I am a girl who appreciates moderation.
Okay, I used to be slightly obsessed with organizing and minimalizing, but having a child will throw those tendencies right out the window, which was healthy for me.
The same goes for food- everything in moderation. There really isn’t much I won’t eat – give it all to me, within moderation.
And thankfully this new journey I am now embarking on, embraces the “everything in moderation” idea. I just never thought I’d ever have to go on an official “diet.” Yes, I’m on a low-salt and high-potassium diet, but I wouldn’t consider that a “diet.” Now things are different.
At my last heart appointment a few weeks ago, there was some concern that I had diabetes because my glucose levels were high. Not just slightly high, but for me, quite high. Normal range is 70-99 and mine was 136. Couple that with the struggle to keep potassium in my body, and it just wasn’t a good combination. I was eating as much potassium as I could in a day, which included many oranges, potatoes, yogurt, and spinach. Well, 3 out of the 4 are high in carbs and sugars, which was causing my high glucose issues, we think. Not that I was doing anything wrong, but we had to figure out something different. So, my cardiologist referred me to a dietician to address my high glucose, low-potassium issues, and the need to have a low-salt diet.
I have been on one consistent diet in my life – I once had to do an elimination diet about 5 years ago to address some digestive issues and what a pain. It reminded me why I DON’T diet.
Well, now I’m jumping on the bandwagon. Though, if I had to be honest, I see diets as limiting and restricting, but I would say this one isn’t that: it’s the Mediterranean Diet.
I remember when I was at cardiac rehab that this diet was brought up, but I didn’t care all that much about it at the time because things were going well. Well, now it is coming into play. It is heart healthy, while not eliminating any foods, but helps control the amount of each food group that one eats. It offers BALANCE. The Mediterranean Diet focuses on vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds, and fruits. But meats and sweets are still in the picture (whew), just in moderation.
After learning much about this diet, I realize that this is what my body and heart needs. It prevents heart attacks, diabetes, and stroke, which are all things we are trying to prevent through my heart failure journey. I also have to count carbs, to ensure that my glucose doesn’t sky rocket again.
Even though I liked my salads and fruits prior to this, I’m realizing how expensive healthy food is! I have to remind myself that this is preventing me from having more doctor’s appointments for on-going low-potassium and high-glucose issues, but when I first saw the grocery bill after buying all that produce, seafood, and spices, it was a bit shocking! Much like with any change in diet, you have to start somewhere and that’s where I’m at. Start small and slowly incorporate changes.
I am intrigued to see how this improves my blood draws, which I still have weekly, but I’m interested to see how it improves how my body digests other vitamins and nutrients. Heart meds can wreak havoc on the body and that is proving to be the case in my situation as well. They are powerful and potent, that’s for sure.
So all this to say, if you have any fantastic Mediterranean Diet recipes that I should try, I am all ears! Or if you are on this same diet, I’d love to hear from you! This is a new adventure for me, am I’m pretty naïve about it, but the more I learn, the more this is so much healthier for me than my contant potatoes, oranges, and spinach diet. Thankfully the dietician I met with on Monday was absolutely amazing and gave me some practical tips on how to be successful!
So here’s to heart health, fighting this heart disease and heart failure for all it’s worth, and eating those leafy greens until I’m green! (Have no fear, I will still be eating beef, cake, cheese, Vitale’s pizza, and drinking milk…but all in moderation).
So, here we go..Here’s a picture of what I made for lunch the other day and I’m not going to lie, it was actually good! Leafy greens, tuna, feta, Kalamata olives, and a greek vinaigrette dressing:
I’m sure I will share more recipes as this is part of Kristin’s new normal, and that’s what this blog is about. Sharing about the journey I am on.