In The Beginning

Now many years later and after fighting with my weight, things once again changed. My heart, and not for the better.  I had what they call a silent heart attack. I didn’t know what I was going through except I was unable to breathe and was sweating profusely. The feeling passed and I obviously thought everything was ok. But three months later, and after having several  breathing problems, I ended up in the hospital with extreme high blood pressure. The doctors thought I was going to have a stroke.

With the outcome, a silent heart attack, I was told that my lifestyle needed to change. Like anyone the experience scared the heck out of me. Things needed to be different, they needed to change, and now if I wanted to enjoy my grandkids and if lucky, their kids...

The first thing the doctors said was to reduce the salt intake to less than 1500 millagrams per day. The second was to loose weight and the third was get my blood pressure under control. Getting the blood pressure under control was the easy part. The no salt was a little bit tougher. The weight was a big problem.  At least that’s what I thought at the time.

Looking back today I realize the bigger problem was the salt or sodium. It wasn’t the amount that I was cooking with, it was the amount of sodium that came in all the foods I was buying as well as the fast food places and restaurants. It was a real shock to see how much sodium they put into the food. A real salt lick. If you've never looked at the amount of sodium in your food before, you just don't know. And believe me, It's a real shock. The average sodium intake is over 5,000 millagrams per day, and that's on the low side.

With many years of trying all kinds of programs and diets to lose weight, without success, and now having a heart attack. All I knew was that if I wanted to live a lot longer I needed to make it happen. Cooking for over 40 years at that point I needed to find a way to turn my knowledge and passion into a real love for life. Thus, The Unsalted Heart was born. A place to share my love for food and music that would help others.

My research always led back to the same thing, calories and spices. It didn’t seem to make any difference on the foods, as long as they were fresh and healthy. This wasn’t going to happen by eating out at fast food places and most restaurants. It was very difficult to keep tract of salt and calories. But it did come down to how much sodium and how many calories I ate in a given day, and how often I ate them. So I set out to design recipes that tasted good or even great without salt and meals that were satisfying, both by taste and amount. Lets face it, If it doesn’t taste good your not going to eat it and if it’s not enough you’ll always be hungry.

Being 240 pounds was tough on my 5 foot 5 inch frame. Now after a year of great food with my recipes, I’m 150 pounds and I'm able to do the things that I couldn’t before without breaking a sweat. With these recipes and healthy snacks, I ate six times a day with meals and snacks and watched the weight fall off. Losing the weigh was easy for me as we cooked very tasty and satisfying meals along the way. The most important thing is that my salt intake was completely under control and the meals that my wife and I designed were a huge success and continue to be a daily part of our lives.

As a kid I was always very skinny. Then I turned 21 and life changed, at least my metabolism did and it wasn’t kind. Within a year I went from that skinny kid to doubling my weight. Being Italian, I love to eat and ate I did, which was not conducive to being an on the road musician where you eat out in restaurants every night. Loving to eat was a good reason to learn how to cook so I took every opportunity to learn from my mother, grandmother and many different chefs I encountered along the way. It was my passion as much as music. Needless to say a year later I woke up looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize who I was looking at. That skinny kid was gone and in his place was an overweight out of shape stranger.