A Cholesterol-Lowering Approach to Food and Exercise

Cholesterol Results Through 2018

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In June, when I spoke about The Low Cholesterol Cookbook and Action Plan at the Westport Library Cookbook Club, an audience member asked if I post my cholesterol test results. While individual test results are only relevant to that individual, I get this question often enough that it seemed a good time to update with my latest lab scores.

Because I’m a data nerd (and like to discuss cholesterol trends with my doctors…and a visual makes a recap easy!) I’ve graphed them over time.


These latest results were heartening (sorry, pun intended) and indicate the lo-co change I made in mid-February is working.


How to Throw a Heart-Healthy Cocktail Party

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On Thursday, June 14th, I’m delighted to be hosting the Westport Library’s Cookbook Club. The topic will be how to lower cholesterol with diet and exercise and I’ll be demonstrating a heart-healthy side dish/appetizer from my book, The Low Cholesterol Cookbook and Action Plan: 4 Weeks to Cut Cholesterol and Improve Heart Health .

As my husband and I are then hosting a book-launch party immediately following the event, I needed to plan a heart-healthy cocktail party. Clearly, two hors d’oeuvres mainstays—a cheese board and charcuterie platter—are off limits as both are very high in saturated fat.

It took a little time to plan,


Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken

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Last weekend I made Dana White’s Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken and even my husband—who does not care for any slow cooker recipes—LOVED it. Which is remarkable given the rather large cooking error I made (it cooks for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high setting—if you accidentally set it 4 hours on low and don’t notice until 3 hours in, you can save it by pouring into a large saute pan and setting it on a medium flame for about 45 minutes!)

Two lo-co adjustments I made:

  • As I do not cook with coconut oil,


May is Stroke Awareness Month…High Cholesterol Increases Risk

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Did you know that high cholesterol increases your risk of stroke? And that stroke is not an ‘old person’s’ disease? According to the Million Hearts site, “Stroke can happen to anyone at any time.”

The good news is that 80% of strokes are preventable.  The bad news is that stroke risk factors may not be recognized and treated in younger or middle-aged adults.

The CDC lists stroke risk factors including certain conditions and behaviors (aka lifestyle):

Conditions that increase Stroke Risk:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Previous Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

Behaviors that increase Stroke Risk:

  • Unhealthy Diet (specifically,


What You Eat Really Can Improve Heart Health

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While I KNOW that choosing heart-healthy foods (along with exercise) can naturally lower cholesterol and improve health, it’s startling when you see it in action.

A new breakfast routine has reduced my blood pressure in a matter of weeks. I now eat Overnight No-Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal (easy and delicious) instead of the 1/2 whole-wheat bagel with a smidge of cream cheese and 1 slice of lox that was my daily breakfast for years. Though I knew 1 small slice of lox packed 1/3-1/2 of the recommended maximum daily serving of sodium (and even posted about it vs oatmeal),