Oct 282012
 

 

When I learned that 90% of all heart disease is preventable I decided to find ways to do just that.

Here are some ideas you can use to  take charge of your heart health.

 

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Jun 082018
 

Super Heart Foods

Super Heart Foods

Berries Are Superfoods

Long-term studies measuring berry or flavonoid consumption suggest that all these cardiovascular benefits of berries add up to longevity value, according to the reduced risk of all-cause mortality observed in these studies.

Berries are the fruits with the highest nutrient-to-calorie ratio and an important component of a high-nutrient diet; I consider them to be superfoods. Along with greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, and seeds, berries make up G-BOMBS, which is the acronym you can use to remember the most health-promoting foods on the planet. These are foods you should eat every day, and they should make up a significant portion of your diet to promote health and longevity and to fight chronic disease.

One thing is for sure: It is clear these small packages of sweetly tart fruits have an amazing capacity to benefit our health. They are an important component of a high-nutrient diet. Eat some berries daily to provide your body with protection against free radicals, inflammation, heart disease, and cancers.

Sources

Basu A, Rhone M, Lyons TJ. Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health. Nutr Rev 2010, 68:168-177.

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Jun 082018
 

Please have a read of this wonderful article.  The short answer is: Yes.  AND there’s a lot more:

https://www.verywellhealth.com/can-strong-emotions-cause-heart-disease-4125248?utm_campaign=healthyheart&utm_medium=email&utm_source=cn_nl&utm_content=13508259&utm_term=

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Jun 022018
 

Why You Should Take Aspirin If You’re Having a Heart Attack

A common question people who have experienced a heart attack often have is whether—should they ever experience one again—they should chew and swallow an aspirin as soon as they call 911. But since a heart attack is a life-threatening event, how could taking a single aspirin do any good?

Why Take an Aspirin While Waiting for the Paramedics?

A heart attack, also called myocardial infarction, is usually a form of acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

ACS is triggered by the rupture of a plaque within a coronary artery. This plaque rupture causes a thrombus (blood clot) to form within the artery, leading to a blockage. The portion of the heart muscle being supplied by the artery then begins to die. The death of heart muscle is what defines a myocardial infarction.

What this means is that, at the time you are having a heart attack, a big part of the problem is the growth of a blood clot within the affected artery. Formation of this blood clot depends to a large extent on the blood platelets, which are tiny blood cells whose job is to participate in blood clotting.

Why Aspirin?

It turns out that aspirin—even in small doses—can rapidly and powerfully inhibit the activity of the platelets, and therefore can inhibit the growth of the blood clot. Inhibiting the growth of the blood clot is critical if you’re having a heart attack since maintaining at least some blood flow through the coronary artery can keep heart muscle cells from dying.

Navigating Heart Failure

Heart failure can drastically disrupt your life. But, by paying attention to your symptoms and working carefully with your doctor, you can still live productively.

Large randomized clinical trials have shown that if aspirin is used immediately with an acute heart attack, the mortality rate after five weeks is reduced by 23 percent. This is why chewing and swallowing an aspirin is usually one of the first things you will be asked to do when you arrive in the emergency room with a suspected MI.

But time is of the essence—minutes count. So if you think you might be having a heart attack, most experts now advise patients not to wait until they get medical help—chew and swallow an aspirin as soon as you are concerned enough to call the paramedics.

In this way, you can begin therapy immediately.

How Much, What Type, and How To Take It

The current recommendation for people who may be having a heart attack is to chew and swallow one non-coated adult aspirin (325 mg) as soon as possible. Chewing or crushing the aspirin gets it into your bloodstream more quickly—within four to five minutes—and researchers have measured a significant effect on platelets within that short period of time.

Swallowing a whole aspirin with water, as you normally would, takes 10 to 12 minutes to achieve the same effect. This time difference may seem small, but, once again, minutes count when your heart is at risk.

