During the second week of October I’ll be attending a week-long professional development conference called CREDO
. Sponsored by the Church Pension Group (official motto: “And You Thought Apple
Had a Large Cash Reserve”), CREDO is a multi-faceted vocational retreat, including financial, spiritual, health, and educational components.
CREDO is fairly involved—there are plenty of tasks to complete before the conference even begins. One of those tasks is to collect and submit several pieces of health data. I went into the lab last Tuesday to donate a small amount of blood for testing. Later that evening I checked my email and had a message from my doctor. Apparently I failed the blood test.
High Cholesterol is a fairly common problem. I’m sure many of you have dealt with it. I’m told I have too many LDLs (the bad
kind): you’re allowed 100 of these bad boys and I have 191. I can either start taking cholesterol controlling medication or I can radically change my diet. I don’t like the idea of taking a pill every day for the rest of my life, though obviously I will if I have to. I’ve decided to try fixing my eating habits first, and getting more exercise. The exercise part is easy for me; I actually enjoy many kinds of physical activities—it’s just a matter of making the time.
The food part is very much more difficult. I’m not on a specific diet, I just have a set of rules that I have to follow very strictly until those LDLs stop having a party in my veins. 1) minimal to no cholesterol. 2) minimal fats in general. 3) minimal sugar/simple carbs. And 4) less salt. Essentially, I can eat chicken or fish, steamed vegetables, and whole grains.
The new regimen is seriously annoying, but has led to two interesting developments this past week. First, in an effort to make steamed chicken and broccoli more appetizing, I went through my collection of recipes and pulled out all the low-fat sauces I could find. There were actually a great many of these. I am compiling a personal recipe book which I have dubbed The Sauceonomicon
. I will be sharing these recipes occasionally here on this BenZen.
Second, to motivate myself towards more exercise, I’ve entered a race at the end of October called the Gladiator Rock & Run
. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Warrior Dash
? Same idea. It’s a 5k run with 14 different obstacles along the way. You run awhile, you climb over a giant pile of old tires. You run a bit more, you scale an 8 foot wall. More running, and a scramble over cargo-netting draped shipping containers. Finally, a mud crawl over the finish line. It’s like an obstacle course for adults. Adults who are a little crazy.
If you, like me, are a little crazy, come join me! I’ve set up a team (The New Land Manifesto) so we can all test the course together. Shoot me an email
and I’ll send you the details.