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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Year's Resolution

What's It Wednesday #57

I have a confession. My New Year's Resolution actually started way before New Year's day. A rather scary and life changing event took place on December 13th which only solidified what I now call my journey to good health. My darling husband had a heart attack.

Yes, my 40 year old husband had a heart attack that lead to a stent being put in. Needless to say, hubby will be joining me on my journey to good health. Although his cholesterol was fine we have decided that changing our life style is the best course of action.

During our summer holiday, I started changing my food choices. I gave up meat. It wasn't that difficult for me since I had down it before and loved the way I felt after doing so. If my husband eats any meat at all, his meat of choice is chicken. 

For protein we snack on nuts and eat quite a bit of lentils. I had no idea of the vast variety of lentils there are in the world and available to us. 

I have quite a number of vegetarian cookbooks. These resources make it possible to not run out of ideas for cooking.   These cookbooks feature Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, African, Mediterranean, and Caribbean cuisine. 

Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Recipe
My iPad is my best friend in the kitchen. You can definitely not run out of recipes with a tablet near by. 

I go to the local Farmer's Market once a week. I also go to my neighborhood grocery store at least twice a week. So here is an example of the use of technology in the kitchen. I found these sweet potatoes on sale. I did not want to just bake them in the oven. So I went online on the iPad, Googled "Sweet Potato Indian Recipe" and voila the Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Recipe popped up. This recipe is just scrumptious.

Inside the kitchen refrigerator looks like a mini produce section. I also have a gazillion spices in the cabinet so I had everything I needed to whip this delicious dish up.

Without having cooking resources at my fingertips, I would not be able to create such a variety of foods. I never in a thousand years thought that I would every cook cauliflower and it taste great. 

I absolutely love I have the app on all of my devices. This stir-fried okra with red bell pepper is another example of a great recipe. It's known as Bhendi Masala. The red peppers gives it such a great flavor. My five year old asks for seconds of okra. Now that is a good deal.

Now the  proverbial New Year's black-eyed peas was a bit of a challenge. No smoked neckbones, hamhock or turkey in this dish. I used tomatoes and a bit of jalapeño peppers in this traditional dish. It was good but definitely not great. It was a'ight!

Sweet sop also known as sugar apple
My husband had always wanted a mini-fridge in our bedroom for all the wrong reasons I can assure you. I just felt that that was just ridiculous. The day my husband was released from hospital after his heart attack, I went straight away to the store and bought a mini-refrigerator for his side of the bedroom. I filled it to capacity with water, healthy snacks, and fresh fruit. On the top of the unit is a double fruit basket that is filled to the brim with fruit. Can you believe I have to restock often? Our entire family enjoys the convenience of having food accessible to us. Living in the tropics has it advantages. It makes it possible to have a wide variety of fruit all year long. 

My five year old son get's the biggest kick out of assisting me with the food planning and preparation. He makes wonderful suggestions based on what we see in the cookbooks. We have also added bike riding to our daily regimen. I just chose something that I knew we would all enjoy. We also hike on the weekends at our local national park. 

I have even changed the way in which I make flat breads (rotis). I now will make them with 100% whole wheat flour or mix it half and half with gram (chickpea) flour. I have also changed the rice we consume to brown basmati or brown jasmine rice. We really love the nuttiness of the rice. 

Celery, apple, ginger, and lemon juice.
I now wake up 45 minutes to an hour earlier than I use to. I have always been a praying girl. However the change is that now I need to be still and listen as well as pray. So I incorporate meditation in my morning routine. After I meditate I pray and read scripture. I just finished reading "I Declare" by Joel Osteen and I am not the same woman I was when I started that journey with his book. Amazing!!!

I have added daily juicing to my diet as well. Hubby is not quite on board with that yet. I am working on him. I am so sure that the good folks down at my local Starbucks have put an APB out on me. Nowadays I run down the stairs (six months ago I could not run out of the room much less down the stairs) to use make myself a drink.

