Author Archives: Mark Layman

Atrial Fib … Managing Your Maintenance

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


Last Wednesday I turned 81 and I’m still celebrating, at least for another week according to my calendar of scheduled events. Changes occur every day–physically, emotionally, mentally and in the world around us. Some are good; others not so good. Regardless, attitude and energy levels are important and both are somewhat controllable.

Age is related to time. It used to be that I rarely looked back. I was too busy living in the present and looking to the future. Now looking back affects my future. The 35 years I suffered with atrial fibrillation and taking control of what to do about it is key, as is how I managed other heart and health problems.

Priorities have changed, even within the last year when I turned 80. The December 17, 2017, blog that I wrote on this website is about just that. To review it, click on the link to the blog, Atrial Fib…Managing Heart Health & Taking Control.

I have revised some priorities, added some and revisited others:

  1. Sleep is at the top of the list: 7 to 9 hours per night. Uninterrupted is nice but not always possible if bathroom visits are necessary and waking up 2 hours after falling asleep, not being able fall back to sleep is another. Possible aides:
    • Clear your mind to nothingness. Sometimes middle-of-the-night thoughts are dangerous and more intense than the same thoughts would be in the daytime.
    • A short cat nap during the day keeps you from napping in the evening after dinner before going to bed for the night and finding it difficult to fall asleep.
    • I take the non-addictive over the counter medication Melatonin sometimes, not every night. My doctor suggested it in 3 or 5 mg. dose. Try to get it in time- released capsule. No prescription necessary. I am not a doctor and would never prescribe for anyone else. This is what helps me sometimes and on the directions which I read word-for-word it says that user will get 7 hours of sleep with no sleep hangover in the morning.
    • Keep your tech devices off during the night.
    • Try to keep intake of fluids at night to a minimum, if you can. I take some meds at night and water is necessary, especially for the heart medications.
  2. Exercise is important but I have changed much of it as a result of structural problems in the lower back and lower digestion organs…perhaps all are related to aging and genetics. Currently I am concentrating on stretching 2 to 3 times per day…upon waking, before going to sleep and sometime mid-day for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
  3. I am looking into starting Yoga and/or Palates soon.
  4. I have cut out all alcohol, but am not recommending this to others. I had Hepatitis A as a teenager. It is the mildest form of the disease but still in the blood. Though it doesn’t really affect the liver, it could. Because of that I stopped having my one glass of wine each night. I don’t miss it though I do indulge on special occasions, like my birthday.

Above all LOVE LIFE and read more about it in my memoir, IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Atrial Fib and Sleep

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


It has come to my attention that sleep is getting a lot of attention lately. Not only to maintain good physical health, but mentally and socially too. When I was in my thirties and in a workaholic stage, sleep was supposed to be sacrificed in order to get the job done and to have a social life. How many students pull an all-nighter to prepare for an exam or turn in a paper or meet a deadline?

What about traveling from one time zone or another and ignoring that you’ve just lost 3 hours or 6 hours or even 12 hours? When you get to your destination during the work day, it’s expected that you start working even if it’s 3 hours earlier than the time zone you just left, plus another 6 hour difference counting the time it took to get to the destination.

Can we make up for lost sleep? Some people can, I am told. Youth has its advantages. Maybe that’s why being a parent to infants is easier in one’s twenties or thirties,

Sleep has a healing mechanism. Sometimes it’s the best medication for preventing disease, recovering from an illness or maintaining good health. As we age it becomes more important but more difficult to manage. The charts now stipulate that as adults we should have 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. It used to be that bedtime was sleep time and 7 or 8 hours after the head hit the pillow to wake up and feel great. In that case I awoke but never just jumped out of bed. I like to wake up slowly and get out of bed at least 20 minutes later.

