Life on our farm revolved around food. You planted it, picked it and canned it. Or you fed it, pastured it, butchered it and froze it. You gathered eggs and picked strawberries. You shucked sweet corn and cut rhubarb. Food surrounded you, and meals were tasty, made even more so by easy conversation that flowed around our table. We were seven.
Meals always included a meat, a potato (mashed or fried) and a vegetable from our garden—peas, red beets, corn. And dessert. Always dessert—pies, cakes, custards. Each year I sold Jell-O as a fundraiser for my elementary school, and my mother and I loved finding new flavors—peach, pistachio, whatever.
All that—well, not the Jell-O—probably laid the basis for a current medical problem—high cholesterol. I developed “issues” after taking statins for many years, so I’m determined to control my cholesterol with healthy eating instead of medication. At my age, I don’t eat as much, and if I fill up on pies, cakes and custards, there’s no room for apples, peaches and cantaloupes.
I’ve found the solution in the book Living a Beautiful Life by Alexandra Stoddard:
1. Make a list of ten reasons you want to diet and read them every morning. Besides lowering my cholesterol, my reasons to diet range from “to live longer” to “to practice self control.” Then I took her suggestion a step further.
2. Each night I jot down an overview of my gastronomical activity that day along with my exercise and how I felt in general.
3. AND then I write down what I’m learning. So far I’ve learned: I don’t need to eat something just because someone gives it to me. I don’t need to eat something just because Bill eats it. I don’t need to eat something just because I think of it. This way of thinking helps me avoid the bad stuff.
I’m three days into this new way of life, and I certainly ate healthfully on two of those days. I made homemade vegetable soup and ate it with toast and a small slice of bologna one night and with a salmon burger the next. The third day I had a walking taco for supper. How bad can a bag of Doritos with a bit of barbecue, lettuce, cheese, salsa and sour cream thrown in be for you? I told the server to add only half the sour cream he normally uses. I also had a fruit smoothie—made with real fruit. So even though that menu had some unhealthy elements, they didn’t add up to too much.
I hope the cholesterol will slip right out of my system as I walk this path to more healthful eating. I made an appointment with a new doctor in three months, and my goal is to lower my cholesterol at least 20 points by the time I meet him. Wish me luck. And if you have any suggestions to help me reach my goal, just click on the link below and leave a comment so we can earn from each other. I’m sure I’m not alone on this gastronomical journey. (Don’t you love that word? It just rolls off the tongue.)
Have a blessed day!
August 7, 3 p.m. – Friends of the Heart at Women’s Tea, Salem U. C. C., Elizabethville. “That Face in the Mirror: Who Do You See?” (Call 362-8221 or 362-3148 for reservations)
August 21, 9:30 a.m. – Shirley teaching Sunday school at Port Royal U. M. Church.