Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Friend of the Heart

Once I made the decision to overhaul our culinary habits, I started keeping a list of any food I came across that was labeled as "heart healthy." The nice thing about heart healthy foods, is that they are most often good for whole bunch of other things as well. Score! The majority of my list came from a cookbook I have. It's called Fight Back with Food: Use Nutrition to Heal What Ails You by the Reader's Digest. It's a great book, with entries for specific foods and what they're good for, as well as specific ailments and what helps them. Then in the back are a bunch of recipes to use those foods. And it's all cross referenced.  Very helpful. Anyway, here's my list as it stands now, simply a quick reference for me of foods that I know are specifically good for heart health.

Beans (legumes)
Fatty Fish (specifically salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines, and lake trout)

Red Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes


Grains and Other Things
Whole Grains
Olive Oil
Dark Chocolate
Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list. But, it's what I've got, and it's a great start! And look at all the good stuff on that list. I think that's what convinced me I could do this- everything sounds so tasty! 

My first step was to order some of the less common things on the list from (the same place I had ordered my coconut oil and manna.) I had a nice coupon for $10 off, and they have good deals- plus I didn't have to go to the store. So it was pretty much a win win!

I was able to get quinoa, flaxseed meal, steel cut oats, whole wheat flour, and fig jam (simply figs pureed with grapes for sweetness.)

*Side note: if you want to give a try, you can sign up for their rewards program through this link and get an automatic $10 coupon! By using this link as a reference, I get $10 too. : ) 

I'm excited to try all these new things out. Trial recipes will be coming soon! 

A Change.

Our family recently experienced a life-changing tragedy. Because of this, my husband and I have been convicted that we need to make a significant change in our diet.
Our new goal will be to focus on specifically heart healthy foods. Our goal isn't so much to eradicate bad things from our diet, but rather to add in healthy things. More fruits, more vegetables, more fish, more heart healthy grains. We had already started the process by shifting to using healthier oils and trying to use more whole wheat. The hope is that these changes will naturally replace less healthy options, and our meals will gradually become healthier
Because of this massive shift in our lives, my blog will be taking a bit of a change in direction as well. I have been doing a lot of research on heart healthy foods, and have begun to compile a list of things to incorporate into our monthly menus. I plan to feature these things here, and explain how they are good for your heart. I'm going to post menus, recipes, and specific foods as often as I can. As we start down this new path of healthiness, I hope to be able to chronicle our journey; our likes and dislikes, failures and successes. I can assure you there will still be times when we splurge-when we eat a whole cheesecake, or when I feature a fatty, delicious meal. But as long as our overall goal is being met, I'm ok with that.