My stroke happened November 21, 2016.
At that time I weighed close to 205 pounds and my BMI was way off. I was carrying the pounds around my middle.
I did some healthy cooking at home with my partner. But I also ate a lot of fatty snacks, fast food, and diet coke.
After my stroke I transitioned through intensive care, acute care, assisted care, then home.
My food menus at intensive care and acute care were healthy. But not so at assisted care. Mostly meat, fat, salt and starch. Sugary desserts. Green vegetables were scarce. Meal service was slow, so I ate whatever they could serve quickly.
My partner and my sister did their best to help me. They brought homemade healthy meals as much as they could and we visited vegetarian restaurants. This was a new path for me. Food that fit my healthy recovery goals. And tasted good!
When I got home, I could choose my foods freely. And I was ready to explore much more than before my stroke.
My partner and I visited my doctors for information. We have always agreed that my health decisions should be based on sound medical advice. My bloodwork and I were ready to listen!
My GP and my cardiologist told me two important things:
1) Healthy diet plus proper medication is my most powerful tool to lower my risk of stroke.
2) My nutrition should come from healthy FOOD. Supplements can't substitute for a healthy diet, even with exercise!
So we got to work. My sister kept bringing vegan recipes. And we cook together on her visits. My partner created simple healthy meals for us to make. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. She taught me the FDA "My Plate" program. So I can really see what a healthy meal should look like! We chose a Mediterranean-Style food pyramid to help guide our food choices. We cook "from scratch." Not mixes.
There was a lot of inertia. I didn't want to change my habits right away. It has taken so much time, energy, and diligence from both people. And so much creativity, to keep it simple, tasty, and fun.
I'm so grateful for their loving help. And now I understand. Every meal matters!
My change in food habits has worked wonders and I am celebrating!
I'm learning so many delicious ways to use vegetables, less meat, and more variety in my eating.
My newest lipid profile (see May 20th post) was accomplished with diet and exercise and medication. I'm 40 pounds lighter, fitter, and trimmer and my BMI is right on!
Healthy eating works. Thanks to everyone for cheering me on.
I invite you to celebrate with me!