My childhood favorites may soon have a new owner, bet they mess with the recipes and cheapen the products.

How do you create a new food life after cardio problems?

I’ve been put on a no salt, no sugar, no fat diet since having angioplasty in August, 2012, which basically means the only things I can eat without endangering my health are leaves. But that’s not how I choose to live, so I have started piecing together a new diet.

Gone from the pantry are high-sodium sauces, soups and marinades; sugary ketchup; all chocolates. The freezer still has hot dogs and not-so-lean hamburgers, neither one of which I can eat any longer, but we are saving those for I’m not sure what just yet.

A graphic view of angioplasty
A graphic view of angioplasty

My wife and I spend weekends going to a variety of food stores to find our new weekly menu items and the entire endeavor is still very much a work in progress but steps are being taken.

The last time I had to change what I eat this radically was when I went away to college in 1971. The initial result was much the same. I lost 25 pounds in my first three months of college because pretty much the only dorm food I could stomach was the salad bar and orange sherbet for dessert. This time around I can’t have the sherbet either, but I’m taking it one recipe at a time. To date, I’ve lost 26 pounds in five months.


I love beets and have been eating more, but I worry about the sugar content, there’s no mention of that here.

That's Natural!

Beets in Strainer

By: Tisha Casida

Beets are powerhouses of nutrients.  There is no question that you would probably want to consider incorporating beets into your diet.  They have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying properties that are essential to building a healthy body and brain.  The concentration of betalains (what gives beets their dark red color) in beets is unique.  Betalains are ‘dietary cationized antioxidants’ – antioxidants are essential to stopping oxidative processes that are associated with many degenerative diseases.  There is no question – you can’t beat beets.

Steaming your roots?  The difference between 15 and 25 minutes can have repercussions on the betalain count.  Be kind to your beets – although they look like a hardy root, they should be handled with love, and cooked minimally to maintain the nutrients packed into them.

Running list of Beet Nutrition Facts

Preventing Cancer:  Beet juice has been proven to slow down…

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My cholesterol numbers were always within normal ranges, yet it still blocked one of my arteries to the point of almost stopping the blood flow to my heart.

Can you eat healthy at Universal Studios? Not even Harry Potter could help

My second day of trying to eat healthy on a vacation to Orlando in late December saw us spending the day at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure theme park. Universal has two parks now, somewhat different from the last time I was there with my children back in 1996. The adventure one revolves around Harry Potter and a very cool re-creation of his school and surrounding village.

Ominous food clouds hung over Universal Studios
Ominous food clouds hung over Universal Studios
Continue reading “Can you eat healthy at Universal Studios? Not even Harry Potter could help”

Can you eat healthy at Disney World?

My wife and I recently spent a holiday week at Disney World in Orlando, going at perhaps the busiest time of the year. But the crowds weren’t worrying me so much as was the food, or more precisely the lack of food that I can eat on my no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar diet.

Would I be able to find any healthy food at Disney? Or at Universal Studios where we also planned to spend considerable time? And what about in Orlando itself, a place I think of as a mecca of fast casual restaurants that have little to nothing healthy on their menus?

The bottom line is that in four and a half days there, I lost four pounds from the combination of little to eat and all the walking we inevitably did. Disney World surprised me with a healthy option for lunch, one of the best I had on the trip in fact. Universal was a total junk food mecca, as were the places we ate in Orlando itself, TGI Friday’s and Carrabba’s, an Italian chain.

The start of my Disney Day
The start of my Disney Day
Continue reading “Can you eat healthy at Disney World?”

What happens when you have an unexpected meal?

my egg white omelet, and the sneaky buttered toast.
my egg white omelet, and the sneaky buttered toast.
Living on a restricted diet means you need to plan every meal to ensure your avoid the foods and ingredient you need to avoid. What happens though, when an unplanned meal develops?

I faced that situation recently and had to scramble, literally. Coming home from work one recent evening, trains were delayed after they pulled out of my Chicago station. I literally sat on a train for two hours waiting to move, unable get off because we were between stations.

When we finally did get to a station, we were again stopped as tracks ahead were being cleared, so I decided to get off and call my wife to come get me. I was about 20 minutes from home by car at that point.

Looking around where I was on Chicago’s north side, I saw a nearby pancake house and decided to get some dinner while I waited, since it was then nearly 9 p.m.

The pancake house had a large multi-page menu but page after page had things I couldn’t eat, either because they were high in fat, salt, sugar or white flour.

My now go-to pancake house item, whole wheat pancakes, were available but they had nuts in the batter and I don’t eat nuts.

I defaulted to a veggie melt made with egg whites only, an incredibly bland choice that also had cauliflower, something I don’t eat and so had to pick out. I also ordered it without the usual cheese, worried about the fat. I did use some ketchup to give it some taste, which probably had more salt in it than is recommended for me.

Not being able to get an Angus burger, which is what I would have done before my angioplasty, was very depressing.

And to make it even more depressing, some whole wheat toast I asked for came already covered in melted butter, something I couldn’t see until I separated the slices brought me.

Unplanned meals stink.

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