Tag Archives: vegetables

Go Red for Heart Health

Long View: You Can’t Beat a Healthy Heart or 6 More Weeks of Winter

Just when you think the holidays are over and the thrill of the new year has finally tapered down, here comes February — Groundhog Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Mardis Gras, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents Day. February is a multi-themed, food-filled month of celebration.

We anticipate the shadow reveal of Punxsutawney Phil, we break out the football-shaped cheese ball to root for our team, we plan our menu of anything and everything on Fat Tuesday, and if that isn’t enough, we love to eat chocolates on the day of love. Then when it’s all over (and after a slight weight gain), we hit the mall for some comfy stretch wear with Presidents Day sale bargains!

But wait, how about doing something this month to celebrate our health and focus on our heart? If we can take advice from a small woodchuck about the weather, we surely can take advice from the American Heart Association about our health!

February is American Heart Month, and part of that is National Wear Red Day. For those of you who know me, my wardrobe pretty much consists of drab colors and neutrals, but this year, I broke out my red floral scarf for a splash of color as a symbol of support!

The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute encourage all of us to take action against this killer disease. Studies show that 80% of cardiac and stroke events may be preventable with education and action.

Find time to talk to your family and get everyone on board with heart health. Encourage healthy eating habits by making healthier versions of your favorite food. Choose foods and recipes low in sodium and with no added sugar or trans fats. When you shop, buy colorful fruits and vegetables, which are all powerhouses when it comes to nutrition, and stay away from dairy and meat products that are high in fat.

Fiber is important in your diet, and you can find fiber not only in fruits and vegetables, but also in beans, nuts, and whole grain. Take the time to read the nutrition labels on items, and check out the sodium content. (A general rule is, if anything has more than 250 mg of sodium, you may want to search for something with less.)

Physical activity can also help you stay heart healthy. It’s not only what you put into your body, it’s also what you put out. Exercise helps to improve heart health, and it can even help reverse certain heart disease risk factors. Our heart becomes stronger from exercise, which helps it pump more blood through the body and work at maximum level without strain.

Aerobic activities at least 3 to 4 times a week are the best. Choose walking, swimming, or biking, and allow for a good 5 minutes of stretching beforehand to warm up your muscles and a cool down period after you’re through. And of course, always check with your doctor before starting any new physical routine.

So this February, maybe forego indulging in lavish holiday food choices (remember that New Year’s resolution?) and celebrate in a new way. Go out and buy something red to wear to celebrate heart health AND 6 more weeks of winter, or will it be an early spring? Better check with Punxsutawney Phil before you go!

Mervet Adams is a community liaison with Health Alliance. She loves her grandson, family, nature, and fashion.

National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week

National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week

It’s National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week, and adding freshly squeezed juices to your diet can be a great way to get more vitamins and nutrients from fruits and veggies.

First up, Glowing Skin Green Juice sweetened by apple is great for staying hydrated.

Glowing Skin Green Juice

 

Make this Super Healthy Vegan Orange Julius at home for a healthy treat.

Super Healthy Vegan Orange Julius
Image and Recipe via Vegan Vigilante

 

This refreshing Anti-Inflammatory Juice will have you dreaming of warmer weather.

Fresh Anti-Inflammatory Juice

 

Beautiful pink Beet Ginger Detox Juice is perfect for sneaking more veggies into your kids’ diets.

http://www.theharvestkitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/beet-juice-2-650x975.jpg
Image and Recipe via The Harvest Kitchen

 

Get your daily dose of Vitamin C with this green Fresh Kiwi-Grape Juice.

Fresh Kiwi-Grape Juice
Image and Recipe via Martha Stewart

 

Lighten up your lemon and feel like you’re at the spa with this Cleansing Cucumber Lemonade.

Cleansing Cucumber Lemonade

 

Help your immune system be prepared for winter colds with an extra dose of Vitamins A and C in Winter Vitamin-Boosting Juice.

Winter Vitamin Boosting Juice

National Pasta Month

National Pasta Month

It’s National Pasta Month, and we’re helping you step up comfort food this fall with healthy pasta recipes featuring seasonal ingredients.

First up is the perfect fall comfort food, Healthy Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms.

Healthy Pumpkin Pasta

Image and Recipe via Happy Kitchen Rocks

 

This Simple Lemon Pasta will be a huge hit with your kids.

Simple Lemon Pasta
Image and Recipe via Life as a Strawberry

 

Everyone will love eating their veggies in this Easy Balsamic Veggie Pasta.

Easy Balsamic Veggie Pasta

 

This warm and hearty Winter Minestrone Soup will be your go-to in the cold.

Winter Minestrone Soup

 

This lightened up Garlic Mozzarella Margherita Pasta is perfect for lunch or dinner.

Garlic Mozzarella Margherita Pasta
Image and Recipe via Carlsbad Cravings

 

Make this simple, veggie-packed Tortellini with Pesto and Roasted Vegetables.

