But I was TWENTY ONE. I was training for a marathon, my diet consisted of plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and everything else that qualifies as a “heart healthy diet” as promoted by the American Heart Association. I wasn’t by any means overweight either. It just goes to show that family history has a LOT to do with it!
So what did my primary care doctor say when she saw the results? “We will keep our eye on it and recheck yearly. Please ensure you are eating a heart healthy diet and exercise also.” Hmm….well I THINK marathon training counts as exercise…and like I said my eating was in check too…
I Didn’t Start Eating Cheerios
Think of HDLs as the “garbage trucks” that haul away excess cholesterol to the liver. The LDLs are the “delivery trucks” that pick up the cholesterol from the liver and bring it to the cells.
So why do we need it? Cholesterol helps your body produce hormones, vitamin D and helps you digest food too! (so really..it’s not completely evil!)
So what is recommended for lowering cholesterol?
1. Adding heart healthy foods to your diet:
ex: healthy omega-3 fats, whole grains, avoid trans-fats, increasing fiber intake, lean meats
2. quit smoking
3. increase physical activity
4. be at a “healthy” weight
5. alcohol in moderation
hmmm…well I already do all these things and was doing them at age 21 also…so what has changed?
First lets look at my results! (C’mon Marti, get to the juicy stuff!)
my total cholesterol is 211 – borderline high –
HDL (the good cholesterol) is 103 – this is high but that is OK – this means it is COMPENSATING and picking up the extra junk (remember the garbage trucks)
Triglycerides are within normal range
LDL (the BAD cholesterol is also at a good level!
so you might be thinking..ok what is the big deal? Let’s compare to results in the past!
1. I’m not training for a marathon – so maybe some decreased stress on my body? Yes I work out most days and I also have an active job as a nurse. I strive for a balance of workout types: strength training and weight lifting, running, MMA style workouts, HIIT style training and I utilize working out at home AND at the gym. Oh and I’m taking days off too! (usually about two days a week)
2. I use Shakeology every day. Most of the time at work just in a shaker cup with water and ice! Otherwise I blend up a delish smoothie for dessert OR make an awesome pancake in 10 minutes. Shakeology is not just a protein shake. Yes it has protein. BUT it’s focus is on SUPERFOODS (70 of them in fact) Phytonutrients like MORINGA, kale, spiniach, spirulina that prolong life and preserve the good cells. Prebiotics and probiotics for digestion and healing your gut. ANTIOXIDANTS like Goji berry, green tea, camu-camu, blueberries, aceola that FIGHT DISEASE AND INFLAMMATION. Adaptogens (aka STRESS FIGHTERS) as in ashwaganda, maca, reishi mushrooms, chaga mushrooms. Digestive enzymes to help us break down our nutrition properly so that it actually gets utilized. It also has VITAMINS, MINERALS and many of those that are difficult to get in with just eating clean foods. (Sadly so much of what we think we are eating…we actually aren’t)
3. I still eat a “heart healthy diet” – oh – and treats too of course!
4. I follow up yearly with my primary physician and also keep an eye on my vital signs – such as my blood pressure (which is always LOW)
5. I have maintained my weight (of course it does fluctuate..but that is just a fact of life I’m learning!)
Focus on the risk factors you CAN control! Like your nutrition, exercise, blood pressure, stress levels and worry less about the things you can’t – like your race and family history. Make small changes EVERY day because they will add up to big ones in the long run!
And FIND OUT YOUR RISK. Ask your family about their levels, find out about any relatives with heart disease and get yourself checked out! Get your lipid panel drawn, get your blood pressure checked, get your blood glucose level checked too. Find out where you are at so that you can IMPROVE.
Invest in yourself. Paying $4 a day for Shakeology is much better than already having to pay for CHOLESTEROL MEDICATIONS FOR LIFE.
2. Do you know your numbers?
3. What changes are you making to improve?
4. To join me in the fight against cholesterol and find out more about Shakeology – email me HERE subject title FIGHTER