Recommended wine for today’s entry: a big, heart-healthy tumbler full of Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon – as described by the producers as “juicy red berry flavors, and a very approachable , rich and full-mouth feel with a lingering , thoughtful finish.” (In my words, it’s a favorite because it tastes really good!)
OK, this whole lowering-your-cholesterol-through-diet-and-exercise thing is a living hell. When I dragged myself to the doctor a few months ago for a blood pressure check, he looked at my most recent blood work and announced that I needed to lower my cholesterol too. Here is the way that conversation went:
Him (looking scholarly): Huh. Your cholesterol is at 230. Let’s get that down.
Me: Yes, let’s. You give me the prescription and I’ll fill it.
Him: (looking smug): No. You’ll need to try to do this with diet and exercise.
Me: Why are you cussing?
Him: (looking confused): What?
Me: Diet and exercise – the words of Satan.
Him: (looking like he hates me): No I mean it. You’ll need to cut out some meats.
Me: I haven’t eaten meat since I was 12. I think that was around 1904.
Him: Oh, well, then you’ll have to cut out fast food.
Me: I haven’t eaten fast food since my last drunken binge in college when I threw it up all night.
Him: Huh. Do you eat a lot of whole grains?
Me: Only at the track. When someone’s feed bag spills in the paddock. Why?
Him: You should eat whole-wheat bread.
Me: Gross. I only like white bread. I’ll just cut out sandwiches. Thanks. Now what are we supposed to have for dinner?
Him: (looking exasperated) Fine. Why don’t you just step up your exercise program?
Me: You mean I should get the mail twice a day? It only comes once.
Him: Tell you what. Let’s just check it again in six months. Any more questions?
Me: (dejected and taking my leave) No. Fine. (Then, pulse quickening, I spin suddenly and stick my head back in the room, just in time to see him rolling his eyes and shutting my file.) Uh, doctor? (He looks up, scared I’ll never leave.) Does wine have cholesterol?
That’s roughly how it went. On the way home, though, I had visions of my two daughters and my husband, all lined up on the sofa wearing dirty clothes, eating noodles with butter and drinking beer, engrossed in a particularly antagonistic episode of Wife Swap. It was like a scene from It’s A Wonderful Life. Yeah, well maybe not just like it.
So anyway, I’ve been trying.
This morning I walked on the treadmill for three miles, thinking about Totino’s Pizza Rolls the whole time. Then I came upstairs and ate cereal that looks and smells like Cap’n Crunch, but tastes like air and dirt. Even my dog, Tate – who can come out of a dead sleep and sprint down the hall to eat fresh cat vomit – won’t drink the milk that this cereal has floated in. That says something.
And even though I’m not normally a fan of fried food, I am now craving it. Fried green tomatoes … fried pickles … ah, I miss you, you little nuggets of heaven. But I realize now that I actually like the sauce better than the dipper, so I’ve been waiting until the rest of the people at the table look away and then I dip my finger in the sauce. It’s really good when the waiter describes the specials; he can often keep ‘em rapt long enough for me to get three dips-and-licks in without getting caught!
I just won’t let myself think about eggs. A total day’s recommended cholesterol for a normal person in one oval dart. But since I cut them off my list, my youngest daughter, probably because I cut them off my list, makes them every morning. Every morning. “Want some?” she’ll say, holding the plate out. This child never offered me a bit of her food in her life.
Ah, well, I’ll try this for a couple months. Then, as my friend April (a doctor’s daughter) taught me, there’s always “better living through medicine.”
And for the record, wine has no cholesterol. In fact, “not only does red wine have flavenoids, proven to lower cholesterol, it has resveratrol and saponins as well,” according to ldlheartdisease.com. Woo-hoo! AND SAPONINS! Whatever the hell saponins are. So all is well with the world.