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Posts Tagged ‘couscous’

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As soon as I was finished making the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with the Tropical Traditions coconut oil, I knew I needed to make something savory with it – and soon.

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Thankfully, the season for soup is here! While we’re having some unreasonably warm weather this week, last week had a few evenings that were practically begging for a big pot of soup, bubbling on the stovetop.

When it’s already dark once we get home from work…I want soup.

And this, being my first time ever using red lentils, may be my new favorite.

Red Lentil, Couscous, and Kale Soup

  • 1.5 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous (I used Israeli – it’s doughy!)
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  1. In large pot, heat coconut oil and olive oil.
  2. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook until softened, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in seasonings and tomato paste and let cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add in lentils, broth, and water and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and let cook 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in couscous and kale and let cook 10-15 minutes more or until lentils and couscous are cooked.
  7. Stir in coconut milk.
  8. Serve, topped with cashews or peanuts.

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I loved how the soup had great spice but wasn’t too hot. If you love hot and spicy foods, it would be delicious with a sprinkling of crushed red pepper or Sriracha hot sauce.

And while Nick doesn’t normally add the peanuts or cashews, I love the added crunch they gave to the thick soup, tender lentils, and soft couscous.

 

Have you ever cooked with red lentils?

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Local Flavor

Nick and I are just too cute   🙂  Both on the couch, sitting with our laptops. Of course, he’s working on his dissertation and I’m blogging, but whatever!

I was hungry this afternoon!

I ate my snack of one of our golden jubliee tomatoes + homemade guac.

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That held for me about 30 minutes, so then I broke into this.

lara

yum. A slice of apple pie is always a good afternoon snack.

I had a lot of phone calls today at work, which is a little strange for me. It made for a weird day. Other than that, work was work for a Wednesday.

The family that bought the truck came by to pick it up today after work and one of their little girls totally made my day. I know kids often say things without thinking and I’ve heard some funny stuff before, but when they say something sweet, it just melts ya’! When the family was leaving, one of their little girls (she might have been 4 or 5?) leaned over in the car and told her mom “she’s pretty”, so when the mom turned back around to wave goodbye to us, she said back to her daughter “yeah, she is pretty”.

*blush* Seriously? I needed that today. I’ve been bloaty mccramperson the past couple of days which doesn’t make me feel too hot, so it just made my day. cute little girl.

I was excited for dinner tonight – almost everything was local!

zucc

zucc

I got the best zucchini at the farmer’s market this weekend. These little ones are so cute! I couldn’t wait to use them.

I sliced up all of these zucchini, 3 tomatoes from our garden, a pepper from our garden , and a small red onion.

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I love that everything but the onion was either from our garden or our farmer’s market! Erin would be proud  🙂

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I layered the following in a 9×13 pan:

  • chicken breast topped with salt, pepper, garlic powder, dijon + whole grain mustard
  • zucchini
  • tomato
  • red onion
  • pepper
  • more salt, pepper, garlic powder and some thyme

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

While that was in the oven, I cooked some Israeli couscous on the stovetop with some onion, garlic, and parsley. We love Israeli couscous. So doughy and delicious. And whole grain mustard is good on just about anything.

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These veggies were so good! Wanna know the best thing? The zucchini actually tasted like zucchini. Not like the zucchini I used to get at the grocery store that really don’t taste like anything. Local produce is the best.

I’ve got a book to start tonight, but I’ve made a HUGE list of all your suggestions to take to the library over the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait! All of the suggestions sound great, so thanks!

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?


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I have so many fun pictures today! Both fun to look at and ones that were just fun to take  🙂

But first! Look what we saw while we were eating lunch!!!

groundhog

Little known fact about me: I. love. groundhogs.

I know, I know….they dig up yards, yadda, yadda. We don’t have them in our yard, though, and I just think they are so cute and pudgy and fuzzy and I get so excited whenever I see them around here. My record so far is seeing 8 in one day! Impressive, huh?  🙂

We also ran over to Sonic at lunch because I really wanted a light cherry limeade for some reason, so that’s what I got. I hadn’t been to a sonic in forever. I actually used to go just about every afternoon in college for their “happy hour” 1/2 price drink specials. That’s where a lot of my laundry quarters went, no surprise.

limeade

It hit the spot and was a great way to end lunch.

