After my dad's heart attack, the doctor sat down our family to discuss what had happened. He explained that even if my dad had been a model citizen with diet, exercise & stress management, that would have only delayed the heart attack--not prevented it. The largest culprit was dun dun duhhhhhhhhhh...family history. My dad had two cousins who died young of sudden cardiac death and, along his side of the family, it's unusual to NOT have a heart issue. Then the doctor urged my brothers and I to start yearly exams at age 20 (weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, trigs, etc).
The next night, after visiting dad in the ICU, I did what any normal person would do. I calmly wrote in my journal freaked the F&*# out. Unable to sleep, I got up around 3:30 and started purging our refrigerator & cabinets.
Cheez-its? Hit the deep six.
Horrible-for-you-store-bought cookies? Adios muchachos.
Toaster Strudels? Why did we even buy these?!?!
Yes, it was excessive. Yes, it was wasteful. And yes it was absolutely necessary to maintain my sanity. All told, I threw out 5 full garbage bags of food. I refused to give away anything that didn't make the cut in our own house; I'd be damned if I was going to re-gift something that would clog someone else's arteries.
After my moment of insanity, Mother Hubbard's cupboard looked better than ours. But hey! If we were going to start from scratch, and really rebuild a healthy lifestyle, then now was the time. And we'd have to do it right if we wanted to maximize the amount of time my dad had left.
I guess you could say that my family was sufficiently spooked because in the past year, our whole mentality about food has changed. For the first three months or so, our diets were squeaky clean.
And then I started to miss things like pizza.
I don't say no to pizza.
But I also am SO over heart attacks.
In the end, it was my mom that found a way for us to have our (pizza) pie and eat it too. Modified from a Cooks Country Recipe (Speedy Grilled Pizza), it now fits a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Also, some people don't take pictures of their delicious finished products. Other people completely drop the ball and forget. I am the latter. ;)