Now, however, 2 hours after falling asleep I wake up even though my last thought before closing my eyes is that the next time I open them will be at least 7 hours later. It rarely happens that way, but when it does, I feel like magic the whole next day. I’m trying all the suggestions for good sleep therapy

Two of my previous blogs deal with sleep: Atrial Fib and The Nap and Atrial Fib and Sleep Apnea, written by guest blogger Lisa Eliason. You may want to read them again. Here are their links:  Atrial Fib and The NapAtrial Fib and Sleep Apnea

For more about heart issues and atrial fib, don’t forget to get your copy of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib in paperback, eBook or audio book on Audible.com, Amazon, iTunes, Kindle or Nook.

Future blogs will include more about sleep and some wake up news about genetics.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Atrial Fib … Know Your Numbers!

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. This post was originally posted on May 27, 2018.


My semi-annual meds check appointment at The Ross Heart Hospital took place a few days ago. It’s necessary mainly because of the sotalol medication I take for atrial fib. The drug has side effects but it and the ablation I had has kept me out of A-Fib for 11 years…so far.

The twice yearly meds check event goes like this: weight check, blood pressure, pulse and respiration check and an EKG. Then the discussion between the Pharmacologist and me; dosages and results from tests taken during the last meds check; changes resulting in lowering some doses because of my 40 pound weight loss. I was dismissed and sent to the lab for an up-to-date blood test including Lipid Panel (full cholesterol check).

Recalling a conversation with the endocrinologist several years ago, I was informed that the biggest change in aging health comes between the ages of 75 and 85. Soon I’ll be 81 and all the recent test numbers are better than I can remember in many years including cholesterol: LDL 52, HDL 55, Triglycerides 56 and Non-HDL Cholesterol 63.

What does all this mean? Constant Maintenance. It takes a lot of time and uses a lot of energy…the one thing that diminishes with age. Outer body checkup shows blood pressure at 137/66, weight 125, height 5’5”, BMI 20.80 (body mass index or body fat), respiration 16 and pulse 59 (with pacemaker set at 60).  Not too bad for almost 81.

What to do to maintain acceptable good health while aging:

  • Get plenty of sleep. Try to get in at least one short nap a day.
  • Don’t overeat. Along with this, try to eat healthy food so as not to get full on empty calories. Small meals. I find that it’s not so much what you eat, but how much…portion control!
  • Eat slowly, put eating utensils down between bites to slow eating pace. It takes 20 minutes for the brain to know that the stomach is full.
  • Exercise! Just moving the body can do it. Getting out of bed in the morning may take some adjustment and movement until the body parts (legs, back and neck) adjust to being vertical. I have gone from 100 pushups and other strenuous exercise last year to 8 minutes of stretching each morning that I learned online and in a pamphlet from the Chiropractor’s office.
  • Walking is a wonderful exercise. At the gym I do some stretching then 5 minute intervals on the treadmill. Try it.

Most of all, create your own state of mind. Be happy.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Atrial Fib … We Get Mail

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


Today’s blog is a letter from a reader in San Francisco. With her permission I have reprinted it for atrial fib patients and their families to share and for readers of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. Mary has accomplished much by being an advocate for herself in managing her atrial fib and partnering with her doctors. Read what she has to say.

July 17, 2018

Hi Rosalie,

I just read your inspiring memoir of your struggles with afib and more besides and wanted to share my thoughts. I too have had a difficult journey, much of it very similar to yours, starting with atenolol and ending with the dreaded amiodarone, with all of the ‘ide’ drugs in between that either didn’t work or caused problems with the QT interval or the liver. The warfarin I didn’t mind as much and the ability to test at home makes a huge difference.

I now feel very fortunate that my afib was managed quite well by drugs up until a few years ago and the few episodes I had now and then weren’t quite as debilitating.

I have to say though that the 10 hour surgery to replace my valves and subsequent recovery was no picnic. I remember the pulmonary edema quite vividly. My hopes for fixing my afib were also dashed when the Maze procedure they performed at the same time did not work. Ablation was my only hope at that point.

