Wellness Spot — February 2013

Each month Cindy Silver, a Registered Dietitian, gives us a great tips to stay healthy. Read on to find out about some fun activities, recipes and other facts to keep you and your family healthy all year long!

It’s February So Think ‘Heart-Healthy’!

This month may bring some cold or snowy weather, depending where you live. It also brings a huge message to take care of your heart. American Heart Month, celebrated in February, is a busy time for registered dietitians partly, I think, because of all the good that comes from practicing habits like eating less fat and less salt, exercising and managing stress. I do ‘practice what I preach’ when it comes to heart-healthy eating and exercising. For fun, I try to set a heart-healthy example for my friends, family and colleagues, too. I love to see their faces when I pull out a super healthy snack or dessert. But, especially, I love to help them get on-board with the kind of foods and physical activity to feel great and keep their hearts healthy and strong – forever!

Go RED for Women Day is February 1st!

Celebrating women is a central focus during American Heart Month. Much of this is due to the recent awareness that women experience unique signs and symptoms of a heart attack that are different from men. Only about 10 years ago, medical research showed significant gender differences when a heart attack strikes. Ever since then, national media campaigns have helped save thousands of women’s lives because now we understand more. You can celebrate these wonderful advances in research and knowledge by wearing red on February 1st, Go RED for Women Day. Get out your red dress, red skirt, red shoes, red socks, red hat and make sure your friends do, too. I hope you’ll take 2 minutes to view the awesome Go RED for Women video at this link!

Heart-Healthy Snacking at Home!

If you’re home for the day and want to eat really well, don’t forget to stock up on heart-healthy snack foods. The big advantage to being at home is that you have access to your dry pantry, fridge and freezer. That means you can get even more creative as you snack nutritiously.

Dry Pantry Snacks that are Heart-Healthy

  • Whole grain breakfast cereal (with low fat 1% or fat free skim milk)
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts)
  • Dried fruit (apples, apricots or raisins)

Fridge Snacks that are Heart-Healthy

  • Low fat 1% or fat free yogurt (regular or Greek style)
  • Low fat 1% or fat free cottage cheese
  • Hummus (goes great with raw carrots, celery, cucumber slices)

Freezer Snacks that are Heart-Healthy

  • Frozen banana (peel a ripe banana, wrap in saran wrap or waxed paper, freeze, eat)
  • Fresh frozen soybeans (also called ‘edamame’, steam in microwave, eat)
  • Frozen fruit mix (makes a delicious smoothie when blended with 100% apple or orange juice)

Kids’ Hearts Need Care, Too!

For adults, following a heart-healthy lifestyle is a good challenge. So, imagine what a big challenge it can be for kids. There are many ways that parents and teachers can be heart-healthy role models for their kids and students and, at the same time, help themselves. Here are a few examples:

  1. Make a heart-healthy lunch or dinner at least 3 times every week. Include chicken without skin, the leanest ground beef hamburger or fish, baked (not fried) potatoes, steamed green veggies and fruit for dessert.
  2. Serve 1% or fat free (skim) milk or water at meals. Soft drinks are expensive and nutrient-poor.
  3. On weekends, get the family moving – together. Take a walk or hike on a sunny day. Go roller skating (indoors) or ice skating (indoors or outdoors) when it’s cold outside. Laugh and exercise together to bring everyone closer in a fun way.

Heart-Healthy Recipes for February!

These recipes taste great as they nourish the heart and entire body. Happy Heart Month!

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