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How to Follow a Heart-Healthy Diet and Meal Plan, for Real Life

In honor of Heart Health month, we sat down with Woodside Trainer, former professional chef, and nutritional guru, Lee Clark. Lee is passionate about cooking fun, delicious meals that aid in achieving overall health and wellness goals, while complimenting fitness programming. In this article, he shares his advice for stocking your kitchen with heart-healthy foods, walks us through a heart-healthy meal plan and shares his recipes!

Lee Clark, Woodside Ortho-Kinetics Trainer

“My goal in creating these recipes was to use as many heart-healthy ingredients as possible. You literally can’t have too many healthy ingredients in a dish, and 90% of them provide other astounding health benefits. I think it makes sense to have them on hand at all times.

My personal philosophy around cooking is to use healthy, fresh ingredients that can be found at your local supermarket, paired and prepared in a way that looks and tastes great. To start, check out this heart-healthy shopping list of items to have on hand for heart healthy cooking… and why!

I always aim for ease and sustainability. If you over-complicate ingredients or recipes, it makes it really easy to slip or get off track entirely. Try these recipes at home this month, and let me know what you think!

Chocolate Cherry Almond Oatmeal
Single serving

1.5 cup almond milk
1 cup oats
1/2 tsp. Cacao Powder
2 Tbsp. Chopped dried fruit (I chose cherries)
1 Tbsp. Slivered nuts (I chose almonds)
1 tsp. Chia Seed
1 tsp. Flax seed
Optional cinnamon sprinkle

– Mix ingredients in a saucepan.
– Stir occasionally over low heat.
– Cook to desired consistency.
Approximately 5-8 minutes.

Kansas Salad
(Single Serving)

1 cup spinach

1 cup kale, chopped
1/8 cup carrot, grated
1 tsp. sunflower seed
1 pinch, onion, thin sliced
1/4 cup red cabbage, thin sliced
1/4 granny smith apple, thin sliced
1 Tbsp. pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. olive oil
to taste, salt to taste, cracked black pepper

– Mix all ingredients and serve – easy enough!

Salmon and Brocolli
(Single serving)

(1)5oz. Salmon filet
1 cup broccoli, cut into small florets
1/3 can garbanzo beans, strained
1/4 medium onion, thin sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Capers
1 Tbsp Dill, rough chop
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp. Cumin
3 tsp. olive oil.
to taste, Salt to taste, Cracked Black Pepper

You will need two sauté pans – one for the Salmon and one for everything else.

– In one pan heat 1tsp. olive oil and add onion and garlic. Cook two minutes.
– Add garbanzo beans, Broccoli florets, cumin, salt, and pepper and 1tsp. olive oil.
– Stir occasionally and cook until both the broccoli and beans begin to brown.
– Deglaze pan with lemon juice and set aside.

– In your second pan heat 1 tsp. olive oil and bring to high heat.
– Season salmon on both sides with salt and pepper and add it to the hot oil.
– Cook on both sides until cooked MOST the way through.
– Add capers to the hot pan and finish cooking salmon all the way through.
– Deglaze with juice of 1/2 lemon. Add dill and stir.
– Serve on top of the broccoli and garbonzo beans.
– Sprinkle generously with fresh dill.

To learn more about planning and following a heart-healthy diet, as well as how to perfectly pair heart-healthy nutrition with exercise, join me in a free Food for Thought event at Woodside on Tuesday, February 20th. I’ll be joined by family physician and owner of Health Studio KC, Dr. Damon Heybrock, as we share advice and education on all things heart health, and will even offer samples of a heart-healthy dish and beverage from the Woodside Kitchen. To register for this free event, visit, and I look forward to seeing you on the 20th.”

– Lee Clark, Woodside Ortho-Kinetics® Personal Trainer

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