Tag Archives: fruit

The Glycerides

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.

Blackened Tilapia

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound tilapia fillet
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Spice Mix

  • 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

Directions

  1. Mix together the spice mix.
  2. Spread onto the tilapia fillet.  I let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Heat pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Add olive oil and wait for pan to get really hot.
  5. 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? 

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Filed under Health, Life, olive oil, Uncategorized

The Amazing Grass Challenge – Completed Plus

A few weeks ago, I told you I was doing the Amazing Grass 2 week challenge.  Well, it’s been more than 2 weeks.  Forgive me.

Why did I forget?

Because, I’m still doing it.

So, what did I do?

Well, Amazing Grass sends you a meal plan and if you review it, nothing is lacking.  If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can pretty much customize the plan to fit the lifestyle.  If you are a meat eater, there are plenty of options for you as well.  It’s a great system and it really just fit with good wholesome whole-foods eating.  It’s great for anyone in my opinion.

One of the main things lacking in health-related programs is the option to choose or to customize.  I don’t want to feel deprived of anything  as it makes me want it even more.  In the Amazing Grass Challenge plan, I really felt like I could mix and match so long as I was eating whole foods and filling up on fruits and veggies.

I didn’t follow the meal plan to a T because there were some things I just did not want to eat.  Specifically, I personally cut out the following for two weeks – refined sugars, white bread, white flour, and red meat.  Honestly, out of the list, the white flour based products were the hardest.

So, what did I eat?

I drank/ate a lot of smoothies – all delicious and all different.

I ate a lot of healthy and filling grain-y breakfasts.

I loaded up on my favorite summer fruit.

I incorporated super foods that I don’t usually cook with or eat often enough.

I usually don’t use cinnamon that much as it isn’t my favorite spice.  But, I have been sprinkling it on my morning cereals, which have been fantastic.

In addition, Amazing Grass is pretty much full of super foods (spirulina, chlorella, etc.) so I was getting it that way too!

So, how did I feel?

Great would be an understatement.  Mind you, I was having the Berry Superfoods mixed with organic apple juice pretty much 3/week prior to the challenge.  So, adding a smoothie/drink every morning with the Amazing Meal was just perfect.  I really didn’t miss the candy/cookies/cake and really indulged in fruit in place of it.  I didn’t miss white flour products as really there so many different options out there these days (Ezekiel bread, etc.).

I really felt great overall.  I had less gas and bloat (pardon me), felt lighter overall (less weighed down), and wasn’t hitting my usual tiredness and declines during certain portions of my day (usually after eating).

Summary

Trust me when I say that I’m not one to stick to anything.  Especially when the anything is something related to my food intake.  I hate feeling limited or that I cannot eat the things I want.  Once I started, I really thought I was going to hate it or miss things.  I didn’t.  When I was done, I’ll be lying if I said I didn’t have this M&M cookie.  I only had one – b/c that’s all I wanted.  But, this challenge really wasn’t about dieting or restrictions for me.  It was about changing my eating habits (especially after vacation), and getting back on the road to good eating.

And, that my friends, is why I still do it – because it’s an addition, not a subtraction.  And, in addition, when I’m incubating another person inside me that eats what I eat, I want to make sure it’s full of super foods and free of crap – well as crap free as I can be.

I am human after all.

🙂

How do you incorporate super foods into your diet?

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The American Tax in India and the Best Meal EVER!

Almost everything in India is negotiable.  If you don’t want to pay full price on that ice cream, just tell them what you want to pay and most likely, (if the amount is reasonable) you get your ice cream!

I of course paid full price for that ice cream because I really wanted to try delicious Indian mango ice cream.  Take my word – it was delicious!

Like I said – all things are negotiable save oneThe American. Whether you’re white, black, brown, orange, green or blue, once the Indians get a whiff that you are from the states, it’s over.

Case and point – Binks and I wanted to mozy along on a houseboat for a long afternoon.  My aunt and some family wanted to join.  So, we all went to the houseboat office to ask for the price.  Despite the fact I’m dressed in a salwar and am not talking, there is something that caused the manager to stare at me and Binks, and tell my aunt: “‘The price for everyone is 18,000 rupees.”  (Approx. $400!)  Ridonkulous!

There were about 5 of us, and my aunt had gone previously for less than half that price with more people nonetheless.  And for once, no one was willing to negotiate.  Everyone thinks, the Americans have dollars and it rains money there.  (A post on this later.)

Needless to say, Binks and I high-tailed it out of there.  We went to Alleppey beach instead.

After being in the sun, I needed a refreshing snack.  Enter the orange:

It looks monstrous but if I told you that these pruney wrinkly things uncover the most delicious orangey orange you have ever eaten, would you believe me?  You must! I think I had one-a-day.  They were that delicious and because I like oranges! 🙂

Now for the kicker, after the beach, we drove about 3 hours to the shopping city – Ernakulam/Cochin.  Upon arrival, everyone was hungry and my aunt suggested lunch at the Grand Hotel.  It has of the best and most reputable restaurants in the city, I dare say the state.

First, the fabulous and lengthy menu:

It has everything you could want and more.  Indian and not.  I went for the usual/classic – The Meal and The Fish.  At first, I had no idea what that meant, but I was all in.

We were started off with light airy papads.

Then arrived The Fish.  It arrived wrapped in banana leaf, which the waiter carefully opened.

I don’t think you can imagine all the steam that came out after they unwrapped.  This was the most delicious fish I have ever eaten to date.  Believe me because I ate the whole thing myself.  And, I have no regrets.

Turns out my meal was the traditional thali, which consists of rice and several Indian side dishes, including but not limited to the following:

different vegetable thorans, fish curry (not pictured),

and different chutneys.

My aunt ordered the mutton biryani.

All of the food was so delicious and totally makes me want to come back!  Such great service and a great presentation.  I will definitely make the 3 hour trip back when I go again to visit (post coming soon).

We went shopping galore.  Spent way too much money for pretty things, and finally made our long  journey back to the house.

After that big meal, an evening snack was sufficient.

That looks like an unripe banana, but it was wonderfully ripe on the inside.  You have to trust me on that.

I’m an American, and it’s non-negotiable.

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Filed under Favorites, Vacation