Yes, it's still a struggle to get Tom to fill his plate with color ... heck, it's still difficult for me sometimes! He's doing really well eating salads but I'm wondering how long lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers will satisfy him. His salads are large but I'm not seeing much creativity ... granted, it isn't his strong suit so I think I'll make sure he has what he needs and written instruction to make it easier for him.
And that will be a struggle for me ... but tomorrow is Saturday and I will be shopping ... so, I'm working on a list for Tom that will help him build a colorful salad. I'll start here ...
We had a busy day and opted to hit Subway for breakfast ... one of my favorite places to grab something quick on the way to work ... well, once in a while!
So, here we stand ... side by side. I, knowing exactly what I wanted, gave the woman my order. Tom had a more difficult time. He knew I was listening so I made myself scarce. Then he asked, "Is cheese OK?" My response was since they didn't have whole egg and only egg whites he could have cheese. I left it at that. On an English muffin he put Blackforest Ham (OK), cooked egg white (OK), he opted for Provolone cheese and looked at me for approval. No problem, but next time, you might consider the shredded cheese since it is REAL cheese rather than the not-so-good sliced cheese isn't a real food. Yeah, I got the look. It'll be OK. It takes time.
Well, as I expected, because Tom wanted to keep his sandwich the way he wanted it - the way he was used to it - and opted out of adding tomato or lettuce or any other vegetable, his sandwich was bland and dry and he said so. No butter on the English muffin. I, on the other hand, had spinach and tomatoes giving me a juicy fare. He wouldn't budge. I did tell him I didn't see a lot of color on his sandwich ... he sneered at me and reminded me he preferred catsup on his scrambled eggs. Yeah, this is where you see me roll my eyes!
But, he's doing well on taking his supplements ... 2 - 500mg niacin, 1 - CoQ10, 1 - MegaRed fish oil and I've just added 1 red yeast rice, which works like a statin drug.
OK, so filling your plate with color is not as easy as it sounds. Due to our work schedules, my husband and I only eat together on weekends and one lunch a week. That means I spend much of my Sundays, usually, preparing meals for the rest of the week. Tom, who works nights, doesn't get up until 9:30 a.m. or so and downs three mugs of coffee before he even considers eating anything. I, on the other hand, have breakfast on my mind before I even leave the bedroom. After one cup of herb tea I'm ready for breakfast - one of my favorites is sauteed zucchini, onion, and mushrooms with a scrambled egg poured over it. Or a bowl of oatmeal with real maple syrup and a splash of unsweetened almond milk, or a smoothie or a piece of pumpkin or zucchini bread. By the time Tom gets his coffee down and is ready to eat, it's nearly lunchtime. This morning, for example, I can assure you he didn't have breakfast, but waited until the pot roast I had in the oven was ready at eleven o'clock. It was a huge pot roast with tons of carrots and celery and a few potatoes. He IM'd me after he had lunch and said EVEN AFTER TAKING THE FAT OFF THE MEAT WAS GOOD! Holy cow! Imagine that? My husband took his favorite part of the roast off before he ate it! Good for him! He broke the roast down into smaller containers for his lunch during the rest of the week.
Tom would rather have a second helping of meat than look for something 'more colorful.' If I leave him a note "EAT STRAWBERRIES" he will. But if the strawberries are sitting on the counter he'd likely go to the garage refrigerator, get out another container of beef and heat it up before even considering the strawberries. It's not that he doesn't like strawberries ... he just prefers beef!
So, I try to offer him as many opto
Tom's favorite breakfast would probably be three eggs, fried in the bacon fat leftover from cooking a half pound of bacon ... so, bacon ... three pieces of white bread slathered in butter and a glass of V-8. Yummy? Maybe, but not good when you look at the whole picture some changes are needed.
