Wednesday, December 09, 2015

The Dentist, the Doctor & Cabin Time!

Sadie and I were out early this morning –we beat the sunrise before it crested over a ridge to shine on this beautiful day.

And a beautiful day it is.  There is only the faint haze of cloud with a blue sky plainly present behind it, and I bet anything that thin layer of cloud will be gone by mind morning.

This is the kind of December that I love –yes it is colder, but it is clear and dry and I can still get out and about and not have to deal with ice or snow – not quite yet.

That usually happens here in the Blue Ridge further into January and February.

Here is Sadie, patiently waiting for me to take her morning photo:


I asked her to sit!

She didn’t WANT to!

By the time she did, she was confused and thought she was in trouble.  Either that or “Mom, this ground is really cold, why do you want me to sit on it?!”

I sure enjoy the time I get to spend with her by my side.  She’s the best companion, and when she looks at me with her soulful brown eyes, I know she understands all of my joys, all of my heartbreaks, and she’s got my back!


Yesterday’s dentist visit --
# 3 in 2 weeks!

The permanent crown is now in place.  I will spare you photos of that, but as it’s a back molar, bottom right side – we went with yellow gold instead of porcelain because the last porcelain one didn’t last long enough.  No one can see back there anyway.

Besides, every girl deserves a little gold bling for Christmas, don’t you think?

This is the little purse I bought at the chachkie market at Machu Picchu, Peru.  I love it!  See the Llama?  It;s got 3 outside zippers (one on the back side) and a big compartment inside that is perfect for me.   I don't like a big purse, just need my wallet, a chapstick, a hotel sized hand lotion, a comb, and a place for my phone and I'm good to go!  This is a fun momento of that trip.  

Don't you love the colors?


And THIS??

Do you see what it says in that red heart?

Results of last week’s blood work:  While I have greatly cut carbs by going gluten free, I’ve been focusing on protein sources from meat and dairy in my diet along with fruits and veggies, nuts and beans. Being on the road all the time, I often went straight to the eggs and bacon, bypassing the waffles, pancakes, sweet rolls, donuts, bagels and other “empty carb” breakfast items.

In Peru it was eggs, meat, cheeses –and fruit.

My cholesterol has SKYROCKETED!  I have got to change the way I eat.

No junk meat (sausage, bacon, hot dogs, fatty burger) 

Limit dairy to low fat (bye bye mid afternoon cheese snack!)

Bye bye real butter.

Milk needs to be 1% or less. (Not a big milk drinker anyway)

Caution with avocados and olives – things I love!

Shrimp – I love shrimp, and thought I was doing this healthy thing with shrimp as my protein in stirfry.  Better stick with chicken.

ICE CREAM!??  Bye Bye.  I can replace with sorbet or non fat frozen yogurt instead.  I finished up the last of my savored Talenti gelato last night and had a ceremonial throwing away of the container.

Bye Bye Culvers, which I so dearly loved!

I have another appointment to go back and check my cholesterol again in 6 months.  If it is not down I may have to start medication, which I do not want.

While I don’t plan on going vegan, I am making some big changes if I am to continue doing what I am doing and living this crazy traveling quilter life.

This might be more than YOU find interesting in this blog, but please remember that this is my journal and I journal EVERYTHING.  Including life changes.

And there you have it.  New changes –and a new year soon to start.  What changes will YOU be making in the next year?


Last night’s treadling!

I produced enough setting triangles for this:


From above!


One corner close up!

Just need to piece the 4 corner triangles and I can start setting this together.

I’m thinking of a very NARROW sashing to add a pop of interest – thinking 1’’ cut to finish at 1/2’’.  I am undecided on color, so stay tuned for that!

Update on the Monday Link-Up for our Allietare mystery!  All entries have included links back to the page and are good to go!  I want to thank you for your understanding why things need to be linked and for persevering to complete the circle back to me!  You can view the more than 120 entries HERE!

I have also added my CraftU online workshop button back to the upper left side bar along with the click through to the registration page!  Remember to enter the code BHSCRAP at check out to receive $30.00 off!

I think I’ll go wrestle up those steel cut oats now and pray that these numbers go down!

Have a happy Wednesday, everyone!

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  1. Anonymous9:25 AM EST

    Hi bonnie
    goto your local menonite/amish bulk food store for steel cut oats in bulk
    use your slow cooker to make enough for three days
    make up with apples/raisins-ginger/pumpkin or whatever you like


  2. Good for you for making your dietary changes! I do oatmeal (steel cut) every morning. I sprinkle them with a wee bit of sugar and cinnamon. Cinnamon is good for cleaning out arteries etc too. I love your dog Sadie. Her face is so expressive. I was following your blog when you got her. Take care and have a wonderful holiday.

