All posts by jagnaks

Heart Ambassador #WeAreHeart

I’m a heart ambassador for the Orange County chapter of the American Heart Association in California. Mostly, I post on my social media accounts (Twitter and Instagram) but occasionally you will find a few posts on the blog like the one below that I wanted to share. Enjoy!! 

Prepare for the beautiful and warm weekend with heart-healthy #summer tips:

1.) Wear sunscreen

2.) Drink plenty of water

3.) Eat healthy food for fuel

4.) Ditch fast food

5.) Move! – Stay active

6.) Get plenty of rest

7.) Have fun

#WeAreHeart #heartambassador #AHAOC 

Kimby Article

I was recently featured, alongside 9 other heart survivors, in the article “10 Ways Your Life Changes After A Heart Attack”, on the website. What a fantastic spin on an article about heart disease. I really like how Kara Wahlgren captured everyone’s stories. 

10 Ways Your Life Changes After A Heart Attack
I’m #10, so you’ll have to scroll down to the end of the article, but please read the entire thing. It really is great!


You’re the Cure Guest Blog Post 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here because I’m still without Internet, which makes it difficult to create posts. But I’m excited to share with you my latest guest blog post on the You’re the Cure Florida’s Blog for American Heart Association!  They allowed me to share my story with them to reach even more people, thereby spreading the awareness of heart disease!  Please help increase this awareness that it can happen to anyone at anytime regardless of age, gender, or race by sharing this post with your friends and family. Thank you for stopping by and following me on this neverending journey of newfound positivity. 

You’re The Cure Guest Blog Post

Hawaiian Pizza with Vegan Cheese

Because I read it was National Pizza Week, I felt inspired to try a low-sodium pizza option with Go Veggie! vegan cheese (I don’t like vegan cheese so thought I would give it another try). 

Here are the ingredients that I bought at Publix, my local grocery store:

  • Thin Pizza Crust
  • Hunt’s Tomato Sauce – no salt added
  • Dole Pineapple tidbits
  • Go Veggie! Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
  • Basil

I didn’t measure anything out, just went with what felt right.  After all, I once worked part-time at Disney Hollywood Studios Toy Story Pizza Planet making pizzas. So I know a thing or two about pizza-making. ?

Started with a little bit of tomato sauce spread into the pizza crust. Then, I sprinkled lots of Go Veggie! vegan mozzarella cheese on top to cover most of the tomato sauce. I then topped that with pineapple (I love pineapple on pizza, so I might have gone overboard). Finally, I topped with fresh basil.  

The oven had been preheated to 425, and I placed the pizza directly on the center rack and let it bake for 10-12 minutes. 

I barely let it cool down before I dove in for my first bite. 

It was pretty good. Much better than I thought for a pizza made with vegan cheese. I think real cheese would have tasted better. I’m weird about my dairy (fake dairy) anyway. The tomato sauce was good even though it had no salt – which in tomato sauce terms usually means ‘no taste’. The pineapple was perfect, and basil is always so great on a pizza. The cheese did stretch and was stringy like you would expect real cheese to be; so I was impressed with its consistency and the fact that it melted. It was chewy like real cheese but had a bit of an aftertaste that I couldn’t quite get over. Therefore, I could not eat the whole mini pizza.  I’m wondering if stronger flavored toppings like pepperoni or jalapeño peppers might distract your taste buds from the vegan cheese aftertaste. 

If you make your own pizza with Go Veggie! vegan cheese or another brand of vegan cheese, please comment and share your modifications to this recipe.

Happy National Pizza Week!

Gotta Make Lemonade

August 20th is National Lemonade Day!!  When life throws you lemons, what do you do? I make lemonade!!

Recently, my story was published on this fantastic website,, started by Samantha Harris. Please check out my story and other stories of inspiration that they have published. 

A heart attack was my lemon. Advocacy is my lemonade. See how that works?! 

What is your lemon?

June 17, 2015 – My New Life Began 1 Year Ago Today

I made it!  And I did not become a statistic!  Some ways to look at it:

  1. Happy Birthday to my stent who is turning 1 year old!
  2. It’s been 1 year since part of my heart died, but the rest of me has picked up the pieces, moved on, and is doing fine.  
  3. Happy 1st second birthday to me!
  4. Happy re-birthday to me!
  5. Happy 1st Heart Anniversary!

But any way you look at it, I’m here, and I survived.  I’m a fighter, y’all!  I fought, and I won!

Today was a great day of celebration, despite the fact that I had to work.  I wore my super fun sparkly heart outfit to work.  In the morning, I had my 6 month follow up appointment with my cardiologist, Dr. Duran.  I’ll post more about the details of that appointment later, but here’s a pic of me and Dr. Duran since he couldn’t make it to my doctors’ reunion with Dr. Garcia and Dr. Steiner.


Dr. Duran was naturally happy to see me because I’m his favorite patient…naturally.  🙂

After work, I decided I wanted to celebrate life by drinking champagne…because what better way to celebrate?!


So my besties, Kim and Chrissey, and I went to happy hour and toasted to re-birth, life, and happiness with glasses of Prosecco.  We’re so fancy!


And when I got home, I found these beautiful flowers in this beautiful heart vase from my parents!  I knew they wouldn’t forget!


What a wonderful day of celebration and the reminder of everything that happened 1 year ago to bring me to this day.  It’s a testament to all of the medical professionals and staff at Dr. P Phillips Hospital who worked so tirelessly to save my life even though I was the last surgery of the day.  Employees who were probably ready to go home from their shifts had to stay a little while longer because they needed to tend to me…to save my life…and I so appreciate each one of them for that.

I am truly blessed, and I don’t forget that.  I hope I have many more years of celebrations and blessings!!!



The 2015 Orlando Heart Walk will take place on Saturday, September 12th.  I am recruiting a team this year to walk the 3 mile walk with me.  Once again, my team name is I Walk for JAG.  Although the Heart Walk is free, I am asking that anyone that signs up to walk with me please donate what they can towards my team goal of $1000.  Last year, I raised a little over $600, so I feel this year’s goal is very achievable…especially since I’m starting so early!  You may (or may not) recall this picture I posted from last year’s Orlando Heart Walk!


Even if you can’t join me to walk, you can still donate towards my goal by clicking on the link provided below.

If you would like to donate towards my walk, which benefits the American Heart Association for Heart Disease and Stroke prevention, please click the link to read more about my story, the reason for my team name, and enter the amount you are able to donate.


You can remain anonymous or leave your name.  You can even enter a name of a loved one that you’d like your donation to be made in honor of, in memory of, or in support of.  What a great way to honor and pay tribute to those loved ones who are living with and have succumbed to heart disease and stroke.  Once you arrive at the Heart Walk, there is even a wall where you can pay tribute to your loved one once again.  Here I am signing the wall last year with my team name in support of my Uncle Edward who passed away of a massive heart attack the year prior.


Together, we can beat this!!!  Thank you for all of your support!!!

See you at the Finish Line!




Guest Post on Rage Against the Minivan Blog

Please check out my guest post on

Thank you to an old high school friend, Kristen Howerton, for selecting my post to share with her readers.


What I Want You To Know About Having A Heart Attack

 Let me know what title you’d like for a follow up guest post to this, so I can begin working on another submission for the What I Want You To Know series on Kristen’s blog.