Monday, February 2, 2009

Lub-Dub, Lub-Dub, Lub-Dub. . . What a Lovely Sound

February is National Heart Month.

I have sort of a passion for heart health awareness. Heart health that we can control and the diseases we can't. Our oldest son, Nathaniel, was born with congenital heart disease. He underwent his first open heart surgery when he was six days old, then another at 9 months old and then another a month before he turned 3. He also had several (by several I mean 13) heart catheterizations. Nathaniel laughed, smiled, played and enjoyed life. Though is life was short. He passed away 5 years ago, just a few months past age 3. Just looking at Nathaniel you would never know anything was wrong. He was the happiest child I have ever seen and that includes his siblings.

Though, at this moment in life, I am not the most gleaming example of health (I'm working on it), I do believe that people should be more heart health conscience, hence the Great Slim Down of '09. Especially women, we have a tendency to focus on everything and everyone else, while heart disease is the leading killer among women today.

So I decided that I would post a heart healthy tip or recipe everyday of the month of February, along with my usually stellar posts!

Today's tip~~Be sure to include dark leafy veggies in your diet. Arugula, Spinach, Kale, Mustard Greens, Chicory and Collard Greens are some to try. They make a great side dish or slip them into a pasta dish for a new twist on things. They are a great source of vitamin A, C, fiber and calcium. The darker the leaves the more nutrient rich.

Also during the month many retailers help out the American Heart Association by asking patrons to add a dollar to their bill. I encourage everyone to do that at least once. It's only a dollar and it goes to research. I can't help but think that it was someone's dollar(s) that helped get the information and technology that helped Nathaniel live as long as he did and as well as he did.

Nathaniel~~age 2 He loved being silly and smiley.

~~The tips I am posting are things I have collected over the years. If it isn't mine then I will credit where it came from.


Butterfly Momma said...

I think you are doing fabulous with your weight goals - forgot to comment on your last post about that!! :) Congrats! I have just met friends since we've moved that lost a baby, and they are able to be as open about it as you are with Nathaniel - I think that is amazing and so healing for you. Nathaniel was an adorable little boy! God Bless Valerie!

Mrs Lemon said...

What a sweet baby. I wish I could have met him.

Butterfly Momma said...

I just realized that I didn't do so hot with the spacing on my comment - the congrats goes with the first part about your weight loss, definitely not with the second part. Sorry about that!

forever folding laundry said...

Nathaniel was such a beautiful boy. I can't begin to imagine how hard it was to lose him, but thank you for sharing his story with us. I'm looking forward to all of the tips you'll give this month!

Karen (Pediascribe) said...

What a sweet smile!
We have friends who lost a baby at 3 days old during open heart surgery for hypoplastic left heart. Not an easy thing at all.
Kudos to you for making heart health your focus this month! I know I could use the kick in the (too big) butt

Boy Mom said...

Sweet little angel! I'm going up to eat some spinach right now!

Mainly a midwife said...

I'm so sorry that you lost your sweet, sweet Nathaniel. Thank you for sharing.