It’s HEART Month for Love & Health

February is a great time to celebrate  Valentine’s Day, and being grateful for the  love in our lives.  It’s also Heart Awareness Month.  Yes!  As a Brave Heart survivor of open heart surgery of almost  25 years,  this is an issue close to my heart 😊 (pun intended).

Heart disease is a complicated health challenge all over the world.  However, in particular, this month I would like to call attention to the fact that  heart attack  symptoms  for women are quite different from the ones diagnosed for men.  In addition, women are often misdiagnosed in emergency rooms after the heart damage has occurred [ref: https://myheartsisters.org/2009/05/28/heart-attack-misdiagnosis-women].  Below are some of the signs women should consider when being diagnosed for heart disease.  Notice there is no suggestion of heavy chest pain.

Shortness of breath, Pain in one or both arms, Nausea or vomiting,
Sweating, Lightheadedness, or dizziness, Unusual fatigue, Indigestion.

Continue reading “It’s HEART Month for Love & Health”

Is a Good Night’s Sleep for Seniors Important?

Happy New Year!

Now that the  holiday furor  has settled down for most of us, I would like to share with you that I often hear my senior friends discussing how much sleep they are NOT getting.  Or, that they don’t NEED much sleep.

It turns out that it’s not a good thing when we are sleep deprived at any age. In his book “Why We Sleep“,  neuroscientist and sleep expert, Matthew Walker, gives us a new understanding of the vital importance of sleep and dreaming.  According to his research, sleep helps our ability to learn, regulates our appetite, assists with our well being and immune system. It affects our emotions, and metabolism. Walker further suggests we can utilize sleep to improve our energy levels, regulate hormones, prevent cancer, to name a few.  He also says that sleep slows the effects of aging. The list is much longer than what I have shown here.
According to a blog post I read, the less senior citizens sleep, the faster their brains age. I also learned that seven hours of sleep daily was perfect for cognitive function. In addition, sleep for senior citizens is important to provide time to heal from other health related issues.

Continue reading “Is a Good Night’s Sleep for Seniors Important?”

For Women: Are 10,000 Steps a Day Necessary?

Today I am celebrating 24 years since I had open heart surgery. Yes!

Walking is a really personal gift to me.  What do I mean?  After my surgery, I asked my Cardiologist,  “what type of exercise can I do?”  He recommended that I walk, which seemed easy enough to do.

However, the truth was,  after the surgery I did not have the strength to walk across a street by myself. At that point, I promised myself and the forces that guide us that if given the future opportunity to walk, I would make sure to honor that ability.
Continue reading “For Women: Are 10,000 Steps a Day Necessary?”

Farm to Table, GMO’s, Organic: What’s the difference?

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to focus more attention on what type of groceries I am purchasing.  In addition, I want the recipes I make to be creative, tasty and healthful.  My grandmother cooked what could be called ‘soul food’, which was always delicious and she was healthy all her life. She lived to be 94 years old.  My grandmother was not the only person I know of who lived a long life and ate things like collard greens, macaroni & cheese, biscuits. I also remember her having a garden, where she grew all kinds  of vegetables and from which she used to cook her dinner. I actually don’t recall her using a lot of fertilizer on the vegetables she grew.

Recently, I treated myself  and bought the TV Chef Carla Hall’s Soul Food cookbook.  I trusted that when I have seen her on TV she is always doing the right thing by food.  It’s tasty and the ingredients are the best she can find for the occasion. She is creative. Often, when she’s cooking a version of ‘soul food’, Carla makes it a point to prepare her food lighter – by cutting calories – and cutting out fat.  This is how she was trained to cook by her grandmother; and, her grandmother was a dietitian at a hospital.  What better way to learn how to cook ‘good-for-you-soul food’?  Exciting!  Continue reading “Farm to Table, GMO’s, Organic: What’s the difference?”

Healthwise – Yogurt – Probiotics – Diet

Are you aware of the benefits that senior citizens (referred to as elderly people) can receive by eating yogurt?  Are you aware that not all yogurt give you the same benefits, and why you might choose one type versus another type?

First off let’s discuss some of the health benefits of eating Greek yogurt : helps with digestion; controls blood pressure; provides protein, it is also an excellent source of calcium. So there I was eating my Greek yogurt, and something told me to check the ‘benefits’ of the one I was eating. I went to  Fooducate.com

Fooducate is a website that provides detailed information about the nutrition facts of the food you are eating. It also gives the food brand a rating.  There is an app that you can put on your smartphone. It’s considered to be one of the best food rating apps.  To my surprise, I found out that the yogurt I was eating received a B-  for one cup of the yogurt, which is worst than average!   Further details indicated it had over 50% of daily saturated fat, and 6 teaspoons of sugar per serving.  I also checked whether the yogurt I was eating  had probiotics. It did not. Continue reading “Healthwise – Yogurt – Probiotics – Diet”

The Aspirin Question

Just when we thought we had the right information about taking aspirin,  a new study comes out to create confusion.  Even though I have had heart surgery, I must admit I do not take aspirin.  As a matter of fact, I only took it immediately after my open heart surgery 23 years ago.  My surgery   was not because of a heart attack. I stopped taking aspirin because of an allergic reaction one time, and I never took it again.  Now, it turns out that I am on the right side of what is healthy for my age.  Below is a summary of my findings, which I hope helps clear up a few things for you. Please use the source links for more detailed information.

♥ If you are 70 and older, there is no benefit at all to taking an aspirin a day, unless you have had a heart attack; have a stent; had a bypass surgery; suffer from angina, or had a stroke.
♥ The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that those in their 50s with a 10 percent higher risk because they have high blood pressure/high cholesterol, should continue to take aspirin.  The same is true for people in their 60s.
♥ Aspirin can cause bleeding, which can be dangerous. Find out from your doctor whether there are benefits for you. Continue reading “The Aspirin Question”