About seven or eight years ago, Herm’s doctor informed him that his cholesterol levels were too high. He prescribed Lipitor which works for many people. After taking it for some time, Herm’s numbers were lower, but he also developed a nasty rash.
At the suggestion of a friend, I googled “Lipitor side effects“ and learned that an allergic skin reaction was one of the side effects – probably the least dangerous side effect associated with cholesterol medication. He returned to his doctor, expressed his concern that the rash was a result of the medication, told him he’d like to stop taking it for a while and try to lower his cholesterol through diet and lifestyle. The doctor agreed that it was worth a try, but Herman could tell he wasn’t all that enthusiastic about the idea.
In his search for a solution, Herman unearthed a book that had been sitting on our bookshelf since the 80s. We’re living in the 21st century, and the health benefits of oat bran, now considered one of the top five foods to lower cholesterol, is old news, but in the 1980s oat bran was the new-ish kid on the block. The book professed that eating oat bran could significantly lower cholesterol levels in 8 short weeks, hence the name of the book, The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure.
Herman paid little attention to much of the advice in the book, but latched on to the oat bran theory. He selected a muffin recipe from it’s pages, and he started making them. He ate two of the muffins every morning for breakfast for about four months. He returned to his doctor for new labs. When the results were available, his doctor was – well – I guess you could say he was wowed. He said that it’s unusual for someone to successfully discontinue cholesterol medication. Once most people begin taking it, they usually take it forever. Herman continues to eat two muffins almost every morning, and his cholesterol continues to remain well within healthy levels.
He does exercise daily and has done so for years, and I’d say his diet has improved over the past couple of years with the addition of more fiber and omega 3 supplements, but in the beginning he didn’t change his diet that much. He just ate two muffins religiously every morning.
This is anecdotal evidence, and worse than that… it’s free. So take it for what it’s worth. One other thing, even though he claims to enjoy the muffins, I don’t think they’re all that tasty. I find that spreading a little peanut butter on top makes them more palatable. They’re not horrible; I just prefer other options like this cinnamon toast that a neighbor brought over a couple of days ago, but I usually switch it up between Greek yogurt with granola or a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal with raw honey, walnuts and cinnamon, but what I eat for breakfast is for another post – or not.
Oh, I almost forgot. They’re the ultimate cure for constipation. You’ll be as regular as they say Mussolini’s trains were, and be sure to store them in the fridge in a plastic bag. They have no preservatives. And one other thing – Herman’s nasty rash disappeared when he stopped taking the medication.
Here’s the recipe.
2 1/4 cups oat-bran cereal
1/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or peanuts)
1/4 cup raisins (or dates, currants or whatever)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
or 1/4 cup honey or molasses
1 1/4 skim milk or evaporated skim milk
2 egg whites or egg substitute for two eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl combine the oat-bran cereal, nuts, raisins, baking powder. Stir in brown sugar or liquid sweetening. Mix the milk, egg whites, and oil together and blend in with the oat-bran mixture. Line muffin pans with paper baking cups, and fill with batter. Bake 15 to 16 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick; it should come out moist but not wet. Be careful not to over bake. They will be dry. Makes 12 muffins.
Store in a plastic bag to retain moisture. Keep the muffins in the refrigerator if they will not be consumed within three days, as they contain no preservatives.