DaMess
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DaMess, June 7,  2019  1:48pm EST

How I dropped my cholesterol

I'm genetically predisposed to high cholesterol. i've aggessively dropped my stats recently.  In Jan, my total chol. was approaching 300 with LDL spiking close to 150.  In May I was at 110 total with LDL in the 50s.

In terms of drug, i do take Lipator. 

For exercise,  I started with 30 minutes in the morning. It has to be in the AM. Otherwise, life will get in the way. Yes, I was tired when i started. Gradually, i was more tired at night and going to sleep earlier. Be diligent for 3 weeks and it becomes a habit. Keep a paper log of what you do. It's a great motivator (nobody likes a blank line in their log!). 

For diet, I only eat btwn 9am and 9pm.  if you get hungry after 9pm, drink carbonated water.  It's not tough if you keep to simple foods (see below). not eating for 12 hours does help your body digest, rest and the weight falls off rapidly. 

I only drink water. I used to drink black coffee, but gave that up.  i do have issues with kidney stones so i add lime to the water (i.e. RealLime which has no artificial sugar). Drinking 0.5 liters before EVERY meal will help you reduce calories. I also gave up drinking alchohol. My doctor told me i could still have a drink or two a day, but for now I don't need or want it (i used to drink HEAVILY). Also note that if you are dehydrated, you will feel hungry.  Try drinking if you feel hungry. It may help you in multiple ways. 

Food: learn about high-glycemic index foods and avoid them. Don't even keep 'em in the house (out of sight, out of mind).  If your food has more than five ingredients or words you can pronouce/don't understand, you may not want to put that in your body. i will occasionally eat something and i feel the nasty affects, namely that i crave food in an unusual way. 

My staple breakfast during the work week is oatmeal with fruit.  I use a half-cup of the 3-minute Quaker Oats with 1 cup of water and throw some olive oil in for good measure.  Add a banana and cinammon for a great taste. For fruit, i also rotate a mix of frozen fruits for diversity.  (cook time is 3 min in the microwave). 

For lunch i generally go with a BIG bowl of frozen, mixed vegitables + some more olive oil.  I used to have two of these bowls eating when i got hungry but have recently am good with just one bowl. Another alternative is to do the same but add your favorite low-sodium broth (i use chicken) plus add some protien like skinless chicken or turkey. 

I graze on unsalted, mixed nuts on the side. 

Dinner is typically some heart-healthy protien with more vegitables (just cooked on a stove).  

Other great options i enjoy: 

* Low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit

* Quinoa with yogurt and/or veggies

* Egg white omlete with veggies and motzerella cheese'; try flavoring your olive oils with chili peppers, or herbs to flavor your meal!

* make your own soup by boiling your favorite veggies for a while. 

i do still eat chocolate occasionally but in smaller quantities and only if i've been diligent on other fronts (exercise/good diet).  The food choices may not sound exciting, but my taste buds have adjusted to where i can't stand fast food or sodas.  Ultimately you need to choose if you want to reduce weight / cholesterol or risk your life for comforts.  My family totaly gets it.  

Feel free to share ideas that have worked for you!

DM

4 Replies
  • DolphinWrite
    DolphinWrite, June 8,  2019  2:44pm EST

    🖒🎶

  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, June 10,  2019  9:05am EST

    Good morning, this is some great advice! My weakness is cheese, in any form. :)  Did you have any challenges with cravings when you adapted this diet? And, did you do it all at once or use a phased approach? Thanks for sharing, Katie

  • DaMess
    DaMess, June 17,  2019  3:38pm EST

    Katie,

    I've always eaten fairly well (though i'm definately more rigid about what i eat now).  I'm going to provide a broad answer; i do eat cheese but that doesn't do justice to a larger strategy. I'm still experimenting with how I eat, but hypothosize that my lifestyle and approach to food may afford some flexability.

    Before going into details, note too that I've been long poked fun of for how I eat (though that changed when i almost died despite strict habits). I don't get angry or offended when i get ribbed. I want to see my kids graduate HS and college. I want to share many more years with my wife. I historically have been guessing that picky eating was aiding my health. I now know I was definately saving my life.

    Consider too this societal irony:  we are perfectly accepting of a person being scared to walk into a dark, unfamiliar room alone or of the precautions taken with lethal food alergies (e.g., peanuts).  American society has little to nothing to say about a healthy adversion to certain foods that we know contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and shorting life spans in addition to other health risks. Pay attention to TV ads and you'll find society actually encourages poor eating habits. 

    I'm not an MD, so take the following with a grain of salt (ha, pun not intended) and consult your doctor.  

    1. I just recevied 3 stents so I know that i'll see my cardiologist 3 more times this year. I'm keeping diligent on diet but am experimenting with foods held as "taboo" for people with CVD. My logic is (a) I just got past some scary issues so my risk s/b lower, (b) cholesterol is my sole risk factor, and (c) i'm getting blood work done fairly frequently so i can adjust my diet as needed.

    2. I look at certain food as POISON. I'm pretty good at avoiding high glycymic index (HGI) foods. If you do this regularly, you'll be better equipped when you do have HGI food to not go crazy binging. I will, for example, eat chocolate but i also know this will lead me to eat more. If you don't have SUPER STUBBORN will power, don't go down the HGI path with certain foods. I look at a certain cheeses this way (e.g., ricotta, cheeze wiz, any soft cheeze spread). I'm very wary of salty snack foods; if i indulge, its rare and i focus on not taking more than a few chips (which almost isn't worth it so i usually just abstain).  

    3. per my cardiologist, 70-80% of cholesteral is hereditary (my m. grandmother was pencil thin, ate well and had dangerously high cholesterol). I'm exercising 5-6x per week (30-90 min per day) plus i generally eat well, my cholesterol has dropped to safe levels. My BP and BMI are also within recommended guidlines (110/70 & 25 respectively).  

    4. With the above in mind, i still eat cheese, just more moderatley.  As mentioned, I also eat chocolate occasionally. I'm just very cautious.  If i gain more than 5 pounds in a day after an 'eating bing' i lock down and go to safer staple foods (oatmeal with fresh or frozen fruit, LF cottage cheese, straight vegitables, etc). 

    As a final point, i've never had an 'addictive' personality. If i focus, i can meet my goals. I recognize we're not all wired the same way and this is a struggle for many. My best advice on eating right is:

        (i) if you want to avoid a food, don't bring it into your home,

        (ii) bring your food to work (i cook both breakfast and lunch at work in a microwave, keep a 2lb bin from Target with unsalted, mixed nuts in my drawer), and

       (iii) don't make a diet 100% rigid 100% of the time. Talk to your MD about how often you can occasionally "indulge" on whatever "taboo" foods you crave. See if you can experiment for a month or two and then get blood work to see if it's affecting your cholesterol. 

    Best, 

    DM

  • DolphinWrite
    DolphinWrite, June 18,  2019  12:23am EST

    🖒

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