Monday, August 5, 2013

Dr. Neal Pinckney - Healing Heart Foundation

Since he's home, my husband's appetite has been poor. Granted, before all this he would rarely eat breakfast - maybe once a month, lunch at work consisted of a white flour potato roll and a slice of yellow American cheese (usually) or a slice of seitan (once in a blue moon) or leftovers on weekends. Dinner was always our big meal for the day and aside from his weekly cheese & pepperoni pizza, would be WFPB, no SOS (Whole Foods Plant Based, no sugar, oil or salt). I think I already mentioned his evening potato chip habit.

None of the old tried and true meals appealed to him this past week, and he's just been picking at everything. He would eat most of his breakfast, but some days skipped lunch and just had some applesauce. At dinner, if he ate about a cup of the meal offered that was it. As a result, the weight is dropping off of him. He's also weak and fatigued probably more than other post-op CABG patients because this is on top of his expected post-op fatigue and anemia. Add to this the effect of being on both a beta blocker and ACE inhibitor so his blood pressure is hovering around 86/50. Unfortunately, I suspect his cardiologist will be happy with the weight loss, even if it does mean he's too weak to even walk around the apartment without feeling like he's about to pass out. My husband's BMI was officially in the overweight category, but he's been at the exact same height and weight since he graduated high school back in the 1960's. The only time he lost was when he had the "Martian Death Flu" back in the early 1970's, before we started dating, when he and his mom were both so sick neither had the energy to get dressed to buy food so they went hungry and slept all day until it was over. As soon as they were both well, the weight came back on within days.

So I went looking through my cardfile for different recipes to make. I looked through Susan V's recipes, Jan Tz's, all the Esselstyn's and McDougall's, the nutritarian ones, Marla's and Sandy's and Jeff's, the EDTV ones, HH and the people she first ripped off, the PPK.

Then I came across a row of recipes that had been neglected for a while, those from Dr. Neal Pinckney's Healing Heart Foundation web site and his book, The Healthy Heart Handbook (available in its entirety at the web site). As I looked over the recipes I realized I hadn't made some of these in ages, that maybe that's what hubby needs to whet his appetite. I went back to the web site's recipe page to see what else is there, and was pleasantly surprised at how many I had passed up in the past that now look appealing! I spent over an hour just copy/pasting recipes, and will most likely spend even more time there later gathering more.

So now I have a list of meals I'm going to be trying as the weeks go on. For this week, hubby already warned me not to make anything fancy, in fact, not to plan on making anything at all, that he has no idea what he'll feel like until the time comes to eat. Really makes it hard to shop and prepare, you know! I do have a container of Jeff's Longevity Soup in the fridge we've been working on, and my freezer is full of veggies and the pantry filled with a variety of grains and pastas, as well as several forms of tomatoes, so most meals I can make up with no notice. For instance, today I hope to make Ann Esselstyn's Potato, Pea and Couscous Hash for dinner, but I won't know until it's time to start cooking if that's what I wind up making. But by next week his appetite should be back and I plan on making a menu to stick to, and I know a number of Dr. Pinckney's recipes will be included on it, like Lima Linguini Diablo and maybe even Okonomiyaki if I feel adventurous. Well, if the doctor eases up some of the sodium restrictions, that is. I'm sure that sauce is pretty high in it, even if I do use only the lower-sodium version. If I do wind up making some new dishes, I'll be sure to pop fresh batteries in the camera and take photos and notes on them.

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