I’m back! I just spent the weekend in Orlando for the Disney Princess Half Marathon!
Isn’t this pink heart bling stunning?! The weather wasn’t ideal (it was unusually hot and humid) but that didn’t stop thousands of determined women from crossing the finish line and taking hundreds of steps toward heart health through running.
If you didn’t know already, February is heart health month and Walgreens is doing an amazing job at raising awareness with their program #HappyHealthy. This is a subject that is particularly personal for me because two years ago at the age of 24, I went through months of testing, ER visits, and Doctor visits. I was prescribed the beta blocker medication metoprolol to help manage my heart issues and it was hell. Besides the multitude of side effects that almost felt worse than the problem, I felt so alone because I didn’t know why this was happening. I had never heard that young Women could have cardiovascular problems.
No one really talks about how important it is for women to take care of their heart. And people don’t tell you that heart issues can occur at any age even though it’s happening more and more because the signs and symptoms aren’t discussed enough.
Did you know:
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in women killing more women than all the cancers combined?
Young women who have heart attacks are twice as likely to die than men are.
Symptoms of heart problems can be different for Women and are thus harder to detect when they are happening.
Scary isn’t it? I’m not trying to frighten anyone…or maybe I am? Whatever works to get the message out that taking care of your heart matters NOW, well I’ll do it. I came across this wonderful article a couple years ago by Self magazine called My Heart Broke that really drives the point home. Check it out for a sobering look at how heart disease can affect young women and even marathoners: http://www.self.com/health/2010/09/young-women-and-heart-disease
Before heading out to Orlando for the half marathon, I laced up my new Saucony Virrata shoes and switched to the Walgreens Pandora channel for an easy run.
I have to give them kudos for including such a playable list on their channel! I didn’t have to skip a song once during my 30 minute run because they were all enjoyable and diverse enough to keep things interesting. No annoyingly played out songs came on and I had the best time out there because I didn’t have to fumble with the player.
I went to my local Walgreens after my trip to pick up the ingredients for my latest favorite breakfast meal. When I visited Baltimore last year, my friend Lena took me to the Corner Bakery and it is there I discovered the concept of chilled Swiss Oatmeal. It is absolutely delicious and very refreshing to eat in this hot Florida weather we have year round. I became obsessed with their idea and quickly went to work on recreating my own version at home. It just so happens to be very heart healthy because it contains nuts, oats, greek yogurt, and peanut butter that has 7 essential vitamins.
Fun Fact: I’m a little forgetful
borderline spacey so I always try to head out with a shopping list when I buy groceries. The problem is, paper and pen get more than annoying when you’re trying to steer a cart, grab items, and hold your purse. I was so stinkin’ happy when I discovered that the Walgreens app has a shopping list feature I can use instead! It’s the little things people.
For my Chilled Swiss Oatmeal I set out to pick up some mix ins for a unique flavor.
I’ve been a fan of Planter’s Nut-rition line since I tried some of their flavors last year. So I knew I wanted to pick up a jar on this trip. To my surprise, they had the newest flavor Cherry Chocolate in stock! I haven’t spotted this anywhere else so I admittedly jumped a little when I saw it. People shopping must think I’m so strange sometimes. Next up, I headed over to the snacks aisle looking for some almonds or cashews I could add to the oatmeal for crunch. They had so many different nuts and seeds to choose from but the search was over when I spotted this heart healthy mix. Perfect! I definitely think variety is vital when eating healthy because no one will stick to anything if they are bored.
Chobani in black cherry was tossed in my basket next. Greek yogurt is super heart healthy because it contains no saturated fat or cholesterol. It also adds a wonderful creamy texture to oatmeal. I still needed the most important ingredient though- Oats! There were tons of flavors here too but I picked out the Quaker Cinnamon variety that has no added sugar! Score! I’d rather add my own sweet ingredients but still didn’t want something completely plain. I’m so glad they had an option like this available.
While I was looking around, I noticed that Walgreens carries about 5 different kinds of dried fruit. Why not I figured? Oatmeal is one of those incredibly versatile meals because you can mix in almost anything. I’m not the best at getting much needed fruit in my diet so I figured starting with these in the mornings could help.
Just as I was heading to check out, I stopped in my tracks when I noticed these round containers. Why you ask? Well, have I ever mentioned my crappy oatmeal commute? I always take my oatmeal to work but really really loathe the containers I have to use. They are way too large for my oatmeal portions and don’t always seal tightly so I’ve had a few messy accidents as a result.
I had to have these when I saw that they have a twist lock! Plus they are the absolute perfect size!! YAY!
Even though I didn’t have my Walgreens Balance Rewards card on me, I was able to pull it up on the app and have it scanned by the checkout lady. So easy a
caveman forgetful runner like me can do it!
Proof that rewards add up, I walked out with a $5 coupon off my next $20 purchase for reaching just 5000 points. I love this store!
I drove home and immediately began making this yummy chilled oatmeal in no time at all.
The best part about this recipe is that you can add water, toss it in the freezer, and go handle other things while it’s chilling. It’s the perfect go to breakfast or snack for busy women who still want to eat healthy!
- 1.4 cup of water
- ½ cup Quaker Instant Oatmeal- Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. Planters Nut-rition Cherry Chocolate Peanut Butter
- 1 tbsp. Chobani Cherry Greek Yogurt
- 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar (optional)
- 1 tbsp. Planters Heart Healthy Nut Mix
- Dried fruit of your choice
- Add the water to the oatmeal and place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Take it out when chilled and add remaining ingredients. Easy!
For more ways to stay Heart Healthy, check out the Walgreens Walking rewards program that lets you earn points and regularly does $100 giveaways. It’s a total win win for both your heart and your wallet!
So tell me, what are ways you try to keep your heart healthy??I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community.This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Walgreens #Cbias #SocialFabric . All opinions are my own. 0 Click to Like this Post!