Heart Healthy - Week 7/8

Our Path to a Healthier Life

Hello!  Thanks for checking back with us as we travel down this path for a healthier life!

Kyle has lost a total of 30 pounds in just 2 months!  He weighs in at 223 lbs!  He's thrilled and surprised that its coming off easy - just by eating a plant-based diet!  He has added running to his daily walk/run - 30 minutes (about 2 miles); but he is having some difficulty with soreness in his knees.  Not sure if it's from bursitis or what...   but he is still pushing some type of exercise daily!

Kyle had his June heart doctor visit and it went well.  The doctor was very pleased with Kyle's EKG and blood pressure.  His blood pressure was the lowest that it's been in YEARS!!  He has been on blood pressure medicine for over 15 years!  This news was awesome to receive!  

The heart doctor also suggested that Kyle drink daily 4 oz. of red wine.  So, we will look into that!  Also the doctor said it would be ok to eat fish, chicken and olive oil to his daily diet, BUT we won't be doing that right now!  Kyle will return back in July along with his numbers on a thorough blood test and talk about medication!

This week's top pick  


for a plant-based diet  is a

Basic "OIL FREE" Hummus

Here is a recipe for HUMMUS - very basic with NO OIL! Hummus is a staple food at our house!  It's a snack on crackers, a sandwich filler, a dip for veggies, a dressing for salad...  Even our boys like hummus - sometimes!!  

Here is a TIP in preparing hummus:  Microwave the beans and garlic cloves for 3-4 minutes together BEFORE combining with other ingredients in a food processor.  This little techniques makes a HUGE difference!  I'm guessing that cooking - melds the two together with their flavors and softens each before the processing part!  Try it!

This recipe is so good!  There are a HUGE number of variations for hummus - Kyle enjoys a Sun-dried Tomato or Hot Jalapeño hummus.  My favorite leans towards the Caramelized Onion or Sweet Potato Hummus!! 

 Basic "No Oil" Hummus

1 can Chickpeas (or Garbonzo Beans)
1 can Cannellini Beans
(save the bean brine)
2 Garlic cloves
1 whole Lemon; juiced
1 tsp. Cumin Powder
1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. White Pepper

Combine the beans together with the cloves of garlic in a microwave bowl - cook for 3-4 minutes and cool slightly.  Add all ingredients to a food processor - blend until smooth.  You may need more of the drained bean brine juice to get the right consistency for the hummus.  Pour the hummus into a serving bowl.  Serve with veggies, crackers - whatever you desire!  Enjoy!

A question we often receive from family & friends while following a plant-based diet is:  

"With minimal usage of salt in your diet - what kind do you use?"  

Himalayan Pink Salt or Celtic Sea Salt are my choices in cooking with!  Opting for less salt has been harder for me than Kyle. I am a savory or salty person!  I was able to  purchase the pink salt at a Walmart but for the Celtic Sea Salt - I picked up at a health food store!  If you're an on-line shopper - Amazon has both!  (I love Amazon!!)  Sodium is a big negative factor with blood pressure!  Salt is so bad for heart patients for many reasons - so cutting the salt is essential in healing and preventing heart disease! IF we use salt - these salts are our pick!

In our life style change to a plant-base diet, we've also minimized the use of SUGAR.   

Being sugar free has some disadvantages...  I recently went to take a friend to her doctor and "cheated" by eating a baby-size Bahama Buck's Snow cone! Kyle wasn't  there and wouldn't know... The snow cone was SO GOOD until it counteracted with the WORST headache!  It was so BAD that I will not cheat again!  SO!  My body has sent a painful message: that we are SUGAR FREE and it wants to stay that way - even if my head said "okay - eat the sugar"!

Next week will hold a big step for us - Kyle will have our family doctor draw up his blood and give us  the results... so excited but yet I'm hesitant for the news!  What if we've done all this for nothing?  

Ideal numbers are:  Total cholesterol under 150;  LDL (Bad cholesterol) to be under 80; Triglycerides to be below 150.   These are his goals, along with getting his BMI level to a 24.  

Here is a link to last week's progress - here!    And if you have just started reading this - this link will take you to the beginning - here!

Thanks for stopping by and letting us share our story!  Remember to hug the ones you love the most... until next time!