February is the month of love and heart health! At HealthBarn USA, I’m all about sharing important information about living a healthy-lifestyle, so you too can make informed choices about the health and well-being of yourself and your loved ones! By eating the good stuff and being active you can make a big difference in how your “ticker” ticks! Here’s how we keep our hearts in tip-top shape on a daily basis:
- Eat Fat: That’s right, what are you afraid of? Fat from seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax), nuts (walnuts), fish (salmon), fruit (avocado) gives us omega fatty acids that help reduce inflammation, makes us feel full and helps make food taste better! Go for it, but be sure to watch the serving size!
- Go Oats: Oats are a soluble fiber which means they become “sticky” when digested and help reduce plague formed in your arteries. Oatmeal, oatmeal cookies, oat bran bread and oat-based cereals are heart healthy. Check out the delicious Maple Walnut Oatmeal recipe in my new book Appetite for Life.
- Pinch Sea Salt: Sea salt has less sodium than the regular table stuff and kosher salt, too! Plus it has the added benefits of minerals and makes food taste really good! Cook fresh using sea salt, and you will automatically be eating less sodium from all of the processed foods.
- Go Cardio: Get that “ticker” pumping everyday with at least 60 minutes of aerobic exercise. Go cross-country skiing or speed up the dog walk and grocery shop — every little bit helps!
Give Some Love: Smile at a stranger, open the door for someone, volunteer your time for a cause you care about, pet an animal and give a BIG huge to your peeps — it all helps to reduce stress and makes the world a happier place, too!
- Relaxation: Our brains are on information overload and we need time to breathe and find quick time to relax. Try mediation, talk a walk in nature or simply listen to some of your favorite music!
- For Adults Only: Go Mediterranean — open up that really nice bottle of wine and pour yourself a glass with your meal. It helps increase the good cholesterol and adds to stress reduction. And, as a Greek friend likes to say, “everything in moderation.”
These heart healthy action items are like seedlings that will bring BIG rewards, so get that “ticker” ticking and see how you and your family will sprout in 2016! And, if you want the ultimate healthy-lifestyle experience, get dirty with us during our super fun spring programs and summer camp by visiting HealthBarn USA.
What do you do to be heart healthy?
– Stacey Antine, MS, RDN, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, director, HealthBarn Foundation, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.