Going for Zero Pledge

This post was sponsored by Omron. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

I took the “Going for Zero Pledge”, and you can do it, too, by clicking on this link Going for Zero!

What is Going for Zero? It is Omron Healthcare‘s company mission – to eliminate heart attacks and strokes. One way they are doing this is through new heart health technologies like the Omron EVOLV, which is a portable, wireless upper-arm blood pressure monitor.

This device is clinically validated for accuracy and has received FDA clearance. It is a one-piece monitor that fits easily over your upper arm with no tubes, wires, or tabletop unit.

It easily syncs to your smartphone via Bluetooth technology and with the Omron Connect App (free) that stores, tracks, and shares your data. The easier and more convenient it is to record and track your blood pressure, the more people will do it and be aware of their heart health, thus leading to healthier individuals. Therefore eliminating heart attacks and strokes, right!? It’s one step in the right direction for a healthier YOU!

As many of you may already be aware, the American Heart Association announced new guidelines for high blood pressure last fall, which lowered the threshold for hypertension from 140/90 mmHg to 130/80 mmHG. This means that it is even more important now to be aware of your blood pressure, especially if you were at risk of being hypertensive before. What better way to monitor your blood pressure than the comfort of your own home. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I used to get white coat effect anytime I went to a doctor appointment, which caused my blood pressure readings to be high and inaccurate. The reasons for this were that I would have anxiety about my doctor visit, and I would be overwhelmed by the office in general. If you can take the readings in your own home, then you won’t have this issue because you will be doing it at your own time when you are most comfortable. You will get more accurate readings, and you can take them more often so you can keep a record of your readings, which you can then email to a family member, friend, or your doctor.

As a heart attack survivor, I am very aware of my blood pressure and keep track of it regularly because I know how important a healthy reading is. Even though I am on blood pressure medicine since my heart attack, I still keep track of it.

For the next 90 days, I will be reporting back to you to let you know how I’m doing with my new Omron EVOLV blood pressure monitor and any key learnings I find along the way. Please let me know if you take the Going for Zero Pledge! I’d love to hear from you!

As a survivor, I want nothing more than to get everyone as heart healthy as possible so no one has to go through what I went through.

Did You Know…March is National Nutrition Month?

Well, it is! So, what will you do this month to get healthy or maintain your healthy eating habits?

Here are tips from the American Heart Association for eating more fruits and veggies:

  • Add frozen peas or broccoli to rice when it’s almost done cooking.
  • Add extra veggies to soups and stews.
  • Have a meatless meal once a week.
  • Fill out a sandwich with fruits and veggies.
  • Keep frozen and canned fruits and vegetables on hand for when you need to throw together a meal in a hurry.
  • Work fruits and vegetables into your family’s favorite dishes.

Have you tried any of these tips? Do you have any other tips to add? Please share in the comments, and have a happy and healthy March!

Welch Allyn Home 1700 Series Blood Pressure Monitor

If you are looking for a blood pressure monitor to use at home for hypertension management, then you’re probably like me and you want to get the best.  When I’ve shopped for blood pressure monitors, there are lots of choices out there, so it’s hard to tell which one to get.  Well, I’m here to tell you that Welch Allyn Home 1700 Series Blood Pressure Monitor is one that I’ve tried and with which I’m very happy.  I recently visited a friend in the hospital, and I noticed the familiar brand of Welch Allyn on some of the equipment used by the nursing staff.  Knowing that hospitals use this brand makes me even more confident in my use of this Home BP Monitor!

The Welch Allyn Home BP 1700 requires 4 AA batteries, which are included in the box, and the cord for the cuff easily snaps onto the monitor.  The cuff has lines and directions on it so it can easily be positioned on your arm.  In fact, the same SureBP technology used by doctors and hospitals enables an accurate measurement in half the time of the leading competitor without the unnecessary discomfort or overinflating. The large display screen is also bright and easy to read.

