Heart Healthy Beats

Tidbits to keep your heart healthy

Weekend Fun

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What a weekend! The weather was beautiful, a little warm, but overall lovely.

The afternoon was spent at Elliott Family Farms for Heritage Days








But the morning started with Prince P’s first run.









The HOP 5k & 10K with the 1 mile fun run.












A sugar cane maze, story telling, horse and buggy ride, apple butter and BBQ awaited us after the run.














We were thoroughly exhausted at the end of the day.


Eggplant was the center of attention for dinner Saturday night. I wanted something light and refreshing. I sliced this beautiful eggplant, that came out of a dear friend’s garden, dipped it in eggwash and breadcrumbs and baked for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, I opened two cans of tomatoes, added a few spices. Once the eggplant was finished I stacked and enjoyed.

I also tried out my new bread machine, given to me by my boss. Talk about a great hand-me-down.










My first creation has so far been everyones favorite. Banana nut bread!! Delicious.








I finished the weekend with a little work in the garden. The radishes were ready to be pulled up and I found a few okra lingering. I decided to try my hand at pickling these. I’ll let you know how that turns out.


I had one eggplant left that needed to be used, so I decided to stuff it. I was preparing sausage pizza for the kids so I used left over sausage, garlic and left over tomatoes from the eggplant Parmesan. Topped it with mozzarella cheese and baked. Served this with stewed tomatoes and okra and Italian and herb bread.


Even though the homework is waiting, I enjoyed being able to get back in the garden and kitchen this weekend.

Now its back to the books!

How was your weekend?


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How safe is our food?

Earlier this week, while finishing a lesson plan on MyPlate, I realized I could no longer access the website due to the government shutdown. This got me thinking, what else is affected by the shutdown? 

The Food and Drug Administration will have to cease most of its food safety operations. The FDA regulates 80 percent of the food supply and the administration will be unable to continue the majority of its food safety, nutrition and cosmetics activity.

“While the FDA will continue manning all meat production facilities with full-time inspectors, routine establishment inspections, some compliance and enforcement activities, monitoring notification programs (food contact substances, infant formula), and the majority of the laboratory research necessary to inform public health decision making will cease.”

Epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control will not be able to do microbial testing needed to track outbreaks back to their source.

WIC, Headstart and senior nutrition programs will not receive funding during the shutdown.

It is possible that nothing goes wrong with our food supply during this time but who can take that chance.

This weekend while I’m out and about, I will be looking for more than my usual crop from the farmer’s market and local farmers. Eating local makes even more sense to me during this time.





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Tidbit Tuesday – More about B vitamins

Yes, this school work is kicking my tail but I am determined not to let you guys down. Thanks for bearing with me.

This week a lot of research has been put into B vitamins. Mostly Biotin, Pantothenic acid, Folate & B 12.

One of our discussions asked, “Does biotin and pantothenic acid really improve your hair texture and preserve its color?”

I thought this would also be a good topic for us to discuss. Do any of you take these supplements? Hair, skin and nails supplement?










Biotin & Pantothenic acid are B vitamins essential for growth. They support energy metabolism by helping breakdown and use food.

During my research search.  I found very little scientific data supporting the use of either. Deficiency in these vitamins is very rare. These supplements would not prove beneficial unless deficiency is present and biotin deficiency is linked to incomplete parenteral nutrition and nursing infants whose mother is deficient in the vitamin. This deficiency, although rare, results in skin rashes and hair loss.

So, bottom line, continue to eat a varied, nutritious diet and do not waste your money on these products as they likely doing nothing more than the food you eat. Healthy nails and hair comes from plant based foods, eggs, salmon, sweet potatoes, liver

Biotin food sources

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Tidbit Tuesday – B vitamins

This was this weeks threaded discussion in Vitamin & Mineral Metabolism:

The B-vitamins are considered energy vitamins by many. In fact, marketers refer to energy when these vitamins are included in products. Discuss the legitimacy of referring to these vitamins as the energy vitamins. If you agree with this term, give evidence for the claim. If not, give good reason why this claim should not be used.


My post focused on the fact that b vitamins do not supply energy.


Carbohydrate, fat and protein supply the fuel for energy.


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Sweet Boys & a Cheap Dinner

Yesterday was a day full of catching up around the house and trying to do school work. JR left early in the morning to work with my dad.

The night before when we explained to the boys that Daddy was working, the look on their face was priceless. Prince P said, “Daddy going to work, that’s just silly.” Yes, JR occasionally works but most of the time he takes the boys with him. When he’s working on someone’s car or chopping wood, they are usually in tow. So the fact that Daddy was leaving early in the morning and not taking either of them with him was strange. 

