This Valentine’s Day Week assess your heart health. It may be a coincidence but I think it’s worth noting that Valentine’s Day takes place during February which is also Heart Health Month. So here are some tips to help you evaluate both your love life and your heart health to make sure they are both operating at maximum capacity:
1. Are you nourished and nurtured? Food is not your friend or confidant. Food should not provide comfort. Food is there to nourish your body not nurture your Spirit. Many of us turned to food when we were young and it became a source of nurturing. However, nurturing should come from your relationships which should feed your soul, inspire you and make you aspire for more in life. Are your relationships nurturing you or are you using food to nurture you? Choose healthy foods that provide your bodies with vitamins- fruits and veggies and choose relationships which nurture by providing love, trust, comfort and reliability.
2. What looks good to you may not be good for you. I love pizza! It looks so good hot out of the box, grease and cheese and all. And there have been plenty of times especially during my college years where I ate pizza everyday (ACDC). But, I know now I cannot be healthy eating pizza everyday. Sometimes I have to compromise by eating food that may not look good to me like: eggplant, squash and zucchini, for instance, but are good for me! Some of us have a certain relationship-type. Mine, for years was a tall, brown-skinned basketball player looking guys. I’m so glad I evolved. We should all stretch our food and relationship palates to include eating fresh fruits, vegetables as well as, dating people from all walks of life. None of us will grow if we surround ourselves with the same food habits and like minded people, who agree with everything we say. We need to physically and emotionally stretch beyond to spiritually grow.
3. Our taste buds are developed in us before we are born. I heard recently on The Breakfast Club with Ed Lover that new research shows babies in the womb taste the food their mothers are eating through the amniotic fluid. So what your mother ate while she was pregnant with me set up your taste buds for your whole life. This explains my love for pizza! My mom ate it all the time as a poor pregnant college student. Just like our tastes for certain foods develop from our exposure before we are born, our proclivity to pick certain partners may be a result of what we have been exposed to. Women who are abused – physically or sexually – are more likely to pick a partner who is abusive to she or her kids. Women who marry alcoholics run in families; obesity runs in families; anger problems, drugs, you name it – you will find it in families. So today, decide whether the things in your life are things you have chosen for yourself or things you were exposed to prior to your birth.
4. Your changes affect your heart and the hearts of future generations to come! If you get healthy- you are going to raise healthy children. If both your parents have diabetes but through diet and exercise you are able to prevent diabetes- your children’s risk of getting diabetes will not be as high as yours. If you stay married and model a happy marriage, your children’s chances of getting divorced are lowered. If you eat fruits and vegetables and lean meat, your children are more likely to make these healthy choices when they grow up. Choosing water first for thirst and refraining from giving babies and children sugary sweet drinks will teach them to drink water when they are thirsty. You are directly impacting their and your future.
5. Put yourself first! Whether in health or in love, we all have got to start putting ourselves first. Your kids are only as healthy as you are and those around you learn how to love themselves by how you love yourself. Your willing to be transparent, ask for help and look for experiences to expand your horizon are the keys to love. Use this Valentine’s Day to Week start living your best life. Evaluate the things that you spend time on and decide if they are making your heart healthy. Put yourself first by making your heart top priority!