A Cholesterol-Lowering Approach to Food and Exercise

How to Throw a Heart-Healthy Cocktail Party

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On Thursday, June 14th, I’m delighted to be hosting the Westport Library’s Cookbook Club. The topic will be how to lower cholesterol with diet and exercise and I’ll be demonstrating a heart-healthy side dish/appetizer from my book, The Low Cholesterol Cookbook and Action Plan: 4 Weeks to Cut Cholesterol and Improve Heart Health .

As my husband and I are then hosting a book-launch party immediately following the event, I needed to plan a heart-healthy cocktail party. Clearly, two hors d’oeuvres mainstays—a cheese board and charcuterie platter—are off limits as both are very high in saturated fat.

It took a little time to plan,


Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken

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Last weekend I made Dana White’s Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken and even my husband—who does not care for any slow cooker recipes—LOVED it. Which is remarkable given the rather large cooking error I made (it cooks for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high setting—if you accidentally set it 4 hours on low and don’t notice until 3 hours in, you can save it by pouring into a large saute pan and setting it on a medium flame for about 45 minutes!)

Two lo-co adjustments I made:

  • As I do not cook with coconut oil,


May is Stroke Awareness Month…High Cholesterol Increases Risk

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Did you know that high cholesterol increases your risk of stroke? And that stroke is not an ‘old person’s’ disease? According to the Million Hearts site, “Stroke can happen to anyone at any time.”

The good news is that 80% of strokes are preventable.  The bad news is that stroke risk factors may not be recognized and treated in younger or middle-aged adults.

The CDC lists stroke risk factors including certain conditions and behaviors (aka lifestyle):

Conditions that increase Stroke Risk:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Previous Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

Behaviors that increase Stroke Risk:

  • Unhealthy Diet (specifically,


What You Eat Really Can Improve Heart Health

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While I KNOW that choosing heart-healthy foods (along with exercise) can naturally lower cholesterol and improve health, it’s startling when you see it in action.

A new breakfast routine has reduced my blood pressure in a matter of weeks. I now eat Overnight No-Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal (easy and delicious) instead of the 1/2 whole-wheat bagel with a smidge of cream cheese and 1 slice of lox that was my daily breakfast for years. Though I knew 1 small slice of lox packed 1/3-1/2 of the recommended maximum daily serving of sodium (and even posted about it vs oatmeal),


Fresh Sauce – aka Salsa

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One way to prepare for a week’s worth of heart-healthy meals is to batch cook vegetables, but after a winter’s worth of roasted root vegetables, I’m ready for some spicier fare.

Another way to make it easy to whip up a healthy meal on a busy week night is to make a batch of a healthy ‘sauce’ that you can use all week on salads, vegetables and/or to flavor just about any protein.

With daffodils poking up and then getting snowed on this week, I decided go optimistic and make two sunny sauces: The Green Sauce (which his my current obsession and I’ve doused everything with it) and my friend Sylvia’s ‘Fresh Sauce.’