Our hearts are really amazing organs, don’t you think?
I am completely fascinated by how hard this little organ works all the time and meets all the needs of our other organs. At only the size of a large fist, our heart pumps blood throughout the entire body and supplies oxygen to our cells, while removing carbon dioxide and other wastes.
Now, I know you did not come here for a science lesson in how the heart works but I think it is important to understand the connection between how what we put into our bodies and how we treat our heart affects our overall health.
My mission as a wife, mother and grandmother is to keep my family as heart-healthy as possible! Don’t we all just want our families to be healthy and happy?
The 3 things I do to keep my family healthy include staying active, eating right, and taking supplements to fill in the gaps from food.
If you are a regular reader here, you know running is my choice to stay fit. Because the rest of my family does not enjoy running like I do, we find other ways to move. When the weather is nice, we like to walk around the neighborhood and take my grandson to the park. Chasing a toddler can be exhausting but definitely keeps us active! When the weather isn’t so nice, we might chase one another around the house or have a dance party. Those activities usually lead to lots of laughter, which is also great for your heart and your mind! If you don’t have a toddler around or don’t like to exercise, check out this list of ways to move more without exercise. Even a few minutes of movement each day can positively impact your heart!
What you put into your body has a huge affect on your health. Fortunately, we can control what we eat. Choosing foods that are particularly heart healthy can help you manage your weight, feel better and keep your insides working properly. Fatty processed foods can not only make you feel sluggish and tired, they can cause unseen damage to your heart. The fatty residue from these foods can block your arteries and lead to weight gain.
The biggest complaint I hear about eating right is that healthy food is boring and bland. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Healthy food can be amazingly delicious and super easy to prepare.
Take for example this burrito bowl. It’s completely healthy with a great balance of healthy carbs, protein and fat. Because it is meatless, it contains no saturated or animal fat to increase LDL cholesterol levels. And if you think that beans are boring and bland, you’ll just have to taste these!
Besides being super tasty and good for you, I should also point out that this dish can be whipped up in only 20 minutes. If you’ve got leftover quinoa already, you could get it on the table in about 10 minutes. The ingredients are really inexpensive too, making it a budget-friendly meal.
To make this heart-y burrito bowl, you need quinoa, olive oil, onion, garlic, black beans, cilantro, taco seasoning, lime juice, lettuce, tomato and any toppings that you’d like. Avocado, cheese, Greek yogurt, sour cream, corn or pico make excellent toppings.
In one pot, add quinoa to water and bring to a boil. Turn to low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed.
While the quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil and saute the onions and garlic about 5 minutes until fragrant.
Add in black beans and taco seasoning, turn to low and simmer until quinoa is finished cooking.
When the quinoa is finished, add the lime juice to the beans and stir.
To assemble the burrito bowls, add quinoa and beans and onion mixture. Top with cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes and any other desired toppings. Serve and enjoy!
Heart-y Bean Burrito Bowl
1 cup quinoa, uncooked and rinsed
2 cups water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon taco seasoning (more or less to taste)
Juice from 1 lime
Pinch of salt
Optional: shredded cheese, Greek yogurt, sour cream, corn, pico de gallo, avocado
In a medium sauce pan, add quinoa to water.
Heat on high until boiling.
Cover, turn to low, simmering 15-20 minutes until water has been absorbed.
While quinoa is cooking, heat oil in a pan.
Add onions and garlic and sauté about 5 minutes until fragrant.
Add in black beans, taco seasoning and salt.
Turn heat to low to heat beans until quinoa has finished cooking.
When beans are heated, add in lime juice.
Add a serving of quinoa to a bowl.
Add bean and onion mixture and top with cilantro, lettuce, tomato and any desired toppings.
Serve and enjoy!
SUPPLEMENTING THE GAPS
Ideally, we should be able to get all of our nutrients from food. But we don’t live in an ideal world and even the cleanest of diets often does not provide everything our bodies need. After discussing this topic with a naturopath several months ago and following that up with my own research, I decided to add CoQ10 to my supplement routine.
What I learned is that CoQ10 often needs to be supplemented because the body’s natural production declines as we age. Stress can also have an effect on the body’s CoQ10 production. Because CoQ10 supports heart and vascular health and is essential for energy production, we need to make sure that our bodies have enough. CoQ10 helps maintain healthy blood pressure already within a normal range and is a powerful antioxidant as well.
As I browsed the aisles at CVS, I studied all the different brands of CoQ10 available. The options can be so overwhelming!
After noticing that Qunol Ultra CoQ10 has the #1 cardiologist recommended form* of CoQ10, I decided that is how I would supplement my family’s diet. Qunol Ultra CoQ10 has 3 times better absorption than regular** CoQ10. Qunol Ultra CoQ10 is 100% water and fat soluble. Taking it can allow you to experience the potential benefits of CoQ10, achieving therapeutic levels in weeks rather than months with regular use. And because Qunol Ultra CoQ10 is the #1 selling brand of CoQ1o in the USA***, I feel confident this is an excellent choice for my family’s heart health.
How do you keep your family heart healthy?