It’s Better Than the Pill

It’s better than the pill, Amanda tells me. I believe her because she knows about food, she loves slimy, oily fish and she’s really pretty. Her slight Southern accent punctuates the truth: eating actual fish is much more beneficial than swallowing a supplement.

Earlier this year I learned about my elevated cholesterol. I started on fish oil pills immediately. But I also tried to eat foods that would lower my level, not just avoid foods known to perk it up. I dined on oatmeal and lentils through the winter, filling my hunger but leaving plenty of dough in my now very-empty bank account.

But that was winter. I can no longer allow the stove top to fire up my kitchen for a full 45 minutes.That’s when I found Amanda at a backyard party, proclaiming the joys and healthful uses of tiny fish.

I lunched at DC’s Estadio, ordering a decidedly oily sandwich of sardines. Sardines, butter and thinly shaved onions. And suddenly I didn’t feel so terrible, so old, so holy-fuck-I’m-30. I found a legitimate reason to order fishy sandwiches. I will, I will, I will lower my cholesterol deliciously.

Double the Pleasure, Double the Almond

I’ve relaxed on my cheese and egg intake to help lower my cholesterol, but have also upped my oatmeal eating in pursuit of the same goal. My dad and sister eat oatmeal almost daily, zapping a bowl in the microwave and dousing in ground cinnamon.

I take the path less traveled and wait almost an hour for my bowl of steel cut oats. I also will not rest with the simple topping of a powdered spice. After a few bland bowls, I’ve discovered how to satisfyingly eat my way to a healthier body and not be totally bored with lunch.

Double Almond Oatmeal

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Lowering Cholesterol Deliciously

In just a little over a month I will turn 30.

<gag> <puke> <cry> <pull out gray hairs>

But the number isn’t the only thing pissing me off these days. Because it’s not just the number. I’ve also been diagnosed with high cholesterol. Now, my “good” cholesterol is very high, thank you avocados. But my well-documented love affair with eggs and cheese couldn’t overcome my HDL.

So now I’m on fish oil pills (side note – what do dedicated vegetarians take to lower cholesterol?) three times a day. In the past three weeks I’ve eaten eggs only once a week (instead of my normal 4-5 times a week) and have lowered my twice+ a day habit of cheese to about once every other day or so.

But I don’t want to just cut things out of my diet. I’m also looking to add things that will actively lower my cholesterol. And that’s when I remembered the dessert my cousin, Lea, made me when I vacationed in Arizona last fall. Lea is a Wellcoaches certified wellness coach and specializes in weight loss and heart disease prevention. (About Lea)

I asked her to send more information on her muesli dessert, which is simply raw oats, raisins, chopped walnuts, chopped cashews, and semi-sweet mini chocolate chips swimming in Rice Dream vanilla rice drink. Most people would assume this is a breakfast treat, but Lea has adapted it as a healthy and filling dessert, which even helps her fall asleep.

Here’s more from Lea on how a nightcap of muesli can help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol (turning 30 or not):

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