Thursday, November 24, 2011

My uber-healthy Thanksgiving - kicking and screaming all the way

Our Menu:

Curried parsnip, pumpkin and apple soup. Chopped walnut and apricot garnish.

Roast lamb with mint jelly
Roasted potatoes, carrots, onions and parsnip and steamed cauliflower, brussel sprouts and broccoli.

Hot fruit compote with Greek yoghurt creme fraiche.

Sterling 2006 merlot.

Well here we are - at critical mass. Breaking point. The last straw. I went to see my cardiologist yesterday, and his gift to me was that I am, healthwise, at a 'dangerous' place (his words - not mine. God knows - not mine.) The arrhythmia I had prior to the stent insertion and angioplasty last year has gotten no worse - but neither has it improved. My cholesterol is half what it was 5 years ago - and in fact within the recommended levels. But since I have a massive stent and a degree of heart disease, my LDL needs to be another 50 points lower still. Also, my HDL has dropped about 40% (not good) and my glucose has actually risen. My vitamin D is, literally, almost non-existent and my C Reactive protein levels are, as ever, ridiculously high. This may be significant or it may mean nothing at all. I have arthritis, so a CRP test is always going to be a blunt tool where I'm concerned. It's not a great result, tho, at a time when I could do with a great result...

At age 51, with 2 parents who died in their 50's, I am at a critical point in my life. I'm exhausted ALL the time, I have a lump in my thyroid, and I am a long way from home. What I'd like to do is get into bed, pull the covers over my head, and hide. What I'm going to do is try to take this mother by the throat and beat it to a pulp. I decided to start with Thanksgiving.

My intial goal is to lose 30lbs, drop my LDL 20 points and raise my HDL by 5. That's my goal. My secondary goal is to try to get a smile out of my cardiologist. Neither of these things is easy.

So I made my Thanksgiving menu with a goal to not dying. To be honest, if I had to say what my real goal was, it would be to avoid premature death and to see 80. I will settle for 70. If I don't make 60 - as neither of my parents did - I will be pissed. I gave up smoking many moons ago and gave up dairy in anything except minor doses a year ago, and completely (except for major holidays) a week ago. There should be some pay back for this. And God knows, I miss salt.

The average American consumes approximately 4500 calories and 200gms of fat on Thanksgiving. I decided I would not be part of that statistic. Consequently, our menu was highly fruit and vegetable based and the dairy topping to our fruit was predominantly fat free yoghurt. There was a very little olive oil in the soup, and a spray of olive oil on the roast veges, but otherwise the menu was cooked without added fats. I calculated the whole meal, and there was 17 grams of added fat, along with whatever fat was in the lamb. My lamb serving was 5oz and I removed anything visible and white, so I think it's looking good for a low fat day. Breakfast was oatmeal and I had a coffee with soy creamer in there somewhere, so all up, I think we nailed the whole fat thing this Thanksgiving. I'm not sure exactly what the calorie count was, but I can guarantee that we didn't pass our daily allowance and we were nowhere near 4500.

Was it a little dull? Yes. I spent whole minutes thinking longingly of cheese sauce and anything made from processed flour. But at this point in my life, the only bird I really crave is the one I wish to give my doctor when he is finally forced to say "My goodness, Kareyn! These figures are GREAT!"

Warmest Thanksgiving wishes to you all and may God grant you a happy, healthy year ahead.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vote for Dapple!

Marcia Leeder Photography is having a photography competition for dogs and their female-only owners. Given that I own one of the worlds most gorgeous canines, who happens to be a deaf rescue dog, I decided to enter.

The competition is through Facebook only and here's the link:

If you log onto FB and go to this page, it will firstly ask you to allow the app. Click 'allow' (this takes about 2 seconds), and it will then take you straight to Dapple's voting page. You have to scroll down an inch or two to see her large photo (and mine - sheesh!) and to the right of that is a green button which says 'Vote Now'. Click on that, and it will turn automatically into 'I Voted'. If it doesn't switch to 'I Voted', hit it again!

Voters can vote once every 24 hour period; ie if you vote at 10am, you can't vote again till 10:01am the next day. A full 24 hours has to pass!

It's a great prize, but will in fact cost the winner a lot of money as transport and accommodation are *not* part of the prize and will need to be paid for by the owner. But this is an opportunity for me to shine one small spotlight on the precious dogs that are abandoned in such appalling numbers, and the rescue organizations that take them in.

Please vote for Dapple! She's a wonderful little dog, and she deserves her 15 minutes of fame. Thanks everybody,

Yours humbly,

K.E. Stapylton

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

"Despite all the wishing in the world, you can never be anyone other than who you are. Mimicking others will not help. Instead, find the trails and pathways in your own character, and follow them - persistently, relentlessly, fearlessly - beyond what you've accepted as 'reasonable boundaries'. You are not limited by your own abilities - rather, you have not begun to explore yourself. The space in your soul is an untapped wilderness; look to the horizon! Go beyond the places you've always known. It's not who you are which is extraordinary - it's how far into your own uniqueness you're prepared to travel."

Welcome to 2011. May this year see a fuller exploration of who we are, a more fearless quest into our own abilities, and a stronger embrace of our commitment to this world and our belief that we can make a difference,

Yours with unshaken faith,

K.E. Stapylton