As National Heart health month draws to a close, I thought that I would share some information with you that you can use throughout the year. Not that anything I’ve shared can’t be used year round but when it comes to matters of the heart they can be easily forgotten. We all know about how the heart functions, pumping blood throughout your body, and taking on the burden of keeping us alive. With so much resting on your heart the least you can do is keep it healthy right? The food that you put in your body can make, or break, the health of your heart. Which is why today I thought i’d leave you with some dos and don’ts on making a heart healthy meal prep
Do: Eat Fish or Vegan
Fish is packed full of Omega-3 fatty-acids,and these Omega-3s have been shown to be beneficial to the heart. Having a nice salmon dish in your meal prep can provide the Omega-3s that your heart needs to help fight off disease. Vegan or vegetarian is also a good option as well, the most important takeaway from this is to decrease the fattier meat consumption that can help clog up your arteries.
Dont: Eat too much red meat
Notice I said don’t eat too much. Like most of us I enjoy a nice steak now and then but making it an integral part of your meal prep is a no go. Sticking to leaner cuts of meat like chicken or turkey is better, and save that juicy steak for a night out or a special occasion
Do: Plan Ahead of Time
It’s not called a meal prep for nothing. Preparing your meals ahead of time (or at least planning them out) is one of the easiest ways to stay on track for your health and fitness goals. When you let yourself get too hungry you’re liable to settle for that McDouble. Having fully or even partially prepared meals on hand can help you fight off starvation and send you on your way to heart health.
Dont: wing it (too much)
Its okay to leave some freedom in your meal plan to have variety or even choose based on cravings, but keep in mind you’re walking a fine line here. Leaving too much to be decided later can have you frustrated and headed for the drive through. Try making extras of meals your really like and freezing them specifically for the days that you’ve had your fill on chicken, broccoli, and rice dinners.
Do: Drink Smoothies
Smoothies are a game changer. Something that takes less that 5 minutes to make comes in clutch when your starving. I use them to by me time until I can eat my real meals, but some use them as a meal replacement all together. Adding in protein powder and chia seeds can help make it more filling and keep you from deviating from your goals.
Dont: Skip on the greens
This one is huge, Greens are good for your heart, your blood, and your digestive system. High in nitrates and Vitamin K, leafy greens can lower your risk for heart disease, improve arterial function and reduce your blood pressure. Some of the easiest ways to get recommended amounts are a salad or a smoothie. Try different recipes until you find one you like enough to actually eat on a regular basis, and you will soon be able to feel the difference in your body.
So those are my do’s and don’ts for a heart healthy meal prep.What’s healthy for your heart is often good for your weightloss journey as well so don’t worry about getting off track there. As black women, it’s important that we protect ourselves and our families from the dangers of heart disease. I hope you can use some of these tips in your meal prep, and be on your way towards a healthy heart.
Share some of your favorite recipes with the community below, and as always Live your best heart healthy life sis!