Wednesday, July 20, 2011
When the heat index is at 111 degrees -- and the actual temperature is 101 degrees -- it stands to reason that one should NOT have to cook. But when vacation and heat have taken huge tolls on your life, then, yes, you need to cook even if it heats up the house and plays havoc with your AC electricity bills.
Hubby went to his cardiologist yesterday and returned a pretty unhappy guy. His family could have told him it was coming but some people are just stubborn. Hubby took his vacation as a time to eat things he should not. He had ice cream -- several time, two huge scoops in a cup each setting. He had tiny cups of ice cream in the middle of the night -- to keep the heat at bay. He ate hot dogs. He ate salami sandwiches. He ate sausage three times for breakfast.
The heat was awful in Annapolis. We hadn't expected it to be so very, very hot. Family showed up and stayed around. None of us were happy about it -- but how do you tell a 94 year old older brother he wasn't welcome? Cousins made plans to visit that disrupted our plans for a relaxing weekend, the only one we had actually planned for.
The driving in DC and Maryland was awful and we kept running into road accidents, both on the highway going and returning and while in Maryland, that sometimes caused road detours on roads we didn't know or just huge traffic jams. Hubby did almost all the driving -- 4280+ miles worth.
I was tired when we started and it didn't get better as the week progressed. Sister-in-law had dietary requirements and headaches (though she manfully refrained from talking about them, we did not notice that as the week wore on she was taking more and more meds). The dogs, who had played gleefully in the fenced in yard two years ago, had no interest in going outside because it was too hot. Hubby got stressed. He ate badly -- even though he did some cooking at night, even then he ate baked beans and potato salad.
The cardiologist yesterday was incredulous. "You have been exercising in this heat?"
"Well, the heat has been causing me problems. I thought if I could get stronger . . .and I didn't get to exercise on vacation. I just want to feel a little bit better and if I could feel more like my old self . . . "
"STOP IT NOW! That's an order! You are to stay completely out of the heat! Did you hear me? No going into this heat until your blood pressure comes down."
Hubby came home defeated -- and looking just as ashy as he had on our arrival in KC on Monday morning. "I'm grounded," he moaned. "My blood pressure was 181 over 96."
The first thing I had done on Friday after getting home (and filling the dogs' water bowl) was thaw two chicken breasts. I had baked them that night -- but the truth is that Hubby fed most of his to the dogs. Then I'd tried baked lean butterfly pork chops. Hubby ate half of one and a honeydew melon. Sunday we gave in and ordered a vegetarian pizza (with hamburger). Hubby ate half the pizza before I took it away to the kitchen. It was the first meal he'd liked since getting home.
Monday we went back on the chicken regime. I found a new spicy barbecue sauce in Kentucky and that seemed to help him eat at least half of his breast. Yesterday I drove myself to the newly opened Trader Joe's (it opened July 15th -- and the place is still is freakin' zoo!) and loaded my cart with low sodium, no preservative treats.
Today I've baked bacon (it's really good baked in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes) -- bacon that has no MSG, no nitrates, no preservatives -- and 4 slices of bacon only account 270 grams of salt (Hubby can have up to 2400 a day) for a BLT sandwich -- minus the lettuce, but lots of tomato.
Hubby still looks ashy but his blood pressure is down to 141 this morning. Of course, he's out doing his "chores" in this heat but when he returns, he'll have a lunch / dinner that he will enjoy.
I don't have clue what's on the menu for tomorrow -- except I have a lovely pot of brown rice steaming on the stove (more heat for the old kitchen) and a pound of ground round in the frig. Inspiration will undoubtedly strike.