Monday, February 4, 2013

How My Husband Reversed His Heart Disease After a Heart Attack

As many of you remember, my husband had a heart attack February 27th, 2012, with 100 percent blockage and only 30 percent heart function. You can read about my post right after his heart attack here. He was told he would only gain maybe 50 percent heart function, that he would always have damage. Well, fast forward to today, and he has full heart function and they could barely find any sign of damage on his echocardiogram taken a over a month ago. His cardiologist said he has reversed his heart disease and is considering taking him off of all meds. He also had an ultrasound of his veins done in his legs and neck, and they are clear. You can read about that post here. I was asked by several readers if I would share what he has been doing to get this improvement.

He exercises daily. For the first 12 weeks he went to physical therapy. He now walks at a fast pace, walks the stairs at work, lifts weights, hula hoops with adult size hoops and does pushups. Not everything every day, but he usually does two or three of these each day, doing something aerobic 45 minutes at least four days a week. He is very committed and consistent. I believe the exercise may even be more crucial to his healing than the diet; although they are both important.

Below is what his diet consists of. This diet and exercise has brought his cholesterol and weight down significantly. Animals products are not more than 20 percent of his diet.

We place a big focus on eating whole, non-processed food. Lots of salads and fruits and nuts for snacks.

We eat foods low on the glycemic scale. You can find one by doing a search on Google.

We do not drink juice or coffee. We drink tea.

We do not eat: dried fruit, corn, white potatoes, white rice, wheat (so no pasta, sandwiches or cereal), milk, full fat cheese, deli meats, sausage, hot dogs, etc. or beef.

No salt. We use Mrs. Dash as a substitute.

No butter or margarine. We saute with Grape seed oil or pure extra virgin coconut oil.

No store bought dressings because of the high sugar content. We use extra virgin olive oil and vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon.

No Ketchup or mayonnaise. High in sugar. Mustard is okay.

We use stevia in place of sugar.

We use unsweetened almond milk.

Here are some of the things we eat: one weight watchers cheese stick a day, and not every day. No other cheese in diet. Oatmeal; eggs; plain yogurt mixed with stevia, blueberries, raw oats, raw walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds; salmon; lean ground turkey; chicken breast; beans and brown rice; soup (not canned) (We often put pearled barley and canned diced tomatoes in our soup and bean dishes); lentils; sweet potatoes; raw almonds as a snack; raw pumpkin seeds as a snack or in salad; peaches; plums; apples; pears, berries; oranges, cantelope; watermelon; tomatoes; avocados; red graces (not green); various vegetables; salad; quinoa.

Watermelon is high on the glycemic scale but affects the body as if it's low.

Dairy is low on the glycemic scale but affects the body as if high because it is in high in lactose sugar.

We eat eggs because even though they are high in cholesterol, they are low in saturated fat so the cholesterol does not affect the body in a negative way. Cholesterol is a problem in high fat foods.

We don't eat many packaged foods; and when we do, we check the labels carefully, especially for sugar content and salt content.

When eating out, we typically will order fish, chicken breast, non creamy soups, or salad. We do not use their dressing. If they do not have oil and vinegar, we will ask for lemon and use fresh squeezed lemon and avocado if they have it. We do not eat the bread or chips.

Examples of breakfast: oatmeal (old fashioned oats, not instant or quick cooking), plain yogurt mixed with berries, nuts, sunflower seeds, oats, banana, stevia; salmon, banana with almond butter, avocado, eggs. (Banana tip: The riper the banana the higher the sugar content. We try to avoid overly ripe bananas.) And we don't eat too many bananas because they are higher in sugar than other fruits.

A very important key element to the success of our diet aside from low sugar and very little carbs from wheat would be trying to have  protein with each meal and snack as often as possible. Protein slows the absorption of sugar, helps to maintain muscle mass and therefore burn more fat and it also aids in the feeling of satiety and the result is eating less.

Foods with protein: nuts and seeds, plain yogurt, eggs, chicken, fish, turkey, beans, Weight Watchers low fat mozzarella cheese stick, almond butter.

The fat in avocados and nuts are okay because they are the good fats and will not make you gain weight. Weight gain in diets comes mainly from too much sugar or foods that turn into sugar, bread, corn, white potatoes are some examples. The good fats also make you feel full longer so you eat less.


As you have probably gathered by now, sugar and high-sugar foods are to be avoided. It causes health problems as well as weight gain, which are all bad for the heart.

Some of the supplements he takes are a multiple, a green barley drink, fish oil, Coenzyme Q10, cayenne, D-3. We are still researching the supplements. He should probably be taking calcium and magnesium as well. We are   also still learning and improving our diet. 

I am also eating this way as well in hopes of preventing a heart attack and/or stroke. Heart disease is one of the, if not the, number one killers of women.

