It was the semi-annual prove-I'm-pink-and-warm day...a/k/a six-month check-up with my primary care doctor. I made the round-trip, did my time in the waiting room, saw the doctor and was back home 45 minutes later. It doesn't take long when there aren't any serious health issues hanging over my head.
Most of the conversation in the exam room centered on my blood work. Well, to be more precise, what great numbers were showing up on my lab results. I'm sure I broke out in a huge grin when I found out all the categories that make up my cholesterol levels were in the normal range for the first time in quite a while. Woot woot for me!
I've made multiple changes in my lifestyle and eating habits in an effort to bring those numbers in line. More fiber, less meat. More fruits and vegetables, less junk. It isn't that what I ate five or ten years ago was highly unhealthy but it could stand some improvement. It's not a diet...it's just better eating and it's nice to see the effort I've put into that is paying off.
But sometimes it's hard. Not in terms of feeling deprived or eating foods I don't really enjoy. I love fruits and vegetables and wasn't much of a carnivore anyway. There are more and more meatless meal options all the time.
Except when you're in El Dorado, Kansas.
I've commented before that it's a challenge to eat healthy when we go home. Most of the restaurant choices there are fast-food outlets and the few true restaurants there are have menus that are basically the same foods on a plate. We sometimes make it to Wichita where there are more options but bottom line...we eat most of our meals in El Dorado.
And let me tell you, I could feel the difference after four days of consuming foods I've eliminated from my diet. The first bites of that chili cheeseburger might have tasted good...or maybe it tasted of memories of days gone by...but it laid in a lump in my gut for hours afterwards. And it wasn't the only meal like that. By the time we got home, I felt sluggish and bloated and generally un-well. I was seriously craving something light and fresh.
I think it surprised me that what I saw as comfort food from my past left me feeling so uncomfortable. Apparently, my body has settled into this new eating routine and likes it. Or maybe it's just proof that the foods the experts keep talking about really are bad for us once we break our digestive track's addiction to them.
I'm not on a campaign to take away anyone's burger and fries. We're all adults and entitled to make our own choices. I just know that my time in El Dorado was a reminder that I feel better when I eat better. And now I have proof that doing so produces better results too. Funny...better is my word for the year. I got that message.