I also saw another Electro Physiologist from Texas who had a monthly clinic in San Francisco. However, for various reasons, I ended up with my regular EPs at UCSF and I am glad I did. I was told frequently that my particular form of afib (both flutter and fib) was very complex and very challenging to ablate successfully.

They were very careful to set my expectations very low…50% was about as high as they would go. So of course it didn’t work and I scheduled another one. In the meantime I had to have my gall bladder out.

My second (and final they told me) ablation took place last September and lo and behold I stayed in sinus for 3 months. I finally went off amiodarone in December. I’ve only been on it for 5 years but was very nervous the whole time.

I was so glad to read that your ablation has worked for so long. I was told 2 years but I’m hopeful. I retired 3 years ago and have been exercising like a fiend. I can’t do push-ups yet but hope to one day. I’m told I’m quite tiny so no reason I can’t.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Thank you Mary.

I welcome any other readers and writers to guest blog about atrial fib and other heart issues. Send a message to me rosalie@rosalieungar.com.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Atrial Fib … Stay Fit: Train, Not Pain

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


Exercise is important in managing A-Fib. I’ve written several blogs about exercise. For the last fifteen years (since age 65, now approaching 81), I’ve done pretty strenuous work outs at least 3 times per week. Even before that age I did something to keep my body in shape…mainly walking 4 miles in an hour 4 or 5 times per week. You can read more about exercise in my memoir, IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.

The phrase, “no pain, no gain” was a guide to how much I could do…100 pushups, a 3 minute plank, spinning bike, weights and more. I had several different personal trainers over the years. They were all good and made it possible for me to manage my atrial fib, my other chronic physical problems and maintain a lifestyle fit for someone much younger. I credit exercise for the reason I was able to reverse heart damage from the 2 heart attacks I suffered at age 62.

Two hip replacements are still in place since they were completed 20 years ago. I chalk this up to exercise and building muscle around the hip joints to protect them. Any pain I felt after exercising went away later in the day. I actually wore that pain as a badge of honor and am glad that I did.

When it was time to change my exercise routine, I knew it. I wear my age proudly and know that change is vital in everything we do. Harboring regrets and festering depression over getting older uses too much energy—energy that I need and want to use on positive movements and acceptance of fun things that I like. New experiences, new friends…even an afternoon nap are part of most days.

I still exercise. Because I am fit and energetic, I can do exercises every day that will keep me that way. Sometimes I do them twice a day. They all relate to stretching. The chiropractor and his qualified staff who assisted in treating minor back problems instructed me in what to do and for how long. Also, telling me that if it hurts, don’t do it, or minimize it. Low impact cardio is good. I’m back to walking, not a 15 minute mile for an hour. I prefer a treadmill but walking outside in good weather is ok. However, I find sidewalks and paths are sometimes too uneven. My balance is not so good, so it’s necessary to be cautious and pay attention…always.

Don’t forget to exercise your brain. I play brain games with myself to remember names and things from the recent past. Sometimes it’s easier to remember details from the long ago past than from the recent past. Make plans with friends and relatives and schedule some activity you like doing each day. Reward yourself with sitting and watching TV for a limited amount of time or playing solitaire on your computer for a half hour: Read, play bridge or a board game. Then, get up and move around. Train, not pain!

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Heart Disease and Diminishing Diabetes

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.

“Guess what?” my younger cousin Becky asked; “I just came from my doctor and he said that I don’t need medication for diabetes anymore.”

I can picture her jumping up and down with glee. I couldn’t get over it. I’d never heard of reversing diabetes. I thought it got worse as we age. I felt like jumping up & down for her.

Above are photos of Becky. The one on the right was taken 6 years ago on her 60th birthday at her first Arnold Classic Sports Competition in Columbus. The other one was taken 20 years before when she was diagnosed with diabetes.

