My Frugal Holiday: Resolve to Eat Healthier

New Year resolutions are not something I ever make, I regret them all year long after I break them. This year we weren't given a choice but to make resolutions. We had an unwelcome early Christmas surprise. My husband Bob, had to have open heart surgery on Dec. 22. To us the most important thing about Christmas is being together with family, and our sons were with us.


Our gift was Bob getting a new chance at life. The term "life changing experience" really took on deeper meaning to our family all of a sudden. The little everyday irritations of life were forgotten in a "heart beat" and the bigger obstacles are now simply accepted without a second thought.

Beside the physical changes, I have to learn a new way of cooking. No more spur of the moment "Oh, let's fry a steak and fries". That is out! No more drowning popcorn in hot butter and extra salt. You see the problem only starts there; for all of our 43 years of married life we have had our own well marbled beef. We spent many of those years working on the ranch, which meant chicken fried in lard for Sunday dinner and the flakiest crusts for pies made from lard for dessert, which we had with every meal. But you get the idea that was a way of life, our way of life.


We now share one pork chop, cook fresh vegetables from our garden, and eat a little more salad instead. We share a piece of fruit mid morning and mid afternoon. Bob has never been a fruit eater so this in itself has been a big change for him.

So when we got Bob home, I went through our pantry and freezer making a note of what legal foods we had and what we would need. Bob had checkups with two different doctors in two weeks so I needed to get all we would need at that time including his prescription refills. We can't be making any unnecessary trips with the bills we will be facing. Nothing that isn't absolutely necessary. So, now I plan our meals farther ahead and am trying to use up what we have in stock more than I bothered with before. We knew Bob's blood pressure was a little high, so I had purchased No Salt to use on his food a couple of months ago. If you haven't been one to read labels, believe me it will shock you at the amount of sodium or salt they put in foods. Quite a few foods such as tuna have low sodium versions if you look.


I suggest everyone resolve to cut back before you find yourself in the same position we are. You don't want to spend Christmas in a hospital wondering if it will be your last with your loved one.

By Ann Winberg from Loup City, NE

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January 21, 20110 found this helpful

Amen Sister about cutting back and that's not just on the bad things for your health but also on spending money unneccessarily! I pray for a quick recovery for Bob and for smooth sailing ahead for the both of you!

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January 21, 20110 found this helpful

Dear Ann, So glad hubby is back home and you get another chance. God bless your family. I'd like to give you my best recommendation, watch Dr. Oz Show daily, specially 1/21/11. He is a heart surgeon and his show overflows with good tips and education.


Today I learned how sugar not found naturally is America's big problem, not only salt and and saturated fats. He explains how the body works, it's fascinating! He only does the show because he wants us as a country improve our health.

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January 25, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks for sharing your inspirational story.

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January 26, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks for sharing your story Ann. I worry so much about my husband, there is no way I will ever change his eating habits. I am a very healthy eater, by choice, and I know what my cooking is doing to him. There just isn't anyway I can do anything about it.

I agree, watch Dr.Oz. I tape his show everyday. He is a wealth of information. I recently lost the 20 excess pounds I have had for over 5 years and in doing so I learned so much about food, diet eating and label reading.


Here's a kicker for you, low fat or fat free foods are usually worse for you than full fat, due to all the *stuff* they have to add to make it taste better after taking out the fat. In moderation the *real* thing is usually better.

I also switched to coconut oil, milk and flour, as well as almond oil, butter, milk,and flour. I really enjoyed Dr. Oz's show on the benny's of coconut oil. Good luck to you on your new journey of healthy eating.

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January 27, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and encouragement. Believe me it has helped. Bob is doing great, not minding the food changes too much and is now in rehab. One would think we are large people with the way of eating we have enjoyed but we aren't, we are fortunate that way.


Our cholesterol is not too high either so another plus. Those two factors together are why I was so surprised that Bob would have heart problems, that and the fact that he is the first in his family history to have any heart realted health issues. Thanks again. Sure enjoy my TF family. Ann

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