Written by Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND

February is the month of love and it is also Heart Health month.  Displays of love and caring often get communicated with greeting cards, roses but it can also be displayed with heart shaped boxes of chocolates.

While the term “Heart Disease” covers a myriad of heart issues and I don’t want to bore you or depress you with all the medical data, statistics and facts out there. You can Google that information. I do want to take this opportunity to express my frustrations around heart disease and share some simple steps we can all do in the hope of improving the statistics.

As, I’m sure, many of you reading this have experienced loss of a loved one due to heart problems or are possibly dealing with some aspect of heart disease in your family right now, I too have lost family members, friends and loved ones to heart disease. Some people suffer from a stroke, others from a heart attack and others from a long struggle with blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes all which can lead to ultimate heart failure. Of course it saddens me to think about the loss of those loved ones, but more than anything it frustrates me …even angers me!

Why am I frustrated & angry? Because in many case it could have been prevented.  Every time they ordered that big burger and supersized fries, with a large soda at the drive thru window, every time they lit that next cigarette, poured that “one too many” drink, every time they added the little bit of extra butter and syrup to those pancakes or stopped by the donut shop for a “treat” … little by little every single day of their lives they unwittingly contributed to and added to their heart health problem until ultimately their heart was broken to the point it could no longer function.

Of course I’m sad to have lost loved ones and I feel sympathy and empathy for those of you who have lost loved ones to heart disease also or perhaps are suffering from heart issues yourselves.

But my friends, as a Naturopathic Doctor, knowing what I know now after 20 years in the health industry, having been to hundreds of educational seminars, having helped thousands of patients change their habits, having spent years educating people about what they are really putting into and doing to their bodies when they eat processed food and encouraging them, sometimes almost forcing them to live a healthier lifestyle … I am here to tell you, we are breaking our own hearts every day and if you can relate to this blog, I am here to help you change!

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to only eat salad and walk for 3 hours a day, I’m simply suggesting that you pay attention to what you are eating and the lifestyle you are living.

Not only can we stop doing damage, the great news is we can actually reverse some of the damage we’ve already done!

How? Simple version: Eat Better – Move More!

It really is that simple. Note I didn’t say easy … I said simple!

It’s never easy to break a habit or to make a lifestyle change; it takes commitment, willpower and motivation to do things, perhaps, differently than you have always done them.

By starting with small but consistent changes to your diet from processed (poison) food to real, natural, nutritious, delicious, healthy food and by adding at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to your routine, you can and will not only feel unbelievably better with more energy and zest for life, but you may also reduce your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, clear your arteries, strengthen your heart and maybe … just maybe, enjoy a long happy, healthy life surrounded by people who you love!