The New Year’s Post I Never Thought I’d Have to Make

New Year’s resolutions have never been part of my life. It all seems like such a waste of time. I never thought I would make a genuine definitely-gonna-keep-this resolution.

However, this year I made one–actually a slew of them, all related–but not because the year has slipped from 2014 to 2015. I did it for these reasons (and I apologize in advance for boring medical info):

  1. My dad is recovering from an aortic dissection–without surgery, surgical skill, and good luck, this has fatal consequences
  2. My mother had several stents put in her heart when she was 70
  3. My DNA health report lists a lot of possible potential coronary type problems
  4. I have the teeny tiniest circulatory channels (blood drawing nightmare stories abound in my memory banks)
  5. My doctor is rechecking my cholesterol the 3rd week of January
  6. I’ve been letting my health slide during the mad rush to get a book draft done for Stanford
  7. I eat too much cheese

In light of all that, guess what my resolution is?!

Yup, to work on my health! These are some of the ways (nothing radical here–after all, I want this to work):

  1. Veggies at least 3 times a day
  2. Veggies prepared in new healthy ways
  3. Keep both spinach and kale in the house at the same time–and use it
  4. Fruit–try to “gut it” at least once a day (I know, I know, but fruit creeps me out with its bruises, hidden bugs, and sudden rotting)
  5. Never more than one soda a day and try to skip it sometimes
  6. Walk every day (and buy one of those step counting technogizmos)
  7. Stationery bike at least 4x a week (because of my recovered foot I am not allowed pressure on the foot as in running, dancing, etc)
  8. Learn to use the elliptical already . . .  (this exists in my own house!!)
  9. Keep up the other exercise
  10. Limit cheese to one serving a day
  11. Limit chicken and fish to 1-2 servings a day (I don’t eat other meat and am not a big fan of chicken either, for ethical reasons)
  12. Try some new things, such as almond butter
  13. Figure out a healthy and flavorful way to get my breakfast protein (I am a person who needs warm protein-rich food for breakfast and can’t eat cereal, etc.)
  14. Forget the truffle instead of dessert idea. I looked at the nutritional guide on the package. 26% of my daily fat allowance in one of those little balls!

Any other ideas, folks? Nothing too crazy, please ;).

Oops, and champagne (note: champagne is fruit so all is well) contains zero fat, so I can add that to my diet!!!  Happy New Year!


Filed under Essay, Nonfiction, Writing

68 responses to “The New Year’s Post I Never Thought I’d Have to Make

  1. Several years ago I gave up cereal for breakfast and replaced it with toast spread with peanut butter (protein) and jam (fruit). Amazing how full it kept me all morning, so I didn’t snack in between. Salad with hard-boiled egg for lunch. One piece of chocolate a day (most important part of my ‘diet’). Regular dinner with no cheese sauces. I lost ten pounds and kept it off. Good luck to you with your new year’s resolution. Here’s to our health, so we can write for years ahead.

    • Pam, good work!! Wow, that is fabulous! I just had a slice of gluten free mock rye toast with almond butter. I love the egg idea and am going to use it! yes, here’s to our health–lift that champagne glass now ;)!!

  2. Luanne, I applaud you for recognizing the potential for health problems and making changes in your life to minimize those. It’s amazing how little we can pay attention to our bodies when they are working the way we hoped they would. I hope your new health focus brings all the desired results in 2015 – I would only add I’ve been taking hypertension meds since I was 30 and cholesterol meds for the past ten years. They have probably been lifesavers for me. Also fish oil and Vitamin D Supplements seem to help my heart. Hopefully, your doctor will make good recommendations…and here’s a glass of champagne being raised to your good health in 2015!!

    • Sheila, thanks for the idea of the Vitamin D. I think I already get fish oil because I take Ocuvite to ward off macular degeneration and when I get a bad bottle the smell of rotten fish is pretty overpowering ;)! Yes, I have no doubt my doctor will be having a little talk with me after he gets the recheck results on the cholesterol . . . . Yes to the champagne–can you hear the clinking?! Have a wonderful 2015, Sheila, and Pretty and the furballs, too!

  3. “I have the teeny tiniest circulatory channels” You may have inspired a blog post. I too have these little things. They use a pediatric needle to get a blood sample from me. I have stories, oh Lord, I have stories. I had a nurse get the needle in the vein in the first try and I proposed to her. Good luck with your diet. Health is always the most important thing but we all think we have time to fix it in the future. The future is now.

    • Oh you know! Best thing for me so far has been when my doctor said to always ask for a butterfly. Phlebotomists don’t believe it helps but it does a lot. I want to smack them when they say that.
      Yes, you are so right that the future is now!!!

