Monday, June 25, 2012

Coronary Artery Calcium Scan (by Evelyn)

My results are in!
This is unbelievable but my score was 0 percent in each of the 4 arteries checked. The scoring can go to over 1,000 (meaning there's a 20% chance of a heart attack within the year).
Narrative on my results say "According to this ranking 99% of the patients in the reference group have a higher calcium score than this patient". Also, "Coronary atherosclerosis including unstable plaque is very unlikely when no calcifications are present. A significant luminal obstructive disease is also very unlikely. Most patients without coronary calcifications have angiographically normal arteries."
You know, I have never believed in taking calcium supplements and wonder if this has anything to do with the low score. The other thing is I thought that with high cholesterol (mine was 304 ten years ago pre-statins and 285 in April without statins) it was almost certain that there would be at least some heart disease.  So evidently, having high cholesterol doesn’t carry that much weight?  Some cardiologists believe a Coronary Calcium Scan to be a more valuable screening test than a cholesterol blood test.  Unfortunately, most insurance companies will not pay for the scan.  Mine cost $199 and was worth every cent.
Here’s hoping that my blood test results, which should be in this week, don’t contradict these findings.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lowest of the Low? (by Evelyn)

Calories that is.  I’ve eaten and loved Russian Borscht, made with beets and red cabbage,  for years.  Traditionally, it is served with a dollop of sour cream on top but just leave it off for a healthy and hearty meal of only 57 calories!  Can you believe something can be that  low in calories?  There’s a Borscht recipe in the Weight Watchers Cookbook with 74 calories which I at first thought must be a mistake.  So I used a recipe calorie calculator on my version and came up with 57.
Another very low calorie dish is Gazpacho Soup, basically made with tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, green peppers, vinegar, water, and garlic.  This one comes in around 50 calories for 2 cups but I haven’t made it so won’t post the recipe yet.  I think this might make a good juice in the blender too.  Maybe add a dash of cayenne pepper.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Carrots Carrots (by Evelyn)

A woman I once met, with a husband and four sons, only cooked on Mondays.  But she cooked all day long to make meals for the entire week.  Although I cook a little more often that that, I do have a couple of days a week where I make several dishes to have ready for anytime.  At the very least, there is always a green salad and a fruit salad in the refrigerator so that I’m not tempted to eat something not as healthy.
Since we began eating plant based foods, I’ve found shopping at Costco ideal for their large quantities of vegetables and fruits, many of which are organic. A few days ago I bought a 10 pound bag of carrots not realizing there was still about 2 pounds in the produce drawer. . And, coincidentally, there is a link on my internet home page that updates each week with the name and an article about one of the world’s healthiest foods. This week’s food of the week is carrots. So today was carrot fixing day!
But first I made the kale salad that Lynne posted in the recipe section last week.  I did this before having breakfast which I ended up skipping because the salad was so tasty.
Then I put on a pot of Yam and Split Pea soup which I had made before and love.  Except this time I didn’t have any split peas so I substituted dried mung beans and couldn’t taste the difference.  Mung beans are high in protein and other vitamins, plus they have a few less calories than split peas. This soup also includes carrots.
Next was a fruit salad made with fresh pineapple, watermelon, honeydew melon, oranges, jicama, and a bit of cilantro. (Sometimes I add purple onion, salt, and cayenne pepper for some zing).
After that Steve jumped in to help and made Ginger Carrot Salad which is so easy and has that satisfying crunchy texture.
My new Blendtec (like Lynne’s) came with a recipe book that included carrot juice.  But I have to say I didn’t care for it so I added some to the soup when the liquid ran low and Steve drank the rest. 
Speaking of carrot juice, if any of you have spent any time in Germany you would have noticed many babies having a very ruddy-tan complexion along with rosy cheeks.  When my daughter Lauren was 4 months old I went back to work in Heidelberg and had a German babysitter.  This lady was a grandmother who had raised several children and was obsessed with making sure very pale Lauren was healthy so she added approximately 2 ounces of carrot juice to each baby bottle of milk. And to give her rosy cheeks, she put her outside in a buggy for her naps covered with a big down pillow to keep  warm.  After a couple of months, and even though it was mid-winter, Lauren also had a beautiful “tan”.
Oh, and I am down 2 more pounds and now weigh 150.  I am looking forward to an interim goal of reaching 145 because that is when some clothes will go to Goodwill and I will fit nicely into other pieces that I haven’t worn in several years. 


