It was a blistery Tuesday morning. My husband and I had scheduled an appointment in his office at Microsoft for our annual “Know Your Numbers” exam – a free service that checks your weight, BMI, body fat %, as well as cholesterol, glucose levels, and triglycerides. Basically a time for Microsoft to find out how healthy their employees are and adjust insurance coverage under the guise of offering a great service to their employees. We’ll take it.
Nerves were getting the best of me, as I knew that my diet and lack of exercise wasn’t going to do me any favors in terms of the results they would record for me. I was sure my husband would give me the standard lecture, “We need to change our diet, go vegan, get rid of carbs and dairy. When you are gone, I never eat sweets.” I wasn’t in the mood to hear any of it.
After a painless flu shot (and apparently a somewhat painful one for him), we were poked, prodded, measured and weighed. Our respective “consultants” quickly wrote down our numbers and sent us on our way to coaching. We joined one another with none other than a 110-lb (soaking wet) woman who was the picture of good health. I was ready for the lecture, ready for my husband to give me “the look”. Then I saw his results.
I was shocked. His cholesterol was so high it couldn’t be measured. His triglycerides were somewhere above 650 – that was the highest number they could report. A healthy result would have been somewhere below 150.
My numbers weren’t much better, but at this point, I had just been hit with a ton of bricks. I had no idea my husband’s health was this serious – or at least I didn’t want to acknowledge the fact. I’m a chef, I like to prepare delicious, flavorful, comforting foods for my friends and family, regardless of the impact they might have on one’s health.
In the middle of that drab conference room, I knew immediately that we had to make some serious changes. Our NUCCA chiropractor, Dr. Sean Fryer, had consistently attempted to get us to jump on the Paleo boat. I thought he was nuts (pun intended). He once told a friend of mine that eating bread was as bad for her health as smoking cigarettes – she’s a pastry chef. That didn’t go over well.
On that rainy Seattle morning, as a couple we decided that our health, our happiness, and the future of our family was more important than any pan dulce, pasta primavera, or slice of pumpkin pie. Our eyes had been opened and we couldn’t deny it any longer – we were actively killing ourselves with food. As a chef, I was embarrassed. I have devoted my life to nourishing people through food, and I wasn’t even taking care of my own family.
This blog will follow our journey through adopting a Paleo lifestyle. We will slip-up, we will make mistakes, and we will fall off the wagon – but we will get back on. I hope that we can help just one person make better choices, live longer, and be healthier.