  4. Great ideas! I may steal them all!

  5. Happy New Year, Luanne!

    Your goals sound great and achievable. Go for it!

    I. May be able to help you with the blood draw thingy. Drink TONS of water the day before and the day of. Being hydrated makes a huge differencence when they need to draw blood from me or start my drug infusions also, with the infusions, they cover my arm with a warm blanket for a few minutes — makes my tired old veins perk right up. Good luck!

    • Elyse, what excellent advice! I always forget to drink water until I am leaving for the blood draw. They say it takes 30 minutes for it to work. And I think I am always a little dehydrated. The warm blanket idea is fabulous!!! Thanks so much for your support and have a great 2015!!!

  6. I have hereditary high cholesterol and also have committed to healthier living so as to live longer without statins in my foreseeable future. I switched from snacking on junk crackers and nibble on blue corn chips. I also nosh on baby dill pickles–not much to them calorie wise, but what a satisfying crunch and the briny taste lingers nicely staving off other nibbling craves.
    Happy New Year and *clink* to better health!

    • You know what? We always have blue corn chips in the house for hubby and then I go for the Lays instead. I will start going for the blue instead! The pickles sound like a good idea. Are they high salt like olives or not as bad? Love that clink haha!!! Hope your 2015 is the best year yet!

  7. No suggestions, just support. This is a great place to start the year, and even if you only achieve a few things on this list you will be doing great! Happy New Year!

  8. Glad to hear someone else is grossed out by fruit-i can’t stand the consistency!

  9. Ok girl, you have issues. Here’s a couple thoughts. Learn your limits, that means a heart monitor. Slow at first, exercise in both average air temp and in heat. disclaimer: check how you feel at 110 beats a min. then add 5 and another 5. etc.
    Nothing needs to cause pain. it’s a process of progress You are in charge. attempt to love where you are going
    Did I eat too much over the holidays? Yes, and my weakness is “if someone somewhere, in any culture on Earth, labeled something food, I’ll probably try it, most likely like it” I am positive I could live without mint, but if someone puts it in Ice Cream, it’s great.

    • gliderpilotlee, thanks for the advice, but especially the ice cream advice ;). Hah. Yesterday, my husband made some lemon sorbet, so we’ll see if I can get my fruit that way ;).
      Yes, I am going to try to love where I am going. After all, it has to be better than the alternative path! Thanks so much for your support!

  10. I like the last one. Champagne is fruit! Hahaha. Good luck with your resolutions. I think that just having listed them is already good for you.

    • Yes, it is, and today I will be eating my fruit in lemon sorbet made by hubby! He’s actually helping me ;). I’m sure you’re right about listing them. I am already doing them, too! So far so good!

  11. Good for you Luanne and good luck with your new regime 🙂

  12. Great goals, Luanne, and they all sound reasonable (thus, doable 🙂 ). Along with getting a pedometer for your walking, you might want to check out this website: The website was promoted through my health department a few years ago. What makes it fun is that you can select a trail and as you walk and enter your steps, the website will show you where you would be on the trail if you were actually walking it. I hope this makes sense. You can even convert weight training and elliptical to steps, because the whole point is to exercise.
    Sounds like a great start to the New Year! By the way, I’m a HUGE cheese fan, not so much fruit, so I understand the difficulty of some of your decisions.

    • Marie, that American On the Move looks great! I just bookmarked the page and can’t wait to check it out more. What a great idea!
      See, cheese is far superior to fruit!

  13. Whew! Thank goodness champagne falls in the fruit category!!! I’d start with that for breakfast 😋. Seriously, I am sorry about your family’s heart-health issues, and please know that you are not alone in similar parental challenges nor your resolve to mitigate your own health issues. Please let us know how your parents do in their recoveries.

    Don’t forget nuts (if you tolerate those). They are high in protein and each kind has varied other benefits. We have a whole refrigerator drawerful of big sacks from Costco and eat a handful with every meal. I have read that a handful of walnuts after a high-fat meal binds the cholesterol and carries it out of your body.

    Also, have read the least harmful cheese is Dubliner – again, Costco has it at good price. Avocados are good fat -we eat those almost every day, and I love peeling and eating pomegranates – such gorgeous reds!

    if you like yogurt (good protein), Chobani is my favorite and has less sugar than many other brands.

