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A FIB, Atrial Fibrillation – Getting the Rhythm Back June 11, 2017

I have been writing lately about my diagnosis of heart failure / Atrial Fibrillation {A Fib} and the reasons I was unable to breathe comfortably at the beginning of March ( actually I was struggling and living a risky life for a few weeks before). Now that the diagnosis is in, I have the opportunity to overcome the problems that led to it and prepare for and live a healthy life.

The first situation was a 10 day stay in the hospital where the primary concern was helping me breathe easily again. This was achieved through an intensive medical regimen-centered on diuretics to flush my body of excess fluids. I lost nearly 50 pounds of fluid during the hospital stay. I continued to flush and lost more than 100 pounds.

What else was done or is done to treat and /or deal with heart failure and AFib ? What was prescribed for me?

  1. Medical- While in the hospital the doctors tried a handful of medicines to see what would work and eventually I ended up with prescriptions for 2 blood pressure medications(anti-hypertensives) One and A.C.E. inhibitor and a Calcium Channel blocker. I have also been taking a baby aspirin as a blood thinner(platelet thinner) As well as continued use of a low dose diuretic to reduce fluid build up.  I have also been taking magnesium and potassium since these valuable electrolytes are often flushed with diuretic use.
  2. Exercise- Though it was not specifically “prescribed” I was determined to get back to working out and the doctors seemed to let me go. I was essentially starting over so I was not able to overdo things at the beginning, and now almost 3 months later, I still can not really overdo it when I walk or ride or row BUT I have been tempted to push it a little with the resistance exercises ( lifting weights/machines)  I have experienced an increase in strength and fitness as I do the work and have even felt the cardio-vascular fitness improve. I have short and long term goals that include completing another marathon….but today I hope to be able to walk 2 1/2 miles in the next few weeks.
  3. Lose Weight- The goal here is to reach a weight that puts my BMI in the right zone, allows me to walk and run with little or no pain in my knees and I can wear clothing sizes I have not looked at in years.  Though I have listed this as a separate prescription it goes hand in hand with #2 and #4- [exercise and diet] I also got  nice head start with the 100 pound fluid loss , reduce stress on knees and body and allow me to keep moving. I recently started using a Heart rate monitor(I will write about using it later).
  4. Diet- The dietary recommendations were simple….NO SALT….NO SALT…NO SALT with a secondary focus on limiting fluids to 64 oz a day and a final focus on eating a low fat, low sugar diet with a focus on veggies and fruits and whole grains. I have just started on a specific popular program for weight loss and heart health and will write about it later.                                 AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST
  5. CARDIOVERSION TREATMENT -Cardioversion is a medical procedure done to restore a normal heart rhythm for people who have certain types of abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias). Cardioversion is most often done by sending electric shocks to your heart through electrodes placed on your chest. This may also be accomplished with medicines. This treatment will take place this week and i an eager for the results. I am curious how my fitness activities will feel when my heart is beating in a normal fashion.  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/PreventionTreatmentofArrhythmia/Cardioversion_UCM_447318_Article.jsp#.WT1lTozyuM8

 

@martyroddy

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MAGNESIUM Poor ? , Eat Up for Your Heart and Body June 5, 2017

I recently wrote about potassium and what to eat to increase and/or maintain necessary levels in the body . Magnesium is a mineral that is also extremely important for physical health and vitality and especially for heart health.

Magnesium is in demand for enzyme function throughout the  body- at least 300 enzymes utilize Mg to function properly. There are hundreds ( thousands) of proteins that need Mg for proper binding function.

The heart uses more magnesium than all other organs and the maintenance of proper serum Mg levels limits promotes vigorous heart health and reduces high blood pressure, prevents arrhythmia ,cardiovascular disease and even sudden cardiac death.

