January is almost over, so I have stopped saying Happy New Year to people I meet.
Now I can start saying Happy Valentine’s Day or Happy Healthy Heart Month!
February is also still cold in the Northeast, so I will be posting a couple of winter poems by my virtual poet-in-residence, Mary Lou Meyers. And the snowy photo below is from my friend Hope. It is the creek next to her farmhouse when we had a snowstorm in January. The beauty of winter, especially after a storm, is something we don’t rave about, but I do love the snowy landscape in winter, especially before the snow is trod upon.
Winter also means more soups, stews, root veggies, and darker greens, so I plan to feature some hearty/hardy dishes. When I Googled the difference between these two words, here’s what came up (direct quote):
(I think both words can apply to heart-warming, heart-healthy, and hardy dishes.)
Since I will be away for one week in February, I may repost some of my favorite soups or stews, with special emphasis on foods good for the heart. Speaking of which, in globalhealthcenter.com, Dr. Edward Group writes:
Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. If it’s weak, you’re weak. There are a few things you can do to provide your heart with what it needs to be at its best. The first is to get plenty of exercise. Your heart is a muscle, it needs to be worked. Second, avoid toxins that damage your cardiovascular system — don’t smoke, avoid high fat foods, and limit (eliminate?) your refined sugar intake.* Here are ten foods you can add to your diet to increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants necessary to maintain a healthy heart. And they’re delicious too.
(Photo also from same website.)
I plan to feature some of these foods in my recipes. Except for salmon and red wine, they are all perfect for my meatless recipes.
*I will also write about the link between sugar and heart health.
February is also Black History Month or African-American History Month. If you type ibn Celebrating Black History Month, you will be led to this website: www.poetryfoundation.org. You can click on several poems by African-Americans such as Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Frederick Douglass or type in the poet’s name. Here is an excerpt from one of the poems on this site, written by Elizabeth Alexander, entitled Praise Song for the Day (A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration). I chose it because it speaks of love, and February seems to be the perfect time to post it. Go to the website to read the entire poem, since I do not have permission to do so.
…..Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?
Apropos to love in all its forms is Valentine’s Day on February 14th. No sooner have retail stores packed away the paraphernalia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. then do all the trimmings of Valentine’s Day appear. Since I met my husband Alan 15 years ago right before Valentine’s Day, I feel quite sentimental about it, so I will post something about this day, maybe how it can be used as a day for showing love to family, friends, Mother Earth, as well as partners, spouses, and significant others, as Elizabeth Alexander writes so eloquently above.
Here’s wishing you a heart-healthy attitude about your own health
and those you love.