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(3) Healthy Habits for your HEART

I missed the boat. 
This post was written to be published in October (specifically around the Seattle Heart Walk)....
Oops. Welcome to my life!

It is something different from my normal post"ings" yet something I have grown more and more passionately about. 
This post is about women's heart health.
After all we first must take care of ourselves before we can take care of others. Right?
As a mother speaking I don't usually follow this rule but sitting her without giving it much thought I think DUH? The problem is our actions in one moment (repeated over and over) can = an un-happy heart. 
Lets think about this differently...
You are getting ready to take off on an airplane and even the flight attendants before you fly remind you to put your air mask on before helping your children with theirs.

Its going to be no surprise when I say to you that we try very hard to make sure that Mason and Kendall grow up eating GOOD foods. I mean its gotten to the point where Mason thinks watermelon is dessert. 
So now its time to look at what I eat. I don't eat horrible but man I would be in much better shape if I would follow the rules I lay out for my children. 
I have also seen how UGLY heart disease is and under NO circumstance do I want to face that battle. So living with a boy who has half of a heart I thought I could take a page out of his "diets" book and apply it to us women....
So together we can keep our hearts healthy and free from disease....
Learn to love fish: 
This one probably does not sound so strange. We have heard this over and over and over. Yet I find it hard to follow this rule. In our house we try to eat fish at least one time a week. How are we doing at hitting this goal? I would give us a solid D. Clearly we have some work to do. It is important. Not just for my children but for us. Eating fish just once or twice a week is enough to REAP ALL its healthy benefits. I found some great recipes... If you love to cook try them out (healthy fish recipes). 
Don't STRESS if you don't cook - order it when you go out to eat. (I know I am pretty smart) or if you are a vegetarian there is plenty of animal-free omega-3 sources out there like chia seeds, flaxseed oil, and edamame (just to name a few)
Start meditating:
HERE is one that I need to work on... I have every excuse in the book as to why I can not make the time to just sit down and meditate. Maybe I need to look up that Oprah challenge?!?!? I digress.
Meditation. If its not enough that meditation can improve your brain function and stress levels, multiple studies have shown that it can improve your heart's function! Double score! Less stress, happier hearts. 
I seriously need to make this more of a priority!

FIND AN ALTERNATIVE to diet soda: 

Sure is has ZERO calories. So it seems like a great way to have a good beverage and lose weight too, but aside from sabotaging your weight loss goals it can also put you at risk for many other health issues...
  • Studies show that drinking diet soda may increase your risk of heart attack and stroke by 44 percent. (WOW. I should be able to STOP here... If this is not good enough reason I don't know what is)
  • The artificial sweeteners, though calorie-free, make our body crave sugary calories, so drinking diet soda can actually lead to weight gain.
  • Although diet plays a major role, a diet soda habit may also be linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Caffeine consumption can make you jittery, worsen IBS symptoms, increase blood pressure, cause sleep issues, and lead to osteoporosis.
  • Artificial sweeteners are just that — artificial. Although the FDA deems them safe in moderate consumption, artificial sweeteners like aspartame can cause headaches and migraines.
  • Lastly diet soda offers NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE WHATSOEVER. In fact... Caffeine can lead to dehydration. HMMMM isn't the point of consuming liquid to stay hydrated? I'm confused!
It is amazing to me that even with all of the "soda warnings" women (and men) continue to regularly drink diet soda. 
THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS and I promise you will not miss it as much as you think. I have been soda free for over 4 months. I wish I could say that it has been longer but you have to start somewhere... I hope if you are reading you start here. DROP THE SODA!

There you have it. MY 2CENTS!


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