Happy Birthday to me!

I turn 62 today and I’m back in the city of my birth. A few years ago, just before having an angioplasty performed in August 2012, I didn’t think I’d see my 62nd birthday, or even my 61st. Even in the year after the surgery, I expected a heart attack every day. It’s amazing to me I’m still here.

My New York, Luna Park apartments at Coney Island.
My New York, Luna Park apartments at Coney Island.

What’s even more amazing is to be in New York City for this birthday. New York is the land of bad food, all the foods I grew up loving — New York pizza, pastrami, cheesecake, Italian pastry, sausage and onions, giant plates of spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, Nathan’s hot dogs, Drake’s cakes, Carvel…the list goes on and on. Continue reading “Happy Birthday to me!”

The No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal hits 25,000 views in five months!

This blog, the No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal, has reached another important milestone — we’ve had 25,000 views through the first five months of this year, nearly as many as it took us all of 2014 to achieve. So we’ve doubled our audience this year.

We also now have 96 other blogs following us, 194 Twitter followers and 265 Facebook followers, all representing wonderful growth from when we started in December 2012 with a mere 57 views for the month!

Cooking up more healthy foods for you  in my outdoor kitchen. Thanks for reading all my posts!
Cooking up more healthy foods for you in my outdoor kitchen. Thanks for reading all my posts!

If I could have a celebratory cake I would, but since I can’t, I’ll say thank you to everyone who has come to read and enjoy the posts here.

This blog began out of desperation when I discovered my angioplasty in 2012 meant I could no longer eat any of the foods I loved. I had to create a new eating and life plan. It began with completely cleaning out my pantry of all high-salt, high-fat, high-sugar foods and starting over.

Along the way, I’ve developed new recipes, found new ingredients, come up with new ways to shop healthier, and shared that all with you, hoping I can help you as well.

Thank you for being part of this new journey.
John

Come hear me, other heart disease survivors talk about changing our lives

The major artery blockage I had in 2012 that nearly ended my life led to the creation of this blog. And that in turn has hopefully led to me helping otter people who find they need to completely change how they eat, either out of medical necessity or simply out of a desire to cut the massive amounts of salt, fat and sugar in most foods Americans routinely eat today.

The handouts I'll be bringing to a Mended Heart Group meeting this week.
The handouts I’ll be bringing to a Mended Heart Group meeting this week.

The blog has been a labor of love for me, as well as a great motivator to find and try new recipes that fit in my new low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar lifestyle. So I’m very excited to have a chance to talk about it this week with other heart disease survivors. I invite anyone in the Chicago area with an interest in such topics to stop by. Continue reading “Come hear me, other heart disease survivors talk about changing our lives”

Dumping junk food: two years and counting for me

This blog began after I had angioplasty done to open a severely blocked artery to my heart. I recent passed the two-year mark since that surgery, passing a physical with flying colors.

You are not what you eat: Is fat as bad as we thought? from Eva Voinigescu on Vimeo.

To reach this point, I have completely changed how I eat, walking away from all the high-fat, high-sodium, high-sugar foods I once loved and lived for. It’s been extremely tough, but there are rewards. One came recently when I was invited to be a guest on a TV show dealing with health, fat and eating habits. Continue reading “Dumping junk food: two years and counting for me”

Life two years after angioplasty: thinner, hungier and hopefully healthier

While this is a food blog and not a health blog, I ask reader indulgence for this post which will talk a bit about my health. I recently had my two-year checkup for my heart following the angioplasty I had done in 2012.

The news was all good. My blood pressure is in normal ranges now, although I take medication to keep it there. And my doctor took my off one of my post-surgery medications, something called beta blockers which slow your heart down. Taking those the past two years meant I always felt I was walking through mud, fighting my way every step, really.

Me, following angioplasty in 2012. I've since lost 23 pounds.
Me, following angioplasty in 2012. I’ve since lost 23 pounds.

I never felt rested and I certainly never felt any of the added energy people kept thinking I should feel after having a major artery unblocked. Sleeping was more fitful and I was constantly constipated, which I’m only now seeing is a side effect of those medications. Continue reading “Life two years after angioplasty: thinner, hungier and hopefully healthier”

Heredity vs. environment for heart disease: which do you think causes it?

I started this blog after having an angioplasty in 2012 because current medical science thinks what we eat, our food environement, can impact such things as how or if cholesterol builds up in our arteries to cause the type of major blockages I experienced.

Doctors have put me on cholesterol lowering drugs, even though my cholesterol levels were never in a danger zone prior to my heart troubles, and they’ve advised me to cut the salt, fat and sugar from my diet.

A graphic view of angioplasty
A graphic view of angioplasty

While I’m doing all that hoping it will help, I’ve never gotten past thinking the real cause of my problems is simply heredity, given that my father and several aunts and uncles have died of heart attacks. My heredity argument got some serious reinforcement recently when I read of two studies linking a gene to the possibility of heart problems. Continue reading “Heredity vs. environment for heart disease: which do you think causes it?”

The No salt, no fat, no sugar Journal is growing, big-time

Last week, the No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal reached a milestone in its less than two years of existence — our total views through just barely more than five month of this year reached double what they had been for all of 2013!

Our average daily page views are up almost five times where they were when we ended 2013 and we have had record month after record month of total views. We just finished three straight weeks of increased viewership.

Me before my surgery and before dropping about 30 pounds on my low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet.
Me before my surgery and before dropping about 30 pounds on my low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet.
Me at the farmers' market with a fig tree I bought.
Me at the farmers’ market with a fig tree I bought.

This site was born out of the tragedy of heart surgery for me. That event forced me to completely change what and how I eat. The process has been incredibly difficult for me but I resolved that something good should come from it and so started this blog to help others on the same road. Continue reading “The No salt, no fat, no sugar Journal is growing, big-time”

A birthday with no salt and no fat? Forget it

Today is my birthday and, after nearly two years of basically starving myself on my angioplasty-induced low-fat, low-salt diet, I’m splurging today on some of my old, unhealthy favorites.

Pictured here is how I started my birthday, which I had taken a day off from work for. Wise potato chips are the chips of my youth in New York and still the best in the country, in my estimation. They remain thin, crispy and with just the right hint of oily lusciousness. It is difficult for me to resist buying them now that they’re sold in the Chicago area where I now live too. So today, I gave in and grabbed a bag.

My birthday splurge, part one.
My birthday splurge, part one.

Of the seven ounces in the bag, I likely ate five in one sitting. That’s 750 calories and 50 grams of fat, plus 800 mgs of sodium! I easily could have finished the bag but resisted. Continue reading “A birthday with no salt and no fat? Forget it”

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