My favorite thing about this Home BP Monitor is that you can pair it with your smartphone.  I have an iPhone that doesn’t have a lot of memory left on it, and I was able to quickly and easily download the Welch Allyn Home App from the App Store and pair my phone to the device.  (You can also download from Google Play). It was so simple.  I was taking my blood pressure in no time – a reading actually takes 20 seconds!  Instead of having to write down your results (in case you have to record them for doctor’s visits), the app records the results and you can enter comments with each result.  You can also set a SYS/DIA goal, and the app will chart your results on a graph so you can see your range over time. This allows you to track and share your readings with loved ones and caregivers if that’s what you need. Check with your physician to see if he/she participates in the Welch Allyn Home Hypertension Program. This clinical portal is available to establish critical connectivity between physicians and patients to provide access to trusted care team members to review blood pressure results automatically.

You can get more information on the Welch Allyn Home Hypertension Program and more information regarding the Welch Allyn 1700 Series Blood Pressure Monitor on their website: WelchAllynHome.com. The Home BP Monitor currently retails for $109.99.

This post is sponsored by Welch Allyn, but thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m on a Billboard!!

We did it!!! With your help, I completed the Executive Challenge by raising $3000 by June 30th for the American Heart Association's Greater Orlando Heart Walk!!  Thanks to you, the message of heart disease awareness is now being spread throughout Orlando in the form of Clear Channel billboards for the Heart Walk! There are dozens out there. 

Here is a photo courtesy of Clear Channel that AHA sent me. 

I have not seen one of the billboards in person yet, so if you find one, please take a picture and post it with the location so I can go find it! 

Not sure how long they will be up, but the Heart Walk is September 23. 

Thank you again for all of your support!!

Virtual Roundtable with Dr. James Rippe

dr_rippeI recently had the pleasure of being invited to join a virtual roundtable with renowned cardiologist, Dr. James Rippe, founder and director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute.  Dr. Rippe is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School with post-graduate training at Massachusetts General Hospital. You can read more about his accolades here.  

This roundtable was to discuss NO (nitric oxide) and its beneficial effects on the heart, according to Dr. Rippe’s extensive research.  Below are some bullet points that I took from the roundtable when Dr. Rippe was talking about medical benefits and overall information of NO.  You will need some basic medical background to understand the bullets below, as I took the notes as I would have in college but have added in some layman’s terms.


  • It has a short 1/2 life
  • Multiple mechanisms exist in the body to produce it
  • Most importantly, it **DILATES ARTERIES**
    • This includes heart and coronary arteries
    • It works in the endothelium of the coronary arteries
  • It is generated from the AA (Amino Acid), Arginine
  • It is generated from Nitrates that we eat
  • Nitrates are converted to Nitrites that are then converted to NO
  • Patients with hypertension will have increased BP (blood pressure) due to decreased NO
  • Aging causes decreased NO
  • It is generated in people who are physically active, ex. Michael Phelps (Olympic Swimmer)
  • It plays a signaling role in the GI (gastrointestinal) tract
  • It has an immune function
  • It has an anti-platelet function

Eating certain vegetables can increase your Nitrates, thereby increasing NO.  Below is a list of vegetables high in Nitrates.

Dr. Rippe is an advocate of the Berkeley Life supplement, which is available at select locations nation-wide and comes with test strips to indicate the levels of NO in the body.

Berkeley Test - 10 Pack - Left Angle - with Strips - 3D VisualAW_1798_Berkeley Life_3D Image_Heart Health_Left Angle

Dr. Rippe said that 2 pills/day is equal to 1/4 lbs of spinach (or similar green leafy vegetables like kale and even beetroot).

I submitted a couple of questions during the session – one of them being whether or not this supplement would interact with all of the cardiac medicines I already take that are prescribed by my doctor (since I am a heart attack survivor).  He said that he is not aware of any cardiac meds that interact with NO.  However, I would still be most comfortable, as with any supplement, to get this cleared by my cardiologist before taking it to make sure there were no interactions.

