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How Big Is YOUR Heart?

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How Big Is YOUR Heart?


Everyone claims they have a big heart. As our President contends, there’s a lot of fake news out there. Consider the real thing – a blue whale.

A blue whale’s heart is the size of a small golf cart – unlike The Donald’s supersized vehicles. The whale’s heart weighs about 400 pounds – big enough to squeeze your head in its aorta – although it’s not highly recommended.

Want to guess the size of the Presidential heart?

Blue whales, along with their huge hearts, migrate thousands of miles annually and live for upwards of 80 years – not bad for a critter who doesn’t have health insurance. I decided to be like those guys and switch to big heart healthy living.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) there are five essentials in a heart healthy lifestyle.

  1. Eating healthy
  2. Maintaining healthy weight
  3. Being physically active
  4. Not smoking
  5. Limited drinking alcohol

It seems easy enough. Items 2-5 are a given for healthy blue whales who hit the scale at roughly 400,000 pounds. They even make me look skinny. Smoking and alcohol are not an option and as far as exercise goes, these big-hearted critters are always on the move, swimming up to 30 miles per hour.

I have no problem doing that in my car.

It was the eating part that got me. Blue whales, the largest animal on Earth, primarily munch on krill – tiny half-inch crustaceans who live in oceans all over the world. It’s amazing that such a huge creature can live on small plates.

It takes roughly 8,000 pounds of krill to fill a blue whale’s belly each day. Preparing dinner is simple – the whale just opens its mouth and glides through the neighborhood. Think of it like shoveling fried rice or M&Ms in your mouth.

In human terms that’s called pesco-vegetarians or pescetarians. No sizzling rib eyes from the grill. No greasy fried chicken, lollipop lamb chops, or sticky BBQ pork ribs.

WebMD tells us that heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. A heart-healthy diet can stop or reverse heart disease. What could be bad? Below are some basics:

*Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grain, and high fiber foods. Strawberry Haagen-Daz doesn’t qualify.

*Avoid saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. Croissants slathered with butter doesn’t make the cut.

 

*Limit salt. There goes buttered movie popcorn and potato chips with creamy onion dip.

*Stay at a healthy weight. Taking your shoes off before getting on the scale at the doctor’s office doesn’t fool anyone. No fake weights allowed.

*Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish. I guess that leaves out chicken cordon bleu and General Tso’s orange beef.

*Limit drinks and foods with added sugar. Oreo milk shakes and root beer floats are not on the list.

You can find recipes for anything from heart healthy chocolate cake made from fake eggs and flax seeds to heart healthy pizza on a cauliflower crust with fat-free cheese. How about heart healthy fried chicken from skinless drumsticks and cornflakes, baked in the oven?

Okay, it might not sound very gourmet but it will help you get healthy. After all, there are worse things – like being a blue whale and living on krill.

Or having krill tablets for breakfast.

Dr. Jeri Fink, author, photographer, traveler, and family therapist, challenges the creaky myths of aging. She believes that now is a creative, exciting time to grow and explore new ideas, people, and places. Visit Dr. Jeri at www.jerifink.com,   www.hauntedfamilytrees.com,   or   www.bookwebminis.com to enter her world of discovery, fun, and insights. Her fiction project, Broken, is a series of seven thrillers that defy tradition. She is presently working on Book Web Minis – a series of fun, fast and positive mini books (50-70 pages long) where readers partner with the experts. Check it out at www.bookwebminis.com

She tells us: “I challenge the art of writing by merging fact, fictional elements, interactivity, and photography into nonfiction mini books. I draw from my training in social work, experience in individual and family therapy, professional research, and passion for exploring positive psychology. My 32 published books, hundreds of articles and blogs, speaking engagements, and active online presence all reflect who I am today.”

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