Thursday, August 9, 2012

a health update and a new way of thinking

Yesterday, after all the kids were off to school, Alan and I had a follow up appointment with his doctor. This was to follow up with whatever, we still don't know, happened to cause him the heart/chest pain that put him in the hospital for two days. We knew Alan was fine but I was actually a bit surprised as to what information followed us home.

 Here's a couple shots from that big day. I wouldn't have shown you the first one due to Alan's creepy eyes and immodest covering but look at how that girl is looking at him! Crazy, their love. (and yes, she was a princess that day, heels and all. Kinda hard to hide a kid who isn't supposed to be in a patient room when she's clacking down the hallway.)

We all know what we were taught in health class, books, magazines, Oprah, Dr.Oz, right, get plenty of water and exercise. Simple enough right? Well, we, too, knew these things and are apart of the massive number of Americans not doing it.

Eat right? Well, we don't buy Doritos for snacks. My favorite cereal is Kashi Go Lean and we always have fruit. BUT...we also enjoy Popsicles, chimichangas, the convenience of the frozen food section of the store. Still not good.

Water and exercise? Needs improvement.

But..that's not my point. The major mind shift came when he explained WHEN we were eating.

Alan has never been a breakfast eater. Sometimes he won't even eat until he gets home from work in the afternoons. He usually starts his day at 3:30am and will have about 2-3 pots of coffee during the work day and nibble on whatever food he has to taste test (he's a restaurant manager) but will not eat a meal. Sounds good on your body right? Well, the doctor seems to think that was the problem. He was taking all his pills in the mornings, without food, eating heavy in the evenings, then sleeping. Not what your body needs.

So we were given a basic lesson in how carbs and proteins work in the system as well as how the medicines effect your body without food.

We also talked about how Americans have somehow managed to turn the meal pattern around and save the largest meal for dinner. I can understand why. I will always want to have a family meal with everyone gathered around the table and somehow 6am, while trying to shove everyone off to their destinations, doesn't seem to be the right time. But now I understand that by not taking the necessary measure to ensure we are ALL full of proteins and healthy carbs to start the day, I'm doing us an injustice.

We should be eating our largest meal in the morning (have you ever heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day?) and allowing the meals to get smaller throughout the day. Snacks are good, but dinner should be like "your the poorest person on earth"...his words. And we were all backwards.

This isn't just for our family. This is how people were made. He explained it on a very basic level (thank you). You wouldn't expect to drive your car into the city on an empty tank of gas. And you wouldn't come home, fill the tank to park it in the garage. Nope. I wouldn't do that. But yet, that's exactly what we were doing to our bodies. Running on empty or half full or cheap gas, then filling with the good stuff to park our fat butts in the bed. Only difference is...our cars don't store extra gas we're not using overnight into the love handles. My body sure will.

We also got into more fun details like the color of pee and whatnot. I'll let you discuss with your own doctor. But the basic information we left with: we weren't treating our bodies right and Alan's heart/chest/stomach (the are closely connected) started to notice.

So here's the Dr.'s orders:
Spread medicine throughout the day
ALWAYS eat a healthy breakfast
always eat protein and carbs together, never just carbs
let your meals get smaller throughout the day
basically go to bed on an empty stomach
and that exercise thing

So we left the doctor and drove straight to the store to pick up some staples for the mornings. We picked up easy things like high protein granola bars (not protein bars, we still have to watch carbs and sugars) After examining the labels we found the Nature Valley High Protein bar to be a good fit. Something easy enough Alan can grab as he goes out the door.

We also picked up some Greek yogurts, more high protein cereals (I love Kashi Go Lean Crunch), eggs and whole grain bread. This will be a major mind/habit shift for everyone, especially me. I hope to be able to prepare a better meal and a better day for my family.

I decided to share all this exciting info because it was information I already knew yet would never have thought NOT considering would put a family member in the hospital. But thankfully it did. So hopefully you too can be reminded to treat your body (or vehicle) with care and love and make your days the best as well.

Good luck. And maybe I'll find some yummy new breakfast recipes to share!

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