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EAT AND EXERCISE LIKE THE FITNESS DOCTOR

February is American Heart Month. In an effort to promote cardiovascular health, I have decided to share my personal dietary and exercise choices.!

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal

  • Ginger Tea

  • Green Tea

  • Low Acid, Organic Coffee

Oatmeal is a whole-grain powerhouse that has been packing serious nutrition and hearty flavor into breakfast for generations.


To get the most out of this superfood, be a bit picky. Some packets of instant oatmeal, for example, are loaded with sugar -- as much as 8 teaspoons per serving -- and high in sodium. Always check the label to see what you're getting.


Great oatmeal starts with plain rolled oats, or steel-cut oats, cooked in a little water or milk, and topped with wholesome ingredients. It's a feel-good start to the day, and if you make it a habit, it can do your health some favors.


Oatmeal Benefits

Oatmeal’s claim to fame is its proven ability to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. Chalk that up to a type of soluble fiber called beta glucan.


Eating oats is linked to an average 7% drop in LDL cholesterol, research shows. Many other things also affect your heart's health (like what else you eat, how active you are, and whether you smoke), but oatmeal is a simple heart-smart start.


Oatmeal also:

  • Lowers blood sugar levels

  • Provides antioxidants

  • Promotes healthy bacteria in your gut

  • Helps you to feel full to manage your weight

  • Eases constipation

  • Relieves skin itching and irritation

  • Lowers your chance of colon cancer

The Fitness Doctor Way

Add chia, hemp, and flax seed, almond milk, walnuts, cinnamon, tart cherries, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, and fresh blueberries.


Pre-Workout Snack: Apple

Intra-Workout: Lemon water


The Workout

4 Day Split Program

  1. Chest

  2. Back and Biceps

  3. Shoulders and Triceps

  4. Legs

  • Cardio everyday for at least 20 minutes

  • Core integrated between sets

I don't necessarily take a rest day. Leg day gives my upper body an opportunity to recover.


Each workout can be performed in under an hour.





Post-Workout Meal

Salad and Greek Yogurt


Dinner

Combination of vegetable, whole grain, and lean protein source. Mostly plant-based proteins. Red meat is not part of my diet.


Dessert

Dark chocolate or frozen yogurt


The Specifics

It’s time to load up on spinach, kale, collard greens and other dark, leafy greens. Dark leafy greens are a powerhouse of beneficial nutrients, including fiber, micronutrients and bioactive plant compounds known as phytochemicals. These nutrients presumably protect against cardiovascular disease by various mechanisms, including altering gene expression, regulating blood pressure, and lowering inflammation in the body.







Olive oil consumption, specifically the extra-virgin, is associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and mortality in individuals at high cardiovascular risk. Olive oil is rich in healthful antioxidants, polyphenols and vitamins, and is a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. To get the most benefits from olive oil, avoid heating the oil and instead use it in a salad or add it to a homemade hummus!


Berries and avocados are high in fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients, all of which work to lower oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. These processes improve blood pressure, vascular function, and fight free radical formation. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats increase our LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) clearance rate, meaning our body gets rid of them faster. Higher LDL levels can be detrimental because LDL brings cholesterol to the heart.



Beans are a heart healthy food which consist of fiber and a variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. They improve the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, and promoting digestive wellness. Beans are rich in soluble fiber, which acts as food to beneficial gut bacteria to promote a healthy gut flora.