I recently had an experience with an affair of the heart. It was shocking, depressing and just plain scary. I am not talking about a “love” affair of the heart, I am talking about an “attack” of the heart. My husband had a heart attack. It was a shock. As a result, my husband admits that there were several factors leading up to the heart attack: obesity, poor eating habits, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, and high stress. The heart attack convinced him to eat heart healthy. In his case my husband was blessed. This heart attack was mild but at the same time a strong warning. Because of the heart attack, my husband is now working out, using methods to decrease the impact of stress on his body, and eating heart healthy. Oh and did I mention, listening to his live-in Holistic Health Coach…ME!
Eating heart healthy is really not that hard. Eating heart healthy does mean not always indulging in some of our guilty pleasures that you KNOW are not good for you. Indulging in a constant stream of high fat, high salt, high carb, is not showing your heart love. Eating foods that are low in fat, low in salt, not fried and prepared in a healthy way is a great way to show your heart love. Eating heart healthy after 40 is a must for women. Heart disease is the number one killer for women, therefore it is extremely important that women have a heart healthy diet.
Here are some important statistics from the American Heart Association Go For The Red
Make a decision, take charge of your life and eat heart healthy. There are some great recipes that are heart healthy and are easy to make. The recipes below are from the Food Network and I totally love them. I found all of them easy to cook and very tasty. Enjoy!
Start a “love affair” with your heart today and prepare one of these tasty recipes.
Heart Healthy Quinoa Salad
12 cups water
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
5 pickling cucumbers, peeled, ends trimmed, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, chopped
2 bunches mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 heads endive, trimmed and separated into individual spears
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced, for garnish
Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa, stir once, and return to a boil. Cook uncovered, over medium heat for 12 minutes. Strain and rinse well with cold water, shaking the sieve well to remove all moisture.
When dry, transfer the quinoa to a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, onion, tomato, parsley, mint, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and toss well. Spoon onto endive spears, top with avocado, and serve.
Heart Healthy Red Lentil SoupIngredients
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup bulgur
1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
Melt butter in a large pot, add the onions and saute until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, spices, and salt and pepper, and saute another minute to release the aromas. Stir in the tomato paste to blend with the onions, fry 1 to 2 minutes, then add the stock, bulgur and lentils. Cover and simmer until bulgur and lentils are thoroughly cooked and soup is thickened, about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, stir in half of the herbs and sprinkle the remaining half over the soup. Serve immediately with yogurt to garnish.
Heart Healthy Spinach with Pomegranate Glazed Walnuts
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
One 5-ounce container baby spinach
4 ounces white button mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced, about 1 cup
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil
Combine 1/4 cup juice with the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small nonstick skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the walnuts and continue to cook, stirring, until the nuts are coated and dark and the liquid evaporates in the skillet, about another 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet to cool. When cool, break apart with your hands.
Meanwhile, soak the red onion in ice water for about 10 minutes; drain and pat dry. Place the baby spinach in a serving bowl and top with the onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and walnuts. In a bowl whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons juice with the vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and then whisk in the oil. Drizzle over the salad and toss just before serving.
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