Where do we go from here?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Doing The Happy Dance

Getting good news is just such a kick in the pants.  And we have great good news.  Before we went to Denver last week Gail had a new lipid panel done.  Yesterday we saw her doctor for a report on said lipids.  And the report has major changes from the one she got in October, the one that occasioned her stress test, which brought the diagnosis of CAD, and therefore our new eating lifestyle.  Her numbers have all improved - bad cholesterol down, good cholesterol up, triglycerides waaay down, cholesterol in transition from dense and heavy to light and fluffy (something no one has ever mentioned as a marker before), blood pressure totally normal. So, to celebrate we went to yoga, then to Whole Foods for an enormous salad, then for a forty minute fast walk in the mall.  The mall is our least favorite place to walk, but it was dark by then and we had to get a birthday present for my niece anyway.  The important things in our lives now are eating vegetables, beans and salads, walking every day, yoga twice a week, meditation and breathing exercises.  Gail is by no means out of the woods, but she can at least see the sunlight from within the trees.  We are continuing this regime, she'll have more blood tests in three months, another stress test in six months. I think even if she is ever given a clean bill of health we will continue as vegans, perhaps adding in a little of the good oils, and more things like nuts and avocados. We have both lost weight, feel so much better, and are now at least True Believers, if not Total Fanatics.

I have to thank Bill Clinton here, for giving us the original impetus to take this route (rather than the catheterization/angioplasty/stent/medication route) and my niece Jessica for sending us her copy of Eat To Live, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, (the book that has now become our bible) and for helping me dive into vegan cooking.  As anyone who has read the sparse entries in this blog over the past couple of months is aware of my initial displeasure with the diet, putting it mildly.  I have had serious mental breakdowns over trying to shop, cook, and eat this way - sometimes daily.  Over the past several weeks I have made some peace with chard, black beans, romaine, broccoli, whole grains, etcetera. The results of the diet as shown in Gail's blood tests, and in the fact that she almost never has any angina any more (a small amount once in a great while when we go uphill too hard and fast), firm up my resolve to become the best vegan/low fat/low oil/low salt cook I can be.

Before we went to Denver I rambled around online looking at Denver restaurants, and discovered an unbelievably wonderful vegetarian/vegan place downtown called Watercourse Foods.  We took Gail's son Evan and his two kids there to breakfast on Sunday - with totally positive results. They do serve eggs, so Char could have scrambled eggs with her vegan French toast, and Ben could have eggs and "normal" pancakes too. The existence of such a place fills me with joy and delight.  It IS possible to eat in this hyper-healthy fashion and still be a foodie, it is, it is!!!  Watercourse is enough to make me think long and hard about moving to Denver. Do check out the website, it is beautiful in and of itself.  The artwork on the site is from the walls of the restaurant, by a phenomenal  artist, whose other work is entirely different from what is on the walls at Watercourse.


Neil said...

This is great news and I am sure it must be a great relief to both of you. What a nice way to start the holidays!

Lisa :-] said...

This news is spectacular, and I hope it makes all the sacrifices you have made in the past few months more than worth it. I think moving to Denver might actually be a good idea... Living in a larger metropolitan area, there might be more resources available for your dietary needs.

Congratulations to you and Gail!

marigolds2 said...

Thanks, Lisa - you are right, it does make it all more than worth it. It won't be for a while, but we are seriously considering a move to Denver. Both Gail's sons live there, with her four grandchildren, and it's a nice city, if you don't mind the traffic. We are spoiled by having lived most recently in a rural area in Delaware, for a long time and now in this small city where they THINK they have traffic, but really it's nothing. Driving into Denver at rush hour on the freeways was a reminder of what life is like so many places. Being retired means we could probably avoid freeway rush hours, however.