Heart Healthy Beats

Tidbits to keep your heart healthy


1 Comment

Exercising my authority

I know the importance of exercising. I understand how important it is to manage a routine. I’m also aware of how much you have to fit into 24 hours. Trust me, I get it.

This summer has really tested my dedication to healthy living. I work a lot, I’m the sole bread winner for my home and I take my job extremely seriously.  This summer I’ve been offered extra shifts and I’ve worked longer hours if necessary. With that being said, I feel extremely guilty when I leave work and spend an hour at the gym instead of heading straight home. I mean look at these beautiful boys…

IMG_7510

wouldn’t you want to race home everyday just to plant hundreds of kisses all over these adorable little faces. See, I knew you would understand my dilemma.

In an effort to settle this internal battle I remind myself that I plan to be around to watch these handsome little guys grow into stunning young men. In order to make that happen I’m going to need to keep myself in the best possible shape.

After work, I stopped at the gym and strapped on my running shoes

Got in 15 minutes of cardio to get my heart pumping.

Headed over to my favorite part of the gym!

Grabbed a medicine ball and gave my upper body a good work out. This upper body workout is really similar to what I did. I did three sets of 12 reps. Then I added more dumb bell work.

I also noticed this

My gym hasn’t had the ropes long. I thought I would give a whirl. Boy, those ropes worked my entire body. Check this out for more inspiration.

The time away from my boys is definitely worth it if my body is in better shape and I’m able to enjoy the time I have with them. I encourage you to exercise the authority you have over your life and get out there.

Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic workout on me.

Advertisements

Having a smooth morning!!

1 Comment

Mornings in this house are… interesting. My husband has been a stay at home dad for nearly four years and we still struggle with a doable routine. Master A, my youngest, (he’s 3) tends to have a sporadic sleep schedule. Some mornings he is up and raring at 6 am and some mornings he sleeps until 8 am. It doesn’t help that I work opposing shifts on back to back days most weeks and I work every third weekend. But Prince P, bless him, is my dependable one. There is rarely  a surprise with my sweet six year old.

Most mornings when my little one is screaming he is hungry while I’m trying to pack my lunch, grab a bite for breakfast, give orders for what I need done that day and head out the door, my sweet older one will patiently wait for my husband to prepare breakfast for them while I throw mine in the blender.

Thank goodness for smoothies!! There are hundreds of recipes for smoothies out there and I have tried many of them but there is one that I always come back to. I’d like to share that with you today.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

  • 1 frozen (ripe) banana
  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter of your choice

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.

024

This is such a basic recipe. If your banana is not frozen you can add ice to get a similar consistency. I’ve also seen this with dark chocolate, never tried it myself but I’m sure it would be great. Be creative and find out how you like it. I normally have this with a morning oatmeal muffin. Recipe to come for those. I pour it into a travel cup and I’m out the door.

Thanks for stopping by and have a smooth morning on me.


Leave a comment

Getting Enough Green

A few Saturdays ago I decided to make a trip to Urgent Care. I was feeling extremely fatigued, my glands and face we noticeably swollen and I was sore all over. At first the doctor thought I had mono but blood ruled that out. He came back to say I must have a viral infection and he mentioned that my hemoglobin was very low, at a 10.4. Normal range for women is around 12.0 – 15.5 grams per deciliter and for men 13.5 – 17.5. He advised me to keep an eye on it and to follow up with my PCP. I’ve always struggled with low iron, I’m rarely successful with donating blood even though I organize annual blood drives with the American Red Cross. I wanted to take steps to rectify this considering the low levels were probably contributing to the fatigue.

Yesterday I was standing in the middle of the produce section at my supermarket when it hit me. I should try to incorporate more leafy greens to my diet. But what….

bilo

So I did what anybody would do, I jumped on my Pinterest lunch board and did some research.

Collard Greens!!!

greens

Continue reading


Leave a comment

A Heart Healthy Diet

I want to talk to you about adapting a heart healthy diet, but frankly I despise the word DIET. The word makes me think of restriction and meals should be anything but restricting.

A healthy meal plan should consist of

fruits: fresh and dried varieties; add to smoothies and yogurts; use as a dessert; select canned varieties in their own juices instead of heavy syrup

vegetables: eat a large variety of your daily vegetables raw to keep the enzymes, vitamins and phytochemicals intact; use leafy green leaves in place of bread or tortillas; saute, roast, stir fry or steam vegetables to help retain their vitamins and minerals; choose fresh and frozen over canned when possible

4_053_FiberFoods_MEDIA

fiber rich foods: legumes (navy, pinto, kidney, black beans and split peas) choose dried when possible; nuts & seeds

fiber

whole grains: whole oats/ oatmeal; popcorn; barley; brown & wild rice; millet; quinoa

grains

proteins: cold water fish such as salmon; chicken & turkey; eggs; low fat dairy (low fat cheese, milk and yogurt)

protein

and healthy fats: look for polyunsaturated fats (nuts, seeds, vegetable oils such as corn and safflower oil, and fatty fish); monounsaturated fats (canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados); limit saturated fats

fats

For more information about healthy dietary changes check our this link from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/chol_tlc.pdf

Thanks for visiting. Happy and healthy eating.


