Edition 4 Volume 16
Good Dietary Practices for Heart Disease Prevention and Management
Seniors Tip: Smart Hiking
Joke or Quote of the Month:Patience
Heart Healthy Recipe:Zippy Chicken Thighs for the Grill
Did You Know? Educational Attainment

Good Dietary Practices for Heart Disease Prevention and Management

news 4-16 3Sometimes the simple things are the best.  Eating healthy for a healthy heart is neither complex nor difficult.  There are, of course, differences between individuals so one must take the suggestions listed below in that light.  General guidelines are as follows:

Reduce salt intake. Most of the salt in our diet is hidden in processed foods of all kinds so try and eat food that is prepared from scratch and avoid canned foods and goodies in the treat aisle of the food market, this will cut your food costs by half right off the top.  Get that salt shaker off the table to start with and replace it would herbs in the food cooking process.  Herbs not only add flavor but they have medicinal properties.  Do note, however, that you should have some salt in your diet. Goiter issues have made an increase in recent years due to some people eliminating salt entirely from their diet.

Reduce simple carbohydrates. Look at your packages – if the ingredient ends in “ose “, it’s a sugar.  Regardless of how you want to argue about the differences between types of sugar, less sugar is better. Period.  Many boxed cereals are 30% sugar.  The same can be said for granola bars.  Read the labels and buy wisely.

Eat breakfast. Eating breakfast helps you lose weight and maintain proper blood sugar levels and energy. It also helps set your metabolism for the rest of the day.

Sleep enough hours. Strive for eight hours of sleep at night. The reason is simple: when you get enough sleep, you reduce the amount of stress in your body and stress is a major contributing factor to heart disease. Did you know that good regular sleep pattern will help with weight loss? Sleep is essential for balancing your metabolism.

Eat less animal fats. Reduce red meat consumption to twice per week.  Replace it with fish at least twice per week, focusing on cold water fish such as salmon, halibut and cod. 

Avoid excessive dairy. Organic Greek yogurt is wonderful and you can add berries and granola to it to make a nutritious meal.

Read your labels. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s not something you want in your body. Reading your food labels will help you determine what type of ingredients might be hidden in your food such as artificial sweeteners and flavors, bi-products, dyes or chemicals.

Greatly increase your intake of fruit and vegetable. Try going beyond your peas and carrots to include more root vegetables and kale.  If you like carrots and potatoes, leave the skin on because the skin holds roughly 33% of the nutrition.

Drink wine – in moderation. A small glass of red wine is recommended but similar benefits can be gained from pure 100% red grape juice. 

Eat unrefined grains. Simple grains such as white flour can cause an inflammatory response in the body and that’s not what you want.  Instead, look for breads made from whole grains. 

For breakfast a great source of nutrition and fibre is real oatmeal.  Use organic, slow cooking oats.  Here’s a recipe that you’ll find easy to make:

FFL Yum Yum Oatmeal-4 cups of water, 1 cup of  slow cooking organic oats, 1 cup of steel cut oats, a mix of raisins, berries, cubed apple,  walnuts, slivered almonds, or hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Boil the water. As soon as it boils, turn the stove off and add the two types of oats. Stir, then add the raisins and other goodies. And don’t forget that cinnamon. It’s your magical ingredient because it is nature’s anti-inflammatory. Stir again and cover. When you get up in the morning your oatmeal is all cooked and ready to re-heat. 

Exercise. Cardio-vascular exercise is terrific but we knew that decades ago. Now we know that resistance training is beneficial for most people even in their eighties. It is especially beneficial to those with diabetes.  Resistance training helps maintain bone mass and boosts metabolism by adding lean muscle tissue. Unlike walking, however, a program designed and instructed by a Certified Personal Trainer is highly recommended. 

Article by Fit For Life (FFL)Team, www.fit-4-life.ca 

Heart Healthy Recipe: Zippy Chicken Thighs for the Grill

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Get the chicken marinated and frozen so that it can thaw in the cooler on your way to the cottage for dinner that night. Be sure to flatten out the resealable bag when freezing for quicker thawing and it will also be easier to store in the freezer. Makes 8 servings.


