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This post was sponsored by Boston Scientific as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Memorial Day has taken on a much different meaning these last few years. It used to be filled with lots of camping, bonfires, s’mores, enormous burgers and hot dogs.
Now, I spend the holiday putting flowers on my dad’s grave.
You see, three years ago my dad passed away after being on hospice in my home for his heart for almost two years. While I worked, my husband made sure he was taking his medicine, getting him food, and ensured he was comfortable. These were some of the absolute toughest years of my life – seeing the man I loved and adored turn into someone I hardly recognized as a result of his health and having coded twice before being put on hospice.
Hospice was the last stage of his life, but problems began many years before that. I moved in with him when I was fourteen and he had been in poor health the rest of his life. In fact, he had many strokes, heart attacks, and surgeries… So many that I lost track of the actual number over time.
Raised on an Iowa farm, my dad also had the typical Midwestern diet:
Corn, potatoes, coffee, and pork
This diet, along with certain lifestyle choices, wasn’t conducive to good health. In fact, in addition to numerous health conditions, my dad also developed a condition where the blood vessels of his heart became narrow, making it difficult for blood to flow to his heart. This condition is known as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), which is the most common type of heart disease, and the leading cause of death in the US for both men and women.
He was often quite fatigued and had shortness of breath. Other people with CAD may experience pain or nothing at all. Some may even experience heart attacks as a result – just like my dad.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with CAD, you might be facing surgery or minimally invasive procedures like percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) used to manage CAD.
I’ve made it my personal mission to do better with my health and that of my children’s. Together, we’re cooking with heart-healthy ingredients so we can still enjoy our favorite recipes. It’s important to check in with your doctor before making any dietary changes as they may have different guidelines or restrictions for heart disease.
Don’t give up what you like to eat, instead – change your recipe. Here’s how:
You can learn more about CAD and healthier cooking options by visiting HeartHealthyBeats.com, a resource developed by Boston Scientific.
Also, if you want to see what kinds of things I regularly keep in my kitchen, check out my Eat Clean Diet Grocery List. Once you’ve got healthy food in the house, check out Pinterest for lots of healthy recipes!