Happy Hump Day! For a sweet mid-week tip, I wanted to let you all know about a giveaway contest that another blogger, Elena, from Healthy and Sane, is running right now. On one of her latest posts is an awesome sounding “oikos over banana chia pudding with raw cocoa nibs and dried cherries” breakfast recipe that I am dying to try out. And she’s offering a package filled with sweet treats like a coupon for a free Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate Bar, 2 coupons for Chocolate and Caramel Oikos multipacks, and a bunch of other yummy chocolate-related samples. Check out her post and leave a comment if you want a chance to win!

And now, on a completely different note…Since my new life as a Health Communications graduate student has been taking over most of my spare time, and the things I’m reading about pertain directly to health, I figured I might share some of the new information I’ve been learning, with the hopes that it will benefit you readers, as well!

Among my many reading assignments, are chapters from the Merck Medical Manual for my Intro to Clinical Medicine class at Tufts. This week, I read a lot about the biology of the human heart. I have truly been blown away by how amazing our bodies are, and fascinated with getting a deeper understanding of how things like our hearts actually work. I also read a good deal about heart and blood vessel disorders. I love that I actually know now what it means to have a triple bypass surgery (It involves taking a vein or artery from somewhere else on your body, and attaching it from the aorta to the coronary artery, so that blood can bypass clogged arteries.) There’s also a procedure called Percutaneous Coronary Intervention that involves working a tiny balloon-tipped catheter into the narrowed coronary artery, and expanding the balloon so that it can puff open the blockage. I am amazed and humbled by all of these things that modern medicine allows doctors to do in order to “fix” problems in our bodies.

But here’s catch – I don’t know about you, but I never ever want to have to get to the state where someone needs to inflate a balloon in my vein in order to allow my heart to pump and function as it should. Surgery is complicated and scary (to me) and a lot of time, it’s used to remedy conditions that came about because of people’s lifestyle choices. They are, of course, the “usual suspects” that include: obesity, smoking, eating a high fat diet, and inactivity. If you’re new to working out at Healthworks, or if you’ve been working on a healthy lifestyle already, please take this “to heart” and know that you are doing incredible things for yourself and helping to avoid all kinds of health issues down the line!

 – Jean