Sunday, May 17, 2009

Good Vice

With the exception of some mild gastrointestinal problems and my even milder arthritis, I've always been insufferably healthy - and I pray it remains that way. But recently I was diagnosed with a slightly elevated cholesterol level and my doctor told me I could probably get it back down through diet.
Having grown up mostly on a low fat, low salt, low cholesterol diet because of my father's health problems, I'm all too familiar with cutting back and I confess the last few years have been a bit of a reaction against that way of eating. So I have been regularly indulging on butter, bacon, red meat, potato chips, cheese, chocolate, French fries and other tasty but not-so-good- for-you foods. I had even started putting butter AND marmalade on my toast and even used the occasional sauce and gravy on my potatoes - something I would never have done years ago. As a result, I have gained a few extra pounds, which I really don't need.
I have started cutting back - no more salad dressings (never really care for it much anyway - much prefer the taste of the plain vegetable), the bacon has left the freezer and will no longer be coming into my home; my chips are gone and it's going to remain that way and I'm not eating as much butter on anything anymore. As soon as this package of Walkers Shortbread sitting in front of me is gone, that will be it for store-bought cookies coming into the house. Any cookies or pastries will have to be made by me, and while I do make some pretty tasty treats, I'm hoping my lack of time will stop me from doing so too often. So hopefully this, and much less eggs, dairy products and red meat, will help lower my cholesterol to an optimum level so I can avoid having to take drugs. My doctor seems to think it will. It's worth a try anyway. Right now some things are non-negotiable - I'll still have a little cream in my occasional cup of decaf coffee, cheddar cheese and chocolate - but even these will be scaled back somewhat.
Fortunately, I don't have to cut back on tea. It seems that everyday, there's some new reason to drink it. It's good to know that one of my vices is actually good for me!