The Heartie Kitchen – Heart Your Heart – A Plant Based Life
The Heartie Kitchen Co. is a labor of love to spread the message of healthy eating. As humans, we need to shift our mindset regarding food. This means thinking differently about how we prepare food and what we prepare. We often hear the news of someone unexpectedly suffering from a heart attack; whether this be someone we watched on television, someone we went to school with, the neighbor, the friend from church, or a family member, there are steps we can take to prevent our bodies from becoming the next victim of the #1 cause of death in the United States. It’s all about what we eat and how we fuel our bodies; and this is not exclusive to your heart! A heart-healthy diet is a brain-healthy diet is a lung-healthy diet. Choosing to put healthy foods in our bodies can benefit all organs and combat many of the chronic illnesses we face as a society. If you or someone you know are struggling with heart disease or other chronic illnesses, it may be time to look into a whole-foods plant based lifestyle. This way of eating stresses the inclusion of unrefined plant foods in the diet, and discourages meats, dairy products, eggs and processed foods. The Heartie Kitchen is here to help you learn more, take your first steps, or take the plunge into a healthier and happier way of living. If you need recipes, help with grocery lists, personalized cooking instruction, or just a voice of support, we’re here for you. People today are living longer but we are living fewer healthy years and often spend much of our lives medicated and weak. We envision a world where preventable pain, suffering and illness, can be drastically reduced through the implementation of a plant based lifestyle.My name is Renae Long and I am the founder of The Heartie Kitchen Co. My story is not unlike many of yours, and my passion for a plant based lifestyle came out of necessity. Before February 2016 I believed I was preparing clean, healthy food for my family. The most common meat found in our kitchen was chicken and I only used extra virgin olive oil. I added it liberally to our food because I’d always believed it to be ‘heart healthy’. I never fried any foods in the home and we rarely ordered fried foods at restaurants. Our family virtually never indulged in fast foods or soda, as we’d already come to see them as unhealthy. I checked labels for high fructose corn syrup while at the grocery store and made sure that I had eliminated it from our kitchen. My husband was at the gym at least every other day, and I’d occasionally join him when I wasn’t scared off by his early morning wake up time. Despite all this and more, our lives were turned upside down with no warning. A day just like any other at our local gym, my husband suffered a widowmaker heart attack. I rushed him to the hospital. The nurses met us at the car as it became more clear what was happening. How could this be happening to us? Within 10 minutes of our arrival he was rushed into a lifesaving emergency surgical procedure in order to insert two stents. I later read that 40% of first heart attack victims do not survive and thanked God that we did not fall into that category. We were blessed to have been awake, dressed, and close to the hospital when the heart attack struck. If you are experiencing a heart attack or think you may be, don’t hesitate, get to the ER immediately; much like a stroke, seconds matter. Once home, the question still remained: how could this have happened to us? On the mend and per the advice of a cardiologist, we began to read Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s “How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”. In this book, Dr. Esselstyn promotes, no meat, no dairy, no oil, and absolutely nothing with a face or a mother. While this might sound intimidating, don’t worry! As I quickly learned there are tons of other foods you haven’t used or heard of before that became staples in our meals. Dr. Esselstyn’s book led us to the movie “Forks over Knives” and other documentaries that are easily found on Netflix. In the days that followed, I felt like a stranger in the grocery store; opening my eyes and actually looking at products instead of mindlessly buying the same items I’d buy every time the pantry was low. For my husband and my children I had to shift my mind set when it came to food. We had to kick our addiction to sugar and dairy, and embrace this new lifestyle with arms wide open. It had quite literally become a matter of life and death.My husband’s health has improved dramatically because of this new way of living and I know others who have also gone through similar health transformations. My only hope is that I can help guide those that need help the most so they do not have to experience what could have been a much more difficult and tragic event for my family. The Heartie Kitchen is here for you.