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cholesterol - Lower Your Total Cholesterol Below 150

Cholesterol - Lower Your Total Cholesterol Below 150
by Tessa
(Note:  All purple words can be clicked to read more information.)

  1. You should know your recent cholesterol number just as well as you know your weight.  Get your cholesterol checked at any corner drugstore that has a medi-clinic in it, or simply ask at your pharmacy
  2. Cholesterol levels can change quickly, as in just 2 weeks
  3. Eating fish for just 5 days raised Tessa's cholesterol from 124 to 180 (as measured 6 days after the vacation "cheating")
  4. 150 is the Heart-Attack Proof magic cholesterol number to be under: these 3 people said they'd never seen a heart attack in a person with Blood Cholesterol level below 150:  The longterm Editor of the medical journal, Cardiology; Dr. Esselstyn, Cleveland Clinic Cardiac Surgeon, and the Director of the Framingham Heart Study, Dr. Castilli (p. 48, Engine 2 Diet)
  5. 35% of all heart attacks occur in people with cholesterol between 150 and 200 (p. 132  The China Study).  A cholesterol level "under 200" as the medical profession suggests will NOT protect you.  150 protects you.
  6. The cholesterol average of long-term Vegans:  125
  7. Animal-based protein raises cholesterol (p. 117 The China Study)
  8. Plant-based protein lowers cholesterol (p. 117 The China Study)
  9. Sugar (fructose) raises cholesterol possibly by overloading the liver.  Dr. Mercola believes Fructose (and Trans Fat) are the causes of Heart disease (Dr. Mercola does not follow a fully plant-based diet, but his perspective bears considering)
  10. Oatmeal, Red Rice Yeast, and some other plant foods help lower cholesterol dramatically. Look at Dr. Oz's information (particularly the first one!) for lowering your cholesterol naturally
  11. Exercise lowers cholesterol
  12. Cholesterol lowered by medication appears to make NO medical difference in heart attack outcome.  Which makes me ask:  Why take the meds?  A natural, lifestyle diet change will improve your health in ALL ways and is far safer than by medication.
  13. Engine 2 Plant-Strong Diet by Rip Esselstyn is designed to lower your cholesterol dramatically in 4 weeks.  It is the plant-based diet that we eat which includes NO:

  • meat 
  • dairy 
  • sugar
  • added oils (even olive oil)
  • processed food
  • added salt
  • alcohol
  • caffeine 

Instead, eat vegetables, fruits, whole grain breads and pastas, and nuts and seeds.  There are 5000 different plants out there to enjoy!

Your taste buds will change after you remove all these items from your diet, particularly meat.

Most people are surprised to learn that they enjoy this diet immensely!

A Summary of Cholesterol Research well-documented in The China Study by Dr. Colin Campbell:

In 1953. autopsies of American soldiers killed in the Korean War showed "fully 77.3% of the hearts... had 'gross evidence' of heart disease (The China Study p. 112) with an average age 22.

"When we measured the blood cholesterol levels in China, we were shocked.  They ranged 70-170 mg/dL!  Their high was our low..."  (The China Study, p. 107)  Why?  Because they eat a mostly plant-based diet.

"Simply lower the risk factors, such as blood cholesterol and blood pressure , and you lower the risk of heart disease."  (The China Study, p. 115)

"A whole foods, plant-based diet can prevent and treat heart disease... " (p. 133)

"The layperson must be aware that a whole foods, plant-based diet is far and away the healthiest diet." (p. 132)

Yes indeed!
Check your cholesterol often, eat plant-strong, and protect yourself from heart-disease!

By Tessa