Leave a comment

A Heart Healthy Diet

I want to talk to you about adapting a heart healthy diet, but frankly I despise the word DIET. The word makes me think of restriction and meals should be anything but restricting.

A healthy meal plan should consist of

fruits: fresh and dried varieties; add to smoothies and yogurts; use as a dessert; select canned varieties in their own juices instead of heavy syrup

vegetables: eat a large variety of your daily vegetables raw to keep the enzymes, vitamins and phytochemicals intact; use leafy green leaves in place of bread or tortillas; saute, roast, stir fry or steam vegetables to help retain their vitamins and minerals; choose fresh and frozen over canned when possible

4_053_FiberFoods_MEDIA

fiber rich foods: legumes (navy, pinto, kidney, black beans and split peas) choose dried when possible; nuts & seeds

fiber

whole grains: whole oats/ oatmeal; popcorn; barley; brown & wild rice; millet; quinoa

grains

proteins: cold water fish such as salmon; chicken & turkey; eggs; low fat dairy (low fat cheese, milk and yogurt)

protein

and healthy fats: look for polyunsaturated fats (nuts, seeds, vegetable oils such as corn and safflower oil, and fatty fish); monounsaturated fats (canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados); limit saturated fats

fats

For more information about healthy dietary changes check our this link from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/chol_tlc.pdf

Thanks for visiting. Happy and healthy eating.


2 Comments

Ranch Chicken Mason Jar Salads

Image

What’s for lunch? How about a fresh twist on a salad. These salad jars are easy to assemble and save for days. I usually make three to four at a time and they are perfectly fresh when I’m ready for them. Simply shake and enjoy. Hope you enjoy this recipe.

Ranch Chicken Mason Jar Salad

  • 6 ounces cooked pasta (elbow, shells, or other small pasta)
  • 6 ounces cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncini peppers (optional)

In a medium bowl, mix together sour cream, mayonnaise, parsley, chives, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the pasta and stir until well combined. Split the pasta between jars (the number of jars depends on the size of your jar).

Top the pasta layer with the chicken pieces, tomatoes, diced peppers and pepperoncini peppers (if using).

Finally, add the spinach. Seal the jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

When you are ready, shake the jar until all ingredients are combined. Take off top and enjoy.


Leave a comment

Sharing my heart

The American Heart Association explains tachycardia as a heartbeat that’s too fast, a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute.

I was given this diagnosis last November. Years prior to seeking a diagnosis I would experience a suddenly increased heart rate while doing normal low impact things. Sometimes it would happen while I was slipping into bed at night. Occasionally, it would only last a few minutes but most times if felt like it was never going to slow down. I would become winded easily and feel like my heart was pounding out of my chest. Sometimes I would even be light headed. It took multiple trips to my primary care doctor before he was comfortable enough to send me to a cardiologist for a referral.

The first visit to my cardiologist was an eye opening experience. On my way to his office I started to feel the tightening of my chest and the pounding of my heart as I stepped into the elevator. Within ten minutes of being in the examining room he could tell that I wasn’t exaggerating about my feelings. He told me he would normally suggest that patients having my symptoms wear a heart monitor for three weeks but he didn’t feel it was necessary since he was able to get a good reading in the exam room. I was given a follow up appointment to have the usual test, an echo cardiogram, and a stress test.

As uncomfortable as these test were I am so glad I had them done. The tests showed my heart had very little damage due to its rapid rate and the doctor was able to see that even though my heart rate reached 200 beats per minute during the stress test I suffered no adverse reactions.

Overall, I am an otherwise healthy person; I just have a heart that beats extremely fast all the time. I also suffer from heart palpitations; this is when the heart beats abnormally and sometimes at a rapid rate for a short period of time. With medication I am able to have a somewhat normal heart beat.

The down side to this is that I have a difficult time doing things which normally raise the heart like walking for extended periods of time, walking up stairs or simply chasing after my children. It has also hindered my gym life because doing cardio workouts for extended periods of time raises my heart rate to nearly 200 beats per minute. Working out has become a challenge but it is not impossible. To keep myself healthy I have learned to manage a moderate workout routine and to know my limits. Finding time to hit the gym can be hard while taking college courses, working and managing a family. I’m hoping this blog will help me by giving me an outlet to address the obstacles I face while allowing me to share great heart healthy tips, recipes and motivation to you.

Welcome and thank you for stopping by.