mea culpa

After a year and a half of putting this off I had finally gotten around to getting my lipids retested (here's what happened the last time).The morning I was about to schedule my appointment a company wide email went out that free biometric screenings would be held the following week. Fortuitous! I scheduled for the following week, received my confirmation, and changed absolutely nothing in my routine.

The good stuff
Oatmeal for breakfast - 60 grams (roughly two packets of the instant)
Anything for lunch - I don't eat heavy when working during the week, or weekends when I cook.
Fruit smoothies or a salad for dinner - These are usually all fruit or veggies respectively.

The bad stuff
Exercise - Before the move I wasn't getting any. After, I started hiking once a weekend.
Drinking - I'm partial to great scotch, whiskey, or bourbons. I downgraded to microbrew beers or red wines after my move.

I own and use a blood pressure test kit and monitor it regularly, and since the move there was a drop.  Probably due to all the physical activity from the move and then the two weekends of hikes that I managed to get it. Unfortunately I became ill and didn't get a hike in for the remainig three weekends. I managed to get two hikes in on the weekend before my test, but the numbers were only slightly better than the last drop. I came in at 144/97 with a resting heart rate of 98.

The results
Weight - I lost 10 pounds from my last weighing before the move
Blood pressure - Systolic 124 (Normal) - Diastolic 97 (High) - no resting heart rate info
Glucose - 99 (Normal)
Cholesterol - 324 (Down from 517 June 2011)
Triglycerides - 7650  (Up from 3570 June 2011)

Uh yeah, I wasn't expecting the last one to go up quite that high either. I had a very long talk with the doctor about how the Trig's got that way. Turns out beer and wine have a tendancy to increase them more so than the harder liquor. This isn't an excuse for me to switch back, just good to know. Booze is out, not for good but for a good long while. The doctor was ready to start me on a statin presciption which I stopped cold. I know too many people who have suffered from the side effects and I will not take them. I negotiated for some alternative changes to my life and the doctor agreed. Most of them weren't changes but a reclamation of former habits. However there was no getting out of having to take pills for this so I am now taking 2000k of fish oil along with 1800k of red yeast rice extract pills a day. I've amended my lunch from anything to anything healthy. The biggest change, and one that I had put off for too long was exercising daily. I agreed to do at least 30 minutes a day of moderate to advanced cardio. However it's not enough so I'm averaging an hour of cardio per day during the work week. I hike for about 2 hours each day on the weekends so that's covered. I'll be going back in February to retest my numbers.

I just checked and my blood pressure is now coming in at 125/79 with a resting heart rate of 77.

What a difference a week makes!


  1. Steve, thanks for sharing this info. Fish oil is great for triglyceride management.

    Red yeast rice is pretty effective; be aware that it can have the same side-effects as statins. Did your doc mention taking ubiquinol while you're on it? I AM NOT A DOCTOR, Dr. Duck is just my stage name.

    Other than that, I have no *cough*VEGAN*cough* suggestions. Good luck!

    1. The RYR pills I'm taking also come with CoQ-10, and is niacin and citrinin free. My folks turned me onto and tipped me off on making sure it had that also.

      Once I finish the fish oil pills I may switch to the Krill version. There's been a lot of great press about it.

      I've considered it before, but I like meat too much to give it up. Truth be told I'm only in this mess due to the lack of exercise. This is attributed to my hatred of heat. The summers in So Texas are brutal for me, and I typically shut down and don't want to do a thing when it's that hot. It's winter now and I don't think I'll be staying here past this spring.

    2. That's good about the CoQ10. Does the high lipid level run in your family?

    3. This didn't become a problem for my parents until they hit their 70's. This seems to be the norm on both sides of the family. And for me it only became a problem after I moved to Texas. My numbers were perfect when I was living in Minnesota.