Real Food & Heart Healthy Diet


Real Food
Since heart disease is so prevalent, I decided to eat a heart-healthy diet. When I am going through hard times I try to pay even more attention to my health and fitness as a way to deal with grief and loss. I admit am OBSESSED with healthy eating, but it wasn't until I dropped the sugar and paid attention to the glycemic index that I also noticed the added benefit of weight loss. It took about 6 weeks for my body to start responding to this diet. Also, contrary to popular dietary advice of eating low-fat, I have a lot of fat in my diet, 25% - 30% from nuts, whole non-homogenized milk (grass fed) and whole eggs, fish, lean protein, coconut oil and beans. Some days it is up to 40%! I'm not on any trendy diet, just whole, natural, unprocessed organic foods with lots of fruit and vegetables and some whole grains. To keep it simple, I use Checkoff Diet Tracker to make sure I'm eating enough. I roughly follow the portion recommendations from Choose My Plate, between 1,800 and 2,400 calories. Once you memorize the portion sizes, it's easy. Just avoid anything with added sugar in it. After 7 weeks, now I have added 1 Tablespoon of raw honey and a teaspoon of bee pollen, and supplement with fish oil and spirulina. I did a nutritional profile of some of the days and because it is focused on whole nutritious food I'm getting everything I need. The only thing I might want to add is a little more vitamin D, which you can get from shiitake mushrooms, which are also good for your immune system.


Real FoodA typical day of eating might be:
  • Hemp protein shake with frozen banana, whole milk (Strauss Family Creamery), Nutiva hemp protein 
  • Half an apple with peanut butter and/or oatcake
  • Spinach salad with 1/2 c barley and 1/2 c chickpeas, ACV and olive oil dressing
  • 1/2 cup whole yogurt and 1/2 cup fresh fruit or berries, 1 tsp raw honey, 1 tsp bee pollen (I make my own yogurt)
  • Handful of almonds, and/or some dates, grapes
  • 3 oz protein cooked in coconut oil, 1 cup vegetables, 1 cup of whole grains such as brown rice 
  • Dessert: Fresh, frozen or dried fruit, or homemade unsweetened chocolate treats or coconut manna
Preworkout: Piece of grapefruit or coconut water with chia seeds,
During long run: A few dates, walnuts
Post-workout: Bananas, apples, oranges, oatcakes, trail mix or hearty breakfast

Giving up refined sugar has been a major breakthrough for me and I'm starting to see results in my running. I feel like I have plenty of energy and no sugar crashes from loading up on excessive carbs and sugars. Less cravings and hunger pangs. I run about 10 - 30 miles per week, strength train, swim, and bike to work. I had my cholesterol checked and was so glad to have good results:

Carrots, celery, parsley, ginger & lemon


Total Cholesterol mg/dL
HDL (High density lipoprotein) mg/dL
LDL (Low density lipoprotein) mg/dL
Triglycerides mg/dL

Your Total Cholesterol of 150 is DESIRABLE 
Real Food
Your LDL of 79 is OPTIMAL 
Your HDL of 57 is NORMAL 
Your Triglyceride level of 70 is NORMAL

RATIOS:

Your Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio is: 2.63 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 3.5) IDEAL 
Your HDL/LDL ratio is: 0.722 - (preferably over 0.3, ideally over 0.4) IDEAL  
Your triglycerides/HDL ratio is: 1.228 - (preferably under 4, ideally under 2) IDEAL

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