Doing What Works
Monday, December 31, 2012
Hope you all had a good holiday. I spent the most of mine soul searching. While I haven't come up with any clear answers, time alone to reflect is how I recharge. For the past few months, I've been going through a mid-life crisis of sorts (is this what I wanted my life to be?), and while I haven't fully sorted my internal knots out, it has been insightful.
I'm happy to say that my dad has fully recovered from his appendectomy from a few months ago. While usually fairly straightforward in most cases, my dad had special challenges due to his age and weight. Obesity makes all surgeries more complicated.
While I was with my parents last time, I educated them on the merits of a lower carb diet. Basically, my belief is the only essential carbs are vegetables. Wheat and starches can be enjoyed in moderation if desired, but are not at all essential. There's more vitamins and fiber in fruits and vegetables than a bran muffin.
Since September when my dad had his surgery, my parents have virtually eliminated breads and sugars from the house. A few months ago, my parents' house was packed full of junk food: Wonder Bread, donuts, and potato chips. I'm pleased that all of these are gone. We ate stuffing and pie with Christmas dinner, of course, but my family says that has been the first since my last visit. I overheard my mom asking my dad if he missed eating bread. He said no.
Here are the benefits he's currently boasting:
- Weight loss. When I gave him a hug at the airport, I was surprised I could get my arms almost all the way around him.
- Blood sugar so stable he's asking his doctor to take him off diabetes meds.
- Normal cholesterol, despite eating an egg for breakfast everyday (at my encouragement). In over 30 years of clinical trials, there is zero evidence that dietary cholesterol effects blood serum cholesterol. I'm trying to convince him to go off the statins.
- Less bloating and other ailments that elderly people usually like to complain about.
- Improved lung function. This one is a bit surprising, but he hasn't needed to use his supplemental oxygen. I'm guessing this is a function of weight loss. Obesity crushes the organs - literally.
My mom has lost some weight, too.
Both my parents say they are feeling better overall.
I did a fair amount of baking over the holidays, but I'm finished now. It was fun to make cookies and cakes to share with family and friends. But now I've resumed limiting wheats, starches, and sugars. It's just what works best for my family and me.