Monday, October 20, 2014

What I've Learned After My Stroke

Every stroke survivor knows the date of their stroke. It’s like your birthday, you never forget it.

The day that changed your life.

Mine? November 15, 2005. Sometimes it’s hard to remember how things were before the stroke. That’s because your life was a certain way then and it’s a certain way now. But never forget you have a second chance at this circus called Life.

Let’s continue with tips that help me navigate in this new world.


I love, really love, all the stuff that’s bad for you. I just re-read that and chuckled because it’s been that way my whole life. Pizza, cookies, chocolate, french fries, cheesy french fries, the list is a long one and I did my part to keep all of them in the black. Now it’s a cavalcade of vegetables and fruit and chicken and fish and things that help keep the bug- a- boos at bay.  Reading this you'd think I’m some kind of saint.

I’m not.

But, I’ll say this, having a stroke scared me. Laying in a hospital bed, weak as a kitten, will definitely get your attention. And then you begin to think about what do I do to keep the wolves outside my door in the future. That’s where change comes into focus.

This being a saint kind of thing won’t fly in that I eat things that aren’t the greatest for you.  The key is I don’t do it every day. Let me explain, if you told me I couldn’t eat chocolate chip cookies ever again, I’d eat every one I could find. Today. But moderation is a good word. You can have your treats, just not every day. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t remember the last time you had something, then go ahead and have some.

Not a lot, some.

But go right back to being good.

Halloween is a bad time for me. I’m at the door giving out Butterfingers and Three Musketeers and did I mention Snickers? I love Snickers and that’s not good. Trick or Treaters and me. Think about that for a second.  It’s a good thing it’s once a year. The holidays are tough, too, and I’ll bet you know why. Plus I have eleven year old twins and the pantry is full of land mines and booby traps.

A few hard and fast rules that I stick to… around where I live is a McDonalds, a Burger King, a Taco Bell, an Arbys. I’ve never, repeat never, eaten from any of them. Fact is I never eat any fast food. Well, Five Guys, which should be outlawed, but rarely. Fast food is bad for me so I try to avoid it at all costs. Chick-fil-A and Chipotle and Panera Bread make a good salad, but be careful. The key is what you put on that salad. Low cal Vinaigrette-good, high cal Ranch dressing-not so much.  Also try the dressing on the side as opposed to drowning your salad in it.

I haven’t had fried chicken in…I can’t remember when. If you like it try baking it. All fried foods are a no no. Try to avoid them, as well.

Serving size, portion control is also very important and was hard for me to get used to. I've been 'jolly' most of my life and over eating was just what I did. Well, guess what? It's a new day and portion control has moved up in the line. It's fine to be full but not stuffed.

All of this is like putting money in the bank.

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1 comment:

  1. This is the life we lead now too. Not because we had a stroke, no no. We just started eating right to stay healthy AND to keep our weight under control. So, we allow ourselves treats only when those treats are special. As a general rule, we skip the sweets. As you said, though, holidays are a little harder when your daughter makes a special strawberry pretzel salad, which is really a dessert in disguise! Ha!