Heart Health

February 2020

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The Good Health Challenge Update

Over 3000 people are already on a path to heart health due to participating in last month’s Plant Based Food challenge. Smola Consulting was the proud sponsor of the Good Life Challenge which helped to maintain or improve the overall health and well-being of our clients and their employees. While some may continue to be 100% whole food plant based, we know that many will incorporate more of these foods into their everyday diets.

Heart Healthy Shopping List

When it comes to your heart, what you eat matters. Follow these tips for heart-healthy eating:

  1. Eat less saturated fats. Cut back on fatty meats and high-fat dairy products. Limit food like pizza, burgers, and creamy sauces or gravy.
  2. Cut down on sodium (salt). Read the Nutrition Facts label and choose foods that are lower in sodium. Look for the low-sodium or “no salt added” types of canned soups, vegetables, packaged meals, snack foods, and lunch meats.
  3. Get more fiber. Eat vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains to add fiber to your diet.

Consider taking this list with you the next time you go food shopping:

Vegetables and Fruits

Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Buy vegetables and fruits that are fresh, frozen, canned, or dried.

  • Fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cabbage, and carrots
  • Leafy greens for salads, like Romaine lettuce, spinach, and kale
  • Canned vegetables that are low in sodium
  • Frozen vegetables without added butter or sauces, like broccoli or cauliflower
  • Fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, pears, and peaches
  • Canned, frozen, or dried fruit without added sugars

Farmers markets are great places to buy vegetables and fruits that are in season. Search for a market near you.


Look for fat-free or low-fat options.

  • Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt
  • Fat-free or low-fat cheese
  • Fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese
  • Soymilk with added calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D

Breads, Cereals, and Other Grains

For products with more than 1 ingredient, make sure whole wheat or another whole grain is listed first in the ingredient list. Look for products that say 100% whole grain.

  • Whole-grain bread, bagels, English muffins, and tortillas
  • Whole-grain hot or cold breakfast cereals with no added sugar, like oatmeal or shredded wheat
  • Whole grains, like brown or wild rice, quinoa, or oats
  • Whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta and couscous

Protein Foods

Choose a variety of foods with protein.

  • Seafood: fish and shellfish
  • Poultry: chicken or turkey breast without skin, lean ground chicken or turkey (at least 93% lean)
  • Pork: leg, shoulder, or tenderloin
  • Beef: round, sirloin, tenderloin, or lean ground beef (at least 93% lean)
  • Beans and peas, like kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), split peas, and lentils
  • Eggs
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds
  • Nut butters, like almond or peanut butter
  • Tofu

Fats and Oils

Cut back on saturated fat and look for products with no trans fats. Choose foods with unsaturated fats like seafood, nuts, seeds, avocados, and oils.

  • Margarine and spreads (soft, tub, or liquid) with no trans fats and less saturated fats than butter
  • Vegetable oil (canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, or sunflower)
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Lower-calorie mayonnaise
  • Salad dressings that are oil based

Avoid coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils, which are all high in saturated fat.

Find More Information

Texas Caviar

This recipe is full of flavor and fresh vegetables. A perfect recipe for a healthy heart!

Serves 8

150 calories per serving

30 oz. canned black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

2 green onions (green part only), thinly sliced

1 ear of corn, cut off the cob or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 small yellow or red pepper (seeded and stems discarded), diced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)

3 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced

2 cups tomatoes, diced

3 cloves fresh minced garlic or 3 tsp. jarred minced garlic

2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs. lime juice

1/2 tsp. lime zest

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/8 tsp. salt

fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

salt (to taste)

In medium bowl, combine the black-eyed peas, green onions, corn, bell pepper, cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes, and garlic.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, zest, and cumin. Pour over vegetables, add salt and pepper and toss together until vegetables are coated completely coated.

Chill for 2-3 hours and serve as a side dish or with your favorite whole grain pita chips.

Ways to Give Back to Your Community

When you volunteer your time or money you are helping others in need. Not only are you making others happy, but you will also feel great about yourself. With so many different organizations that need your help, it can be hard to figure out which is the best fit for you.

Each month we will be highlighting a few organizations/events that may be a good fit for you.

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI)

It's 2020 and ABVI has a vision for this year!

ABVI is looking for 2,020 donors to make a donation this year and hope that you'll be a part of it!

Your gift to ABVI will make a real difference to the thousands of people who turn to us when it can seem like hope is lost.

You can help people see possibilities through the simple act of giving.

and you can give with confidence: ABVI received a 2019 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, the highest rating possible.

So be a hero to those in our community who are blind or visually impaired. Be part of the 2,020!

Click here to donate today.

Humane Society of Greater Rochester

You can help pets in need as a volunteer at Lollypop Farm! As a volunteer, you become part of a team committed to providing loving, quality care to pets in need, while also making the community a better place for our pets and their people. Together, we can make a big difference for the animals!

Click here to apply to volunteer.

Youth volunteer opportunity:

  • Become a Lollypop Farm Teen Volunteer! This volunteer opportunity is for animal-loving teenagers, ages 14 to 17, who are interested in ongoing volunteer opportunities at the shelter. Please apply here.