I brought a good snack today since I knew I would be running after work. I bought this new trail mix the other night and brought it to have with my last Oikos! 😦 Please, Oikos, go back on sale! I just can’t afford you at your normal prices.

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This trail mix has whole raw almonds, slivered almonds, raisins, craisins, and dark chocolate chunks – it was the perfect yogurt topping. I can’t wait to try it on oatmeal!

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We had a good run today. We actually ran over the river on this pretty steep bridge, so my pace was a little slower on the way out than it was on the way back in. I was so excited today because I looked at my garmin on the way back DOWN the bridge and my pace was 8:22! That is crazy! I haven’t run that fast since like 5th grade. I can’t keep it at that pace yet, but it’s nice to know that it wasn’t horrible being there, you know?

After getting back, stretching, and taking showers, I got started on a quick dinner.

I was so happy to be able to use this beautiful rainbow chard I got from the market.

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I found this great sounding stew in one of my Eating Well magazines, but I modified it to be more of a “one pot” dish than a stew – it turned out great!

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I mostly followed the recipe, using a huge bunch of my rainbow chard which wilted down like crazy!

The only difference is that I added 1 cup of Israeli couscous to the boiling water/broth and let that cook almost all the way before stirring in the chard. Serve once the greens are cooked. Easy!

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The flavors in this dish were awesome with the chard. The chile paste made it spicy, and I love the warmth that ginger gives to a dish. Definitely a keeper.

Then, my strawberry sundae happened.

But it wasn’t any sundae.

It was life changing.

That’s right – I made Gena’s banana soft serve after seeing and hearing all the rave reviews.

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This stuff was so good and super creamy! I cannot believe that this is only bananas. It really has the texture of soft serve ice cream.

I topped mine with some chopped strawberries + a tsp of carob chips.

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This recipe is definitely going to be used a lot – I can’t wait to try it with more toppings + flavors! Thanks Gena! I will definitely have to remember to freeze more bananas from now on.

Of course, after that I’m freezing so I’m about to have some hot tea and read until I fall asleep  🙂

Did you make a sundae today? Was it life changing?


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Slippin’ Away

Gah! I’m running out of time!!! Why do the days always move fast when I need them to move slow?

  • Pedi – done
  • Groceries – bought
  • Cleaning – in progress
  • Laundry – eh….soon.
  • Baking – in the oven!

I got home much later than I wanted to this afternoon. I got caught in traffic on the way IN to town from a pretty bad accident – then 3 hours later, they were just towing the same car, so I was caught in traffic on the way back home, too. Plus, there were about a million people in Kroger today, which did not help.

I got everything I needed, came home, and scarfed down lunch  🙂

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Thank goodness for leftovers! They save me so much time.

I ate the lunch I packed for yesterday that I ended up not eating. I had a serving of my couscous salad (ww couscous, zucchini, red onion, chickpeas, black olives, feta, a little olive oil), plus some leftover broccoli + a tomato.

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Good, fast, and filling.

I’ve dusted and am about to start vacuuming/cleaning the rest of the bathroom.

My first ever REAL cheesecake is in the oven!!! I’m excited and am hoping it turns out well   🙂  Pictures later!

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Cheery Cherry Day

Today has been good so far! I’m moving along with work stuff, the weather is beautiful here (finally!), my food has been good, and I’m wearing one of my favorite dresses. The only thing that could be better is if I was at the beach with my sisters  this afternoon instead of at work  🙂  Not fair!

My eggy breakfast was perfect this morning, and I wasn’t hungry until right before Nick came over to eat – love that. By the way, did you see Sarah’s post on eggs? I loved it..except that I do like mine runny  🙂  No worries – any egg lover is a friend of mine, runny or not.

Lunch today was basically yesterday’s lunch, but I already feel more satisfied than I did yesterday – strange how one day can make such a difference!

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The last of the roasted squash (1 whole one) + a roma tomato cut up for easier eating. It was pain eating this yesterday with no real knife.

