Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thank You to Safeway, Our Community Partner!

We are fortunate to have an amazing community partner like Safeway and Safeway Foundation which supports causes that impact their customers' lives. Their stores provide the opportunity to mobilize funding and create awareness in neighborhoods through their employees' passion, partnerships with vendors, and the generous contributions by their customers.
Here are a few examples of how  Safeway has been able to support the efforts and programs  of The Hope Heart Institute.

Family Health & Fitness Nights
The Hope Heart Institute and Molina Healthcare partner with local schools and community organizations to offer nine Family Health & Fitness Nights around the state of Washington over the course of a school year! Our goal is to promote healthy eating and physical activity while building heart disease awareness.  Safeway has made this possible with funding that will provide these events with healthy snack stations and resources to teach families how to eat healthy on a budget and improve daily eating habits.

Community Outreach
Safeway will be partnering with us for two different outreach events this summer- Ethnic Fest and Othello International Music and Arts Festival. These events will allow us to educate families about healthy snacks and how to substitute foods to make meals healthier. At each of these events, Safeway will provide samples of hummus, carrots, and a healthy beverage.

Safeway is also providing funding for 24 nutrition presentations which will be led by local dietitians. The presentations will be provided for a variety of organization and community groups, and will focus on how various aspects of nutrition affect heart health, as well as give tips on how to improve our diets.

Finally, Safeway has partnered with Colby Red Wine and is currently selling their wine in Washington stores. A portion of all Colby Red wines bought through Safeway are being donated to The Hope Heart Institute. In addition to these donations, Safeway is also offering wine tastings and education on wine as it relates to your heart health.

“Eating Healthy on a Budget” Store Tours
We often have organizations reach out to The Hope Heart Institute asking for support in basic education on how to successfully navigate a grocery store and end up with affordable nutritious food for families.  The Hope Heart Institute partners with Safeway to lead 30 minute store tours that focuses on saving money and how to make healthy food choices on a budget. Key messages presented in these tours are unit pricing, cost of products based on store brands vs national brands, and the benefits of using your club card and coupon clipping. Tours also focus on reading nutrition labels and FDA guidelines to identify the sodium, sugar and fat content in foods.  Some groups require a bilingual presenter and with advance notice, The Hope Heart institute is happy to accommodate most requests.

We feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with Safeway and look forward to continued collaborations in 2015! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Celebrate National Picnic Month

As you are exploring the Northwest trails and parks, don’t forget to pack a healthy lunch and snacks for the family.  August is National Picnic Month, so here are a few fun and healthy picnic lunch and snack ideas to make ahead and enjoy on the trail.

Grilled Veggie & Hummus Wrap
4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices red onionClick to see savings
1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and quartered Click to see savings
1 (12-ounce) zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (8-ounce) container of hummus Click to see savings
4 whole-grain pita or flatbreads  Click to see savings
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Click to see savings

1.     Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add onion, bell pepper and zucchini  to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Remove from pan; coarsely chop vegetables. Combine vegetables, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, parsley, and salt; toss to combine.

2.     Spread 1/4 cup hummus over each flatbread, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges. Divide vegetables over each flatbread; top each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese. Roll up wraps, and cut diagonally in half.

Homemade Trail Mix
The great thing about homemade trail mix is that you can customize it.  Get the kids involved and encourage them to make their own trail mix for the day’s adventure.  A good trail mix consists of a sweet and salty…below are a few ideas of things to include. Get creative and enjoy!

Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, pecans)
Sunflower Seeds/Pumpkin Seeds
Dried Fruit (apples, cranberries, raisins, apricots, mango, pineapple, blueberries, etc.)
Shredded Coconut
Dark Chocolate Chips
Yogurt Chips
Dried Bananas 

Enjoy The Beauty Of The Northwest One Trail At A Time

There are so many great opportunities in the Pacific Northwest to spend active time outside during the summer. From visiting parks, beaches, hiking trails, mountain biking, swimming, or even golfing!  If you are looking for new hikes to try this summer, be sure to check out the Washington Trails Association website at www.wta.org.  This website lists all of the hikes in Washington and also provides pictures, the intensity level of the hike, type of terrain, driving directions, and condition reports from hikers who visited the area recently. 

If you have kids, consider visiting a new park each week.  Every park has something unique to offer and the kids will be entertained for hours…not to mention getting great exercise and an appreciation for nature. Here are some links to the local parks in three Puget Sound area counties.