  3. I admire the resolute nature with which you tackle health challenges. So many people are very cavalier about their health. You may find that once you get the cholesterol situation under control you will be able to have the occasional egg or ice cream. I predict some modest weight loss as well. Not that you need it.

  4. I enjoy all that you share in your blog whether it is quilty or not. This getting older stuff can be a pain with not being able to enjoy all the "junk" food and having to eat healthy. I love how the new quilt is coming along. The few stars that have colored backgrounds are very neat and add extra interest. It is always fun watching you in the creative process of making a quilt. So fun!

  5. Steele cut oatmeal in the crock pot over night with cinnamon and apples (if those are still on your can have diet) are the best!!!! You can dress up those oats with many yummy things!! You can do this! Enjoy time at the cabin and hanging out with family and friends. Thanks for all the things that you do for us!

  6. Good luck with your lifestyle changes! I've decided the treadmill is going back in front of the TV (aka in living room) as soon as Christmas company leaves and I'm going to use it! Your new quilt is a winner!

    Myrna in KY

  7. Anonymous9:33 AM EST

    Walnuts and Craisins in Oatmeal are great-Chex now has Gluten Free Oatmeal too!

  8. Anonymous9:36 AM EST

    Good luck with the diet! I've been dairy free for 30 years! Gluten free for 15. It's not an easy road to follow, someone always has an idea that is better, or a little won't hurt. Stick to it, oatmeal DOES reduce cholesterol.

  9. Love the new setting for your stars. My string buckets overfloweth so I can start by filling up my free telephone book pages.
    On the cholesterol note, it is a battle. I've sent you a private email with what I wrote and deleted from this box. Hugs, Allison in Plano, TX USA

  10. I enjoy my steel cut oaks with apple, cinnamon and ginger. I don't have a problem with microwaving it according to the directions on the package. I also occasionally put some craisins in it. Good luck with your goals. I start mine the first of the year - back to weight watchers and walking daily.

  11. I enjoy hearing about your life outside of things quilty; we can all relate. I have the same cholesterol battle. From Aug. to Nov., I lowered my cholesterol 30 pts. & BG 10 pts. by "eating clean" in appropriate portions and exercise. Unfortunately, diet & exercise go hand-in-hand. Also lost the 13 extra lbs. I put on since menopause. I refuse to take statins, so the extra time required in meal prep & exercise is worth the effort.

  12. Good luck on the cholesterol! If your cholesterol wasn't high before I think you've got a great chance of avoiding meds with all the changes you've made. I'm a doc and I've seen this happen quite a few times when people back off on the carbs and drastically increase their saturated fat intake. I thought the most recent studies showed that eggs nuts and plant sterols (your avacados) didn't raise cholesterol when eaten in moderation. Maybe once it's back down you could discuss those with your doc.

  13. Hope this does not post twice--will try again. The USDA 2015 food guidelines will admit that dietary cholesterol has nothing to do with your cholesterol levels. There's never been any science behind that notion. Plus, several major long-term studies, like Framingham, show that women with higher cholesterol levels are much healthier, live longer, etc., than others. The lead people on these studies have said so for years, but are ignored. Docs today are caught in a bad nutritional loop about food--and they don't get nutritional training at all, so don't vet what they are being told. Sugar is what causes inflammation that traps cholesterol in veins--or that causes cholesterol to try to heal bad places in veins. Cholesterol is crucial for good health. Think of cholesterol as a little freight car that travels around the body and delivers nutrients. Take out the freight cars, you don't get nutrients delivered. A great place to go for good nutritional data is the Weston A. Price Foundation--which uses the work of biochemists who specialize in the chemical reactions of food in the body. Grains are a problem. They turn to sugar in the body. Eat them sparingly as a treat. Eat nutrient dense foods: clean meats, good fats (butter, tallow, coconut oil, lard), eggs, cheese, raw milk and cheese if you can get it, etc. Plant based diets are not nutrient dense. Some people can tolerate them better than others, but... Watch the fruit. There's a lot of info on my blog that can help you save time catching up on this issue--look at the essays.