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Plus my couscous salad with some added feta – this was the perfect little punch in my salad today!

I heated up the squash and the couscous, dumped the couscous on top of the veggies and mixed it all together. It was great and a mess! I don’t think I’ve ever eaten raw zucchini before, but it’s actually pretty good. Messy, mixed up food is not so great for photographing, but it sure is good for eating.

I packed some of our first cherries of the year for lunch, too.

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They are perfect – every one. I found these at Martin’s this weekend for 1.99/lb so I had to buy them. The cheapest I’ve seen them here so far is 3.99/lb!

Well, it’s back to work for me, but make to check all this stuff out that’s happening around the blogs!

In other news:

Operational Beautiful hit the front pages, people! Get on this train if you haven’t – I posted my first one a couple weeks ago and loved it.

The Oh, She Glows Summer Glow Boot Camp has begun – are you in?

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Un-Satisfaction

Do you ever have those days that are just blah? I think I’m having one.

My oatmeal was awesome, my work day has been pretty busy, but I just feel nothing. Like nothing matters either way. Just “eh”.

Maybe because I ate lunch and am not really satisfied?

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I packed an awesome lunch of sliced tomato, roasted yellow squash, and a couscous salad I made last night.

cous

This has:

  • whole wheat couscous
  • diced zucchini
  • diced red onion
  • sliced black olives
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • lemon juice
  • oregano
  • salt
  • pepper

I heated up the squash/tomato and dumped the couscous on top – it was great!

I also have this fruit bowl to end my lunch with

fruit

This cantaloupe is lasting forever! Nick’s not a fan, so it takes me a while to eat a whole one by myself.

I thought the beans / couscous would be enough protein for lunch, but I am just not satisfied at all! I may dig into my afternoon snack sooner than expected.

How do you get yourself out of a funk?

Do you think your mood affects your food or vice versa?

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Happy Birthday Eve to me! Yes, I am celebrating a little early  🙂  I’m having the best birthday eve night!

I guess I should recap this afternoon first before getting to dinner.

Lunch today was the same leftovers as yesterday – still tasty! That Barefoot Contessa has some awesome recipes.

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The last piece of chicken + the last of the zucchini / saffron couscous from the other night.

Plus some broccoli

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All eaten in the beautiful sunshine! We had a beautiful day today and got to eat outside – it’s finally looking and feeling like summer here!

Nick wanted a snack so we went by Our Daily Bread, this great bakery here, to get some sweet after lunch desserts.

macaroon

Remember when I tried the chocolate macaroon last week? Well, I got the raspberry one today. And I remembered to get a picture of the inside!

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I tried to cut this into thirds to share with a few coworkers, but it kind of just crushed. The jam inside this was amazing – seriously the best jam I’ve ever had.

I am in love with these little french macaroons – they are so light and not too sweet. The perfect light lunch dessert.

Work, work, work, then snack!

Since it was so nice today, I knew Nick and I would probably go for a run after work so I packed a slice of my banana bread.

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We ran today for the first time in over 2 weeks! It was pretty good, too.

The last time we ran was actually on that trail race we did, so I wasn’t sure how it would go today. My legs were a little stiff at first, but I actually felt really good while we were out -except for my shoulders! My arms were killing me and I just couldn’t figure it out – until I remembered all the yoga I’ve been doing lately 🙂 They haven’t been hurting just during the day, but I guess moving them while running just let me know how much work they’ve been getting lately.

We did about 3 miles tonight and I’m glad we finally went. It was nice having a few weeks off to recover from that trail run since it kicked my butt.

Dinner tonight was even more delicious than last night – I love when meals get more flavor after sitting for a night in the fridge.

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I had more of the guacamole salad on some romaine – this salad got spicier overnight!

tortillas

I made my huevos rancheros on corn tortillas tonight instead of grits, just so I could see how good they were  🙂

Delicious! I love how crispy the tortillas got in the oven, and then the beans, runny eggs, and fresh cilantro?

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Maybe one of the best Mexican themed meals I’ve made – and that’s coming from both of us!

