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A few years ago, my heart stopped functioning properly. A cardiac artery was blocked, and I felt some strange and scary symptoms. The blockage was relieved with a stent, and the hospital that installed it included a detailed lecture to all such patients. They don’t want to see us again. Heeding that information has kept me healthy, and I want to share what I’ve learned with everyone who’s had a heart attack or has the potential.
What can you put on your food to make it taste more like what you used to eat? You can’t use butter any more, so try SmartBalance or Olivio. Either will melt convincingly over your hot veggies.

You can make an acceptable cheeseburger by frying a frozen Bubba turkey burger (sold at Lansing Market and Target) in canola oil and melting a slice or two of vegan cheese on top. Build your burger with bread, Hunt’s catsup, burger, cheese, lettuce, home made mayo, and bread. The mayo will contribute to the greasiness you expect with a juicy burger.
Yes, Hunt’s, not Heinz. Might as well have the best. Cook’s Illustrated was surprised that Hunt’s was so much better when they ran a test, and boy, are they right.

On mashed potatoes? Remember, no butter. And no sour cream. It’s full of saturated fat, and the nonfat sour cream is an edible chemistry set with little flavor. SmartBalance or my preference, Olivio, work well, but try mashed potatoes Italian style, with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Really good. If you’re a diehard sour cream hound, nonfat yogurt will sub just fine.

Making a sour cream sauce? Use nonfat yogurt after you’ve stirred in a pinch of corn starch to keep it from separating. I’ve made acceptable Stroganoffs this way.
And meet your new best friend, flax meal, or ground flax. Sprinkle it on everything, from your oatmeal onward through to include your fat free frozen yogurt at the end of the day. You’re always looking for more fiber in your diet, so think of ground flax as a roto-rooter to keep your arteries clear. Besides, it supplies some of those omega-3 fatty acids that lower your “bad” cholesterol.

To keep your ground flax easy to use, go to a store that caters to people who actually cook and buy two of those glass shakers with the stainless steel tops full of big holes that restaurants have for spaghetti cheese. Keep one near the stove and one on the table with the salt and pepper.

You can pay a lot for ground flax, especially if it’s the so-called golden type, which makes no difference nutritionally. I watch Big Lots. They have Bob’s Red Mill products, and when ground flax shows up, I get a deal. The best deal, unfortunately, is out of town. If you’re in Seneca Falls, Sauder’s, the Amish market, has ground flax in bulk at a bargain price.

Every other week: Lots more on food, drugs, medical ID, how and why to keep moving, and recipes! Disclaimer: This stuff comes only from my own research and experience. I may seem to know what I’m talking about, but your doctor is the final authority.

Please direct comments and questions for this series to me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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