Part four, the finale, of Tauna and Jim's saga:
Even after all the changes and efforts to live a more healthy life, Jim still went in the summer of ’08 and received three more stints in his heart. He had been feeling sluggish and was showing many of the signs he did not recognize the first time. Luckily, he got help before things worsened. Jim has had his ups and downs when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but his goal remains and his determination is strong to add as many years to his life as possible by simply taking care of himself.
I worry about him daily. I know the day will come when the doctors will no longer be able to help him. In the meantime, we cherish every moment we have together and with our families and never take anything for granted. Why did this happen to Jim? Was it hereditary, was it unhealthy eating, was it excessive smoking or the stress that brought him to this point? They all are actually contributing factors and changing them one by one will eliminate many of the factors that lead to future health problems. Jim’s story is not just about change, but also about the will to live.
Making a few minor changes in your food preparation and eating habits now can go a long way in preventing health issues later. Cook with olive oil (or canola oil) instead of butter; steam fresh or frozen vegetables (there is a lot of sodium in canned veggies); low salt diet (there are many sodium-free spices that can be used for seasoning food); skim milk, white meat, whole grain breads and pastas, no mayonnaise or creamy sauces, oil & vinegar dressing, fruits and cheeses for snacks and portion control on everything. And absolutely NO FRIED FOOD! Check labels for calories, fat content, cholesterol, carbohydrates, sugars and especially sodium. Too much stress can actually contribute to the build up of plaque in your arteries; exercise, yoga or meditation are good outlets for that. In addition, daily exercise is extremely important in maintaining a healthy heart and strong muscles; simply walking thirty minutes can do wonders for your energy level, stress management and weight control.
The bottom line is to do something now in order to secure a healthy tomorrow.