Friday, January 29, 2010

When the health news isn't great

It's been an interesting week. I'm afraid I'm not too good about regular doctor visits and discovered that the last time I had my cholesterol checked was 2002. So I bit the bullet and went for the blood test.
Not great news. Turns out my family history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol is catching up with me.

Now I eat pretty healthy - lots of veggies, organic when possible, little red meat, plenty of whole grains and, of course, great whole-food nutritional supplements. But I needed something more. My doctor agreed that my numbers were not high enough to warrant meds - good thing because I would not take them even if they were. (see the article on the dangers of statin drugs)

I knew that there had to be a better way. So I made an appointment with Dr. Katy Wallace at Human Nature for a blood and urine analysis and consultation. The price was reasonable and the consultation was extensive.
Dr. Wallace informed me that cholesterol and blood pressure problems are usually the result of a congested liver. The liver is responsible for controlling cholesterol production. Clean up the liver and good results should follow.

So I embarked on a 6 week 'Liver Cleanse' diet that sounded pretty restrictive.
No Sugar
No Gluten
No Dairy
No Alcohol
Food combining rules: No protein mixed with grains. Fruit eaten alone at least 1/2 hour before a meal.

Hmmm....  Well my favorite snack was always good, crunchy whole grain crackers and cheese.  No more of that. No more glass of wine while I fix dinner. No more of the 7 grain bread that I love for toast and sandwiches. Even have to skip the organic yogurt I have eaten for years.

But guess what - - - - - I hardly miss any of that. I've actually enjoyed coming up with creative ways to use vegetables and the allowed grains. Meals are quite tasty and snacks aren't bad either.

Here's what I do eat:
Lots of veggies - all colors - raw, steamed, stir-fried, sauteed, roasted, in soups, blended....
Whole grains including - brown rice, millet, quinoa, wild rice, oats, buckwheat
Fish and Poultry - stir-fried, baked, sauteed, roasted, grilled, in soups, ...
Almonds and raw seeds - with any above or as a snack

I've learned how to make my own almond milk (yum) which is great on the cooked grains I have for breakfast.

I'll outline a typical day in another post, but I do want to share my favorite new recipe. The whole family loves it. So simple too!

Kale Chips:
Wash, dry and chop kale into bite-sized pieces.
Spread out on an oiled cookie sheet, spay with olive or canola oil and dust with sea salt
Bake in a 300 degree oven until crisp. Watch toward the end so they don't brown. Taste after 15 min to see if they are done enough for you.

I think you could also use mustard greens if you like the bite, or any curly leafed green. These really go fast at our house. Try them and let me know what you think.

As always ~ Be well ~

1 comment:

  1. Mary, This is a wonderful article especially after the information I just found out about medicine and high cholesterol. Thank you for checking my blog. I will let my readers know about "Your Health in Your Hands." The information about the liver being clogged is terrific. Thanks very much.