When I was asked by The Heart Truth to be an ambassador for their heart-month series MyHeart28, I was happy to say yes — and even happier when I got my assigned day: Plan a heart-healthy menu. Yay for food, cooking, and family dinners!
The best way to eat heart-healthy is to eat at home. Anything prepared at home from whole food ingredients is going to be more nutritious, lower in fat and sodium, and less processed than a takeout or restaurant meal.
I am often asked what I had to change about my diet after my heart attack. We were eating pretty well before, so the shift was more about adding more heart-health super star foods, and less about removing unhealthy options (with one exception, cheese!). Over the last three years, I’ve done a lot of research into best nutritional options for heart health — and how to incorporate them into meals that kids will eat too.
To make your menu planning easier this week, I’ve compiled several of my recipe-related posts and favorite nutrition resources below. Happy eating!
- This especially-for-heart-health food pyramid was really helpful to me as I learned to adapt our diet.
- What to Make for Dinner – a post about incorporating a special diet into the family table.
- Processed food is more dangerous than anything natural will ever be. I love 100 Days of Real Food for information and recipes.
- I also love the practical, moderate approach of Andrew at Eating Rules. We’re all in this for the long haul; it has to be doable.
- Great ideas for vegan recipes: Oh She Glows
- I have shared recipes on this blog if they are especially good. Find them here. (Or choose Eating Heart Healthy from the menu.)
- Check out Deliciously Healthy Eating, resources from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, or Go Red for Women’s Heart-Healthy Recipes.
- Allrecipes.com – this is not a diet/health focused site, but it is my go-to site when I have an ingredient I know I should use, like kale, tofu, or salmon, and I’m looking for inspiration. Read the reviews for modification suggestions and then use the recipe as a guide. I’ve found many favorites, new and old, here.
- “25 Ridiculously Healthy Foods” – featuring lots of my favorites and some I’ve never had before, like guava.
- “Superfoods Everyone Needs” – from another favorite site, WebMD.
- “The World’s Healthiest Foods” – a website with exhaustive information about the nutritional benefits of foods, down to the most obscure micronutrient you’ve never heard of.
I made a Pinterest board especially for today too. It shares my family’s tried-and-true favorites — those recipes that make the rotation at least once a month, if not more!