Love Your Heart during America’s Heart Health Month in February

The month of February is mostly known for two significant occasions – Valentine’s Day and American Heart Health Month. While we look forward to all the chocolatey treats associated with the holiday of love, the irony of indulging in sweet, sugary luxuries during a time when we are also focusing on taking care of our health doesn’t go unnoticed! 

Living a full, well rounded heart-healthy lifestyle is possible when you take the right steps. At Wesley Enhanced Living, we believe that it’s never too late to change unhealthy habits and start living a happier, healthier life. 

Suggestions to Prevent Heart Disease

Give your heart the boost it needs to keep pumping strong for many years. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  1. Choose Heart-Healthy Foods: Adding more fruits and vegetables and limiting saturated and trans fats to get you set on the right path. Choose leafy greens, apples, bananas, whole grains, fish, lean meat, and eggs. Try to limit your sodium intake as well.  
  2. Get Regular Exercise: It is never too late to get your body moving! Consider soft aerobic workouts either in-person with proper social distancing like you’ll find in one of our communities or an online workout class. 
  3. Get Plenty of Quality Sleep: Getting the rest you need keeps your mind sharp, allowing you the ability to think clearly and make better choices.

Enjoy Valentine’s Day with a Recipe for Healthy, Flourless Fudge Brownies

Keeping your heart healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorite foods. Try this recipe from one of our fabulous WEL dietitians that incorporates healthy fats and a sugar alternative, so your cravings are satisfied and your health can remain intact! Enjoy these brownies on Valentine’s Day or any time you want to indulge in some chocolatey goodness!

Healthy, Flourless Fudge Brownies

(Suitable for vegan, gluten-free, paleo, refined sugar-free, keto, low carb, and dairy-free lifestyles)

Adapted from The Big Man’s World Blog

Submitted by Hallie Klocek, MPH RD LDN

These rich, fudgy and delicious brownies require only four ingredients for the base and can be topped with one of several healthy frosting alternatives listed below.

Unlike traditional brownies, these contain no butter, oil, flour, or sugar!

For the Base:

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1 cup almond butter – can substitute for any nut or seed butter of choice
  • 1/2 cup pure cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sweetener of choice (Stevia, Truvia, etc.)

For a Coconut Chocolate Ganache:

  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (full fat works best)

For a Protein Frosting:

  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder
  • 1-2 tbsp granulated sweetener of choice
  • 1-2 tbsp nut or seed butter of choice
  • 1 tbsp almond/soy milk or other liquid (adjust as needed to reach desired consistency)
  • 1 tbsp almond/soy milk or other liquid (adjust as needed to reach desired consistency)

For a Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 ½ cups cream cheese of choice
  • 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbsp granulated sweetener of choice 

Instructions:

For the Brownies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small cake or loaf pan and set aside.
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, melt your nut butter. In a large mixing bowl, add the pumpkin puree, nut butter, and dark cocoa powder and mix very well.
  • Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for around 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once thoroughly cooled, add the frosting and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up.

For the Protein or Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well. Using a tablespoon, add dairy-free milk until a VERY thick batter is formed.

For the Chocolate Coconut Ganache

  • In a microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, on low heat, combine ingredients and heat until just combined. Whisk until a thick, glossy frosting forms.

Keep Your Heart in Check – Let Wesley Enhanced Living Help You

Making the move to a Wesley Enhanced Living community can be the first step in changing your lifestyle and making healthier decisions!  We make eating right and exercising part of your daily lifestyle in our continuing care retirement communities, with services ranging from independent living, personal care, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing. Get more information by contacting us today! 

Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior retirement communities for you or your loved ones.  Contact one of our Philadelphia area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s needs or your own and inform you of our range of services. Virtual tours are now available. Call us today for more information.

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Colleen Scott, 856-242-9200

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