February is National Heart Health Month!

Love is in the air! Red hearts, Hallmark cards, and boxes of candy are everywhere you turn here in Winter Haven, and it’s easy to see that Valentine’s Day is coming up fast. This popular holiday for couples (and in today’s world, for friends too!) often includes delicious dinners and sweet treats. However, while Valentine’s Day is a well-known part of February, another important aspect of this month is overlooked.

February is also National Heart Health Month. Heart disease is an epidemic here in the United States, and unfortunately, is a major cause of death in women. While heart disease can have many factors (including genetics), it’s no secret that a routine exercise regimen and heart-healthy diet are key components of avoiding the dangerous outcomes associated with heart disease. Unfortunately, that means many of your favorite foods might be off the table, or at the very least, altered in some way. Lowering your salt and sodium intake, watching out for unhealthy fats, and avoiding excess sugars and “fun” foods are all pieces of the puzzle when you’re building a healthier diet, but does that mean all treats are taboo? Not necessarily! With a few modifications, you can actually make some of your favorite dishes a bit more heart healthy, and when enjoyed on occasion (like Valentine’s Day!) they’re perfectly acceptable.

Try these fun swaps!

  • Instead of decadent cakes and brownies, opt for angel food cake topped with fresh Florida strawberries and a big dollop of whipped cream. It’s delicious and (more) nutritious! Bonus points that it just looks like it belongs on a Valentine table.
  • Instead of dishes loaded with unhealthy fats (like fettuccine alfredo or shrimp scampi) try something lighter. Your favorite restaurant steak or chicken paired with a side salad and steamed veggies is delicious, and leaves room for a glass of wine with your sweetheart. Don’t forget, red wine is best for heart health!
  • Making the meal can be part of the fun! Cooking at home is proven to be healthier and more cost effective than eating out, and since it’s easier to control ingredients, you can indulge in a heart-healthy Valentine feast. Bring your sweetheart into the kitchen, put on your favorite tunes, and enjoy creating, and eating, your labor of love!

The team at Brooks Law Group wishes you a very happy Valentine’s Day! We encourage you to be safe as you go out to enjoy the holiday festivities with the ones you love. Don’t forget to use an Uber or Lyft if you’ll be consuming alcohol during your night out! Accidents can and do happen. When the unexpected comes your way, Look to Brooks. We provide Winter Haven victims with top quality representation in areas like injury, car accidents, rideshare accidents, and more. If you’re trying to determine the next steps to take following your accident, call us for your free, no obligation consultation. We’re here for you!

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.