• Thursday, February 21, 2013

Heart smart: good for every (body) part
If what you’re eating is good for your heart, it’s good for your whole body. So says Ashley Cobb, a dietician in Summerville Medical Center’s Nutrition Therapy Department. As an attractive, slim and well-toned young lady, she’s a great example of practicing what she preaches. In fact she says “preaching helps me practice it!”
I first met Ashley a couple of months ago when I started Cardiac Rehab at SMC. This excellent three-month program is for people who’ve had a heart event and can benefit by 90 days of learning how to best live with the situation including—most definitely – how to best feed it. Meeting three days a week, participants are led by caring nurses and exercise physiologist to help plan and closely monitor tailored exercises. Two of these days also include classes. Some are taught by nurses who increase our knowledge about the heart and how to help prevent any medical recurrence, as well as by a dietician to help us learn the best tactics. These include limiting bad fats, sugar and salt as well as adopting –and adapting – recipes for accomplishing the same thing.
She wanted to work in the medical field and became interested in nutrition watching a dietician friend preparing healthy meals. Ashley wanted a medical involvement that was practical on a day-to-day basis. The answer was food. “We all have a relationship with food,” she says. “And for all of us, what we eat affects our health.”
Her job intrigues and pleases her now as people start to enjoy eating healthy and making good changes. She says she’s fortunate enough to be in an environment where she can see that happen. “We see the beginning picture of what they’re eating and doing and three months later we see the ending picture. Maybe they’ve lost an inch or two off their waistline; maybe they’re eating oatmeal more often; maybe their cholesterol levels have come down. That’s wonderful progress. I love the relationships that we build around here. You’re not just someone I see just once or twice and we create friendships and we know what you’re working on and can follow up.”
Ashley distributes a taste-tested recipe each week and it’s hard to decide which one to share, so I hope to begin with one today and give out more periodically. In the meantime you can select for yourself from one of her favorite websites: www.mayoclinic.com/health/dash-diet-recipes/REO0O89.
Since just about every eating plan emphasizes salads and just about everybody likes vinaigrette and just about everybody could do with a little less salt, let’s start with:
         ˝ cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tablespoon salt free Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Whisk together the ingredients. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.
This is a rich tasting full bodied dressing to grace any vegetable salad.
Coming up will be such things as pasta with a creamy alfredo-like sauce and pizza with a cauliflower crust. (Yes cauliflower! Don’t knock it till you try it!).Also on the menu will be salmon with an avocado mango salsa, along with recommendations for other salsas – how to make them, how to freeze them, and in what different ways you can use them. Then of course, there are PBOOO Cookies.
Stay tuned.

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