On June 18, 2017, my husband’s blood work which historically showed elevated cholesterol levels and which he was on medication to control, showed LDL of 128 (optimal is less than 100), HDL 50 (greater than 60 lowers CHD risk [cardiac heart disease]) and a total cholesterol of 205 which is borderline high (below 200 is the goal, the lower the better down to 125.)
On August 17, 2017 a blood test to check for inherited cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia) came back very high positive (2008 and greater than 2000 is in the very high positive category.)
At the same time, I needed to change my own eating as I was experiencing some gall bladder inflammation that I was told could be controlled by dietary adjustments. If I did that, I most likely would not need surgery.
Overnight we became Pescatarians (Vegetarians with a seafood twist.) We eat baked salmon 2-3 dinners a week (with honey mustard dressing as the coating has become our favorite), baked catfish, flounder or haddock one other night, occasionally shrimp, mussels and clams is cooked into recipes. We removed all animal meats from our diet (beef, pork, chicken, turkey), switched to egg whites/limited whole eggs to 2-3 a week (whether eggs alone or incorporated into recipes), all cheese is part skim/low fat/non fat (we were already using skim milk and unsweetened almond milk) and limited the packaged cookies and crackers as they contain hydrogenated oil that is an unhealthful trans fat used to increase a product’s shelf life. (Craving sweets or crackers, homemade cookies/muffins can be baked, and crackers can as well [although I have not yet tried the recipe I have.] I also picked up two vegetarian cookbooks. For the first time in my life, I found that I enjoyed experimenting with the different recipes. There was a challenge, there was a test, there was a goal.
And what an amazing, miraculous, exciting result!
On December 3, 2017, just 6 months later, my husband’s LDL was 100. HDL 51. Total cholesterol 179. On March 3, 2018, 9 months later, my husband’s LDL was 99. HDL 50. Total cholesterol 164. And he has basically maintained this ever since, we just a few slight fluctuations.
Kicking off this new year I treated myself to 3 more cookbooks including a Pescatarian one and I am excited!
Spiritual parallel? Huge! Isaiah 49:10 “They shall neither hunger nor thirst, nor shall the heat and the sun smite them, for He Who has mercy on them shall lead them, and by the springs of water He shall guide them.” John 6:35 “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
Deuteronomy 8:3 “And He afflicted you and let you go hungry, and then fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your forefathers know, so that He would make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but rather by, whatever comes forth from the mouth of the Lord does man live.” Matthew 4:4 “But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
Psalm 78:24 “He had rained upon them manna to eat, and He had given them corn of heaven.” 1 Corinthians 10:3-4 “and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians discusses even more, warning against idolatry. And what is idolatry? Far more intense than statues, idolatry is anything at all, or any one at all, that takes our focus off of God, that we place ahead of God, that we give more importance or time to than God.
In life, physically, we need to eat. Food is our fuel. We can eat with a focus on physical health and well being, or we can simply eat to eat. Eat and overeat. Eat paying no mind to our health. Regardless, we are eating something.
Our day is filled with “stuff”, whatever it is we do whether work or family or friends or hobbies. We don’t simply sit in one place all day every day and do nothing with an empty brain/empty mind. So in that, the “stuff” is our food. Food is our fuel.
We can walk out this life focused on God, reading the Bible, attending corporate worship services, studying the bible alone and with others, making God our priority even through the things we do during the day. Or we can put God to the side, focus on a tidbit of scripture one day a week in corporate service if at all, and put everything else in front of taking time with God. Salvation is never a question because none of this is required for salvation nor do we have to do this to maintain salvation (just as we cannot physically be unborn once we are born, we cannot spiritually be unborn once God has birthed us in salvation [also known as being born again.])
So in these two scenarios, regardless we are eating something. So, which of the two scenarios presented do you think will lead to spiritual health?
I pray for God to strengthen you right now as you walk out your physical and spiritual lives.