Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cholesterol Blues

 Darlings! I'm in no mood. I have just been informed by my doctor that my cholesterol is through the roof.  243 and the bad one is 170, an increase of 35 points (?) since last year.  I feel strangely proud of these impressive numbers. They sound positively Olympic.
Until recently, I was certain that cholesterol was a malady invented by gringos in order to ruin the pleasures of those of us sybarites who actually live to eat instead of eating to live. As you know, I'm a voluptuous eater, but I don't eat junk food, I barely eat red meat (could that Dumont cheeseburger last weekend have spiked the count?), etc.
But one thing is for sure. I am getting on in years and this is genetic. I'm pretty sure it comes from my mom's side of the family. My mom had heart disease (although not cholesterol driven). My grandpa Samuel had a stroke (big eater of kishka and kreplach and the like), and my Tía Clara, who started doing yoga 50 years ago, when the only yogi anybody knew of was Yogi Bear, and who was supposedly a vegetarian, my poor Tía Clara died of devastating heart disease. At the end of her life, her heart was working at 25% of its capacity, and she hung in there for a long, difficult time. This despite the fact that she taught yoga for about 40 years and she was the most relaxed person in a family of intense people.
These circumstances have led me to revise my conspiracy theories on cholesterol. BUT. The doctor has another thing coming if she thinks I'm gonna go to Mexico in November and eat alfalfa sprouts.
The silver lining is, I need to lose weight anyway. The plan is to eat alfalfa sprouts and the like until November 25 (which nicely coincides with the time that I need to look extra svelte) and then, carnitas del mercado de Medellín, here I come!
The doctor immediately wanted to prescribe drugs to lower the cholesterol. Not so fast, I said. I am extremely wary of drugs that take one thing away and then leave you with a host of other ailments. So I will heroically try to reduce the Olympic numbers without drugs first.
With all due respect, so much for the Mediterranean diet. I spent the entire Summer in that area of the world (Provence, then Israel, then Jordan), and look what happened. Then let me blame Hugo Chavez. The last part of the Summer I spent in Caracas, eating more fried yucca than should be legal.
I'm bummed out.


  1. Ex-pat in Mérida and long time reader here, haven't commented before. I want to remind you to look to some of the herbal remedies here in Mexico if you want to need less alfalfa sprouts (ugh). Nopal is one that is very good at lowering cholesterol and you can get it dried in pills and in liquid although I think the best results are eating it in strips with tomatoes and chiles ;) I enjoy your blog very much, buen hecho.

  2. efectos colaterales del "diablitos".