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February 2011 eRecipes

Posted on 09/25/2011 at 06:13 PM by Madhu Gadia

February 2011
American Hearth Month

Dear Madhu,

The only good news in terms of weather this winter has been that the groundhog did not see his shadow. You have all heard about Groundhog's Day. It falls on February 2nd each year. The legend is that if the groundhog sees its shadow, then we will have six more weeks of winter, while no shadow predicts an early spring. Well, I believe in the power of positive thinking, thus I am going to trust in the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil this year.

February is all about the heart. To urge Americans to join the battle against cardiovascular diseases, since 1963 Congress has required the president to proclaim February "American Heart Month." (It is not "Heart Month" or "National Heart Month.") And it makes sense that it is also the month we have Valentines Day. I wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Valentines Day.

American Heart Month:
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including stroke, are our nation's No. 1 killer. Estimated approximately 81 million people in the United States have one or more form of cardiovascular disease. Although statistics appear grave, the good news according to the American Heart Association is that from 1996 to 2006 death rate from CVD declined by 29.2 percent. Several national organizations such as the American Heart Association, and The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, and are working hard to help us become aware of risk factors and make better decisions.

Go Red For Women:
Cardiovascular disease is not just an “older man’s disease” as once believed. Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, about 1 woman every minute. Yet women were not paying attention. To dispel the myths that it’s a man’s disease and raise awareness of heart disease as the number one killer of women, in 2004 the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women – a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health. For more information on the campaign and how to get involved go to Go Red For Women website.

Do these campaigns really help or are they just a gimmick or a marketing ploy. My opinion is that these campaigns not only raise awareness they also give power to make social changes, for example, decreasing the amount of animal and saturated fats served in restaurants, decreasing trans fats in processed foods, banning smoking from public places, and the list goes on. 

Heart Healthy Choices:
There are several factors that affect your heart health, such as your genes, physical activity, food choices, abstinence from smoking, and how you handle stress. Although you cannot change your genes, you can make lifestyle changes. A heart-healthy diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. And, if you eat animal products, choose low-fat dairy products, and lean meat, poultry, and fish in limited quantities. Also, choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. For more information on a heart-healthy diet, click here on the American Heart Association website.

February Recipes:
With a little planning and care, all-in-all eating healthy is easy and delicious. This month I’m sharing a few soy recipes from The Indian Vegan Kitchen. Although soy, in itself, is not as beneficial in terms of protecting against heart disease, as once thought, it is still a great food. It is cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat, and high in protein and fiber. Soybeans and soy products occasionally require some flavoring, herbs, and/or spices to enhance their flavor or mask a “beany” taste. In general, soybeans, soymilk, soy granules, and tofu all integrate well into Indian dishes. Enjoy these soy recipes, from The Indian Vegan Kitchen.

Kale-Tofu Pilaf (Saag-Tofu Pulao)
Scrambled Tofu (Tofu Ki Bhuji)
Mango Yogurt Drink (Mango Lassi)

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia

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