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Five Ways to Celebrate a Heart-Smart Indian Summer

     1. Take It Outdoors

Although summer's extra daylight is waning, we still have enough daylight to bike along trails, work in the garden, take a swim, or go for an extended walk before work or after school. Aim for 30 minutes of moderately intense activity each day. To lose weight, aim for a minimum of 60 minutes a day.

Next to a healthy diet, nothing is better for your heart than being in motion.

     2.  Choose Harvest Bounty  

The color and variety in the produce department pops at this time of year. Adding potassium-rich fruits and vegetables is a breeze. Studies show that men and women over age 65 who had higher potassium levels from eating fruits and vegetables also had a higher percentage of lean tissue (mostly muscle) and lowered their risk of stroke, bone loss, and kidney stones.

3.  Host a Saturday night "Farmers Market" meal for your family or friends

Fresh fruits and vegetables grown locally contain the heart-healthy benefits of powerful disease-fighting compounds known as antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent heart disease and cancer, promote a stronger immune system, and slow degeneration of the brain and eyes.  Check out the Vegetarian Cooking for Healthy Living or the Vegetarian Homestyle Cooking books for preparing fresh fruits and vegetables.

Grilled Corn4.  Use the Grill

Start with fresh vegetables and let your imagination run. Make kabobs with marinated** chicken, lean beef or lean pork cubes. Grill lutein-rich corn-on-the-cob in the husks over medium heat, covered, turning often, until tender. Consider aluminum foil-wrapped pocket meals! Start with lean ground turkey shaped into a burger, top with slices of onion, bell peppers, even new red potatoes, add fresh mushrooms, seal and grill till done. Sensational!

5.  Go Fish

Your heart loves a good fish dinner. The American Heart Association suggests that even two fish meals a week could cut heart attack risk by more than 25 percent! Choose omega-3 rich fish such as salmon, halibut, fresh herring and rainbow trout. With an entire chapter on Fish & Seafood, check out the latest edition of Cooking a'la Heart. More than two dozen great fish recipes plus a guide to help you choose the best fish not only with high Omega-3 content, but low mercury levels, and what fish to choose for their lowest "ecological impact".

Note:  **Marinades (high acid ingredients) provide anticancer protection by reducing advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which have been linked to inflammatory disease such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's.


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