Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

We’ve probably all heard the saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

I’m here today to tell you that is true. But I’m not talking about the absence of a friend or loved one.  I’m talking about certain foods.

Two weeks ago I had routine blood work done. My cholesterol had risen to a degree with which I was uncomfortable. I wasn’t anywhere near the point of requiring medication to lower it; but I knew I should make a dedicated effort to lower it via diet and exercise.

I knew what the culprits were for me. Or I had a pretty good guess. Cheese. Potato Chips. Shrimp. Cookies and baked items.

I love LOVE cheese.  If I fix tacos for dinner, I have to have a plate of fried tortillas with melted cheese all over them.

I love potato chips. Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar. I used to eat just a few. I had such great restraint. A sandwich and 5 chips for lunch and I was good. Toss in a cookie, and I was great! But somewhere along the way I got lazy. I stopped counting the chips and grabbed a handful instead.  And I wasn’t beyond walking through the kitchen and grabbing a handful of chips as a snack.

Shrimp. You would think that is a good healthy food, right?  Well, it’s high in protein, and so it had become a go-to dinner for me to cook when I forgot to take something out of the freezer, or just wanted a quick, easy dinner. You can defrost shrimp in water in about 10 minutes, grill it in about 5 and you’re done. A good, high-protein dinner – that is also REALLY high in cholesterol. I didn’t know that.

Cookies and baked items.  I’m not so much a candy person or cake person, but give me a box of cookies and you’ll be my friend for life. My husband and I go to a local deli for hamburgers – well, we DID go there for hamburgers about once a week. And they sold the best home-made cookies. I always bought a box, and that box contained 10 cookies.  I used to put half of them in the freezer, and eat the other half over several days.  Well, somehow I stopped doing that and the last time I bought a box, the box was gone in just a few days. I keep telling my husband that he HAD to have eaten some and he just didn’t remember. He said he hadn’t.  I’m inclined to believe him now.

So I went cold turkey. No cheese. No potato chips. No shrimp. No cookies. Oh, and bread. No bread either. 

My test results weren’t even bad enough for my doctor to send me a tsk-tsk letter, but I know he probably has his eye on me now. I’ll ask, in a month or so, for a follow-up blood test to see if my efforts have made a difference. Everything I’ve read tells me I should see results in that period of time.

In the meantime, yesterday, for the first time in 2 weeks, I treated myself. To FOUR potato chips. Oh, my gosh. They were sooo delicious. And that is when the saying popped into my head…. … Yes, absence does make the heart grow fonder. Even if it is just potato chips.

P.S. I’ve open to any other suggestions you may have!

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Comments (13)

  1. Here’s something I learned yesterday. Just thought I’d share it and you can ask your doctor (https://www.livestrong.com/article/316022-how-to-use-metamucil-to-lower-cholesterol/). Good luck. Better to get it under control now before it is a have to. My doc has me on Lipitor even though my cholesterol is perfect. But, I had a small stroke and he said it does other things too to help.

    February 1, 2018 at 7:24 pm
    • Karen

      This is an interesting article, De. I think I’ll give it a try. Thanks! Best wishes with your own health too!

      February 3, 2018 at 7:37 am
  2. Gloria Rieschl

    Oh goodness, so hard to change those not-so-good habits we think are just a little things!! I am relating to some of what you are saying…after being sick from the flu I thought it was a very good time to detox from all the meds I was trying AND sugar!! I have the biggest sweet tooth!! I have added back in one med, but it is a natural med (Cobalt) because my chiro said he noticed my muscles aren’t as soft as they used to be. I did notice something else (gosh darn it!!) and that is by not consuming sugar I have not had a horrid headache…except for the one day I decided to splurge and woke up with a headache the next day. With what is going on with my sister I am 99% certain that our diet is HUGE in how our body feels!! It’s not easy but it just might be worth it!!!!!!!!!!!! Go you, Karen….I don’t think I’m as disciplined as you but I am working on it!!

    February 2, 2018 at 8:09 am
    • Karen

      I’m sure you’re right, Glori! That saying, “We are what we eat,” I’m sure has more truth to it than we want to believe, perhaps. I’ve heard other people describe the same experience with sugar. I hope you can figure out the delicate balance of foods that you need!

      February 3, 2018 at 7:36 am
  3. Steph

    Congrats for working on your health so proactively! I had a similar doctor’s visit last year. I have not taken the same type of food action, instead I am trying to work more on the exercise angle. Digital scrapping is not very good cardio so I do need to force myself to get up from the computer and spend short time periods doing something more physical! Some days I have to set periodic alarms during the day to remind me to MOVE!

