Friday, February 13, 2009

The Disturbing Effects of Stress: A Carb-Lover's View

A few weeks ago we discovered that, despite our laidback living in rural Kansas, George has developed high blood pressure. I tagged along to the doctor’s office, hoping to thwart a drug prescription, and ended up admitting defeat. Temporarily. A trifecta of medical pre-diagnoses included high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high glucose. By “pre-diagnoses,” I mean that readings weren’t high enough to warrant “serious” concern, said the doc, but they’re on the watch list for pre-diabetes and more dramatic heart conditions. George’s fluctuating blood pressure already gave him afternoon headaches and drained him of energy by evening, so a low dose of medication was prescribed. (He already feels better.)

Armed with government-distributed healthy diet booklets — so obtusely difficult to comprehend that they typically accompany a six-week class, hooray USA — we planned a mealtime makeover. I love a challenge, especially when it comes to making food George won’t touch into food he really likes. But trying to find things to eat that are high fiber, low carb/sugar, low cholesterol, low sodium, low fat, and still filling is definitely challenging.

We met our initial goals: replacing George’s toaster streudel breakfast with something substantial (enter peanut butter wheat toast with banana slices) and substituting a mug of morning coffee for the vast amounts of Mountain Dew he drank daily, a jolt of caffeine sans sugar. Dinner is the true challenge.


Today’s concoction, spinach-parmesan turkey meatballs, are a shock: tropical green islands floating in marinara. Like a Dr. Seuss recipe. I used the food processor to mix them, which colored the entire effort, though even George has admitted they’re making the house smell fantastic from the crockpot.

Two things I miss so far are butter on vegetables and oven-fresh cookies. My Valentine’s Day breakfast plan is pillowy-soft, buttery cinnamon rolls. They’re really a gift for me.


Julie B said...

Yikes those are green! Did they stay so bright after they were cooked? I'm sorta curious how they turned out, since my kids won't eat spinach.

Laura said...

Problem solved: George goes veg!!!!! He's gotta consider it since I'm a LIFE SAVER by profession. OOOOHH and nix those twizzlers!! Two small things and he's superman again. Tell G if he can hold off a year or two, Josh'll be sinking in a boat made of doritos. Then you'll move back and they can co-diet!!!

Christine is vegetarian. said...

Julie: The meatballs don't stay green when cooked. They actually looked like regular meatballs, possibly flecked with parsley. Sorry to disappoint, but all I did was basically add two big handfuls of spinach to regular meatball mix. Easy peasy.

Laura: Um, George is angry.

Anonymous said...

Hope George/Michael is feeling better with his new meds.