Healthy Fats

Last night, before my sign language class, I put sweet potatoes in the oven to bake. I was determined to make a hearty meal for myself. I got my blood test results on January 27th, and started immediately altering my diet that first week, but I hadn’t yet eliminated all oil, nuts, or avocado. On February 2nd I started a total Vegan, no nuts, oil, or avocado diet. It’s only been five days. I am still in an insomnia cycle, last night I picked spiders off my legs in my dream. I woke up at 3:00AM and couldn’t go back to sleep. I was O.K. in the morning, with my oatmeal and soymilk creamer in my coffee. But since being home, I’ve struggled. I crave a piece of toast with nut butter or a quesadilla. I’m exhausted. And this is when I eat my fats. When I’m too tired to chew vegetables. When I’m too cold and I want something warm and filling with avocado and cheese. Or full fat hummus and Tahini. Or a sandwich made with tuna in olive oil. Or a bagel with lox.

Last night, after my sign language class was finished, I went straight to the kitchen. I boiled water for the whole wheat lasagna noodles, chopped onions, garlic, yellow and green squash, and cabbage. I made homemade tomato sauce, did you know there was not one jar of “no oil added” pasta sauce at the grocery store? There’s “no sugar added” pasta sauce, but they all have oil. I made the kids a mini lasagna with whole wheat noodles and homemade sauce. They only ate the sausages I made for them on the side. I sautéed ground beef for my husband to eat with his vegetarian lasagna.

Alan asked if I was sure I should be on this diet, he wondered about healthy fats. I need to tell him not to question it because, yes, I really do need to be on this diet. It’s a bummer, I’d love to go along as I have, eat out on date nights and get delivery on nights I’m too tired to cook. I tried that. Last April, when I took my test and was shocked then at the number, which was a non-fasting test and was way lower than this time, I was exercising hard and felt great. I started keeping track of what I ate, through calories and making healthy choices. I lost five pounds even. I would still do my dinners out and my delivery salads and vegetarian pizzas “Occasionally”. I eliminated eggs, cheese for the most part, and shrimp. I thought I was in the clear, but I was gravely mistaken. I realized I was compensating with “Healthy Fats”. My numbers say that I’ve poisoned my body.

I always have liked my body. My “roll” of fat around my belly never bothered me. My weight, 150 pounds seemed fine for my height and muscular physique. I never dreamed of being skinny. I thought thinking “I need to lose weight” was an unhealthy way of thinking. I thought I was healthy, that I lived a healthy lifestyle. It was shocking to see a fasting total cholesterol of 313! How did this happen to me?

Tonight, I finished my vegetarian lasagna I made last night. My body feels nourished. I’m ready for bed. I hope I don’t have insomnia tonight. Being tired makes healthy eating so challenging. I never thought I was an emotional eater, but when I’m tired, I get depressed and when I’m depressed, I want to go get a super vegetarian burrito and sit in my car and eat it. I’ve done this my whole life. My mom was the same exact way. I grew up on Italian sausage, spaghetti, and ice cream. But I’ve always been active, and I’ve always been young. Now I’m reaching “middle age”. My body apparently can’t process the fats anymore.

Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables! I will get through this! I can do this! I won’t follow the same fate as my mom and maternal grandma, NO! I want to live! I learned today that sprouts are way more filling than lettuce! And my new go to is Ezekiel bread with mustard, sprouts, tomato, and green onion. If anyone has any great vegan, no oil, no fats, recipes to share I’d love that! Especially lunch stuff, things to take on the go for a long hike or a day at the beach.

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist