February 2012: Heart Matters

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

This is a diagram illustrating how blood flows through the heart. Deoxygenated blood flows through the right side of the heart to the lungs, while the oxygenated blood from the lungs is pumped from the left side of the heart. Source: http://dgholgate.tripod.com/anatomy.html.

Because February is American Heart Month, I thought a diagram of the heart would be fitting. Additionally, I also want to explore matters of the heart, specifically LOVE, especially since Valentine’s ♥ Day is on February 14th. However, during my 13 years as a single mother, I had very few occasions to celebrate February 14th with a date or mate, so I turned this day into a general day of love: love of family and friends, love of pets, and also the love of good food. So I will explore LOVE in several of its manifestations throughout the month. One way to express this is to post some of my younger brother’s homilies about compassion from his book Harry’s Homilies. He is a opthalmologist and his philosphy stems from working with his patients.

Here is the cover (the white background blends with the page) and just one part of a homily as a tease:

Life is like a fruitcake: It is filled with all kinds of fruits and nuts and morsels sweet and bitter. Still, a slice of it is pretty good.


Also as part of this expanded definition of LOVE, I plan to review two cat books, since my love of cats fits right in with my re-invented Valentine theme. One is a children’s book with a title & theme all ages can relate to: Will You Love Me Still? by Valya Boutenko.. The second cat book is filled with  advice & stories about our feline friends. It is called Cat Calls and co-authored by two cat lovers, naturally.


Back to heart health: February 3rd is National Red Day to raise awareness about women and heart disease. You can go to a website to read more: www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday. In previous February postings, I have noted that heart attacks and strokes in women manifest themselves differently from men and hope to find more information on this for a posting later this week. Here is the logo for Go Red Day:


In looking for heart healthy foods, I saw a list on www.listofhealthyfoods.com.  The list included extra virgin olive oil (I would add organic), beans, nuts & seeds, oatmeal/oat bran, fresh fruits & veggies, (organic) red wine, omega 3 fats, and yogurt with live cultures. The list specified grapes, blueberries and cranberries as especially helpful fruits, so again I would add organic, since you can’t peel berries and non-organic grapes are heavily sprayed.  Since my recipes already incorporate most of these foods, I may go through my archives to see what I can find as well as make some new recipes, such as granola with slivered almonds, sweetened with natural stevia, that I made recently for my grandson. I call it Heart Smart Granola. (Photo below.)


Exercise is another important aspect of keeping your heart healthy, so I hope to find something interesting and helpful on ways to exercise to keep your ticker tickin’. Walking is probably the easiest of all the exercises, because all you need is a good pair of walking shoes and maybe a buddy, or a pair of sneakers and a treadmill at a local gym. But I will investigate to see if there are special heart-healthy exercise tips we handle as older women.


Not sure what else February holds, but as I go through my files I am sure I will find other facts & foods that will help you stay healthy, especially those related to your heart. (Some of the food & diet books I am reviewing in Nobody Eats Like Me  have heart tips.) So I’ll just close for now with by wishing you a LOVEly February and with a love-theme message in a fortune cookie from my favorite Chinese restaurant:

Doing what you love is freedom; loving what you do is happiness!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

P.S. Posted on February 8th: Just picked up a book in the library that I will hopefully read & review for Black History Month. Wasn’t sure I would get it in time, but now that I have it, I hope to share it with you at the end of Feb.

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