I got myself tested for cholesterol level early March. There was a jump of 22% as compared to that done two years ago. The increase could only be partially  explained by a 21% rise in HDL cholesterol (“good” type). It meant that the rest of the increase was attributed to LDL cholesterol, the evil twin of HDL.

The results have set off alarm bells. My regular running habit is not bullet-proof against the waxy substance that goes through my bloodstream. I have been asking myself possible causes of the increase. Possible factors: the end-of-year feast starting early December, winter-induced chocolate cravings, des galette des rois in January (the whole month), and my occasional trips to Grenoble since September (which means indulging in the readily available outside dining). My weight, however, has remained relatively stable. Perhaps genes play a part too: high cholesterol runs among members of my immediate family too. 

I have spoken to my general practitioner. I thought he would have had suggested me taking medication immediately. However, he doesn’t seem to be worried. He just told me to temper my consumption on dairy products and morning pastries for a few weeks, and to undertake another blood test. If the level remains high after my moderation, it might mean that I have inherited a predisposition for high cholesterol.

With an intention to ace the upcoming cholesterol level test, I have started paying more attention to my diet. A small step at a time: my breakfast. 

My customary breakfast consists usually of bread spread with butter and jam or condensed milk. Once or twice a week, I will pamper myself with pastries. For the past couple of months, I have integrated Gerblé biscuits and oatmeal into my breakfast, at least 3 or 4 times a week. The fibre-rich biscuits are convenient to bring with me when I have early morning classes and they don’t taste bad. My favourite favour is the almond flavoured biscuits with chocolate chips (you can guess why it’s my favourite). As for the oatmeal, I just cook it with low-fat milk. The oatmeal tastes much better than I have expected: it carries a trace of sweetness. To give it an extra umpf, I lace it with either maple syrup or condensed milk. I think the addition undermines my intention of having a healthy diet though…

A little cookie before a run.

With oats now aplenty in my pantry, I have decided to better make use of them: oatmeal cookies. Hopefully, these cookies will replace partially some of the unhealthy snacks like chips and chocolates that I tend to generously indulge on. 

I have used an ice-cream scoop to spoon out the batter. 100g of oats give me 9 cookies.

The cookies are super easy to make and there are plenty of recipes online to choose from. The two core ingredients gleaned from the various sites are: oatmeal and very ripe banana. If you want to spice it up, just add toppings of your choice: nuts, chocolate chips, dry fruits, different baking essences such as vanilla or orange blossom. No butter, no cups of sugar, no flour. Just mash the banana, combine it with about 100g of oats which will give me 9 cookies. For my first round of baking, I added a handful of raisins and chocolate chips. Put them into the oven and bake them for about 12 minutes at 180°C.

One of those oatmeal cookies is enough to supply you with a boost of energy before your run. One or two after a run help to stave off your hunger until you have time to prepare a proper meal. As for the taste, it’s definitely not as delicious as those golden, crumbly butter cookies. However, these oatmeal cookies are much healthier. I have only made them once and they have turned out well. I will add some nuts and perhaps shorten the cooking time to make them crunchier the next round, rather than the chewy ones I have now. If you know how to make them crunchier, drop me a line! 

Leave a Reply