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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Our New Food Adventure - Lowering Cholesterol

We are embarking on a new adventure in our house.  Food!  For those of you who already know I live with somewhat particular eaters, you can imagine how fun this new adventure might (or might not) be, especially in the first few months.

High cholesterol is in both our families' history.  The last time I had my numbers checked, my doctor was slightly concerned that my cholesterol seemed to creep up ever-so-slightly.  She recommended a good diet and ample exercise and she wanted to see me back in a year.  My sweet husband just got his numbers back last week and his cholesterol is not where we want it to be.  His doctor wants to see him in 6 weeks to check it again.

We are both painfully aware we are not getting any younger and that this food thing is going to get harder, not easier when it comes to staying healthy and eating the "right" foods.  **sigh**

Now is the time to get healthier!  My husband's dad had heart issues at a very young age and due to a doctor's mistake, died very young as well.  Needless to say, I want to and will do anything it takes to get my hubby as healthy as possible!

I began researching last week to see what foods are recommended for lowering cholesterol.  The list I wrote down looked something like this:
  • garlic
  • spinach, dark green leafy vegetables
  • veggies in general - some are better than others
  • lean meat and chicken
  • cinnamon
  • green beans
  • carrots
  • broccoli
  • whole wheat bread/grains
  • tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • soy nuts
  • almonds
  • pure pomegranate juice
  • oatmeal
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • grapes
  • onions
  • kidney beans, high fiber foods
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (found most often in fish)
  • dried beans, legumes
  • corn, kale, artichokes
  • citrus fruits
  • blueberries, raspberries
  • bison meat
Now, I have to say that I like pretty much everything on the list except for the dried beans and legumes.  My husband likes 2/3 of the list of foods, which isn't too bad.  The oatmeal is not too horrible if you add a bit of milk and about a teaspoon of brown sugar to it.  I would add some dried fruit too such as dried cherries, dried cranberries, or raisins to make it more flavorful.

I do know that making changes in the diet need to be swift in one way, but realistically, I also know I need to tread slowly with my family so dinner doesn't become a mutiny situation.  See, our two daughters can be somewhat picky eaters (ask anyone who has tried to feed them, they will tell you!), so I am trying to move forward with healthier eating options, but must do so in a way that isn't too drastic all at once.  **sigh**

To that end, last night I tried one new dish - oven roasted green beans.  The original recipe from which I was working was Emeril's Oven Roasted Green Beans, but I added almonds to the mix and it was delicious!  Alas, by the time I thought of taking a photo, my sweet husband and I had eaten them all up.  I will try to remember to take photos of new dishes from now on.

The oven roasted green beans were a hit!  My husband usually eats baked beans with his burger, so last night he looked at me and said, "how bad are baked beans for me?"  I'll rephrase that in my own words - "why do I have this pile of green stuff on my plate in place of my baked beans?"  (smile)

But after he had eaten a few bites, he said something along the lines of, "you know, these are really good".

Yes!  My first victory!

I know what some of you are thinking...we had oven roasted green beans...and burgers.  Well, admittedly, the burger was 83% lean and I know that we need to do better, but this is one of those times I decided to go slowly.  We are going to work our way up to leaner meats, but it's a taste issue with all of us.

So, there you have it...the first day of our new food adventure recorded.  I'll keep you updated on how things are going!

All my best to you this beautiful Sunday morning,