Life .... by the numbers.

When you get to a certain stage of life, you are often reduced to conversations about two things .... grandchildren and cholesterol meds.

Grandchildren are interesting enough .... but I do become bored with hearing about Johnny's latest toilet training antics or how cute it was when he locked the dog in the dryer. Grandchildren are incredibly fascinating .... when they are yours. Otherwise, I can only say ....... "How cute" so many times!

And as we all know.... It is a short trip from cute to brat.

So ..... then I am forced into discussions about cholesterol medications. Zocor. Lipitor. Crestor.

And I don't find that particularly stimulating. Fortunately, my cholesterol numbers on this chubby little figure (Honey calls it voluptuous! I love that man!!!!) have always been great. But my darling Honey........... not so much!!!

Not long after we were married, I drug him into the doctor for a full round of exams. Yep. He was thrilled ....NOT!!! But one of the tests was the typical lipid test. I was shocked when it came back with a total cholesterol number of over 220. The doctor wasn't too concerned. I was!

So I sprang into action and quickly changed Honey's eating habits. I couldn't get him to eat breakfast before he went to work. But I did start packing lunches and eliminated the Hostess fruit pies that he had eaten for decades! Yea ... those babies have over 500 calories of fat! And let's not talk about trans-fats and high fructose corn syrup.

But as you know, the damage was done. And since Honey's heart attack and surgeries, he has been on Zocor.

Several weeks ago .... Honey had the numbers checked again. Total cholesterol number ...... 137!!! 137!! Obviously, we were thrilled.

And now ... we are even more thrilled. The Zocor has been eliminated.

Yea .... the doctor says it is temporary. They have Honey scheduled for blood tests in three months. But we know.... it is a permanent change.

BUT healthy eating is the key. And its not that difficult. A little planning ... a little work .... and we can improve the health of our loved-ones.

So for all my friends that say it is just too much work....... here are 5 simple keys to start the healthy eating regime.

1) Eliminate soda from the diet....... too much high-fructose corn syrup, empty calories, too much sodium. And regardless what the president of Coca-Cola says, soda is not a staple food. (Nor is our President of the United States a Communist .... but that's for another post!!!) And that includes diet soda. Yea .... it has been a tough one for me but see #2.

2) Eliminate fake food. If you can't easily pronounce the ingredients.... you shouldn't be eating it. Carrots = easy. TetrasodiumPyrophosphate = not easy. (used as a thickening agent)

3) Whole grains. Hey -- forget that Wonder Bread builds strong bodies twelve ways! Change your bread to whole grains ... even if you have to make the mini-step to whole wheat. It really is a change that works. And then move on to brown rice and whole grain pasta.

4) Veggies - Veggies - Veggies. If your family can't look at another plate of broccoli -- hide it! Stretch your tacos by added pinto beans, diced potatoes and corn to the ground beef. Add zucchini to pasta sauce. Chop up kale and add it to soups. Just get more servings into your diet.

5) And buy your meat from a good reliable source....... and in most cases, that's not the grocery store. Personally, I would like to see you find a local farmer and buy it off the hoof. But that may not be possible ... so check out the butcher shops in your area. Ask where they get their meat. How is it raised? Yes ... it may be a bit more expensive than the discount case at the supermarket. But the taste of great beef and pork is worth the expense. Hey! You have eliminated Hamburger Helper (see rule #2) so there is a savings there!!!!

This is Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food week at the USDA. I love this! Personally, I think if we spend more time talking to each other about good food ... we will be a politer society. Its hard to be rude to friends now, isn't it? And good food brings people together to eat.
What is nicer than that???

And healthy eating is the first step in health care reform. We have proven we can't build a healthy society by drugs alone. We have a personal responsibility to exercise and eat a healthy diet. And its our responsibility to change the environment around us....and that starts at home.

Gees.............. if I get this all changed, what will I have to rant and rave about?????


Michelle said…
I never drink soda, eat very few processed foods, make our own whole-wheat flaxmeal bread and use other whole grains, eat LOTS of fruit and veggies, much of which we grow ourselves, and don't eat meat at all. So tell me why my cholesterol is over 220! My doctor wanted me to go on Zocor, but I've declined. Studies have not proven that statins actually reduce the RISK from high cholesterol, only the numbers, and of course they have side effects. The one thing I COULD do is exercise, regularly. Haven't been able to fit that in for awhile...not good.
clink said…
Michelle -- Strike it up to genetics. Now do those genetics put you at high risk? Not always.
And, I like you, question some of the statins effectiveness.

I have been overweight since day one. I struggle constantly with it. But I have great blood pressure, fantastic cholesterol numbers and a heart scan was as clear as a bell.

And 3 out of 4 grandparents were in their 90's when they died.

But we have sooo many people that instead of trying to change their diet, pop a pill.

We hope that we have changed things for Honey. I think we have.

You know you are doing things right. Hang in there ... you could nag me to exercise more too!!!!
Theresa said…
We try, we really try and you're so right. There are many small ways to fit fruit and veggies in creatively with a little planning. BTW, do I get any points at all for being able to pronounce all the ingredients in ice cream....;-)
Sherry said…
I would really enjoy some home grown beef but I don't have room for half a steer, etc. Do you know of any butchers or farmers that sell it in smaller quantities? I'll have to ask at Fareway. They seem to try to go local when possible.
clink said…
Sherry ... You can buy a 1/4 which is around 200-220 lbs. And I can hook you up with someone that sells 1/4.

Otherwise -- check out Sawyer beef at the Freight House. Awesome stuff!!!

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