King County Parks & Recreations  http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks.aspx
Pierce Country Parks & Recreation http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/index.aspx?NID=1292
Snohomish County Parks & Recreation http://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/200/Parks-Recreation

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wellness Challenges

Water               Fruit and Veggie          Fitness                    Sleep                   Stress

The Hope Heart Institute’s Wellness Challenges are engaging and fun programs that are geared toward encouraging healthy habits that keep people healthy, enhance productivity, and prevent disease. These challenges can be done among friends, co-workers, church groups, in dorms, and more! All kits come with eye-catching posters with health facts, tracking sheets, sample reminder emails, and evaluations to gauge effectiveness!

Fruit & Veggie Challenge:
 Nearly 70% of adults do not eat the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Eating 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day is associated with increased body function and helps prevent many chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease as well as some cancers. The 4-Week Fruit & Veggie Challenge engages individuals to consume more fruits & veggies both at work and at home to encourage a well-rounded diet to improve health and overall wellness.

·         Fruit contains antioxidants that may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
·         Eating white flesh fruits and veggies, such as apples and cucumbers, can greatly reduce your risk for stroke.
·         To gain the maximum benefit from fruit, eat it fresh and if the skins are edible, eat them too!
·         Half your plate should be covered with fruits and vegetables.
·         The high fiber content in fruit helps control blood glucose levels.
·         The darker and brighter the color of the fruit or vegetable, the more vitamins, minerals and fiber they usually contain.
·         If you overcook your vegetables, they may lose nutrients. Lightly steam your vegetables rather than boiling.
·         Stay healthy at work or on the road by packing your fruit and veggie snacks the night before in sealed containers.
·         Always include vegetables with your main meals. So if you eat pasta, have it with a simple side salad.
·         Many fruits and veggies are loaded with water. Adequate water intake is another important element of healthy nutrition and disease prevention.
·         Eat from the rainbow. The more colors of fruits and vegetables you add to your diet, the greater variety of nutrients you consume.

If you are ready for the challenge, please email ccoughlin@hopeheart.org and we will get you started with the fruit and veggie challenge kit.

Kent Summer Playground

Each Tuesday in July, The Hope Heart Institute and MultiCare are partnering to offer free events at various playgrounds in Kent, WA that promote healthy eating and active living for kids.  These events give kids a great opportunity to learn about their hearts and also encourage kids to be active outside in the summer.  We are excited to be sharing the messaging of the 5210 campaign—everyday kids should get at least 5 fruits & vegetables, 2 hours or less of screen time, 1 hour or more of activity, and 0 sugary beverages. 

At each of the playground sites, The Hope Heart Institute’s MegaHeart (our inflatable, walk-thru heart) will serve as an exciting feature to show kids important aspects of keeping their hearts healthy throughout their lifetime.  

We are excited for the opportunity to interact with kids and families outside this summer! 

Eat Your Way To A Healthy Heart

A “heart healthy” diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The warm weather of summer brings the abundance of locally grown fruits and vegetables, and in the Northwest we are so lucky to be surrounded by amazing fresh produce grown by local farmers in our own state. Whether it be at our neighborhood grocery store or the local farmers market, the healthy choices are right at our fingertips. So fill up your plate and eat your way to a healthy heart!

Research has shown that a healthy diet filled with at least 5-13 servings of fruits and veggies a day is not only good for preventing cardiovascular disease, but may also help reduce further cardiac damage in existing conditions. Eating fruits and vegetables are a primary component of a heart healthy lifestyle.  We encourage you to fill at least half of your plate with veggies and fruit, and take advantage of our locally grown produce this summer.

Although all fruits and vegetables can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens; cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale; and citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit, can be your greatest ally. Considering starting your day with green smoothie with some of these great leafy greens and citrus fruits!

(Bold) Grilling isn’t just for burgers! (/Bold)
BBQ season is in full swing, but have you tried grilling your veggies?  Zuccini, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, asparagus, broccolini and onions, the possibilities are endless. Whether you throw your veggies straight on the grill, use a grilling basket or build a colorful kabob, the result is sure to be delicious.  Here is a simple recipe for:

Grilled Vegetable Skewers with a Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 red or orange pepper
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 medium red or white onions
15-20 large mushrooms
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

1.       Whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, pepper, garlic and oregano. Set aside until needed.
2.       Wash and cut the vegetables (except the mushrooms) into large, evenly sized, chunks.
3.       Stick the vegetables on your  skewers, filling each with a variety of veggies and colors.
4.       Place on a hot grill and cook until they are tender. Baste with the vinaigrette while they are cooking. Serve.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Spotlight: Jack Meduna

Jack Meduna has been a loyal supporter of The Hope for over two decades. 