With JR out of the house and Prince P off to school Master A and I had a little fun in the garden before it got too hot. While I was busy pulling weeds and preparing for a small winter crop, A was digging holes and holding out packets of seeds for me.

He was motivated because he was promised bubbles once the garden was planted.






Since he was a huge help bubbles is what he got.












We planted peas, radishes, carrots and spinach

My small garden, with okra still producing

My small garden, with okra still producing

Another small bed

Another small bed












All tuckered out we retired to the house. I decided to utilize the crockpot. Being the day before payday it was interesting finding something blog worthy but here it is:












Poor Girl Chili:

  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • dash of salt & pepper

Drain and wash all beans. Place all ingredients in slow cooker (I rinsed the salsa jar with water to get all the tomato goodness into the cooker). Cook on low for 5 hours. I served these with Ham and Cheese Muffins. This recipe calls for mayo, I didn’t have any, I used sour cream and they came out wonderfully. I also added a little shredded cheese into the mix.

This meal was delicious and worked wonderfully to clean out the pantry before grocery shopping. I’m off to Davidson Farmer’s Market tomorrow, I’ll make sure to share my finds. Have a fantastic weekend.

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Tuesday Tidbit – Salmon

You should be eating more fish, hell, we all should be eating more fish. There are so many benefits we are missing out on by not creating more meals containing fish. Tonight, in a rush after work, I threw together salmon patties and it brought me to this Tuesday’s tidbit.

Studies have shown that consumption of the fatty acid rich salmon can help you live longer and be healthier while you do it.

Salmon helps lower total cholesterol by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and raising good cholesterol (HDL). Consuming a diet rich is omega-3 fatty acids can help repair heart damage and strengthen the heart muscles. It also helps lower blood pressure and even prevent hardening of your arteries which lessens your chances of having a heart attack. Two servings of salmon each week may reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 17 percent and your risk of having a heart attack by 27 percent.

Keeping all this in mind, I hope this recipe will give you an idea of how to incorporate more fish into your meals.

  • Canned Salmon
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 egg
  • canola or vegetable oil, a drizzle

In a pan, add a drizzle of oil and swirl pan. Heat oil on medium.

Drain juice off salmon and empty in bowl. Add pepper, dried parsley, bread crumbs and cornmeal. Mix well. Add egg and mix well.

Patty with hands and add to pan when oil is hot. Brown both sides. Enjoy!!!

Served mine with left over pasta and tomatoes, and vinegar cucumbers.

School Lunch Week in Review

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The new school week starts tomorrow and I only have four days of lunches to plan for. Having a six year old picky eater, is tough and planning healthier meals is even harder. Here’s a run down of last weeks meals.



Pizza spirals made out of crescent rolls with homemade pizza sauce, pepperoni and cheese; Celery boats  with carrot cream cheese topped with sunflower kernels; cherry tomatoes (he used to call these red eggs); homemade apple chips with a fruit leather “P”

He loved the pizza spirals and ate all the tomatoes. The rest was picked over and he doesn’t like the raspberry fruit leather. 



Peanut butter and jelly on wheat (supposed to be a hand but it looks a little rough); carrots, cauliflower and carrots with a homemade ranch dip; lemon lime jello with pear pieces.

He didn’t even try the dip, said he didn’t like ranch dip. That’s silly because he normally loves it. Kids!! The veggies are always a huge hit with Prince P so this meal was mostly devoured. 



Pepperoni stick; Mozzarella cheese; pretzels; cherry tomatoes; grapes and Super Mario Bros. gummies

This meal was a complete success!!!



Flat bread Canadian bacon and pepperoni pizza; Angry Birds cheese crackers; cucumbers and cherry tomatoes; grapes

I tried to do something a little different this meal and serve something that wasn’t cold but it backfired because he said it wasn’t good and ate no more than one bite of the pizza. The rest was eaten up. 



Peanut butter and jelly on waffles; Pringles; sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes; diced pears and peaches

The sandwich wasn’t even touched. I think he was a little intimidated by the wrapper. He picked at the fruit and of course the rest was devoured.



Everyday he drank either Gatorade or Crystal Light. I would rather send milk but he has a really late lunch and I don’t want to take the chance of his milk getting too hot. Milk is center stage at his other meals. We are learning with each day what works in the lunch box. I’m learning that even if he eats it at home, he may not eat it at school. Writing his menu down for him to see also helps.

If you have children, what kind of meals are you packing? What is your biggest obstacle?

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