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It’s all about balance

mintwood restaurant

Canon 6D, 50mm f/1.4, Lightroom edits, Mintwood, Washington DC

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!

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10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Very awesome! We’ve been doing the smoothies from scratch thing as well but mostly because Nathan loves them. Yogurt, frozen fruit, and milk. Yum!

    November 10, 2015
    • Marie #

      Thanks! That’s so good Nathan likes them because they really are so healthy!

      November 11, 2015
  2. Oooh, the oatmeal tip is great! I so need a way to eat actual good breakfasts, but making breakfast before work is 100% not an option.

    November 11, 2015
    • Marie #

      Heck no it isn’t! Which is why I prep mine the night before and then bring it with me to work and make it there.

      November 11, 2015
  3. San #

    Heck yes, Marie! I knew you can do it… and look at you being all organized and disciplined! I also love that you liked my oatmeal-“recipe”… it definitely gets me to eat breakfast!!
    When did you change jobs? Was that recent?

    November 11, 2015
    • Marie #

      I was so very much not disciplined over the holidays! Way too much good food that I ate a lot of. I think my list sounds more organized and I’ve definitely fallen off the wagon, so to speak, but it’s about finding and keeping the right balance. Very hard to do (at least for me). I changed jobs last year in the late spring/early summer so somewhat recent.

      November 12, 2015
  4. It really is all about balance. And good for you! Small changes can add up to the big changes.

    Steel cut oats are a breakfast staple in my household too – whip up a batch that’ll be kept in the fridge for a few days. And taken up squash about 3 times a week. I’ve gone from feeling broken for 2 days after playing, to feeling pretty spry.

    November 12, 2015
    • Marie #

      I think if we try to make big changes all at once, we’re going to likely fail. Smaller steps make things a lot easier!

      I feel the same way when I go workout. I’ll feel beat, but afterwards I feel loads better!

      November 13, 2015
  5. Great job girl. So hard to stay dedicated to exercising & eating healthy!

    November 12, 2015
    • Marie #

      Thank you! I hope I can stay on this course.

      November 13, 2015

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