Tag Archive for: heart healthy

This post was written by our Blogger Ambassador, Kate Hiipakka of The Four Percent. Enjoy!

You can work out all you want, but if you’re eating sh*t, you won’t get anywhere. There is a fitness adage that states, “Abs are made in the kitchen”, and a (unofficial) ratio that claims weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. It may seem extreme, but it’s true. Nutrition has to be aligned if you want to see results in your body. This is coming from a girl who could eat French fries and ice cream with every meal, so believe me, I feel your pain.

Eating clean is more than just incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your daily meals. A lot of thought and preparation is required so it’s important to make your meal plan as efficient and effective as possible. Personally, I am not vegan or vegetarian, I don’t follow a specific diet and I do not have any dietary restrictions or allergies.  I structure my meals to be consumed every 2-3 hours – each including a protein source in combination with fruits or vegetables, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. I’ll add some fine print right here – I am not a nutritionist, but I’ve play around with A LOT of nutritional components and have done a lot of research. I’ve found the below outline to be really effective.

Breakfast: protein + fruit (or veg)
Snack: protein + fruit + healthy fat
Lunch: protein + vegetable + carbohydrate
Snack: protein + fruit
Dinner: protein + vegetable + carbohydrate


Check out this very BASIC breakdown for more deets:


This can be anything from beans, fish, poultry or lean beef. A major benefit of any protein source is that it keeps you full and provides vital nutrients to build muscle and keep your metabolism charged. Protein is essential for muscles to gain mass (read: “tone”) and recover after hard workouts. Load up!


I’m talking about starches, fruits, whole grains, or vegetables. Basically, carbs provide the energy that fuels muscle growth. After consumption carbohydrates breakdown into smaller parts that get absorbed by our bods and are used as energy.


Healthy fats:

Think oils, avocados, nuts or seeds. Healthy fats benefit our bodies, but should be consumed in moderation, so go easy, a table spoon of olive oil or almond butter, half an avocado, or a handful of almonds does the trick. These babies will help aid heart health, keep arteries flexible and support overall health.

Regardless of eating habits the golden rule should be: eat when you’re hungry, and stay hydrated.

Please note: the above are all whole food sources, the less crap from a box labeled “low fat” or “fat free” you put into your body the better. True story.

February is not only Valentine’s month but also Heart awareness month. Heart disease is the number one killer of women! That is incredible and totally avoidable. Whether you’re a man or a woman there are few easy rules to follow to keep your heart healthy. This month save a heart of a friend or family member or your own by following these heart healthy tips. 

It may seem like a no-brainer but, do NOT smoke! Smoking increases your chances of heart disease and stroke! Women smokers have a 25% higher risk of heart disease than men. Besides it smells, makes your teeth yellow and looks stupid.

Exercise regularly. If you’re not an athlete, it is okay, just get outside and walk. Starting slow and building up to healthy exercise regimen is fine. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator at your office, or walking around the block at lunchtime. Join a running club or exercise group, you will be challenged with others that are at your level.

Eating a heart healthy diet is crucial.  This means cut out the fried foods and saturated fats. Saturated fats can include red meat and high fat dairy products. Trans fats are also a no no. Trans fats can include deep-fried foods, fast foods, processed bakery products, packaged snack foods and margarines. Try eating salmon and oatmeal instead. Try and also keep your sodium levels down. This goes hand and hand with the next important tip. Know your numbers. This means, know your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.  You should know your LDL and HDL cholesterol levels.  By finding out your blood sugar levels you can keep yourself from becoming diabetic. Diabetes can lead to heart disease too.

Maintaining a healthy weight is also crucial to heart healthy living. More than 1/3 of all Americans are obese. That is startling. By eating healthy and exercising regularly, a healthy weight should be achievable. See you doctor or health care professional if your having trouble losing weight.

Having love in your heart and spreading it around is important too.  Happy heart and valentines month!