    Good luck and don’t watch the Super Bowl food commercials!

    February 2, 2018 at 10:27 am
    • Karen

      LOL! I agree. Digital Scrapbooking does not provide good cardio. 🙂 I do exercise, but need to ramp that up, I’m sure. Setting an alarm, just so I don’t sit for hours at a time is a good idea! Thanks for sharing your experience, Steph. It’s good to know I”m not alone.

      February 3, 2018 at 7:34 am
  4. Terry

    Eating oatmeal will lower your cholesterol. Have some every morning. When you want a cookie, have an oatmeal cookie. Also, use olive oil rather than any other oil. It will definitely help. Taking a good quality fish oil supplement will also help. I don’t like taking meds, so I try to do everything naturally if at all possible. I know from experience and from the experiences of friends that these things really work.

    February 3, 2018 at 9:48 pm
    • Karen

      Thanks, Terry. I did read that and so started eating oatmeal every morning right away. I read apples and walnuts are good to lower cholesterol also, so cut up half an apple and put in 1 tsp of walnuts each day to spice the oatmeal up a bit. I do take a fish oil supplement because it helps my dry eyes, so I’m glad to hear it should be doing something else for me too. Thank you for sharing your experience! It’s good to know these things have worked / are working for you.

      February 6, 2018 at 2:10 pm
  5. Hi Karen,

    High cholesterol runs in my family, it’s a genetic predisposition, so I’ve been watching my diet for over 26 years. You need to do some research about what to eat and what not to eat and be sure you’re getting the latest info because it changes all the time. For example, yes, shrimp is high in cholesterol but high blood cholesterol is caused more by saturated fats and trans fats than by the cholesterol in foods. Re shrimp, check out this article:


    Also, why are you cutting out bread? Do you have Celiac disease. Whole Grain bread is healthy and helps keep your cholesterol down because of the fiber. Fiber is very important. Cutting out the cookies and the chips is a good idea though. I think you can now buy baked potato chips…LOL.

    Btw, I am on medication for my cholesterol, I take Lovastatin which is generic for Mevacor, the very first statin marketed. Super safe it has been around for over 50 years. Between the Lovastatin and my diet, I’ve managed to keep my cholesterol numbers and triglycerides in a good place.

    Diet is everything…more veges, more fruits, less processed foods, more fiber, exercise, stay hydrated. The formula hasn’t changed in years.

    Good luck with this, and remember, shrimp is okay. 😀

    February 4, 2018 at 1:40 am
    • Karen

      Thank you for the link to the shrimp article. It was very informative and encouraging for me. As far as the bread goes, it’s mostly what I put on it… a lot of butter. 🙂 But yes, the healthy bread, I still eat. It’s actually not bad just plain, I think. It’s hard for me to eat “more” veges because I don’t like many of them at all. But I am trying. More exercise, more water. And yesterday I bought some Vegan cheese. So we’ll see how THAT goes! 😉 Thanks for sharing your experience and this valuable information.

      February 6, 2018 at 2:07 pm
  6. Lynne

    I too had too high numbers. For me statins are not an option, will aggravate stuff I am already dealing with. Saw a nutritionist and she recommend Cholestoff, to help lower my numbers. It is a plant based supplement. Have been taking for almost 3 years now and it lowered my numbers significantly.Currently am in the high end good range. You get it at Costco, but it is not real cheap tho they do coupon it regularly.(in new coupon book) She also told me to take a fish oil capsule. Also told I could have shrimp and eggs every 4-6 weeks. Of course all this is in addition to a good diet and that dreaded word, exercise. Am lactose intolerant so didn’t go into any mike products. I do miss cheese!!

    February 4, 2018 at 1:53 pm
    • Karen

      Thank you for this information, Lynne. I do see this is on sale at Costco right now, so I will get some. I do take fish oil regularly (for dry eyes) so it’s good to know it is helping other things too. I bought some Vegan Cheese yesterday but haven’t tried it yet. It was also recommended to me. I so appreciate everyone’s help!!! Thanks for sharing your information and experience!

      February 6, 2018 at 2:00 pm
    • Karen

      Hi Lynne, The font is Beauty Straw. It is a Commercial Use Font available at Creative Market.

      February 6, 2018 at 2:08 pm
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