Tortellini with Pesto and Roasted Veggies

 

Never give up your favorites with this light 30-Minute Chicken Spinach Alfredo.

30-Minute Chicken Spinach Alfredo:
Image and Recipe via Life as a Strawberry

Farmers Market Recipes

Farmers Market Recipes

In honor of National Farmers Market Week, we have farmers market recipes packed with fresh fruits and veggies to help you use your in-season summer finds.

This super simple Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss will be a crowd-pleaser.

Heirloom Tomato and Chicken Toss
Image and Recipe via My Recipes

 

Seared Salmon with Sugar Snap-Fennel Slaw is a light and delicious summer meal.

Seared Salmon with Sugar Snap-Fennel Slaw
Image and Recipe via Eating Well

 

For rainy or sick days, this rich Andean Potato & Cheese Soup is sure to please.

Andean Potato & Cheese Soup
Image and Recipe via The Kitchn

 

Mix sweet and savory with these Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce.

Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce
Image and Recipe via Real Simple

 

Basil, Blackberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad is the summer lunch you’ve been missing.

Basil, Blackberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad
Image and Recipe via Cooking Light

 

Use the summer staple to make Honey-Chipotle Grilled Corn.

Honey-Chipotle Grilled Corn
Image and Recipe via My Recipes

 

Skip the expensive restaurant and make Pepper Steak Fajitas at home.

Pepper Steak Fajitas
Image and Recipe via Health

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

It’s National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, and with in-season summer fruits and veggies and grilling season upon us, it’s time to make them a part of healthy meals.

First up, Grilled Veggie Kababs that are perfect with whatever you throw on the grill.

Grilled Veggie Kebabs with Creamer Potatoes & Tofu

Whip up this Loaded Veggie Salad with Chickpeas and Black Beans for a picnic.

Loaded Veggie Salad with Chickpeas and Black Beans Image and Recipe via Pip and Ebby

 

Strawberry Mango Chia Popsicles will be a great cool treat all summer long.

Strawberry Mango Chia Popsicles

This Grilled Hawaiian BBQ Chicken in Foil is an easy, all-in-one summer dinner.

Grilled Hawaiian Barbecue Chicken in Foil

Make this 4-Ingredient Fruit Salad Pineapple Boat for an impressive and easy party dish.

4-Ingredient Fruit Salad Platter and a Pineapple Boat

Light Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad will be delicious at your summer BBQs.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
Image and Recipe via Salt & Lavender

 

Easy Balsamic Grilled Vegetables with Goat Cheese will be your new go-to side dish.

Balsamic Grilled VegetablesImage and Recipe via NeighborFood

National Salsa Month

National Salsa Month Recipes

It’s National Salsa Month, which is a great way to sneak in fruits and veggies to snacks and wraps or on top of your dinner.

First up, try this delicious Homemade Salsa Verde.

Homemade Salsa Verde (Tomatillo Salsa)

Eat this Mediterranean Salsa with pita bread for a hearty snack.

Mediterranean Salsa

Use your favorite summer fruit in this savory Watermelon Salsa.

Watermelon Salsa

Make Avocado Salsa instead of guac to go with your weeknight tacos.

Avocado Salsa
Image and Recipe via Closet Cooking

 

This Fresh Strawberry Salsa mixes sweet and savory in-season produce.

5 Ingredient Strawberry Salsa

This filling Black Bean Salsa with rice and chicken makes a perfect burrito bowl.

Black Bean Salsa

This tropical Pineapple Salsa is a tasty topping for your grilled fish.

Pineapple Salsa

Fibroid Awareness Week

Fibroid Awareness Week

It’s Fibroid Awareness Week. Fibroids are muscular tumors, usually benign, that grow in the wall of the uterus for women.

Fibroids can be as small as an apple seed or as big as a grapefruit. 20% to 80% of women develop them by age 50.

Fibroid Size and Frequency

 

Not all women with fibroids have symptoms, but those who do can have pain, pressure on the bladder, frequent urination, or even a swollen abdomen.

Fibroid Symptoms

 

Risk factors for fibroids include age, family history, ethnic origin, obesity, and eating habits, like eating too much red meat. Eating plenty of green veggies is associated with a lower risk of fibroids.

Risk Factors for Fibroids

 

If you get pregnant and have fibroids, you might have more problems during your pregnancy. OB-GYNs are used to this situation, though, so talk to your doctor about your fibroids when you find out you’re pregnant.

Pregnant with Fibroids

 

Your doctor can diagnose you with fibroids through an exam or imaging tests like ultrasounds, X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans.

Diagnosing Fibroids

 

There are treatments for fibroids, including meds and surgery, if you have pain, they’re large, or you want to get pregnant.

Fibroids and Your Future

Save

Save