Becky’s mother was a diabetic. Becky also has a history of heart problems. Her father, my first cousin, had a history of heart problems. I’ve written several blogs about health and genetics. There’s no dispute any longer that they are related.

She used to be overweight. Not any more as you can see. I used to be overweight. I often heard that regular exercise diminishes the appetite. It did for me and it did for Becky, but not for either of us without knowledge and counseling and over time, making both diet and exercise a habit. Sometimes it takes years.

I’ve lost 40 pounds over the last 5 years. I‘m not diabetic. I don’t exercise everyday anymore but I do stretching twice a day. For being 80 I’m in good managed health and can get up from a floor position without help. The only aches and pains I have are from arthritis which is lessened from stretching.

Both of us are food disciples of not only what to eat, but portions. Portion control is half the battle. Eating too little can also be a problem. Exercise has been touted as the best medication of all. Both need to be taught and tracked.

Twenty years ago I had 2 heart attacks. Heart attacks cause heart muscle damage. It’s rare to reverse damage done to the heart muscle. Nine years ago I was informed by doctors that tests (echo cardiograms) show that I have reversed heart muscle damage and there is no evidence of heart attack damage any longer. Guess how it happened.

Find out in Chapter 20, specifically on page 193 of my memoir IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups and Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. Just click here or on one of the icons below.  You might want to click on iTunes or Audible.com icons for your audiobook version.

I asked Becky for permission to use her story and photos on this blog. She quickly agreed by saying that if this information can help even one person, it’s a blessing. Thanks Becky.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Atrial Fib … When is a stroke not life threatening?

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


Atrial fibrillation patients read this: Strokes may not be life threatening…in the future.

Clinical trials are underway in Columbus, Ohio, to remove blood clots in patients whose stroke symptoms started as many as 24 hours before. Trial participants see overwhelming positive results that could lead to changes and save hundreds of thousands of lives all over the world.

Immediately, I put myself into such a situation as I recalled a conversation with my electrophysiologist 5 years ago. It was in his office during my annual checkup 6 years after my ablation to eliminate 30 years of atrial fib and 5 electrical pathways that needed to be ablated. I stayed on warfarin for a year-and-a-half after the ablation at which point my electrophysiologist reluctantly eliminated it from my list of meds. I had been on that blood thinner for 12 years and atrial fib free for 5 years.

When I turned 75 years of age and was feeling terrific, better than I’d felt in 20 years, I related this info to my doctor and told him I was writing a book about my 35 years of life with atrial fib. Sheepishly he said he wanted to put me back on a blood thinner. I looked at him through squinting eyes. “Why?” I asked. “I don’t want to take a blood thinner,” I said.

He told me that there is a point system for A-Fib patients and that 4 points is the median. Because I am over 75 gives me 2 points and being a woman is 1 point.

“That’s only 3 points. I don’t want to take a blood thinner even if it isn’t warfarin. I haven’t had atrial fib for 6 years, I eat a heart healthy diet, I exercise, my cholesterol numbers are good and even though there are more choices for blood thinners, I don’t want it.”

He told me that I am still a candidate for a stroke.

I asked him, “What are the symptoms of a stroke? Will I know I‘m having one at the time?”

He told me that I would and that stroke symptoms aren’t subtle. I would have 1, maybe 2 hours to get to the hospital to break it up or remove the clot.

“A side effect of the blood thinner you recommend, a brain bleed, is rare. Nevertheless I’ve had rare side effects before. I choose not to take the blood thinner. ”

A compromise was at hand. With that, my electrophysiologist wrote a prescription for a new- to-the- market blood thinner. He didn’t date it and asked me to carry it in my wallet wherever I went. If I go into atrial fib for 6 hours or more, I should get the prescription filled and contact his office. I promised that I would.

That was 6 years ago.  No atrial fib so far. Each year he gives me a new prescription for apixaban. Last year he also gave me a coupon for 2 free weeks of the drug. Next month I’ll be 81. I feel great. A 24 hour window between the beginning and the road to recovery of a stroke will be amazing.

