Monthly Archives: May 2012

Cardiovascular Disease and Fitness

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Cardiovascular Disease and Fitness

In addition to following a healthy diet and incorporating important heart nutrients, you must also exercise to maintain the health of your heart. Exercise can help you prevent as well as reverse heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association, you should include a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, three to four days a week.

Why is exercise important?
Many studies have proven conclusively that making improvements to and maintaining your physical fitness will significantly lower your risk of developing heart disease and all other illnesses. Put simply, regular exercise keeps your body in a healthy condition, and a healthy body can ward off disease much better than an unconditioned one.

Let’s take a look at the various types of exercise and why it can improve your health:

Aerobic Exercise
The word aerobic means “oxygen-producing”, and as such aerobic exercise stimulates the production of oxygen. Aerobic exercises include those where you are in motion including walking, running, biking, swimming, etc., exercises which make your heart rate increase for an extended period of time.

When your heart rate increases, this means more blood is being circulated around your body, providing necessary oxygen to your cells and tissues. Regular aerobic exercise is very important for maintaining heart health.

Anaerobic Exercise
Anaerobic exercise comprises short-lived, intense bursts such as sprints and weight lifting. Whereas aerobic exercise is best for cardiovascular strength and endurance, anaerobic exercise is best for muscle strength and flexibility. This will help you maintain your health and avoid injury.

Should you do aerobic or anaerobic exercise?
Although it depends on the time you can allot to exercise each day, we recommend a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise if possible. This way you can improve your cardiovascular health as well as increase your muscle strength. Adding stretching to your routine will also warm up and loosen your muscles so you can avoid injury.

Following are the many benefits of a regular exercise routine. It’s easy to see why exercise is so important:

1. Improving cardiovascular efficiency – heart & lung functioning.

2. Improving strength and endurance.

3. Increasing energy levels and metabolism.

4. Relieving stress and tension.

5. Increasing range of motion and flexibility.

TIPS AND TRICKS

1. Before you start any exercise program, consult your physician to make sure you don’t have any heart conditions or other health problems that might prevent you from safely performing certain exercises. Your physician also might be able to recommend a program that is right for you.

2. Set aside time each week to exercise, and make sure you are consistent. Try to work out at least 30 minutes 3-4 times per week, with a combination of aerobic and anaerobic activities (i.e. running on the treadmill and lifting weights).

3. Start slow! Don’t rush into an exercise program. Rather, take your time and ease into it, increasing your time, intensity and/or weights gradually as you go along. You will see much better results like this, rather than going overboard with it.

4. Make sure you stretch before and after exercising. It is important that you warm up before you begin any activity, and cool down once you are finished. if you do not adequately stretch your muscles before and after you exercise, you will be much more susceptible to injury or muscle tearing. We recommend 5-10 minutes of warming up before you begin, and at least another 5 minutes of cooling down post workout.

5. Keep water with you at all times, make sure you are hydrated throughout your workout.

6. Maintain a steady workout regimen. Sporadic workouts are not the way to go about it. Stick to a schedule. Also, make sure you maintain a heart healthy diet and include important heart nutrients to improve and maintain your heart health.

Fruit Lables

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Talking Fruit

How to de-code the information on those little stickers
By Marion Owen, Fearless Weeder for PlanTea, Inc. and
Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul

While unpacking groceries, you pull out the bag of apples and decide to eat one then and there. You take it over to the sink, wash it off and — with some effort — peel off the little sticker. Pausing to look more closely at the sticker you wonder, “What do those numbers mean?”

As much as we may dislike them, the stickers or labels attached to fruit do more than speed up the scanning process at the checkout stand. The PLU code, or price lookup number printed on the sticker, tells you how the fruit was grown.

As reported by Maria Gallagher, in the June 26, 2002 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer, by reading the PLU code, you can tell if the fruit was genetically modified, organically grown or produced withchemical fertilizers, fungicides, or herbicides.

Here’s how it works:

For conventionally grown fruit, (grown with chemicals inputs), the PLU code on the sticker consists of four numbers. Organically grown fruit has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 9. Genetically engineered (GM) fruit has a five-numeral PLU prefaced by the number 8. For example,

A conventionally grown banana would be:
4011

An organic banana would be:
94011

A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be:
84011

The numeric system was developed by the Produce Electronic Identification Board, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association, a Newark, Delaware-based trade group for the produce industry. As of October 2001, the board had assigned more than 1,200 PLUs for individual produce items.