Being the weekend, I had time to fix him breakfast and he wanted a fried egg sandwich. OK, easy enough. I asked him what kind of bread he wanted and, being true to his nature, opted for white bread. Not an awful choice considering most soft breads touting 'whole grain' are just plain incorrect because true whole grain breads are hearty, flavorful, and offer a variety of seeds, nuts, and other obvious whole grains - like oats, wheat bran, etc. on top. Nonetheless, he's not quite there yet so white wheat it is. Now, how many eggs? Hmmm, I know he wanted to say two, which is better than three, but not as good as one ... I waited for his response. "One will be fine," I hear him mumble from the other room. That brought a smile to my face. So, OK, he can have his white wheat with a scraping of butter on it. I upped the nutritional value a bit by giving him a cut apple. He smiled.
Moving onto lunch ... spaghetti with whole grain (not to be confused with whole wheat) pasta, my favorite organic Bertolli olive oil/basil/garlic spaghetti sauce, and whole grain garlic bread - OK, Tom will have the good ol' plain white flour bread and a small side salad. Knowing my dear husband as I do, I'll throw a couple meatballs in his ... he'll like that.
Dinner will be our typical salad, stolen from a local fast food restaurant and fine-tuned to our liking. Romaine lettuce/spinach, diced red and green apple with skin, dried cranberries, roasted chopped pecans, fresh orange, bleu cheese, a half grilled breast of chicken, and a pomegranate dressing.
That'll hold us until popcorn time ... it's Saturday night! Need a quick, small serving way to make buttered popcorn without any fuss or oil?
Place 3 tablespoons yellow popcorn kernels in a brown lunch bag. Yes, three tablespoons is actually the serving size! Fold top over twice and put in the microwave until popped. Add 1/2 pat melted butter and salt - 148 calories ... 5 grams cholesterol ... 5 grams fiber. Even Tom, who L*O*V*E*S butter soaked, over-salted popcorn says, "It's edible."
Lunch at Hardee's today ... unlike other fast food restaurants, they have turkey burgers. I, naturally, opted for the plain one with extra tomato and no mayo. My dear husband ordered the mushroom Swiss turkey burger. Now, I had to give him credit for ordering instead of the fattier beef, but the cheese added more saturated fat/cholesterol than he probably thought. He said, "Why didn't you just tell me to skip the cheese?" he asked. The reason is simple ... he's done very well and based on what I've fed him this week, he's OK. What is the difference?
So, there you go ... simple changes can make a big difference! As I tell my husband often ... don't sweat it ... the small changes we are making make all the difference! He has to date:
It's never easy to change your diet without feeling deprived - even though you know it's the right thing to do. I handle change differently than my husband ... I face it head on replacing the 'no-no' foods with alternates - updating favorite recipes to be more compliant energizes me. It annoys Tom. He tends to look for what's different rather than embrace a new flavor or especially a new texture. Adding fiber is an excellent way to combat high cholesterol - that and filling your plate with color.
As I said in an earlier post, Tom is doing rather well and working hard to remember to look at the nutritional analysis on the foods he's eating. I reminded him to look for saturated fat and cholesterol. For those meals when the cholesterol is higher than I suggested for him, he adds foods that will add color and fiber to his diet.
Though I felt as though I neglected his diet a bit last week because I was so busy, he managed quite nicely on his own ... not the way I would have done it ... but OK.
In effort to give him the best opportunity to stay on track I've been cooking/baking all afternoon. It's not a burden as it is for some women because I love to cook. So the day began with a scan of both freezers and refrigerators to see just what was left after last week. Boneless pork ribs, chicken legs/thighs, a container of leftover Italian beef Tom had made, homemade chicken broth, lean stew meat and two zucchini. Once I put a menu together based on what I had on hand and what Publix had on sale, I was off to the store - list in hand.
On the lowfat menu this week:
For the record, the crisp was a hit ... but I know he would have preferred the topping to be something more like his mother used to make (flour, sugar, butter), but mine's close ... remove the flour ... add oatmeal. Yeah, he's not a big fan of crunchy when he wants 'melt in your mouth.' But he said he liked it.
I am ...
... a former blogger for a health site, which means eating healthy aka heart smart
which has become a passion for me. I will start at the beginning when I first
discovered I had high cholesterol.