Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Diet and exercise

On Rick's first night home from the hospital, I told him that it's a testament to his wife's good care that we already have a lot of food in the house on his "approved" list. I have long made our own no-fat-added granola and whole-grain, flaxmeal bread. For years I've only purchased fat-free sour cream, fat-free cottage cheese, skim milk, Smart Balance spread, fat-free "mayo," light ice cream, etc. Before Rick's heart attack, I cooked healthier than probably 95% of Americans, but there is always room for improvement. Most of that room is in what Rick eats when he's NOT at home, but I also need to watch things more carefully here. Lower fat, lower sodium, less sugar. Rick is not fond of legumes, which are a vegetarian, budget-conscious, cardiac-case-cook's best friend, so I am experimenting with new recipes to find some acceptable ones to add to my repertoire. (I have to climb out of the rut of familiar stand-bys into which most of us settle.) Fortunately, Rick is accepting of the needed changes, and I am well stocked with some wonderful cookbooks (mostly thanks to my dietitian mom), like Brother Ron Pikarski's Friendly Foods. For now we also have an abundance of fresh produce from our garden to utilize. Sunday we had a family "potato digging party;" our yield wasn't great but will provide us with spuds for awhile. The Sunday before that I harvested all of our onions. I'm still getting tomatoes, summer squash, bell peppers, pepperoncini, and jalapenos - the last of which I'm chopping and freezing to use in Green Tomato Relish at the end of the growing season. There are a few carrots to harvest as well, and some winter squash that may make it to maturity.

The other part of the needed reform is exercise. I've always loved to jog, but admit that it's been hard to fit it in since Brian arrived on the scene. Rick hasn't exercised with any regularity in the 26 years we've been married, but was making some effort when we had use of a client's treadmill last winter - and I enjoyed using it a lot more than I expected to. So Sunday we purchased a used treadmill very similar to the one we borrowed, a heavy-duty Precor that should last us the rest of our lives (and no, Rick had no part of loading or unloading it!).

Back to food. GMO (genetically modified organisms) "foods" scare me, and the fact that they do not have to be identified as such is even scarier. I look for products labeled "non-GMO" or organic for that reason. Yes, it's expensive sometimes, but read this article and tell me it's not worth it!

That's it for now from . . .


Tammy said...

It's pretty frightening what is in our foodstuffs if you do not have access to fresh. Having Mom go through this, it was unbelievable to find out how much sodium intake the 'average' American takes in per day, due mostly to the processed foods we eat. (This includes canned veggies and other canned foods--the sodium amounts are staggering). So, unless you get slapped in the face with it (or already are health conscious as you are)most people are going to eat say a 'can' of green beans and think "Oh, I'm eating healthy!". Anyway, all that to say it's a treacherous world out there in the area of diet.

HisTek said...

I'm trying to get caught up on the blogs I follow. Wow! I'm sorry to hear about Rick.I'm praying for him, and you all. How very scary. Hang in there!

Miss Effie said...

Michelle -- after Honey's heart attack, the first time I went to make tacos, I burst into tears! I wasn't a gal to use processed foods but corn tortillas (hard shell) taco seasoning, canned pinto beans, etc....... I could get low fat but I couldn't get the sodium down.

We buy nothing!!! out of a can now. For pizza, I make my own crust, cheese and pizza sauce. Otherwise, we have a daily serving of sodium in ONE serving.

Its tough at first if you are making mega changes.... but you are soooo ahead of the game. You will be awesome!

If you need any ideas ... drop me an email.

Kara said...

Careful where you put the frozen peppers. Last year I put the frozen green peppers in the kitchen freezer and it made the ice cubes taste like green peppers all winter! It is hard to think about exercise when we all do so much physical work, but it is the aerobic exercise that really is important. I will try right along with you both.

Heather said...

Sounds like you've got this all in hand! I'm cheering you on and praying for you all.

Sharon said...

I can remember my mother saying, "We live on a toxic planet." That was years ago and things haven't gotten any better. There are GMOs and then there's what's in our water. You're right. It's imperative we pay attention all the time.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the no GMO's and organics... So scary to not know which is GMO and not. I hate that our country has let the foods get so corrupt.