  14. Anonymous10:04 AM EST

    Sorry about the mandatory diet changes. It can come with "that certain age." I'm a long-time member of the low-fat/no-fat club. It's not so bad! Fat-free ricotta cheese is a good sub for butter as a spread. It's even good on low-fat (or gluten-free) crackers for an afternoon snack. You can jazz the ricotta up with some cinnamon. You can try fat-free cream cheese, too. Kraft has fat-free singles that act like cheese to melt. Fat-free yogurt is great. Skim milk is, too. Look for the very lowest fat ground beef (99% lean, if you can find it - if not, then at least 93%). Ground chicken or turkey breast, white meat only, makes great burgers (grilled, indoors or out). Try to use meat as a "condiment" at dinner, not the featured item - chop it, dice it, add it to veggies to stretch it. I make a great omelet with one whole egg and 2 or 3 egg whites (haven't quite mastered the taste & looks of an all-white omelet yet, but it's possible in theory, or with Egg Beaters). There are plenty of low-fat and no-fat choices in the stores these days, thank goodness. Just watch the sodium content. See if your library has the American Heart Association cookbook, for more ideas. They have online recipes, too - www.heart.org (search Recipes)

    With a little homework about lowering cholesterol scores & some experimentation to see how your body will play along (you exercise like crazy already...), you can do this. Have you ever had a Cardiac Score test done? It's an artery CT scan to see if anything has started to "harden" (calcify) in the arteries around your heart. I've had high other numbers on blood tests, but my cardiac score was 0, meaning the arteries are still looking pretty good in pictures. The test was about $150 out of pocket (insurance didn't pay), but worth it to me. It's another tool for keeping track of your heart health, if you have risk factors. Ask your doc?

  15. Keep the real butter just use it in moderation margarine actually clogs arteries faster. Celery helps lower cholesterol

  16. Hi Bonnie,
    Life changes is hard but it will be for the better. I have had high cholesterol for a very long time. Dr. even tested as to how my body processes Carbs and mentioned it is partially due to Genetic. But I have to admit it is mostly my fault because I don't do enough greens in my diet. My son's girlfriend introduced me to a gadget called "juice Masticator" it processes fruits and vegetables into juice. (This is a lot different and less of a mess and work than a juicer). I can really have an apple, spinach, grapes, celery, cucumber, pineapple and zucchini all in a glass. And all in one gulp. It is very yummy and my body feels refreshed. Cut on my meat, dairy, and pasta.
    I have blood work due this week, I know it won't show much difference because I only been doing this for 2 weeks. But if I can get my fruit and vegetable in I am hoping this is worth it. This is my life change I have just recently made.

  17. If you have an Amish bulk store near you get some ground flax seed. Really cheap there compared to health food store. A heaping teaspoon every day mixed with that oatmeal should help. You can mix it in anything. Hides very well in burgers. My friend took hers down over 40 points in 6 months do this. It's hard enough going gluten free. Good luck to you.

  18. Bonnie - I also had to go gluten free 3 years ago. Do you follow Dr. William Davis and the wheat belly. He is a cardiologist from WI. VERY MUCH worth your precious time to read his blog. He has several articles on having blood tests and which ones are most meaning full (not just the standard lipid profile most drs order). My LDL also has greatly increased but so has my HDL which make the total cholesterol number high. I just paid the $99 dollars out of pocket to have CT calcium screen of my heart and there was ZERO calcium (I think my doctor that wanted me to go on statins was disappointed!!!) Anyway - My diet and exercise is very similar to yours and I feel the best I have in years!! I hope you can do some research and be happy with your choice of no statins and re-evaluating that way you are eating.....I still eat bacon :-)
    Deb B

  19. A combination that I have done to level cholesterol is along with exercise I chose to eat the Trim Healthy Mama food plan...very do-able. (You can check it out on facebook and the book on Amazon). I have also added natural Plexus products http://shopmyplexus.com/kayknepp These products that have really helped... Just thought I would share a bit of my personal journey! Have a wonderful holiday!

  20. Anonymous10:46 AM EST

    Bonnie I had the same surprise several years ago. Lost 35 pounds (probably only 28 by now) but I did all those things you listed on your list of what to cut back or cut out of your diet. I also recommend salmon and lots of it. I supplement with fish oil. I've dropped my cholesterol 52 points. My LDL's are now within normal range and my HDL's are very high. You can do it without medication.!! robyn Orchard busyquilting@msn.com

  21. Bonnie, keeping you in my prayers for making the right choices and sticking to it! You can and will do it! Enjoy the Holidays with what makes you healthy.

