Tuesday, August 23, 2011
A few years ago I had small plaques in both carotid arteries. Two or three years later I had no plaques in either artery. At that time I was riding my Aerdyne at more than 400 calories per hour for an hour at least five times per week, and not skipping two days in a row. That was the prescription in one of the newer books on heart disease reversal from a Norwegian study. I had three or four recent books by cardiologists, and took what I could from them. I was also following the Pritikin program as fairly closely.
Then I had the heart bypass operations (which I still think was a mistake) and got off of the glucosamine supplements, and my left knee started bothering me this time. I eventually took up walking (three doctors told me not to run) and time passed. I had one perfect nuclear stress test, a second one a couple of years later that showed an area of the heart that was not fully oxygenated, which caused a catherization. That showed that both bypasses were perfectly clear.
Immediately after that catherization, my blood pressure went up into the stroke zone Ė 198/102 to 195/98. It turned out that the artery for my kidney was 90 per cent blocked, and my cardiologist put a 7 mm stent in and blew it up to 7.5 mm (0.3 inches). That brought the blood pressure back down to normal or less.
Time passed, and I started having a beer once in a while, eating low fat frozen yogurt, buying fat free yogurt for snacks at home, and eating out a couple of times a month. Then seven or eight times a month.
Then I had another nuclear stress test last year, and the blood starved area was larger than it was in the last test.
Then (recently) my internist said it had been a long time, get another angiogram. The end result of that was that my left carotid artery turned out to be totally blocked, and the small plaque is back in the right carotid artery. Also, my blood pressure seems to be creeping up again.
My conclusion is that the beer and exceptions need to stop. Not only that, but the latest book (with 45 pages of references) says that this program cuts many cancer risks, as well as artery risk. My take on the history is that I have been too slack for too long, and Iím now walking with the dogs and planning to sneak up to a jog. I do eat one ounce of raw nuts a day, and a tablespoon of ground flaxseed with my oatmeal, but other than that I focus on fruit, vegetables, and beans with not much lean meat or grain. The preference is for no meat and take a B12 supplement. Iím just trying to get some more years out of the body I have left. This wonít help with breast cancer or prostate cancer because theyíre most affected by the diet in puberty, but just because you smoked for 30 years doesnít mean that you donít get a benefit if you quit now.
Monday, August 22, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, the local PBS station was having fund raising pitches, so the BW wanted to watch Netflix instead of her favorite mystery or Masterpiece Mystery. I saw another program that came on after the regular show, at 11 PM. It lasted for two hours, so I set the recorder to get it and left the converter turned on. Later I got around to editing out the pleas for money, and had a one hour show left. This past Monday I finally got around to watching the show while the BW did something else, and was interested, so Monday night I searched Amazon.com and found Eat to Live, by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. This revised edition was copyrighted in January, 2011, but the original, hard-bound edition was copyrighted in 2003.
There was a book by Nathan Pritikin copyrighted in 1974 that provided a program that was very similar, but allowed four ounces of lean meat a day, another a few years later that suggested exactly the same things as Pritikin, another copyrighted in 1990 by Dean Ornish which added meditation or relaxation to vegan and exercise, and one by Roy L Walford, copyrighted in 1994, which was based on his experiences in the Biosphere II program. He allowed four ounces of flesh a week, and restricted calories to no more than about 1800 pre day for a man. His diet was intended to extend the maximum life span of humans, not just avoid degenerative diseases.
Dr. Fuhrman prefers a vegan diet, but will concede about 10 per cent of your calories to less nutritious foods. He defines nutrition and then focuses on good health by choosing the food by N/C, or nutrition divided by calories. Then he ranks the foods, and suggests a health promoting eating style that does not require much, or any, calorie counting. None of the four books mentioned requires calorie counting Ė just food choices.
The Fuhrman book came Saturday afternoon, and I read the first 200 pages Saturday, and finished the book after I cut the grass yesterday. The last time I ate like that, my total cholesterol got down to 102, and my internist wanted it higher, so I started eating a lot of nuts and avocados. I suspect that it will go down again, but thatís what Iím going to do this time.
I made an appointment to see him last Monday, and did see him today. His bottom line was that the only thing I could do more was to take aspirin, which I had stopped because of the bleeding on my arms, so I told him that I would start taking it again after Iím done with the Mohs surgery.
Meanwhile, Iím tracking down the Fuhrman path, and weíll see what happens. Something is going to kill me eventually, but I want to put it off as long as possible.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I had been having a good week or so - would have been out of leeway on the low side if I were going to the TOPS meetings - but today has been an out of control eating day. It started out fine, with just oatmeal and a plumb for breakfast, but then I ate some more even though I wasn't hungry. By the time I was done I was up to 486 calories, and the day went down hill after that. I'll see what the scale says tomorrow.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Today the BW wondered if we had any ice cream left in the freezer, and we didn't. To satisfy her I took a sorbet recipe and changed it for quick response. The original recipe is for three cups of mixed berries, two cups of water, and 1 1/2 cups of sugar, cooking the syrup first, then mixing in the berries with an immersion blender, cooling the recipe for two or three hours in the refrigerator, then freezing it. I used a pound of frozen strawberries, two cups of skim milk, and 1 1/2 cups of Splenda, which did dissolve in the cold milk. I chopped the berries up a little, before running the blender and mixing them with the milk. Then I pulled the bowl out of the freezer, started the ice cream maker, and poured the mixture in. In 12 minutes we had soft sorbet, and I dipped out two bows (about a cup for each of us) and scooped the rest (about a quart) into a plastic container that I put in the freezer for later.
The result was magnificent. If I had used water it would have been about 15 calories per cup, but the milk added another 30 calories per cup. Thus the result is about 22 calories per "serving" or 45 calories per cup. And it tastes GREAT! I don't know what to call it, but it's good stuff.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I saw something yesterday that I haven't seen in a long time. Because the BW was a little dopey from the pain medicine, I drove her to an appointment, took along a book, and waited for her in the waiting room. While I was waiting an old man (older than me) sat down across from me, and I noticed that he had a number tattooed on his right forearm. I suspect that the death camp survivors are like the WWII vets - dieing off pretty fast.
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