February is American Heart Month, which means this is another reminder to all of us women to take care of our hearts. Heart disease is the number #1 killer in women. That has to change and it has to begin with each one of us.
Here are some ways heart disease can be prevented (according to the CDC):
Know your numbers: blood pressure, cholesterol, LDL, HDL
Maintain a healthy weight
Quit smoking if you are a smoker
Get your heart pumping and do some exercise
Limit your alcohol intake
If you missed our blog in January of this year about the importance of getting yearly screenings and how early detection of health conditions can save lives, click here to read it. We all know that having a great heart, physically is only part of the equation. The other part is doing things that make us happy and makes our heart smile. You know the feeling like when you receive news that you are going to be a grandma, an unexpected call from your grandchild or finding money in the pocket of your favorite pair of jeans. Things like that make our heart happy!
Whoever you are lucky to spend Valentine’s Day with: your loved ones, your grandchildren or if you are able to spend it with some girlfriends, we wish you much love, good health and happiness!
”The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen,
nor touched…..but are felt in the heart”.
I am a planner; I like something to look forward to on the horizon. When my children were young, I would always have a vacation planned, somewhere we could gather as a family and unwind. My photo album is full of such memories.
Today, I am planning a family vacation with the grandkids to Pinetop, Arizona, over the fourth of July. We went last year and had so much fun waking up together to have coffee while the kids played outside. We even managed one hike or the semblance of a hike. We more or less carried the little ones as far as we could and called it a day.
It could be Pinetop, the beach, or just a staycation; it doesn't matter where we go; it is about being together. Let's face it, we are growing older, and our active years are limited. My time with my family is what my heart revolves around.
Family is the heartbeat of Life!
"Create in me a pure heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10
The things that make my heart so very happy are like, Gigi Lori, is my family! Any time that we are able to spend together is memories in the making! I love it when all of my kids and grandkids are together with my husband and I. Nothing brings me more joy than getting up early with the little ones so their parents can sleep in a little! This one on one time together, before everyone wakes up, brings me so much joy!
I love watching their imaginations take over in their playtime with each other and with their Gigi! As a photographer, I have to remember that I don't need to capture every moment, behind the lens, but rather to stay in the moment creating lasting memories with them. That's a hard one for me to do as I want to document these moments for my children to have.
My heart is so happy just being together and I love it when we play all morning long in our pajamas with no agenda and no where to be! One of my fondest memories is pulling my two granddaughters in our backyard in their wagon and Isabelle, my first grandchild, wanting to "pick" the flowers off of my pajamas. That was a great reminder to me that it's not what we do; however, it's the time that we have together!
All my kids and grandkids will be visiting us in Colorado in May to celebrate my husband's 60th birthday and I can hardly wait for the stories, the laughter, the fun and the love to be shared together. Research from Web MD has found that the happiest people were 22% were less likely to develop heart disease! So, let's all try to spend time with or do things that bring joy and happiness to our lives!
May your heart be happy creating lasting memories with your grandchildren!
I love fresh flowers and lucky for me I work in a flower shop.
Flowers leave us no choice but to be glad every time we look at them. Even science believes in the magical effect that flowers have on us. I get to witness this daily when watching customers walk in to the store. They are immediately smiling and taking in the fragrance and the beauty of what has greeted them. I find such joy in just watching them take it all in.
Even in saddest of times, flowers can give you a sense of peace and comfort. They are natures way to smile at us and more often than not, we can't help but smile back. Whether it is going to a flower market, or watching the first flowers show themselves after a winter's frost, or fresh cuttings from your gardens summer bounty, you will probably be smiling.
Being surrounded by fresh flowers at Poppies Flower Shop is definitely one of my happy places. If you live local, be sure to stop in. You will have to pay for the flowers but the smile you take with you is free. Happy heart, happy life!.
"It will burst into bloom: it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy." Isaiah 35:2
Sometimes, it’s the simple things that just make your heart happy! For me, it’s this sweet heart shaped coffee or teacup I recently received as a gift from a dear friend of mine. It also came with this dainty gold heart shaped spoon! It’s so simple and sweet that it makes my heart happy.
Over the last six months, I’ve come to enjoy a cup of hot tea with my husband in the evening after dinner. We’ve tried many different flavored decaf teas and really enjoy so many of them; however, our go to is usually either green tea or black tea. Researchers are discovering the many benefits of different types of tea and some may help with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, encourage weight loss, lower cholesterol and bring about mental alertness. Studies also show that tea appears to have antimicrobial qualities. All are great reasons to be sipping tea!
With February being Heart Health Month, why not learn more about the different types of teas and their health benefits at this link. And then you can purchase your own heart shaped mug at this link on Amazon because if you’re going to drink hot tea or coffee, you’re going to want to have this cute heart-shaped mug to go with it! Trust me, it will make your heart happy too and it also makes a great Valentine's Day gift!!
Do your part, care for your heart.
It’s that time of year where chocolate takes center stage in all gifts. Chocolate definitely has a place in my heart, but it turns out there is a good reason for that!
According to News in Health, dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) can be beneficial for your physical heart health because of the flavanols in the cacao bean which are anti-inflammatory and can improve blood flow to the heart, especially in older adults (hint, hint). These flavanols are also being studied for their benefits for cognitive function and some research is suggesting there might be a health connection there too.
So along with the enjoyment chocolate brings to you, you might actually be doing your heart a favor by enjoying dark chocolate in moderate amounts. I like to eat the Lily’s brand Sea Salt Extra Dark Chocolate which is sweetened with Stevia and has no added sugar. I try to limit myself to one square a day, (okay two!) in the afternoon, and make it extra enjoyable by savoring it with a fresh-brewed cup of dark coffee. Yum!
Treat your heart!
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*As always consult your physician before taking any supplements or beginning an exercise routine.