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 Joel and the Psycho Diet
In June, I finally gave in and went to the doctor to see if I could get some drugs to cope with the allergy insanity that I have been going through during that time of year for the past few years. He prescribed some good stuff that did the trick. Too bad he didn't stop there. My blood pressure was a little high, and I had gained quite a bit of weight since the last time he saw me, and my cholesterol numbers were pretty high back then, so he wanted to test me again to see how I was doing. D'oh! Read on for the pain.,

No, the pain was not from fasting on my next visit, or getting poked to remove my blood. The pain was what happened as a result. My numbers came back so high that the doctor said I was to start taking cholesterol level management drugs immediately. I said I didn't want to, and could I try diet and excercise. He said I could as long as I was willing to commit to a very strict diet. So not thinking at the time, I said okay.

So now I eat no meat at all except for up to 2 servings of fish per week. I eat no dairy products unless they have had ALL of the fat removed and have under 5 mg of cholesterol per serving. That means I can have skim milk, fat-free cottage cheese and fat-free sour cream. I can't have any foods with oil in them except a minimal amount of olive oil. I can't have anything with eggs unless it's the fat-free, cholesterol-free egg substitute. No butter, no margarine, etc. You get the idea; if it tastes good, I can't eat it. Well, that's going a little too far, but it's pretty close.

It's been two months now, and I've lost almost 20 pounds. I go back to recheck my cholesterol in one month, so I don't know how I'm doing on that front yet, but I have high hopes. The problem is that the body produces 80% of the cholesterol in the blood, so even eliminating cholesterol intake, it's up to my body to do the rest. Hopefully the other dietary changes (little or no fat) and the excercise will help there. We'll see.

So I know you're dying to know how I survive on such an insane diet. Karen has been wonderful in helping me by making healthy meals within my dietary constraints. Some things we've made are zucchini and squash veggie lasagna (think loads of fat-free cottage cheese), spaghetti, zucchini alfredo with pasta, egg-substitute zucchini bread, bean burritos, tofu fruit shakes and tomato sandwiches.

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--Lauren (3/2005)

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