Incidentally, the adhesive used to attach the stickers is considered food-grade, but the stickers themselves aren’t edible.

Do you REALLY know what’s in your dinner?

Today, 7 out of every 10 items on grocery stores shelves contain ingredients that have been genetically modified. In other words, scientists are using new technology to transfer the genes of one species to another, and these altered foods are in the market stream. And yet many scientists have concerns about the safety — to people, wildlife and the environment — of this process. That’s why consumers in Asia and Europe are demanding that their food be free of genetically modified ingredients.

To learn more about food safety, GM (genetically modified) foods and what’s wrong with them, and what you can do bring about changes:

Vegetarian Mushroom Burger

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I had fun today, got experimental and made burger patties out of mushrooms. I read somewhere that you can use mushrooms in place of ground beef, so i decided to have a go at burgers! They came out delicious, I may prefer them to the ground beef burgers. Next we will have to try them on the barbecue grill and see how they hold up.

I was only cooking for myself tonight, so this is just the ingredients for one burger. Increase according to the servings desired.

Ingredients:

1 cup Mushroom

1/4 cup Panko

1 tsp horseradish mustard

1 tbsp onion flakes

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp Fortner’s #75 blend

1 egg white

 

Use a knife and hand chop or use a food processor to finely chop the mushroom. In a bowl add panko, seasonings, mustard and egg white and mix thoroughly until fully combined. Form into a patty.

Heat a skillet on medium heat and spray with butter cooking spray.  Cook patty until browned and crispy one each side.

At this point you might want to melt cheese on the patty or grill onions to top the burger. You can also eat the burger patty with lettuce or cabbage wrap instead of a bun.

BBQ Vegetable Chicken Kebabs

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We had a few days of humid and rainy weather so the BBQ has been out of commission most the week. However who can pass up a good Chicken Kebab?

It is such a simple meal to put together. As I have stated on many occasion I love the natural flavors of vegetables. This certainly hasn’t always been the case, but it is amazing how the pallet can change. Once a junk food, fast food and greasy food addict, I now find myself fully satisfied by natural healthy food. I love the absence of the groggy feeling that always came from the overindulgence of high fat processed items. I have grown to love the lack of hangovers and withdrawals from my life.

This morning I woke up and got homework completed, cooked breakfast, and did some research regarding the Jehovah Witness view of creation and the age of the earth. My husband and I had a conversation about this topic yesterday, and I needed to go searching for the proper information to help sway his opinion. It seems that he was under the misinformation that Jehovah Witnesses do not believe in the scientific evidence that the earth dates back as much as 4 billion years. So I had to find out for my self, and to my joy, in the publication Was Life Created it is stated that geologists have shown that the earth is 4 billion years old and astronomers have formulated that the universe may be as much as 15 billion years old and that this does not contradict Genesis because it is an indeterminate amount of time that the creative days took. Fundamentalist Christians believe that the creation days were literal 24 hour days, however there is no foundation for this. Moses referred to all 6 creative days as one day, and even when Jehovah called the time of light day and the time of dark night, this indicates that the term day is relative to different periods of lengths of time.

It seems that I have managed to poke a small hole in my husbands theory that he already knows all the answers that they are going to give him, and that they don’t agree with his view.  I must have been visibly overjoyed and full of energy because my husband asked if I had gotten into his coffee and was high on caffeine. This was not the case, I was just full of joy and a spiritual contentment. I hope that over time I can begin to inch through some of the things he is so convinced that he has to fight against. At least this is one we can mark off the list.

However back to my Kebabs, I used a combination of mushroom, onion, sweet mini bell peppers, and boneless skinless chicken tender pieces. The chicken tenders were marinated in greek yogurt, garlic powder and dill. Cut all the veggies and chicken into about 1 inch cubes and skewer alternating items leaving space for even cooking.

 

 

Grill the skewers on a hot BBQ until the vegetables have a lovely char and the chicken tender cubes are cooked all the way through.

