Print Story Trying a little moderation
Health
By riceowlguy (Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:20:46 PM EST) (all tags)
How refreshing (for me, anyway).


After going in for my first general physical in years, I learn that I have high cholesterol.  Shocker.  Actually, my total cholesterol is just under the "normal" limit but my LDL is too high.  Also, I'm sure that with all my family history, the doc would love to see me in the lower half of the tolerance band.

I was a little bummed the day I found out, envisioning a future where everybody around me was enjoying hamburgers and fries while I nibbled on a garden salad with no dressing, but then I got realistic and thought about my major daily sources of animal fats and came up with a plan to get those numbers moving in the right direction.  At breakfast, the big things are half-and-half in my coffee, milk on cereal, and pastries at Fourbux.  I tried quitting coffee completely, but as in the past, decaf riceowlguy=zombie riceowlguy.  So, the compromise is a) half as much coffee as I'm normally accustomed to, and b) whole milk instead of H&H.  I compared the numbers at the store last night and even if it takes twice as much milk as H&H to get the coffee to my preferred level of lightness, I'm still way ahead as far as saturated fat and cholesterol go.

(Only some of my readers will get this, but I just had a Butter Battle flashback.  Hard to believe that was almost ten years ago.)

Anyway, if I walk around home in the morning, I can have a nice bowl of adult cereal with skim milk rather than a scone at Starbucks, which is what I usually have after going to the gym.  I can limit that to once a week.  I would like to come up with some kind of breakfast solution that works with going to the gym since I can get a more intense aerobic workout on the elliptical than I can by just walking (jogging is still not on the menu for me, except in short bursts like this morning when I wanted to get across some railroad tracks before a train came).

At lunchtime, I can definitely mix in more salads, and for sandwiches (which are also pretty common dinner fare), the main things would be to keep the cheese slices down to a normal level, and be more careful about mayo use.  These are all things I know about when trying to watch calories in general, but this gives extra motivation.

Dinnerwise there's not much to do other than pay more attention to fat than I'm used to doing.  I always knew that quesadillas were worse for me than a chicken breast and steamed veggies, I just have to decide to do it.  I'm not going to say no to a steak a couple times a month; again, I don't think I have to.  More grilled fish would be a good idea.

The big thing will be to cut out dessert in general and ice cream in particular, and if I can't completely eliminate it, stick to the lowfat variety.  Again, this is something I've known about for years, but not wanted to give up.  Oh well.  If I'm really that hungry before I go to bed, I can have another bowl of cereal, or maybe some bloody FRUIT like a normal person might.

On the exercise side, I want to get back to being very diligent about doing something moderately intense or long duration every day possible.  I should not let "I'm playing tennis tonight" be an excuse for not walking in the morning, since tennis is not really a substitute for sustained aerobic activity - not the way I play it, anyway.

We will see what this plan does for the numbers in three months.  This is a totally livable plan that doesn't involve starvation or denying myself things that I like (well, some things, yes - the fried egg and cheese sandwiches, the quesadillas, the pasta in butter, cheese and cream sauce, and of course the Ben and Jerry's).  I am nervous because historically I have a bad track record of sticking to plans like this, and I really hate myself for not being able to be normal about food.  But I feel good for at least getting back up on the horse again.  We'll see how far I can ride it this time.  I suppose I should take a lesson from other kinds of substance abuse recovery and not worry about the future.  Alcoholics say "I'm not drunk today, that's what I'm focusing on".  I should just focus on the next meal (which happens to be leftover beer can chicken breast on a sourdough roll with lettuce, cheese, and very small amount of mayo - Bob Abooey, eat your heart out).

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Trying a little moderation | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:39:54 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



Sorry to disappoint by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 12:56:14 PM EST
I've clearly got too much on my mind right now to care about other people's writings.

[ Parent ]
Coffee by lm (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 02:03:27 PM EST
Are you drinking drip brewed coffee through a paper filter?

If not, making the switch may help. Coffee has two compounds, cafestol and kahweol, that act as catalysts in the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. Paper filters remove these compounds.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Thanks for the info by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 02:22:41 PM EST
99% of the coffee I drink is filtered.  I've tried getting into the whole french press thing but it is too messy, too hard to get the right grind and too much effort.  Good to know that my laziness has actually worked FOR my health for once!

