So, it’s been over a month now since my ‘life changing’ heart attack and resultant two surgeries (one of which was an emergency). My scars are now looking more like pink ‘stretch-marks‘ and less like a Frankenstein cross-stitch. I have lost weight (this is a good thing according to my doctor) and I’ve got my first follow on appointment with my cardiologist/surgeon.
I no longer smoke cigarettes, relying instead on nicotine patches and ‘harmless’ e-cigs which have no nicotine and gives me the ‘placebo’ of inhaling something non carcinogenic and that isn’t just air. So far my cravings for the old demon weed is non-existent. To be honest though, the best deterrent in the world is that sensation of acute pain brought on by a heart attack.
When I was discharged from the hospital, my cardiologist explained that I could eat whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted. I was ‘healing’ she said and my body needed all the nutrients it could get. My new diet would start later after I’d gotten back on my feet.
What no-one explained was that when I first got out of the hospital, everything I ate would taste like ash. Salt, which had been my lifelong friend, burned my mouth and other spicy things that I had grown to love now tasted horrid. I soldiered on and kept trying to eat to heal.
Unfortunately, the other thing no one warned me about was my loss of appetite. Oh my spirit was willing alright, but, the room just wasn’t there. It’s like they’d taken my stomach in an inch or two while they worked on my leaky pipes and clogged arteries. I just didn’t have enough space in there to eat anywhere near the amount I used to.
But good things come to those who wait and my taste buds soon regained their old habits (except for the salt thing, it still burns my mouth). I started craving certain spices and foods that had long been on my favorite list.
I went to my first appointment with my local cardiologist. It had been decided that my recuperating period was over. Now I had to start eating healthily and I needed to avoid foods that I’d eaten all my life.
Steak, bacon, pork chops, cheese (unless it’s in the form of cottage cheese) and most forms of red meat were verboten. Butter, chips (aka french fries) anything fried (unless it was done in olive oil and then only lightly) or anything that even remotely resembled tasty food.
My recovering heart sank as the list of bad foods got longer. I could see a future of tofu, soybean meat substitutes and vegetables that I don’t even like to look at let alone eat.
I was given a list of ‘heart clubs’ and a couple of booklets with ‘healthy dishes’ in them for future reference. I also had been told I needed to contact these clubs for support. I felt that I’d been sentenced to a life of bland.
Fortunately for me, I don’t eat that much red meat. Chicken is eaten on a regular basis. Fish is eaten quite a lot as well, but not in the oily category. Mackerel, Herring and Eel are too smelly and rich for my taste buds. Tuna and sardines are alright but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat them.
I haven’t been brave enough to look at all the recipes in the booklet yet. I have had a glance or two inside one and the first thing I noticed was a cheerful picture of an aubergine aka eggplant. My blood curdled. If ever there was a more disgusting tasting vegetable than the eggplant (actually as I set writing this, I think that cooked celery might just tie the aubergine for disgusting)…
Don’t get me wrong, I do like vegetables and quite a lot of them. Unfortunately the way I like my veg is drenched in salt and butter. Neither of which is on my list of foods to eat.
I know, I’m moaning and whining about a very little thing here. It was my prior eating habits and lifestyle that got me hospital bound to start with. I will say though, with not a trace of embarrassment or regret, it does seem like I’m still being penalized for that old life style.
It sort of makes me think of that old joke. You know the one, I’m sure. An old guy is setting outside the town’s barbershop and he’s telling a group of young men how to live longer. “You don’t smoke, drink or chase wild women,” he says. “And you’ll life longer?” One of the young men asks. “No,” replies the old man, “You just feel older.”
- Fight Food Fatigue (massageenvy.com)
- Teaching Kids to Eat Healthy: One mom’s refusal to hide vegetables | Babble (babble.com)
- Sunday Recipe: Hummus! (ahappylass.wordpress.com)
- Eggplant (Aubergine) Parmesian…Yes Please! (illhavewhatsheishaving.wordpress.com)