I thought 2020 was a rough year. 2021 has been no slouch. But I’m optimistic. It will get better. For me, after a year that felt out of control, that means regaining some semblance of feeling my hands on the wheel again.
My Drs are doing their thing and I get to wear a portable heart monitor so they can get a better view into the literal heat beat of my day to day. I’m actually feeling pretty good about it. But there is more.
Before all this I never had issues with my heart. Never had cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure. In fact, my blood pressure was usually low. It runs in my family. Two years ago at my annual physical in Valencia my Dr told me ‘5 year olds have higher blood pressure and cholesterol than you do. You have a healthy heart.’
But no more. On top of other issues, I’m running the board now on all the bad indicators and it turned on a dime. So its time to make some changes.
To meet these new challenges in addition to meds, I need to be on a strict diet. No more red meat. No more eggs. No caffeine. None of the foods that cause inflammation. So I’m going all in and becoming a pescatarian, without huevos de pato (duck eggs). I’ll eat nonfat goat or sheep yogurt but no more mantequilla de cabra (goat butter). Essentially heavy fruits, veg and legumes/nuts. And fatty fish like tuna and salmon. And olive oil. I’ll approach this with an Asian Mediterranean fusion menu.
It seems like it would feel restrictive. But for me it doesn’t. After a year of feeling like I had no control over what came at me, this feels like something I can actually do to make a positive impact. Something I can do to decide my own fate. Taking action. I like that.
Spain is a good place to be a pescatarian (fish eater). Much easier than in the US. Other than jamon, fresh fish is everywhere here. A buffet of the fruits of the sea is on ice in every grocery store. A section larger than the meat department. And we have several neighborhood fish markets with the catch of the day right off the boat. Maybe I’ll learn to make my own sushi! 🤔
I’ll miss the duck eggs. But it’s not a big deal. I can adjust. I’m only 54. I have decades yet to live, full of adventures. I’m not willing to trade duck eggs, steak or goat butter for even one of them. I don’t know if I could ever go full vegan. But never say never. Its nice to be given a task. And its easily done.
This being Spain, my cardiologist asked if I was keeping up with my prescribed one glass of red wine per day. I haven’t had wine or alcohol in a very long time.
‘Just one.’ She told me after I expressed concerns about it conflicting with any of the other meds or treatments. ‘Its important for your heart, and one glass will not hurt anything. Besides, it will relax you. It can be at any time of day. Breakfast or lunch. But one glass each day.’
I told Jeff what she said on the way home from the Dr. ‘Breakfast wine. Of course she did.’ He laughed and shook his head.
Breakfast wine?!? Oh yeah. Now I remember why we moved to Spain. 😉🍷