Hints from Heather... on Heart Health
Updated: May 19, 2020
Own The Omega. 99% of us are deficient in these almost miraculous morsels! Why? Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) or Omega 3’s must come from the food you eat and the Standard American Diet (SAD) sadly lacks this vital nutrient. EFAs are one of the powerhouses when it comes to overall health and studies have shown great benefits for heart health in particular. Omega 3’s decrease inflammation in all parts of the body (#1 cause of disease), decrease resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, decrease unhealthy heart rates and improve the overall mechanical function of the heart. But, what if you aren’t one of the 1%-ers? Not to fear! Omega 3 fatty acids come in 3 forms (ALA, DHA, EPA) and can be an easy addition to sneak into your diet. Amp up your ALA through eating more healthy fats found in seeds and nuts such as flaxseeds (throw a spoonful in your smoothie), pumpkin seeds (I carry a pouchful in my purse and sprinkle over no-sugar-added, high-fat yogurts) or walnuts (add to your pouch of pumpkin seeds or top off your salads). Increase your EPA/DHA by eating more wild-caught, fatty, cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. It’s so easy to find affordable wild-caught salmon in stores today (even Walmart!) and so simple to prepare. For myself and my clients, I feel that an Omega 3 supplement is one of the “musts” in a daily regimen. Take up to 3,000mg of a high-quality option such as Nature’s Sunshine Super Omega 3—on special this month!
Mindfully Meditate. Heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans today. AND, your sure-fire antidote against this avoidable demise could be as simple as a 10-minute, pretty-much-do-nothing, routine! A daily meditation practice can have profound effects on lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormone levels. And, can save your life! In fact, one study showed that meditators reduced the likelihood of being hospitalized for coronary heart disease by a whopping 87%. Intimidated by this seemingly mysterious practice? Please don’t be. My meditation practice is easier than my makeup routine (and I wear next to none most days!) This is what mine (and yours) can look like: I sit on a special cushion inside my closet for 10 minutes every morning. I love my cushion; find one that makes you happy! I turn out the lights, set my phone’s timer as a mental security blanket, and gently close my eyes. I do the following for 10 mere minutes: 1.) I notice my body by relaxing my forehead, my jaw, my shoulders and then I feel the groundedness of my bottom on my cushion. This brings me into the precious present moment. 2.) I shift my attention to my breath. In through my nose, belly grows with air; out through my mouth, belly grows flat. 3.) When I notice I am thinking, I simply label it as “thinking” and gently visualize the thought floating away on a cloud. 4.) Back to my breath. That’s it! And sooner than I would expect, my ph