With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about the amazing organ that is the heart. The heart circulates blood to every cell in our body. It’s also the emotional centre for joy and love. I’ve put together three tips to support your heart. And for you food lovers, there’s a recipe for heart healthy red velvet bites at the end.
But first, did you know that our hearts have a magnetic field? It’s said that it is 5000 times stronger than the brain. Heart cells from different humans and animals will beat in unison in a petri dish, brain cells will not.
Support your heart
“Love is a daily, even hourly, conscious commitment to behave in a loving and caring fashion toward ourselves and others.” –Anodea Judith
- Open your heart. The poet Rumi said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but to find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Chest, or heart openers, stretch our front body and help to “open” the heart and channels for joy. Opening the front body is also an antidote to depression and sadness. We often sit hunched over in front of computer screens and it’s so good for us to stretch the opposite way. Do this easy heart opener anywhere: in a standing position, place your hands on your low back (approximately where your ribs end). Take a deep breath and expand through your collarbone, pulling your shoulders back and your chest forward and up. Repeat often.
- Know what ignites you and feeds your heart. It is said that love and belonging are actual nutrients. We need to know where we fit in in life, and once we find it, we find greater connections. Find a hobby or activity that you LOVE and you will feel that sense of belonging and meet like-minded people. (I’ve found amazing outlets for myself and have met some lifelong soul friends by learning to play the drums, practicing yoga and becoming a nutritionist.) Repeat this affirmation often: “I am loved and connected to all that is.”
- Eat foods that are good for your heart. These include avocados, olive oil, eggs and coconut oil. In Chinese medicine, vegetables are said to be good for the heart because of being balanced, reflect the balanced nature of the heart. Veggies are high in antioxidants and are great for your heart because antioxidants help to counteract damage from free radicals and protect the artery walls. My food mentor, Moira Nordholt, used to say that she imagined the colour of beets coursing through her veins. Check out my recipe for healthy red velvet bites made with beets.
Red Velvet Bites
1 small beet, peeled and chopped into chunks
½ cup coconut flakes, unsweetened + extra for rolling
1 cup raw cashews
½ lemon, juiced
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Vegan Proteins+ by Genuine Health)
3 medjool dates, pitted and chopped into pieces
2-3 tbsp coconut oil
Process everything but coconut oil in a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade on low/medium until the mixture looks crumbly. Add coconut oil and process on high until mixture resembles dough. Roll into balls. Then, roll balls in coconut flakes to coat.
Makes 28-30 bites. Share with people you love.
Be good to your heart. xo Andrea
Introduction to Snacks
- Sunday, March 23, 11am-2pm
- Innate Wellness, 5 Quebec Avenue
Snacks are the key to more energy, a happy metabolism and balanced blood sugar. But it’s hard to find the inspiration for exciting snacks. Come out and learn how to make five super easy, healthy and delicious snacks. Watch me prepare each snack, learn the health benefits and taste each one! As one of my clients said, “snacks aren’t going anywhere.” You should come.
Call 416-760-9424 to reserve your spot!