Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and with it, there are hearts on every surface. But February is also National Heart Month and a great time to think about how to treat that ticker better and give it a long life. In November, I had the honor of walking with Team Jenny at the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk here in Pittsburgh. It was a cold. blustery day but it was hard not to feel inspired seeing the teams walking in honor of family members, friends, and to raise money for complete strangers. In addition, I met some amazing Jenny Craig success stories- women who had changed their lives by getting moving and taking their health to heart (pun alert!).
See- here’s the team, shivering and ready to hit the road!
Since we’ve been eating healthier around here, The Lady is dropping pounds like crazy and heading to the gym to get her sweat on regularly. I’m working a lot these days, but I’ve been walking to the office in the evenings, and I’ve had the benefit of some heart-healthy meals from her strict attention to detail! My friends at Jenny Craig sent over some heart healthy tips that I wanted to pass along and a delicious recipe:
o Add a Pop of Color: Fill your plate with foods rich in water, fiber and protein and lower in fat. This principle known as the Volumetrics® Approach to eating allows you to eat more food, feel fuller and add nutrients with fewer calories. For example, mixing non-starchy vegetables, such as tomatoes, broccoli and peppers, into your pasta dish will lower the calorie density and enlarge your portion.
o Move More: Physical activity is a key component to weight loss success and keeping your heart healthy. Increasing your level of activity will not only help you to burn calories, but it will also reduce stress. Try integrating physical activity into your lifestyle so that you’re exercising without even knowing it – run around with your children, park further away from the door or take the stairs. You can even do body weight exercises in your own living room during commercial breaks of your favorite TV show. Just move more!
o Manage Your Portions: You can still eat the foods you love, but when preparing meals just be mindful of how much you’re piling on. If you use the plate method, 1/4 of your plate will have a serving of a starch, 1/4 will have a protein and 1/2 will have vegetables, which you can pile as high as you like (without additional fat). Remember the first bite tastes the best, so no need to eat too much.
o Join a Heart Walk: Join Team Jenny at one of the more than 300 Heart Walks across the country this year! Make the commitment to join a Heart Walk and take a stand in the fight against heart disease and help save lives. Not really sure where to begin? Take it slow! Just remember to start with a 5-minute warm-up and finish with a 5-minute cool-down every time you work out and be sure to stay hydrated. Click here to learn more about how you can join Team Jenny at a Heart Walk near you.
o Break for Breakfast: While it may seem like just a little meal you skip at the start of your daily routine, breakfast is truly the most important meal of your entire day. Not only does it help to boost your metabolism, it also keeps your blood sugar stable throughout the day. So the next time you’re moving a mile a minute, take a moment to slow down and grab a healthy bite in the morning. Your heart will thank you later!
Try this simple, heart healthy recipe the next time you’re making breakfast. This dish also incorporates the Volumetrics® Approach (exclusive to the Jenny Craig program), by including fresh veggies. This principle, founded by Dr. Barbara Rolls, Professor of Nutritional Sciences and the Helen A. Guthrie Chair in Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University, allows one to eat more food and feel fuller on fewer calories by choosing foods rich in water, fiber and protein and lower in fat.
Jenny Craig’s Spinach & Green Chile Omelette
4 egg whites
1/2 cup nonfat milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup shredded spinach leaves
2 Tbsp. fat-free sour cream
nonstick vegetable spray
1. Spray large skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium heat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites, milk, salt and pepper.
3. Cook the egg mixture over medium-heat for about 3 minutes or until sides start to set.
4. Place green chilies, bell pepper and spinach leaves on one side of the egg mixture and fold in half.
5. Cook for an additional minute, or until vegetables are soft.
6. Cut omelette in half, top with sour cream and serve.
For more information on Jenny Craig, visit: http://www.jennycraig.com/. And, don’t forget to visit http://www.jennycraig.com/heart-walk to learn about how Jenny is supporting the American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life. ™ initiative. Here, you will soon be able to sign up for the American Heart Association’s Heart Walks taking place in over 300 cities through 2013.
(SPONSORSHIP NOTE: I have received no compensation for this post or the included content.)