Not only do I never miss an episode of Deadliest Catch, I also spend much of my social media time following all the captains, crews and fans. In February one of my favorites Captains Keith Colburn, sent out some info on seafoodnutrition.org and a Healthy Heart Pledge. I had no idea he was an ambassador for seafoodnutrition.org that also just happens to be a partner with a national campaign that I myself work on, The Heart Truth.
Since I was already on board to make healthy changes I clicked on the link and read about the Healthy Heart Pledge. The pledge was to eat seafood two times per week to increase Omega-3 intake, which is heart healthy. Having a mother die at the age of 67 from congestive heart failure and I myself being diagnosed with a rare condition called intracranial hypertension and general high blood pressure I knew I was already putting myself at risk for heart disease in the future. I already loved seafood and had just started to learn to cook from scratch. Growing up with an avid fisherman it was a normal part of my life and it wasn’t something I was afraid to cook. Taking into consideration all the factors above, I went for it and took the pledge.
Some of the other things I did to help myself with the pledge were re-tweeting recipes and info from seafoodnutrition.org and even sharing the info onto my social media accounts at work for National Nutrition Month. I also tweeted some of my progress. People followed along and we even sent photos of the seafood we serve in our own cafeteria. I was shocked to find out we actually serve seafood 2-4 times a week! You can find anything from canjun shrimp to cedar salmon and mahi mahi being prepared on a regular basis. That made my pledge even easier. All I had to do was stalk the menus each week and pick which days they served seafood. Though I did not add Omega-3 supplements to my diet at the time I am now considering it due to the benefits I have experienced.
The most exciting news I got was 10 weeks into my Healthy Foundations program and Healthy Heart pledge when I decided to have my cholesterol checked to see if adding seafood to my healthy nutrition made a difference. I had always had a total cholesterol of 200, or more, and this was as recent as October 2015. When the number came up on the machine and said 169 for my total cholesterol I got really excited and yelled “YES!” I sort of scared the students who were performing the tests but when I told them why I was so happy they all started saying congratulations. I couldn’t wait to share the news of a concrete number, other than pounds on a scale, to show that nutrition that includes seafood really can make a difference.
I plan on continuing to eat seafood twice per week and along with continuing to watch my favorite show with Captain Keith. I have made a commitment to myself and others as a nurse to lead by example and to help encourage others to make better choices for their health. I am a very busy working wife and mother dedicated to my career, so if I can do it, anyone can.
The authors of this blog include the general public sharing the health impacts they have achieved through the Healthy Heart Pledge. We invite you to share your story!