February is Heart Health month but here at Engine 2, we honor the most important organ in our body, all year round.

Heart disease may be the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States today, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply  changing the way you eat, the way you prepare your meals and the way you look at exercise can help create profound long lasting changes in your health and your heart. Even if heart disease runs in your family, there is a way to change course and redirect your future.

If you’re looking for these changes, start simple. Here are some suggestions to help you.

Stepping away from the computer once a day to get some fresh air and sunshine can improve your mood by increasing serotonin levels and the production of endorphins. Getting outside can also increase red blood cell production, which carries oxygen throughout the body and to your brain. Let’s not forget that the sun can help provide Vitamin D as well!

Add more fiber to your diet! Changing the way you eat and following our Plant-Strong Engine 2 Diet or our Seven Day Rescue Plan will not only help you shed excess pounds it will increase your fiber intake! Sadly, the average American only consumes about 15 grams of fiber a day. What’s so great about fiber you ask? Fiber can help lower cholesterol and glucose levels. Fiber satiates you, giving you that full feeling so you are not hungry all the time. Increase your fiber intake slowly, consume lots of water and watch your cholesterol dip, your waist shrink and your energy sore!

Find support that encourages and motivates you. Joining our Seven Day Rescue Group on Facebook is a great way to start moving in the plant-strong direction for free. Search for meet-up groups online or simply ask a family member to join you in trying something new. If you want more information, consider attending one of our Engine 2 Events or, if you know that you are not inclined to travel, considering joining the Engine 2 Rescue 10 Week Program from the comfort of your own home.

Buy a new cookbook if you love to be in the kitchen! Rip has written 4 wonderful books each containing a recipe section to help you transition. Head to your local library and see what you can find. Searching on social media like Instagram can also be motivating. Search hashtags like #engine2 #wfpb #plantstrong or #plantbased and be sure to follow Rip Esselstyn and Engine 2 for more meal recipe inspiration and motivation. If you are not on social media, maybe our Engine 2 Meal Planner is more for you? It can take the guess work out of, “What’s for dinner?”

Put yourself first. Schedule some “me-time” during the day whether to read that recipe book, go for a run or batch cook some meals for the week. Write “no-excuses” on a post-it and tape it to your refrigerator or your computer monitor. You are important. Give yourself this gift.

Change doesn’t have to be scary, but change does require repetitive absolute commitment. Only you can create change, no one can do it for you and that’s what makes change so fantastic. Imagine the surprise when you realize you have lost ten pounds or your cholesterol numbers have drop significantly! Envision that day, that moment, now, go make the change. Do it for your heart. Do it for you.

Stay Plant-Strong!