“No vegetables, Please.”

Wow!  It’s amazing what you will see when you’re out in the public.  Even more so in a restaurant.

Today I was having lunch in a Chinese restaurant when I overheard someone at another table ordering.

He actually ordered a dish and said, “No vegetables.”

This man obviously eats meat only and never touches vegetables.  That’s sad.  He gonna die!  Goodbye vegetables, hello heart disease.

I know.. I shouldn’t judge others but…Damn!  Really?

 

Meatface

After my coronary artery stents were put in, I was told outright by the doctor, “You need to be a vegetarian!”

There’s no doubt the American Diet is a death sentence.  High in saturated fat and cholesterol, it’s not surprising that 610,000 people die of heart disease every year.  We eat the worst crap and deny any ill effects while silently, plaque builds up in your arteries until you turn 48 and die.

I’ve taken it seriously and eat a low fat diet every day.  The daily recommended intake of saturated fats is 13 grams.  I try to keep my intake in the 0-5 mg range.  Heat disease is reversible if you are serious about it.  Many days I can do zero by eating only vegetables and maybe tofu.   That doesn’t mean I don’t splurge occasionally for those special occasions.

Minimizing sodium helps keep your blood pressure down which is also very important to help prevent stretching damage to your arteries.

Something I’ve run into quite often when I order food is “Meatface?.  That face people make when I tell them to hold the meat or substitute something else.  Just yesterday I was at Subway to have a veggie delight sandwich.  The girl making the sandwich asked me if the Veggie Delight was good.  Apparently she hasn’t tried one because when I told her that you don’t even notice the meat is missing, she made the face I’ve see so many times.  It’s a look of revulsion like eating a sandwich without meat is some kind of horrible taboo.  I realize that not eating meat takes some time to get used to but it still amazes me that people have such a reaction.

There was a time, back in the early 1900s and before, where meat was not so available or affordable.  People only ate meat once or twice a week if at all.  It was normal.  Funny how things have changed.  The thought of a meal without meat is outlandish.  You must be some kind of alien from another planet. People don’t even know how to eat a no-meat meal.

It’s not going to change anytime soon and it’s a good thing we have statins and blood pressure medication to make up the difference in our poor eating habits.  Without them 48 would be our age limit.  If your doctor says to take cholesterol and blood pressure medication then you had better do it if you plan to continue eating meat.  I doubt you will understand until you have your first and possibly last heart attack.

You may think you are eating a healthy diet now but if you are eating meat three times a day then you are possibly three times over the limit for saturated fat.

Eating right is very important. Wake up!!!  You’re doing it wrong.

 

Too much sleep?

slpngI have an idea.

I’ve spent my whole life feeling that I am not getting enough sleep.  Every morning, getting out of bed has been extremely difficult.  I get around 7 hours of pretty good quality sleep each night but I wake up desperately tired and angry at the world for making me get out of bed.

I wonder if maybe I am getting too much sleep.  Everyone’s needs are different and maybe mine are too.  Sometimes after taking a 15 minute nap I wake up feeling refreshed.  A full night’s sleep does not refresh me. Something not right here.

I usually wake up a few times a night and maybe go to the restroom.  I notice that during those wakeups, I don’t feel so tired.  I think I’m going to try a new experiment.  I’m going to just get up and do something for a while.  If I feel tired I’ll go back to bed until the alarm goes off.  It couldn’t hurt to try and I might enjoy it.

The shortness of waking time I am allowed weighs heavily on me and having a little more would be really nice.  I think I might give it a shot for a few days and see what happens.  It might also help me to fall asleep more quickly at bedtime.

Science!!!

A few weeks later…

Yeah.  That’s not happening.  I am not feeling like staying out of bed in the middle of the night.  Nevermind.

Nuclear Stress Test

strststThis morning I went in to do a Nuclear Stress Test.

Why is it called nuclear?  Because they inject you with radioactive dye that the camera picks up on to image your heart arteries and see what level of blockage you may have.

I just passed the 6 month mark since my stents were put in and we are checking to see how things are going with them and what the rest of my arteries look like.  The worst part was that it cost me $2400 out of pocket.  Why do I have insurance?  I’m going to have to call them and see what the heck happened.

They gave me an initial dose of radioactive material then put me in the camera for 15 minutes to get a “Before” image.

Next they put me on the treadmill to get my heart rate up to 146.  They start out slowly and my rate went up to 85 then 100.  The last step was up to medium jogging speed which just about took me to the limit of my endurance but I managed to hold out to hit the 146 BPM requirement.  They shot me up again.

They put me back into the camera for 12 minutes and I was done.  The whole thing took about two hours and was relatively painless other than the running and the pain in my wallet.  It will be a few weeks before we get the results.

With two doses of radioactive material, I wonder if I’ll develop super powers.