Sources:

Randomised trial of intravenous streptokinase, oral aspirin, both, or neither among 17,187 cases of suspected acute myocardial infarction: ISIS-2. ISIS-2 (Second International Study of Infarct Survival) Collaborative Group. Lancet 1988; 2:349.

Wright RS, Anderson JL, Adams CD, et al. 2011 ACCF/AHA Focused Update of the Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Unstable Angina/ Non-ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (Updating the 2007 Guideline): a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation 2011; 123:2022.

Web link: https://www.verywellhealth.com/why-take-an-aspirin-for-a-heart-attack-1746028?utm_campaign=healthyheart&utm_medium=email&utm_source=cn_nl&utm_content=13423949&utm_term=

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Mar 112018
 

Can the foods you eat beat inflammation?   YES!

By Cathy Wong, ND | Reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD

Updated February 23, 2018

The anti-inflammatory diet is an eating plan designed to prevent or reduce low-grade chronic inflammation, a key risk factor in a host of health problems and several major diseases. The typical anti-inflammatory diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, lean protein, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats.

Often resulting from lifestyle factors like stress and a lack of exercise, chronic inflammation results when the immune system releases chemicals meant to combat injury and bacterial and virus infections, even when there are no foreign invaders to fight off.

Since our food choices influence the level of inflammation in our bodies, the anti-inflammatory diet is thought to curb chronic inflammation and help prevent or treat the following conditions: allergiesAlzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, gout, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and stroke.

2014_08_06_fruit-salad-raspberry_9999_45raspberry-fruit-saladFoods to Eat on the Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Research suggests that people with a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, and fish may have a reduced risk for inflammation-related diseases. In addition, substances found in some foods (especially antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids) appear to possess anti-inflammatory effects.

Foods high in antioxidants include:

  • Berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • Avocados
  • Dark green leafy vegetables (such as kale, spinach, and collard greens)
  •  Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts)
  • Beans (such as red beans, pinto beans, and black beans)
  • Whole grains (such as oats and brown rice)
  • Dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa)

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Oily fish (such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies)
  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts
  • Omega-3-fortified foods (including eggs and milk)

There’s also some evidence that certain culinary herbs and spices, such as gingerturmeric, and garlic, can help alleviate inflammation.

meatFoods to Avoid

Omega-6 fatty acids (a type of essential fatty acid found in a wide range of foods) are known to increase the body’s production of inflammatory chemicals. Since omega-6 fatty acids help maintain bone health, regulate metabolism and promote brain function, you shouldn’t cut them out of your diet altogether. However, it’s important to balance your intake of omega-6 fatty acids with your intake of omega-3 fatty acids in order to keep inflammation in check.

Foods high in omega-6 fatty acids include:

  • Meat
  • Dairy products (such as milk, cheese, butter, and ice cream)
  • Margarine
  • Vegetable oils (such as corn, safflower, soybean, peanut and cottonseed oil)

Instead of vegetable oils, opt for oils like olive oil and avocado oil.

Additionally, studies show that a high intake of high-glycemic index foods like sugar and refined grains, such as those found in white bread and many processed foods, may rev up inflammation. Avoid sugary drinks, refined carbohydrates, desserts, and processed snack foods.

The Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

More and more research suggests that an anti-inflammatory diet may play a key role in scores of health conditions. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2017, for instance, assessed the association between dietary inflammation (measured by a dietary inflammatory index) and atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries) in women over the age of 70. Researchers found that dietary inflammatory index scores were associated with subclinical atherosclerosis and heart-disease-related death.

Adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet may help reduce levels of certain inflammatory markers (such as a substance called C-reactive protein) in people with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in Endocrine in 2016.

For the study, people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes followed the Mediterranean diet or a low-fat diet. After one year, C-reactive protein levels fell by 37 percent in people on the Mediterranean diet, but remained unchanged in those on the low-fat diet.

Meal Ideas

Breakfast foods: breakfast smoothie, chia bowl, oatmeal.

Lunch: salad with quinoa and vegetables, soup, grilled salmon.

