February is a busy month. First, we have the traditional Valentine’s Day hoopla and all its ramifications, both commercial and emotional. Then we have Heart Healthy month, which is being promoted in magazines and media to apprise us of the importance of eating well for healthy hearts.(February 2nd was Wear Red Day for promoting healthy hearts.) Finally, we have a latecomer, V-Day, which is another way of celebrating February 14th, initiated by Eve Ensler, author, playwright, and performer of The Vagina Monologues and The Good Body. (See Book, Film, and Website Reviews)
Concerning recipes that are heart healthy, I have found that if you eat healthy in general, your heart will benefit, as will the rest of your body, so my recipes for February (See Kitchen Nutrition with Recipes), as all my previous recipes, are, by definition, heart healthy. When Mary Tyler Moore found out she had diabetes, she adopted a diabetic diet and claimed that everyone should be on this diet. Thus it is with a heart healthy diet: eating healthful foods benefits every organ of the body, not just the heart.
Under Health Flashes I put a somewhat longer Flash (and called it a Special Report) about women and heart disease. I was toying with the idea of a new category called Feature Article, but not sure I am ready to tackle that. However, I have added a sub- category under Products and Services entitled P.I.C.: Product Information Corner, to feature foods that I buy and feel are worth mentioning, like this month’s food bar made with pure chocolate, dried fruit, and flavors such as cherry, orange, and chili peppers, for a mole (a chocolate sauce spiked with chili peppers) bar. With no added sugar, I can munch on this for a snack and feel I am feeding my body a good food.
February in the North is still cold, so I included a soup recipe that uses some cayenne pepper to perk up you palate. ( I also have a chili recipe from my friend Steve Kochersperger in State College that was picked as the winner for a recipe contest. It’s longer than most of my recipes, so I did not include it, but if you want a copy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you.) I helped him make it and it is delicious, but the number of ingredients makes me hesitate to post it, since so many of you are busy enough without long-winded, although good-tasting, recipes.
Since exercise is good for the heart, I have left the profile on Joan Waldbaum, even though swimming may not be an exercise specific to cardio-vascular health. Just getting your body moving is what’s important for all of us for our general health. I like to mix and match: swim, do yoga, walk the treadmill. All of these are “good moves” for our midlife-and-beyond bodies.
So stay warm, sip some simmering soup, sprinkle on some hot pepper flakes or cayenne powder in your recipes, (Cayenne pepper in your socks will keep your feet warm!) and cuddle up with a sweet-heart, be it your partner, your dog, your grandchild, or just someone you love enough that you want to be with him or her in love and friendship.
P.S. I am still playing “Catch Up” with the Recipe Index and Glossary, so if you don’t see everything in these two categories, I’m workin’ on it!