As a part of the CDC’s Million Heart Challenge, it is recommended that we eat a heart-healthy diet that includes generous amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, while limiting sodium and trans fat. Research studies repeatedly find that when trying to lose weight, what and how much we eat is overwhelmingly more important than the amount of exercise we get. Research has also shown that weight reduction is key to a healthy heart.
It is often very difficult to eat a well-balanced variety of foods for many reasons. Given the fast-paced lifestyle many of us lead, we may catch most of our meals on the run or eat many of our meals out. Folks who live alone may not be motivated to cook, ending up eating vitamin-deficient, prepackaged food or even skipping meals altogether. We hope the following ideas for improving your diet will spark some new ideas for eating and an interest in consuming more whole foods.
Maybe you simply need inspiration for cooking in a new, healthy way. Often local community colleges or culinary schools (Charlotte, where we are based, is fortunate to have a Johnson & Wales campus & Central Piedmont Community College nearby) offer short-term classes. Your local healthcare systems (such as Novant & Carolinas HealthCare) promote healthy eating for their patients, especially those under the care of an Oncologist or Cardiologist. Check their monthly calendar for nutrition & cooking classes in your area. Retail establishments such as Sur LaTable and your local food market may offer regular cooking demonstrations for the general public. In addition, local medical practitioners with an interest in healthy eating, nutritionists and B&B’s may be sources of new cooking experience for you. Locally in Lake Norman, our friends at The Cedars Bed & Breakfast in Davidson, NC, & Dr. Jodie Silver of Southeast Chiropractic offer private cooking sessions, as well.
Home Delivery Service
Home delivery may come in a variety of forms to fit a variety of lifestyles. Many grocery store chains now offer a service of convenience where you place an online order; they assemble the order and you only need to pick the groceries up on your way home.
As well, there are online home delivery services that, for a fee, will include simple, healthy recipes and all the ingredients required to complete the recipe delivered directly to your home. Typically, a subscription to one of these services provides 2 or 3 meals per week for 2 or more people. Some of the more well-known services that we are aware of are: Blue Apron, Home Chef, HelloFresh, PeachDish, and Garnish & Gather. Several of them provide locally grown, organic ingredients in their packages and may even provide vegan options. If you are interested in fresh juicing and soups, you may want to check into Natural Blendz, with locations and delivery in the Charlotte and Lake Norman areas.
Many areas are served, too, by charitable meal delivery services such as Friendship Trays or Meals on Wheels. These services are geared toward the elderly and disabled and the fees are set on a sliding scale. A hot, nutritious meal is delivered daily, five days each week to those who may not be able to cook for themselves or get out of the home for groceries or to dine at a restaurant. In Huntersville, Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen may be a great resource.
While healthy eating may be challenging, as you can see, there are many options you may not have been aware of. Let us at Transition Tamers know what your heart-healthy challenges are. We would love to help you get on track to being a success story for meeting the Million Hearts Challenge!