Heart Health

What you eat and drink, your exercise and activity level, how you cope with stress and lifestyle factors help determine the health of your heart. You can keep your heart healthy regardless of age, but it does require effort and possible changes in everyday habits. Follow a heart-healthy diet, get plenty of exercise, do what you can to reduce stress and live a life of moderation and you will be well on your way to maintaining a healthy heart. Though heart disease risks increase with age, it does not have to be an inevitable part of getting older.

What exactly is heart disease? Heart disease is a progressive condition that can start early in life but can also be prevented or controlled by making smart lifestyle choices. It is the term given to a group of different health conditions that affect the heart. These conditions are commonly known as:

HIGH CHOLESTEROL
HYPERTENSION
CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE
HEART ATTACK
STROKE

Normally, the heart continues to pump enough blood to supply all parts of the body. However, an older heart may not be able to pump blood as well when you make it work harder. Some things that trigger the heart to work harder are:

  • Certain medications
  • Emotional stress
  • Extreme physical exertion
  • Illness
  • Infections

It is never too late to start living a heart healthy lifestyle and here’s how toget started.

  • Incorporate 30 minutes of daily exercise into your daily routine.
  • If you do smoke-today is the day to quit.
  • Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Maintain regular medical appointments to monitor health conditions
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Find healthy outlets to reduce stress
  • Maintain a healthy body weight for your size

See our helpful links and suggested readings on this topic.

HIGH CHOLESTEROL

Cholesterol is a fat (also called a lipid) that your body needs to work properly. When you have high cholesterol, you may develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. These deposits could make it difficult for proper blood flow through your arteries. High cholesterol has no symptoms but can be detected through a blood test. It is also important to discuss blood test results with your physician.

Desired levels for Cholesterol:

Total Cholesterol:

  • Below 200 is desirable
  • 200-239 Borderline
  • 240 or above is considered High Risk

HDL (High-density lipoproteins) Also known as good cholesterol:

  • 60 or above low risk
  • 40 – 60 Optimal
  • 40 or below high risk

LDL (low-density lipoproteins) Also known as bad cholesterol:

  • 100 or below low risk

Triglycerides:

  • 150 or below low risk

Fats will impact your cholesterol. Eating healthy fats is good for the heart and most other parts of the body. Healthy fats include mono unsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega -3 fats. A few healthy fat foods you should add to your diet are:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Corn oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Olives
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Soft tub margarines
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines

hypertension (high blood pressure)

Blood pressure, sometimes referred to as arterial blood pressure, is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels, and is one of the principal vital signs. Ensure your blood pressure is checked during your routine physician visits. If you have any concerns regarding your blood pressure, discuss purchasing a digital blood pressure machine with your health care provider.

See our helpful links and suggested readings on this topic.

Blood pressure is recording as two numbers:

1. Systolic Pressure (as the heart beats) over

2. Diastolic Pressure (as the heart relaxes between beats)

Desired Systolic Pressure less than 120

Desired Diastolic Pressure less than 80

The D.A.S.H. diet plan (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is proveneffective for lowering blood pressure. Below are excellent food choices you canincorporate into your diet. You can visit www.dashdiet.org for more informationon the DASH diet and for healthy, delicious recipes. Talk with your doctor aboutwhat the best diet plan is for you.

  • Skim milk
  • Spinach
  • Unsalted sunflower seeds
  • Beans
  • White baked potato
  • Bananas
  • Soybeans
  • Dark chocolate
  • Yogurt
  • High fat fish
  • Decaffeinated herbal teas
  • Red wine

congestive heart failure

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) does not mean the heart has stopped working, it means the pumping power is weaker than normal. With CHF, the blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate. This results in the heart not pumping enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body’s needs.

Symptoms

Symptoms of heart failure often begin slowly, usually at times when you are active. Over time, you may notice breathing problems and other symptoms when you are resting.

Common symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue, weakness, faintness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Need to urinate at night
  • Pulse that feels fast or irregular
  • Shortness of breath when you are active or after you lie down
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Waking up from sleep after a couple of hours due to shortness of breath
  • Weight gain

If you think you may have heart failure, or you are worried about your heart failure risk, make an appointment with your family doctor. If heart failure is found early, your treatment may be easier and more effective. Always be prepared for your doctor’s appointments with questions and information to share about your current health status. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions. It’s never too early to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, cutting down on salt and eating healthy foods. These changes can help prevent heart failure from starting or worsening. Your doctor often can suggest strategies to help you get and stay on track.

HEART ATTACK

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction (MI), is permanent damage to the heart muscle. “Myo” means muscle, cardial refers to the heart and “infarction” means death of tissue due to lack of blood supply. The cause of a heart attack is not always known.

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • Pain in your chest that radiates down your left arm, jaw or back pain
  • Anxiety
  • Cough
  • Fainting
  • Light-headedness, dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Palpitations (feeling like your heart is beating too fast or irregularly)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating, which may be very heavy after sudden, severe emotional or physical stress, including an illness

A heart attack is caused by:

  • A piece of plaque breaking off and blocking blood from flowing to the heart. This is the most common cause of heart attack.
  • A slow buildup of plaque narrowing one of the coronary arteries so that it is almost blocked.

A Heart attack may occur:

  • When you are resting or asleep
  • After a sudden increase in physical activity

Lifestyle changes

In addition to medications, the same lifestyle changes that can help you recover from a heart attack can also help prevent future heart attacks. These include:

  • Not smoking
  • Controlling certain conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes
  • Staying physically active
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reducing and managing stress

STROKE

A stroke, sometimes referred to as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is the loss of brain function due to a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. Transient is chemic attacks (TIA) or strokes can occur if blood flow to the brain is disrupted.

See our helpful links and suggested readings on this topic.

Sometimes symptoms of stroke develop gradually. But if you are having a stroke, you are more likely to have one or more sudden warning signs. Seek emergency medical advice (calling 911) immediately, as immediate medical attention could reduce effects of the stroke.

Common warning signs of stroke:

  • Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side
  • Facial drooping on one side
  • Confusion or trouble understanding other people
  • Trouble speaking or slurred speech
  • Trouble seeing with one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking or staying balanced or coordinated
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headache that comes on for no known reason

Types of Strokes:

An ischemic stroke happens when a vessel supplying blood to the brain becomes blocked.

hemorrhagic stroke happens when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain.

transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a “mini stroke” from a temporary blockage. Although a TIA doesn’t cause permanent brain damage, it may cause stroke warning signs.

Never ignore stroke warning signs. Responding to symptoms quickly may decrease the affects.

Heart Disease

The Mayo Clinic

More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers from Mayo Clinic share their expertise to empower you.

Subscribe to the Heart-Healthy Living e-newsletter, find information on symptoms and treatment of heart disease. Search through a variety of expert answers to frequently asked questions.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The national public health institute of the United States. Search through fact sheets and handouts defining heart disease or listen to Podcasts on heart health.

http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/materials_for_patients.htm
American Heart Association

Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Heart disease tools and Resources.

Sign up for monthly E-Newsletters and free patient/caregiver magazines, listen to podcasts, watch educational videos, test your knowledge on heart disease quizzes and more.

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides global leadership for a research, training, and education program to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives.

Review publications on high cholesterol, heart attacks, peripheral arterial disease and much more.

Online Support Groups:

Mended Hearts:

Mended Hearts is a national and community-based non-profit organization that has been offering the gift of hope to heart disease patients, their families and caregivers.

Women Heart:

The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a nonprofit, patient advocacy organization with thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, health care providers, advocate sand consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives.

Magazines and Journals:

American Heart Association:
Free Heart Insight online magazine subscription

Healthy and Heart Wise:
Healthy & Heart wise is an Australian e-magazine which promotes preventative health care by encouraging readers to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The content is written by health professionals – nutritionists, dietitians, food experts, sports physiologists and medical professionals.

Hypertension

HYPERTENSION

The Mayo Clinic

More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers from Mayo Clinicshare their expertise to empower you.

Subscribe to the Heart-Healthy Living e-newsletter, find information on symptoms and treatment of Hypertension. Search through a variety of expert answers to frequently asked questions.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The national public health institute of the United States.
An easy to read handout explaining hypertension, symptoms, treatments and other resources available.

American Heart Association

Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
High Blood Pressure tools and Resources. Sign up for monthly E-Newsletters, print blood pressure tracker logs, watch educational videos, test your knowledge on blood pressure quizzes and more.

Million Hearts

Million Hearts® brings together communities, health systems, non-profit organisations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke.

Videos and resources to explain high blood pressure.

Johns Hopkins Medicine

This free public service from Johns Hopkins Medicine helps keep you up to date on the latest breakthroughs for the most common medical conditions which prevent healthy ageing.

American Association of Retired Persons

Offers information on health, money, food and much more. Sign up for free webinars and review archived session.

Stroke

STROKE

American Stroke Association

Containing a variety of easy to understand information for both the person suffering the stroke and their loved ones.

National Stroke Association

The caregivers and family information site for the National Stroke Association offering multiple resources including an online network for caregivers to connect, share stories, discuss issues and support one another.

The Stroke Connection

An online magazine containing valuable and interesting information. Brought to you by the American Heart/American Stroke Association

Life After A Stroke

A valuable online resource containing information on emotional support, medical management, effects of a stroke, and legal, financial and health care information.

The Stroke Network

Rated as a top 5 stroke information web site by U.S. News & World Report. The purpose of the organization is to provide on line support for stroke survivors and caregivers of adult stroke.

Web M.D.

Web M.D. contains the latest information on diet, prevention and treatment for stroke survivors and their loved ones.

Managing Diabetes

Managing Diabetes

Most of the food we eat turns into glucose which provides energy for our bodies. Our pancreas makes a hormone called insulin to help move the glucose through the cells of our bodies. Diabetes occurs when your body does not produce enough insulin (Type 1 Diabetes) or cannot use its own insulin as it should (Type 2 Diabetes). This will cause sugar to build up in your blood.

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES:

  • Hunger
  • Feeling clammy or sweaty
  • Pale skin color
  • Numbness or tingling around the mouth
  • Shakiness
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Nervousness or irritability

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia: is a condition characterized by abnormally low blood glucose levels (sugar levels). It is always imperative to talk to your health care provider about your personal glucose targets and what level is considered low for you and your body. Each person’s reaction to hypoglycemia is different, so it is important to know your own body, and triggers that indicate your levels are becoming too low.

INITIAL SYMPTOMS OF HYPERGLYCEMIA:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Blurred vision or trouble seeing
  • Feeling very tired or weak
  • Needing to urinate often
  • Headache

If hyperglycemia goes untreated, later symptoms may occur including:

  • Fruit-smelling urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Dry Mouth
  • Weakness
  • Confusion

DIET AND EXERCISE:

Meal Planning:

A healthy diet for individuals with diabetes is typically the same as a healthy diet for anyone. Your plan should be low in fat, especially saturated and Trans fat, moderate in sugar and salt, and your meals should include whole grains,fruits and vegetables. The American Diabetes Association recommends 10Super Foods to add to your diet.

1. Beans-kidney, pinto, navy, and black beans

2. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables-spinach, collards and kale

3. Citrus Fruit- grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes

4. Sweet Potatoes-Vit A and Fiber

5. Berries-blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries

6. Tomato’s-pureed, raw, or in a sauce

7. Fish-high in omega 3 fatty acids (salmon)

8. Whole Grains-germ or bran

9. Nuts-walnuts, and flax seeds

10. Fat free milk and yogurt-calcium and Vit D

Visit www.diabetes.org for great recipes and tips for eating well with diabetes.

Stay Active:

Exercise is important to your health and blood sugar control. Even a small increase in physical activity may help to make a big difference in your diabetes.Your activity plan and your meal plan work together. Staying active also strengthens bones and muscles, provides you with energy, and relieves stress.

Diabetes Helpful Links & Readings

DIABETES HELPFUL LINKS & READINGS

The National Diabetes Education Program

The National Diabetes Education Program contains valuable diabetes resources for older adults including managing my diabetes, preventing Type 2 diabetes, helping a loved one and health care professionals.

The American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association website contains important information about Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 diabetes means your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. The website provides information regarding basic facts about Type 2 Diabetes, valuable tools if you have been recently diagnosed, and insights on treatment and care.

The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse

The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse can help you determine if you are at risk of Type 2 Diabetes. It also provides valuable steps you can take to lower your risk of getting diabetes.

Web M.D.

Web M.D. provides easily understood information about all types of diabetes. It is also a valuable resource on diabetic diets and overall health.

Diabetes Mine

Diabetes Mine is ranked as one of the top websites for diabetes information. It contains a wealth of up to date information.

The Daily Diabetic

The Daily Diabetic is a great resource for diabetic patients and caregivers.

ACLS Educational Articles

Understand the classifications of diabetes, what it is, symptoms and diagnosis, along with risk factors, prevention and screening.

Low Vision

Low vision
Low vision – 1

WHAT IS LOW VISION?

Low vision is the term used for a visual impairment. Low vision is a loss of eyesight that makes everyday tasks difficult. A person with low vision may find it difficult to accomplish activities such as reading, writing, shopping, watching television, and driving a car. Regular medical eye exams by an ophthalmologist(Eye doctor) are important to diagnose visual impairments, treat those conditions that can be helped, and begin the process of vision rehabilitation for individuals with low vision. The doctor will complete an eye exam asking questions about your medical history and any vision problems you might be experiencing. The exam will also include a number of tests designed to evaluate your vision.Your doctor may use a variety of instruments.

The most common types of low vision include loss of central vision, loss of peripheral (side) vision, night blindness, blurred vision and hazy vision.

COMMON VISION DISORDERS:

Cataracts: Over 20 million people in the US alone have cataracts according to Prevent Blindness America. It appears as a clouding of the lens of the eye.

Glaucoma: Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. With glaucoma, portions of vision are lost over time, usually with no warning signs or symptoms prior to vision deterioration. For many, a decrease in peripheral vision is the first sign of glaucoma.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): AMD is a leading cause of vision loss among Americans over age 60. It accounts for nearly half of all low vision cases. There are two types of AMD, wet and dry. Wet AMD is known as advanced AMD and does not have stages like dry AMD. Dry AMD stages are early, intermediate and advanced.

Diabetic Retinopathy: According to the National Eye Institute, more than30 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some form of diabetic retinopathy. It is a major cause of blindness and is caused by damage to blood vessels in the back of the eye, which is due to high blood sugar.

There are a variety of devices and tips to assist with managing low vision.Please review below:

INCREASE BRIGHTNESS:

Improve lighting: Use a goose neck lamp directed onto your task. Carry a penlight.

Reduce glare: Indoors, cover wood tables and shiny counters; wear yellow clip-on or fit over glasses. Outdoors, try dark yellow or amber glasses. Visor scan be useful indoors or out.

Increase contrast: Use a black ink gel or felt pen, not a ballpoint. Draw a dark line where you need to sign.

INCREASE THE SIZE:

Move closer: Try to get front row to watch performance and sit closer to the television.

Enlarge: Many products are available with larger buttons, larger fonts and print-this includes games/puzzles, computer keyboards, calculators, tv remote controls, phones, books. Use electronic books, e-book readers and audio books. Talking watches, clocks, calculators, glucometers, and computers are also helpful.

Magnify: Low vision magnifiers come in many powers and types to meet the need of your visual needs. Hand-held magnifiers can be used to assist with reading menus, mail, magazines. There are also video magnifiers that are available.

Label Important Items: Use a high contrast marker, (can be purchased at a fabric store) and label medications, knobs, dials making easier to read.

RESOURCES:

LIGHTHOUSE INTERNATIONAL

Since 1905, Lighthouse International has led the charge in the fight against vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment. Lighthouse International offers help, hope and resources– providing people across the spectrum of vision impairment with the skills and strategies they need to remain safe, independent and active at every stage of life.

CHOICE MAGAZINE LISTENING

Choice Magazine Listening is a nonprofit organization that provides audio recordings of memorable articles, stories, interviews, essays and poems from outstanding current magazines, completely free of charge, to blind,visually impaired, physically disabled or dyslexic adults.

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF-BLIND

The American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) is a nonprofit nationalconsumer organization of, by, and for deaf-blind Americans and theirsupporters. They provide a database of state and local organizations andagencies serving that help deaf-blind persons achieve their maximum potential through increased independence, productivity, and integration into the community.

RESOURCES FOR E-BOOKS AND E-BOOK READERS:

Bookshare

Read Easily Ebooks Online Library

Digital Book Readers

U.S. National Library Service: Talking Books Service 800-424-8567

Dive Into Fitness

Dive Into Fitness

DIVE INTO FITNESS

Swimming is one of the most popular aerobic activities and is one of the best ways for older adults to stay active without adding stress to joints. Adding only 2-3 half hour swimming sessions a week can improve overall health and wellbeing. Water based exercises can:

  • Relieve Arthritic Pain: Swimming reduces the stress on bones and impact on joints, while still providing a complete workout; targeting almost every muscle group. Swimming also improves endurance and lessens the risk of exercise related injuries.
  • Improves Cardiovascular Health: Swimming is an aerobic activity which canlower blood pressure and cholesterol. It also can improve the heart’s efficiency in pumping blood through the body. Swimming has been proven to reduce risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Reduces Risk of Osteoporosis: Older adults, especially women over 50, experience bone density loss that leads to osteoporosis. Exercise, including swimming, can preserve bone density and lessen the risk of osteoporosis
  • Increased Flexibility: The natural buoyance of water reduces the stress on this body; this allows for added flexibility, especially in the neck, arms, hips and legs. Increased flexibility will help reduce pain, such as back pain, while improving posture and lessening the soreness often experienced after exercise.
  • Recuperate Mental Health: Swimming has been linked to improved moods in both men and women by reducing anxiety, decreasing depression, and raising endorphin (feel good receptors in the brain) levels.

Many gyms, senior centers, and Watercrest Communities offer aquacise classes. Participating in classes allows for socialization, while building strength and improving health. This is also a great way to exercise outside and soak up some vitamin D, while not needing to worry about overheating in the Florida sun. Remember to wear your sunscreen and happy swimming!

Tips for touring senior communities

Touring Senior Communities

Finding the right community for your loved one is one of the most important decisions you can make. We’ve compiled a list of essential elements to consider when assessing a senior community. During your visit, consider the quality of care that your loved one may receive. The decision of “if, when and where to move” resides solely with you and your loved one, so consider what factors are ultimately important to you.

Observe the Level of Cleanliness

Does the community feel fresh and clean? Make sure to look past the furnishings and into corners, baseboards and windows. Ask how often housekeeping is provided in the personal living space. Make sure you get full details on the types of maintenance provided and the estimated response times. Don’t forget to ask about laundry procedures. Ask for specifics on what is available and at what cost.

Visit During an Activity

It’s a good idea to try and schedule your tour in conjunction with community events. Ask the manager if you can watch the activities or even participate. Are the activities and events well attended? Does the staff seem to be enjoying the activity as well? Take a look at the community calendar of events. Do they match your loved one’s interests? Do the events and activities vary in size and type? Do they include trips and outings away from the community? If it is important to you and your family, don’t forget to inquire about religious services.

Pay Attention to Staff Friendliness

The attitude and friendliness of the staff are of the upmost importance. Make sure that you observe several staff members interacting with current residents. Do they listen and make eye contact? Make sure to get a good understanding of the staffing pattern. How many people are actually involved in residents’ care? Make sure you get an introduction to the management team. This will help you understand the goals of the property. It is important that you have confidence in the property’s staff.

Visit the Outdoor Areas

Everyone wants to be able to enjoy a nice sunny day outdoors. While visiting communities make sure to investigate the outdoor areas that are available to residents. Does the area feel safe and secure? Does the property house outdoor activities in these areas? Does the staff use the same area for their personal breaks?

Eat a Meal at the Property

As with most of us, the dining room experience is very important to seniors. When visiting the communities, it is important to discuss entrée choices and learn about dining hours, options, and procedures. Make sure you and your loved one enjoy a meal at the property. Not only is it a great way to sample the cuisine, but it’s a great opportunity to meet other residents. Be sure to discuss what happens if a resident is unable to make it to the dining room for a meal.

Ask Safety and Security Questions

Safety and security features are very important and offer peace of mind for the caregiver. Make sure that the bathrooms are accessible and have grab bars in convenient locations. Ask how residents contact staff if they have an emergency in their living area. Find out about other safety features available in living quarters and throughout the community. Make sure you find out about staffing patterns to determine who is on site at all times to assist residents. Are there registered nurses on site? How do staffing patterns differ at night? How does the community assist or manage residents’ medication needs? Don’t forget to ask specific questions about any other medical needs that must be met for you or your loved on.

Ask Questions About Personal Care

As you go through the tour process make sure you ask a lot of questions about personal care. Discuss bathing options and bathing preferences. It’s a great idea to observe the current residents while visiting communities. Are they clean shaven with well-groomed hair and nails? Are the residents dressed appropriately? Make sure to take into consideration what activities they are involved in and the current weather. Does the staff treat residents with dignity, respect, and a smile?

Get Feedback from Residents and Other Families

Ask residents and families, past and present, for their honest opinions about the community. Many communities have a resident council that will be happy to answer any of your questions. Visit My Search to read reviews from families who have shared their impressions of individual communities.

Ask About Move-Out Criteria

Most people do not enjoy moving multiple times and seniors are no different. Ask about specific move-out criteria. Under what circumstances is a resident asked to move out of the community? What type of notice does the resident or caregiver need to give the staff? In many instances, a 30-day notice may be required by the property.

Trust Your Instincts

As you are touring, make sure you think about yourself or your loved one actually living at the community. Can you imagine your loved one feeling comfortable? Do you feel at ease? Are the staff and residents open, inviting and friendly? Always remember to follow your instincts and your heart!

Community Touring Notes

When calling, or visiting a prospective senior living community, use this checklist to keep notes, compare communities and get answers to important questions.

DOWNLOAD OUR COMMUNITY TOURING CHECKLIST

Summertime Recipes

SUMMERTIME RECIPES

When the temperature goes up, here’s a refreshing way to cool down. This Watermelon Spritzer is simple to make and contains significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids.

WATERMELON LIME SPRITZER

  • 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • ¾ cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 2 ½ cups carbonated water (seltzer, Perrier, etc)
  • 5 each lime slices for garnish

Place the watermelon in a blender. Cover and process until blended. Strain and discard the pulp; transfer the juice to a pitcher. Stir in limeade concentrate and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Just before serving, stir in carbonated water, pour over ice and garnish with lime slices

There has always been a debate whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. What experts do know is that tomatoes are great for you! Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamins A and C and folic acid. Tomatoes contain a wide array of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, including alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, choline, folic acid, beta-carotene and lutein.

VINE RIPENED TOMATOES WITH BASIL AND BALSAMIC

  • 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • ½ sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 8 leaves of basil, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 1 oz olive oil
  • 1 oz. balsamic vinegar

Combine the tomatoes and onions. Spread out on serving platter. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over evenly. Sprinkle the basil leaves on top. Garnish with while sprigs of basil.

This recipe tastes best when prepared 1 hour ahead of serving and allowed to sit at room temperature.