Read my memoir for more about this:  IN A HEARTBEAT, The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib

Buy it from my website: www.rosalieungar.com. Now on audio book too, click on one of the icons below.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Atrial Fib: Find a Support Group

This blog, which was first published on October 29, 2017, has been updated and reposted.

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


Suppose you are all alone and you feel like your heart is going to jump out of your chest. You don’t know what’s happening. You ask yourself: Is this what they call heart palpitations? You sit down and try to catch your breath. It’s difficult. Your breath is coming fast and in short spurts.  You’ve seen dozens of TV commercials about A-Fib and blood thinners, showing middle age men and women together riding bikes, taking walks, holding hands advertising blood thinners with names you can’t pronounce. Minutes go by then it stops. You feel better. Your breathing goes back to normal. Then, you forget about it…until the next time it happens.

That could be atrial fib also known as atrial fibrillation or A-Fib or AF. It’s an arrhythmia that can cause strokes.

I had it for 35 years. A-Fib came and left and lasted sometimes for minutes then hours and sometimes days. I don’t have A-Fib anymore, or I haven’t for the last 10 years. It didn’t go away by itself. It was a difficult journey that included 2 heart attacks and 3 pacemakers and a wonderful team of electrophysiologists, cardiologists and other partners in medicine that handle related medical problems. All of them keep me in good health with a lifestyle better than I ever dreamed for an 80 year old.

How did I get to this point? It’s called maintenance. Choose your team with care and knowledge. A-Fib is an electrical problem of the heart. Start with an electrophysiologist and a cardiologist.  Ask questions and be educated in new techniques and meds. Talk to others with similar problems. FIND A SUPPORT GROUP.

I belong to 2 heart support groups. Healing Hearts of Central Ohio meets each month at the Ross Heart Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. After a quick heart healthy supper starting at 6 PM, we talk to each other about our problems and treatments then watch and listen to one or two doctors who specialize in caring for the heart. Talks cover subjects like atrial fib and heart rhythm devices, heart failure, valve problems, congestive heart failure, heart transplants, nutrition, exercise, by-pass surgeries, care givers, medications, sleep apnea, and genetics.

Yes, sleep apnea goes along with atrial fib. It’s more likely to appear in men. Does gender play a part in atrial fib studies? Yes, but studies change and new information and managed cures are happening all the time.

I learned an interesting theory in the Pour Your Heart Out support group meeting that I attended last week. Dr. John Hummel, my electrophysiologist and hero, was one of the speakers. When a question from the audience was asked as to why there are so few female electrophysiologists, it was suggested that it’s because of the constant radiation and women in their child-bearing years are very careful not to be exposed to radiation.

Learn more IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib available at all book stores in paper back and ebook and soon an audiobook on Audible.com, iTunes and Amazon. Meanwhile, I invite any of the blog readers interested in the topic of atrial fibrillation to contact me to guest blog on this website. I would be happy to guest blog on other related blogs. Contact me at rosalie@rosalieungar.com. Click here to visit the Healing Hearts of Central Ohio website.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Atrial Fib Gets Attention … Finally!

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


The new Bob & Corrine Frick Center for Heart Failure and Arrhythmia is being created as part of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Ross Heart Hospital. Yes, I repeat, arrhythmia, which now affects millions of Americans. The Fricks are contributing 18 million dollars for this center.

Atrial fib is the most common form of arrhythmia and A-Fib affects 3 to 6 million Americans. When I was diagnosed with A-Fib over 30 years ago, very little treatment was known. Now it’s in the news almost every day. Read about my 35 year battle with A-Fib and other heart problems including 2 heart attacks, a robotic heart bypass, 3 pacemakers and an ablation.  Read my story: IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib. Click here.

