Happy February!  It’s the American Heart Association Heart Month and a great time to focus on things we can do to inspire healthy hearts all around us.  Without a doubt, getting that much needed cardio 3 hours a week is a much bigger challenge this time of year than in mid summer.  But, can I just tell you, one of the things I love most about February?  I was reminded of this this morning at my health club of choice, how much less crowded by favorite fitness classes are, compared to last month!!  So, if crowds of New Year’s Resolution fanatics have forced you to keep your distance from your gym of choice, COME BACK!  Your heart will thank you.  Just as it will if you clear the clothes off your stationary bike, eliptical, or treadmill at home.  Or get your dog out for the regular walks he needs regardless of the weather.  Start with 15 minutes a day, then 20.  When you’re ready to make the jump from 25 to 30, give yourself a day off.  This may be a challenge.  It’s worth it.  Sitting at a desk all day is something we learned.  Gradually.  Remember how early in our school days they had to give us several recesses per day so we could all run around?  Later, it was just one, until high school, when none were required.  Some chose after school activities, some did not.  And our fates were sealed.  We might not have been fully in control of those choices then, whether transportation was an issue, or money, or the drive to get the best grades possible.  We are in charge now.  We may not get to take an hour’s worth of breaks each day to “run around”, but we can choose to incorporate some activities into our lifestyles in that same spirit.
 
On another  heart-healthy note, by now most everyone has heard how good oatmeal is for heart health, as its fiber has been proven to lower cholesterol and is a satisfying alternative to just about anything you can have for breakfast.  My Advocare education has led me to now chose only oatmeal or an Advocare Meal Replacement Shake for breakfast.  One of the reasons is that when you look at the back of a canister of oatmeal, there is one ingredient:  oatmeal.  No sodium, no cholesterol, plenty of soluable fiber, naturally high in iron, and a fair amount of protein!  And no sugar or anything we cannot pronounce the names of.  This is huge for me because, in the past year, I quit a 35 year cold cereal habit!  Of course, some are more like empty calories than others, and at least I always ate breakfast, which is way better than not.  
 
When something faster is the order of the day, I’ve come to look forward to Advocare Meal Replacement Shakes.  The rich flavors are outstanding and come in chocolate, vanilla, berry, chocolate-mocha, and orange cream and are not only just for breakfast.  Whether you “need to cut calories or you need a nutritious on-the-go meal, grab a Meal Replacement Shake. Meal Replacement Shakes have a 1:1 protein-to-carbohydrate ratio, which studies show supports weight loss and sustained energy. And since they’re loaded with 24 grams of easily digestible protein, 26 vitamins and minerals and just 220 calories per serving, you’ll satisfy your rumbling tummy, feed your muscles with high-octane fuel and give your body wholesome nutrients for a healthier you. Meal Replacement Shakes also work great as part of the Metabolic Nutrition Systems (MNS®).” (borrowed from Advocare.com)
 
Boxes of 14 can be purchased at Domani Salon & Spa.
 
Once again, I’ve opted to borrow a fabulous recipe from the test kitchen of Heather Devine.  Heather, if you’re reading this, Many Thanks, as this recipe is great for so many reasons (check out the protein!) and I had my heart set on sending out an oatmeal family solution rather than just telling everyone to “Eat more oatmeal.”  Watch for more of these in the 3 weeks to come.  Enjoy!  🙂 
 
Oatmeal Pecan Pancakes
 
1 c. egg whites
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. oats
1/3 c. milk
2 tbsp. oil (I use grapeseed or olive)
1/4 c. finely ground pecans (food processors will grind whole pecans)
1/4 c. flax seed meal
1/4 tsp. Stevia
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
Beat egg whites till fluffy.  Beat remaining ingredients until just smooth.   For thinner pancakes, add a ¼ cup water at a time.  For each pancake, drop ¼ c batter onto hot griddle.  Serve with real maple syrup.
 
Until next time, my heart goes out to you, each of you, all on your own wellness journeys…
 
 
Lisa Foat
domani salon & spa (920)262-8333