Snacks: fresh blueberry fruit salad, apples and nut butter, walnuts, chia seed pudding, guacamole.

Beverages: ginger turmeric tea, golden milk, green juice, green smoothie, herbal tea, turmeric tea, green tea.

Tips on Following an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

  • Eat five to nine servings of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Limit your intake of foods high in omega-6 fatty acids while increasing your consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as flaxseed, walnuts, and oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring).
  • Replace red meat with healthier protein sources, such as lean poultry, fish, soy, beans and lentils.
  • Swap out margarine and vegetable oils for the healthier fats found in olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
  • Instead of choosing refined grains, opt for fiber-rich whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, breads, and pastas that list a whole grain as the first ingredient.
  • Rather than seasoning your meals with salt, enhance flavor with anti-inflammatory herbs like garlic, ginger, and turmeric.

A Word From Verywell

Choosing a variety of these delicious, antioxidant-rich foods can help curb inflammation in combination with exercise and a good night’s sleep, which may improve inflammation markers and possibly reduce your risk of many illnesses.

Sources:

Bondonno NP, Lewis JR, Blekkenhorst LC, et al. Dietary inflammatory index in relation to sub-clinical atherosclerosis and atherosclerotic vascular disease mortality in older women. Br J Nutr. 2017 Jun;117(11):1577-1586.

Maiorino MI, Bellastella G, Petrizzo M, Scappaticcio L, Giugliano D, Esposito K. Mediterranean diet cools down the inflammatory milieu in type 2 diabetes: the MÉDITA randomized controlled trial. Endocrine. 2016 Dec;54(3):634-641.

 

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Oct 022017
 

Lazarus Dec 2016 (1)Five years ago, I posted a story about Lazarus, the cherry tomato plant, affectionately known as “the comeback kid.”

In 2012 I wrote: “The first year I planted the small cherry tomato plant was very disappointing.  It bore very few tomatoes and most were unappetizing hard red lumps. When it withered and turned brown at the end of the growing season, I was tempted to pull it out and toss it in the compost heap, but I didn’t.  I left it in the pot, neglected it and watched it survive a rainy and very cold winter. The next April, to my astonishment, it sprouted green leaves and started to show early signs of fruiting. It looked weak but showed a warrior spirit so I gave it an unceremonious dose of plant food and watched it go berserk.

That summer my former struggling tomato plant produced 2″ and 3″ spheres of ruby-red fruit. The taste was sweet and garden fresh. I made delicious Greek salads all summer long. Every year thereafter it has continued to grow bigger and better.  Given its remarkable history and talent for revivification, we nick-named it Lazarus.”  He was originally planted in 2008.

I thought for sure last summer that he had finally given up his ghost after four years of remarkable production and moved on to tomato-plant heaven.  By the end of the hot summer season there was no sign of life in him. He was a dry, crispy critter.  Since I was in the process of moving from Central California to Ventura, I left his corpse behind in a compost pile at the old house. Buh- bye sweet Lazarus. You were fabulous while you lasted.

In the fall  I moved about a dozen potted plants with me and hoped they would adapt to the new southern location.

At my new house, I envisioned a chorus of potted purple bougainvillea outlining the decks. I recycled some pots and soil from the former house and planted six new bougainvillea babies. They began to flourish immediately and brighten up my landscape just as I hoped they would. One day I noticed that one of the pots sported an intrusive extra green sprout. I suspected a weed and headed over to it thinking to remove it from spoiling the plan. To my astonishment, I recognized it as the start of a young tomato plant. As I looked closer I realized this had been Lazarus’ pot when I found the buried tag with his name on it. I suddenly realized that what I was seeing must have been produced from the seeds of his offspring.

There was Lazarus, growing right next to the bougainvillea and also flourishing. Hooray and Halleluiah! Lazarus is alive and well and living in Ventura in the same pot as his sister Bougainvillea.

