Sensational Salads

Add fruits, veggies to meals for plant-forward nutrition

Adding more fruits and vegetables is one of the simplest ways to make at-home meals healthier for your family.

Focusing your plate on more of the good stuff – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins and fish – can help you cut back on the not-so-good stuff, including refined carbohydrates, added sugars, processed meats, sodium and saturated and trans fats, according to the American Heart Association.

While some may think meat makes the meal and it can be part of an overall healthy eating pattern, a survey from Aramark, the largest U.S. based food service company, found many people want to ease up on meat consumption, and 2 out of 3 want to eat more fruits and vegetables. The company made sweeping changes to incorporate more plants into its menus, resulting in meals with fewer calories, less saturated fat and reduced sodium.

Punching up the plants on your plate can lead to better nutrition in your house, too. Try putting vegetables and fruits center-stage with these heart-healthy salads.

To help encourage healthier communities, the American Heart Association and Aramark have made it simple for you to learn better nutrition and lifestyle habits and to share that information. For more recipes, tips and resources, visit

Make the Most of Seasonal Fruits and Veggies

For many people, warmer weather means more time outdoors and food cooked on the grill. To help make your meals more nutritious, consider these ideas to choose, store and enjoy warm-weather fruits and veggies:


Straight from the cob, sweet corn is packed with fiber and antioxidants and can be grilled, boiled or even microwaved. Try tossing it with a small amount of light mayonnaise, lime juice, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for a simple version of Mexican Street Corn.


Prep is a breeze with cucumbers, which can be eaten raw with or without the peel. For a no-fuss salad, toss together cucumbers, onion and fresh dill then add a dash of sugar, salt and pepper plus a splash of cider vinegar.


Full of nutrients, including vitamins A and C and the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are a popular option for seasonal dishes. Store them stem-up on the counter, rather than in the fridge, to prevent bruising and enhance the flavor.

For more ways to introduce fruits and veggies to fresh, seasonal meals, visit Aramark’s wellness blog at

Tangy Kale Slaw with Cilantro and Honey

Recipe courtesy of Aramark

Servings: 6

  • 2          tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
  • 1          teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2          cups kale leaves, washed, shredded and stems removed
  • 1/2       cup red cabbage leaves, washed and shredded
  • 1/2       cup carrot, trimmed and shredded
  • 1/4       cup green onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  1. In bowl, combine vinegar, mayonnaise, honey, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Whisk until well blended.
  2. Add kale, red cabbage, carrot and onion. Toss to coat.
  3. Cover and keep chilled prior to serving.

Nutritional information per serving: 40 calories; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

Black-Eyed Pea, Corn and Rice Salad

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association

Servings: 6

  • 2          cans (15 1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added or low-sodium black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1          can (15 1/4 ounces) low-sodium or no-salt-added whole-kernel corn
  • 1          package (8 1/2 ounces) brown rice, microwaved according to package directions and broken into small pieces
  • 2          medium ribs celery, chopped
  • 1          medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon water
  • 1/8       teaspoon black pepper
  1. In large bowl, stir peas, corn, rice, celery, pepper, parsley, olive oil, water and black pepper until combined.

Nutritional information per serving: 231 calories; 10 g protein; 7 g fiber.

Simple Persian Salad

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association

Servings: 4

  • 2          medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
  • 4          medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1          medium red onion, diced
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh mint or parsley
  • 2          tablespoons fat-free feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2          medium limes, juice only
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  1. In bowl, stir cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, mint and feta. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes.
  2. In small bowl, whisk lime juice, oil and pepper until well blended.
  3. Pour dressing over salad, tossing gently to coat.

Nutritional information per serving: 88 calories; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber. (Family Features)

American Heart Association/Aramark

5 Blood Clot Risk Factors

Blood clots can affect anyone and may lead to significant health problems, but some people are at higher risk for life-threatening blood clots.

One in four people worldwide die of conditions caused by blood clots, also known by the medical term “thrombosis.” In fact, thrombosis is the third leading vascular diagnosis after heart attack and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.

There are two types of life-threatening blood clots, also called venous thromboembolism (VTE). Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a clot in a deep vein in the leg, arm or other large veins. A pulmonary embolism, or PE, occurs when a clot breaks free and travels to the lungs, blocking some or all of the blood supply.

Although VTE can be fatal, many, if not most, cases are preventable. Talk with a health care provider to understand your risk and use this information from the American Heart Association to understand the circumstances that may lead to higher risk:

Extended travel: Traveling longer than 8 hours, whether by plane, car, bus or train, can increase risks for life-threatening blood clots. Being seated for long periods can slow blood flow, and high altitudes can activate the body’s blood-clotting system. Consider wearing compression socks or finding time to stretch or walk around when traveling to aid in proper blood flow.

