Gotta DASH

gotta-dashIt’s amazing what a difference a real doctor makes. I went to my general practitioner back when I started feeling really terrible and learned that I had high blood pressure. Before Christmas he changed my meds, and they started causing really horrible side effects. When I went to him and asked to change meds, he told me it was probably something else and gave me the same meds but in the namebrand form. The more expensive form.

So I found a real cardiologist.

But you know, getting an appointment takes time. For about two months I had to deal with these side effects. I was so off my game. It was terrible. Really.

Anyway, I’m on new, better meds. And yes, I can take the generic. Thanks new doc.

So along with getting on the right meds and having a doctor that listens to me, I also have to listen to my doc. And she says, DASH.¬†Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. I haven’t had a chance to do all the reading yet. But from what I can tell it’s all about lowering my salt intake. Understandable.

You know what has salt in it? EVERYTHING.

I need to give up cola. Frozen dinners for lunches at work. Salty snacks. Pretty much everything delicious. Thankfully it looks like I can still eat cheese. And as long as I can do that, I should be able to make it.

But all of this really goes hand in hand with the type of eating I want to do anyway now that Gibson is eating solids. More fresh, less processed foods. Healthy, low fat, etc. etc. Mostly his diet consists of Goldfish crackers and bananas right now. I keep trying to introduce new stuff though. Turns out the kid really likes red bell pepper cut into sticks and olives of all things. So we’ll keep working on it.

Back to what I’m doing for my health- I’m trying to do more frozen meals. But not pre-processed ones. I bought these microwavable, freezable, dishwasher safe trays with lids. I intend to freeze left overs into meal portions and use those as my lunches at work.

I used to try to make large meals on the weekends and then eat the left overs for lunches the rest of the week. By Wednesday, I was staring at my lunch with disgust and opting to eat an entire bag of microwave popcorn instead. Or go out for lunch. Variety is the spice of life! If I remember to freeze left overs often enough, I’ll be able to rotate out my lunches at work. The dinner I cooked on Sunday would make a great lunch on Wednesday. And the Friday roast could be lunch on Monday.

This also helps more with my portion control. I am so used to cooking larger meals. Packs of meat at the store comes in sets of six. That SHOULD be three meals for two adults. But no. I just cook it all, and we eat it all in one sitting. But if I cook like I normally do and then immediately portion out my lunches, I might actually eat like real people.

I’ve been working hard to remind myself that I do not have to clean my plate. It was drilled into my head that I should eat everything in front of me. But that’s not what I want Gibs to see. So when I hit that “full” trigger, I don’t push through it. If I’m hungry again in 20 minutes, I’ll eat again. But more often than not, I end up not going back. But knowing the food is always there later is helpful.

This “food is only available during a certain time slot” thing is counter intuitive. Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry. You’d think I’d know this as an almost 33-year-old woman. But old habits die hard.

I’m also working hard to fix how I cook. Use more spices and less salt. I should probably buy some Mrs. Dash. I wonder if that name came from the DASH diet. Oh, apparently not. It’s more about units of measure.

Well to sum up, I’m feeling a lot better on my new meds. I like my new doctor. And I’m working on eating better. With any luck my heart may just last me another 40 or 50 years. And that picture up there? That’s my breakfast this morning. Dutch baby with mixed berry compote. I made it Sunday morning and froze it. And it microwaved really well. Feeling pumped about my plan.

My buddy, Timothy Dodge, just started posting to his blog- Grappling with Fatherhood. He’s got some fantastic insights into all that dad stuff. I hear there’s some merit in that. So take a look at his newest post!

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