I don’t have the heart to move him into his own pot. He seems so happy. His fruit is once again delicious and popping fresh.  I can’t wait to see what he does in the spring when I actually feed him.  Say hello to the wonderful Lazarus, now famous for coming back yet again. He’s quite the comeback kid.

 

Update: Lazarus actually took over the post this summer and last. He kicked out his sister Bougainvillea and is now the only child in a pot all his own.  He is now  9 years old, going on ten. Go Lazarus!

When he turn ten next year  I think he has to have his own blog. Lazarus 2016 (4)

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Apr 062017
 

I hated (still do) gyms. I don’t enjoy large groups of people, noise, loud TV’s blaring or lookie-loos. Call me weird, private, cloistered…whatever. I have my right to like or not like. You’re just not getting me in  a smelly-old, sweaty gym with strangers and attitude. But how do you stay fit and healthy if not in a gym? I went on a mission 20 years ago to find exercise that didn’t involve the dynamic of a gym. I studied exercise and tried milder forms like dancing, Aikido, Tai Chi, Yoga and Qigong.

What I have discovered is that unless you want to look like a runner-up for Mr. or Ms. Olympia, and you are focused on keeping fit for your heart and body health, then the forms of Tai Chi, Yoga, Qigong or walking will do the trick. You don’t have to spend hours jumping up and down for cardio health.  Just raise the heart rate through mild exercises 5 times a week  for 12 minutes, plus a warm up and cool-down and you will keep your heart functioning and strong. Engage in Tai Chi or Qigong three to four times a week to keep your balance aligned, muscles toned, and your body flexible.

K&M AIkido 5

Aikido is a slightly more aggressive marshal art than Tai Chi, but it is based in peace, cooperation and you work up into strength, balance, grace and concentration at your own skill level and pace.

Walking at a clip is great for the heart and the body. Add some weights while you walk to strengthen your arms and core…or take a rescue pup for a walk and both of you smell the roses on the path. Dancing is another way to work the body and create muscle tone, coordination and balance.

Tai Chi has the physical benefits of strengthening the core while calming the nervous system and developing balance, coordination, rhythm and connection to the cosmos. Yoga offers many techniques and styles. You can experiment with several approaches to find the one that suits you best. You can work in a “hot” studio, or normal temperature. Ask about their methods beforehand.

All of these suggestions benefit the body for longevity, strength, balance, energy stimulation and connect us to the visible and the invisible worlds. They save the chaos and intensity of the pounding beat of most gyms and allow us to go within as we work the outside. The physical plus spiritual benefits of these exercise techniques are cumulative and measurable.   I benefitted from Qigong so much, that I became an instructor and now share my practice with my local community.Qigong translates to: working the energy. This means on all levels: body, mind and soul

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Jan 112017
 

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According to an article published by time.com “one U.S. adult out of every three has high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. But the number of people with elevated blood pressure, not yet in the high range, is much higher. (870 million people worldwide are hypertensive.)

Elevated systolic blood pressure was found to be a leading contributor to preventable death in 2015 and was linked to more than 10 million deaths—1.4 times the number in 1990.
The 2015 results of the clinical SPRINT—short for the systolic blood pressure intervention—trial found that people who kept their systolic blood pressure at 120 had much lower rates of heart-related deaths and early deaths from any cause.

Not everyone needs to take a medication for elevated systolic blood pressure. It’s possible to lower your blood pressure naturally through changes in diet, exercise and weight, Roth says. The important thing is to start paying attention to blood pressure early. “Elevated blood pressure starts contributing to a very large amount of lost health at a relatively young age,” Roth says.

 

For more details go to:

http://time.com/4630345/systolic-blood-pressure-hypertension/?xid=tcoshare

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Dec 302016
 

lazarus-2016-4

Four years ago, I posted a story about Lazarus, the cherry tomato plant, affectionately known as “the comeback kid.”

