Cheese & good food

OK. OK.  My two previous posts just demonstrated to you my sheer laziness today at writing something that is of my very own.  I posted them while eating a toasted ham and cheese sandwich and it got me thinking about cheese.

Isn’t cheese the most divine evil, ever? It is so moorish and so delicious that it begs for me to eat more of it, and I won’t eat more than I should, because I’m thankfully good this way, and because we all know we should eat all things in moderation.

Cheese.  Damn it.  You’re so tasty.

Years ago, when I hit the 40 mark, God almighty, where did the time go? my blood test revealed cholesterol edging on the risky side of high, and of course I was alarmed by this.  My doctor dutifully asked me about my diet: what did I eat a lot of that I know I shouldn’t?  I was stumped by this question, and for a brief minute my mind went blank, and then I thought about it some more and then said, ‘for a long time now, soon after I get home from work, I snack out on crackers and cheese, and to help it down I have a few black spanish olives to go with it.’ And what else comes to mind that you eat a lot of?’ she asked while projecting me with her softly spoken voice.

Her manner reminded me of what I’d imagine a psychologist might be like, with me lying down on a sofa/divan and with her next to me, sitting on her chair with paper and pen in hand.  I said that I also loved eating pasta, and that I mostly ate it using tomato based sauces, never anything creamy, I said, as if to suggest that I was being good about what I ate, because heaven forbid I already mentioned the cheese, knowing full well that cheese was bad for the cholesterol, and I didn’t want her to think I was a food glutton or something.

She briefly looked at me for a silent moment, nodding her head slightly, seeming to acknowledge what I’d said,  and then said, ‘I want you to try and cut back on your cheese and have it only sometimes, let’s say, no more than 30g (1 serve) per day, and preferably maybe even just have 1 serve a week, and even better, don’t eat it at all for a while.’ ‘No cheese? None? Really?’ I asked her in horror.  ‘That’s right.  If you can, don’t have any for a while.  The pasta is fine, but don’t have too much of it either, because it’s made from refined flour, and anything that is refined is not good for you.’ ‘Those 2 foods are my top 2 favourite things.  How can I live without them?’  I said jokingly.  We both giggled at my silliness until she got all serious again and said, ‘I’m going to ask you to have another blood test in about twelve weeks, to check the status of your cholesterol and if it hasn’t gone down, we may have to consider putting you on statins.’ I was horrified.  Statins? No freakin’ way. I would NEVER want to touch that stuff!

I left the doctor’s office feeling defeated. Of all the foods that I loved to eat the most, I had to remove them from my diet for a while.  Damn it! I sulked about it for a few hours, yes a few hours, and then I got over it.  I was determined to beat that cholesterol hike.  So instead of not having any cheese or any pasta as suggested by my doctor, I made sure I would eat those things only sometimes so that I wouldn’t feel like I was depriving myself, and I increased my intake of water before each meal, at least 300 ml of it, I walked more, and I strictly monitored what I ate, ensuring it was wholesome food, fresh fruit and veg, proteins like chicken, eggs, mostly white meats, fish etc., and when I went back to her 3 months later for my blood results, my cholesterol was back to normal. Thank GOD!

Since then I’ve been really good about what I eat, but when Christmas comes around, it seems that all my effort to eat well goes down the drain.  I stocked up on cheese and some deli cuts for guests coming to stay for a few days, namely; my Dad and his Gellafrenda, to eat and enjoy at their leisure, and guess what? We all ended up eating out and hardly touched the food I’d bought for them to eat.  Arrghhh.  I got left with it and there it is now, in my fridge, urging me on to eat it every time I open that fridge door, and I’m not one to just throw things out.  I can’t stand waste.  So, I will eat it, and when I’m done, I will resume my healthy eating.

Yep.  I don’t want to see my cholesterol reading go up EVER again.

Note to oneself:  I better not have any blood tests done in the next 3 months, or it will be a massive fail.  Yikes!



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