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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Healthy Heart

Since February is American Heart month, we thought heart health would be a perfect topic for our first Wellness Wednesday post.

Obviously, this video is ridiculous in its absurdity. Processed food stapled to trees still isn't a healthy option. :)

While processed foods might seem easier, in reality, healthy eating can be just as easy.

  • In the time it takes to order a pizza and wait for it to be delivered, a delicious home cooked meal of steamed chicken and veggies over rice could have been prepared.
  • The time it takes to toast an Eggo waffle is not much faster than scrambling an egg or preparing some heart healthy oatmeal.

It all starts with a little menu planning and stocking up with real, fresh ingredients at the grocery store.

Don't be fooled. We are far from perfect in this respect. We stock up on far too much processed snacks and end up reaching for those Pringles or cookies instead of a piece of fruit or some veggies.

But we are trying!

We participate in Bountiful Baskets every other week to get a nice variety of fresh produce.
We recently stopped stocking soda in our apartment.
We rarely eat out and hardly ever grab fast food.
We keep our portions small when eating at home, and generally share an order when we go out to a restaurant.

Here are some other great ideas to help you make healthier eating choices:

  • Prepare a menu, so there is no question about what you'll be eating throughout the week. Even if it's just a general idea, and not day specific.
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where more of the fresh, natural products are displayed.
  • Take a day to do most of the food prep for the week, so there isn't the excuse of not wanting to do the choppy, choppy after a long day at work.
  • Experiment with new recipes using a slow cooker, if you have one, to do the work for you while you're busy during the day.

Of course, a strong, healthy heart is more than just what you eat.

It's also about how you move your body; your heart is a muscle after all. In fact, it's the hardest working, continuously operating muscle in your body, so it deserves a little extra care.

A surefire way to show a little extra care is to incorporate a variety of activities into our lives.

Our favorites are running, hiking, and yoga! We also enjoy bike riding and occasionally other weight/strength training. We don't pay for a gym membership, so all our activity is done in our home or outside. It's a good thing we live in Vegas where outdoor activities are almost always do-able. :)

When adding more activities to your life, just find something that you love. If you're looking for a new activity, give it a couple tries before deciding you don't like it; you might surprise yourself! It could even be as simple as dancing in your bedroom when no one is looking. :)

We try our best to be as active as possible, but we often go through phases where we're a little better at it than other times. So this post, and the introduction of Turtle Vida in general, is a good reminder and push -- for us to become even more active!

Jeff and Clarinda

What are your favorite tips for eating healthier or being more active?

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