Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Small Changes = Happy Results

A few years ago, during my most recent routine physical (I don't make routine doctor visits very often!) I was handed a lab order. After the 2003-2005 season of major & minor surgeries, I wasn't worried about a simple lab order.

The surprise came 2 weeks later when the doctor's nurse called to read the results to me.  Bad cholesterol, LDL, was low enough - great.  Good cholesterol, HDL, was low, too low.  After telling the nurse thanks for the good news, she promptly told me this was NOT good news.  That a person with low cholesterol had as many health risks as someone with high cholesterol.  And my blood sugar was on the high end of okay.  100.  And I was 20 lbs over weight. 

This was really surprising to me, and not really surprising at the same time.  While we had made a lot of changes in our diet over the years, there was plenty of room for improvement.  So I did a little research, found a few changes that we could add into our life (small steps) and moved forward.  A big items is that we have decreased the amount of sugar, including from soda a great deal, although I am still overweight, more so even.

When the doctor handed me the lab order 3 weeks ago, I actually felt nervous, and took it home, set it on my desk and ignored it for 2 weeks.  Life slowed down and I decided that I did want to know where things are now.  And JOY, small changes did bring happy results.

My HDL is 47, one point above 46 (evidently it is best to not be lower than 46)
LDL is 113
Blood sugar 94!
Vitamin D deficient (something new to me, I need to learn about this one!)

These happy results have inspired me to pursue a few more small changes.

And in case you wonder about those "first" small changes...

**Avocados, as often as possible.   I love avocados and have no problem spending a little extra at the grocery store to have 1 or 2 a week, even when they are not on sale.
**Olive oil for almost all cooking, and slowly still getting accustomed to the taste in our homemade salad dressing.
**Coconut oil for baking instead of butter (much of the time)
**Fruit & Veggie smoothies with plain yogurt several times a week
**Significant decrease in the use and consumption of sugar, using honey and maple syrup when we need a little sweetner
**More beans and lentils in our weekly diet.
**Increased our use of fresh garlic in our cooking
**More varied vegetables, we plant more different kinds and try new ones from time to time
**More active lifestyle, but that is a work in progress

So, if you are struggling with the need for changes in your lifestyle, diet, for the good of your health, I encourage you SMALL STEPS!  The list above was not made all at once.  Those changes have taken place over about 4 years, little by little.  You can do it, and the results will be HAPPY  :)

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