Besides the new Frick Heart Center, so much is going on in this field and much of it at OSU Ross Heart Hospital, as well as other major medical centers:

  • Heart doctors and engineers are collaborating to save lives at OSU Medical Center where they’re working together on a 3D printed aortic valve replacement. Cardiologists and engineers make 3D printed aortas and computer models that exactly match the patient’s anatomy.
  • Atrial Fib is the biggest contributor to strokes. Most A-Fib patients take a blood thinner to prevent this, but there are more factors involved. Genetics play a big part in stroke risk factors. Research groups from around the world are working together identifying new genetic risk factors.
  • Breaking up the clots that cause stroke damage before it occurs is being worked on. As it stands now, if a stroke victim gets to the hospital within an hour or 2, there’s a good possibility that the stroke damage can be repaired and do very little long-term damage. Research is now addressing protocols on doing the same within 24 hours of stroke occurrence. Learn symptoms of a stroke, call 911 immediately on feeling the symptoms and get to the hospital as quickly as possible.

Last week at the Ross Healing Hearts meeting our speaker was Electrophysiologist Dr. John Hummel, head of genetic heart studies and research. He spoke to a group of 139 members, the biggest crowd our meetings have ever attracted. He spoke for an hour holding the group at full attention, then answered questions for another hour.

His question to us was why only 30 per cent of all women with atrial fib get treatment while 70 percent of men diagnosed with A-fib get treated for the same problem.  Puzzling because treatment is readily availble.

IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib is now an audiobook as well as in paperback and E-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Kindle, Nook and Audio.com. Click on an icon below.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes


Atrial Fib and Desserts

Rosalie Ungar is the author of IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.


Thirty five years with A-Fib and 10 years without it after an ablation. That’s 45 years of heart arrhythmia fear…more than half of my lifetime. Some of it has been controllable and some not. I’ve tried to follow the rules to be stronger and listen to the experts, the latest research and when in doubt, trust my instincts.

Diet, exercise, body maintenance and knowledge of what is being prescribed have led me to take charge of my own body. Collaborations and partnerships with doctors have given me the courage for my own convictions…one of which is to eat dessert! Not all desserts and not every day. Discipline comes with experience.

Recently I was asked to bring dessert to a small dinner party of friends. My standard ‘bring along’ dessert is meringues. I’m not a great cook, especially of complicated dishes, but quick and easy meringues are not complicated. They draw compliments and the plate of at least 24 for 4, 6 or 8 people is always gone at the end of the meal. Rarely have I indulged with the guests, until now.

One of the guests asked for the recipe whereupon when I gave it to him, he remarked that meringues are a heart healthy dessert…except for the smaller than average amount of sugar. I decided today to give you the recipe too.

MERINGUES:

  • Two egg whites in mixing bowl. It’s important that they are at room temperature.
  • ¼ tsp cream of tarter
  • ¾ cup of sugar (I use a little less)
  • Beat with electric mixer until egg whites are stiff
  • Add ½ tsp vanilla
  • Add one 11 or 12 oz. package of dark chocolate chips
  • Line cookie sheet with brown paper (I use 2 cookie sheets and cut up brown paper bags from grocery store).
  • Spoon onto cookie sheet. I put 12 to on each cookie sheet.
  • Pre-heat oven at 300 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool and remove with spatula.

In damp climates meringue consistency may change from light and fluffy.

These meringues are especially delicious with the last sips of red wine from dinner. Don’t forget that dark chocolate is heart healthy and contains antioxidants. Exercise portion control. One or two is a healthy portion. More than that at one sitting is excessive. Read more about healthy foods IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib, a memoir. Click here.

In a Heartbeat is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.
The book is also available at Barnes & Noble as a paperback and Nook book.
Digital versions are available on Kobo and iTunes.
Also available as audio book from Amazon.

Get the book here!
In a Heartbeat on AmazonIn a Heartbeat on Barnes and NobleIn a Heartbeat on KoboIn a Heartbeat on iTunes
In a Heartbeat on iTunes