Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | February 21, 2008

Whew! Glad That’s Over!….Isn’t It?

Okay! Managed a few dismal posts. “Didn’t kill me. I’m still alive.”

That’s been the slogan for the Lipitor-free cholesterol fighting diet I’ve been on since before Christmas. This is 10 saturated grams of fat per day together with extra exercise. Hoping it will make a difference in the “readings” on the next blood test. Yes, you do lose weight as part of this, but you also change your taste buds. It’s a conversion of its own and something of the “thrill” of the Lenten diet. Fact is, if I hadn’t gone Ortho last February and gone through the Lenten fast, I don’t think I would have signed up for this. Might have just gone ahead and filled the perscription the doctor mailed. Instead, I asked ’bout the alternative.

News on the Lipitor front isn’t all that great. It was designed for folks (as I read it) to take late in life. Now I’m no spring chicken, but with a possible 30 years or so to go before they rip the chord (yeah, parachutes have “cords”, Orthodox sing everything so it’s “chords”), it looks like anything not on-the-up-and-up will surely have more cumulative chances to surface… so Lipitor’s my current last choice. Message to Pfizer: Book titles like “How I Lost My Mind of Lipitor” don’t exactly sell pills.

So in a sense, one could actually say that the medicine of the Church has done me some practical good. Might be a reach and completely besides the point, but not afraid to say it anyway.

The point is, “Didn’t kill me” is my usual response to a new food that successfully negotiates its way past the gag-reflex button run by my tastebud nose tag-team wrestlers. You don’t want to know what fails. I mean, I remember back when we’d just had kids there was an article on fathers and their experiences in the “birthing rooms”…. and one father wrote that from what he could tell, a new way to take care of convicted killers ought to be to “make’em look at a couple of placentas”. Yep. This stuff fits that category. There is really and truly some awful stuff out there. “How bad is it?” “Looks bad, smells bad, tastes bad and leaves a hole in the trash can when you’re done.”

I try to eat close-to-vegan or vegan two meals a day and save the sat fats for dinner. Sugar’s been cut down, dairy’s vastly reduced, fruit juice (!) darn near eliminated, and alcohol almost gone. None of this was easy because… heck there wasn’t much there! But then the last was hard… (somehow Mexican, Pizza, etc. scream for a complementary beverage!) but PTL that somehow red wine got a “…if you have to…”. I mean stress is an issue in this, too! And you really don’t want to see the stress of a man contemplating Pizza without a Brew-ha-ha.

But breakfast and lunch are two meals that are pretty easy to wiggle around, and reduce the grief caused my poor over-worked, underpaid, but still willing chef. And yes, we ate pretty good and clean before… it’s just that now we’ve taken the next notch. Okay, 3 notches… and only one notch short of “not even squirrels eat this stuff”. Probably only have meat once or twice a week anyway.

The key has really been watching the posted portion control. Always figured these label things were either for technicians somewhere or part of an argument between the foodies and nature. Heck… when you actually read these things… first you’re amazed how little a “portion” can get when you do this, but second you realize how many of these food companies are gaming the system to look twice as good by the fats by cutting the “portion” in half. But I’m a swifty…. and after eating happily a few times, and then eating a few more (just to make sure)…. I got on to them. So besides reading everything closely now, I’ve found the best way to deal with these things is to eat the strongest flavored natural varieties… but in small quantities. This gives the maximum flavor for the minimum fat.

Middle age: Ain’t it great? We first got boring when we got married and started talking appliances. Then we had kids. And you graduated to a new level: “boring without even saying a word”. You’d go to parties and the single girls would take one look at the drooping eyelids as testament to the “married with kids” blazoned on the forehead…. throw their coat at you and keep walking past. Retorting “Yeah? Well, my kid….” doesn’t seem to fix that problem. And it only gets worse. Next you become invisible…. to your kids. Ah, but I digress…

Fact is, one of the OTHER boring things of middle age is that apparently the food just isn’t fun anymore. (Maybe the docs just aren’t intimidated from telling you stuff… but I suspect they’re just the cutting edge of people who will feel similarly entitled to tell us we don’t know what we’re doing – and be right). So it’s small pleasures occassionally. Maybe the de-mystification of food in this way reduces its control over one’s life. You still get a weekly splurge or something out-to-dinner… but being conscious both there and the rest of the time seems to make it a non-issue. I’m sure this is much closer to how most of the rest of the world eats ALL THE TIME – except they don’t get to choose. And since I do, I’m not going to complain that I managed fifty years of mindlessness.

FWIW, many of the folks familiar with my formerly narrow range of foods have been amazed to see this walk on the wild side, this culinary tour where no man willingly goes: Not Lloyd Bridges, not Jack Lord, not The Duke, not Sylvester Stallone…. okay, that last one got a little skinny sometimes. Nah… no one who was in the “The Mas Macho Contest” downed Soy, Gluten, Tempeh, Tofu… but the truth is, this stuff puts hair on your chest. “Don’t mess with me… I eat Tofu.” “Like what’re you gonna do? Breathe on me?” Sure, there are a lot of weird things that come out of the lab, and a lot of failed experiments. But that’s part of the process. You adjust, you learn to deal with green skin on one side, comb the extra hair growth on your arm, swallow your drool and you move on.

Drew the line at giving up Diet Coke. I mean… hey… you gotta have a break sometime! Speaking of which, this blogging thing… I guess it’s not so hard after all. I’m not dead yet. So we’ll give it a whirl. Maybe if it kills me, then I can have a Krispy Kreme two-ffer?

And now if I could only switch the font size to the usual 8 point type used for disclaimers: Here at the end of a long post, I wish to bury a slight clarification that the spelling of the words in the masthead is exactly correct. Though The Wanderer is indeed Thickheaded, the fact that Jane Austen was not Orthodox and wrote something different has not escaped notice. Maybe if the See of Canterbury had been as wobbly in her days as of late, she might well have seen the light. 😉


  1. Watching food takes on a new light when one must keep an epi-pen nearby in case of anaphylactic shock from a food allergen.

    Due to this new development and menu adjustment, the cholesterol has dropped from 220 to 130 in 8 months. How? Eliminated eating out since EVERYTHING has ‘soy’ in it…one of the dreaded allergens.

    The hubster’s doc told him a couple of bourbon and seven’s would do not harm and darned if it didn’t help his cholesterol go down. 🙂

  2. So… sounds like the “it didn’t kill me” line applies… only you might add “yet” if it hasn’t had a chance to run very long in the system.

    Allergies are a bummer. I’m pretty fortunate that only my taste buds have problems. My son shares some of the epi-pen related issues, so appreciate the problem. On the other hand, the hubster sounds like he’s in luck. Maybe I should try HIS doctor?

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