  22. Hi Bonnie -
    LOVE the string/crumb stars. It reminds me of the crumb star pattern that your friend Victoria Findlay Wolfe had in the Quiltmaker magazing in 2013. Star Splitter. But her blocks are much larger. I only remember because it's one of my UFOs. I'm excited to see the skinny sashing. Sashing on the diagonal? I just checked your shop...I thought I had seen her book there. Merry Christmas my friend. I'm still on the fence about going to Macinac! Signups open next month. Hugs, Terri

  23. Bonnie,
    Oatmeal is a great way to lower both cholesterol and triglycerides. My favorite oatmeal is steel cut oats, but a bit different from the type that needs a slow cooker. Both Quaker Oats and the local market brand sell a steel cut oat that cooks in 10 to 15 minutes on the stove. (The oats are cut a bit finer than the traditional steel cut oat).
    My favorite method of cooking the oatmeal is to mix half a cup of mixed frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) and one or two prunes with the water in a Teflon pot, boil and then mix in the oats. Let it cook while I do something else. Come back and pour into a bowl and mix with honey and eat. A wonderful way to start the morning.
    Good luck with the diet changes. Kim

  24. Check out the "Trim Healthy Mama" site here


    not only works for diet but also good for all around health.
    good luck

  25. Be careful with statin drugs. There are studies proving that taking statin drugs during menopause can cause Typr 2 diabetes. Wish I had known.

  26. Mine was 398. The good cholesterol was causing it to be so high. The bad and tri were lower than usual. It's a family thing. Didn't do anything about it for years (except diet), and it's 224 now. Keep at it Bonnie!

  27. Anonymous11:25 AM EST

    Bonnie, please read comment #13 and do not believe everything the doctor says. My husband is a doctor and will be the first to tell you that what the medical community says about nutrition is not the best. Their training is based on flawed information. Just think historically. Our grandparents ate butter, cream, full fat milk and cooked with lard. Since the Heart Assoc. has recommended against this and told us all to lower our fat consumption, heart disease has not dropped. It has gone up! Yes, you will have to cut out your ice cream, but that is because of the sugar! And simple carbs and grains are turned into sugar in our bodies very quickly. Please do your own research before blindly following the doctors advice and going on Statins.

  28. Anonymous11:34 AM EST

    You scared me with your big changes line. Yes, you need to change your eating habits but I know you'll figure it out and get those numbers down quickly (you're the type of person that if you set your mind to do something, it gets done). Selfishly,I'm glad you are not going to need to stop your teaching schedule. But mostly glad you don't have some life threatening illness. Susan from OK

  29. Anonymous11:39 AM EST

    Forgot something,if you are serious about gluten free you need to get certified green oats. Regular Quaker oats are processed with same machine as wheat. I have Celiac so I have to be super careful. Susan from OK

  30. Anonymous11:40 AM EST

    Susan from OK, my email is sjtaylor.ok@hotmail.com

  31. You have to stay healthy for all those quilts you want to make and for future grandchildren! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. About 10 months ago I decided to start a similar journey to lose weight and improve fitness! 40 pounds are GONE and I feel amazing!

  32. You can do it Bonnie! I got that news about my cholesterol when they diagnosed the diabetes. It require life changes, but they are doable and I got everything controlled without the need for medication. I am rooting for you! :)

  33. No fats
    No sugar
    No carbs
    No fun!

  34. Is this a future pattern Bonnie? Love!

  35. Is this a future pattern Bonnie? Love!

  36. I went to three specialist and all said the Statin pill is for me. It depends on a lot of factors, not just diet. A diet change may not be enough.

  37. I highly recommend that you visit a dietician for a comprehensive eating plan - you may be surprised at the foods you will be able to eat! So often when we cut one thing out, it is replaced with others that aren't good for you (as you found out!) Good luck and I'll be following to see what fun recipes you find.

  38. Way to go with your walks! I'm sure that they'll be the answer for your health issues! And, of course, Sadie will love it! She is just gorgeous!
    Hugs from Denmark! 💕😊

  39. Hey Bonnie... My cholesterol is 122. I eat steel cut oatmeal every morning. I use the very small corning ware baking dish and cook it fresh on the stove, toss in some dried fruit (raisons, blueberries, cranberries, etc.) add some cinnamon and sweeten with apple butter just before eating, I also use canned low fat evaporated milk. Delicious and healthy. Eating oatmeal does lower cholesterol.

    Good luck with lowering yours.

    Terry in So. Calif.

  40. But with all the walking you do, your HDL must be high? My overall number is high, but the RATIO of good (HDL) to bad (LDL) is fine. Also, Mayo Clinic now says if you subtract your HDL number from your total number, the result should be below 130. They're saying the overall number and the LDL numbers are less reliable predictors of heart disease.

