Wednesday, February 15, 2012


A couple weeks ago, I went to the doctor for my yearly wellness visit. I have been watching what I eat really closely since I moved back to the farm, mostly because last time I lived with Grandma I gained unnecessary weight. Since moving in with Grandma this time, I've lost 12 pounds. I expected all my bloodwork to come back normal.

Most of it did, except for my cholesterol. Total cholesterol was 243, with triglycerides at 100, HDL at 56, and LDL at 167. Normal cholesterol levels should be: Total  < 200, Triglycerides < 150, HDL > 65, and LDL < 100. So what's wrong with this picture? My LDL is through the roof.


My blood pressure is always fairly normal, around 120/80, and I've never had a problem with my blood sugar. Despite my fears that diabetes would become an issue in my health, due to its high prevalence in the family, my blood sugar was 86.

What is really frustrating about this is that I think I eat fairly healthy. A typical day of eating looks like this:
Breakfast: oatmeal with fruit, coffee with almond milk
Lunch: salads with cheese, fruit and nuts, without dressing, or something vegetarian with fruit. I allow myself one lunch out per week with coworkers. This is as much for health reasons as it is for financial reasons.
Dinner: Grandma's homecooked meals that, while delicious, are not always healthy. Sometimes I can't find a vegetable on my plate (mostly because I don't count mashed potatoes as a vegetable).

Weekends mean:
a Saturday brunch with family, and a homecooked dinner.
Sunday breakfast a Panera with a homecooked potluck dinner.

Where is this high cholesterol coming from?
I look at these websites with lists of things you're supposed to do to decrease bad cholesterol. I already do it: cook with olive oil, don't use salad dressing on my daily salads, eat nuts, fruits and vegetables, reduce eating out, eating meat and dairy, and fried foods. I don't smoke. I've been working out 2 - 3 times per week.
I'm supposed to go back in six months for updated bloodwork. In the meantime, I'm supposed to take fish oil twice daily. (Note: if you ever buy fish oil, buy the burpless. Otherwise you'll burp tunafish for a couple hours. Yes, I know from experience.) I'm going to work on increasing gym time. And I'm going to try tracking my food better.
Now comes the part where I have to figure out what it is that I'm doing wrong. And somehow figure out what Grandma puts in the food without offending her.

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