Peace Comes First

Your guide to creating inner peace through yoga therapy, practical spirituality and the gluten-free lifestyle.

Loving Your Heart with Your Lifestyle

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Deep-fried, nutritionally “dead” and inflammatory foods.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women, accounting for 1 in every 4 lives lost. It’s prevalent throughout the country with the largest number of cases found in the south (the first place I’d ever seen deep-fried candy and soda). Stress and diet are the main culprits. According to the Mayo Clinic, 80% of heart disease is preventable!

It’s not surprising that alcohol, junky foods and smoking are three of the biggest risk factors. This is how people are choosing to cope with stress because they never learned another way. Another big problem is a sedentary lifestyle: drive to work, sit at desk, drive home, sit on couch. Repeat. Your heart is the most important muscle in your body, and it needs the health benefits of exercise. Even moderate exercise, like a ten minute walk or sun salutation every day, can slash the risk of heart disease in half.

If you feel too tired to exercise, you may want to ask yourself: am I getting enough sleep? Do my adrenal glands need support? Is my thyroid function low? Am I deficient in B-vitamins, iron or folate? Do I need a detox for microbial infections or heavy metals? Am I feeling depressed? You don’t need to accept being fatigued as your norm. Address the root cause and you can feel better.

Meat and eggs are no longer the enemy. We’ve now discovered that sugar, grains and other inflammatory foods are. If you had a balanced meal of an organic hamburger with a load of veggies and tall glass of purified water with lemon, chances are your heart wouldn’t feel stressed. But add the side of inflammatory fries, hybrid wheat bread (that also contains sugar), GMO corn syrupy ketchup, soda or beer and now you’re heading down coronary disease drive.

Physical Risk Factors

  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Consuming junky foods, including vegetable oils and processed foods
  • Diabetes
  • Gaining too much weight
  • Inflammation
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure and/or cholesterol
  • Chronic sleep deprivation

Emotional Risk Factors

  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • Poor stress management
  • Unhealed heartache
  • Holding onto grudges and resentments
  • Difficulty giving and receiving love
  • Difficulty loving oneself
  • Chronic stress, especially family or financial
  • A fast-paced lifestyle that doesn’t allow ample time to rest
  • Working too much and not enough play

Famous People Who Had Heart Interventions

  • Rosie O’Donnell: had artery that was 99% blocked
  • Star Jones: heart surgery when she was 47 years old
  • Barbara Walters: heart surgery to replace a valve
  • Bill Clinton: heart bypass surgery
  • Larry King: quintuple bypass surgery
  • David Letterman: same as above
  • Toni Braxton: inflammation of heart tissue and high blood pressure

Singer Whitney Houston was living with heart disease before she died. Drug addictions, bulimia and anorexia are also known contributors to heart disease, and heart attacks.

In upcoming posts this month, I’ll share yoga exercises for the heart, a spiritual lesson in nutrition, and my favorite heart-healthy recipe. It’s American Heart Month – let’s take positive action and take good care of ourselves!


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