Tunes for Tuesday: The Sound of Settling, by Death Cab for Cutie
Dancin' like Dora the Explorer: We did it!

Hello bloodwork, my old friend

Today's email from my doctor, on top of my (perfectly normal) mammogram results, read:

"Your cholesterol is much improved compared to last year. Your chemistry panel, glucose, liver enzymes are normal."


While most people would celebrate with a "whoo hoo! and a plate of cookies, I'm not satisfied.

While my HDL is over 50 and my HDL to LDL ratio is perfect, my LDL is a bit too high and my triglycerides are hovering around 200 -- at least 50 points too high.

Y'know what causes high triglycerides? Carbs. 

I like to think that I eat pretty darn healthfully but I do tend to veer toward the sweet side of the flavor spectrum. I eat far more fruit than vegetables and I love fruity yogurt and fro-yo.

So my latest eating project is to rethink my snacking. Over the past year or so I've been using more and more plain Greek yogurt adorned with a teaspoon or so of honey or maybe some dried fruit. I think I'll be sticking with the plain for the time being. I'll grab more salads and stuff more spinach into my smoothies instead of bananas.

I follow Dr. Melina Jampolis on Facebook and -- perfect timing -- she's running a Cholesterol Reduction Challenge this month. So I printed out her guidelines and in 60 days I'll get my blood rechecked to see how I turned things around. These are her guidelines:

  1. Aim for at least 25 grams of fiber per day.
  2. Eat at least 1 ounce of nuts or seeds daily.
  3. Eat at least 1 serving of the following daily: oats, barley, beans or psyllium.
  4. Eat at least 1 serving of fruit high in soluble fiber per day (apples, pears, berries)
  5. Go meatless at least once a week, more often if you can.
  6. Aim for at least 2 cups of colorful vegetables each day.
  7. Cut back on saturated fat (red meat, butter, cheese) and sugar as much as you can.
  8. Make the majority of your grains whole grains.
  9. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. If you skip a day, do more the next day.

If you want to improve your numbers, you can still take part -- just go to her Cholesterol Reduction Challenge page. Oh, did I mention that there are cash prizes? You can win anywhere from $50 to $250.

This post isn't sponsored or anything -- I just happened upon Dr. Melina's challenge at the perfect time.