My doctor said I have the arteries of a 23-year-old. The rest of me is 28, for those keeping score.
Let me back up. I went in for a routine physical two months ago. At a follow-up appointment a few weeks later, in going over my blood work, the doctor mentioned that my bad cholesterol (LDL) was high, but that this may not be much of a concern because my good cholesterol (HDL) was also high. He wanted more information before giving me a clean bill of health, so he ordered something called an IMT scan. This week we got the results of that scan back, and this is where he came to his “arteries of a 23-year-old” conclusion.
He then casually mentioned that if I want to stay healthy, I should become a vegetarian. A couple of my friends at work are vegetarians, and I’ve been slowly warming up to the idea, honestly, for months now. Today as I was walking through Wal-mart I suddenly became disgusted with pretty much everything around me. Even the stuff that claims it’s healthy isn’t really. Everything is microwaveable and quick, and chock full of preservatives and additives, and just about everything has some kind of meat in it.
If I really go vegetarian, I would also pretty much need my wife to go vegetarian since she does the cooking around here. I can’t ask her to do that, so I think I’m going to start by cutting meat out of one meal a day, namely, lunch. I bought some fruit at the store, and if you know me at all you know I’m not much of a fruit guy. We also had this great idea on the way home of making me some fancy salads for lunches. I’m thinking green lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, red onions or scallions, diced green or red bell peppers, julienned carrots, maybe a diced hard-boiled egg or chickpeas for some protein, and salt and pepper, olive oil and vinegar for seasoning. A piece of bread or fruit would finish off the meal and, I think, fill me up just as well as my usual soup, sandwich, or chili.
While I’m setting health-related goals for myself, I might as well drop soda and coffee, though I won’t make any promises on the latter. Maybe I’ll quit coffee but it will be very hard for me to say no to a good latte every other week. I’ve also been trying to get up earlier in the morning. I won’t make any claims to taking over the world like I tried to do a year and a half ago, but I already get up every morning at 6:00 am to feed the cat. It really wouldn’t be hard for me to stop myself from getting back into bed—which I usually do now—and actually get a few things done in that extra hour before leaving for work.
And last but not least, as the weather keeps improving, I’m getting more and more excited to start cycling again. I’ve already been invited to an introPLAY league, and have set goals for myself to ride 150 miles (75 miles each two days in a row) at MS Bike in June, and complete my first century (100 miles in one day) in the Heber Valley Century in September.
Okay, so now I feel like I’ve rambled on, and, after re-reading what I just wrote, realizing these are a lot of goals to throw at myself all at once. I’m really good at starting things and never finishing, but I really do hope I stick with these goals. I think I’ll feel better overall and it will just plain be good for me. Wish me luck!