According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It tops cancer. What many people don’t think about is that heart disease is preventable. Unfortunately — statistically, we are not doing well.

Over 2000 people die every single day from a heart attack or stroke. That’s alarming to me.

I’m grateful that many government organizations and doctors are beginning to wake up. They are no longer pointing the finger at saturated fat as the cause of heart disease. This is such an “old school” way of thinking from the 70s. No doubt, we need to make better food choices. Most Americans eat total crap; fast food, junk food, and hydrogenated fats. Plus soda, high fructose corn syrup and sugar, sugar, sugar in everything we eat – it’s ridiculous! We even put sugar (dextrose) into our salt. High sugar consumption is directly linked with inflammation and heart disease.[1]

I must say, our diets are not the ONLY thing making us sick. Most of our lifestyles are pretty darn crappy, as well. We are sedentary more often than not. Many of us start our day moving as little as possible. We get up every morning, slide into the car to bring us to work. Or better yet, work from home where we sit in front of a computer for the majority of the day. Especially in the winter, there is hardly any movement at all… except to lift a cup of coffee to our lips to get our daily buzz on.

Most of our country is set up so we don’t have to move at all if we didn’t want to. For example, we tend to look for the closest parking space to avoid walking.  If there is an elevator in the building, most of us take it.  In most airports today, you could just step onto one of those moving sidewalks and let the machine do the walking for you. But, who does that benefit? Certainly not you and your heart.

The heart not only needs nourishing foods, but also daily physical exercise. If you let the magical sidewalk, elevator or minivan do all the work for you, you lose the benefits that come with moving your body.

I would highly suggest we start using our legs as often as possible.  Actually, I would like to challenge each of you to commit to moving your body whenever possible.  This means that when you see a set of stairs (they are usually conveniently located directly beside the escalator or elevator), use them.  Look for the parking spot at the end of the lot instead of the closest.  These things are good for your heart and your heart will thank you.

There is no denying we need great quality food and daily exercise to support our heart. But, there’s something else.

Something so important and yet, it is rarely addressed. By far, this “something” is one of the biggest contributors to heart disease known to mankind.

We’ve all heard the story of someone who was super healthy and ate all the right foods. Plus, they didn’t drink or smoke AND they were a triathlete who was always physically active. All of a sudden… they drop dead of a heart attack at 49 years old.

We scratch our heads and say, “What the heck happened?”

Maybe this person’s heart disease was much deeper than what we saw on the surface.

The heart is the motivator of the human spirit and it is the emotional center of our human body. When our body, spirit and emotions are functioning properly, there is a great sense of joy, love, compassion and inner peace.

It’s possible that this person who died from a heart attack could have been holding onto anger at his ex-lover who cheated, or was resentful for being overlooked for the promotion they expected at work, or was unable to forgive their alcoholic mother for childhood neglect and abuse, or maybe he was simply afraid to open up his heart and love someone for fear of being hurt.

There are many emotional scenarios that could literally take over the heart and stop it from functioning.

This February for American Heart Month and Valentines Day, let’s go a little deeper.  We can talk all day long about food and recipes.  This month,  I want you to find true motivator of your human spirit.  This my friend, is where total wellness will occur.  I want your body working optimally at all levels.  Not just the physical, but emotional and spiritual.

Look at your diet of course, eat well, drink enough water and exercise.  Also…. think about someone to forgive (including yourself), for any past hurt. Get down to the heart of the matter and see if there is something that could be holding your heart back from functioning at it’s best.

I love you all.

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