|Chocolate (death) cake--at least for my dad.|
Miniscule amounts of those foods and others were usually all right to eat—except chocolate, which made him sicker than a dog—but after a few trips to the hospital and more than a few bouts of sickness at home, those foods were simply no longer appealing. His diet changed, and largely so did mine.
We stopped buying frozen meals and prepared food and started cooking meats and vegetables fresh. Everything that went into the cart was first checked for sodium content, caffeine, chocolate, or high amounts of sugar. We bought more fresh fruit and vegetables, and fewer muffins and pastries. I knew my diet had changed, but I really noticed when I went off to college and would take a bite of food and find that all I could taste was salt—or get a slice of cake and only be able to eat half of it before I was overloaded with sugar.
|Salt is another no-no. Most Americans consume far too much of it.|
My dad’s experiences with Meniere’s have been hard on him and on our family—repeated doctor’s visits, frequent nausea and vertigo, lifestyle changes, and more have become regular occurrences in our lives. But one thing I’m grateful for is the fact that it taught me early to eat healthy. Consuming less sodium can reduce blood pressure in adults. And eating bananas, which is my dad’s favorite fruit to buy, may also reduce blood pressure because of its high potassium content.
|Bananas are some of Dad's favorites. Mine, too!|
So I’m saying thank you to my dad for passing those habits on to me at an early age, even though it wasn’t exactly his choice. And now I’m trying to do that same favor to others—so pass it on: more bananas, less salt.