Sunday, November 27, 2011

Menu Monday, and dietary changes

So, I hinted at potential changes coming. Here is what is up. I learned, the Friday before Thanksgiving, that a blood test I had in July had come back showing elevated cholesterol. (No, they didn't contact me about it. It's not elevated much, but I'm still annoyed that they didn't call to let me know. That's a blog entry I'll stew about but will probably not make.) Also, each time I have gone to the doctor this year for any reason, my blood pressure has been elevated. I don't like that.

The notation on my file says, "Exercise and diet. Retest in six months." How helpful is that? Uh, what causes high cholesterol? I've never known. I know my mom, my dad, and my step-dad had issues at various times with high cholestrol, but all I came out of childhood with, information-wise, was avoid red meat; avoid eggs. I had already been doing that (red meat only once a week!), and yet my test came back elevated. In light of the fact that heart disease also runs in my family, I was ready to make radical changes to try to improve my health. I hate meds and don't want to continue down the path I've been going. I already have to struggle to keep track of the different meds for my asthma, my arthritis, my herniated disk pain, and don't want those medications let alone a future that adds meds for cholesterol and heart issues.

So I began researching, and I stumbled across YouTube videos of a Dr. C. Esselstyn and his research on lowering cholesterol levels and making yourself heart attack proof

I am not interested in converting anyone. I am just sharing this to let you know that I am adjusting my diet to follow the Esselstyn plan. You can consider me a test-case. I have been on an animal-free, dairy-free, non-fat diet for just over a week now. I had an appointment with my doctor to get her "Okay" on what I am doing only to learn that she, too, is a vegan. My blood pressure, in just days, had dropped from high (don't remember the numbers) to 116/68 -- the nurse said I had the blood pressure of a teenager. I liked that.

So My menu plan this week is a mixed menu plan. My husband wants to support me, but my family is not willing to go vegan. However, I am not interested in cooking two dinners every night, so our menu plan will be a combination of healthy vegan dishes and "sides" of meats for the omnivores. So here's this week's menu plan. (I'm not prepared to link to the recipes right now. If you want one of them, do a Google search.)

Sunday: Leftovers, and Mayan Bowl

Monday: Mushroom-Barley Soup, pumpkin muffins, salad

Tuesday: Cheeseburgers; tomato-corn-bean salad

Wednesday: Confetti-beans and rice; salad

Thursday: Salmon, yellow Dutch potatoes, spinach

Friday: Sweet Thai Fried Rice

Saturday: Pasta Primavera, salad, bread

The key to my success will be planning significantly ahead and making sure I have what I need in the house and that I know what I am to prepare. I'm already trying to think about next week.

I'll post after I do another blood test late in December and you can see what my Cholesterol changes are. I'll post both before and after numbers at that time.

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