Esther 4:14b

"...and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Heart Health

I am on this medicine for the next couple of months that can raise my cholesterol, so I have to have monthly blood work to check my levels. I must say I was surprised to learn that my LDL was already 2 points over the range they gave me even though I eat a pretty healthy diet and work out, and that was BEFORE starting the meds. I guess those commercials about cholesterol coming not only from the food you eat, but also from your "Aunt Sally" are pretty accurate because believe me we definitely have a history of heart disease in my family.

So, it looks like I get to be even more proactive about my heart health. I was previously diagnosed with hypoglycemia, so that means whenever I shop, I'm pretty conscientious about checking the nutrition labels for the amount of sugar in a certain product. However, after getting my first lab results back, I decided to be more consistent with checking the amount of saturated fat in a product too. It was surprising to learn that many items I was buying that were low in sugar, were not low in sat. fat. I guess that's how they make up for the taste difference. Thus, it looks like I'll be sticking to the oats, whole grains, Cheerios, and plant sterols diet! Yipee!!!

As a result, I've been on a salad kick and thought I'd share one of my favorites with you.


¼ c. sliced almonds
1 T. sugar
1/2 head lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 bunch romaine, torn into bite-size pieces
2 medium stalks celery, chopped (about 1 c.)
2 green onions (with tops), thinly sliced (about 2 T.)
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained

Sweet/Sour Dressing:
¼ c. canola oil (one of the healthiest for your heart)
2 T. sugar
2 T. vinegar
1 T. snipped parsley
½ t. salt
dash of pepper
dash of red pepper sauce (optional)

Shake all ingredients for dressing in tightly covered jar; refrigerate.

Cook almonds and sugar over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and almonds are coated. Keep an eye on it so they don't burn! Cool and break apart. Store at room temp.

Place lettuce and romaine in bowl. Add celery and onions. Pour dressing over all. Add orange segments and mix well. Lightly stir in almonds.


  1. Hey, Brie! I'm not sure how you feel about chemicals but I'm, personnally, a fan of baking Splenda. It would definitely work in your salad to replace the 2 TBS in the salad and dressing with splenda, then it wouldn't have the affect on your blood sugar. Some people notice an aftertaste but I never have. Others say all of those products are the same but I've only seen bad press about aspartame. I figure 2 TBS here and there can't hurt and sometimes it makes a difference with sugar situations. Make sure you use the baking splenda and don't try to make a tablespoon out of the packet. It's not equivalent and will be WAY too sweet. Just a thought. You can stick to your diet! I know it's hard but I have a lot of experience. If it's good for you, you will do it.

  2. Brie,

    This reminds me of my favorite salad:

    Please e-mail me your mailing address--thanks. I'm leaving town later this week and would like to mail out your prize before I leave!

  3. Thanks for the suggestion, Heather. I'll have to try that. You inspire me with the diets you have to stick to as I've read on your blog!


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