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  • Writer's pictureJulia

radiant power bowl

February is Heart Month. <3

In Canada, heart disease and stroke are the second and third leading causes of death. This is a good month to pay extra attention to your heart health and make some positive lifestyle changes where you can, as our lifestyle affects our heart health. The Heart and Stroke Foundation reports that almost 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be preventable by adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours. That's incredible.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, diabetes and obesity are just some of the risk factors associated with heart disease and stroke. Many of these risk factors are within our own control. These are called “modifiable” risk factors and include our diet, managing our weight, being more active, not smoking, and managing our stress levels.

Did you know? The carbon monoxide released from cigarettes causes damage to the walls of our arteries. This causes plaque (a build up of fat, cholesterol, and other materials) to accumulate on these walls. This can end up blocking our arteries to prevent blood flow to the heart, can cause the formation of blood clots , and can lead to heart disease, heart failure, heart attack and stroke. Amazingly, the benefits of quitting smoking are almost instant and occur within 20 minutes of your last puff of your last cigarette. Within 1 year of quitting, your risk of a heart attack is slashed by HALF. It's never too late to quit smoking (info from the Ottawa Heart Institute, 2019).

Among several lifestyle changes, the Heart Institute recommends eating a variety of vegetables and fruits at every meal, and incorporating whole grains and legumes more often into your diet. Remember, no one food is a be-all end-all for health. Adopting a balanced healthy lifestyle overall that includes good nutrition is key.

*The Ottawa Heart Institute has some great resources for nutrition and lifestyle on their website if you want to learn more about improving your heart health.

Did you know? Ontario is among the provinces with the lowest intake of fruits and vegetables... so today I’m sharing a heart-healthy recipe that’s packed with vegetables, fiber and whole grains.

This heart-healthy radiant power bowl is filled to the brim with roasted veggies, chickpeas, quinoa and fresh greens and is tossed in a creamy tahini-citrus dressing. Tahini is a sesame seed paste, and sesame seeds are heart-healthy, rich in calcium, and a delicious addition to dressings, drizzles and sauces.

To make the powerbowls, follow the recipe below. This makes enough for about 3 servings.

you’ll need:

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 head romaine lettuce, or a few handfuls of fresh greens of choice

for the tray bake:

1.5 cups chopped carrots (about 2 large carrots)

1.5 cups chopped broccoli

½ cup sliced red onion

1 cup chickpeas

for the tahini-citrus dressing:

3 tbsp tahini

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp water



1. cook the quinoa according to package directions.

2. line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. add the carrots, broccoli, red onion and chickpeas to the baking sheet.

4. drizzle with oil, add in ¼ tsp salt, generous cracked pepper, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp dried oregano, 1 tbsp dried basil, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar.

5. toss to coat everything evenly, spread out on the pan.

6. bake at 350F for 30 mins, tossing halfway.

7. make your tahini-citrus dressing by whisking all dressing ingredients together.

8. assemble your bowl: add in quinoa as the base, top with the roasted veggies, fresh greens and the dressing. Enjoy!

Keep following along @aspoonfulofscience on IG for more tips, recipes and lifestyle inspo!

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