20 Ways to love your 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!