Thursday, May 27, 2010

Uh Oh...High Cholesterol!

Me, Sue, Reichel & Kathy at Planet Raw Restaurant
Sue is a great friend of mine here in Danville. She is the kind of person who ALWAYS steps in and helps. She helped cut and wrap the 900 Organic Brownies and Fruit Fusion Bars last year that I donated to The Genesis Awards (held at The Beverly Hilton in LA every March). When I was in the hospital after my crash off Baghdad (also last year), she actually made a batch of Fruit Fusion Bars and shipped them for me to a customer who has eaten one every day for breakfast for 12 years. After I got out of the hospital, I did not drive for a month or so. Sue took me grocery shopping to the 3 places I go, since I do all the cooking for my parents and myself. (And waited patiently as I s-l-o-w-l-y walked!)
Then, this past December, Sue's cholesterol turned out to be 260!! (I never said she was a vegan friend!) Sue is married and has 6 children (and some grandchildren), only 2 of whom still live at home. I was surprised to hear that her husband, Jim, warned her NOT to change her grocery shopping habits or the diet that they were eating (!!).
Please understand that this is a bit challenging for me to "grok". As a former high school teacher, I know this is referred to as "cognitive dissonance", i.e. doing something that you KNOW is bad for you. During my "Health Concerns of Adolescents" class when I was getting my teaching credential, it was the first concept we learned - before studying bulemia and anorexia, even. We had to realize that adolescents will do things that are bad for them. Okay. Fine. But Jim is not a teenager! I asked Sue what HIS cholesterol was, and she said that he has declined to have it checked, as he does not want to know. Okay. Fine. That is absolutely HIS choice, and no one can "force" him to look at something he does not want to see.
However, Sue DID want to do something! She did want to make some dietary changes and lower her risk for stroke and heart attack.

So, in January, we began! I WISH I had had the time to blog about our grocery shopping expeditions, cookbook purchases, recipe reviews - we both belong to Club Sport, and after our 8:30 am class, we'd grab a table and go over her questions, concerns, and the day's menu. Usually, we were joined by two other friends, Angela and Sabine, who chimed in with what THEY do with the information that I gave them last year and the year before. After all - "practice makes perfect!" That's one of the beautiful things about recipes and cooking techniques: time passes and it all keeps evolving! ESPECIALLY with vegan recipes, you keep learning and experimenting and varying, so that you are always creating...NO RECIPE IS "SET IN STONE" - why would that be fun? Remember: YOU ARE THE CHEF!

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