Friday, 10 February 2012

February's all about the heart

Well, the weather may make it seem like spring is just around the corner, but it’s definitely February. Know how I can tell? There are hearts everywhere.

It’s enough to make me want to throw up. Pink hearts. Red hearts. Chocolate hearts…well, I guess those wouldn’t be so bad. Dude, there’s even hearts in my classroom.

Healthy hearts, that is.

In celebration of National Heart Month, our teachers have been talking about nutrition – and the foods that enhance your heart’s health. The registered dietician gave us a list of five, but I didn’t even bother telling my Mom about them. I have a sneaking suspicion she already knows.

Blueberries topped the list for their Vitamin C and fiber content. Mom sprinkles them on our salads or sometimes on my cereal. Teach says they’re available all year round, but we mostly buy them in the summer.

Next up, fatty fish like salmon. I don’t mind fish, which is good since salmon especially is high in omega-3 fatty acids, the kind of fat that’s good for your heart. We’ve got stockpiles of salmon in the deep freeze – Dad and his best friend take a trip to BC every year and catch their limit.

Of course, I should have known oatmeal would make the list. Grandma calls it roughage – and we eat a lot of it. The dietician said a diet high in oats may reduce the risk of heart disease. Sometimes mom even uses oatmeal in her meatloaf instead of breadcrumbs.

And then there’s the powerhouse of the vegetable kingdom – the mighty spinach. It’s high in iron, and keeps you strong. No wonder Popeye loved it so much. Mom tries to sneak it into my salads…one day I should tell her I don’t mind the taste. Ha ha.

Last on the list? You guessed it. Canola. Canola oil is high in healthy unsaturated fats, is free of cholesterol and has the lowest saturated fat of any common edible oil. I felt pretty proud talking about Grandpa’s farm with my teacher. No surprise we eat plenty of canola at home – most times mom uses oil instead of a hard fat like butter or lard in her baking. I can’t taste the difference.

Bet you noticed chocolate isn’t on the list – and Valentine’s Day (gag) is right around the corner. Don’t worry, you can still have some. Just look for chocolate that’s made with 100% cacao beans, like the chocolate nibs Mom buys from the health food store. She sprinkles them on her cereal sometimes, but uh, I don’t quite get it. They taste bitter to me. What’s the point of chocolate if it doesn’t melt in your mouth? Dad says it’s an acquired taste.

Anyway…I gotta jet. The Alberta Winter Games are on from February 9-12. Coach says it’s important to catch as many events as we can because the athletes need our support. I know I like it when people come to my track and field events. You can check the schedule at Maybe I’ll see you there.

-       - Chase Superman Duffy

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