“When you start taking better care of yourself you start feeling better, you start looking better, and you start to attract better. It all starts with you.” ~unknown
Welcome to the first edition of HWH: Healthy w/ Heather
The Alt Care Collective is a lifestyle brand started with the philosophy that we can all be healthier, happier, more vibrant and productive given the right tools and resources. And that’s the goal of my weekly HWH post- to share whatever I have learned throughout the week so that maybe in some way it will be helpful to you as well. It could be a workout, a product, a service, something cool I saw online, a new supplement I am trying, a fabulous meal I had or recipe I tried. HWH is the weekly round up of anything that influenced my well-being this week that I thought was worth sharing.
Step One Foods
So I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful referral from my primary care doctor to an amazing cardiologist- Dr. Elizabeth Klodas, founder of the Preventative Cardiology Clinic in Edina, MN and Step One Foods. I was born with heart issues and followed closely by my pediatric cardiologist until I was into my 20’s, so I am no stranger to a cardiology clinic. But, what I absolutely loved about her clinic and her approach, was that it is all about prevention through diet and exercise.
I am approaching 50 and both of my parents died in their 70’s of heart and vascular issues that were not caught when they were around my age, so prevention is high on my radar. With that in mind, I had a Coronary Calcium Scan done at U of M Heart Health Care and some very specific blood-work at my primary care clinic and took all of that to consult with Dr. Klodas.
We talked about food and how diet affects our body and our heart and she referenced the “Blue Zones” diet as being a proven model of success. The Blue Zones are areas that have the highest population of people that are living longer and living longer better than other areas of the world. Check out the website or book to learn more- it’s pretty fascinating and simple. At it’s heart it is living/eating close to the land, maintaining exercise and good social connections, and not drinking too much or eating a lot of meat.
As part of her passion for prevention through diet, she created Step One Foods, which are designed specifically with heart health in mind and created to help you improve your cholesterol. They contain the precise amounts of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterols, and antioxidants that have been extensively documented to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health.
I subscribed to the Step One Foods blog and am finding it has lots of really good information focused on heart health diet and nutrition and would recommend it to anyone looking to learn a bit more about heart health and what you can do from a non- medicine, natural standpoint to improve it.
This is a new supplement that I am trying that was recommended by my primary care doctor based on a family history of extreme vascular issues. It is made by Metagenics and is called Vessel Care/ Methyl Care. It is I checked with my acupuncturist to be sure it wouldn’t interact with any of the herbs I am taking, and have now added this to my arsenal starting yesterday. I will report back on this later and let you know my experience/ results.
What’s in that smoothie?!?
If you saw my Instagram post, then you already know- everything but the kitchen sink as the saying goes. I am notorious for not eating- not because I don’t love to eat (I do!), but because I get so busy and task focused that I just don’t take the time I should to make meals and sit and eat.
So, my solution is to be sure that everyday after I workout I make a “Junk/ Dump/ Kitchen Sink” smoothie so I know even if I fail at making time to eat or I don’t eat as healthy as I should for the day, I will have gotten in all my core supplements in one fell swoop. Is it a perfect answer? No, but reality is that it’s better than not getting any of it at all which is what would happen if I didn’t at least have my guaranteed once a day uber healthy shake.
So, what’s in it? Protein, greens, collagen, spirulina, vitamins, turmeric, BCAA’s, coconut milk and frozen fruit. It tastes better than it looks when you blend it all up and it turns to the color of swamp water. In fact, one of my co-workers had nicknamed it “Swampjuice” for just that reason and it stuck. I don’t make it for flavor, I make it for function so I just use whatever fruit is in the freezer which means it tastes different every time, but magically always looks about the same color of green. You can check out my Insta post to see what brands I am currently using.
It’s a great time saver and keeps me on some level of healthy everyday no matter how crazy the day may get, so it works for me. Maybe you already do the same thing too but with a different batch of goodies in it, or maybe it’s something you might want to add into your day. Either way, it makes for great conversation if you take it somewhere with you because inevitably someone will ask… “What is in that?!”
Lot’s of people take Apple Cider Vinegar for it’s health benefits, but Siren Shrub Co. has given Apple Cider Vinegar a whole new life as a cocktail or mocktail beverage of choice. I discovered them at a little artisan store in Wausau, WI where they were doing a sample tasting. It was not at all what I thought it would be- it was delicious and I left with two bottles- Basil and Tart Cherry. I have created all kinds of odd concoctions of my own with it, but they have some fabulous recipes on their website, so I would highly recommend trying one of them.
Hydration from the inside out
It’s winter in Wisconsin, which means dry, blah, pale skin just due to the weather. However about a few weeks ago I found a fabulous new indigestible hydration serum at Target to add to my arsenal to combat the winter skin doldrums- RAE Wellness Hydration formula. It’s great because the hyaluronic acid in it plumps and hydrates skin from the inside out with these mostly tasteless drops. I put it in my water, my smoothies, whatever drink I am having and its such an easy way to increase my skins hydration and glow. Bonus- it’s vegan and gluten free.
I hope you enjoyed the first edition of HWH and that each week there is some kernel of goodness in it for you!
Cheers & Be Well,