Time For a Double Vanilla Latte With Extra Whipped Cream

Meditations in Motion

Hello and welcome to the March edition of The Ultimate Coffee Date with Coco from Running With Perseverance and Deborah from Confessions of a Mother Runner, where we dish over coffee (or tea, if that is your preference) about all things running (and some non-running topics too).

This month, if we were having coffee, I would tell you I finally had blood drawn for my cholesterol check.

At my annual physical last year, the blood test showed sky-high cholesterol levels. This is nothing new. My good cholesterol is sky-high and that pushes the overall number up. For the first time, however, my doctor said I may want to consider taking a statin to bring the numbers down.

I asked her whether I could try to lower the cholesterol levels through diet before I began taking medication and she agreed.

I started by eliminating foods with high saturated fat and cholesterol content, which seemed logical. After talking to a friend, however, with some knowledge on the topic, I added some “good” fat back into my diet and eliminated processed sugar.

I had no idea how difficult it would be. Not only were cakes, pies, sweetened drinks, donuts, and ice cream now forbidden, almost all ready-to-eat cereals, some salad dressings, catsup, and even pickles contained sugar (or even worse, high-fructose corn syrup).

I became a label-reading champ.

I did cheat occasionally, but in the weeks leading up to the blood test, I became a fanatic about avoiding sugar and other sweeteners.

Some of my favorite running-related memories are of the times my hubby bought a double vanilla latte with extra whipped cream as a warm, creamy, sweet treat for me after tough long runs in the wintertime.

This winter, I have been doing the long runs, but not getting my favorite post-run indulgence. I have decided to treat myself to one of these lattes now that the blood test is in the rear-view mirror.

The test results are still not known, by the way.

Meditations in Motion

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about my youngest son, who has started running. I wrote about it in this post.

He is doing everything right – posting about his runs on social media to stay accountable, gradually building his running time and reducing his walking time, and finding a group of friends to run with.

I wanted to encourage him in this endeavor (picture Darth Vadar saying “Yesss….come to the dark side, Luke!“), so I offered to buy him running shoes.

We went to our local running store and a very helpful salesman helped him select a pair of Asics.

When I asked him how his first run in new shoes went, he told me his feet hurt. As it turns out, he has very low arches and he was used to running in a pair of basketball-type shoes with no support at all. The support under his arches will take some getting used to but will be so worth it in the long run (no pun intended).

My husband advised him to wear the new shoes around the house to break them in a little bit and my son now reports that his feet feel much better while running in them.

Sigh of relief!

We have signed up for his first 5K in May. Race report to follow!

Meditations in Motion

If we were having coffee, I would show you this “before” photo of my training log and then…

Meditations in Motion

…this “after” photo.

I have decided to record all of my workouts in my training log rather than just my runs. I am putting Body Pump and swimming workouts in there too. I am still not convinced to add the planking and/or push-up routine I do every morning, though.

I don’t know why I switched. Maybe it’s to keep myself accountable, maybe it’s to give me more reasons to pat myself on the back, maybe it’s so I can look back on the log to see what works and what doesn’t work. No one sees my training log except me, so it’s not as if I am sharing it on social media.

Unless…maybe that’s the next step – sharing my workouts on Twitter and Facebook. Could I finally become part of the 21st Century? Baby steps.

Thank you for joining me for our Coffee Date. I will not be participating in the Ultimate Coffee Date next month. Bill and I will be traveling and I will not have access to my laptop. See you again at the beginning of May for more coffee and conversation.

 

 

 

75 comments

  1. Glad your son has begun to share your enthusiasm for running. I miss running outside with my youngest daughter. We used to run together around our neighborhood…not long runs but a couple of miles. She is recovering from the C-section birth of my new granddaughter and just beginning to walk for exercise. Hope by this summer we can start running again together. You and your son have inspired me!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fingers crossed your blood tests pass muster after all your hard work. I’ve introduced cashew nuts back into my diet … they say 15 cashews are okey-dokey. I measured them out in a Dixie cup like you use in the bathroom dispenser. I think it is 3-ounces. Then I shut the lid, but keep thinking about them. They are good, albeit dry roasted and no salt. Sigh. Cashews, like other nuts, are good for you … and magnesium for the brain. That wasthe hook that allowed it – who’s brain doesn’t need a little tweaking? Mine does. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually was supposed to have my blood tested after 3 months, not a year, but I kept putting it off and putting it off. I am dreading the results! I love cashews. My new favorite treat is salted pecans. Using a little cup to measure them out is a good idea. Ha! I have to laugh about you thinking about the cashews after you close the lid. I would do the same thing. My brain needs tweaking too! πŸ™‚

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      • I hope your results are good Laurie. I LIKE the whole cashews with sea salt by Planters – that is what I LIKE; what I BUY/EAT is the roasted cashews that are unsalted. They still have the nice taste, but are a bit blah.
        Yes, once I found out they were good for the brain, I decided I could have a little cup of them every night. I pour them out and walk the canister into the other room – sad isn’t it when it comes to willpower? I’ve never tried salted pecans – that sounds good. I will look for them – nuts are good for you, as they have healthy fat, except Brazil nuts – too much fat and not only are they very fattening, but too much selenium is bad for you – they have more selenium than any other nut. I get my selenium from tuna.