Many people are deficient in magnesium ( 50-80%) and are at risk for diseases and symptoms related to magnesium deficiency.  
FOODS FOR MAGNESIUM:

  • Dark leafy greens – spinach,chard, kale, mustard…
  • Nuts and seeds- almonds, walnuts, macadamias,pumpkin, sunflower, sesame
  • Bananas
  • Coffee- black 
  • Cacao and Dark chocolate
  • Beans/ Legumes- black beans, kidneys, pintos….
  • Whole grains
  • Figs
  • Potatoes 
  • Brassicas – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale
  • Mackerel 

Here is some video information on Magnesium and the heart:


@martyroddy

 

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

 

 

 

Looking into Starting a Fitness Club for Heart Patients April 6, 2017

I have been walking and exercising and getting stronger at a slow and steady pace since my diagnosis with heart failure and Ateial fibrillation . With the medicines I have also lost significant weight, which I hope to keep,off with healthy lifestyle ( exercise and diet). 

The best thing about the current weight loss is of course easier breathing but a secondary benefit is the reduced stress on my legs when I go for a walk and eventually runs .  My knees have some damage from other sports and the loss of weight gives me a chance, an opportunity to workout and get fit and heal the heart, knees and body.

I have been part of running and training groups in the past and the group “pressure” and camaraderie made for a great dynamic. Therefore I thought a group of like minded ( and body) cardiac-heart Patients could support, push and help each other reach physical goals.  The goals include weight loss, restoring heart function , life extension and possibly overcoming the dis-ease with exercise and diet.

There might be some medical guidance needed but exch member will also be responsible for their own medical needs and controls.

I have sent an invite out with Craigslist and will see where and how,this goes.
@martyroddy 

 

Easy ways to Eat to Deal with Inflammation(and prevent it) March 24, 2016

In  an earlier post I gave a list of foods and herbs that have a it-inflammatory benefits when eaten.  The list is broad But far from complete.  Many of these foods have “relatives” that have similar benefits and often combine with these stars.

The list is:   Turmeric,Ginger, Garlic, Onions, Citrus Fruits, Berries, Tart Cherries, Omega 3 fatty acids– oils or in foods       

It is quite easy to figure out how to use citrus fruits and berries. Just grab and eat, but they can also be incoorated into other dishes and recipes.  

Add them to smoothies, make healthy puddings with chia seeds, juice and fruit, top green salads or get CRAZY and mix with spicy peppers to spread on other foods or even crackers. AND of course they can be used in recipes with the others on this all star list.

Tart cherries are super stars but may require effort to purchase. They can be found dried, in juice form or in cans (packed in water).   You may be able to find fresh and grocers may be able to find them for you. The juice makes a great base for a drink when combined with cold seltzer, turmeric and ginger. The cherries can also be combined in meals with other fruits and veggies especially salads. Salads that  have a dressing with an omega 3 oil will be exploding with benefits..

Garlic can be eaten, cook and s with and taken in supplement form. This combination allows one to consume the equivalent a bulb of garlic every day. Now having meals loaded with garlic and onions is quite delicious but doing so every day limits the breadth of dietary choices, and may limit the social life if everyone in your circle is not garlic loving.

Turmeric and ginger are my personal favorites ( at least today). It is a question much like asking a parent, “who is your favorite child?” , but I have had great success with turmeric and ginger for some time now. They are great seasonings and flavoring ingredients so they can be delivered to an inflamed body as part of a delicious curry or sauce, added to marinades, soups and stews. They can be used in dried form but they are also available in many areas as the fresh ” root”. The fresh versions can be chopped, or mashed or cut in to pieces for use.  Turmeric and ginger are also available in capsule form as a supplement. 

Currently my favorite way to consume turmeric, ginger and cinnamon is when powder is added to shaker bottle with ice, tart cherry juice and some water ( sometimes seltzer) and I drink 2-4 cups of this drink daily. Often add raw apple cider vinegar for the added benefit.
@martyroddy

 

Your favorite Running / Fitness Books January 31, 2016

I read a lot for fun and work and knowledge and health. As an athlete and fitness enthusiast I have read a lot of related books.

In this post I am asking you for input on your favorite running and fitness books. I have listed my favorite books about running- it was a tough choice but 1 of the books was a clear leader( because it was my first fave).

