Well, if a busy month ahead, pregnancy and the like weren’t enough to keep us busy, turns out after a visit to the doctor, Binks has high cholesterol and unbelievably high triglycerides. For the sake of complete honesty, his triglyceride levels are 1000 +. Let’s just say when I saw the number, I freaked beyond belief. Just to put it into perspective, “Very High” is 500+. Oy.
High triglycerides is different from high cholesterol. Namely, the doctor said it’s from a diet high in carbs and not enough protein. It made sense in every way. We had cut down our meat intake drastically and I have been replacing it with carbs – and not all good carbs. And, I suppose it didn’t help that prior to his blood test, we went to a party at a friend’s house wherein Binks had a good amount of sangria – and by a good amount, I bet at least 2 pitchers worth. He kept screaming it tastes like juice! LOL!!
In an attempt to attack this naturally instead of going on medicine, we told the doctor we will do what we can at the house with diet and exercise and come back and get retested. So, for the past week, we have had a serious food lifestyle change in the house.
The changes include:
- No alcohol. Which is not a big deal because (despite the above reference) we do not drink often. I would say twice a month.
- No beef, chicken, or pork. We eat fish, tofu, beans and other forms of heart healthy protein.
- No refined sugars or flours or products made from the same. Any candies, cookies or cakes have been substituted with limited amounts of fresh and dry fruit. And, even with the fresh fruit, we pay attention to the glycemic index in certain fruits.
- Vegetables and more vegetables. For lunch and dinner, I include veggies in whatever way possible. Salads, steamed veggies, and Indian food is a great option for us.
- Exercise every day. And, for him – walking is not counted. He has to do more. So, every day, we have been walking after every meal as a warm up and then starting our exercise routine. He’s continuing his P90X.
- Eating out limitations. Sometimes you just want the cheapest option – i.e. fast food. And, sometimes you want the most indulgent options – i.e. fried chicken (did I mention I’m in love), pasta, etc. However, lately we have limited our eating out to places that offer healthy options and cuisine. It’s not hard considering that we love Mediterranean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, etc.
- No processed foods. Sometimes heating up a Lean Cuisine is easier than packing lunch. No longer.
So what have we been eating?
Salads made from the mutant Persian cucumbers growing in our garden. I love these cucumbers because the skin is not as bitter as the traditional cucumber. It goes wonderfully with some sliced red onions, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Refreshing!
Smoothies as always
No sugar and topped with Cheerios, which the doctor recommended. Inside contains almond meal, coconut, blueberries, 1/4 of a frozen banana (as they are higher in sugar compared to other fruit), and almond milk.
Fish and no refined breads.
This was excellent. Fish was perfect. Salad – I have had it for many days now and don’t see any stop to it in the near future.
While I am craving this meal every day, I have to pace myself with the fish.
- 1/2 pound tilapia fillet
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black ground pepper (if you have white pepper, you can sub half of the black pepper for that)
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Mix together the spice mix.
- Spread onto the tilapia fillet. I let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Heat pan over medium-high heat.
- Add olive oil and wait for pan to get really hot.
- Cook each side for 3 minutes each.
Salad – The salad really is a mix of romaine, tomatoes, red onion, banana peppers, and a sprinkling of feta cheese. The dressing is a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, italian seasoning, lemon juice and dijon mustard. I’m in love.
NOTE: From my stereotype of what a high-cholesterol person ‘looks’ like, Binks didn’t fit the mark. He is not overweight. He doesn’t drink often. He exercises fairly regularly. He doesn’t eat a lot of meat. You would not think that such a person would have such a high triglyceride level. (This is in stark contrast to my dad who does have high cholesterol and triglycerides. He is overweight, doesn’t eat well (high on meat and refined carbs like rice), drinks often, and gets no exercise.)
Partly, the high triglycerides is common in Bink’s family and the eating style hasn’t helped. After making the changes for the past week, Binks has already lost 5 pounds (which was not something he was looking for), and we hope that the changes will give us better blood test results in about 3 months when he gets tested again!
Any experience with high cholesterol or high triglycerides?