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      • I keep checking my email twice a day, but no results yet. Ugh!

        Bill looks for the saltiest container of cashews he can find. We buy them in the bulk food aisle so they come in clear plastic containers. I am not fond of Brazil nuts but when we used to buy mixed nuts, I was the only person in the house who ate the Brazil nuts. Everyone else picked around them! πŸ™‚

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      • I will have to try them, though I’ve cut down on salt. I like buying the shelled pistachios too and have them sometimes as a treat. The Brazil nuts are fairly hard – do you hit them with a mallet or eat them whole? I worry about my crown even though the dentist says eat anything. (Easy for him to say – he’s the one who gets the big fee for replacing a crown and I don’t have dental insurance.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just got my test results back, Linda. My total cholesterol is down by 50 points and my good cholesterol is slightly up. I am very happy with the results!

        I like pistachios too but I always buy them in the shell. Shelling them makes me slow down and eat fewer of them. I buy the Brazil nuts already shelled so I just eat them whole.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is great Laurie – you did really well by changing your diet. You can celebrate (briefly) and keep up the good work. I know you’re glad you didn’t have to go on meds and did it naturally.

        Yes, pistachios that are unshelled are too handy to pop in your mouth one after the other one. I like roasted shelled sunflower seeds – I put them in my oatmeal and they give it some crunch. The biggest problem I have with eating healthy is that I am a texture eater so I crave a little crunch. That’s why I gave up bread and went to Triscuits. I feel like I am getting a little crunch that way. Good to know on the Brazil nuts – they are good for you. I was just concerned with biting down on them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Linda! I was so happy with the results! I ate a (candy) Easter egg in celebration.

        I like the idea of sunflower seeds in the oatmeal. I think I must try that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I would do that too Laurie – they were great results. I put two teaspoons of roasted, unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds in – yummy as they give it some crunch. I put raisins or small dates in as well … I used to use syrup but gave it up because of the sugar.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw the word “statin” and I think I said out loud “no!”. I’m so glad you decided to go with a change in diet first. And the advice of your friend about adding in good fat is golden. I’m sure your results will be much better! And I’m also sure you enjoyed that latte, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I need that latte. Hope you get good test results.

    I don’t think I could record it all. No time. But wow. You are doing it all. I am feeling like a slacker.

    My stepson ran track in HS. I’d love if he started running again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Darlene. I hope I get good test results too. I have mixed feelings about “doing it all”. Hubby only runs, but he runs 6 or 7 days of the week. I added in Body Pump and swimming so I run less. Not sure which approach is more beneficial but I enjoy the variety.

      I was very happy my son started running. He is having a rough time right now. It’s good for him.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My cholesterol is also sky high, and has been for decades. Like, not just a bit over normal. It’s odd since it doesn’t run in my family and I exercise & eat very healthy. Diet doesn’t change it for me — we don’t get most of our cholesterol from diet, actually.

    Anyway, my Dr. had me do a cardiac calcium scan. It showed zero plaque in my arteries. No statins for me!

    That’s great that your son’s sneakers are getting broken in — AND that he’s already signed up for his first 5k! That was quick.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have the same issue with my cholesterol as you do. And there’s no way I’m taking a statin! I don’t think the physicians know what to do with us! Why would it make sense to lower the HDL?You’ve prompted me to do some research. I’ll let you know what I learn. In the meantime, it does make sense to watch sugars and I have shied away from HFCS for years!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Wendy. I would appreciate finding out what you learn. My cholesterol was always high due to high good cholesterol, but this year it was even higher than usual. This is the first time my doctor said anything about statins. My ratio of good/bad cholesterol is excellent.

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  7. It’s amazing what a difference shoes make. I used to wear work boots in my shop and when working around the house. An older man (60-ish when I was 30-ish) told me that β€œwork” boots were made for standing a long time near a machine. He said since I was moving around, I should buy hunting boots. My feet never felt so good. I’ve paid attention ever since.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! What great advice! After a bout of plantar fasciitis brought on by wearing the wrong running shoes when I first started running, I only buy shoes now from my local running store. I like the advice from an expert.

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  8. Welcome to my unprocessed food world. Once you get in the habit of really combing through labels, you realize just how much junk is lurking in prepared foods. I’ve been putting frozen avocado chunks in my smoothies for good fat. It makes them very creamy. Have a wonderful trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s amazing isn’t it? We put all kinds of bad junk in our bodies. I read a book by Michael Pollan once that said something like – don’t eat anything with ingredients your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize. Good advice! I’ll have to remember the avocado tip. Thanks!