Kale, ginger, apple, lemon juice (my fave)
The Nutribullet effortlessly pulverizes any fruit or vegetables you put into the machine. The Nutribullet came with a juicing recipe book that I just love. I pour my juice into a big cup and sip it as I drive to work and pass the Starbucks along the way. I have so much energy after drinking one of these. However, on some weekends I do swing by and visit my friends at Starbucks and order my Skinny French Vanilla Decaf Latte, for old times sake. 

I am so grateful that my husband was able to make a full recovery from the heart attack and that we can take this journey to good health together as a family. Now you understand why I started my New Year's Resolution before January 1st. 

What are some journey's you will be taking in 2013?



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Maureen Wyatt said...

I'm so sorry you had such a terrible scare. Your attitude is wonderful and I'm sure your whole family is benefiting from the new, healthy lifestyle! Thanks for sharing all the tips on eating well.

Meg said...

Oh my goodness what a scare for you!
I am so glad your husband is well again. Thankyou for sharing my post this week and Ill be taking on board you recipe tips. Hugs Meg

Erin~Just*Grand said...

I am so glad things are going well for you now! What a nasty scare. You make all that healthy food look really tasty! I may have to try the sweet potatoes. Hope you have a happy, healthy 2013!

Kristi said...

I am so sorry to hear of your husbands heart attack, but so glad to see you all making life changes! Praying for healing for your family!

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Wow, what an awful ordeal your family has been through, but it sounds like your husband is doing much better now. Thank you so much for sharing all the good healthy recipes and pictures...definitely my way of eating.

Our Hopeful Home said...

I'm so glad your husband has recovered so well. No doubt it's because of you! I admire you for your dedication and culinary imagination! It all looked good to me!

Stan and Jody Gabara said...

Sorry to hear about your husband, hope he's feeling better after being taken care of by the best nurse. It sounds like you have done your homework. I've learned so much. Thanks so much for sharing at Simple & Sweet Fridays. Have A Wonderful week!


Teresa said...

I'm so sorry to know this. But it seems the Lord Had greater plans to you and you're following through.
In love with your suggestions.
Helthy Living can be contagious and soon you won't be able to understand the before why when you're living a great after.
Keep up the great work - both phisical as spiritual. You will feel blessed and all around you will, cheerfully, jump the wagon.
Be Blessed,

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

I am so glad that your Hubby made a full recovery and you have taken such measures to improve all of your health!!

Thanks so much for hosting every week!!


Carlene @ Organized Clutter said...

I am making smaller changes. Like less salt, less snacks.

sunnyskiesandsweettea said...

It sounds like y'all are doing really great with your new diet plan! That is inspiring to me as I always have such a hard time sticking to change....southern food is my favorite (baptized in grease).... I know it is bad. I have been working though at changing our eating habits too.

Amy Jo

Julie Marie said...

Oh Paula... I am soo happy your husband came through everything okay and you are both doing all the right things on your way to better health... all of your recipes look and sound delish to me... several years ago, my hubby, who is the picture of good health, had a heart attack also two days before Christmas and we spent Christmas that year in ICU... he too has a stent now... we always ate really healthy, but one can always improve on what they eat, and now, we do alot like you are... he still works out and we both walk daily and ride our exercise bike... it quickly becomes a way of life you wonder why you didn't start sooner... prayers for all of you... how cute your darling son wants to help out, he is precious!... xoxo Julie Marie

Penny @ Penny's Vintage Home said...

Congrats and good luck on your new health plan! Have a great day...hugs, Penny

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh I am so glad your husband is doing well and you two are on the road to super health. What a Blessing. Thanks for hosting again this week. Hugs, marty

Susie said...

Paula, That is scary, being 40 and having a heart attack. Thank God he's okay. My husband had a heart episode(not an attack but headed there) when he was 2 days from his 48th birthday. He had never been in the hospital, his cholestrol was good. He got a stent, diet, heart meds for life now. Good your children will know the right ways to eat. blessings to all of you,xo,Susie

Unknown said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband, and so happy to hear here's doing well! Praying for you all!

The food looks so yummy! Thank you so much for hosting! Have a wonderful week. :)


Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Life changing and life style changing too. Appreciate that you wrote about how you are changing your family's eating toward good for your heart.

Thank you for hosting.


