Show Your Heart You Care

Eat Red for a Healthy Heart!

A special thank you to PCRM for this great information!

February is American Heart Month! Since heart disease remains the #1 killer in America, it’s imperative that we all learn how to protect our hearts by making simple, lasting lifestyle changes that can save our lives. A plant-based diet has been shown to treat and even reverse heart disease in adults and children alike. If you need help transitioning to a plant-based diet, I’d love to help. Many of my clients have successfully adopted a plant-based diet and seen remarkable results, including: weight loss, lower cholesterol, lower blood glucose levels, lower blood pressure, better sleep, increased energy, clearer skin, and much more.

Whether you adopt a 100% plant-based diet or not, it’s important that you eat enough fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Take a look at the photo on the top of the page and be sure to include these foods in your diet as best as you can. Since cardiovascular disease (CVD) can be prevented and even reversed, we know that we can save many lives, just by sharing this information with others, and helping each other make positive changes to our diet and lifestyle.

Facts on CVD:

  • Costs the US $108.9 billion each year, including the cost of medications, lost productivity, and health care services.
  • According to the CDC, “about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.”
  • Many CVD deaths can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes – wow!

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology studied 20, 721 men over the course of 11 years and determined that by doing these 5 things, these men lowered their risk of having a heart attack by 86%, as compared to those men who did not enjoy this diet and lifestyle:

  • Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes
  • Getting enough exercise – a brisk walk 30 minutes a day is a great start :)
  • Not smoking
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • Reducing belly fat

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

It’s important to know what your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are; if you have high blood pressure, it’s crucial that you work to keep your blood pressure under control. A healthy diet that includes whole, plant-based foods and contains a minimal amount of processed junk and animal foods will help to keep your blood pressure normal. Since cholesterol is only found in animals and their by-products, making a switch to a plant-based diet will help improve your cholesterol levels.

Manage Your Stress

I also believe that it’s important for us to reduce our stress levels. One of the ways that we can keep our stress levels low is by exercising! Find an activity you love and enjoy it :). This can be walking, biking, hiking, running, yoga, jogging, swimming, dancing – whatever you love, do it, and do it often. Another way to keep stress at bay is by meditating. I always feel instantly calmer, happier, and more grounded when I meditate. Be sure to surround yourself with people you love, who support and cherish you. There’s such beauty in friends and family who make your heart happy – nurture these people and the relationships that you have with them. If you are creative, express your creativity. Find a career that encourages you to share your talents with the world. Do what you love and you will feel fulfilled. As always, be grateful for what you have, and be compassionate towards others.

I know that the statistics on CVD can be frightening, but the good news is that we can keep our hearts healthy by enjoying a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (eat your beans!). We also need to find an activity that we love and keep stress levels low by exercising, meditating, and developing positive relationships with people we love. Be healthy and happy!

Ebola or Heart Disease: What’s Really Killing Americans?

JunkFoodCleanse

I’ve been meaning to share this episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, even though I’m sure most of you have already seen it. I’ve got terrible timing, as I know that Thomas Eric Duncan died of Ebola in the US recently. I don’t mean to trivialize his death at all (and I really mean that), but I don’t want us to lose perspective here. The fact remains that heart disease is the #1 killer in America. While everyone is freaking out about Ebola, terrorists, and all the other stuff that’s blown out of proportion thanks to the media circus that we’re cursed with, please stop and think about the choices that you are making.

In the US, we have strayed so far from eating whole, unprocessed foods that most people are utterly confused about what to eat. And yet, as soon as we talk about making healthier food choices, there’s an uproar of, “don’t tell me what to eat!” If we’re talking about saving the lives of thousands and thousands of Americans, then we need to talk about heart disease. And we need to share information about eating healthier foods, reducing stress, exercising, being connected, having a purpose, and actively doing things to stay healthy. This isn’t a matter of opinion. While everyone is terrified of getting Ebola, more and more people will continue to die because of heart disease, which is largely preventable. The CDC reports that in the US, approximately 600,000 people die of heart disease each year – that’s about 1 in every 4 deaths! While it may seem like there’s nothing that we can do about this, there’s actually plenty that we can do to greatly reduce these alarming numbers.

For starters, please make smarter decisions. Arm yourself with information. Don’t be afraid to order a salad instead of fries. Try going meatless at least once a week. Eat your greens. Reduce your intake of dairy, sugar, chemicals, junk “food”, meat, genetically modified foods, and alcohol. If you’re smoking, work on quitting (ask for help if you need it). Go for a walk. Work your way to a jog or a run. Try a new exercise class. Go with a friend to a yoga class. Get some fresh air. Make a smoothie. Get a good night’s sleep every night. Fill your house with plants that will make the air that you breathe cleaner. Stock your refrigerator with vegetables and fruits and fill your pantry with whole grains and legumes. Laugh. Love. Hug someone you care about. Start a gratitude journal and write in it every day – acknowledge the things that you are grateful for and watch the blessings in your life increase. Find a spiritual practice that feeds your spirit. Be yourself. Be kind. Show others compassion. Spend time outdoors, immersed in nature. Walk barefoot on the grass/sand/ground. Stay connected with people who lift you up and care about you. We can work to reduce the number of deaths in this country if we are honest about what’s actually killing our citizens.

Sign a petition to place stricter guidelines for obtaining a gun. Fight for people to have access to mental health professionals so that people who are depressed, suicidal, and anxious can get the help that they need and so that we can see a decline (and hopefully an elimination) in shooting rampages that claim the lives of innocent people and leave their families, friends, and communities absolutely devastated. Please join me in making the Earth that we share happier, healthier, and safer.

I have to agree with Jon Stewart when he says, “All we keep hearing is ‘we must do whatever it takes to save American lives’ — unless it’s stopping the things that are actually killing Americans.” Quiet the media fear mongering. Take care of yourself. Protect your heart. Reach out for help if you need it. Help reduce violence in your community by pushing for gun control. Together we can make positive changes and help people every day.

Enjoy this episode of the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – all thanks to Hulu :).