    Good luck and don’t beat yourself up or banish every pleasure. Living is NOW as much as it is tomorrow 💖

    • Sammy, hahaha, you are a girl like me: nuts and avocadoes. Yum yum yum. Love those foods! Dubliner? I’ve never heard of it. I’ll check it out. And I’ll try Chobani, too, and see what I think! I always buy yogurt and then end up not eating it, so I need to be more proactive about that!!
      No fears that I will give up all the goodies. But I do need to stop focusing on those goodies 😉 xo

  14. Happy New Year, Luanne! I’m so happy to hear your father is doing well. That’s great news. Putting your health first this year is a great decision. One benefit to exercising on a regular basis is you can still eat lots of cheese. I live for cheese 🙂 and eat it at least once a day, if not more. My cholesterol is very low I believe due to the exercising and also Fish Oil, CoQ10, Vitamin D and Omega 3 supplements. Most people are deficient in Vitamin D and it’s so critical to overall good health. I really hope to conquer number five, Luanne…soda is bad…cheese is good! 🙂 xo

    • Yes, the doctor is surprised how well he is doing, given his age. Still, it’s kind of an awful recovery. So difficult for an old guy. I never thought cheese was bad until a doctor years ago said to me never to eat a quesadilla, even “light cheese,” because people shouldn’t eat cheese in such quantity! How about cheese and crackers?!! My goodness. I have ancestry from Zeeland. That’s where some of my favorite cheeses come from. Between those ancestors and the ones in Germany who owned vineyards, I’m pretty set with cheese and wine genes ;).
      Jill, I’m so impressed with those supplements you take. I think I should try more. I’m going to take your and Sheila’s advice and check out Vitamind D for sure!!
      Good luck with #5, Jill! So hard to give up!

      • Oh, I don’t drink soda…haven’t in eight years. You can have your doctor check your Vitamin D level when they do blood work. That will tell you if you’re deficient. I REFUSE to not eat cheese! 🙂

        • Wow, Jill,I’m so impressed that you haven’t had soda in 8 years. Do you drink coffee? I don’t drink coffee and use my morning soda in the same way, to wake me up. But then sometimes it leads to another later in the day. And the answer is NO.

          • I used to guzzle diet soda, but then I discovered it was actually stimulating my appetite. Yes, I do drink one LARGE mug of black coffee every morning and a lot of Green Tea during the day. I have a good friend who drinks eight or more diet sodas a day! Not good.

      • I meant to say, in my original comment, that I hope you conquer #5…not me. 🙂

  15. Despite all, your humour shines – and I love cheese too! Happy new year and good luck with all of this!xxx

  16. Good luck to you and your family this coming year!

  17. You are so smart to be proactive with your health. We have choices, and it matters that we make good ones. The information we have at our disposal is limitless, and we are so fortunate for that. You can do this! Your goal is clear, and you have so much variety in selecting your dietary path. And I believe you will succeed, because you have decided to succeed. Make it so!

    • Yes, I am so sure I am going to do this! And this outpouring of support from you and others is what is “cementing” my ability to set my path and stick to it. I am already doing it . . . . Have a wonderful 2015!

  18. Stretch 🙂 Often and more often 🙂
    And Happy New Year!

    • That is one thing I do like to do: stretch. I’m not a very flexible person in lower body, but I can still do a reverse namaste (putting my hands together behind my back). I hope I never lose that ability!
      Make it a fab 2015 for you and your family!!

  19. Have you looked through Pinterest? There are some great recipe discoveries that you might consider trying.

    • I actually used it again yesterday, but this time I had a fail! I tried a recipe for chicken teriyaki and it called for poaching the chicken instead of stir frying, etc. I need to find a recipe that makes it a different way. The poaching was horrible! I couldn’t eat the chicken (one way to lose weight I guess). I’m by no means a “cook-cook,” you know? But what I make is usually pretty good. This was “disastrous.”

  20. Good luck! The fitbit is a helpful tool to measure activity, steps taken each day (You just need to remember to wear it – lol!). Also a fibre pill or drink may help lower cholesterol or so I have been told. I watch my numbers too. A handful of almonds, no juice or diluted juice was also recommended. The suggested juice to drink is acai, cut with club soda or water. Little steps add up to big improvements. There are always statins. Check out the for more info…

    • Lynne, I have one on order! The fitbit! I’m so excited! I am hoping to stay off meds because I already have to take a blood pressure medication for my migraines and along with my thyroid pill and I have had no many bad reactions to meds. Does the acai and club soda give me fruit stuff that I am missing without eating fruit? I will check it out. Thanks so much for your support xo!

      • I’m not an expert although I have tried almost everything to lower cholesterol. It was suggested by a health professional that I drink acai juice and dilute it. I still love fruit and eat it. What may be helping me is the fibre supplement as they help to fill you up and slow digestion. I have seen evidence of statins cutting LDL in half,HDL rising- combined with a healthy diet and walking. You can fight your genes, however it takes effort. You’ll do this.

  21. I’m not sure looking after your health qualifies as a resolution and I say this only because I want you to succeed. Resolutions are notoriously slippery and hard to achieve. I suggest you call this plan your survival strategy and hug it to you like a hot water bottle on a -25 degree day. You must do it for your core well-being!