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  9. My husband has to take medicine for his cholesterol levels, but so far, so good for me, Laurie, and I’m grateful for that. Hope you can successfully get yours under control by simply changing your diet. And again, enjoy your upcoming trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have a genetic cholesterol issue. Even though I have been a vegetarian for my whole adult life and exercise like a crazy person, I have to take statins. They do seem to work well w no side effects. You can only do so much. Have a fantastic trip can’t wait to hear all about your adventures

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    • I am not a vegetarian but I don’t eat red meat and eat chicken very rarely (once or twice a year). I have a feeling my condition may be genetic too. Glad to read that the statins you are taking have no side effects. Thank you!

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  11. Your trip is going to rock!

    So when I worked for the local running store, it was really interesting to me how many younger adults, teens and kids had LOW arches. It’s definitely harder for them to get used to the arches in a good pair of shoes. Granted, where I live, everyone goes barefoot and wears flip flops all the time, so that might have something to do with it. I’m glad he’s doing well and worked through the change!

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  12. I hope your blood tests come out well. I hear you on reading labels. We all have some allergies and I’ve known it’s best for me to stay away from sugar for 25 years now (I have hypoglycemia), but it’s in so many things!
    Fun story: I was so used to reading labels that I didn’t really notice I did it anymore, but lately I’m having trouble with the smaller print (ahem… aging…) and that made me aware of all the reading I do when I’m shopping. πŸ˜‰

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    • Wow! 25 years is a long time to avoid sugar. I hope I can hang on that long. I am getting to the same point as you with my eyesight! I may have to invest in a pair of reading glasses! πŸ™‚

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  13. It’s great that you son’s feet are adjusting to his new running shoes. Going from a shoe with no arch support to one with good support takes time, just like adjusting to new custom orthotics. Give Bill a pat on the back for his great advice!

    Enjoy your trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect mine might be genetic too, but I had to give the dietary changes a try. I still haven’t gotten the results from the test back yet. I would give it up forever if it meant not having to take medication.

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  14. Good for you for cutting back on the processed sugar. That is my biggest downfall. I have a co-worker who is always giving me candy ( and of course I happily accept it…lol). But I made a goal for myself to give up all candy, cookies, cakes, and sugary treats (including lattes), for two weeks, I am proud of myself that I was able to do it. It was hard because last week was teacher appreciation day and we had a luncheon with all sorts of desserts and I did not have ANY!

    Hope your test results come back great!
    -M

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never realized how much sugar was in my diet until I began cutting it out! Good for you for restraining yourself from the sugary treats at school. That would be tough!

      Thanks for the good wishes. πŸ™‚

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  15. I use an excel spreadsheet to log all of my workouts. In August 2016 I made a commitment to myself to never take more than 2 days off in a row from working out and this was how to stay accountable. I find it helps when I have a good or bad race to compare what I was doing around that time in past. For example I was comparing what I did last year around Northeastern’s 5k to what I’ve been doing. Granted I don’t know what conditions will be like tomorrow compared to last year but hopefully something clicks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Tracy. You are organized! That is an excellent way to be accountable. I like to look back on my log to see what has worked in the past for me too. Hope your race yesterday was s good one. I’ll look forward to seeing your race report!

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  16. I will be interested to hear if your dietary changes made a difference. I have my own journey with blood draw numbers and dietary efforts. And I am inspired by all the running in your posts. I have been working on getting back to running. I miss is a lot.

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  17. Oh I understand cutting out all sugars & processed foods Laurie! It’s not so easy is it! And high GI carbs are in so many things!
    But now its my lifestyle… with a rare treat every now & then off course, just so I don’t go crazy with a carb binge lol! πŸ˜‰
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

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  18. Good for you for being extremely reluctant to take statins, considering your level of health and good cholesterol. I’m not convinced the docs know enough about (probably genetically) high levels in otherwise very healthy individuals, especially women, and while I’m not a Big Pharma conspiracy theorist I do think statins are probably overprescribed. I too am working on ferreting out the hidden sugars in my diet, mostly to avoid inflammation and exacerbating the little bit of arthritis I have. If I’m going to eat sugar, it should be obvious sugar, like lemon meringue pie! πŸ™‚

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    • I think the same thing about statins, Jan. I agree with you about the sugars. I have no trouble eliminating sodas or jam on my toast. If I am going to only eat sugar once in a while for a splurge, it has to be worth it – like the lemon meringue pie you mention or double chocolate cake! πŸ™‚

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    • I just got my test results back…my total cholesterol is down by 50 points and my good cholesterol is up slightly. I am very happy with the results. Thank you!

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