Unhealthy Skinny, Genetics and Fiber

I come from a long line of bean poles. And by that I mean, body type. My mom was five-foot-ten most of her life; my brother is over six feet tall, I’m almost five-eight. Our combined weight is only around 400 pounds. (My dad is no longer with us.)

When we have the good fortune to be together on the occasional holiday, and guests are around, we usually get smiles and comments like, You’re obviously all from the same family. The Tall and Skinny Family!

However, skinny does not necessarily healthy make. All of us have high cholesterol. Yeah, it’s genetic. We’re scrawny and yet candidates for a heart attack.
The first time I got my cholesterol tested, it was well over 200, and my doc said, OK, here’s the thing. Your cholesterol is high and unless you want to go on Lipitor, like your mom, you have to do something about this.

You need to get regular exercise, eat a low-fat diet, and take in lots of fiber. (recommended fiber intake here)

I didn’t want to go on meds, and I also wasn’t excited about having a heart attack, so I took his words to heart. Joined a gym, actually went to the gym, cut out fatty stuff like red meat, and added things like All-Bran and more fresh fruit and veggies to my diet.
3weekdiet_4045
I was pretty excited when I went back a year later, got tested, and found that my cholesterol had dropped to under 200.
Since I know that my cholesterol struggle is hereditary, I also know I can’t ever ease up on what I’m doing to keep it lowered. Therein lies the challenge.

I’ve had a couple of experiences that demonstrated that my body has gotten used to my dietary adjustments. I went to some friends’ house for dinner, and everything they served was deep-fried. It was very good, but barely an hour later, I felt like I had a boulder in my gut. I didn’t think anything about it until the next time I went to their house and experienced the same thing: deep-fried food and a gut-ache afterward.

So, sometimes it takes me a while to connect dots, but I got them connected after that second meal.

My body really doesn’t like heavy concentrations of fatty stuff. So in addition to the doctor’s exhortation, I have a natural check in my brain to keep eating right.
The working out at the gym has paid off in other ways as well. I found that after a good solid workout, I was tired, but mentally I was rockin’ it. What a great feeling that was! And a bit addictive, may I add. So now I want to get to the gym not only to keep that cholesterol dragon at bay but also to keep those feel-good endorphins flowing.
I’m still skinny but I can fairly confidently say that I’m healthy. I rarely get sick. I have stamina to work physically for long hours. And I’m pretty sure the heart attack is in the back seat of the theater now. Yeah, baby!

Humanely Treated Meat and Healthy Eating

photo thanks to humaneitarian.org… see link below.

A year ago, when I was visiting my daughter at Florida State University for the weekend, we went to a Greek festival. I was pretty excited, thinking about getting a lamb gyro, seasoned to perfection and smothered in sour cream or the Greek equivalent.

The place was packed. I had to raise my voice to Star.

I’ll get us gyros! What kind do you want? Lamb?

She gave me a bit of a funny look and then said, Um, well, I’m not going to have one. I’m only eating ethically-raised meat.   You can find out more about this sort of thing on sites like: http://www.humaneitarian.org

I didn’t hear her too well. What? I said loudly. What’s ethnically raised meat? I’m thinking, Greek is an ethnicity, we’re at a Greek festival, she’s not eating meat raised by Greeks? . . . obviously trying to connect dots that didn’t exist.

Well, we got that all sorted out, and it had nothing to do with Greeks or any other people group on the planet. I had actually never heard of ethically-raised meat, but I was about to get a full education. Star came home for the summer, and she cooked all of the evening meals for my husband and me while we worked. She also did all of the meal-planning and grocery shopping.

I discovered that her food tastes and convictions had changed a lot since going away to college. In addition to being concerned about living condition of animals and working conditions of field workers, she was just plain concerned about the healthiness of what she was eating.
This was fantastic. She kept track of what she cooked and put the recipes on a Google document for me, so now I have them all for reference.
She made us

  • Zucchini
  • Quinoa Burgers;
  • Spring Couscous Primavera with Whipped Ricotta;
  • Mushroom, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza;
  • Green Chickpea Curry, and Pinkeye Purple Hull Pea Chili.

To name a few.

Here’s the recipe for the Green Chickpea Curry! It’s from minimalistbaker.com. ENJOY!

