Love Your Heart This Month (and always)

Our hearts work very hard to keep us going.  They beat tirelessly.  They take care of us--we need to return the favor!  This month is Heart Month.  Let's take the time to love on our hearts.

What is a heart attack?

According to the American Heart Association, "A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to the heart is blocked".  It can cause damage to the heart muscle itself--the longer the person goes without treatment, the greater the damage.  Heart disease is the #1 killer.  It is deadly for three out of ten people.  It is serious.

What can you do to take care of your ticker?


The AHA suggests thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day, five days a week.  Dividing up your thirty minutes sessions into two, 15 minute sessions will still give you heart-healthy benefits!


Did you know that a plant-based diet is a great choice for a healthy heart.  In the Lifestyle Heart Trial 82% of Dr. Dean Ornish's patients had regression of heart disease on his low-fat plant-based plan.

Here is what the Lifestyle Medicine Institute suggests are the keys to REVERSING heart disease:

1.  Reduce blood cholesterol to less than 160mg/dl with a very low-fat, high-fiber vegetarian diet and with cholesterol lowering medication if necessary.

2.  Lose weight by eating more foods-as-grown, less refined foods and animal products.

3.  Drop your blood pressure by cutting the salt to less than 1,500 milligrams a day, and by getting into a daily exercise program. (AHA guidelines above)

4.  Stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake.

"You can actually clean out your arteries, lower your risk of dying of artertherosclerosis, and extend your active, productive years.  You can markedly change your risk factors, often in a few weeks" according to Hans Diehl, DrHSc, MPH, FACN

Does that give you hope?  it is very empowering!  We can control some of our health destiny!  Happy heart month!  Do you want the roadmap to healthy?  Check out  Join our Complete Health Improvement Program.

3 Steps To Help You Remain Sane During This Busy Season

This time of year can be chaotic!  It is full of activity, added people, and expectations.  Three ways to keep yourself grounded are:


1.  Do not be easily offended.  Assume everyone has goodwill.  Rembember the reason for the season.


2.  Keep a routine.  Get up early, have some quiet time to yourself to pray, meditate, and plan your day--in peace.  Get to bed at a decent time.


3.  Keep on an exercise plan and watch the goodies.  Even if it is just a few minutes of activity, it will put you in the right frame of mind.  Exercise and food dramatically affect mood!  Try to stay away from the sugar, white flour and excess salt.  Your mind and body will thank you!


Have a wonderful holiday and don't forget to breathe!

The Documentary That Changed My Life

I used to do the elliptical to The Biggest Loser,  I muscled through  Jillian Michael's bootcamp workouts, did aerobics and ate really "clean".  I usually ate chicken or turkey, cottage cheese, whey protein, and string cheese.  I also ate veggies, salad and moderate "carbs".   The problem was that my cholesterol kept climbing.  I was in the "high risk" category.  My dad had a heart attack leading to a bypass.  I didn't want to go down that road.  

My husband knew my concern and brought home the documentary Forks Over Knives.  The individuals on that video had  dropped cholesterol, reversed disease, and gained a zest for life. It sounded too good to be true, but  I decided to give it a try--to do what they did.  It was a bit of an adjustment at first.  I read everything I could get my hands on regarding this lifestyle.  

After three weeks I had dropped my total cholesterol eighty points!  My LDL drpooed forty points.  I was in the normal range!  No statin drugs for me!  My migraines virtually disappeared, my skin got better, my periods got much easier, my immunity improved and my energy levels increased. 

I had my daughters try it.  They had been put on blood pressure medication at a young age and we were not comfortable with that "solution". Their weight and blood pressure dropped into the normal range and they are now off medication.  

When I had hip trouble and couldn't work out for nearly three years,   I didn't gain an ounce.  I wasn't dieting, counting calories or carbs.  I was just eating a whole food plant based diet.

It has been five years since I have been on this journey and it just keeps amazing me!  This way of life represents freedom to me.  Freedom from migraines and medication.  Freedom from worrying about heart disease and freedom from tight clothes!  It frees up mental space to think about other things and other people.

This Fall, my mom and I went to Anaheim to got licensed to facilitate CHIP--Complete Health Improvement Program.  It is such a positive program!  It is a whole-person wellness program that is scientifically proven to prevent, arrest, and reverse chronic disease.


If you are in the Cedar Rapids area--check out




Random Acts of Kindness

As I was in the public restroom today, I glanced at a  woman with smiling eyes, dark skin,  and an electric-blue fuzzy hat.  She smiled an unusually-friendly smile and commented, "Nice outfit" and continued smiling from ear to ear.   After she left, I was still baskng in the palpable positivity.  It felt like warm sunshine.  I thought about how much that act of kindness brightened my day.  On a day that is filled with so much hate and emotion, it is ultimately important to remember to love people


As we come off this election and begin  this busy holiday season remember to practice random acts of kindness.  You never know how you might affect someone's day!

Lessons From Minnesota

In my neck of the woods, we scorn the impending Winter.  We dread, we get ready to hibernate.  We joke with our neighbors, "i'll see you when the snow melts".  


My mindset was challenged when we went up to Minnesota this weekend.  Hubby and I had some time to kill, so we headed over to REI sporting goods store.  As I started looking at all the cold-weather gear and read about their OptOutside program, it dawned on me that they don't just tolerate Winter, they celebrate it!


This changed the entire posture of my heart.  Why had I bought into the negativity surrounding colder temperatures?  Why waste months waiting for Spring?  


Today, instead of heading down to the workout room to hop on the bike, I bundled up and took a prayer/meditation walk outside.  I was thankful I am healthy enough to walk, I concentrated on filling my lungs with oxygen, and I actively shed my negativity about Winter.  I am looking forward to the next few months!