Friday, July 13, 2012

Cholesterol check

So if I keep my diet the way it's always been, I'll have a heart attack at 50.  Doctors are such downers. I've spent the last 6 months exercising more and eating whole grains, blah, blah, blah.  I lost about 10 lbs. But my cholesterol didn't go down.  It went up.  Crap.

I'm not big on medication.  The cholesterol medicine side effects aren't especially terrifying, but I'd rather avoid them.  I can't help but think they aren't the best option.  So I've decided to cut my meat consumption down to once a day.  The average adult can have 300mg of cholesterol a day.  Those trying to lower cholesterol can have 200mg.  I'm trying to stay around 100mg.  It's not easy.  Cholesterol is in all animal related foods, which are some of my favorites.  Eggs, meat, milk, cheese... Mmmm. Now we all know why my cholesterol was going up.  Ugh.

I already miss scrambled eggs.  But this isn't goodbye.  It's more of a long distance relationship.  I'm going rather drastic for six months when they'll check my blood again.  If I've lowered my cholesterol, I'll go for an occasional scrambled egg.  (Yes one.  Eggs are around 200mg each - yikes!)

I'm blogging about this because I'm hoping there are other people out there who have successfully cut down their cholesterol without going vegan or using medication.  I also thought that I'd post how I'm altering my recipes to be more cholesterol friendly. I'll post recipes if anyone is interested. I might post some anyway.

So here's my plan:
  Green smoothies. The fruit and spinach are cholesterol free.  The yogurt contains about 7mg.  I'm not giving up the yogurt because it does wonders for my digestion.  Any more on that would tread on TMI.
  Homemade granola bars. Oats are apparently really good for lowering cholesterol.
  Homemade cold cereal.  I'll post this recipe another day.  I made some and we ate it all before I could take a picture.  It was that good.
  I'm trying to cut out some of the prepackaged food since they tend to be full of sodium and ingredients I can't pronounce. I've been thinking of doing this for a while but since I'm being forced to change my diet, I figured now was a good time to do it.

For lunch I've been having green salad (the lettuce in our garden is growing like a weed. I've also been having peanut butter and honey on Sandwich thins. I need to find some other options.  I'm getting tired of peanut butter and salad. Suggestions? (No tofu)

Dinner is only slightly altered.  The main difference is I'm keeping my meat servings down and cutting out red meat.
  Monday - Chicken Joes. I slow cooked the chicken, shredded it and mixed it with our regular sloppy joe sauce.  We also cut up a fresh pineapple,  cooked some corn on the cob, and had more green salad. I put baby zucchini in the salad.  Tasty.
  Tuesday - Crepe dinner.  Crepes have eggs and milk in them.  I figured they have about 40mg per crepe so I only had two.  We put fresh fruit and homemade jam on the crepes.  This is super yummy but not super filling.  I dug some potatoes out of the garden, sliced them, and sauteed them with zucchini, onions, peppers, and Italian seasonings in olive oil.  I should have taken a picture.  I just don't think about photographing dinner.
  Wednesday - Chicken in homemade Rice a Roni. I boil chicken breasts in water with some Italian seasoning.  Break spaghetti noodles into tiny pieces and brown in olive oil.  Then I added rice and the water I cooked the chicken in.  I mixed a cup of skim milk with some corn starch to make it creamier and added the chopped up chicken. This recipe had the added benefit of being lower in sodium.
  Thursday - Homemade pizzas. I used Sandwich Thins instead of crust.  This helped me control proportions. Then I put all the fixings on the counter and did a pizza bar.  Here's what I put on mine. Pizza squeeze sauce - high in sodium, unfortunately, but very convenient. Jimmy Dean Sausage is 45mg for 2 or 3 oz. (It's also nitrate free.) I only sprinkled it. Pineapple and peppers.  I forgot to add the onions, dang it.  Mozzarella cheese is the lowest cholesterol cheese I can find - 20mg per inch chunk.  I didn't measure but I did only a light sprinkling of cheese.  My kids added all the stuff they like.  My oldest son skipped the sauce and just did roast beef.  My daughter also skipped the sauce and just did ham and cheese.  My youngest son piled on the nitrate free ham, sauce, pineapple, sausage, and a mix of cheese.  My husband put a little of everything.  Everyone was happy.  I kept my cholesterol levels down.
  Friday-  This is our leftover day.  No cooking for me!

Next week we'll be going on vacation.  I'll post later about how I did on the road.  I'm a little nervous about keeping track but I have a plan.  I'd love to hear how other people are lowering their cholesterol.

1 comment:

  1. Can't have eggs? How about just egg whites, you're cutting out cholesterol while getting lots of good protein : ) I stumbled onto your comment at crafterminds where you lamented about no comments...thought I'd just stop by for some comment love :D
    Ive started following your Inspired board on pinterest by the way...great repins you have there!