What a difference a
day moment makes…
My employer offers discounted rates on our health insurance if we (my husband and I) go in for a thorough annual physical. Two weeks ago I completed my physical. Last week my blood work results came in and I received a phone call from my doctor. Everything looked really good except my cholesterol.
My total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol are very high. Combine these results with my family history of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke, it does not look good for me at all. It is so bad that my doctor wanted me on multiple cholesterol lowering medications immediately. I requested to change my diet and start exercising more, a chance to lower my cholesterol naturally. I have been given three months to lower my cholesterol. I have until June 30, 2017 to lower my cholesterol or I will be placed on medication. Challenge accepted.
I have joined a Beachbody Challenge Group and the group of women I am virtually working with are amazing and help keep me accountable. It makes this process fun.
I am on a low cholesterol diet and exercising daily. I have to diligently watch my saturated and trans fat levels as well as my sodium and cholesterol intake. Also, I make sure to get the good fats (poly and mono-unsaturated fats, omega-3’s) in my diet and take my omega-3 pill.
It is definitely a change. I really miss cheese. and fried foods. and baked goods. and delicious processed foods. But I am staying strong. This isn’t going to be easy but I know I can beat this with hard work and a positive attitude.
Lentils are a Great Substitute for Carbs
As you navigate your weight loss and/or healthy living, sometimes reducing carbohydrates is necessary (even for a short while) to improve weight loss and eat more healthful. If you’re like me, my body thinks it cannot live without an over-abundance of carbs. I love chips, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, pasta, bread…oh my goodness, so yummy! BUT when you are trying to lose weight, eat healthy, and/or stick to a more diabetic friendly diet, carbohydrates (in excess) are not good for your body. Please note: Your body requires carbohydrates to function but in reasonable amounts, so please do not go “carb free” unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
A great alternative to carbs (and it tricks my body into thinking I’m getting a lot of food) is lentils. Lentils are a superfood and very rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate, and iron. Also, lentils contain potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin, and vitamin K. One cup of lentils contain 63% (16 grams) of your daily fiber as well as 18 grams of protein and less than one gram of fat.
Lentils are very easy to cook (only 15-20 minutes boiling/simmer). You can add them to soups, have them as a main dish, or prepare them as a side dish. Lentils are versatile and you can add your favorite spices and flavors to compliment any protein or prepare as a meal. Here is a Lentil Superfood Soup that is absolutely delicious and contains additional powerful superfood.
I made Curried Lentils yesterday where I added ginger, curry, onion, and carrots to the lentils. Warning: Cook curry in a well ventilated space or open a window prior to making these lentils (trust me, my house had a strong curry smell for hours LOL).
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 4 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- Black pepper (flavor to your preference)
- Lime juice (flavor to your preference, I squeezed a half lime into the pot)
- Place the EVOO into a pot and bring heat to medium.
- Add garlic and onion to pot. Cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add ground ginger and curry powder. Mix well.
- Add carrots, lentils, and broth. Stir.
- Add black pepper and lime juice. Stir.
- Bring to boil.
- Cover, lower heat to strong simmer.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes.
I made a double batch in order to eat a cup at a time throughout the week. I ate a cup of the Curried Lentils yesterday with tilapia. I am going to eat a cup of the lentils today as a main dish.