Reply here or on twitter at https://twitter.com/martyroddy

 

My favorite running books:

  1. Galloways Book on Running  by Jeff Galloway  http://www.amazon.com/Galloways-Book-Running-Jeff-Galloway/dp/0936070277     And his website  www.jeffgalloway.com
  2. Chi Running  by Danny Dreyer     http://www.amazon.com/ChiRunning-Revolutionary-Approach-Effortless-Injury-Free/dp/1416549447     Also at his website http://www.chirunning.com
  3. The Lore of Running  by Tim Noakes, M.D.        http://www.amazon.com/Lore-Running-Edition-Timothy-Noakes/dp/0873229592

I originally read these books in their 1st Editions and the later editions added or changed some things.   Galloway’s book took me from my first road race (a 10 miler) ever to a marathon As a one time footballer and still a 6’8 280-300 runner it was very helpful.

Chi Running has in the subtitle as Injury-free running and since I started running after years of football and basketball with the attending knee and ankle injuries- running without additional injury is a goal -a passion.

I originally read THE LORE OF RUNNING in its 2nd edition but really like the changes that arrived in 3 and 4.

Now in my 50’s my workouts on the roads and trail combine the ideas of bot Galloway and Dryer and the info in Lore has combined with other reading for background on how I live sweating and in rest of life.

WHAT ARE YOUR BOOKS?

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/martyroddy

 

 

Foods for Inflammation- Part 2- How to consume the foods. June 22, 2015

Filed under: anti-inflammatory,Fats,Food,Food-Fuel,Recipes — bigfootmarty @ 6:08 pm
Tags: , , ,

The following list has been separated and categorized in rough groups. I have also added avocados since i forgot in the original post. I have also categorized it as veggie AND fruit since it is easily used in savory and sweet dishes to help with pain and discomfort.

The first suggestion I have is to find a few good cookbooks and food/recipe websites. Maybe I will do a cookbook list in a future post. Avoid older books with lots of creamy sauces, salt and fatty food recipes. Newer recipes and those written by and/or  promoted by athletes, health “gurus” and MD’s with cardio specialty.

VEGETABLES:

GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES,

BOK CHOY (THE BRASSICAS) / Broccoli

CELERY ,

BEETS,

Avocado

FRUITS:
BLUEBERRIES ,

PINEAPPLE ,

Avocado

FISH:

SALMON  ,

NUTS:

WALNUTS,

OILS AND SEEDS AND HERBS:

COCONUT OIL,

CHIA SEEDS /  FLAXSEED,

TURMERIC    /      GINGER

The first question or thought do you want cooked food or raw?  Salads or main dishes ?  Drinks/dressings/spreads?

Snacks/lunches to carry?

SOME EXAMPLES-

Broccoli and garlic can be blended raw and made into a delicious and nutritious PESTO to put on whole grain noodles, or other veggies/bread.

Avocado and blueberries and a tiny bit of ground ginger can be combined with some chia seeds(that have been soaked in filtered water) and mix completely and store in fridge for a few hours to serve as DELICIOUS pudding that is loaded with a nearly completely nutritious snack or side dish.

Salmon can be served with celery and greens, cooked in coconut oil and with a light crust of ground flaxseed.  With a delicious pineapple and walnut (blended ) sauce.

Turmeric and ginger are delicious flavorings that will( peer reviewed studies) reduce inflammation in the joints and systemic concerns as well. They can be purchased as the fresh “root” and used in chunks or small dice or chopped or shredded. It may also be purchased in dry/ powder form. Turmeric is also widely available in Curry formulations for tremendous recipes( using many of the foods listed above plus other great veggies.

I am not going to spend a lot of time on salads but EAT YOUR GREENS!!

One key trait that many of these foods ( and many other lists of GREAT FOODS) is fiber. I have been doing a lot of reading and concluded that a diet hat includes 30 -40 grams of fiber from foods is essential for health, weight control and probably inflammation.  cup of broccoli, bok choy and a big serving of dark greens will add up to 10-15 grams….celery and beets will add 3-8 more grams, walnuts a gram or 2 and a serving each or flaxseed/chia will bring the total to 24-26 grams. grab and apple and an orange or a banana and the daily 30 grams is reached easily.

https://twitter.com/martyroddy