How to Change Your Eating Habits After You or Your Loved One Has a Heart Attack

Pain in acute myocardial infarction (front)
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Last month, the unthinkable happened. My brother-in-law had a massive heart attack (in his 40’s.) Fortunately, he made it to the hospital in time and suffered no permanent heart damage. But, here’s what happened. Everyone in the family started asking, how did this happen? There is no history of heart disease in the family. So the conclusion was lifestyle and diet.

Then everyone started asking, what am I going to do? Am I going to make these same mistakes?

Now, my husband and I are the weird ones in the family. I’ve owned a nutritional consulting business and distributed health and wellness information and products for over 17 years. My husband is a chiropractor and is well versed in wellness too. So for all these years, we’ve been the brunt of jokes in the family for how we eat. But, now…..all ears are open. So I thought….my readers might like to know a few easy tips for changing eating habits for a more healthy diet.

Get rid of the Pop Tarts for Breakfast


Breakfast = Break the Fast

You’ve gone all night without eating (fasting) and your metabolism has slowed to a crawl. Your blood sugar has dropped. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You want your breakfast to jump start your metabolism (start burning calories for you again) and to get your blood sugar back up to normal. In the old days, moms cooked a balanced breakfast with protein, fruit and starches. Then our fast paced lives changed, moms went to work, and we reached for breakfast in a box (sweet cereals, donuts, pop tarts, and sausage and biscuits.) The problem is these cause a spike in blood sugar and then a quick drop in blood sugar a few hours later (leaving us craving more sweets.) What you may or may not realize is that those sugars are converted into energy and if it is not burned off, it turns to fat. This fat can then clog the arteries. And you know the rest of the story…..

So what is needed is a well balanced breakfast that will give you protein for sustained energy and level blood sugars, carbohydrates in the right proportion for quick energy and fiber to move it all through the digestive system in a timely manner.

Here’s four ideas to substitute for breakfast in a box.

1. Breakfast Variety: One Piece of Whole fruit, one piece of whole grain toast (at least 3 grams of fiber) and 6 whole almonds.  The fruit will raise blood sugars and provide some fiber, the toast will provide some quick energy and some fiber, and the almonds will give you heart healthy protein for leveled blood sugars and more fiber.)

2. Instant Oatmeal: A friend of mine (who used to be Mr. America) shared this recipe with me. Make your instant oatmeal as directed and stir in a sliced banana (or other whole fruit), a scoop of high quality soy protein powder, and sprinkle chopped almonds or walnuts on top. Oatmeal has cholesterol lowering properties and while you may get more sugar in the instant oatmeal, you can balance that out by adding the protein and extra fiber.

3. Power Breakfast Shake: Click here to find Three Easy Power Shake Recipes.

4. Cinch Meal Replacement Shake (This is my favorite and the breakfast I eat every morning.) In the morning, I don’t want to have to think too much. This meal is as easy as putting a cup of soy milk (or almond milk…or if you insist cow’s milk) in the blender and adding 2 scoops of Cinch Mix and blending. Easy as that! What I love about the shake besides it being quick to make, tasting great and giving me so much energy  is the balanced protein, carbohydrates, and fats and it includes 6 grams of fiber.

In closing, make one change at a time and begin with breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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