Barbara @ 21 Rosemary Lane said...

I am so glad to hear that your hubby is going to be OK. So sorry your family had to face such a scare. Sounds like you all are on the right track and your son will so benefit from your example of how to eat healthy.
Keeping you in my prayers.
XO Barbara

Always Nesting said...

Very sorry about your husband. So glad to hear about the lifestyle change for you and your family.

Jeannie and Linda said...

Wow Paula what a wake up call! I do admire your determination to change your lifestyle. I certainly need to do the same. I've heard twice now about "I Declare!" I think maybe I'm supposed to get it!

Oh and thanks for hosting this beautiful party!
Love Girl,

Linda at The French Hens Nest

Diane | An Extraordinary Day said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. But, rejoicing with you at his recovery and your new life. If you want to learn more about healthy living visit "The Healthy Home Economists" I love her site and learn so very much.

lynn cockrell said...

Paul, this all looks so good! Three of my favorite foods, black-eyed peas, okra and sweet potatoes. I admit that I love fried okra. I know it isn't good for us, even though I always use canola oil. We also love it when I make boiled okra and tomatoes and I serve it over white jasmine rice. Not as good for us as brown rice, but I can't seem to get my husband to get into that. I love the fragrance of jasmine rice both when it is cooking and being served. I usually make salmon patties when I make okra & tomatoes over rice. If you like salmon, you could do the baked version, which I often do. Oh, it looks like you have a budding chef on your hands. He's a doll!

Sonny G said...

so sorry to hear about your hubs.
I'm sure he'll make a full recovery and this new eating style will be good for both of you.
thanks for hosting the party~!

Barbara F. said...

So sorry to hear about your husband, 40 is so young. But you have taken off in the right direction. I do vegan once or twice a week. I can give up red meat but I need my poultry and fish! And egg whites! Your son is so cute, helping you cook. xo

Uniquely Ella said...

So very sorry that your family had to go through that. But I'm happy to know he is ok, at heart attack at 40, WOW. I love all the changes you have made for your fanily. Thats our next book, love him. I'm almost finished with " One Thousand Gift" loving it. Praying for your family.

Antiques And Teacups said...

I do hope your DH is doing well. I am mostly vegetarion...vegan really...because of my allergies. MUCH healthier. I have a truffle recipe, but I won't be making it myself. We love Indian food, so the sweet potato recipe is great. I was amazed to see the fruit you call sweet sop. I found it years ago in the Philippines where I was an exchange student and LOVED it. It was called Atis there, and when I have found any here on the West Coast since it is called Cherimoya. Tried to grow it from seen once, but no go. What a neat post!

Kathy said...

Your food choices sound terrific - I have made that juice before, it is pretty good - love tomatoes and ocra! Fantastic features - I do appreciate you hosting,

Kathy said...

I realized the first part of my comment I deleted - so sorry to hear about your husband's heart attack. My sister-in-law had one just about that time too - it does make you reconsider a lot -we've made a lot of changes at our home too! Wishing you all God's richest blessings,

Heirloom treasures said...

Paula,I am so sorry you had to experience something so scary but sometimes these things happen to make us change our habits I think. So pleased your hubby is ok. good luck with the cooking. x

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Wow, Paula, what a scary episode! Sometimes that's what it takes to make us get serious about our health! Glad to hear that your hubby is recovering!! Praying for great health in 2013!!!

Rosemary and Thyme said...

Oh my.. I am so sorry to hear about your husband.. That is such a scary experience. My uncle just had a stroke last weekend it was a horrible experience. I am happy to hear that you are on a healthy path now. My best to you both.


Oh my goodness, your hubby is so young and I am so happy you both are in the road to good health and a healthy way of cooking. I do this always and not only does it keep us healthy, but in the slim side..both hubs and me. Good luck with your proposition and you will have great results too. Thanks for sharing the recipes and for hosting your terrific meme, sweetie. God bless.

The Vintage Chateau said...

Wow, what a story! You've given us all a wake up call and great ways to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Best of luck in the new year to your family!

Revi said...