My other question was that with all of my research after my heart attack on what to eat and not eat, I’d read that processed meats with Nitrates and Nitrites as preservatives should be avoided because they were bad for the heart, so I asked about this because it obviously contradicts what he is saying.  He said that Nitrates and Nitrites in processed meats are the same but in higher concentrations.  Yes, they are used as preservatives.  So, don’t go around consuming large quantities of them, but it is ok to eat them in moderation.

So, all in all, this was an eye-opener for me about Nitrates and Nitrites since I had always heard the opposite.  It is very interesting research and something that I definitely want to read/learn more about.

If any of you have tried this supplement, please comment below if you’re comfortable sharing your experience with it.  I would be curious to know how it is working for people and if they can tell a difference.

Happy researching!


Greater Orlando Heart Walk’s Executive Challenge

Because I did so well in raising money (almost $3500) in last year’s Heart Walk, the American Heart Association here in Orlando decided to sign me up for the Executive Challenge this year.  What is the Executive Challenge you might ask?  Well, see the flyer below.

EC and Registration Flyer.pub

Even though I am not an “Executive” at my company, I guess my company is large enough for me to qualify to participate.  I’m honored to be entered into this challenge, so I HAVE to meet the goal!  And what better way to get my story out there and to spread the message of heart disease than to be in the Orlando Business Journal and on a Clear Channel billboard!!  It’s a win-win situation for everyone!

So, I accepted the challenge, and even though I was on vacation for 2.5 weeks during this time, I worked hard to send out messaging to friends, family, and colleagues before vacation; and I’ve been working hard to send out messaging this week to hit my goal by the 30th of June, which is this Friday!  I am SO CLOSE!!!!!  As of today, I am $250 away, and I just have to make it.  I can’t believe that each of you has helped me raise so much in such a short amount of time.  It’s almost as much as we raised last year during the entire summer!!

If you are able to donate to this great cause and would like to help me towards my goal by this Friday – or even help me towards my overall goal by the September Heart Walk, you can follow this link to donate to me and my team.  

Click here to Donate

Thank you so much.  Every little bit counts and is very much appreciated!!  I am living proof of how far medical research has come and how it is saving lives, and hopefully I will be a further testament to this as I go in this week for my 2nd heart catheterization procedure as a precautionary due to some symptoms I’ve been having. Wish me luck!



Kimby <3

11 Days Left to Donate

Most of us have been touched by heart attack or stroke, the—#1 and #5 killers in America. I’m no different.
Did you know that one person dies from heart disease every 39 seconds? And every 45 seconds, someone has a stroke. That’s one person too many when its within our power to turn these numbers around through medical research, public advocacy and health education.
I’m walking this year because I survived a massive heart attack (80% blockage in my widow maker) 2 years ago at age 38. 
That’s my why for walking. What’s your why for giving? Please visit my donation page now.
I’ve set my fundraising bar high because I’m confident that you’ll rise to the occasion. Because anyone can have a heart attack or stroke.
The gift you give today will help fund CPR training for millions of Americans, support research studies waiting for funding, develop heart-healthy nutrition programs and so much more.
I’m truly grateful for your support.

Kimby Jagnandan
Donate now

Greater Orlando Heart Walk 2016

Dear Friends, Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. And congenital cardiovascular defects are the most common cause of infant death from birth defects. 

You can help! 

Heart Walk brings more than a million people together in 300+ cities across America to take a stand against heart disease and funds projects like these: 

Putting up-to-the-minute research into doctors’ hands so they can better prevent and treat heart disease among patients. 

Groundbreaking pediatric heart and stroke research. About 36,000 babies are born with heart defects each year —research is the key to saving babies’ lives. 

Getting life-saving information to those who need it most – information that can save a life, like how to eat better, how to recognize the warning signs of heart attack, and how to talk to a doctor about critical health choices. 

Join the American Heart Association to build healthier lives. Make a donation here: http://igfn.us/vf/ORLANDO2016/KimbyJagnandan

Thanks for taking a moment to check it out!