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Meat and Dairy Substitutes for Active Plant Based Eaters. September 28, 2017

I have been following a plant based diet. I feel great and I have lost a significant amount of weight. My energy is where it needs to be and stays there all day long. I sleep well and most important my brain is clear all day long.

I have varied the way I eat: high carb vegan, lower carb , raw or mostly raw, and other combinations of raw/ cooked, veggie,vegan and plant based food options.

The attachments summarize a few of the options for preparing, cooking and seasoning the meals.

PERSONAL FAVES- coconut oil, Nutritional yeast and bananas( multiple uses)

http://fitlife.tv/plant-based-alternatives-for-common-meat-and-dairy-needs_original/?utm_source=fitlife&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alphareset&utm_content=Replace+what%E2%80%99s+hurting+you+now

@martyroddy

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Heart Failure,Atrial Fibrillation (A Fib) and Exercise September 27, 2017

Now that I am 6 months beyond the diagnosis of Heart Failure with Atrial Fibrillation I am looking at information about both of these conditions and my personal feelings and health.

I am still in A Fib but I have also lost well over 100 pounds and continue to workout , eat well and workout some more. I am doing a variety of cardio workouts to pump the blood, exercise the heart and of course burn some calories and fat. I am also doing some resistance exercise ( weightlifting and bodyweight moves)  to rebuild the body and muscular system.

I have written about the exercise and will do more in the future but my cardio includes walking outside, rowing on the Concept 2 Erg Trainer, Riding the Cybex stationary bike and the Cybex Arc Trainer ( Elliptical ) and starting on the Nautilus Stairmaster.

Now as Dr.Gupta says in the exercise video I may be able to attempt  a marathon again in the future. I need to take it easy and build up slowly- if I continue with a smart diet( currently plant based low fat diet) and the exercise program and a plan to build up to the kind of training necessary for a 4-6 hour run.

Regardless of that outcome I plan on dropping more of the weight- keeping it off and maintaining healthy lifestyle while dealing with the long term concerns with the heart failure diagnosis and possibly changing/improving on it.

Time to publish and eat a proper meal and later to the gym.

A video with info about A Fib…Not a good diagnosis BUT not the END either.

 

Exercise and Heart Disease video- good info and a great quote, ” for most, exercise allows for people to fell better AND a longer life than most medication only plans.”

Another good quote- wrong to dive into exercise , gradually increase effort and amount of exercise.

 

@martyroddy

 

 

Breakfast Casserole- Leftovers Tomorow or for Lunch-Oatmeal(starch) and fruit June 12, 2017

I,have started with a specific diet with guidance from the,books and recipes of John ( and Mary)  McDougall. Dr.McDougall is a proponent of a starch centered plant- based diet. As a physician he has seen many patients benefit from this diet and do so for a long time.  It is a much easier lifestyle to adhere to since it is very satisfying with volume of healthful nutritious food. The starches as a foundation provide that satiety as well as fiber and nutrients. 

Potatoes and sweet potatoes plus winter squash , whole grains and legumes fill us up AND release nutrient rich energy.

What to eat in the morning? ( or save for lunch!!!)
        OATMEAL

Baked Oatmeal Casserole

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 10 min.                Serves:4-6

This is a great recipe to make the night before, then just heat in the oven for a rich and hearty breakfast. 

Ingredients: 

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup rice milk or non-dairy milk

1  cup water

2 Tbsp maple syrup or agave

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup dried cranberries, currants, or chopped dried apricots

1/2 box oil-free, whole-grain cereal, crushed

sauce-

3 bananas

1cup crushed pineapple

1tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup orange juice or apple juice

1/2 cup blueberries

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all the oatmeal ingredients in a sauce pot and simmer, on low heat, until done, about 6 minutes. Pour into a casserole dish and top with the crushed cereal. Cover and refrigerate until morning.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, until the cereal is just starting to turn brown. While the casserole is baking, make the sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve the sauce over the hot oatmeal casserole (the sauce may be heated if you prefer).
@martyroddy

 

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

 

ASPARAGUS- Joyful little tasty surprises from the ground June 6, 2017

It is the heart of Farmers Market season, and in Virginia the good as gold crop in the early season is always asparagus. The delicious sprouts clean out of the for,early cold ground to feed us with delicious, tender goodness. Thy have a short season but it is so delicious. 

Growing asparagus is also rewarding if you have the patience to wait for them to grow, season and develop over a 2 year prep period.

The following is one of many recipes I use to enjoy these tasty surprises.
INGREDIENTS
2 cups chickpeas soaked 6 hours, cooked over medium heat for 1 1-2

Fresh thyme  and freshly ground pepper

1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed

 3 tablespoons extra virgin- cocunut oil

2 cloves garlic, minced ( or more to taste)

Juice and zest 1 lemon

1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
DIRECTIONS
Soak and cook beans , can add onions garlic, pepper when cooking.

 Blanch asparagus in pot ,for 1 minute,rinse under cold water.transfer to ice.

 Drain beans , shake off excess water. Make sur  asparagus is dry

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Swirl in oil, then add garlic and beans and season.

 Cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is softened, 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer beans to a plate with a slotted spoon. Let skillet cool slightly, then whisk lemon juice into oil in skillet; season with salt and pepper. (Add more oil if dressing is too tart.) Add asparagus; toss to coat with dressing.

Combine almonds and lemon zest in a small bowl. Transfer asparagus to a platter, top with beans, and drizzle remaining dressing in skillet over top. Sprinkle with almond-zest mixture and serve.

 

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