Hope everyone had a happy heart day, yesterday! Our day was busy with dance and gymnastics, but I was with my loved ones so all was good.

For breakfast it was chocolate chip waffles made with Kodiak Cake pancake mix. I was in a bit of a hurry yesterday morning, so I didn’t have time to prepare anything very fancy. Believe me, though, these did the trick. I mixed 1 cup pancake mix with 1 cup of cold water and then added a little less than 1/2 cup of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips. I have never added chocolate chips to my waffles and this was a VERY good decision!

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When I got home from running the kids around town, my husband had made a Valentine’s dinner for me and it was scrumptious…..tilapia with brown rice and roasted veggies.

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I didn’t let the kids down. I made their favorite giant cookie cake (made with garbanzo beans) for dessert!

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Or cookie cutter style…..

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Not only is February the month of love, but it’s also the month to be heart health aware.

heart health

(source)

The most important things you can do to take care of your ticker:

  • Eat for your heart.
  • Move for your heart and keep your body at a healthy weight.
  • Know your numbers and control them. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are leading causes of heart disease and stroke.
  • Don’t smoke and if you do, quit. NOW!!!

Heart healthy foods:

  • According to Web MD, it’s best to eat a variety of fruits and veggies everyday to reduce free radicals in the bloodstream and protect blood vessels.
  • Whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, fatty fish, and teas are equally as important as fresh produce because they offer complex heart-protective phytonutrients.
  • Eat whole foods; foods that come from the ground and in natural form and reduce or eliminate the amount of processed foods you are eating.
  • There is not one magic food that you should be eating. Eat a variety of healthy foods to get the biggest bang for your buck!

Top heart healthy foods you should be eating: (There are many lists floating around. I’m using the one from Web MD because it’s one of the most comprehensive I’ve come across and it also lists the nutrients for each food.)

  • Fish- salmon & tuna are best
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Oatmeal
  • Beans- kidney & black are best
  • Nuts- almonds & walnuts are best
  • Red Wine
  • Tofu
  • Brown rice
  • Soy milk
  • Fruits- blueberries, tomatoes, oranges, cantaloupe, papaya are best
  • Vegetables- carrots, spinach, broccoli, red pepper, sweet potato, asparagus, acorn squash are best
  • Dark chocolate
  • Tea

The worst foods for your heart from huffingtonpost.com

  • Processed meats
  • Red meat
  • Pizza and we are not talking the Hungry Healthy Girl variety 😉
  • Alfredo sauce
  • Trans fats
  • Fried foods
  • Soda
  • Fast food

The numbers:

I’m sharing my numbers with you because I’m pretty proud of them! And you should know your’s too! The numbers on the right are desirable results and numbers written in on the left are my results. It’s a good idea to have your cholesterol checked earlier rather than later, that way you have a baseline.

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Heart attack warning signs from vhi.org:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadiness
  • Along with chest discomfort, women are most likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

 

Something to think about…….

What did you do for V-day? Did you make anything special or did someone make something special for you?

Have you ever had your cholesterol checked?

Are you eating plenty of heart healthy foods?

Take care of that heart!! Have a great weekend!