  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) sodium reduced soy sauce
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, rasped or pureed
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
  • 2 lb (1 kg) boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 12 cups (3 L) spring mixed greens
  • 8 lemon wedges


  1. In a resealable bag, combine oil, soy sauce, curry powder, garlic, maple syrup, lemon zest and juice and cayenne pepper. Add chicken thighs, close bag and massage marinade into chicken.
  2. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.
  3. Place chicken thighs on greased grill over medium heat and grill, turning twice for about 12 minutes or until no longer pink inside.
  4. Serve over greens with lemon wedge.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 of 8)-Calories 188, Protein 24 g, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 83 mg, Carbohydrates 5 g, Fibre 2 g, Total sugars 2 g, Added sugars 1 g, Sodium 232 mg, Potassium 539 mg.

Recipe developed by Emily Richards, PH Ec. ©Heart and Stroke Foundation, Reprinted with Permission From The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Seniors Tip: Smart Hiking

news 4-16 4Hiking is an enjoyable activity and a convenient vacation exercise choice. But before you head for the trails, be sure you’re prepared for the unexpected. Before heading out – especially if you’re alone – tell someone where you are going, your planned route and when you expect to return. Incidentally, avoid hiking alone if your hike is in a very remote area or has perilous trails (like narrow paths above steep cliffs!).

For a hike that’s less than an hour, water is the most important thing to bring with you – especially if it’s a hot day. However, if you plan on a longer hike and in a more remote area, you’ll need to do more planning. Time your trip so you return well before dark. And check the weather forecast if you plan to be gone long. Weather can change quickly, so it’s best to be prepared. Carry a back pack with the following essential outdoor items:

  • Map, compass and a fully charged cell phone;
  • Flashlight;
  • Waterproof matches or a lighter and a candle;
  • A whistle or a mirror to signal where you are if you become lost. Three is the international distress signal: Blow your whistle (or flash your mirror in the sun) three times;
  • Snacking foods and at least one litre of water per person (in higher altitudes, you will dehydrate very quickly);
  • A small bag for your garbage;
  • Extra clothing (wind/waterproof jacket, extra socks, and a hat);
  • A small first aid kit;
  • A pocket knife;
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and perhaps bug repellent;
  • A compact, lightweight tarp that folds into a convenient size (for shelter/rain protection).

Long hikes will deplete your energy, so don’t overlook fueling yourself properly. Keep your “gas tank” full before, during and after a hike that lasts more than two hours.

Start with a healthy, filling breakfast – or lunch if your hike is a late afternoon one. If it’s a day-long hike, plan to snack every two hours with smaller, lighter food items, so you aren’t burdened with extra weight in your pack; a small box of raisins, dried fruit, vegetables like celery and carrots, or fresh fruit such as a small apple or pear. Crackers, or spoon-sized shredded wheat are other ideas.

Avoid packing plastic containers of prepared meal items such as rich pasta dishes. These meals can be too high in fat (which won’t supply quick energy) and the plastic just takes up more space in your pack. Also, if your hike is a long one, pre-cooked meals need refrigeration! When planning your snacks, think small, high carb (not high fat) foods for instant energy. Don’t forget to drink water. Take frequent, small sips as you hike. After your hike, it’s wise to refuel within one hour and drink at least two more cups of water. Then, enjoy a filling, nutritious meal.

Article by Eve Lees, Reprinted with Permission from Senior Living Magazine, www.seniorlivingmag.com

Did you know? Educational Attainment

In 1965, 24 percent of the older population had graduated from high school and only 5 percent had at least a Bachelor’s degree. By 2010, 80 percent were high school graduates or more and 23 percent had a Bachelor’s degree or more.

In 2010, about 80 percent of older men and 79 percent of older women had at least a high school diploma. Older men attained at least a Bachelor’s degree more often than older women (28 percent compared with 18 percent).

Educational attainment of the population age 65 and over, selected years 1965–2010.


Joke or Quote of the Month: Patience

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“Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.”

Author Unknown