In 2012 I wrote: “The first year I planted the small cherry tomato plant was very disappointing.  It bore very few tomatoes and most were unappetizing hard red lumps. When it withered and turned brown at the end of the growing season, I was tempted to pull it out and toss it in the compost heap, but I didn’t.  I left it in the pot, neglected it and watched it survive a rainy and very cold winter. The next April, to my astonishment, it sprouted green leaves and started to show early signs of fruiting. It looked weak but showed a warrior spirit so I gave it an unceremonious dose of plant food and watched it go berserk.

That summer my former struggling tomato plant produced 2″ and 3″ spheres of ruby-red fruit. The taste was sweet and garden fresh. I made delicious Greek salads all summer long. Every year thereafter it has continued to grow bigger and better.  Given its remarkable history and talent for revivification, we nick-named it Lazarus.“

Fast forward four years, its December 30, 2016 and Lazarus is at it again. Only this time, he truly came back from the dead.

I thought for sure last summer that he had finally given up his ghost after four years of remarkable production and moved on to tomato-plant heaven.  By the end of the hot summer season there was no sign of life in him. He was a dry, crispy critter.  Since I was in the process of moving from Central California to Ventura, I left his corpse behind in a compost pile at the old house. Bye bye sweet Lazarus. You were fabulous while you lasted.

In the fall  I moved about a dozen potted plants with me and hoped they would adapt to the new southern location.

At my new house, I envisioned a chorus of potted purple bougainvillea outlining the decks. I recycled some pots and soil from the former house and planted six new bougainvillea babies. They began to flourish immediately and brighten up my landscape just as I hoped they would. One day I noticed that one of the pots sported an intrusive extra green sprout. I suspected a weed and headed over to it thinking to remove it from spoiling the plan. To my astonishment, I recognized it as the start of a young tomato plant. As I looked closer I realized this had been Lazarus’ pot when I found the buried tag with his name on it. I suddenly realized that what I was seeing must have been produced from the seeds of his offspring.

There was Lazarus, growing right next to the bougainvillea and also flourishing. Hooray and Halleluiah! Lazarus is alive and well and living in Ventura in the same pot as his sister Bougainvillea.

I don’t have the heart to move him into his own pot. He seems so happy. His fruit is once again delicious and popping fresh.  I can’t wait to see what he does in the spring when I actually feed him.  Say hello to the wonderful Lazarus, now famous for coming back yet again. He’s quite the comeback kid.

lazarus-dec-2016-5

The Come Back Kid – Lazarus ,The Cherry Tomato Dec 30, 2016

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Dec 212016
 

Alan Thicke was a very nice man. I worked with him in several occasions and he was always the gentleman, kind, professional and a pleasure to be around. His untimely death was a shock to all of us.
I think the following advice from Dr. Oz is great to know and practice.

http://www.today.com/health/what-do-if-someone-having-heart-attack-t106021

We don’t know if following these practices might have saved Alan’s life, but they might have.

Unfortunately we’ll never know and the world has lost a lovely human being.

alan-thicke-sscn-ii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo is from The Showtime Comedy Club All-Stars. I was Producer/Director, Ken Weinstock on right was EP.

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Nov 012014
 

cookie    Heart Easy ™ Gluten Free Oatmeal-Raisin-Cranberry Awesome Cookies

A church member (Patrick Milburn) asked me if I knew how to make gluten-free cookies. I told him I’d never done that before, but it set me on a mission. Here are the results and, if I may say so myself, they are scrumptious. Try them anytime for holidays and beyond.

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup gluten free rolled oats. (I used quick cooking)

1 cup gluten free Oat Flour

½ Cup Reddi Egg or egg substitute

½ cup authentic maple syrup (not flavored and colored corn syrup)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

4 T. organic brown sugar

½ tsp sea salt

½ cup raisins

½ cup dried cranberries (orange flavored are fabulous.)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine the dry ingredients into one bowl and mix together.

Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl.

Add wet to dry and mix well.

Fold in the raisins and cranberries.

Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes.

Drop cookies onto a line baking sheet. (Parchment paper is excellent)

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Allow cookies to cool completely before removing from paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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