This past saturday my sister n'laws father was taken to the hospital with a tightness in his chest and pain down his arm. He was having a heart attack. The next day, sunday, he celebrated his 63rd birthday in the hospital - his present...a second chance at life. He was given the news that day that not only did he suffer a heart attack the day before, but he also had to have surgery for six...yes, as in the number after 5, 6 bypass surgery. The next day he underwent the five plus hours of surgery and is now recuperating in the hospital. Thanks to a lot of prayers and some help from "above" he has been given a second chance. My dad had quadruple by-pass surgery about 10 years ago, while he was still in his fifties. This scares me! This is a wake up call! The surgeon that performed the surgery on monday told the family that heart bypass surgery is now the number one surgical procedure....it is an every day event...it happens to most people these days. It just does not happen to the overweight or the obese. Nor does it happen to the people who only eat fried chicken and ice-cream on a daily basis. It happens to many pretty much healthy people who may not excercise enough or who may be under a ton of stress (aren't we all?).
So I have been thinking, how does someone who loves to cook, loves to entertain and let's all be honest here...loves to eat as well...how does this person find a balance between cooking, eating and being healthy? Not to mention keeping her husband and family healthy as well? We try to eat pretty well. I do not cook with butter. I rarely fry anything unless it is for a party or special occassion. I try to keep my big family cooking for a week-end and try to eat healthy during the week. Many families struggle with this on a daily basis. We are faced with many things: (1.) cost of food because eating healthy is more expensive, (2.) time restraints - working moms and dads, kids in sports and other activities, etc., (3.) cooking as a hobby - if we like to cook and try new recipes how can we keep them all healthy?, (4.) just plain tired - who feels like chopping and dicing all the ingredients for a salad at 8:30 at night after we put the kids to bed? I cannot even get into finding the time to excercise. Here are most parents options: (1.) 5:30 a.m. hmm...more sleep or should I get up to excercise...., (2.) during kids nap time....should I fold laundry, scrub floors, clean bathrooms, run on the treadmill....oh screw it I am sitting down for an hour, (3.) 9:00 p.m. - after the kids have been put to bed at 8:00, we have dinner after that and try to catch up with some husband wife time and relax who in the heck has the energy to pick her/himself back up, put on work out clothes and workout for an hour? Not me.
You may be asking yourself if this blog post is going somewhere or if I am going to just keep rambling....this is in fact going somewhere. A few months ago I found a great website http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ . It is awesome! You fill out an on-line profile about yourself; weight, height, age, sex (male or female..not how much sex you are having...), type of life style (sedentary, lightly active, active, etc..), how much you want to weigh. They then calculate how many calories you should be eating a day to reach your goal weight. You then log your food intake and excercise routine for each day. They calculate everything for you; calories, fat, carbs, protein. You will be amazed how all the little things (mini snickers bar, baked bag of chips, 1/2 chocolate chip cookie, etc...) add up at the end of the day. It gives you a road map to what your body needs and how much you are going over by the end of each day.
So...I had a wake up call. A heart health wake up call. I am going to be logging my daily info. on http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ , have already started to work out ( I chose the 5:30 a.m. route) and I am going to try my hardest to really focus on cooking healthy most of the days of the week and making a "splurge" of a meal for my family one time on the week-end. I will be posting all my recipes and plan to have a variety of different healthy meals for you to try. Does this mean my blog will turn into a healthy eating blog...absolutely not, but I want to make a difference in my life and in my loved ones lives and maybe changing my cooking thinking will help. Maybe this blog post will inspire you to try to live a healthier life as well.