Jen: do not panic!

A friend wrote this to me and it’s full of good advice.
Jen: Don’t panic. (1) It takes 3-6 months of diet/exercise to make a change in cholesterol. (2)Your Cholesterol panel looks pretty good actually. I recall that you have PCOS, yes? But you are not diabetic, right? LDL goal of <100 generally is reserved for those with established heart disease or diabetes. Your numbers are borderline/acceptable. Treatment with medications would generally be held for those with LDL>160 or Triglycerides 400+.
Stop the fish oil. It is reserved for treating high triglycerides, and can INCREASE the LDL (bad cholesterol). Might be why your LDL is higher, even after a week of healthy habits. Plus the fish oil has antiplatelet activity (like aspirin) and can cause bleeding. Normally not a concern, but would not recommend if TTC.
Lipid goals for women < 55 who are otherwise healthy go more like this: LDL (bad cholesterol) < 130 “near optimal”, LDL 130- 160 “borderline high”. Drug therapy is not considered appropriate unless LDL > 160.
HDL “good cholesterol” >40
Triglycerides 150-199 “borderline high” (I wouldn’t treat these numbers), > 200 is high. In the past < 200 was considered acceptable. Disregard the total cholesterol number…it is only a screening tool. You can have a “high” total cholesterol, but be okay if your HDL is very high (>60). The LDL, HDL, and triglycerides are what we use to determine treatment.
Your HDL is low. The best fix for this is exercise. Think aerobic. Walking 30-45 minutes daily—at a minimum.
Triglycerides are best helped by reduced carbs (less simple sugars, no alcohol). Also by eating fatty fish (salmon, sardines, bluefish).
Overall tips to improve lipid panel:
-weight loss (even 10 pounds can normalize an elevated lipid profile)
-Add oats to your diet (bread, cereal, breakfast bars)
-Add more fruits/veggies
-Replace butter and margerine with Benechol (plant sterols added)
-Add Yoplait heart smart yogurt to your diet (plant sterols added)
-Add soy to your diet (soymilk, soy nuts, fortified foods)
Bottom line is, relax and keep eating healthy and exercising. Stop the fish oil.
AFTER you are done having babies, if the numbers remain high (LDL > 160 or Triglycerides > 400) after a 3-6 month trial of diet/exercise/wt loss then worry about medications.
Hope that helps
I really like the yogurt advice- didn’t know it existed. We already use light butter with plant sterols. I really hate tofu, at least stir-fried tofu (nasty sponge cubes) and the nuts are barely edible (barely) but maybe I can find something else. I do feel better now.

2nd Bloodwork Results

Remember I had my blood evaluated as part of my annual gyn exam? And the results were worrisome? And how I researched what to do to lower my bad cholesterol and my high triglycerides (Omega 3 capsules from fish oil: 2-3 grams of DHA + EPA daily, 3/4 cup dry oatmeal daily, low total sauturated fats)? I can tell you right now that diet isn’t going to solve my problems alone. My week long trial bombed. 🙁 And that was me at my best.
Good news first, my elevated white blood cell count (supposed to be 11 or less) went from 14.8 to 11.1. It is obviously going back down. Yay! I can ttc now!
Test Normal Last year 1st test 10 days later
Triglycerides <150 176 199 181 😀 Total Chol <200 normal 194 219 What?! Good Chol 40+ normal 41 35 What?! Bad Chol <100 113 113 148 What?! I seem to be "borderline high" across the board. I am obviously going to have to deal with this. Sigh. But I think I'll have a baby first. 😉 No drugs for me while preggo! But I can see me being on a handful afterwards. Darn genetics! UGH!

Healthier Oatmeal Pancakes

I am eating 1/2 cup of oatmeal prepared in some way every day in hopes of lowering my bad cholesterol the 13 or so points it needs to be in the normal range again. This is my newest creation- you really can’t tell it from regular pancakes!
1 egg
1 c lowfat buttermilk
1/3 c water
1 c “quick” rolled oats
1 pouch Hungry Jack “Easy Pack” pancake mix (I used blueberry)
1 t sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
In a bowl, beat the egg. Add the lowfat buttermilk, water and oats. Stir. Let soak while heating the griddle to 325 and preparing the dry ingredients.
Mix the remaining ingredients (all dry) together in a large bowl. Stir well.
When the griddle is hot, pour the wet oat mixture into the dry bowl and stir until just combined. Immediately ladle onto hot griddle and cook in typical pancake fashion (by waiting to combine the wet and dry ingredients until right before cooking you’ll get fluffier pancakes, thank you Alton Brown). If you want to add fruit such as thawed blueberries, sprinkle onto pancake batter rounds before flipping to cook the second side.
Makes 6-7 good sized pancakes. Feeds 2-3.

