Right Action

Today I am on a quest to find the perfect cookbook.  Last month my husband and I changed insurance companies.  The new company insisted on some lab work before approving our policy and of course we granted permission.  They sent a lab technician to our home who weighed, measured, took blood and urine samples and asked a lot of questions.  Results in and we passed everything, including our weight with flying colors EXCEPT our cholesterol. 

I was not surprised.  My cholesterol has been over 200 since the early 1980’s when I first started getting it checked.  It began when my father who was the exact same age as I am now started having terrible back aches.  Finally a doctor diagnosed his high cholesterol and the terrible condition his blood vessels were in.  Within 48 hours he was flying into Houston, TX where Dr. Denton Cooley operated on his veins and aorta.  He stopped smoking that week.  My husband quit smoking soon after that as well.  I never smoked.   But I did inherit my father’s high cholesterol.

Year after year I get it checked.  My good cholesterol is so good my ratio remains around .2 or .3.  So I don’t take medicine.  I did once, but a doctor took me off of it saying I was not a candidate for medicine.  Well, not so anymore according to my insurance carrier.  They doubled the quote on our premiums until we lower our cholesterol.

But how am I going to do that if I’m doing all the right things already?  I eat the right foods, I exercise (walk), and I take Nature Made CholestOff  designed to lower cholesterol naturally.

By eating the right foods, I mean I cook just about everything I eat.  Yes, I do eat out now and then, but for the most part I cook at least three meals a day using heart healthy, low-fat recipes from a menu I make out at the beginning of each week.  My favorite cookbooks are Holly Clegg’s Trim & Terrific Cookbooks.  It doesn’t hurt that she’s from my home town of Baton Rouge and that many of her recipes remind me of the Louisiana food I grew up eating, but with a healthy approach to cooking them.  She has a Facebook page which has been fun to keep up with.  In fact she has a Mexican tuna fish salad (black beans, salsa, non fat yogurt, corn and cumin on a bed of lettuce) that is delicious.  I sent a message to her on FB about how delicious it is and she said she forgot that recipe and the cookbook I used was out of print, but now she might bring it back into one of her new cookbooks.  I hope so because it is very good.

But now that I’m faced with the challenge to lower my cholesterol without prescription pills, I searched on the Internet “heart healthy low fat recipes” and came up with the American Heart Association’s Heart Healthy Low-Calorie Cookbook, second edition, only to learn with more research that it is now in its fifth edition.

My need to find a low-calorie cookbook that is also heart healthy is that although my Body Mass Index (BMI) shows that my body fat is good, it is still at the top of the scale of the chart.  If I can lose six pounds, I will be exactly where I want and need to be.  I have learned after losing 20 pounds a couple of years ago, that counting calories is the ONLY way to lose weight and keep it off.

Every day I affirm that I am whole, well, and healthy.  I am confident that I have the power to make this happen and am filled with the energy to both find the right cookbook and take control of my health.

“Yours Sincerely, Wasting Away” ~ The Beatles

A friend once told me that if a person can live through the sixties than most likely they can live well into their seventies or eighties and if very lucky maybe even into their nineties. 

I have every intention of living until I’m at least 90 years old; 100 would be better.  But I’m beginning to think there is some truth to my friend’s comment about surviving the decade between age sixty and age seventy.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association this year the oldest baby boomer is turning 65.  This year I turned 61.  And according to the Boomer Report, “Too many of America’s baby boomers will spend their retirement years either with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone who has it.”   If I’m going to live to be 100, I have to start now thinking about the quality of life I will have to get there.

From the day we are born, our bodies begin to grow but at some point each of us begins to erode or “age.”  In the harrowing movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” we see what it would be like to wake up old and grow younger as you live your life backwards.  If that was the way everyone lived, it would not be so curious, but it is not.

I think that for the most part I’ve lived a healthy life with the usual things like flu, ear infections, root canals, four babies (2 c-sections), umbilical hernia operation, laser surgery on my eyes, and migraine headaches for many many years.   When I turned forty, I started wearing bifocals; and at fifty, I tackled menopause without the use of drugs. I reached age sixty without knee problems, hip problems or any chronic illnesses and I thought I was home free.

This is because some time in my early fifties I was at a meeting where the guest speaker was Dr. Tom Cable from the Optimal Health Institute.  Before he left, he said if I leave here with one message and only one, it should be to take your fish oil pills.  He had explained earlier the importance of the omega-3 pills saying in laymen’s terms that the brain is made of up “mush” as he put it, and research has shown that the omega-3 in the fish oil keeps the brain more mushy, therefore delaying the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s.  Since then I rarely miss a day taking my fish oil pills.  Fish oils have been effective in helping many patients with both physical and mental conditions. There are research studies showing benefits from fish oils in Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, coronary artery disease, bipolar disorders, depression, and ADHD to name a few.  Theoretically, there is almost no condition that EFA’s would not help,”  according to Dr. Cable.

I may be wasting away, but when I’m sixty-four, I will still strong and well because I will do it in my time by making healthy choices every step of the way.  Which by the way is also God’s time; for together we can do all things.