Paula and Patti - thanks for the feature! And Paula, I think your response is perfect to such a life-changing event! I'm desiring a more veg-filled diet, too, and juicing and raw things are definitely at the top of my list. I'm going to check out that nutri bullet!
Thanks for this. I'd also be interested in some of your favorite juicing and raw food recipes...

Biljana said...

Good luck dear Paula, thanks for hosting:-)

Gillian Roe said...

Hi Paula, thanks for stopping by my blog. How awful to hear about your husband's heart attack, but I am so glad he recovered well. Some of the recipes and ideas here look delicious. I am really trying to eat more healthily - juicing seems to be the way forward.

Gillian x

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Paula. Thanks for hosting and I'm so sorry to hear of your husband's illness. Good for you that you are changing your eating habits. It's sometime hard to say but that's what it's all about. That and exercise. Same thing happened to my SIL when he was 42. It's been 8 years and he is doing fine now but had to make a change as well..Happy Thursday..Judy

Karen said...

I'm so sorry you and your husband had to go through this. I'm so happy he is on the mend. There's nothing like a life changing event to make you reevaluate life is there? Your recipes sound healthy and delicious. Thanks for sharing them.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck in your new health journeys! I think you have made some great changes to help you & your husband become healthier, especially giving up meat. is a great resource & they are also a magazine. Sending healing thoughts your way.

Terri~terrileeauthor said...

Sorry to hear about your Hubby's health scare. Sounds like you are making some good choices and it's not too late to start eating well.
I'm enjoying juicing also. I just started at the first of the year. They are great!! Good luck

Kim @ French Country Antiques said...

Oh, Paula I'm so glad to hear your husband is okay. My husband had a "heart" scare a couple years ago and we too changed the way we eat and approached food. Prayer and meditation are powerful tools...I'll have to check out that Joel Osteen book.

The Liberty Belle said...

May the blessings of good health and longevity cover you and your family. Your dedication to change is inspiring.

Liberty Belle

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You've really inspired me with this post. I hope your husband continues to be well and enjoy all of the healthy foods you are preparing for your family. We eat simply but we could do even better. Thanks for sharing that you use allrecipes. I'll be sure and put that in my favorites now. Sweet hugs to you and I'm wishing you the best in this new year!

Tina said...

Oh that is scary! I'm so happy to hear that your husband is doing fine now. Take care and good health.

Blessed Serendipity said...

I am sorry to hear that your husband had a heart attack. What a scary time for your family but it sounds like you are all making some healthier choices and changes for your family. God bless you.


Julie Marie said...

Hi again ladies... I think your email has been hacked... I just got one that said it was from you, but I don't think it really was you... there was a link I did not open... just thought you might want to know and check on it... xoxo Julie Marie

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

I just cannot imagine how frightening this has been for you and your family.
So thankful that your husband is doing so well and has a wise woman by his side! Your son is so precious! So much to be thankful for! Thank you for including my quiche-Looking forward to more healthy recipes from you-

Palomasea said...

Oh dear very frightening.
And what a blessing that he is OK!!!
Your plan sounds just right, I remember how amazing I felt when I drank green juices...your eye-opening post makes me want to go back on them again.
Kudos to your family for taking your health into your own hands...and how wonderful that your darling son is helping with the cooking!
Be well, and God Bless!!!
- Irina

Johanna Gehrlein said...

Hi Paula,
that was certainly scary for you all. What a luck he survived the heart attack. Your health plans sound so good. Hopefully such a scary moment will never come back to your life. Thank you for sharing this good health recipes and blessings to you and your family.
Best greetings, Johanna

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Paula, that is really scary. So glad that hubby is alright. Looks like you have really figured the whole thing out. I think I would have such a hard time figuring out what to cook without meat. I have been trying to cook healthier meals but I really need to go meatless sometimes. I don't do it very often. Thanks for the party. Really great features!

Sue said...

Very glad to hear that your husband is doing well and that you've both adapted a new lifestyle of eating that will keep you heart-healthy! My husband experienced a health issue 3 years ago and the lifestyle changes he had to make have been tremendous for him. :-)
Glad I could link up this week. Thanks for hosting!


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