  41. Anonymous3:16 PM EST

    A Zojirushi rice cooker is portable, has a handle, programmable. I cook my steel cut oats programmed the night before. It not only makes rice but you can bake potatoes, cook beans, etc in it. Well worth the investment. I am having much the same issues as you. Doc said.....cut all processed foods, fats, and milk products. My cholesterol dropped like a bomb and very quickly. The liver makes all the cholesterol we need. I missed my ice cream and found myself eating fruit like crazy. My triglycerides went up. Had to cut fruit back. In walked my Vitamix. Ice cream!!! Yeyyyyyyyy. Have to limit it tho or my tris go back up. I have been working on this for a year now. It is rough at first till you find your way. There are so many wonderful foods out there I never would have tried had I not had the cholesterol problem. Potatoes are not your enemy. What you put on them is. Oils are nothing but liquified fat. You can sauté, etc with broths. I don't miss oil at all. And moderation is NOT the key. Whenever anyone says moderation to me, I ask them who's moderation....yours or mine. Your moderation may be one cookie. Mine would be the whole bag so don't get caught in that trap. Best of luck to you Bonnie.

  42. Anonymous3:19 PM EST

    Bonnie I totally agree with anonymous #27 and #13. They both offer the best advice you can have. At the beginning of the year I decided to see how much I could make a change in my health at age 81. It's been so fun and enlightening. Of course I'm retired and so have more time than you. I've started making all my own cultured vegetables, kefir, kombucha and do lots of cooking. I realize you can't do this but you can buy all these good things. Your butter, coconut oil, avocados are all good fats and good for you. I eat some of them everyday. I also eat a lot of vegetables, some fruit and try to eat organic. But I did give up processed sugar, processed salt, gluten and milk. I still have my little dish of ice cream at night. For sweetener I use Stevia or raw sugar but have pretty much over come my sweet tooth. Get your good cholesterol (HDL) up and don't worry about the LDL it will take care of itself. Please don't let your doctor talk you into Statins. They are being pushed by big Pharma. I've lowered my cholesterol and lost 44 pounds without even trying to watch my calories. Never felt better in my life.

    Stella Rosenthal

  43. Anonymous3:19 PM EST

    Opps...forgot my name, etc. Sandi at sandi432@sbcglobal.net

  44. Try Earth Balance as a butter substitute. We switched for the one vegan in our household and everyone enjoys it. Good luck with your diet changes!

  45. Try Earth Balance as a butter substitute. We switched for the one vegan in our household and everyone enjoys it. Good luck with your diet changes!

  46. I'm VERY glad you post about everything. I've learned so much from you and commenters (and not just about quilting) that it's been helpful in my own life.

    I'm 69 (YIKES...how did that happen??) and have never had a weight problem in my life...until the last 5 years. It's been devastating for me and no diet seems to work for me. I've had to cut out dairy because of lactose intolerance, so no ice cream or cheese, etc. for me any more. I have almond milk (unsweetened) on my cereal in the morning. However, my biggest problem is my sweet tooth. My metabolism is zero so I don't burn it off like I use to. I've never been very physically active but I did buy a stationary bike and I use it 3 times a week.

    I've gained at least 40 pounds and I feel like crap. My husband is a meat and potatoes man and won't eat "diet" stuff.

    What I'm saying is...as you get older it's not easy to keep things under control. If you have support at home that makes it better to deal with. Good luck.

  47. what's the recipe for steel cut oats (Oatmeal) cooked in a Crock Pot?
    Robin in Leavenworth WA quiltnrobin@nwi.net

  48. Anonymous4:15 PM EST

    Here is a PS on my earlier post on the rice cooker. There is a gal by the name of Terri Edwards that lives close to you. She is a wealth of information. Her blog is Eat plant based. I really enjoy her.

    Sandi at sandi432@sbcglobal.net

  49. I'm surprised you would have higher cholesterol with all the walking you do but then what do I know. I'm totally NOT medically minded. I will be following your changes as I think I'm just behind you in needing to make changes.

    I LOVE the quilt you are working on at the cabin! Such great colors and peaceful places for the eye to rest but a great use of scraps. Looking forward to the progress and seeing the finished product.

    Lisa golddust at kpunet.net (I'm getting more spam so am going to begin listing my email this way)

  50. Turkey bacon and turkey sausage, both very good. Beautiful quilt!

  51. Dietary advice: as little meat as possible, certainly NO pork, ham, bacon. Poulty rather than red meat. Plenty of fish ( including salmon, sardines, mackerel, oily fish extremely beneficial). Don't go down the Flora, low fat route. This has really been proved to be bad for you. - doctors are very slow to catch up on this and still keep plugging the low fat route. Certainly don't go on Statins - they only benefit the pharmaceutical companies. More vegetarian the better, olive oil, Mediterranean diet. As little dairy as possible. Porridge is a good breakfast food. Not too much fruit, because of the natural sugars. Also note that what is now considered 'high' chloresterol was not high a few years ago but it suits the drug companies to lower that number! More dollars on their bank! Similarly, blood pressure readings!