 

Learning to run again

rnnrI’m supposed to get more exercise but finding ways is difficult when you don’t have a lot of extra time.  I’ve been walking around the block but not really feeling that it is enough exertion.  I entertained the idea of running but every time I tried I felt like I was stumbling and going to fall.  Little by little I would run for a 50-100 feet and walk again.  Now it is starting to feel more natural.

Today is November 22nd and instead of cold it was 77 degrees when I got home after work.  It was already getting dark so I stripped naked and put on my tiny black running shorts and some shoes.  I hit the street and managed to run quite a bit.  My walking app indicated that I had traveled a mile in 13 minutes rather than the usual 18 it takes if I walk the whole way.

I didn’t feel like I was going to fall.  It still feels weird but not entirely unnatural anymore.  The last time I remember actually “running” was when I was in elementary school.  That was many lifetimes ago.

I don’t know much about running so I wonder if it is bad for my knees.  That would suck to have fucked up knees in a few years.  I guess I’ll have to do some googling.  I do feel like the running is effective exercise so I think I will try to do more of it.

 

Heart health update

hrthlthIt has been a couple of months since my near heart attack and I’ve learned a lot about Heart Disease and eating a heart-healthy diet.  I still have a long way to go but I seem to have significantly improved my numbers.

My local grocery store does a screening on the 2nd saturday of each month.  I decided to give it a shot.  They do all the tests right there using portable meters rather than sending a vial of blood off the the lab.  I’m taking these results with a grain of potassium because a meter will never be as good as a real lab test but at lest it gives me an idea for now.

My LDL (Bad) cholesterol is somewhere below 40.  I don’t know the actual number because the meter doesn’t go below 40.  Either way that’s a good thing if it is true.  You want it to be less than 70.  I’m wondering if it might be dangerous to have a LDL that is too low.  Question for the doctor.  I owe my low LDL to the fact that I’ve had little to no meat at all over the last two months.  I really don’t miss it all that much.  Meat seems to have been more of a habit than a requirement.  There are plenty of alternatives that are devoid of cholestrol and saturated fats.

My HDL (Good) cholesterol is still low at 27 where it should be above 40 and preferably higher.   I’m surprised at this number because HDL is boosted by eating omega-3 foods like fish, flax seed and other things that I am totally eating.  It is also raised by getting exercise.  I’ve been walking 2-3 miles or biking 4-5 miles almost every night.  I really expected to see the HDL number higer.

My total Cholesterol is 100 and is good as 150 or less is recommended.

Other than statins for cholesterol, I’m also taking a couple of blood pressure pills that seem to be helping a bit.  My BP ranges between 120 and 150 systolic.  Kind of high still but time on the drugs and exercise should help.  As one gets older, blood pressure naturally goes up.  I hope I can keep it under control.

High blood pressure is also caused by stress.  I caused myself a lot of stress over the last 20 years so I’m sure that was a major contributing factor to my issue.  I feel that I have gotten it under control in the last few years but the damage is done.  I still have more work to do but I am feeling far better about controlling stress.

HBP is also caused by salt.  The American diet is LOADED with salt.  That’s really a shame because it’s everywhere and we love it.  Unfortunately it is also death.  Cutting salt has been difficult.  It’s not too hard when you cook at home but you can’t avoid it when you eat out.  Eventually you get used to not eating all the salt and food tastes just fine without it or at least much less of it.

My doctor said to see him in 6 months but I think that is too long.  I’m sure most people who have arteriosclerosis blow it off so the doctors don’t care if the patients don’t.   I figure I might as well fight it so I plan on calling to get a real blood lab done and discuss it with him as well as all the other questions I have.

51oj3kxawvl-_sl160_I’ve read a few books that have been extremely helpful.  If you have or have a family history of blocked arteries then I highly recommend reading The Simple Heart Cure: The 90-Day Program to Stop and Reverse Heart Disease.  It was written by a cardiologist who was also blindsided by heart disease so I’m sure he knows what he is talking about.  He does a great job of explaining the situation as well as offering a plan to prevent or reverse heart disease to get you back on track.  I’ve read it twice.  Get it if you value your life.

Overall I feel like I did before it happened.  I’m not sure why I am fighting it considering I don’t really have much to live for but I guess it’s human nature to want to live.  I also have to see what happens when Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton becomes president.  You know it is going to be weird and interesting.  Besides, maybe I will eventually achieve my meager yet almost impossible goals in life.  I’ll never know if I don’t live long enough.  Life is short anyway.  There will be plenty of time to be dead later.

 

 

Mow Naked!!!

MownakedThere’s the right way and the wrong way to do things.  When it’s 100 degrees outside, you should mow naked.

Today I came home from work a little early.  The pool bottom was covered in settled algae so I stripped out of my monkey suit and vacumed the pool out.

After that I noticed how high the grass was.  The lawnmower was right there on the patio so I jumped right on and took care of it.

I can’t tell you how much better being outside is when you aren’t insulated with textiles.  When the air can caress your bare skin and evaporate all the sweat as it was intended, you are far more comfortable.

I wonder when the rest of the world is going to realize that naked is better.  Until then, too bad for them.