Eat to Stay Slim or Healthy?…

My mother would whisk me to the bathroom when I showed up on her doorstep,

“Hop on the scales,” she’d say before I could even take off my coat and shoes, “Let’s see how much you weigh!”

I had grown up watching my pounds on a daily basis…

Then I had two girls which put a stop to my scale slavery and out went my glass digital Salter.

I plied my daughters with good food, little and often and encouraged them to walk, ride their bikes and dance.

I also plied my sons with good food, little and often and encouraged them to walk, ride their bikes and dance.

The only time we were weighed was when we went in for our annual check-ups or visited my Mum in England!

My philosophy was, as long as I can still fit in all my clothes I was doing fine.

I compensated for chocolate feasts, cake and ice cream weekends and toast and marmite gorges by taking an extra exercise class or skipping a meal like Daddy did,

“Your father can lose 3 lbs just by missing lunch…lucky man,” my mother would lament, “all I have to do is look at an eclair to gain 4 pounds!”

He was slender, fit and rarely needed a doctor.

Mummy was also slender, fit and rarely needed a doctor…

But she had an unhealthy relationship with food and was obsessed with her bathroom scales.

I have been blessed with great genes.

For decades I’ve believed that as long as I have routine check-ups, a good exercise regimen, keep my clothes from getting snug and manage stressful moments, all is fine…

…until healthy looking friends and acquaintances started keeling over from heart attacks, strokes and other health problems.

And into my head would pop my mother’s voice,

“You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

And I began to wonder what my ‘cover’ was concealing?

Friends, relatives and colleagues all say to me,

“You’re so lucky, you can eat anything and still stay healthy and in shape…”

I agree because on the outside I do look healthy and in shape and mentally I feel like a million dollars and eat well…

…at least at once a day!


Poached cod with roasted brussels, home grown squash and mixed greens

But in July I had a blood test that gave a detailed snap shot of life under my skin and how my heart was holding up.Quelle Horreur!My cholesterol was high, and I was pre-diabetic.How could that be?My clothes are a little loose on me, my hair is glossy and my nails are long, my muscles are well defined and I have the energy of a twenty something.

Friends, family and colleagues ‘pshawed’ the results.  I didn’t!

Evidently just because I could eat what I wanted without gaining a pound and still feeling good I was fueling my body with utter rubbish,

and expecting high performance on chocolate, carbs and fructose, complemented with daily sprinklings of the healthy stuff!
This has been going on for a long time and while I may feel energized and young, at any moment, similar to a car battery that fails without warning, I could be the next one of my friends and acquaintances to keel over with no symptoms.  I grew scared.

My nurse practitioner, who had ordered the sophisticated blood test, immediately prescribed a statin along with five supplements, Niacin, COQ10, Vitamin C, Omega 3 and Kyolic garlic and the mantra I’d grown used to,

“Cut out fried foods, exercise, and lose weight.”

I laughed, I don’t eat fried foods, exercise for an hour or two every day and weigh less than 124 lbs on a 67″ frame.

I wrote to a friend and former radio show guest, Terri Fites, the Homeschooling Doctor, for her take on my blood report and the prescribed treatment and asked her what she would do?

These are some of her comments:

Since for the third time over the course of seven years I have elevated levels of LDL…

“You are trending up,” she said.

I’d already cut out my beloved cheese and mayonnaise,

I eat fruits and veggies, lean meats and fish.  I keep an eye on the saturated/trans fats.

I don’t smoke, drink wine occasionally and guzzle water all day.

I practice yoga for peace of mind and strength of body and Hubs and I have settled into a quiet, rural existence away from the hustle and bustle of rush hour traffic and city living.

“Your body is under strain,” Terri observed.

I balked!

And decided it’s high time for a serious heart-to-heart on my skewed view of healthy!  It’s not the calories I should be watching, it’s the quality of food I’m filling up on.

My waistline may be able to handle my consumption of a whole buttered French loaf with dinner, followed by a handful or three of cadbury chocolate eggs to round things off.  Or my daily intake of several pieces of fresh fruit with a cup of plain yogurt for lunch.

But my poor inner workings are having a devil of a time trying to fix the high glucose diet I’m running on.

“You have GREAT genes,”  Terri assured me and drew up a plan.

Cut out anything refined or processed.

Eat whole foods.

Vary the cuts of meat and types of fish and eat them to satiety.
For the last four weeks I’ve eaten no bread with my dinner, no pasta, rice, or potatoes, no chocolate, ice cream, cake, crackers  or biscuits…

I expected withdrawals like the time I cut out caffeine and ached all over for days.

Nothing!  No lethargy, no cravings, no sleepless nights.

I’ve lost weight by cutting out all those empty calories.

And if it’s possible,

I feel better than ever!

In another post I will outline Terri’s advice about the Lipitor and supplements.

Until then I am eating to stay healthy which in turn will keep me slim.

I’m filling up on meat and fish,

Snacking on nuts,

Beginning to turn green from my high consumption of leafy vegetables,

And eating fruit as a dessert,

NOT a meal.


Roast sweet potatoes, lightly seared kale, mixed greens with avocado and ceviche

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2016-08-31 22:41:19 Reply

Yes, together we’ll live on and on and on!


2016-09-01 19:48:09 Reply

Those are lovely plates! Yum! I hope you won’t forget to mention stress! (Insert grin.)


    2016-09-01 21:12:05 Reply

    Haha! I was focussing on the eating part!! Stress will be present in another post! In fact I do write quite a bit about my yoga and de-stressing but perhaps I need to give it more weight…You see, I’m learning how careful I have to be with my body and I used to be so proud of myself for being able to multi task and run circles around everyone, every day for years and years and years!! Like that bloody energizer bunny…


2016-09-12 13:17:29 Reply

It’s like cleaning a closet, isn’t it! First one corner gets cleaned, and then, before you know it, the whole house is torn apart because you decided to clean the closet! How does that happen? I don’t know, but that’s how I think addressing our health in a deep way is! First, we notice we need to do this (say, walk daily). Then, we realize we need to address our eating (say, eat only real food, no sugar). Then, we recognize we really aren’t sleeping properly (so we go to bed at a much nicer time). Then, we see we are too hard of workers and too self-critical and need to take time out ( so we learn to sit better and let certain issues go). And so on!

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