Love by association

I heard Brendan rattling around in our bedroom this afternoon and went to investigate. He had pulled out some stuff from who knows where and was lovingly holding a little statue of a mother deer curled next to a baby dear. He showed it to me and pointed to the bigger deer and said “mama”.
I replied, “Yes, that’s a mama deer.”
He repeated himself a few times, then pointed to the baby deer and announced, “Brendan.”
Awwwww! 😉 I didn’t think his brain could think of something like that… so abstract!
Yesterday, Brendan’s sleep schedule was all messed up. He woke up absurdly late and since we had to go somewhere in the car, there was no keeping him awake to skip his nap. So at bedtime he was not sleepy in the slightest. After trying to get him to go to sleep in his own room and having him get up and come back into our room, I pulled him into my arms and said to him, “You are wide awake aren’t you?”
He replied, “Yup.” LOL!
***For the record: I have noticed a huge diffrence in Brendan these past few weeks. He is more cooperative and understanding and less tempermental. He’s been a real joy to have around. The “Terrible Twos” seem to be waning!! For him, it was more of an 18 months to 2 1/2 thing.***

The Angel in him

Isn’t he cute??? 😀
On a side note, I am going back to redo my bloodwork next Thursday. Please cross your fingers that my white blood cell count goes back to normal. I am also taking this as a challenge to see what I can do to lower my bad cholesterol and triglyeride levels. What can 9 days of oober-healthy eating and a bit of exercise do??
Limit saturated fats and refined starches
Increase fiber with veggies and whole grains, especially oatmeal
Increase good fats, such as from canola and olive oil, avocados and nuts
Consume Omega 3 fatty acids with fish and fish oil capsules
Eliminate excess sugars
Any other ideas?
With any luck, this time next month I will be in the middle of Clomidville! 😀

Chinese lettuce wraps

Chinese lettuce wraps
2 T canola oil
1 t minced fresh ginger
2 T minced garlic
2 c of any combination of the following:
shredded or minced carrot
diced onion or green onion
chopped bean sprouts
chopped mushrooms
canned, chopped bamboo shoots
canned, chopped water chestnuts
1 lb frozen precooked chicken (chinese or thai style if you have it), thawed & diced
lettuce that has large leaves
cooking sauce recipe, below
ginger dipping sauce recipe, below
Heat oil in a pan or skillet on med-high heat. Add ginger and garlic- stir-fry for a minute. Add vegetables and stir-fry until tender-another couple of minutes. Add the pre-cooked meat and heat though. Add cooking sauce and cook until the sauce thickens. Place spoonfuls of mixture into lettuce leaves and fold burrito style. Wraps may be dipped into ginger dipping sauce if desired.
Cooking Sauce
2 T water
2 t cornstarch
1 T Hoisin sauce
1 T soy sauce
1 T chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
2 T oyster sauce
1 t sesame oil
1 t sugar
Combine water and cornstarch in a cup. Stir until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Ginger dipping sauce
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 c soy sauce
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
Blend ingredients in a blend until no solid pieces remain. Chill until ready to use.

Bloodwork results

Last year I had low good cholesterol and high triglycerides. I don’t know how to change the triglycerides (except exercise- and I know that hasn’t improved) but I did concentrate on eating healthier fats, more whole grains and less sugar.
This year my good cholesterol was normal. 😀 But my bad cholesterol was a bit too high 🙁 (113, cut-off is 100) How those two can happen simultaneously I haven’t a clue!
My triglycerides (cut-off is 150) went from 176 to 199!!! I am really shocked!
I also have an elevated white blood count of 14, cut-off is 11. Since I wasn’t sick, this indicates an infection of some sort. It was the nurse I talked to and the doctor won’t be back until Tuesday. I’ll learn more then. Sounds like she may send me off to see someone else, which is fine.
My glucose was fine 🙂
My liver is fine 🙂
My thyroid is fine 🙂
I did ask the nurse if she new of a rx for high triglycerides- and turns out she’s on one! But she looked it up and it isn’t advised during pregnancy.