Pimp my diet
January 5, 2017 6:22 PM   Subscribe

I have to completely change my diet because my triglycerides are sky-high. I also need to lose weight, work around gastroparesis, and spend as little money as possible. Hope me?

At a follow-up appointment with my PCP today, she told me my triglycerides are at 537 - which is in the "very high" range. She's putting me on Fenofibrate to bring my level down. I don't want to have to stay on it forever, so I want to go the lifestyle changes route, to drop the level faster and get off the drug. That means changing my diet, increasing my exercise, and working concertedly to lose weight.

Complications: I have gastroparesis. Basically, my stomach is slow to empty. What I ate for dinner tonight will still be there in the morning. I get full super fast.

I also have to do this as cheaply as humanly possible. Long story short, I'm dependent on others for food and lodging, and their budget is stretched tissue paper thin.

Give me strategies, recipes, ideas, tricks, tips, anything. Thanks.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
So, the internets tell me that these are some contributing causes:

•Poorly controlled diabetes.
•An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
• Kidney disease.

So, cheap dietary helps that I know of:

Research shows diabetes is associated with inflammation. Eating a more alkaline diet can help combat inflammation. This does not have to be expensive. It can mean, for example, eating more corn based foods and less what based.

Coconut oil and good quality salt (not table salt) can both help support the thyroid. (Coincidentally, they help support the gut generally. This might help with your gastroparesis.)

The best kidney support I know of is watermelon, but I have had people complain to me that is too expensive. The cheap solution I know of is drinking tea. That's my go-to solution when I need cheap kidney support.

posted by Michele in California at 6:52 PM on January 5, 2017

I knew I was forgetting something. My blood sugar, thyroid, and kidney function are all normal. I do take a beta blocker, which is a contributing factor, and I'm very overweight. (I think technically I'm morbidly obese, but I hate that term.)
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 7:15 PM on January 5, 2017

Are you able to eat tiny amounts throughout the day? If so, I'd go systematic as heck on that. Get a bunch of tiny containers (small empty food jars, pill bottles, even, or small plastic cups with aluminum foil lids -- and figure out how to stack them very efficiently in the refrigerator, since you're sharing it).

If you use small glass jars, you can microwave them with the food inside (lids off). If they have large enough openings, you can eat straight from the jar, saving yourself countless extra dish cleanings.

Make whatever healthy thing you need to, and put it in the tiny containers. Label them with times. Eat at the appropriate time. Make sure you include _enough_ but just enough calories to keep your brain going.

Then, you need something fun to distract/delight yourself if you feel hungry, because you won't be getting as much happiness or distraction from the food. Take this part seriously, because it's harder than it seems. I don't know how to do it, but maybe knitting or a game or something. Try not to make it a mindless boring activity like passively watching videos, because that won't pull you away from thinking about food.
posted by amtho at 7:16 PM on January 5, 2017

First two weeks, cut out sugar. Second two weeks, cut out flour. Third two weeks, cut out dairy. Fourth two weeks, cut way back on meat. That leaves you eating veggies plus a little animal protein. That's how I got all my issues under control. I also do the one-day-a-week cheat day.
posted by raisingsand at 7:18 PM on January 5, 2017 [4 favorites]

I had to do this, re: cholesterol. I started here, then went here, and landed here.
posted by Toddles at 10:10 PM on January 5, 2017

I have high cholesterol. The two main things that I did to help was to up my fruits and veggies, and cut out most sugars.

A simple way to get more veggies in was for me to have some precut in the fridge. One thing I'd do is whenever I heated up a soup or stew, I'd add a handful of cut veggies to them - I found that baby spinach was particularly effective, and tasty.

Another thing I did was to have some microwaved veggies every evening as a snack - some cut zucchini and/or baby spinach in a bowl, drizzled with a few drops of soy sauce and microwaved? Very light, very tasty, and I found that it satisfied my umami cravings.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:28 AM on January 6, 2017

On the advice of my doctor after a truly breathtaking triglycerides level much worse than yours, I lost 60 lbs., switched to a mostly vegetarian diet low in saturated fat and simple sugars, took 4 omega-3 oil capsules every day, did aerobic and weight bearing exercise 3x each per week, and still somehow managed to raise my triglycerides by 200 after two years of sustained effort. The moral of this story is that you may have to try many different things and still not get the results you expect. In my case it turned out that losing weight drastically lowered my good cholesterol, causing a corresponding rise in triglycerides, so a higher fat diet was recommended. My triglycerides are still high, but they're half of what they were when I started.
posted by xyzzy at 2:15 AM on January 6, 2017

I can’t help you on the triglyceride side of things, but re:weight, I can’t recommend the following sub-reddits enough : r/loseit, r/progresspics and r/xxfitness. They’re very kind, open and supportive communities. Browsing those (and taking part if you want) will get you inspired and educated about weight and how to lose weight. A common suggestion is to use the My Fitness Pal app : what enters your mouth is entered on MFP. The app will display the caloric value of what you eat and help you reach your goal. Good luck!
posted by Ifite at 6:23 AM on January 6, 2017

Eat 100-200 calories every 1-2 hours, targeting 1000-1200 calories total for the day. For the last meal of the day, use up all your leftover calories, should be in the 400-600 range.

You never really go hungry, because you're eating all the time and will tend to naturally gravitate towards healthier options. Don’t drink your calories. Drink only water, black coffee, tea w/o sugar, etc.

You may have to train yourself in by targeting around 1500 calories and then taper down to 1000-1200.

Wake at 7am.
8am: Low Fat Yogurt, 180 calories
10am: Apple, 95 calories
12pm: 1 Tbsp Peanut butter, 90 calories, 1 slice bread 90 calories (180 total)
1pm: Hard boiled egg, 80 calories, carrot sticks, 25 calories (105 total)
3pm: Can of tuna, 150 calories
5pm: Dinner, 300 - 500 calories remaining
posted by slipthought at 11:07 AM on January 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

You didn't mention - what is working for you currently in dealing with your gastroparesis?
posted by moira at 10:26 PM on January 7, 2017

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