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I Want to Live

October 7, 2010


OMG John Denver

Image by Rich_Lem via Flickr


All three books came yesterday and I’ve been ferociously reading. So far, I’ve learned that Dr. Ornish is the more lenient of the two, allowing non stick cooking spray, non fat dairy and other low fat items, but insists you must meditate and exercise to have success. Dr. Esselstyn on the other hand, pushes a stricter diet with absolutely no dairy or added fat of any kind. He doesn’t encourage meditation or exercise however, as he believes they do not effect results. As I can’t exercise, I’m at this point leaning towards the more strict dietary road.

I was pleased to find that many of Ornish’s recommendations for getting started, we had already done. The kitchen is well stocked and we’ve put a lot of thought into what we can fix and eat in a hurry, so we won’t eat something we shouldn’t because nothing healthy is handy. Much of what he suggests buying, we have already. I haven’t thrown out everything else though. I want to be able to cook a turkey on Thanksgiving, complete with dressings and gravy for the family. We are committed to stick to this until then, but I anticipate we’ll not want to go off our plan even for the holiday.

Reading the success stories in all the books is inspiring. It’s more than that. To read of someone like me, with no options other than another massive barbaric surgery, who can’t lie down without angina, or walk more than a few feet without pain, to read of someone who after twenty years of following this program is still alive and doing well! Well, that’s almost too much to take in over night.

Last night, I read into the wee hours. When I finally turned off the light,  took out the extra pillows from behind my head and that hideous feeling in my chest started, followed by sweating, I thought, “If I can just be okay long enough for this lifestyle change to start kicking in, I might actually grow old.” Both doctors state that improvement can be felt in just a few weeks. I am motivated. I am very motivated. In my head I’m singing John Denver’s, “I Want to Live.”

Last night’s dinner was delicious. The spinach and mushrooms were fabulous. I cooked the onions in a bit of vegetable broth to which I added a pack of Goya Ham Flavoring. When this was done, I spooned out one ladle full of onions and stock for the corn chowder. Then I added the mushrooms and finally, the spinach. The corn chowder was a can of cream style corn, a can of whole kernel corn, red pepper flakes and the ladle full of onions and veggie stock. With the cream style corn, the chowder had some sugar in it, but not an alarming amount. It was okay, but not spectacular. I also steamed broccoli and carrots and roasted some yellow squash. I sprinkled the squash with Cavender’s Greek Seasoning, which I love. I use it on everything. So, our lovely menu included,

Hummus with Ryvita Crackers

Corn Chowder

Spinach and Mushrooms

Steamed Broccoli and Carrots

Roasted Yellow Squash

We ate rather late and neither of us needed a late night snack. It was not only a delicious meal, but was very pretty with lots of color and so many different textures, too.

Today will be out first experience having dinner at someone else’s house.  My daughter, the one whose cholesterol is already high, has invited us. She had planned to surprise us by baking my mother’s pound cake, the very best pound cake in the history of cake. I immediately thought and said, “I’ll never be able to have pound cake again.” Then she asked if she made a cobbler, could we at least eat the peaches in it. I sadly told her, no. We will eat vegetables, lots and lots of vegetables. Hold the butter please.

For your listening enjoyment, here is John Denver singing “I Want to Live.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mary permalink
    October 7, 2010 8:03 pm

    My dear friend, I so admire your resolve. May I suggest something? Let one of the kids “practice” making the TG dinner. Go to their house perhaps (no smells, no leftoevers). There’s a pretty high correlation with HA following rich, fat laden T-G meals and post superbowl, so why tempt things? There are some great vegetarian TG menus in magazines. I don’t know that your newly adapted tastebuds will even like the old stuff – it’s all conditioning. I suspect by that time, you’d be almost horrified by the greasy feel in your mouth – and you will associate it with your squeakier, cleaner vessels. Your daughter could make some lovely baked apples with cinnamon? Love, Mary

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