GREEN CHICKPEA CURRY WITH COUSCOUS

Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
20 mins
Total time
30 mins

Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Vegan, Indian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
CURRY
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 yellow onion, diced (~1/2 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp minced or grated fresh ginger (or galangal), skin removed
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
1 15-ounce (425 g) can chickpeas, thoroughly rinsed and drained
3 1/2 Tbsp (~52 g g) green curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
2 1/2 cups (600 ml) light coconut milk (about 1 1/4 14-ounce cans)
1 cup (240 ml) vegetable stock (if low sodium, add more salt)
3-4 Tbsp (36-48 g) coconut sugar (or sub maple syrup)
1 tsp lime zest, or a small handful of kaffir lime leaf
3/4 cup (~112 g) dry Israeli couscous (see notes for substitutions)
Sea salt to taste
TOPPINGS (optional)
Baked or pan-fried crispy tofu (see notes)
Bean sprouts or shredded Brussels sprouts
Lime juice
Fresh basil or cilantro, chopped/torn

Instructions

Heat a pot, large saucepan or deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add coconut oil, garlic, ginger, carrot and onion.
Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add curry paste and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute.
Add chickpeas and stir to coat once more. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add coconut milk, vegetable broth, coconut sugar (or maple syrup), lime zest (or leaf), and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a heavy simmer over medium-high heat.
Once simmering, add couscous, stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding fresh lime juice for tang, maple syrup or coconut sugar for added sweetness, and salt for depth of flavor. I added a bit more of each as you really want the flavor to be big, bold and punch through in each bite. Don’t be shy!
Then turn off heat and let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavor to permeate the chickpeas and couscous even more.
Serve with fresh lime juice, fresh herbs, sriracha, and just a sprinkle more coconut sugar (trust me! the flavor payoff is big). You can also serve with pan-seared tofu (instructions below) and/or bean sprouts or shredded Brussels Sprouts.
Notes
*Pan seared tofu: 1 cup extra firm tofu, pressed dry then cubed. Toss with 1 Tbsp cornstarch and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Then pan fry in a cast iron (or metal) skillet over medium heat in 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until light golden brown.
*Recipe inspired by the Green Tofu Curry at Public.
*If you don’t have / don’t want to use couscous, you can double up on chickpeas, or omit it and serve this over coconut rice or quinoa instead.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 4 servings without toppings.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 602 Fat: 40 g Saturated fat: 31 g Carbohydrates: 58 g Sugar: 14 gSodium: 703 mg Fiber: 7.9 g Protein: 10 g

Nightmare turns into Morning: finding the right pediatrician

Pediatrician caught what everyone else missed.

Hi guys, today I want to talk about something that is kind of the sensitive subject.  I think that her society is encouraged to Ravir physicians. As a matter of fact I watched a skit done by a comedian named Tom made. He called an office acting as if he were the physician of one of their workers. The lady wanted to be super helpful for the position on the phone and ended up giving the man the phone number of this employee to call her at home. In reality he was just a comedian, but my point is simply that our society feels that we should cooperate with physicians because they hold an esteemed position. The point of this post however it is not to support our paradigm rather it is to knock it.

I believe that often we believe our physicians are infallible. We believe that they have our best interest at heart and that they are fully engaged when we meet them in their practice. But history shows that physicians are people too and make mistakes and fail us at times. This story is one that reminds us that we have to be vigilant and that we should be thankful for the doctors who serve us with the utmost attention.

My daughter started having stomach trouble when she was a little girl.

She was no more than six or seven years old but she complained about her tummy aching. I didn’t really think much of it at the time because well, kids complained a lot. I figured she had eaten too much candy or simply was being overly dramatic. But as time marched on I realize that there was more going on. One of the things that I noticed about her was that I would hug her and she felt warm to me. You know what I mean when I say warm, right? I mean it seem like she had a low-grade fever. And I had visited the classroom at her school. She and her friend… Her best friend at the time, we’re in the same class. The teacher asked me to give a little presentation on something I knew something about and so after the presentation was done, I was poised to leave. But I wasn’t going to leave without giving my daughter and her best friend a hug. Right then and there I noticed that my daughter was warmer than her friend. I remember leaving the classroom perplexed as to why she wasn’t complaining about it.

I knew I needed to take action so I sent her to the pediatrician. The pediatrician recommended that we do an x-ray. Although the radiologist did not indicate that there was anything wrong in the x-ray, the pediatrician noticed something four. It was a light area on the x-ray. Later on we discovered it was a 2.2 cm stone. The next thing was surgery and my daughter ended up having her gallbladder removed. It was exactly that. The radiologist listed, the gastroenterologist missed it, but thankfully the pediatrician knew a little more when it came to searching through the x-ray.

Today I am thankful to have a good pediatrician. She is helpful and thorough.  www.pediatricsmetrowest.com it Is such a practice. Dr. Narahari is highly esteemed by her peers.