Archive for July 29, 2010

Cholesterol Update! (Plus Vegan chili!)

I know I’ve mentioned before how much I love where I work (I mean, I have a garden here!) but another thing I love is the free on-site health center! So I made an appointment to get my cholesterol checked, and they give you the results in 5 minutes! It’s great!

However, I was pretty disappointed… I know it’s only been 2 months since I went vegan, but I was really hoping for at least a SMALL change in my number! Weirdly enough, my overall cholesterol was EXACTLY What it was last time: 277.  (Anything >200 is bad.) I think the nurse knew I was disappointed, and she told me it would probably take more than a couple of months to see much of a change, but still! I was hoping for a little something!

The good news is, I raised my HDL and lowered my LDL! My HDL went from 39 to 52 and my LDL went from 225 to 216. I realize these aren’t hugely significant changes, but it made me feel a LITTLE better knowing that some things were moving in the right direction. They also referred me to a dietitian, and I’m looking forward to that. I realize that medications are here to help, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’d just be “taking the easy way out.” (Please don’t think that I’m saying that people who take medication are taking the easy way out. That is absolutely not what I mean!) I just feel like I’m willing and able to do all I can, and so I want to do what I can without medication!

Even if the vegan diet isn’t lowering my cholesterol as much as I’d like, I do feel better. My skin has cleared up (something I’d been struggling with for a long time.) and I feel like I have more energy. (Not to mention I’m more… regular 🙂 haha). So even if I don’t stick with the vegan thing forever, I think I’d still follow a mostly vegan diet. Anyways, I said I would give it six months, so I’m going to stick with it for another four, and see what happens!

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On to food! So last night I had a potluck with some friends from work. I decided I’d make Vegan Chili so I knew there would be at least one thing at the potluck that I could eat! 😀 So here is my super simple Vegan Chili Recipe!

Vegan Chili Recipe

(makes about 10 cups)

  • 1 large can of tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Minced Onions
  • Olive Oil

First, I stewed the tomatoes in some olive oil.

Then I added the corn, beans, and chickpeas

Then added spices to taste… I like mine super spicy!

Then I let it cook on the stove for about 45 minutes. It turned out pretty good! (It’s always a bit of a gamble, because I never measure out the spices. This one turned out quite well!!!) There were some leftovers, so that’s what I’m having for lunch today 🙂 This is probably the easiest vegan/vegetarian recipe ever, and it’s always a hit, even with meat eaters!

Does anyone have any variations on vegetarian chili?? Any favorite spices or flavors? I’m always looking for new ideas!

-LLV

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