Love in the Time of Cholesterol

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9780071464949: Love in the Time of Cholesterol

A food writer's moving portrait of how she and her husband cope in the aftermath of his heart attack and bypass surgery

For the millions of readers coping with a loved one's medical issues, this moving account by food editor Cecily Ross will strike a deep chord. With honesty and humor, she tells the story of her husband's unexpected heart condition, his recovery from bypass surgery, and the dramatic toll it took on their lives.

In 25 chapters with two heart-friendly recipes at the end of each, you'll join Cecily and her husband, Basil, as they swear off doughnuts, learn how to meditate, flirt with vegetarianism, and come to better appreciate the simple pleasure of sharing a meal. This glimpse into the lives of a man who survived a life-threatening illness and the woman who supported him throughout his recovery offers consolation and courage to the many who face this disease every day.

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From the Back Cover:

A heartfelt memoir about life and love after heart disease

Cecily Ross makes her living writing and reading about food. She and her husband, Basil, are very much in love--with each other and with good food. In fact, their romance was sparked by a wonderful meal cooked by Basil. But when Basil nearly died from heart disease, the couple was forced to evaluate their eating habits and retool their lifestyle. Love in the Time of Cholesterol is their story.

This poignant and often funny memoir follows Cecily and Basil as they learn to adjust to life after his heart surgery. With candor, Cecily discusses the couple's struggle to meet the unique challenges of living with Basil's condition, the compromises they've had to make, how they cope with the fear and anxiety that are now part of their lives, and the secret to living and eating well with heart disease. There's also a generous helping of mouth-watering, heart-friendly recipes. Love in the Time of Cholesterol is the first book to give voice to the millions of men and women whose lives have been changed as a result of their partner's heart disease.

This is a love story--an affair of the heart in both the literal and figurative sense.

In the spring of 2002, Cecily Ross was a well-known food writer and editor and her husband, Basil Guinane, was a fit and vigorous forty-four year old who had just embarked on a new career. When Basil suffered a heart attack and almost died from heart disease, their lives changed in ways they'd never imagined. In the five years that they'd been married, one of the couple's shared pleasures was a love of cooking and good food. Suddenly, food was the enemy, and Cecily and Basil were confronted with the fact that what they were eating could be killing them. After the bypass surgery that saved Basil's life and during his long, painful recovery, their first instinct was to make radical changes to their diet. They flirted with vegetarianism and banned butter and cheese from their lives. Together they pored over every heart-smart cookbook they could find, and their kitchen cupboards groaned under the weight of vast quantities of lentils and beans. Inevitably they cheated, and every time they succumbed to the siren call of sirloin or gave in to the beckoning of bacon, they were consumed with guilt. Food, once a pleasure, was now a source of fear and anxiety.

Gradually, as the months passed and Basil recovered his strength, they came to realize that they were going to have to take a more moderate approach, not just to food but to all of the strivings that were affecting their hearts and their spirits.

Love in the Time of Cholesterol is Cecily Ross's chronicle of her husband's heart attack, surgery, and recovery. It is the story of how she and Basil learned to make compromises and still live and eat well. It is the story of a marriage and about the pressure she felt as a wife, caregiver, and best friend. Above all, it is a love story and a celebration of life in all its ragged glory. And what would life be without good food?

In each chapter, Ross features delicious, heart-friendly versions of the couple's favorite recipes, including Basil's famous roast chicken, leek and smoked salmon frittata, hoisin black-bean flank steak, and corn salad with lime-cilantro dressing. Poignant, funny, and remarkably honest, Love in the Time of Cholesterol offers hope and solace to anyone whose life has been touched by heart disease.

About the Author:

Cecily Ross is a senior editor and writer for Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail. Her work has been featured in the New York Times. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

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