Healthy heart with a healthy diet

30 Jul

Every day I eat healthy and exercise. It makes me feel more energetic and happy! I follow the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the best heart-healthy diets. It emphasizes whole fresh fruits, plenty of vegetables, healthy oils, and nuts. Recent studies found that middle age women who followed the Mediterranean Diet for 15 years t were more likely to age without having major chronic diseases, memory changes, physical impairments, and mental health issues.

This healthy heart recipe is from the Mayo Clinic web site . It is high in fiber and protein. If you like garbanzos and spinach, you will enjoy it!

Pasta with spinach, garbanzos and raisins

Serves 6


  • 8 ounces farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 can (19 ounces) garbanzos, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • Cracked black peppercorns, to taste


Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender), 10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Add the garbanzos and chicken broth. Stir until warmed through. Add the raisins and spinach. Heat just until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. Don’t overcook.

Divide the pasta among the plates. Top each serving with 1/6 of the sauce, 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese and peppercorns to taste. Serve immediately.

This is an easy way to remember how to follow the Mediterranean diet:

Food Groups Recommended Servings per day
Whole Grains 4-6 (one serving = 1 slice of bread, ½ cup of cook rice, pasta; 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal)
Non-Starchy Vegetables 4-8 (one serving = ½ cup cooked vegetables or 1 cup raw vegetables)
Fruit 2-4 (one serving = 1 cup of raw or cooked fruit; ½ cup dried fruit)
Legumes and Nuts 1-3 (one serving = 1 ounce)
Low-fat dairy (choose fat-free or low-fat yogurt, milk, ice cream, frozen yogurt, cheeses and desserts) 1-3 (one serving = 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of yogurt, 2 ounces processed cheese (American), ½ cup ricotta cheese

2 cups cottage cheese, 1 cup frozen yogurt, 1 cup calcium-fortified soymilk, 1 cup pudding made with milk

Fish or Shellfish 2-3 per week (one serving = 3.5 oz. cooked, or about ¾ cup of flaked fish). Enjoy fish baked or grilled, not fried
Poultry, if desired 1-3 per week (1 serving = 3 ounces = 1/2 of a chicken breast or a chicken leg with thigh (without skin)
Healthy Fat – Olive, Canola, Avocado 4-6 (2 Tbsp or 1 oz of avocado; 1 tsp of canola or olive oil)
Alcohol 1 serving or less for women and 2 servings or less for men (one serving of alcohol equals 5 oz. of wine, 12 oz. of beer and 1 ½ oz. of distilled liquor)

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