Tag Archives: dietary decisions

What is Another Way to Handle Dietary Restrictions?

As regular readers know my former blogging partner, John, has severe dietary restrictions following his angioplasty and near heart attack. He has posted a number of items detailing his journey in dealing with this life-changing situation. As his former good friend, I was stunned by the news of his hospitalization and situation. Of course, I immediately imagined myself in his place and considered what I would do if confronted with an 80 percent blockage of a major artery and a stent being placed inside to facilitate my circulation. I find that I would handle it considerably differently than John. I don’t pretend to be a doctor. I don’t know that my way is better. I just know that my actions and ideas going forward differ sharply from John’s. I am more than 10 years older than he is and I have no dietary restrictions. I am presently enjoying the best personal health of my life. The National Institutes on Health considers me one of its success stories.

To begin with my first reaction would be gratitude. I would be thrilled to be still alive and feel that I had cheated death at least this one time. I would also make a firm purpose of amendment about my eating habits to guarantee that I would never put myself in this vulnerable situation again.

A near death experience like this is what I think of as a ‘square one’ situation. That is the same as when you go from grade school to high school and change from being a big shot at school to a little freshie in the new school. Ditto high school to college. Same kind of transition. I think square one situations are tremendous growth opportunities. Very challenging, to be sure, but they offer huge opportunities for real growth and discovery.

So, instead of looking back at the situation and feeling bitter over what I could no longer eat and whining about it, I would look forward to the chance to learn a whole new way of eating and making my dietary decisions. Previously, I chose things for taste with no consideration for the consequences on my body. Going forward, the health benefits would be way up there on my priority list. Of course, taste matters, but I would no longer limit my choices to taste alone as I did when I was a child. I don’t think a grown up should be making decisions on that basis.

Secondly, I have certain foods I like and foods I don’t like, but going forward, I would put everything back on the table (so to speak) and start from scratch. I would absolutely try to open my palate and my mind to new tastes including foods I might not have liked previously.  Nuts are a superb foodstuff. If I didn’t like nuts, I would make a point of trying a number of different kinds, maybe a few at a time and find a couple that I enjoyed and could integrate into my diet. As my former major protein source -meat- is nearly off the menu, it would be very effective to add the rich protein of nuts to my menu. I could start with a few on my salads. Nuts also happen to be a great source of EFAs, Essential Fatty Acids, which are necessary to every diet. That’s why they’re called essential.
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