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San Diego Nutritionist Tara Coleman talks Heart Healthy Recipes on Channel 5 News
San Diego Nutritionist Tara Coleman talks Heart Healthy Recipes on Channel 5 News

Heart Healthy Meals to Say I Love You (with recipes)

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Yesterday I had the chance to visit my friends on Channel 5 here in San Diego to talk about Heart Healthy Ways to Say I Love You. February is Heart Health Month and it’s only natural that Valentines Day is right in the middle! Here is a full day of flavor forward heart healthy meals that you and your family will love.  Of course, I forgot to take pictures of the meals I made, but I gave you some links to great recipes below!

Focus on Fiber and Color

When it comes to heart health, fiber is queen.  You can think of it as a clean-up team that both keeps your microbiome healthy and transports excess cholesterol out of your body.  I went into detail about the importance of dietary fiber and cholesterol in this post here.  But the short answer is if you shoot for about 35 grams of fiber a day you are taking the most important step towards lowering your cholesterol.

The next is color. Although all vibrant fruits and vegetables have phytonutrients that can help your heart, those with a red color pack and extra heart healthy punch – think tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers and guava.  This is in part thanks to lycopene which has been credited with the prevention of cardiovascular disorders.

So say I love you by prepping fiber rich breakfasts like overnight oats with fruit, egg bites with vegetables or a fruit and vegetable smoothie.

>>For the above recipes be sure to visit High Protein Breakfasts Under 300 Calories and 5 Healing Smoothie Recipes

Mediterranean Meals

When it comes to heart healthy eating, there really isn’t anything with more science-based and real-life evidence than the Mediterranean Diet. It has the fiber and phytochemicals we just talked about in veggies and whole grains, along with heart healthy fats/oils and clean protein.

One of the hacks I use in my practice is to encourage my clients to order family meals from local mediterranean restaurants and pre-portion them into servings for a no-cook meal prep. Because nothing says I love you like you don’t have to cook!

For those in San Diego or Texas, Luna Grill* is offering a Meal Prep Kit with enough for 4 complete meals (maybe even 5 depending on your appetite!)  They include containers for prepping for the week as well as the macronutrients for those trying to hit protein or calorie goals.  You can order them here.

If you don’t have a Luna Grill, this can be easily done with any mediterranean resturant. Opt for a family meal or a couple of large orders and them portion them out for you or your family for the week!

Upgrade Your Desserts

Oftentimes we try to cut out desserts when we are trying to be heart healthy. This sets us up to fall off track and you really can’t have Valentine’s day without chocolate! Instead, I recommend to upgrade your desserts with naturally sweet, heart healthy ingredients such as dark chocolate, yogurt bark, peanut butter & oatmeal energy balls and fresh fruit. This will give you something to look forward to and make sure you are taking care of your loved ones.

>>Yogurt Bark is my go-to dessert! You make it simply by spreading greek yogurt about 1/8 in thick on a parchment paper lined baking pan.  Top it with your favorite ingredients and freeze for about 3 hours.  Feel Good Foodie (photo credit) has more details on her blog here.

 

 

 

 

 

*Tara is a parter of Luna Grill #lunagrillpartner. She does not receive compensation for any orders received through this link on this site. 

 

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