Straight from the heart . . .

Straight from the heart . . .

More veggies and fruits, please!

This week, I reached a milestone.  I have successfully completed one month in cardiac rehab, incident - but not completely whine - free.  I have two more months to go!  I did learn that a lot of people who begin cardiac rehab after an "episode" like mine don't complete the prescribed three months.   Some days it's a little tough; you don't want to get out of bed, you don't want to do anything.  Then I think of all the reasons why I want to be around for a very long time, I put on my exercise togs and get my fanny to PMC.

 

In my last Blog, I wrote about the DASH diet.  Because of my family history of heart disease, I pretty much grew up on that diet and except for a period of deviations, have followed it most of my life.  The period when I didn't follow it religiously, quite honestly, was when I was raising my two children.  It was a matter of economics and, candidly, convenience.  If I had to do it over again, I would change a few things while they were young.

 

What would I change, if I could go back?  I would shop the way I do today, even if it meant some sacrifices on other things to do it.  I kept vegetables and fruits in the house, and sweets were a minimum, but packaged and processed foods ... those should have been at a minimum.  When you are trying to shop on a budget, those latter items are a (seemingly) godsend to parents. Inexpensive, easy and quick to prepare and you don't have to do a lot of thinking about mealtime at the end of a very long day when there is homework to be done and baths to get!

 

I'm convinced that it is the combination of those things, as well as our tendency to "grab something in the drive-through" on the way home after dashing from soccer practice to ballet class to (finally) home" that is contributing to the overweight issue we have in our families.  Add to that the fact that when we are home, we spend time in front of the television, computer, iPads, and we probably eat too much at night ... or at least ... too much of the wrong things at night.  People are often amazed that, for the better part of the last decade, Bill and I eat our large meal in the middle of the day and then something very light at night.  I love a small salad with grilled chicken and some fruit at night ... or perhaps one of my omelets!  

 

Our government has a very well-thought out plan for all of us to eat by.  I wonder, if a family of four makes a meal plan and buys groceries according to the My Plate plan, how much would they spend a week on average?  Now, I realize that the place you shop could influence that total but even at the cheapest store you could go to ... what would that bill look like?  I think I may do a little research and write about that next week!

 

In the meantime, you can learn all about the My Plate plan at ChooseMyPlate.gov

It's a great website, good information, everything we know we NEED to do.  But I can tell you that when my family was younger, that would have been a struggle to do financially at times.  Since I did not inherit my parent's green thumbs for gardening, that wasn't a option.  Plus, when would I have had time to hoe the garden?  Thankfully, my children grew up healthy, no major illnesses and very few minor ones.  They both enjoy a variety of foods today which includes a lot of vegetables and fruits.

 

We hear a lot of talk about the obesity problem in a our country.  Have you ever just sat on a bench and watched people go by and counted the people, young and old, who walk by who would (by medical standards) fall into that category?  It is astounding!   It's like watching time-bombs walk by ... the potential for high blood pressure (even in young people), heart disease, diabetes ... is so apparent.

 

A few months ago, I saw this documentary on HBO called, "The Weight of the Nation."  Taking this information into account, along with the lack of exercise we get, and we have a health crisis on our hands that is not going to be solved by any new health care plan unless we get to the heart of the matter.  Please take a moment to watch it and share it with your friends and family.

 

We didn't get into this situation overnight, and we won't get out overnight;  but, if we do the right things, we can solve this problem!  We need to do it for ourselves, for our children and for our grandchildren!

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