    • S, good point! And what a great metaphor or analogy or whatever–hug it to me like a hot water bottle on a 35 degree day like today (in Phoenix). It froze out last night! Yes, you are a good motivational writer. I am hugging my path!!!

  22. Forgive me if this is redundant – I tried to post it yesterday and apparently it didn’t “take.” It may be in your spam. So, here it goes again:
    My best advice is to hang out with people who have similar goals and/or interact with them often via whatever modes are available – this process can be fun! One of the best ideas I’ve heard recently (which will be appear on Motivational Monday on FBF sometime this month) is to reframe from “I HAVE to do this” to “I GET to do this.” We are blessed indeed to have fresh fruits, vegetable, water, and food options in abundance in this country. We GET to have fresh fruits and vegetables! And, of course, frozen fruit often has even more of the good stuff in it than fresh that is a few days old – so for smoothies and fruit compotes you can avoid the offensive bruising by using the many frozen options available that we GET to buy in our own home towns!

    • Shel, you have reminded me to check the spam folder I always forget I have! Yikes. So sorry. I get to eat fruit? Well, I just hate hubby’s lemon sorbet (he made it yesterday) and that was a super way to eat fruit (it’s made with lemon juice, lemon zest, and, well, sugar. I suppose it’s like frozen lemonade haha. But I will consider the frozen fruit because that is actually a great idea. And I do like canned mandarin oranges . . . .
      I will eat a banana if it’s pristine. Then my neurologist said, “Don’t eat those. They are too high in calories.” Huh? But Drumstick ice cream cones aren’t? Yikes. OK, I will consider this advice. I might even act on it. I get to choose from all these different fruit options. And I do love veggies, prepared well, so I get to cook and eat them!!! And I do get to use the elliptical that is sitting right in my own house!!! I’m so blessed. Now I feel a big bout of guilt coming on . . . .

  23. My secret to exercising: Reading while I use the elliptical. 30 minutes of guilt-free fiction. Best of luck to you.

  24. In my 40’s I was going through menopause and I gained weight. If I had not been asked by my doctor to get my cholesterol checked, I would have not worried. I had to lose 40 pounds in two years and quit eating (yes, cheese was one of the foods, Luanne), any kind of red meat, most of the sandwich meats, including turkey, cut back on my condiments (I used to like to have mayo on my tuna fish sandwich, my hamburger and in my pasta salad that really was like potato salad….) You will be just fine, my numbers went from 260-240-220 and now, I am finally 200 overall bad and good cholesterol. My weight went from almost 160 down to 120. I walked during half of my lunch time with my teaching assistant. I drank huge bottle of water on way to work, on way home and I did butt crunches while driving and arm lifts, too. I would walk briskly 3 miles in 45 minutes. I measured it out using my odometer on my car, every night for a whole year and then every other night the second year. Now, I work in a factory and am so glad my body is able to take the lifting, etc…You can do it, Luanne! You will succeed! It is only 1/2 hour to 45 minutes daily or possibly just for 3-4 days a week! My doctor made me or I would have had to take that anti-cholesterol medication. The side effects are so scary!!

  25. I was thinking about frozen blueberries—really good for you and no bug/rotting issues. For warm breakfast protein, if your husband is making sorbet, maybe he can do muffins with blueberries and walnuts using good-for-you flours (whole wheat, oat, almond, spelt, barley). Then put almond butter on them. My husband is our cook so this is easy for me to say. 🙂

  26. Good, smart resolutions. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” to be cliche. Good luck and good health to you in the new year!

  27. Grim reality, but at least there’s champagne 🙂 Sending you a New Years (late) hug 🙂 Look after yourself- noone else can!

  28. Luanne I hope your year is settling in better now and you are looking after yourself. We all know what we need to do but it is hard to get in that mindset. Wishing health and happiness for you and family.

  29. I was sure I commented on this post Luanne – but thinking about it, maybe it was over on Facebook! My comment being that bubbly is proven to be great for the memory amongst other benefits…so a great excuse to have some on hand, and particularly in light of your recent writing successes! Seriously though, it is so hard to get new habits underway but you are doing a great job. I do hope your new regime is doing well…still walking with ya 🙂

  30. YOu got many things going for you…one, you went public so we are going to look over your shoulder to see that you do this! Second: your sense of humor will help you as I sense a strong one throughout your messages. And add vanity as I do. When I face a chocolate bar, I pause and say, do I need this? It might add a few pounds to my tummy. And I quit. Seriously, reading the ingredients is a great help for me. Try looking at FoodBabe on line, she will keep you healthy as she does me. TAke good care. Happy New Year.

  31. Cheers to your health, then! And thank you for stopping by my blog too.

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