February 2010: Happy Hearts

I woke up this morning to another snowy landscape. It is quite pretty before the snow turns brown, so here’s an early morning picture, still with virgin snow:

Since February is a short month, already shorter since it is now February 3rd, and we are going away in the middle of the month for five days (computer diet!), I am not sure how many articles I will post this month. But, I already have some pieces half-baked. Here they are:

February is Heart Healthy Month, so I plan to post some information on legumes, since legumes are good for lowering cholesterol, which is only one indicator of a healthy heart, and I am not sure actually how low cholesterol needs to be to be considered healthy. So much controversy about cholesterol, in general, but legumes are good food, in any case.  Here is a dish I plan to make for a legume class I will be giving at MANNA with nutritionist Cyndi Dinger. I call it Green Soybean Succotash, using delicious edamame beans, which you may like better than lima beans. Recipe will be in the next posting. The picture is just a tease. Besides, I haven’t put it in the computer yet!

Since JOY is my theme for 2010, I thought I would post my interview with Danièle Thomas Easton, who I sat next to when I saw Leslie Caron in person at the Philadelphia Public Library in December. Danièle does volunteer work with a passion, which brings her joy.  And that’s also good for the heart!  Here’s a snapshot I took when we had a delicious lunch/interview at Chez Colette, the restaurant at the French restaurant Sofitel in Center City. Très bon! (That’s the extent of my French, compliments of my husband.)

♥ Valentine’s Day, another reason to wear red, is the middle of the month.♥ Since I met my (second) husband Alan the week of Valentine’s Day in 2003, I especially love this day, because there were 13 years of nobody special to share this day.  However, during this time, I began to follow Eve Ensler’s V-Day events, since I had been a narrator for The Vagina Monolgues in 2oo1. I will post some of the information on V-Day later this month. I may also review a book called The Art of Hugging by William Cane, author of The Art of Kissing. (Hmmm, maybe I should read that one, too!)

Oops! I forgot one of the Leftovers from January. When I posted a Spaghetti Squash recipe last month, one of my regular readers sent this in: “I like to keep the seeds from a spaghetti squash; wash them, then coat lightly with a bit of olive oil (or other good oil) and roast at 300 until lightly browned—-add salt or other spice if desired. They are a yummy snack or garnish.”  Mary is an avid gardener, so her advice is worth looking into, especially because I did not bake  my seeds her way and they came out too dry.

For my Special Report, I hope to do some investigating on FATS, since they seem to be discussed a great deal when discussing heart disease. Good fats, bad fats, trans fats, hydrogenated fats, etc. Maybe In will just define them so we know what they are when we read them in an article. ♥

Sorry, there were no photos of a woman’s body! Actually, early tests were done only on men, which is why women and heart disease took so long to show up in research.

Also, since Valentine’s Day usually means sweets, I may also do a Health Flash on the different kinds of sweeteners, since there is a lot of information out there that could be confusing. Maybe I will just confuse you more, or maybe I can provide food for thought. Instead of candy, maybe heart candles will do the trick to light up your month!

♥ Remember, whatever the winter weather, cold or rainy, you can always find warmth with friends and loved ones! ♥

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