It was about 10 years ago that I developed a cholesterol problem. It wasn’t until 5 years that my doctor acknowledged it and let me in on the secret. It wasn’t until a few months ago that a new doctor started to help me to battle the problem through diet. This is truly the diet from hell, but I am doing it for my health and to avoid taking statins. Statins are bad! I tried them. Within one month of taking them, all my cholesterol numbers were normal. They had been horrific. However, within that same month, my liver enzymes had turned bad. The doctor I had at the time told me he’d rather see me with good cholesterol numbers than good liver enzymes. I disagree. I am working with a new doctor. This is the third GP I have dealt with specifically on this issue. I started taking the statin about 4 1/2 years ago. I stopped about 1 1/2 years ago. This new doctor initially wanted to put me back on a statin after she saw my bloodwork results. I was very adamant that I did not want to do that. She then suggested an alternative medication that I reluctantly said I would try. While I waited for the prescription, she changed her mind. She suggested I try a special diet instead and see if that worked.
My doctor told me the diet would be very hard. That is an understatement. As I reviewed it with her tweaks, I immediately thought it was the diet from hell. I’m getting used to it, but I’ve added some of my own tweaks so that it can be sustainable. Sustainable is important. If you cannot follow the diet for a long period of time (as in forever), then it will not work. This is a diet for health, not weight loss, although I have lost weight too. I am due to have my blood tested again to see if it helped with my cholesterol problems.
The good news for those who might be interested in trying this, is that the first step of the my doctor’s orders were for me to eat “more”. It wasn’t volume that was directly addressed. It was the frequency of eating. There is no calorie counting or watching on this diet. It is a matter of what you eat and drink. Although that seems like a simple statement, what you should and should not eat surprised me. I researched the information when I started this and continue to do so. Avoiding foods high in cholesterol themselves is NOT part of this diet. It turns out that you could avoid all high cholesterol foods and your body will still produce between 75% – 95% of the amount of cholesterol that it did when you were eating those foods!!! Your liver produces most of the cholesterol found in your body. When a doctor tells you to address cholesterol problems through diet, (s)he often forgets to tell you how.
All “proper” diet steps begin with hydration. Yep, you need to drink water! It purifies all of your body. It was the first, and hardest, step for me. I always avoided drinking water, unless I was on vacation in a hot climate. I knew I needed it then. My doctor advised to drink 2 liters of water a day, with fresh lemon squeeze in it. I have found this very hard!!!! On the other hand, I have learned to enjoy it. The 2 liters is tough! There is no reason to buy bottled water! There are many alternatives. We have a new refrigerator that has a water filer. I can fill that in a water filtration system like Brita or others that has an additional charcoal filtration. Then I have very clear water. I add my squeezed lemon. I’ve “learned” to love it. It is tasty and refreshing. It has no sugar! I used to think I needed sugar to enjoy “lemonade”. I do not!!! I started meeting the 2 liters a day. I found myself devoted to my water. You can get water from other sources in your “diet”.
Let me say, hydration, hydration, hydration! It is so good for your health in so many ways. Give up the sugars….both artificial and natural. You don’t need them and they are bad for you. If you decrease them, you won’t want them. Don’t “substitute” with chemical “fake” sugars. They are not good for you either. Your internal organs, skin, hair, and overall bodily functions are better without sugar. I’ll talk more about them in a subsequent post. Don’t forget, even if you don’t “add” sugar” to things, they are there. Fruit has a ridiculously high amount of sugar. Packaged foods are abhorrent. Carbohydrates are still sugars.
Some good news……This diet from hell did not at all interfere with my most recent travel. I was away for about three weeks. The majority of that was on a cruise in the Baltics on a Holland America ship, the Zuiderdam. I have been on that ship before. Here’s one photo of me and hubby taken on “our floor” by the elevators closest to our suite. The ship is gorgeous. The dress I’m wearing was new. Hubby found it on-line and ordered it for me. It is a Halston!!!! It is my first Halston. “good” clothes last forever compared to cheap clothes. Beware…designer clothes don’t have to cost a fortune. They go on sale! Good clothes last forever! Pick your wardrobe for your body. Accentuate the good, whatever it is. I’ve got large breast, have always had same. It doesn’t mean I have to wear mou- mous.