Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Heart Healthy Habits and Recipes

While neither of our families has a strong history of heart disease, I still feel that incorporating heart healthy habits into our daily lives is very important.

The ways in which we do this include:

-Exercising consistently. As you know, exercise has so many health benefits, but is particularly good for heart health. I try to get at least 10,000 steps in every day too and just track that with a traditional pedometer. 

-Eating a heart healthy diet. Craig likes fish and I don’t eat it at all, so when he eats tilapia or a non-fried piece of fish, I feel like he’s eating something that is healthy for his heart. As you know if you’ve been a regular reader, I eat a vegetarian diet and since I have been 100% vegetarian, I have seen my blood pressure decrease significantly and I expect my cholesterol numbers to be down when I get my Health Risk Assessment test in about a month.

-Incorporating cholesterol lowering foods in our diets: I love adding things like chia seeds and ground flax in my yogurt and oatmeal. My cholesterol numbers are a little borderline (usually around 160 overall, which is still low in my opinion), so during my Health Risk Assessment last year, the health coach encouraged me to add more flax seeds into my diet. She also recommended fish, but I don’t eat seafood. My mom has high cholesterol and her parents did as well, so it could be genetic, but I am determined to not be on cholesterol pills when I am older. When I took a LDL test on Mayo Clinic’s website, it said my level was near optimal and that I could do the following to lower it:
  • Limit unhealthy fats. Control saturated fat by choosing lean meats such as skinless chicken breasts, or fish. Avoid trans fats, which are found in many commercial baked goods, such as crackers, cookies and cakes. When you do use fat, choose monounsaturated types, such as olive oil or canola oil, or polyunsaturated fats, found in nuts and seeds.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fresh and frozen produce are low in calories and rich in nutrients and fiber.
  • Get regular physical activity. With your doctor's OK, work up to getting 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity a day. It doesn't have to be fancy. Take a brisk walk. Ride a bike. Just get moving.
-I try to avoid processed/packaged foods as much as possible (like it suggests above). That is not always easy to do though when I have a husband who likes to buy chips and ice cream! This ensures that I am not eating a lot of saturated and trans fats.

-Maintaining our weight: Craig and I do maintaining our respective weight. I feel like I have gained a little this winter, but I am sure I’ll lose some in the summer, like I always seem to do as a result of moving more in the warmer temperatures.

Thanks to Campbell’s Soup, here are some American Heart Association Certified Recipes to get you inspired to eat a more heart healthy diet:

Broccoli Cheddar Rice

Pizza Primavera with Cauliflower Crust

Tilapia & Vegetable Casserole

Stuffed Winter Squash

Creamy Chicken & Vegetables over Spaghetti Squash

Want to save some money next time you're at the grocery store? Click here for Campbell's coupons. 
About Campbell's Address Your Heart: Health is foremost on people’s minds, keeping your family in tip top shape can be a challenge in these busy times. Campbell’s Soup wants you to “Address Your Heart” with Heart Healthy Tips, recipes and more!
Visit to get heart-healthy tips, including 21 Campbell’s recipes that are certified by the AHA and product coupons, as well as for the latest Campbell’s recipes and offers.
This post is sponsored by Campbell Soup Company and partnershub. I will receive a gift card in exchange for my blog post.

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