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!

Spicy Chana Masala

ChanaMasala

I came across this recipe on Happy Herbivore’s page and I wanted to give it a try. I’m so happy I did, because it’s delicious! I was limited on time, but next time I make this I’m going to add organic carrots and organic potatoes (not entirely traditional, but I think they’ll make this dish even yummier :). I will also add a bit of roasted jalapeno as I thought the original recipe was fairly mild. This dish is delicious, easy-to-make, cooks quickly, and everything required to make it is affordable. I had about 1/2 a bowl full of organic baby kale that was left over from lunch, so I added that to my chana masala and it was delicious! Make sure the cans that you are using are BPA free, otherwise you should buy the chickpeas and cook them, and then roast some tomatoes with jalapenos. Here’s the recipe as I made it:

Ingredients:

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 whole onion, small
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 ounces chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilis 
  • 1¼ tsp coriander or fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp turmeric (probably a bit more though)
  • ¼ tsp ginger (or fresh ginger)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala or curry powder if that’s what you have on hand
  • Tiny bit of roasted jalapeno
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup organic baby kale to have with your meal (I just stirred mine into my plate)

I’d also recommend adding 1 organic carrot (chopped) and 1 small, organic potato (cut into medium sized chunks).

Instructions:

Add vegetable broth or water to a medium sauce pan and saute the onions for about 3 minutes. Add black pepper and minced garlic and continue to saute until the onions are translucent. You will likely need to keep adding vegetable broth or water, so keep these handy. Add cumin, turmeric, paprika, roasted jalapeno, and ginger, and continue to stir the mixture for a couple of minutes.I usually make fresh salsa at home and I always have a bit of roasted jalapeno left over, so I’d use this. You can roast a jalapeno in a toaster oven if you have one – it’s a fairly quick and simple process :). If you’re using ground coriander, add this as well. If you’re using fresh cilantro, I’d wait to add it until the end. Add the chickpeas and  fire roasted tomatoes with the remaining broth or water and stir everything together. Bring ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in garam masala or curry powder and let sit for 5 minutes. Salt to taste and serve with brown rice or whole wheat pita bread. Enjoy!

ChanaMasalainPot