Day 136–Health Data and Arugula Pesto

We have been on our family locavore journey for almost six months now. We feel better, have more energy and we are enjoying our food! So I was very interested to see what my doctor would have to say at my annual physical last week. Last year, she gave me a little warning that at 204, my cholesterol was high for the first time ever, and that I had gained about six pounds in the previous year. I was also having trouble sleeping and was feeling very moody at certain times of the month. I thought I might have a thyroid problem (I didn’t).

While we are more conscious about exercising, the biggest change we have made to our lifestyle is our food. We have eliminated soda and fruit drinks, including things like Crystal Light. We have eliminated almost all processed foods from our diet. We buy locally produced, mostly organic and hormone-free vegetables, meat, eggs and dairy. Do we have dessert? Absolutely! Are we starving ourselves or eating just beans and rice? Not hardly! We’ve been eating pretty darn well. So, is there a physical change?

Well, in the past six months, I have dropped 10 pounds and brought my cholesterol from 204 to 192. My triglycerides are at 89. My iron levels are no longer borderline anemic and higher than they have been in a long time. My blood pressure at 109/60 is excellent. My doctor was very impressed. In fact, she wanted my blog address!

So score one for local foods and all of you who produce them. Thanks for helping me get and stay healthy and for helping my family improve our health outcomes for the future!

Here is a recipe for a lovely arugula and spinach pesto that goes well with pasta, vegetables and is a great topping for grilled fish! If your arugula is very peppery and bitter (if it’s older, it may be), you may want to add more spinach to balance it out.

Arugula Pesto

  • 1 1/2 c. baby arugula leaves
  • 1 1/2 c. baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2-3/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese

Combine greens, pecans, garlic and cheese in a food processor and process until chopped. With processor running, add olive oil, starting with 1/2 c. and using more if necessary to make a paste.

You can freeze this for use later (I like to freeze pesto in ice-cube trays and defrost as needed) or refrigerate and use within 24 hours.