Nutrition and Heart Attack

Nutrition and heart attack- there’s a topic I never thought I’d be writing about on this blog. There are LOADS and I do mean LOADS of differing opinions on what sort of diet one should adopt to avoid or to repair from cardiac disease. This is in no way meant to be advice– but a lot of you expressed an interest so I’m sharing with you what we are choosing with the help of our endocrinologist and blood work every 4 months, so you can keep up with our progress as we go!

Our Situation

My husband is 51 years old, is not overweight, does not have high cholesterol or high blood pressure. He does have a strong family history of heart disease, including SCA. In the last two years, he went from a very active lifestyle to a more moderately active one and added a ton of stress. If you’re new around here he suffered what the cardiologist called a sudden cardiac arrest during a heart attack- but he never became unresponsive and we were at the ER literally within minutes. Scary. As. Hell…….and moving on. Read it here.

Our Diet of Choice

We’ve chosen to go at this with a nod toward the anti-inflammatory since all chronic illness begins as inflammation. Our current choice would most closely resemble a Paleo or Primal diet (which is what our endocrinologist recommended for its ability to reduce inflammation). At the moment we are keeping steel cut oats in rotation and the occasional piece of Ezekiel toast…….just because, lol. We are loading up on LOTS of fruits and vegetables in as much variety as we can get them. Fruits and vegetables offer so much in the way of protective nutrients for our bodies. Proteins- a LOT more fish, some chicken, some turkey and only occasional grass-fed beef. Lot’s of avocados, olive oil, and nuts in all varieties. No processed foods, no refined sugar, and no refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, etc etc) ZERO trans fats – only grass-fed butter, and fermented dairy in very small amounts (also keeping eggs). We use maple syrup and local honey sparingly for sweetener and bring on the spices!

I share regularly on Instagram stories what our meals are and I’ll be sharing some here on the blog in greater recipe detail if you’re looking for ideas.

Nutrition and heart attack

In a nutshell

I shop the outer aisles of the grocery again! Our plates typically will be filled 1/2-3/4 of vegetables and 1/4 of lean protein. Snacks are things like nuts, nut butter, fruits, hummus w/ veggies( not paleo if you’re keeping track, lol), boiled eggs, guacamole, etc. We’ve kept our red wine at dinner and always skip the dessert unless it’s a very special occasion…..moving sweets waaaaay back over into the “rare treat” category.

Nutrition and heart attack
Grilled swordfish w/ lemon garlic “sauce”, zucchini noodles, and broccoli

This is a way of eating that has worked very well for us in the past and is what can be credited for healing my husband’s auto-immune disease (also- inflammation) after multiple back-to-back deployments years ago.

We had definitely moved away from this sort of meal plan in the last 3 years with all of our moves plus starting multiple businesses, etc. The main thing that changed in our diets was adding a lot of grain and refined carbs like pasta, bread and crackers back in on the regular. They were much easier to fix and didn’t take a lot of thought process when you’d been sitting at the computer working all day. It’s amazing, looking back, how easily we let that slide!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Nutrition and heart attack
Salmon cakes on butter lettuce with homemade dill, lemon mayo.

Making the Count

At the moment we aren’t counting macros or calories or anything really. We are just thinking of every single meal as an opportunity to pack in more fresh, healing nutrition that our bodies know how to use. Other than that, we’re going to let the blood work tell the tale. If we need to adjust things according to those results- we will. But this is where we will begin.

And that’s what it is- a beginning. More will have to be done to regulate stress levels and we’ve brought exercise back to the forefront of our lives again (more on that later) but we definitely feel incredibly blessed to have the chance to do it.

And just so you know- My next post will be about magnetic lash liner or an Amazon haul or some other such life-altering products so, ya know……..most things are still the same around here……just healthier. 😉

Let me know if you like this sort of information and if there are specific things that you’d like to hear about. We’re in it to win it now, so I can pretty much be as open and detailed as you’d like.

P.S.- Also in the interest of anti-inflammatories, I’ve started taking these supplements again. I took them for years and they are very high quality. I’m taking the Total Skin and Body ones, but there are a variety of others. I highly recommend checking out their supplements if you are in the market for some serious supplementation.



Melissa is an unrepentant shoe hoarder who is obsessed with travel, wine, good food and her family. (Not necessarily in that order!)

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Thanks so much for sharing!


  1. jenniferpickering22gmailcom
    January 8, 2020 / 2:34 pm

    This kind of sounds like my diet for my candida. I’m glad your husband is okay.

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    • melissa
      January 8, 2020 / 3:31 pm

      So cool Jennifer- I would think they would be very similar! Thank you so much!
      ~Melissa xx

  2. Dolores D Doxey
    January 8, 2020 / 4:43 pm

    Very interesting reading about food and Vitamins you use. I take a lot of Vitamins daily. I take 3 heart meds daily but take them at least 1 hour before breakfast and my vitamins are taken around 2 hours after my breakfast. I make sure my heart meds are in my system before I eat and my vitamins don’t enterfere with my meds that is why I take them later in the morning. So glad BA is doing great now.

    • melissa
      January 9, 2020 / 2:51 pm

      Thank you so much Aunt Dolores. I’m glad that you’ve found a good schedule for yourself- I do think that is so important. Thank you so much for your sweet comment!
      ~Melissa xx

  3. Cari Ouweneel
    January 8, 2020 / 7:32 pm

    I would love to see an example grocery list or menu plan type of thing. Also, I find cutting out all the carbs difficult. Are you a cold-turkey type or did you wean off the pasta, crackers, etc.? I appreciate that your not counting calories. I find it tiresome but it has been the only way I’ve ever lost weight. I love how you say “We are just thinking of every single meal as an opportunity to pack in more fresh, healing nutrition that our bodies know how to use.” That’s a great way to think of it. Thanks again for sharing!

    • melissa
      January 9, 2020 / 2:50 pm

      Thank you Cari! I will definitely add grocery lists and meal planning tips soon. We do go cold turkey on cutting processed, white carbs. I find that the sugar in those means eyery time you eat them- you just want to keep eating them! And the heart attack made things get real serious real fast! Thank you so much for your comment!
      ~Melissa xx

    • melissa
      January 13, 2020 / 11:14 am

      Thanks so much Jessica!
      ~Melissa xx

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