What should I eat and do for a heart healthy diet and lifestyle?

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Answered by: Victoria, An Expert in the Healthy Lifestyle Category
If you've ever looked for information about a heart healthy diet on the internet, you know there's a flood of it. You've noticed that much of it is conflicting. What foods to eat? What fitness practices to adopt? How much time out of your life will be required to maintain a heart healthy diet and lifestyle?

It can feel overwhelming. Most people give up and resign themselves to a sort of preprogrammed "expiration date." If you've ever said to yourself, "I can't do anything about it, heart disease runs in my family," or "we all die of something so why bother," or "it's too much trouble to keep up with all this," or ESPECIALLY, "I don't have time" then you are in the right place!

While you may be tempted to believe there's little you can do about keeping your heart healthy, understand that you have more power than you imagine!

It's true that there are many things in life we cannot control. What's important is that we take control over things we can, leaving the rest to other forces and sources.

You can control your heart healthy diet. You probably have everything you require already in your possession. Yet you may be surprised to find that there's more to a heart healthy diet and lifestyle than what you eat and how you exercise! Whatever your experience up until now, know that you have the power to make heart healthy changes to your life, simply and thoroughly. Your health is in your hands to a greater extent than you may have thought before.

You probably know that heart disease kills more people in America right now than any other cause. Hundreds of thousands of people die each year of heart disease in the United States. Even with our sophisticated medical technology and advanced scientific knowledge, plus world-class surgical treatment and prescription drug medication to control symptoms, we are dying in droves from heart attack and stroke. What can we do about it?

Let's take a moment to look at a little history about where Western science and medicine view originated. This will help us understand where we've been and where we can go now with a heart healthy diet and lifestyle.

We in the West have inherited a tradition of medicine that fosters certain kinds of beliefs about our bodies. The conventional view is that the body is a collection of parts and operations which function like a machine. The word "machine" is used as a common analogy to body form and function, with comparisons to cars (the body) and computers (the brain) being most used. While this terminology can be helpful as a basic approach to understanding how we are made, the reality is far from this simplistic interpretation.

In her very excellent book "Molecules of Emotion," Candace B. Pert, Ph.D describes the "turf deal" that Rene Descartes--17th Century French philosopher and founding father of modern medicine--was "forced to make" with the Pope in order to get the human bodies he required for dissection in scientific inquiry.

In this deal, Descartes had to forswear all involvement with the soul, the mind, and the emotions--those aspects of human experience in "the mystical realm" which was the complete province of the church at the time. This separation of body, mind, emotion, and spirit has laid the groundwork for a system of medicine in which "overlap" is unacceptable to Western science.

According to a traditional Western medical view, body is body and everything else is everything else, not in the jurisdiction of science with its strict limitations regarding the whole of human experience. What a dilemma!

At the center of the search for a perpetual motion machine is the model of the human heart. It "takes a licking and keeps on ticking!" Here's how to keep it going with a heart healthy diet and lifestyle.

Warning: these things you're about to read are so simple and basic that you'll be tempted to dismiss them. Don't make that mistake. You're only stealing time from yourself and your loved ones if you ignore these profound measures which have stood the test of time, as true today as they were a thousand years ago, across countless cultures and continents.

If you practice these measures--some ancient, some modern--I guarantee you are well on your way to a satisfying, fulfilling, heart healthy diet and lifestyle. You'll be amazed at how good you can really feel.

Ready? Here we go...

Experience Joy. Do things that uplift you. Be loving. Be kind. Release resentment, spite and jealousy from your heart.

Breathe deeply and notice where you are, what you are doing, what you are feeling. Forgive yourself and others. Be compassionate. Let go of old hurts, grievances, wounds. Allow yourself to heal.

Eat foods that have been minimally processed and packaged. Pay attention to what you're eating, experience it fully. Eat low on the food chain--things that grew out of the ground, were picked from a tree or a bush. With any animal product you consume, be mindful of its life. How did it get to your table? What was added to it along the way?

Shop the outer edges of the supermarket. Better still, visit your local farmers market. Choose colorful, vibrant foods!

Above all, love yourself, love your life. Share freely and fearlessly. Live fully! Enjoy.

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