Eating This Way Has Become a Habit…

Well, it’s been a year and a half since I had my first round of labs that set me on the trail of healthy eating.

When my latest doctor asked me if I was on any kind of diet I said,

“NO!” thinking Atkins or South Beach, then hesitated and added, “I don’t eat processed or refined foods.”

The reality of that statement means no pastries or cakes, no breads, no candy, no decadent chocolate mousses, rices or pastas…the pounds just naturally slipped away.

Being the kind of person I am I went cold turkey without a thought to moderation and almost keeled over from lack of carbs; my body was spluttering, badly in need of fuel.

Fortunately I had a doctor friend who patiently and lovingly guided me through my nutrition crisis and into a much healthier place.

Diet3

black rice, beef, Brussels and a salad

I now have my eating down to a fine art, my pantry is stocked with foods I can go to quickly, nuts, seeds, dried fruits and home baked granola bars.

My fridge is loaded with fruits, veggies, salads, plain Greek yogurt, cheeses, whole cuts of meats,  local honey, cans of hard to find fishes, and free-range eggs of many colours.

Eggs

My freezer boasts salmon, cod and Mahi Mahi, joints of grass fed beef, pork and lamb and various flours that I use to make Seeduction and other artisan breads.

When I go out to coffee mornings or church functions I make sure I eat a handful (or two) of nuts so I can brave the buffet table, usually heavily laden with refined and processed foods, absolutely delicious but forbidden to me.

After 18 months of good eating I toddled off to a new doctor for a well check.

As usual my blood pressure was spot on, my weight was steady, my vitals were good.  She checked my ears, nose and throat, listened to my chest, scanned my body, did a pap smear.

I explained my history of high fasting blood sugar, and elevated cholesterol and told her my A1c pointed to pre-diabetes.  She took a good look at me and said,

“I don’t think you’re pre-diabetic, you’re active, you’re blooming, you’re in good spirits…let’s see what we get back this time,” and ordered a full lipid panel.

I was in good hands.

My results came back the following day.

Hurrah!  My glucose was down, my A1c was down, my thyroid was normal my HDL was up and so was my LDL….Groan…

What’s going on?  Terri Fites, my friend, the Homeschooling Doctor has said,

“Perhaps this is the way your body thrives…” and judging by the last three Labs I’m tending to agree with her.

Good news though, my cholesterol ratio, which is total cholesterol divided by HDL, is great and my new doctor said,

“Don’t change anything…”

But perhaps I want to tweak my diet a little further so I checked out what increases HDL (good) and decreases LDL (bad) and thanks to Terri I’m right on track.

The only conflict is the coconut oil which I use because I love it!  I saute onions and garlic every day with it.  A squeeze of fresh ginger and the juice of a lemon makes a caramelized deliciousness that complements burgers, meat sauce, fish, fish and more fish…

Diet2

Spaghetti squash with pork, those caramelized onions and a salad

…much better for me than the warm, buttered loaf of French bread from my past!

I’ve recently started herbing my own olive oil which I keep in a bottle next to my gas range so perhaps my trek to the pantry to fetch the not so conveniently positioned coconut oil may curb my usage.  But oh, there’s no beating that coconutty flavor!

And Terri wrote, in her latest communique to me,

“Your only true lab “anomaly” now, I believe, is a high LDL. And WE ARE LEARNING THAT THIS IS NOT AN ANOMOLY IN SOME PEOPLE, particularly people with high HDLs (like you). I think at this point, you should hold with a real plant-based diet rounded out with nice, satiating cuts of meat that you enjoy, making sure to include fish for the omega-3s. The meat gives you sources of vitamin B12, certain amino acids, some vitamin K2, so I say “plant-based diet” but can never go with a vegan concept. By all means round out your diet with servings of cheese or even bread—always watching that your body’s response isn’t indicating that it isn’t happy…

“I think to do more than you are doing would be a detriment to your health at this point, micro-managing a situation that does not require it!”

Armed with Terri’s final thought (italics mine), my last doctor’s advice to change nothing and Hubs nod of approval on both counts, I said,

“I’m just not going to worry about these results…I feel great and I’m healthy in every respect, what’s a few numbers on a Lab. sheet?”

I have to end with a comment now that eating this way has become a habit.

Eating

Caramelized onions topped with baked salmon and black olives, a plain half baked potato, corn, cauliflower and a salad.

It is so natural and delicious and satisfying that I sometimes feel it’s too easy,

that I must be cheating…

…until I remember God’s promise in Isaiah,

“…prepare the way for the Lord, make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.  Each valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.  And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.”  (Isaiah 40: 3-5)

For the last 18 months the groundwork has been laid, the obstacles removed, God’s glory revealed to me on both fronts, spiritually and physically.

The evidence abounds, I feel peaceful in His warm embrace and energized with nutritious food.

All I have to do is the living and stop worrying.

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2 Comments

Terri Fites, MD

2018-01-15 02:03:33 Reply

Your plated meals are so beautiful! They look nicer than most restaurants! Here is a lay article about high LDL and then a link to the scientific medical study that the lay article is based on, in case anyone wants proof! :-) I wish we could get all of our medical doctors to eat close to this way too and set good examples!

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/bad-cholesterol-may-have-bad-rap#1

http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010401

An excerpt from the medical abstract summary: “High LDL-C is inversely associated with mortality in most people over 60 years. This finding is inconsistent with the cholesterol hypothesis (ie, that cholesterol, particularly LDL-C, is inherently atherogenic). Since elderly people with high LDL-C live as long or longer than those with low LDL-C, our analysis provides reason to question the validity of the cholesterol hypothesis. Moreover, our study provides the rationale for a re-evaluation of guidelines recommending pharmacological reduction of LDL-C in the elderly as a component of cardiovascular disease prevention strategies.”

Warmest greetings to you! I love the verse from Isaiah!

    Vivienne

    2018-01-15 15:50:31 Reply

    Terri, you cite the British Medical Journal here and when I am looking for answers I compare American Studies with what the National Health says. Something to do with being English! Thanks for this! Just want to be able to see the mountain behind the mist, to quote John O’Donohue, and if you haven’t read any of his poetry you are missing exquisite word beauty. Try this one: https://onbeing.org/blog/john-odonohue-beannacht/

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