  52. I totally agree with Louisa Enrights post. When my doctor told me to use margarine instead of butter, I almost gagged. Judging by what you've posted, your diet just took a sidestep from the norm. Cut back on the fatty meats, eat free-range organic eggs, and basically, eat as close to the source as you can. Brewers Yeast helps lower cholesterol, as well as garlic & cayenne. High Cholesterol runs in our family. My dad is 85, and is still in relatively good health, and has a cholesterol # of over 300. I've lowered mine from 427 to just over 230 by just cutting back on "those" foods, but not giving them up entirely. When my brother went on statins, the side effects were horrible for him.

  53. Anonymous6:21 PM EST

    read this


  54. Anonymous6:27 PM EST

    Bag is cute, I would call the quilt firecracker, and just eat more bran. Everything should come out fine. Don't take statins.

  55. The standard test used by most internists doesn't actually measure LDL - it uses a formula to estimate it. That formula generally doesn't work for someone on a low carb diet. The formula gives an abnormally high reading. Here's an article explaining why the formula doesn't work.

    Low-carbohydrate diets increase LDL: debunking the myth

  56. Good luck with the dietary changes. You are so disciplined I know you will fix the problem. Only caution I would have about the steel cut oats it that they stick to my teeth like cement and without my Waterpic I would be worried about eating them every day as I do! That flushes everything out!
    The quilt on the floor is wonderful, all that color and motion. Looking forward to a pattern so I can add that to the growing bucket list! Lol!
    Elle in Indianapolis

  57. Comment 13, comment 27yes, yes, yes.

  58. Hi Bonnie, as usual your frankness and practical speaking style appeal to me. I began overall strength training a year ago, which I want to continue next year. Our version is called body pump and it's great for me. My goal now is more cardio exercise. I so admire your morning walks and want to adopt that habit. I also have high cholesterol, so bread and sweet products can be harmful for me. So far I manage it with lots of the leafy greens and protein. At 57 I'm more aware that this one body is all I'm gonna have, and even thin people can't take health for granted.
    I am enjoying the tumblers a lot, have 8 rows done and will cut more pieces from scraps after Christmas.

  59. Oh yes, I love steel cut oats and Irish oatmeal. I get mine from Bobs red mill, which also makes and sells gluten free grain alternatives and flours.

  60. Bonnie, I will second several of the comments posted. And i have some suggestions myself. But first a bit of history: I have been GF 6 or 7 years now. Gluten sensitive but not Celiac although it matters not as i feel sooooo much better! I am also a healthcare provider and am a patient advocate! Tip #1: Since Oats are the closest cousin to wheat, you really need to make sure that the Oats you get are Certified GF. Bob's Red Mill GF products are milled in a separate certified GF facility, fields, separate trucks. Some of the other brands may be as well, but just make sure you read the labels. Tip #2: Cholesterol is a precursor in the production of the body's hormones. The body NEEDS cholesterol! Your body's needs will be different than someone elses needs. I won't criticize your doctor, but many of them are not properly trained in nutrition. Most only know what the FDA tells them. They simply don't take the time to do any research. Be active in your own healthcare! Take the time to research what goes into your body and what it does once it is there. You know your body better than anyone else. You know what makes you feel good and what doesn't. Don't take your doctors word as gospel. Since you have mentioned from time to time that you see a Chiropractor, my 3rd tip is to talk with him/her about the nutrition aspect of your care. You may find they are MUCH more knowledgable than your other doctor! Just know that I have your back in this journey and wish you the best.
    As always, thank you for all you do for your fans! Hugs from Lubbock, Tx!! Elizabeth

  61. So often when you find a quilt in an antique mall, you ask yourself and us, what was that quilter thinking when she used that one or two very different fabric than what was in the rest of the quilt. Sadly, the quilter isn't there to share her thoughts and reasons. Luckily, you are still with us and I can ask about the four star blocks in this quilt with the non-neutral backgrounds. What was the motivation for the red, black and yellow backgrounds?

  62. Make sure you have fasted for at least 12 hours before your blood tests. It can make a huge difference in the numbers.

  63. Gorgeous quilt those crumb blocks and string blocks play wonderfully together. Oatmeal works , ask me how I know :)

  64. Just another vote for NO statins! They have been proven to cause Type II diabetes in women (I believe they cause it in men, too--my husband being an example!). Red Yeast Rice helps lower cholesterol also.

