal.

My world has come crashing down.

My Vit D levels are super good. Blood pressure is normal but my cholesterol!!!!  Ohh dear.  Double what it should be and it was the bad fats not the good ones.

While it isn’t a major problem –  YET  - I do have to address the issue, get more exercise, loose about 5 kg  and watch what I eat or I am at risk of a heart attack or stroke.  If in six months I haven’t lost the weight and reduced the cholesterol there is a good chance I will have to have medication for it – which I don’t want as I hate taking tablets.

In the end it was the idea of a heart attack or stroke that really woke me up to what I have been doing to myself. All these years I have had the attitude that if I ended up with some form of cancer – I could fight it.  There is a history of cancer in my family so it is something we are very aware of.  It would be the one disease that while it might eventually take me down it wouldn’t be without a massive fight with everything at our disposal.  The idea of having a heart attack or stroke really scares me. I remember seeing my Pa in hospital after his mild heart attack and it really brought home just how frail the human body is.  In the end he had cancer but it was the weakened heart that took him in the end and I don’t want to go that way.

So today I have started researching what I can and can’t eat.  I am going to put a list on the fridge of the “No” foods and work around that.  I have bought a heap of salad things – we were nearly out so we needed them anyway – and am looking into ways of incorporating more fruit into my diet. Here’s a confession.  I like salads and I like cooked veg but I’m not a huge fan of fruit something which is going to have to change.  We do eat meat and quite a bit of it so I am going to have to find ways to have no meat meals in our diet.  It’s hard to pass up a nice juicy steak, a lamb chop or a roast when we get meat from a farmer friend who looks after his stock, slaughters them humanly and we have seen the meat cut up and the care that is taken to remove most of the fat, but we do need to reduce the amount we eat.

Foods such as cream, butter, cheese and eggs are going to be limited. The eggs one is the hardest. I do love scrambled eggs with grated cheese in it and as there are nearly 10 dozen eggs in my fridge due to the girls laying well they do need using up.  The Doctor, when I told her of my dilemma, did suggest egg white omelets.  Now I’m sorry but I am of the belief that if God intended us to only eat the egg whites then he would have created chickens to lay eggs with only whites in them.  It seems just so disrespectful to only eat part of what a chicken has laid not to mention just plain revolting.  Potatoes are also on the limited list as is bread and no doubt there will be many more foods as well.

Some of you may be wondering just why we have cream, real butter and milk (ok that one is skim milk and from the supermarket because we don’t have a cow and can’t buy direct from the dairies), eggs and meat.  Many years ago when Nicola’s excema was really bad we simplified our diet to only plain meat (no preservatives), lots and lots of fruit and vegetables, no coffee or tea (for Nicola), limited fruit juices, butter – margarine was a definate no no, honey was allowed but jams or highly sweetened foods weren’t. It was in an attempt to try and find out what was causing her excema – which turned out to be totally different triggers but the “diet” was a good one.  Basic stuff, made from scratch and a whole lot cheaper than buying heavily processed foods.  We liked it and have generally stuck with it over the years.  Certainly we have more processed foods now than we used to but I still make most things from scratch and am going back more and more to that way of cooking.  Intrinsically it’s a good way to eat – but I have let the butter and cream creep into our diet far more than I should have or even realised.   By the way I have a real issue with margarine.  I eat it at Elise’s but that’s it. It’s not a “food” that I think in any way can be good for you and I much prefer the taste and texture of butter – even if it isn’t all that good for me.

So, as of today, our diet will change.  The family are sort of ok with it but I will not cook two different meals and then be tempted by what they are eating. Yes the Doctor told me to take it slowly – the exercise part I will – there’s no point rushing into that and hurting myself.  The food has to change. Luckily I nearly need to shop again so those items that aren’t good for us can be left off the list or only a few bought.  We will all benefit from a healthier diet although the thought of limited biscuits with my cups of tea is a bit hard to take but  I will be strong.

Hopefully there will be slow but sure progess in reducing the weight and the cholesterol. If there isn’t you will hear me screaming.

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3 thoughts on “Blast, Bother and Darn It

  1. I probably need to watch what I eat as well but have been too chicken to go get the test done. last time I had it done Aug 2011 I was just borderline. The bad cholesteral wasn’t that good but it was balanced out by the other. John’s cholesteral is up from the year before but he had put on weight which does make a difference.

    Dan got us both FitBits for Christmas so we’ve been following diet (on Internet “MyFitnessPal) and using the Fitbit (10,000 steps a day) to keep track of what we’re eating and how much exercise we’ve been getting each day. The FitBit can be tied in with MyFitnessPal so if I exercise a lot during the day then I get credit for it and can eat that little bit extra.

    I eat a modified egg white omlett/scrambled eggs. I have 3 egg whites plus one whole egg. The egg whites give more protein and are only 16 calories each so I get a huge plate of eggs but with very little calories. I throw the extra egg yolks down the drain. I imagine you could give yours to the dogs or hens. It took a bit to just chuck the yolks but they have 5 grams of fat and I don’t know how much cholesteral. It gets easier to do it. I could buy cartons of egg whites but they are not the same as fresh from the egg whites.

    I use Becel for margine but usually only in cooking. It has no transfats, which are bad for you. Butter I use only as a garnish or very lightly on toast. A pound of butter lasts several weeks in our household.

    Anyhow good luck to you and I hope your new lifestyle goes well. Oh also you can eat foods that will lower cholesteral. Oatmeal is excellent and walnuts and almonds will also drop cholesteral, you only need a small handful a day. Flax seed and fish like salmon that have the omega 3′s are also great.

  2. Baby steps my friend…… Has your health service got a dietetics department? I work with a great bunch here and they are worth a visit. It is not all black and white anymore as to what you can and can’t eat and they are great at showing small changes that can be made that make a huge difference. I think moderation is the key, if you don’t like marg then don’t have it but limit how much butter you do have. With the exercise slow and steady, make one of the kids go for a walk with you. Take care xx

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