Again, a good, strong aerobic exercise program for 45 minutes a day, four days a week (work your way up to this and check with your doctor first) and a really good diet similar to the one above are key to preventing and reversing heart disease. Could save your life. Exercise is what saved my husband's life. The doctor said that because he had exercised for years before his heart attack that he had built collateral arteries so that blood was still able to get through; otherwise, he would have died instantly since he had 100 percent blockage in the main artery they call the widow maker. So if you will build up a good sweat on a regular basis, you will build collateral arteries too. A book we are finding very helpful is Younger Next Year and Younger Next Year for Women, minus all of the evolutionary talk. It explains the exercise connection and exactly what to do and how much to add years to your life. It was written by a doctor and his patient and how it helped him. Hope you find all of this helpful, and let me know if you have any tips. We are still learning.

On a side note, I have been doing some sewing for my first grand baby who should be here in two weeks or less. My hubby sent my computer off to be fixed; and if all goes well, I will have it back this week. So hopefully I can start posting mine and Emily's sewing projects again. So be sure and check in. And I have decided to have the grands call me Mimi. I really like the way that sounds. I think it's sweet. What do you think? I was stuck on Gigi for a while, but I just wasn't sure. Then I found out that my son-in-law's mother really wanted to be called Gigi; so I decided to go with Mimi.

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing Trudy! Glad you guys have embarked on a healthy way of eating. I'm with ya on that (give or take a few items):) I'm a big follower of "The Maker's Diet" by Jordan Rubin. All about eating naturally and healthy. Good health is a gift and investment and should be regarded as such. Besides, the better you eat, the better you feel. Also, good deal about your Hubby's exercising. Another testimony about how good it is for you. I need to get more diligent with mine. Glad all is well with the fam and congrats on being a Grandma-To-Be:)

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  2. That is so fabulous that he completely healed his heart! From my experience, if doctors can't heal it through drugs and surgery, they think it can't be healed. It is too bad they don't know how incredible our bodies are at healing themselves given the right food and exercise. I am happy you are doing so much better. I cling to the verse, "God works ALL things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His promise."

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  3. Trudy, this is wonderful news. And congrats to you for doing so much for changing your family's eating habits. He couldn't have done this without you, I am sure.

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  4. I'm really glad to hear that you are all doing well. I've thought about you over the past year and wondered how you were. I'm pleased your husband is healing well. I wish you continued good health and happiness.

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  5. That is absolutely amazing, Trudy! God is good! Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Your husband's heart disease reversal is the most wonderful amazing news Trudy, and this is a simply brilliant post. Everyone should read this. You have inspired me to eliminate a few baddies from my own diet too.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to post this, and for keeping us updated on your lovely family. You are such a lovely caring person. Wishing you all good health and happiness :)

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  7. This sounds pretty good, and I'm glad it's helped him so much. We eat only real food - yes, we have given up wheat and other starchy foods - but we also use coconut oil for cooking for two main reasons: a) heat does not change it to a bad fat, and b) it does not store as body fat, but goes directly to energy use, including thermogenesis.

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  8. Trudy, Thanks so much for sharing all of this. Marty looks wonderful and I can tell he's healthy. Thanks for the specific diet information. :)

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  9. Hello & thanks for sharing. Consistent exercise and healthy eating is a key factor in cardiovascular prevention. Unfortunately, many Americans don't take the time to do what you've done until it's too late or close to having a near deadly encounter. Just like we have a schedule for work,school, etc., that's how we have to treat our health: have to make time to exercise and change our nutrition.

    Yes, it's time consuming, but worth it (I multi-task while I'm cooking my meals for the week, I'm doing other things--nothing burns or gets over cooked) :-). This has done wonders for my health and overall well-being.

    Thanks for sharing and Thank you LORD!!!

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  10. I’m really happy to hear this! But I’m sure you’re happier than me. You’ve sacrificed and done everything just to combat his heart disease. All your efforts and patience in helping and taking care of your husband definitely paid off. Having a healthy lifestyle is definitely the only best way to fight any diseases. Congratulations and thank you for sharing this! +Leora Yang

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  11. Thanks for sharing this Trudy, my mom has a heart problem and it's a good thing that I landed on your site. Thanks for the info I will let my mom read this.

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  12. Hi! TRUDY CALLAN
    we also say no to salt,
    butter or margarine,
    store bought dressings, Ketchup or mayonnaise
    These are awesome
    Thank you for taking the time to catalogue these things for us

    Posts ads free and quickly...




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  13. This is great information you have shared with us. I have had a few old friends with some heart problems and I really want to help them. I wouldn't want them to suffer when the time comes.

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  14. It is good to know that your husband has recovering with the time. You should help her husband to from a proper physical workout plans.
    physical therapy Bergen County

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  15. This a great news. Thanks for sharing.
    DD

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  16. Nice post. Thanks for sharing with us. Omega 3 Capsules helps in Heart related problems. - http://www.shreyomega.com/Cardiovascular-Problem.php

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