  65. Anonymous10:58 PM EST

    nothing wrong with chicken and fish...veggies and fruits.

  66. Hi Bonnie, I love your crumb blocks. I'm actually considering crumb blocks for a quilt I'm working on, now that I see how pretty yours are. You are getting a bunch of advice today, so I'll add my two sense to the mix. I'm a vitamin advocate. I take 8 different vitamins every day. I can really tell when I don't take them. Two of those vitamins are for cholesterol, red rice yeast and garlic. Combined, both have brought my numbers down over 40 points and I didn't really change my diet. Shrimp should not be eaten the night before having your blood work done. If you do, your bad cholesterol numbers will read as high. Teresa_stonecypher@yahoo.com

  67. Hi Bonnie! Love hearing about your non-quilting issues and the way you handle them. Quilting discussions are obviously more fun,though. I'm getting a lot out of today's comments, and appreciate all the sound advice as I research this very problem for myself. Had to chuckle when I read about your ceremonial dumping of the empty Talenti container. It's my favorite, but I save the empty pint containers instead of tossing them. I collect trimmed thread scraps and when the container is full I donate it to my birding friends. They transfer the clippings to a mesh bag that the backyard birds can pull from when making their spring nests. I get the containers back to fill again. It's interesting to see the colors change from project to project - mixing mostly neutrals from piecing projects to a riot of color from appliquéd projects. mtlakequilter@gmail.com

  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

  69. Love the quilt you are working on...it would make a dent in the old string pile.

    Good luck with lowering your cholesterol with diet changes. Just don't be disappointed if nothing changes...I know you have high hopes. Be aware too, that the meds sometimes don't do a thing except make you feel awful....muscle pain & cramps, feeling like you have the flu all the time. This is what happened with my brother. Neither the diet not the meds did a thing. Doc finally prescribed two alcoholic drinks per day (hard liquor,no beer or wine).

    Newer research is showing that eating cholesterol rich foods doesn't necessarily mean high cholesterol. Research also shows that cholesterol that's a bit high isn't all that bad....especially for women. I think somebody already touched on that in an earlier comment so I'll just wish you well.

  70. Bonnie, lots of good comments today. As they have shared, PLEASE try to stay away from statins. My husband almost died from them. Had I not been a pain in their butts he would have been gone. Also brought on diabetes, and other problems. Only people that benefit are the pharmaceuticals! We are an over medicated, under educated country when it comes to our own health. And the doctors only know what the pharmacy reps tell them. They are learning about them as we are. Scarey! As for cholesterol levels, it has also been found that diet plays a very small part of it. First is genetics in how our bodies process things and a HUGE contributor is stress. Stress comes both from the bad things that happen but also good things. We try to stay balanced, but juggling a busy lifestyle puts a tremendous amount of stress on us, even if it is good stress. Bottom line Stress is Stress no matter the source. And every deadline we have adds more stress. Love ya lady. And from reading the comments today, you have lots of gals from all over that do as well.Big quilty hugs coming your way. Take some time to just sit and do absolutely nothing (and don't feel guilty if you're not doing something).

  71. At least the MD didn't put the word "metastasis" in your Christmas stocking.

  72. Anonymous2:11 AM EST

    Bonnie: FYI's re: cholesterol increases -- 1) an increase in chicken consumption, not just eggs (when avoiding red meat) will likely increase cholesterol, 2) try Earth Balance Butter (comes in organic, soy-free, original tubs and sticks; NO hydrogenated oils like all/many other margarines; can be found for about $3.99/regular tub at Walmart, Super Target, Whole Foods, & Trader Joe's -- I find it most affordable at Whole Foods, especially when the large $10 tub is on sale for $7.99, 3) also try Silk's Almond Milk (original, vanilla or chocolate in the fridge aisle of super market or Costco). I promise #2 and #3 are delicious and you won't want to go back to the dairy options again, and #3 has MORE CALCIUM than dairy milk! Many blessings! LM

  73. Bonnie, please do research statins before taking them! They almost killed my liver!

  74. I took statins for a brief time -- lethargy, muscle weakness, flat-out refuse to take them now and tell my doctor that as well. And I will NOT give up butter or eggs. As others have said, so many doctors just aren't 'current' on facts...and there are SO many studies (ever notice that those studies' results tend to favor who paid for the study?). A good example along the same lines, I once dated a "pharmaceutical rep" - the guy that goes in and drops off all the pharmaceutical samples - he told me that most doctors know nothing of the drugs the pharma-companies "sell" them on, the reps are "salesmen" who encourage the doctors to prescribe their latest and greatest drug.

