One of my various weekly tasks is I volunteer at the local hospital in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Department. Sadly its from experience, I’ve been through Cardiac Rehab 3 times! Last year I had 2 stents put into the main arteries of my heart, at two different times. This past April, I had open heart surgery, 3 by-passes, the stents they put in last year didn’t work. Every time I had a stent put in, I went to Rehap, after open heart, I went to Rehap. The team in the Rehab Department are dedicated wonderful people, that’s one of the reasons I decided to volunteer. My job is to visit patients (such as myself once was) and tell them the benefits of Cardiac Rehab and how important diet and exercise is to stay out of the hospital. Most of the people I talk to seem interested, some just sort of agree with me and I’m sure never go. Over the year since I’ve been a volunteer, I’ve met patients from all walks of life, all shapes and sizes and all ages. What shocks me the most is the people who have been in the hospital for heart surgery repeatedly, still eating badly, still not exercising. It shocks me. When I tell people that I’ve had open heart surgery only 7 months ago they are really surprised. I tell them its because I went to Rehab and continue to exercise daily and I also tell them I’m a Vegetarian. I tell them to try at least one meal a day without meat, its easy, I tell them. To my surprise some of the people are actually interested. I tell them as a vegetarian its not just about eating vegetables only, I ask them if they like pasta, “why yes”, I tell them make red sauce and instead of loading it with meat, add some veges. I tell them it works for me, and I love it. Just think, if we could get schools to start exercising our children more, eating healthy organic foods without all those preservatives, maybe we could help our children live longer happier lives and just maybe, their parents too.

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