By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
It's up to us all to eat right, live long
Placeholder Image
Dang my new doctor anyway.

Before I decided to make Dr. Kerry Evnin of Ceres my primary doctor, I never had a physician go on a full-scale search to check my health. Dr. Evnin has ordered more blood tests for me in the last year than I ever had in my life. As he puts it, he likes to look under all the rocks ... as if he were looking for a snake. A snake being something harmful in body. (But he's checked under more than just rocks if ya know what I mean).

It's a good thing because apparently I was under the assumption that everything was A-okay. I thought I'd cruise through all the tests. After all, I'm 47 and take care of myself. I've been running for the past 10 years and have always been on the slender side so obesity-related issues hasn't been my concern. But the May 18 finger prick for a cholesterol check changed my eating habits - probably for good.

I learned that my body was behaving like that of an obese man who was being stuffed with greasy Pizza Hut foods every day.

I am no doctor so I will try my best to explain that a cholesterol check looks at various things, including your HDL and LDL and triglycerides. If your body can't handle the greasy foods that you put in your body, it can dump into your arteries and restrict the flow of blood. And clogged arteries can often mean, whamoo, heart attack out of the blue.

In January I my triglycerides were at 168. After my trip to the Midwest, the number shot up to 261. He wanted it under 150.

My LDL was 113. My HDL was at 44.

Doctors want to see a total cholesterol at under 150; mine was 209.

Surprise was also found in my blood sugar levels: 102. So there was the two-hour glucose tolerance test that had to be performed in Turlock since Ceres has no laboratories. Dr. Evnin not only wanted it check to see if I was a candidate for diabetes but he wanted me to get the number under 100.

Never one to take a pill to do what an eating habit can, I was given a list of foods to avoid. He handed it to me with a look that he's done this a million times but doesn't expect anyone to really heed the advice. I did.

I've done my level best to avoid fatty foods such as pizza, burgers, and pork. No more sugars except for occasional snacks. I'm not supposed to eat white breads nor a lot of pastas, which the body turns to sugar.

It's been hard work. I usually refuse cakes, cookies and pies at parties. I refuse to eat certain things like salami. I've replaced ice cream with sugarless treats. I opt for wheat breads versus white breads. I'm also popping flaxseed oil capsules, which naturally lowers cholesterol.

What I didn't know is what would happen to my weight. It dropped - and dropped fast. I went from 165-168 to about 153-155.

The payoff has been a 10-point drop in blood sugar levels, dropping from 102 to 92. At the end of the month I will have my cholesterol checked again. He's pretty sure that it will all be good. He's seen how committed I am.

It's not very hard to look around and see why two- thirds of us are now obese. Just look at what we eat and how we eat it in a super-sized frenzy.

Let's face it. We're a fat nation. We're victims of ourselves, in this deny-yourself-nothing American culture. Most people don't have the discipline in calculating what they consume. We want it all. And what we do eat is problematic for the human body.

Blame fast food outlets all you want but nobody sticks a gun to your head and says, "Go to Taco Bell and buy six of those grease-dripping tacos and guzzle them down with a Mountain Dew." I might add, "Then go home and sit in front of a video game as your six pack abs defer to six-pack flab.

I've had a lot to think about as far as diet goes. It's our choice if we want to eat healthy and therefore be healthy. Our bodies will generally give us better use if we watch what we put in. We either remain committed to eating well or we reap the results of bad eating. Unfortunately for many it ends when they're clutching the chest as a truck is rolling over it with a heart attack.

How do you feel? Let Jeff know at