[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, by ni (2.00 / 0) #8 Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 01:00:07 PM EST
it also prevents cancer. You win some, you lose some.


"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM
[ Parent ]
I have found by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 03:42:55 PM EST
that once you start making changes and stick with them for a while, your palate changes.  Example: I could have a 4oz steak tonight and be a very happy girl, but if I had another one tomorrow I'd probably end up feeling sick.  Also, if I tried to consume more than 4-6oz in a night, I'd feel sick.  This was not true a few years ago, when I'd eat 12oz every night when I was depressed.

And, as always, if it's not in the house you won't be able to eat it (which is a reminder for me to get rid of all this f-ing easter candy).

Good Luck!!

Thanks by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 04:20:31 PM EST
The whole "if it's not in the house you won't be able to eat it" thing only works to a point.  I sometimes do this, I'll go to the store and buy nothing but very healthy things...and then get home and be miserable.  Because preparing a dinner of a piece of fish, some steamed veggies and some wild/brown rice is a lot more freakin' work than just making some quesadillas or a nice rich sandwich, AND it's not as enjoyable.  I wish I could get the bottom of WHY it's not as enjoyable.  I really sometimes feel like I actually get a psychological kick out of doing "bad" things with food.  What always seems to derail me is not so much "oh, I'm craving this bad food so badly"...it's more like the constant stress of having to tell myself "no, have THIS thing which you know you enjoy and is so much better for you" rather than just being able to relax and not worry about it gets to me  That's really what happens, I get to a point where I'm too stressed out about food and I just give up and decide to have a couple months of not caring.

[ Parent ]
you know WHY by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 09:06:37 PM EST
because all the "bad" stuff tastes so fucking good.  Way back in the day super-sweet things, fats, etc weren't easy to come by.  Even 100 years ago the average city-dweller didn't get to eat tons of meat at every single meal. 

I've had to work really hard to get to the point where I can throw together a filling and tasty vegan meal (for the family!) at least 5 nights a week (we do a meat-based meal at least once a week).  It just takes time and lots of trial and error.  When I first had The Dude a friend gave me some really good advice:  first, you just try to make it through the first two weeks, then you make it through the first two months.  After that you're pretty much OK.  This advice applies for any lifestyle change. 

[ Parent ]
Buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #9 Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 01:06:23 PM EST
by Julia Child. Both volumes. Read them all the way through for ideas and techniques. Then make some recipes. Risotto with brown rice is in there, though I forget what the French name for it is. If you pay attention there's a lot of low fat cooking there. The big thing is, as Stacky mentioned (and as does Julia), portion size. A 4 oz steak instead of 8. A small creme brulee instead of a big bowl of lowfat ice cream. Don't try to cut back on everything all at once.

Once you have some skills, you can try experimenting. That's when cooking gets fun. A piece of fish, some steamed veggies and some wild/brown rice can be yummy, easy to cook, and fairly fast. Poach the fish in white wine and/or stock. Steam the veggies over the rice while it's cooking. Turn the poaching liquid into a sauce. Including prep time, 45 minutes.

Excuse me, gotta go to the grocery store.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #10 Sat Apr 10, 2010 at 03:03:38 PM EST

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[ Parent ]
It's a French risotto by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 08:36:47 AM EST
They don't call it that, but that's what it is. You can use the risotto technique on any rice. It isn'tzas creamy as Arborio, but brown does make a decent one.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 08:46:01 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



[ Parent ]
What wiredog said by lm (2.00 / 0) #11 Sun Apr 11, 2010 at 03:36:17 PM EST
Wrap that piece of fish around some breading mixed with just the right spices and bake it and you've spent no more effort than making quesadillas. Or soak it in a spicy marinade overnight before pan-frying it in just a hint of oil.

There are quite a few recipes that are pretty interesting and healthful in addition to being easy to make. The challenge is to find them and have all the ingredients on hand on demand.

Also, you can go a long way replacing beef with bison and chicken with ostrich.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Trying a little moderation | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback