Tag Archives: heart health

CPR Info and My CPR Anytime Kit

Even though CPR and AED Awareness Week was the first week of June, I think it’s important to be aware year-round. I recently received my CPR Anytime Kit from the American Heart Association, and I wanted to share it with you along with some important information that I received from them. You can get your own CPR Anytime Kit at www.shopheart.org – what a great teaching tool for your family!

Important information about CPR from AHA:

  • Only about 46% of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives.
  • About 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. If you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you love: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend. CPR, especially if performed immediately, could double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.
  • Women are also less likely to receive CPR from a bystander. Barriers include fear of legal ramifications and accusations of inappropriate touching.
  • Adult & Child CPR Anytime kits contain everything you need to learn the lifesaving skills of CPR, AED awareness, and choking relief in about 20 minutes in the comfort of your own home. The self-guided training takes you through the steps – all you need to do is practice.
  • You can learn more about CPR and where to find training near you at cpr.heart.org.

Make it a goal this summer to train your family in CPR. You never know when it might be needed and whose life it might save.

This is everything from the kit. The adult dummy is super easy to inflate and quickly deflates to easily pack away.

I Completed My 90-Day Journey With Omron!

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

Well, I’ve completed my 90-day journey with the Omron EVOLV blood pressure monitor.  Over this time, I’ve had good days and I’ve had bad days; I’ve had good blood pressure readings and I’ve had bad blood pressure readings; but overall, I think things have mostly gone well.

It is comforting to know that if I am “not feeling right” (and if you are also a heart attack or stroke survivor, then you know what I’m talking about) that I can sit on my couch or my bed in the comfort of my own home in the middle of the night and check my blood pressure to see if all my numbers are normal.  The monitor is even small enough that I’ve thrown it in my purse and taken it to work on those “not feeling right” days in case I needed to check my blood pressure throughout the day.

Generally, my numbers have been pretty consistent during the past 90 days, but a couple weeks ago, I did have a little scare when I checked my blood pressure one night and the numbers were kind of high compared to my norm.  I continued to monitor my numbers throughout the evening, and they only dropped a little bit.  I attributed it to a pill I had taken earlier that day and hoped that the numbers would get back to normal over the next day or so, which they did.  But it was an alarming thing to see and to get recorded on the Omron Connect app!

My cardiologist has adjusted some of my meds since my last post, so I was interested to see if my blood pressure would be affected by the change.  There has not really been a change, but that is one thing that I was looking forward to monitoring with the home monitor!  So, I’m glad to have that ability so I can monitor how my body is adjusting to the med changes over the next few weeks.

A change I’ve made with my eating is that I’m now eating a serving of steamed broccoli almost everyday!

Mmmmm…plain steamed broccoli! Sometimes, I just crave this stuff!

If I don’t get broccoli, then I’m making sure to get a side garden salad or some fresh fruit daily.

I’ve never been a big fan of blueberries, but I’m kind of starting to like them a little bit lately.

So I may not be getting all the recommended servings in daily, but I’m definitely getting in more servings over the course of a week than I was before, and that feels great!  I’m better about this on the weekends when I have more control over my meals than during the work week when things can get crazy.  So, on the weekends I try to do two vegetables and a protein per meal.

I have not purposely increased my steps lately but I did have a couple days last week where I was so busy that I got over 10,000 steps on 2 different days!!!  Man, I was exhausted last week!

What successes did you have on your 90 day challenge?  Did you make any changes in your daily routine/lifestyle? If so, do you plan to stick to these changes?

And remember Omron’s Going for Zero mission (which I personally think is fantastic) to eliminate heart attacks and strokes through prevention and education.   Make sure to check this out and make it your personal mission, too!




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.

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!