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Heart Failure, Heart Health and Nutrients- POTASSIUM May 31, 2017

Now that I am continuing my challenge with heat failure, and since I am continuing to use diuretics the potential for flushing necessary nutrients from my system grows every day. 2 of the more important minerals are POTASSIUM and MAGNESIUM.  This post will focus on getting enough potassium back in our bodies.

 

Low potassium levels can cause muscle weakness and heart rhythm disturbances. Reduced potassium can lead to -HYPOKALEMIA-  which can cause muscle cramps, muscle aches and muscle weakness(as noted above). The heart is a muscle so cramps and weakness can be problematic. Another symptom is heart palpitations.

We can end up with reduced/low potassium as the result of the medicines we take to deal with our cardiac issues.

With all this concern- where can we get potassium in our diet?

POTASSIUM N FOODS:

  • potatoes and sweet potatoes    600-900 mgs (depending on serving size)
  • beans                                             400-600
  • dried apricots                              500-1500
  • avocado                                        700-900
  • banana                                          400
  • dark leafy greens                         150-200
  • Squash-winter                              350-500
  • mushrooms                                    100-300

 

With a thoughtful but simple combination of the foods we can rest assured that we have enough potassium in our system to prevent any serious challenge with our hearts.

What will you add to your daily diet?

@martyroddy

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HEART FAILURE – OK Now Whats for Dinner? May 30, 2017

The diagnosis of heart failure is/was shocking but additional information and research revealed that :

  • it is not a death sentence
  • it can be lived with and
  • it can be overcome with diet and exercise

Now when I arrived at the hospital I could not walk 20 meters without being out of breath, the diagnosis was actually a relief before it was a shock.  I now knew why I felt so bad. AND the medical team made it clear that I  could overcome and even thrive.

A lifestyle change that includes adjustments in diet and an increase in exercise. The diet will be a lifestyle change “forever” not just temporarily reducing calories and  weight for now. It has been fun, learning some new foods and recipes.

There are 2 authors/physicians and cardiac experts that i have read about before and have read A LOT about recently.  Drs. Dean Ornish and John McDougall have been proponents of very low fat, plant-based/plant focused diets.

Dr.Ornish published a great book, EAT MORE, WEIGH LESS  and it is loaded with great recipes as well as tremendous common sense information with evidence that such a diet improves and even heals heart damage.

Dr.McDougall has 2 “cornerstone books” , MCDOUGALL PROGRAM FOR MAXIMUM WEIGHT LOSS and THE STARCH SOLUTION. Both focus on plant-based, low/no fat diet choices much like Dr.Ornish.

Where to find these guys?  search the web or go to:

  1. http://www.ornish.com
  2. http://www.drmcdougall.com

BUT WHAT CAN WE EAT?

  • Beans- dried or canned (choose salt-free) – loaded with fiber and protein
  • Garlic – eat, add to foods and take as supplement
  • Spinach and Dark,leafy greens
  • nuts and seeds – good fats and loaded with minerals and protein (almonds,walnuts, brazils, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • salmon- great omega fats as well as protein
  • soy protein- organic tofu, tempeh, miso , edamame beans
  • whole grains
  • fresh fruits and vegetables

A future post may include information on specific nutrients required for heart failure patients( magnesium, potassium, good fats).

 

 

@martyroddy

 

 

 

What  a Heart Failure ? May 26, 2017

Now that I am dealing with, treating this diagnosis and was surprised by it when I went to the hospital in March. Initially I was relieved to hear a diagnosis and a couple of doctors and nurses tell me that it can be overcome.   

They gave me that hope without any deep information nor explanations. Eventually a few folks from Social work, social service offices brought information about Heart Failure. It include a cursory description of what it was and a little bit how it gets started. The information also had suggestions for living with it and treating it.

  • Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood  to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen.      
  • the heart can’t keep up with its workload.      
  • The heart is a muscle that pumps blood to the other organs of the body, but “Heart Failure” doesn’t mean the heart has stopped working. It means it can’t pump properly

Certain behaviors can lead to heart failure:

  • Eating foods that are high in salt, fat, and cholesterol 
  •  getting enough physical activity. 
  • Being overweight

I found a few videos with some basic info.

– this first one was interesting as I started my journey with symptoms of bronchitis and ended up in the Emergency room. Unable to breathe with A FIB AND heart failure.

-The following has a few useful tips for dealing with and living with heart failure.

@martyroddy

 

Some Secondary Goals as I Return to Fitness and Health. May 21, 2017

I realized the other day that I need to expand my set of goals and objectives for my current fitness journey. The obvious and most pressing is strengthening the heart and lungs, the entire cardio-pulmonary system, as a result of my heart failure diagnosis. As that is going forward I need to expand the focus to  total body program .

I need to :

  1. increase knee flexibility and suppleness
  2. add some speed and even “jump”
  3. total body flexibility ( exercises and maybe Yoga)

The following videos address some of my personal concerns with my knees as I start over and get BACK in shape. I find that my knees have been stiff and occasionally sore. As I continue to exercise I will do these moves to help the knees…which will help me continue. I have also joined a gym @Snapfitness and I have used the bike and rower ( @Concept2 ) for knee relieving cardio. Some workouts I combine cardio tools for increased burn and reduced stress on knees.

In the long “run” my body will improve and knees will feel great as I maintain a steady weight loss and fitness program . Lower body weight will stress the knees much less , and since i have already dropped 100+ pounds the knees feel pretty good.

VIDEO: A few exercises to help keep the knees healthy and flexible

VIDEO: Specific exercise for the knees

 

Now I will address the 2nd and 3rd item in more depth later but here are  few related links.

SPEED….

http://pin.it/dnVAW6Y

and

http://pin.it/HdRdjdJ

FLEXIBILITY…

http://pin.it/t2qikKx

and

http://pin.it/4URU54z

More to come- add any questions or suggestions- always love to learn and grow.

 

@martyroddy

 

Heart Failure, Exercise and Improvement May 16, 2017

Now that I have heart failure and am dealing with it , I will write about it as I work to,overcome and live a long happy, healthy life.

I have been living with the diagnosis for 2 months now and my exercise has helped my head and my heart and even my fat butt…. keep the blood pumping and clean as I exercise and ear right….diagnosis of no more failure….just a healthy 54 year old heart.
The following video discusses some basics for the use of exercise to improve life after the diagnosis.

Fun info on overcoming the challenge and training for Ironman…or life…..QUOTE: You can get off the couch and live the life you want…even with heart disease.

@martyroddy

 

Getting close to ACTUAL MILEAGE with My Workouts/Walks May 1, 2017

This is a little bit of fun with the words as I continue my journey to recovery from heart failure and creation of a fit and healthy body. Walks are increasing to 5 per week and time/ distance is also growing.

The play with the title is the fact that I am about to walk a mile. I have been mixing up walks of .25, .55 and up to .79 miles so far. One day this week I should cross the mile marker in a workout.  This will also be the walk of longest duration. Future plans include daily walks alternating 30-40 minutes with workouts of 50-70 minutes. As I get more fit, lose the weight and strengthen my knees I hope to add miles and once a week go,for a personal best distance and eventually…..RUNNING. 

Break out new runners and get going…Of course I am walking in these and will run in them as well.

I have also felt and increase in strength for my legs as I have been doing a few sets of squats . I will add step ups, and lunges. 

I recorded a video during a recent workout….​

Now to,get back to work and have a good eating day.
@martyroddy