 

 

 

Spice Blends for Any Dish

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I feel a great need to introduce you to the Fortner’s Spice Blends! These 5 different blends have become a regular in many of the dishes being made in our kitchen. Thanks to my Fortner’s blends and the many varieties of Mrs. Dash, you don’t have to be a master of making your own seasoning blends for your dishes. many people are kitchen novices and aren’t highly knowledgeable of spice flavors and combinations of flavor profiles. No mater if you are baking fish, Barbecuing steak, making meatloaf, or just want to spice up some vegetables, there is a mix right for the job. I get the whole collection at the Healthy Heart Market . You can buy them individually or in a pack with all the options together for one price. They cost $3.95-$4.15 each, which you find to be the same as most jars of spices in the market. You can get all 5 in a pack for $18.45 or a 4 pack of the blends (excluding #1) for $14.80.

FORTNER’S #1

All Natural, No Additives & just 10 mg salt per serving

 Nutrition Facts:
Serving size 1/4 TSP (0.5 g)
Servings per container Approx. 86
Amount per serving:
Calories 0
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 10 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Protein 0g
Ingredients: Contains a top quality blend of dehydrated vegetables, celery, yeast extract, spinach, parsley, onion, garlic, herbs, spices and silicon dioxide (to prevent caking).

FORTNERS #37

This salt-free blend is a perfect complement to poultry, pork, and vegetable dishes, skillet frying, and stir-frying.
This salt-free blend is a perfect complement to poultry, pork, and vegetable dishes, skillet frying, and stir-frying.
Fortners Seasonings are formulated by Fortner’s Products from Lake Mills, WI.
All Natural, Salt Free, No Additives.
Serving size 1/4 TSP (0.5 g)
Servings per container Approx. 70
Amount per serving:
Calories 0
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Protein 0g
Ingredients: A special blend of garlic, paprika, bayleaf, onion, oregano, celery, thyme, sage, allspice, basil, rosemary, marjoram and pepper.

Fortner’s #55

Blend #55 is great with steak, beef, chicken and pork. Great for bar-b-que, broiling, baking, and microwaving.

All Natural, Salt Free, No Additives
Nutrition Facts:
Serving size 1/4 TSP (0.5 g)
Servings per container Approx. 86
Amount per serving:
Calories 0
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Protein 0g

Ingredients: A special blend of garlic, celery, basil, ginger, paprika, bay leaf, lemon, parsley, coriander, sage, allspice and pepper.

FORTNERS #75

Perfect for Hamburger, Meatloaf, Casserole Dishes, Ground Meat, and Stews.

All Natural, Salt Free, No Additives.
Serving size 1/4 TSP (0.5 g)
Servings per container Approx. 70
Amount per serving:
Calories 0
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Protein 0g
Ingredients: A special blend of celery, garlic, oregano, allspice, paprika, bayleaf, parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage and pepper

 

FORTNER’S #89

Great for fish, salad, seafood, egg dishes and sauces.

All Natural, Salt Free, No Additives.
Nutrition Facts:
Serving size 1/4 TSP (0.5 g)
Servings per container Approx. 56
Amount per serving:
Calories 0
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Protein 0g
Ingredients: A special blend of dill, lemon, paprika, rosemary, allspice, basil, fennel, bayleaf, garlic and pepper.

 

 

Moving Forward

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It is amazing how quickly things can change. Hard to believe that 4 months ago I was in a bed in an ICU unit. If there was ever a testament to the power of healthy lifestyle changes, I would be it!

In 4 months I have managed to keep strong and clean my life of the toxins of alcohol, and cigarettes. I have improved the quality of my health through proper nutrition that includes low fat, low sugar and most importantly extremely low sodium. I have increased my ability to move and workout. In relation to that I have also lost 32 pounds, thanks to my new lifestyle!

My heart ejection fraction has improved from 20% to 35%! I no longer have trouble with dizziness and blurry vision when I walk. On the other hand I have been able to walk 1 mile every day in the last 2 weeks. Today was a test of my endurance, I increased my walk to 2 miles!! It was a push, but I did it! 

From not being able to walk to the mail box, to walking 2 miles in my rural area is a wonderful improvement! I am so amazed and proud of the changes I have made and the strength that I have found to not only keep it moving forward, but learn to love it!