  75. Thanks for the support to my comment from many of you. Statins: they kill your muscles. Take a look at Dr. Stephanie Seneff's web site--she runs a research team at MIT and has a great blow by blow description of what statins do to your body. Folks, look at the ingredients on Earth Balance--it's a chemical brew, a fake food, and a trans fat, the last time I looked. Stay away from processed foods. Red meat, too, has been demonized. It's the only source of a form of B12 that your body can recognize and use. You don't need much--and it has to be clean--but you need some. I'm so happy so many of your recognizing the broken nature of our medical system today and the fact that you have to research for yourself and take care of yourself. Yes, a chiropracter has a lot of nutritional training. As does an ND, if they are allowed in your state.

  76. Avocados are good for you, they increase your healthy HDL numbers. Here a couple of articles about avocados and cholesterol for your readers.




  77. When I first saw Sadie's picture, I thought she was saying... This ground is COLD! If you look closely, her bum is not touching the ground! LOL! So she might be saying... Hurry up and take the picture, Mom... you can't expect me to squat here all day!LOL Don't you just love dogs?

    We're so proud of you for trying to take care of yourself... I'm new to your blog so please forgive me if you've already answered this but, all the 'experts' now say, if you don't do anything else... eliminate trans-fats (hydrogenated oils)and high-fructose corn syrup from you diet. When I was finally able to eliminate both of these my LDL went down (101 calculated) and my HDL went way up (62), and my triglycerides are low too (85). I have also eliminated all beef and pork products (their high Omega6 fats really cause my arthritis to act up). For a good low fat/low carb diet... I like Southbeach (p.s. Southbeach allows low fat cuts of beef and pork). The Southbeach Diet-Super Charged! book has an exercise plan included... he uses interval training, every other day for your walking or other aerobic exercise and ... Stretching/strength training on the other days. Dogs love the interval training. They think it's a game! They can't figure out when or why you are going to walk fast or walk slow! What I like about Southbeach is that he advocates all the things you've spoke about eliminating wheat, dairy, sugary drinks, etc. for 2 weeks. At the end of 2 weeks, add them back one at a time, if you like and if those foods don't like you, eliminate them for good. The exercise program is set for what ever fitness level you are at, needs no special equipment (great for when you are on the road) and for what ever aerobic exercise you want to do... since you and I don't like running, it's perfect for us! Take a look at it, from what I've read in your blog so far,,, I think it will be a good match for you. P.S. It's written by a cardiologist, so it can't be too far off. I'm a few years older than you and have lost 30 pounds over the last 3 years following his theories... it's more of life style than a diet.

  78. Love your pictures it must be heaven to be able to go for walks in such a gorgeous place. Sadie is lucky too.
    Best advice I can give you is buy the book'Eat to live' from Joel Furman,MD. He is often on the Doctor Oz show but also on PPS. What a eye opener. I turned Vegan after reading this book. I hate milk never liked it buy used to eat Yogurt. I no longer buy it but use unsweetened almond milk. It is higher in calcium and low in calories. I eat lots of fruit veggies and salads with vegetables and brands with legumes. The pounds fall off if you cut out carbs and Sugar.i have to eat a lot to keep the lbs on. No coi
    Counting calories . Love the book it has recipes and testimony about people with pictures before and after. I call this book my second bible. I often make veggie chili with 3 different kinds of beans and veggies. The book is inexpensive. You also will have loads of energy. I live with 2 autoimmune diseases and 2 kidney diseases . Was so ill and had renal failure too but thanks to good care of specialist and the healthy food I ear I am doing great. My HDL is 93. Give it a try Bonnie. Hugs, Yoka Bazilewich

  79. Bonnie: So sorry about the ice cream! There is NO substitute for a bowl of Blue Bell Sugar Free Vanilla ice cream!!! However, since we moved to DC, I've had to go without my Blue Bell (these neophytes don't sell it up here), and have opted to forego ice cream altogether (because, after all, nothing [NOthing] tastes as good as Blue Bell. So, I had to have something else. Have you tried the Outshine frozen fruit popcicle bars? I tell you truthfully, they are WONderful!! Like biting into a piece of fresh (albeit frozen) fruit. Mango? Awesome!! Pineapple? To DIE for! Lime? Will set your teeth on edge!!!! Give them a try . . . I'm telling you, they're the only thing that satisfies this Louisiana girl now that I can't get Blue Bell!

  80. It looks like such a fabulous time to go on a little get away from everything. I just love your photos so much. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful day.
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