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20 Ways to love your heart

September 13th, 2011 | no comments

veggie heart

This Valentine’s Day, give yourself a gift! I’m not talking about a box of candy conversation hearts- give your heart the gift of one healthy choice today and every day this month. Here are 20 small things you can do that will have a huge impact on your heart health:

  • Toss some blueberries, strawberries or blackberries on your morning bowl of cereal.
  • Mix a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds in your oatmeal.
  • Eat a whole grain bagel instead of a doughnut or muffin
  • Eat a small handful of walnuts or almonds for your mid-morning snack.
  • To cut back on sodium, instead of ordering a lunch meat sandwich, try a grilled chicken breast sandwich instead!
  • Order that sandwich on whole grain/whole wheat bread instead of white or wheat (wheat doesn’t necessarily mean whole wheat, so ask to be sure).
  • Make or order a salad with fresh spinach instead of plain old boring iceberg lettuce.
  • If you normally drink whole milk, try 2% milk; If you drink 2%, try 1%; If you drink 1%, try skim!
  • Snack on a Kashi granola bar instead of cookies
  • Try whole grain rice instead of white
  • Eat a square of dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
  • Toss a handful of beans or legumes on your salad or mix in your pasta dish. Take your pick: black, pinto, garbanzo, kidney, soybeans (edamame), black-eyed peas, lentils, etc.

  • Instead of reaching for the potato chip bag when you get home from work or school, snack on baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, red pepper strips and/or sliced cucumbers (Tip: Have them washed, cut and ready, otherwise you will reach for the chips!)
  • Drink water instead of soda, fruit punch or other sweetened beverages at lunch and dinner.
  • Boost your fiber and leave the skin on your baked potato or apple.
  • Order a side of veggies or baked potato with dinner instead of the fries.
  • Drink a cup of green tea

  • Go fish! Choose salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout or herring (all good sources of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids)
  • Move your butt! Even if you can only fit in 10 minutes of exercise…just do it!
  • Read labels for trans fats by looking for the words “partially hydrogenated oils” in the ingredient list. Don’t eat these products!

Make it an energizing day!

Melanie

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