by Pam Whitley Taylor
John received what seemed a death sentence in March of 2014. A failed bypass surgery (CABG) left him more blocked than prior to surgery. The diagnosis was Intimal Hyperplasia and all his cardiologist could offer was “I’m so, so sorry.” Prayer, research and friends and, did I say prayer, led us to radically change our diet. And here we are over four years later, and we are still enjoying life and following our specialized way of eating. It has been quite the learning experience.
Many of you have read “A New Kind of Normal” on my blog as well as other posts about our new normal. This road isn’t easy and gone are hamburgers, fries, steaks, and cheese cake (and many other things)….all replaced with fresh food, and nothing processed. Gone is the oil from our pantry as well as the butter, bacon, milk, mayonaise, and eggs from our refrigerator. And gone are most of my known and well loved & once often fixed recipes of my past. Yes, I miss them on occasion, but having John still enjoy life is worth much more than my old learned ‘foodie’ loves!
John has angina and hurts everyday. When a front moves through or the humidity is high, he hurts more. But following a recent Angiogram, the cardiologist told us, “Your pump is pristine!” He, in fact, told us that he was amazed at how well John’s heart is working…as radically blocked as it is. He said his heart has found a way to get the oxygen it needs and that his diligence and diet are key. He even asked if we are able to eat out, and when we said “yes”, he wanted to know “where and what”. You see, he’s had a heart attack himself and has had stents placed. He told us that most patients aren’t willing to change their life style but rather want him to find a fix. He commended John for ‘owning’ (The Doc’s words) his disease and doing what it takes to live.
All of this I tell you because we’re so thankful that John is still here and still able to enjoy life and I want to encourage you, no matter what you are facing, to hang in there. Give it all you have, do your best, and God will be with you every step of the way.
Twelve Tips To Add More Life to Your Years
- Feed your Soul & Spirit often with His word
- Feed your body with whole foods daily – i.e. fruits, veggies(frozen or fresh), and legumes. (Sweet potatoes & white potatoes are great sources of vitamins too.)
- Feed your body oatmeal or whole grains, skip sugary cereals or doughnuts. Heighten the taste of oatmeal or other whole grain cereal with berries & other fruit..chopped apple & dates or raisins are great adds ins.(We buy big bags of frozen blueberries at Sam’s)
- Feed your body with at least 60 ounces of water a day.
- Feed your body with Exercise – even a brisk daily walk is helpful
- Feed your body with healthy snacks such as dried fruit, frozen grapes, or air popped popcorn.
- Feed your body greens everyday: broccoli, kale, swiss chard, spinach, etc to name a few.
- Consider leaving off dairy, including all cheeses, sour cream, parmesan, butter, margarine, & cream or any food that has these liquid fats as ingredients. Don’t cook with them either.
- Consider leaving off white flour products, sugar, and & eggs. That includes cakes, pies, & candy bars. : (
- Consider a meatless meal at least once a week – beans in a crock pot with veggie broth and seasonings is a delicious main dish served over brown rice. Eat smaller portions of meat.
- Consider sautéing with veggie broth and leaving off the oil, including olive oil, canola, and coconut oil.
- Consider ditching all processed foods from your cupboard – this includes all kinds of chips.
Healthy eating is key, and I’m still learning. Let’s give our bodies the best fuel we can—body, soul, and spirit—and make the most of our appointed number of days.