Well, Nick is baking my birthday dessert as we speak! I may or may not partake in some this evening – I guess it depends on when it’s ready  🙂 And….he may make me wait until tomorrow anyways.

Great components of a birthday eve:

  • Good run
  • Tasty dinner
  • Birthday dessert  🙂
  • The Devil Wears Prada on tv

I’ve got to pick out a cute birthday outfit + pack my lunch.

Nite!

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I think that’s right, right? Pretty + Delicious!

I’m so glad you guys enjoyed the french-ed donuts – we sure did  🙂  They were so good. Good thing I don’t have donuts hanging around the house all the time!

I’m so happy today is over – I had a bunch of stuff to do today, but it just seemed to go by so slowly. I’m hoping the rest of the week is a little faster because I have a fun weekend coming up.

Lunch today was great, thanks to some leftovers.

I had a piece of the chicken + some of the saffron/zucchini/ww couscous mixture from the other night

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Plus some broccoli

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Nick and I went over to TJ Maxx and I found the most beautiful dress!  I took too long looking through the clothes and I didn’t have time to try it on – I have to go back! I’m trying not to get my hopes up in case it doesn’t fit, but I loved it. I also found a really cute pair of sandals but we just had to get back to work. I’m hoping both the dress + sandals are still there whenever I get back!

I brought fruit to go along with my lunch, but by the time we got back, I had to get working on some other things and I just never ate it. I put it in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch – one less thing for me to pack  🙂

I did end up eating the actual snack I brought with me:

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I had one of my homemade bran muffins on some plain oikos. I’m going to be really sad when this yogurt isn’t BIGI free anymore.

Nick had plans to go out on the river by himself in the kayak tonight since I had a chiropractor appointment – it worked out perfectly. My appointment went really well – it seems like my back/neck are doing really well after the accident, and I think everything is just about back to normal.

I came home and started prepping dinner, then just waited until Nick got back to finish it.

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I made Barefoot Contessa’s Guacamole Salad, except I used 1/2 a yellow pepper and 1/2 an orange. I used regular tomatoes since we didn’t have grape tomatoes. I also only added about 2 tsp or so of olive oil – you really don’t need 1/4 cup on this salad. I actually think it would just be too oily with that amount.

I love this salad – it has just the perfect amount of spicyness, and I love how colorful it is.

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I put mine over a bowl of romaine – no dressing needed on this salad! All the flavor is in the guac salad.

The main part of dinner came out of a recipe in Eating Well for Huevos Rancheros. I forgot to  buy salsa verde, so I just kind of did what I wanted.

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For some reason, I just cannot have runny eggs without grits or oatbran! I just want to make sure I have one of those to soak up all that eggy goodness  🙂

I mixed up a can of pinto beans with fresh cilantro, scallion, cumin, ground coriander, and garlic powder, mashed them up a bit and put them on top of my grits.

Then I added my eggs, some red pepper flakes, ancho chile powder, and more fresh cilantro.

Ay caramba, this was bueno! Nick and I both loved it. I made his on actual corn tortillas – 2 on a baking sheet with the beans + some cheese on top until the cheese melted, then his eggs on those. Same toppings as me!

I love easy meals, and this one had so many flavors and colors. I love having healthy meals that are delicious and beautiful to eat. It makes me feel good that I’m taking care of myself and eating a balanced meal.

Well, I’m off to maybe paint my toenails? and get ready for Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives – if I can make it that long!

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Bent, Not Broken

I can’t believe it’s already Monday – I feel like this weekend flew by and I missed most of it! I’m still really sore and tight, but it seems a bit better than it was yesterday. I was able to go see my chiropractor this morning and she took some x-rays of my neck/shoulders. The good news is nothing is broken or in a place that it shouldn’t be. The bad news is my collarbone seems to be a little out of place from the impact/seatbelt forces and I have some soft tissue damage at the base of my neck. I pretty much knew that one since it hurts to bend my neck back or turn it a certain way. It’s just really sensitive to move my head certain ways, but she said tissue damage like that is pretty normal after accidents and they heal fine; it will just take a while for it to not hurt.