Jack’s first introduction to Dr. Sauvage, founder of The Hope Heart Institute, occurred in 1989 when he went to the hospital with the loss of blood flow to his legs.  Within five days, Jack underwent two major surgeries.  What Jack remembers most about this time was the exceptional care and kindness provided by Dr. Sauvage.  Dr. Sauvage would take the time to sit with Jack’s wife Virgie, holding  her hands to assure her that things were going to be ok.  He told her not to worry about her husband’s legs, because he was keeping Jack from having congenital heart failure.  Under the care of Dr. Sauvage,  Jack was able to avoid losing his legs.  Jack is thankful to have an additional 27 years this December and counting, and to enjoy spending time with his four grandchildren.

Today, Jack’s focus is on giving back. He honors his late wife, Virgie who passed away in 2008 of pancreatic cancer, by volunteering his time to several cancer groups. He volunteers at Holy Family in West Seattle and belongs to several Law Enforcement groups. He keeps himself busy by maintaining his home and yard and antiquing. Just recently, he joined an all men’s gym for the first time in his life as part of his commitment to getting healthy.

Jack spreads the message of The Hope Heart Institute to almost everyone he meets.  His message is to focus on the prevention, not the crisis.  Through the outreach and education programs of The Hope, longevity and quality of life is possible.   He often gives to Hope Heart through tributes of family and friends.  These tributes carry out his message of selfless acts for selfless reasons.   

To this day he carries in his wallet: a picture of Virgie, a picture of Dr. Sauvage, and a St. Francis prayer card given to him by Dr. Sauvage.  

How to Save a Life - CPR and AED 101

You can save a life in two steps- learn how to do Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

In emergency situation, friends, family members, or bystanders may unsure of how to help someone who is unconscious and not breathing. In many situations the victim may be experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest or heart attack. This is when the use of CPR and AEDs become very important. 

The heart is responsible for circulation blood and oxygen to the body. When the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, also known as sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), it is unable to circulate blood. CPR is used to circulate blood and oxygen to keep all of the victim’s organs, including their brain, alive. 

We are going to focus on hands-only CPR. Hands-only CPR has also been shown to be more effective for treating someone with SCA. Although the use of compressions and breathing are still taught  for CPR certification, a hands-only approach is recommended for the untrained rescuer for a variety of reasons- it is easy, effective, and has fewer barriers that the conventional 30 compressions to 2 breaths standard. Conventional CPR is still recommended for suspected non-cardiac and pediatric arrests.

Hands-only CPR is easy, you only need to remember these three steps:
  1.  Call 911
  2. Give Chest Compressions -100 beats per minute, the same tempo as the song “Stayin Alive
  3. Don’t Stop! – Until someone else takes over for you, a paramedic arrives, or AED is ready to use.

A study in Japan showed that when hands-only CPR was used, victims had a better chance of survival, with a smaller chance of having cerebral disabilities (Resuscitation Science). Many untrained rescuers also have difficulties giving breaths to victims. When breaths were not given accurately, CPR was not as effective. Furthermore, many people are hesitant to give CPR to a stranger when mouth to mouth was involved. Hands-only CPR eliminates that barrier.

 American Red Cross Hands-Only CPR

An AED sends an electrical shock the heart to try and return it to its natural rhythm. It is important to find an AED as soon as possible because someone in SCA cannot regain a normal heart rhythm from CPR alone. Untrained responders many be hesitant about using AEDs, however, all AEDs are created so that an individuals as young as 8 years can use one. AEDs give verbal, step by step instructions and contain illustrations. It will also let you know if a shock is needed and will ask you to stand back. 

Many AEDs are located in public places such as malls, schools, and airports. Next time you are in a public place, try to take note of where AEDs are located. All AEDs also have to be registered and in the case of an emergency, a 911 operator will be able to tell you where the closest AED is located. 

Why Learn?
  • Each year 383,000 cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital
  • Less than eight percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.
  • 4/5 cardiac arrests occur at home (AHA)
  • CPR doubles a person’s chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest
  • Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in adults (University of Washington)
  • When someone stops breathing or their heart stops beating, he or she typically can survive for only 4 to 6 minutes before lack of oxygen can result in brain damage or death. CPR can buy them extra time until professional help can arrive. (American EHS)