One of Her Favorite Dishes: Salmon + Spinach + Frying pan

Sep 22, 2018 | Eat This Way

Sandy Chatelain has been able to combat her high cholesterol by tweaking the dishes and recipes she enjoys.

Cholesterol, which can cause fatty deposits to develop in the blood vessels, is measured as low-density lipoprotein ( the “bad” LDL cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (the “good” HDL cholesterol). With a high cholesterol level, fatty deposits can eventually make it difficult for enough blood to flow through the arteries to organs, and the risks of heart attack and stroke increase. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and medication can help reduce high cholesterol.

High cholesterol runs in both sides of Sandy’s family, but it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that she noticed her cholesterol level was getting high. A few months ago, she started on a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, but within two weeks she had a bad reaction and stopped taking it. Today, the 64-year-old manages her cholesterol through diet and exercise.

Breakfast is typically a smoothie with fruit (mango, pineapple, or orange pulp), flaxseed that has been ground for higher nutritional benefit, cold water, ice, and sometimes a plant-based protein powder. If she’s in hurry, avocado on toast will do just fine.

“I usually don’t sit down for lunch, but I graze. I’ll take dates and stuff those with almonds, or have white bean chips.”

For dinner? “I make some really good soups,” Sandy admits. “Everybody loves my bean dishes and my bean soups. White beans – I’ll make that into a soup or just have it plain. I eat a lot of black beans. Split pea soup. Red Rice. Gumbos of all kinds.”

Dinner usually comes with a big salad, and then a smaller portion of the soup or main course. Dark, leafy greens are known to help lower cholesterol, so Sandy incorporates those into her diet.

“One of my favorite things is to take salmon and spinach and fry that up in olive oil.”

Olive oil, raw agave nectar, and date sugar have become staples in her diet. Another favorite is beets with greens on them. She’ll fry the dish in olive oil with a little seasoning. A favorite when eating out is boiled cod tacos with black beans from Guaca Mole restaurant.

A few other habits Sandy maintains are drinking more water, taking red yeast rice supplements, and drinking hawthorn tea. She gets the tea from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market on Shelbyville Road, where she says she can receive knowledgeable information about supplements.

As far as what Sandy has reduced from her diet, that list includes cheese, dairy, non-wild meat, potatoes, rice, butter, and white sugar.

One thing she won’t give up anytime soon, though, is her bourbon.

“Since I’m a Kentucky girl, I love my bourbon. I drink it on the rocks.”

Overall, being more mindful of her diet has been pretty smooth for Sandy because she enjoys many of the foods that are said to help lower cholesterol.

“I would say I eat good probably 90 percent of the time. I don’t eat perfect that other 10 percent of the time, but I’m really conscious about what I eat and I’m really lucky because I like food that tastes good, that is natural. There are so many good things out there to eat that are healthy.”