June 2019

Carry on peddling!

I saved the above admonition from a cruise I took with my mom. She was in her seventies (as I am now), and we went to the ship’s exercise room which had a great view of the ocean from the stationary bikes. The Australian young man who was supervising the room checked on her, and finding all in order, said “Carry on peddling” in that cute Aussie accent. I thought at the time it was a good rule for living, in general. So that’s what I tell myself; it has the connotation of “just keep doing it”, whatever it is you need to do.

So now I’m going to label each entry in my blog with a date, and note any changes in my plan, or problems solved, or new things tried. I’ll post it at the end of each month, and start a new one for the next month, so I can add things along the way. Works for me, hope it does for you. This dietary adventure is a process, a journey, hopefully to a long and healthy life for all of us.

Decreasing Sodium/Salt Intake

This month, Ed and I are doing a NO SALT ADDED trial, to see if his blood pressure will come down below 125 systolic. He really was using a ton of added salt, and although his BP would be low at a doctor’s visit, after we got a digital blood pressure machine, his pressure was 130’s over 80’s, not that good, while mine was 115/58 or something like that. So he decided to give it a month trial, no added salt. Well, in two days, the values were in the 120’s over 70’s, and the most recent was 113/58. We’re going to continue the NSA for the rest of the month, and then maybe go back to adding tiny amounts when it’s really wanted, as long as the BP stays in the teens over fifties range. By that time I think his taste for salt will have modified enough to tolerate a low salt intake, but we will keep monitoring the blood pressure.

Nuts

Here’s a change: I found that there is a controversy over “nuts in the diet of cardiac patients”, some experts saying eliminate them, some saying there is evidence that eating small amounts may actually prevent some heart attacks.  There is data supporting both views. I have decided to use nuts in my granola, and to use cashew nuts as a thickener and base for my favorite Konriko salad dressing.

Here’s another change: I have stayed with Lacinato (aka Dino) kale in bunches (but not cooked in batches), as I mentioned in the Evolution post. We have one bunch divided between the two of us at almost every supper, and sprinkle an aged version of balsamic vinegar on it. I strip the leaves from the thick stem, chop them as shown in the video in Batch-Cooked Greens and put them into the big dutch oven. I think they cook more evenly spread out in the big pot. Either before or after I put them in the pot, I pour in water to about 1/2 inch deep. The Lacinato or Dino kale cooks to nice tenderness in about 10-20 minutes. I always stir it at about 10 minutes, and then taste some to be sure it’s tender at 15-20 minutes. We have them in small bowls separate from the rest of the dinner because of the balsamic vinegar we add, which helps biochemically in the production of nitric oxide in the digestive process. The NO (nitric oxide) is needed for the health of the endothelium, the lining of the arteries, allowing normal dilatation of arteries as needed. A damaged endothelium is associated with heart attack and stroke. This is one time where NO means YES (to a healthy vascular endothelium)!

The Dish Soap Debacle

Fail! The idea about dish soap, number 11 on a previous post, soon became more trouble than it was worth, because Ed likes his plastic dishpan which holds more soapy water (and I still like sharing the dishwashing chore). Switching back and forth from plastic to metal dishpans became annoying, and it hurt my wrist to hold every item for washing with the dishrag. But I did find a dishwashing soap which doubles as a general household cleaning soap that smells great and washes off quickly like the bar castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s). It is also made by Dr. Bronner, SalSuds. It is in a plastic bottle, but I will definitely recycle it.

 

I am a 75 year old retired M.D. radiologist, always interested in staying healthy by eating natural foods and avoiding pharmaceuticals, four years ago converted to the Whole Food Plant Based diet and lifestyle by watching Forks Over Knives and Fed Up. This blog follows my path in sticking with this rather extreme program and keeping it simple, hopefully useful to others who want to live long and prosper without open heart surgery and chemotherapy.

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