I was able to get up and put a casserole in the oven – that may be my accomplishment for today 🙂

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Nick requested some of my mom’s breakfast casserole for this week so he has something quick to heat up in the mornings, and I finally had the chance to make it a bit healthier than the normal recipe. It isn’t horribly unhealthy, but I did cut out the sausage completely and used something else.

Mom’s Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 pkg. reduced fat crescent rolls
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • sausage-y seasonings (salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, sage, thyme, fennel seeds, garlic, onion)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup 2% shredded cheese, plus 3/4 cup grated fat free cheese
  • salt, pepper, oregano
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Lay crescent rolls in bottom of 9×13 pan and pinch seams together so the rolls cover the entire bottom of the pan.
  3. Cook turkey in pan with all of seasonings until browned.
  4. Put cooked turkey over crescent rolls.
  5. Top turkey with cheese.
  6. Beat eggs/egg whites with salt, pepper, and oregano to taste and pour over cheese.
  7. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

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I’ve never had this without the “real” sausage, but it still tasted great! You could tell it wasn’t as greasy as the original, but I think it turned out really good. I had 2 pieces and some berries, plus a cup of coffee that Nick made for me – it was good.

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After eating breakfast and talking to our insurance company some more, I called and got an appointment with my chiropractor and made an appointment for tomorrow with my family doctor just to make sure everything else is okay. I’ve never gone through this before so I just want to make sure all my bases are covered.

I had to get some electrode therapy stuff done at the chiro today – it’s these little things they put on your back and they send electrodes into the muscles to get them to relax. It feels so strange because your arms will just start moving on their own and it feels weird but good at the same time. After having my muscles massaged, I came home and scrounged the fridge for some lunch.

I made a serving of whole wheat couscous and topped it with the last of the mushroom sauce, plus some broccoli and cauliflower from some point this weekend.

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I think I’m going to follow Roxy’s lead and take a little nap   🙂

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My office is having a “Lite-Hearted Rememberance Lunch” for our coworker that passed away a few months ago of a heart attack. I’m so happy that they are doing this in honor of him, and I think it’s a great idea to have our celebration focused on heart health – I think he would have enjoyed it.

We’re having a professor speak to us, who is also a fellow of the American Heart Association, so I am very excited to hear what he has to say. I think this will be a good time for everyone in our offices to spend time together and celebrate his life. Although I never hung out with this coworker after hours, he was definitely the goof ball in the office  – you could always count on him for a laugh, he was always in a good mood, and he was so kind to everyone. I miss seeing him in the office, I miss his contagious laugh that you could hear down the hallway. It is definitely not the same in here without him.

We were given the option of bringing a heart-healthy dish to share, so I made a couscous salad.

couscous

  • whole wheat couscous
  • chickpeas
  • black olives
  • tomatoes
  • fresh parsley
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • fat free feta

I am taking my camera, but I’m not sure what the mood will be like- I’m hoping I can at least document everything that happens at our celebration.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that heart health/heart disease is an issue that is very close to my heart and my family. I think sometimes that I am in the wrong profession after seeing and dealing with all the heart issues in my family in the past couple of years! I know so much more now than I did 3 years ago, and it really has changed my life for the better.

If you’d like to know more about heart health, here’s some links to the Heart Health series I did a few months ago, plus a link to the stories in my own family:

You Gotta Have Heart

What to Look For

Risk Factors

What To Eat 1

What To Eat 2

Activity

Know Your Numbers

My Family History
Heart attacks don’t only happen to overweight men in their 50’s.

It is now the number one killer of women in the US.

Nick’s dad looked perfectly healthy and fit from the outside when he had his heart attack and needed emergency open heart surgery.

My mom is the total opposite of all the “normal characteristics” of heart attack victims, and she now has 4 stents in her heart.

My grandfather passed away of a massive heart attack when he had no previous heart issues – totally out of nowhere.

You are the only one that can take care of your heart.

Cherish it, work it, feed it, stretch it, fill it, love it.

Don’t ever take it for granted.

——————-

Here’s a little fun stuff to cheer up this post:

See you for a fun family dinner!

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