Joy Bauer is the voice of authority when it comes to a healthful lifestyle. She is the author of best-selling books including “Joy Bauer’s Food Cures” and the new “The Joy Fit Club”: Cookbook, Diet Plan and Inspiration.” On Wednesday, June 6th, The Providence Journal reported that Joy had visited Rhode Island to give a keynote speech at a Southern New England Go Red for Women event, where she shared her four steps for heart health. Heart disease and stroke is the number one killer of women according to the American Heart Association. Her 4 steps are so compelling that they are worth writing about here.
STEP 1: Know your numbers for blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides and improve them. These are measures of wellness and predictors of future health.
STEP 2: Be physically active. Not only does this help with weight control, but it will also lower the numbers in step 1 above. Aim for a schedule that includes 30 minutes of exercise a day. Move in whatever way you can even if it means doing extra stairs or parking further from the building and walking.
STEP 3: Manage your weight. There are many programs available for losing weight ranging from holistic to medical. Selecting the right method and having the appropriate counseling is important for successful weight loss. Once a goal weight has been achieved, a maintenance program is needed that will keep the patient on track.
STEP 4: Increase your consumption of super foods. There are hundreds of them, Joy Bauer suggest focusing on five:
NUTS: They have heart healthy fats, Bauer said. Walnuts are rich with Omega 3 oils similar to those found in some fish. Almonds have calcium. Pecans and macadamia nuts have antioxidants. Pistachios have a compound that blocks the body’s absorption of cholesterol.
FROZEN BERRIES: They are rich in antioxidants and good for your arteries and they make a great treat if you toss them with yogurt or cottage cheese. Eat them right out of the bag or throw them in smoothies.
CANNED SALMON: It’s a natural blood thinner, being rich in Omega 3 oils. Eat it instead of canned tuna. Seek out wild salmon as opposed to farmed salmon.
LENTILS: They are good inexpensive soluble fiber. They whisk bad cholesterol out of the body, Bauer said. Enjoy them in soup, chili or with roasted vegetables.
EDAMAME: These soybeans will stabilize blood sugar levels, Bauer said. Eat them right out of the pods or add to soup, salad or hummus. Munch on roasted ones for a snack. They are delicious.
Bauer points out that most people often eat two to four times a normal serving. Many people have eating habits that are not conducive to good health and often times do not realize the damage they could be doing. Reading and educating yourself can add years of healthy living to your life. In the end, making good choices along the way and continuing to refine habits will lead to a improved level of wellness.