It’s all about balance
If you’re wondering what I did to reduce my cholesterol levels, the secret is:
I ATE ALL THE DONUTS!
If only. That actually only happened in my dreams. Sadly in real life, eating All The Donuts does not in fact reduce your cholesterol. Shocking, I know.
Also if you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about and didn’t read yesterday’s post, go back and read yesterday’s post.
Ok so here’s what I did:
- Attempted to go to the gym 2-3 times a week and while there, did cardio exercises mixed in with strength training and weight training.
- Walked at least a mile a day from my place of work to the metro (I usually have to switch lines so instead of switching, I walk straight to the line that takes me home).
- Cut down on cheese intake (yes sadly I had to). BUT I didn’t cut out cheese all together. It just doesn’t work. I love cheese too damn much to cut it out of my life. Instead, I opted for the lower fat cheeses such as feta and cottage cheese. I also would eat low-fat yogurt from time to time because that seemed to somewhat take care of that cheese craving. When it came to sandwiches, I would use soy cheese (it doesn’t taste so bad when putting it with other stuff in the sandwich) or would use low-fat cheese slices (if I could find them). From time to time, I still had some tasty cheeses. Like I said, I didn’t cut it out all together. That just won’t work.
- I increased my intake of fruits and vegetables. I don’t have an issue eating fruits and veggies, in fact, I like both. So I put more of them into my lunch than I had done previously.
- I eat oatmeal every morning which I mix (and actually learned this from San). Mine is a little different from her’s because I prefer strawberries (the frozen dried kind from Trader Joe’s) than apples. Point is, mix your own and make it to your liking!
- I did not cut out eggs. In fact, I kept eating them. Also a recent study has shown that eggs are not the main culprit of cholesterol. I boil them or make them sunny side up.
- I cut down on pastries. Let me tell you THIS WAS VERY DIFFICULT. If you know me and have ever been out with me for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, then you KNOW I have my eye on some kind of dessert. It’s basically my favorite part of the meal. In fact, my friends usually turn to me and say, “Marie, pick what you want.” THIS IS THE BEST. THE BEST. But I had to cut down on dessert and pastry intake. Again, though, I didn’t cut it out completely. It just doesn’t work because you end up at some point consuming ALL THE DESSERTS and you have to start from scratch again. So treat yourself from time to time, just don’t overdo it.
- I did not cut out red meat or pork. I tend not to eat them as much to begin with (about once-twice a week and we also eat chicken and fish) so there was no need to cut them out or cut down on them.
- Changing jobs helped me a lot. In my previous job, I worked a lot more than I do now (because the job required it) and I had no time for myself. Not even on the weekends. There was also no place to go for walks nor was there a gym near by. The stress levels at my previous job were also through the roof. It was just not worth it and not worth my declining health. Oh and p.s., sitting at a desk IS bad for you. Get up and move around throughout the day. I cannot stress that enough.
That’s basically it! I’ve learned that diets just don’t work because you fall back on your old vices at some point. It’s all about balance and finding the right balance for you. What works for one person may not for another.
I also found the Mayo Clinic and American Heart Association to be very helpful in regards to knowing what I needed to do to lower my cholesterol so I recommend both. Bonus, the Mayo Clinic has heart-healthy recipes you can make at home (and a lot of them are pretty simple). I’ve tried a few and they are quite tasty.
Oh I should add, I started making several smoothies in the summer (from scratch) and that helped my sweet-tooth cravings. After a workout or just on a hot day, they are so tasty and refreshing. Plus they fill you up so you don’t fill yourself up with unhealthy crap.
Have any questions? Fire away!