Man, I love me some food. But therein lies my problem. I like to eat way too much of it…broiled, grilled, fried, bacon-wrapped, whatever…if I can nom it I’m gonna nom it. Earlier this year, though, my wife and I were talking about what Nolan’s diet will/should be like once he’s eating food by mouth. The reality is – as a society – we don’t do a good job of eating well to take care of our hearts. Myself included. And with a half heart, in essence, it would probably do Nolan a world of good to watch what he eats. But how is he going to learn that if I’m pulling a Kobayashi and eating everything in sight?
So we decided to change some things…we have put a ton of effort into caring for our heart baby, but now we need to start taking care of ourselves. I can’t help Nolan navigate his own heart issues if I develop heart issues of my own, right? So what we decided to start doing was pay more attention to what we were eating. We didn’t go all kinds of crazy, we just did more organic fruits and veggies, turned down the processed foods, etc. We also started doing some exercise too, using FitnessBlender, which has free full-length workout videos on YouTube.
Eventually, this started to fall by the wayside, unfortunately. I went back to eating whatever and I could start to feel the difference again. But then my wife decided to do something drastic and do the Daniel Fast for 10 Days. For those who aren’t familiar with it, you basically don’t eat meat, dairy, sugar, or caffeine. Basically just fruits and veggies. She was a trooper for her 10 days because I thought she was nuts. Plus I felt bad eating my normal stuff while she seemingly ate nothing. But she said she felt a whole lot better…and she inspired me to do the same as well.
I had my reservations because I had a new job that requires a ton of walking around all day and I was worried I’d be this belligerent, ravenous beast all day because all I had in my lunch bag was some carrot sticks. But I decided to do it anyway. The hardest part for me wasn’t giving up meat…it was giving up coffee. I love coffee…I’m not the type that has 8 cups a day, usually 1 or two, but I like it nonetheless. I decided to limit myself to green tea…while it still has caffeine, I felt like I needed a little something to help.
So the first 3 days are the worst as you basically detox all the crap food outta your system. I felt horrible and had terrible headaches. But then suddenly you have a lot of energy, you don’t miss the meat or coffee, and you get used to the diet…eventually I did the fast for about 15 days. Now I know this isn’t meant to be long-term, but the results were there: I ached less, slept better, focused more clearly…and I lost 10 pounds in 15 days. Pretty amazing right?
So now I’m at the stage where I am slowly incorporating things back into my life, like meat, cheeses, and coffee. But I have them pretty sparingly if I can. I’m hoping I can keep up this clean eating for a long, long time…because I want to be healthy and see all my kids grow up healthy too.
I’m not saying you have to go on any particular diet or do anything drastic, but maybe it’s time we as heart dads take some time to take care of our tickers too. It would be terrible to live so long with the worry of losing your child to their heart issue, but then your child loses you because of yours.