October 6, 2009

High Cholesterol 1 - Fall Supper 0 (by Margaret Ullrich)

Hope you've been getting out and enjoying a fine Fall Supper or two. I just love all that wonderful food. But, sometimes, seeing it makes me a little sad, too.

A few years ago the doctor said my cholesterol was high and he put me on a restricted diet. I'm used to it now. I don't think of having high cholesterol as a disability because, while no one enjoys having to take precautions, watching what I eat hasn't really affected anything important.

It hasn't interfered with my social life. I'm more active than some friends who can eat three portions of anything and everything. Friends are always inviting me to join them for meals, whether home cooked or restaurant or take out.

Oh... I realize it's not for my sparkling wit or insightful comments on current events. Nope. Having me for a guest is a blessing for the hostess. She knows that while others are brunching on the quiche, I'm having the salad. While others are twirling their Fettuccine alla Alfredo, I'm having the salad. While others are wolfing down the Beef Wellington, I'm having the salad. While others are devouring the Peking Duck, I'm having the steamed rice.

Inviting me is like inviting Bugs Bunny. Water and carrots are fine, thank you.

When the doctor told me to watch my diet, I bought the American Heart Association's Cookbook. It has a chapter on what to do before going to a restaurant. If you've just been diagnosed, save your money. Their big suggestion is: contact your restaurant in advance and grill them more thoroughly than they grill the steak. The Association says "be assertive and don't be intimidated by the menu, the atmosphere or the waiter."

There's even a list of questions to ask. Questions like: Do you or would you on request
- Prepare a dish using vegetable oil (corn, soy, sunflower, safflower)
or margarine made with vegetable oil, rather than butter?
- Leave all butter, gravy or sauce off an entree or side dish?
- Broil, bake, steam or poach (rather than saute or deep fry) meat,
fish or poultry?

Ah, well, there's more to life than food.

Have a great day. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

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