Estrogen-based birth control: Estrogen-based contraceptives can increase the risks for a life-threatening blood clot. Risks are present whether the estrogen is delivered into the blood stream with pills, a patch, an injection or a vaginal ring contraceptive. The risk is highest when first starting these prescriptions as the hormonal changes can cause blood cells to bind together more readily. Taking estrogen contraceptives can increase risks if you have factors such as inherited blood-clotting disorders, a family history of blood clots, surgery, obesity or plans for prolonged travel.

Recent hospital stays: Roughly 50 percent of life-threatening blood clots happen within three months of a hospitalization, surgery or traumatic injury, though only one in four adults knows that hospitalization is a risk factor for VTE. Hospital patients at the greatest risk are those with limited ability to move, people with previous history of blood clots, patients age 60 and older, people who have abnormal blood-clotting conditions and patients who have spent time in an intensive care or coronary care unit.

Pregnancy and childbirth: Pregnant women are at four times greater risk of a life-threatening blood clot than non-pregnant women. The risk increases after delivery. Blood clots cause approximately 10 percent of all maternal deaths in the United States, with pulmonary embolism being the leading cause. The blood-clotting system is activated during pregnancy to protect the woman from fatal bleeding during labor and delivery. In addition, the growing baby presses on the veins of the pelvis, slowing blood flow. Other risk factors for a blood clot during pregnancy and childbirth include inherited blood-clotting disorders, a history of blood clots, older age at the time of pregnancy, obesity, cesarean delivery and major bleeding after delivery.

Cancer diagnosis: Cancer patients typically spend significant time in the hospital which often means they are lying still for long periods and are more likely to have surgery or receive chemotherapy, which also increases risks. Cancers in bones, ovaries, the brain or pancreas and lymph nodes are associated with the highest incidence of a life-threatening blood clot.

If you have concerns about your risk for blood clots, especially if you have multiple risk factors, consult with your health care provider about how to lower the risk. Learn more at (Family Features)


American Heart Association

Join us! May 7, 2016 | 19th Annual Heart Ball of Austin

We hope you are ready to dance the night away with us at the 2016 Heart Ball of Austin, benefiting the American Heart Association. Please find the event details below and a sneak peek into a fabulous evening. Click here to purchase your table or tickets and please forward this information to your guests. Thank you and see you on May 7th!

 Heart Ball Details
2016 Honorary Chairman: Bill Powers
Location: JW Marriott Austin 110 E. 2nd Street Austin TX 78701
Attire: Black Tie
Entertainment: Lonestar

Room Reservations at JW Marriott
The American Heart Association has a block of rooms reserved at the JW Marriott for the evening of the Heart Ball on May 7, 2016. The room block expires on April 22nd and you can reserve your room online by clicking here.

For information regarding sponsorship and tickets please visit or contact Lauren Holcomb at or (512) 338-2403.

Heartfelt thanks to you and all sponsors, donors and volunteer leaders for their generosity. We look forward to seeing you Saturday, May 7th!


Basketball League Helps African-American Men Control Blood Pressure

Published with Permission from the AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

0904-Feature-Hoops for health_Blog

Russell Carter just wanted to shoot hoops with friends when he joined a men’s basketball league in the Austin, Texas, area. But soon he had a different goal.

“In the typical African-American community, the basketball court, barbershops and neighborhood lounges are places men convene for fellowship and camaraderie,” said Carter, 47.

More than 100 African-American men participate in the league, which is based on an American Heart Association program called Check. Change. Control. that helps people manage blood pressure. Players had their blood pressure checked in July at the start of the season.

“I considered the health checks just a nice bonus,” said Carter, who was told his blood pressure was elevated.

Carter followed up with his doctor, who said his blood pressure was in a healthy range but that he should keep a closer eye on it. Now he’s checking his blood pressure more often.

High blood pressure affects more than 40 percent of African-Americans, according to the AHA. It also develops earlier in life for African-Americans than for whites, and is usually more severe.

Check. Change. Control. incorporates Heart360, a tool for tracking blood pressure, physical activity, cholesterol, blood sugar, weight and medications. The program is in seven churches in the Austin area thanks to Darrell Barnett, who started the basketball league this summer and recruits men from the congregations.

“The church is the mainstay for the African-American community,” said Barnett, a public health educator for the state’s health and human services department, which runs the blood pressure program. “We don’t have anything else that’s nearly as influential for us.”

A prevention team focused on African-American quality of life, which includes a registered nurse and community health worker, performs blood pressure screenings and glucose checks for the players at the season’s start and again six weeks later. Players also get educational materials on high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

Barnett has had to turn away men with high blood pressure, but encourages them to address it. They can’t come back until they see a doctor.

“I consider myself a mentor to younger relatives and disadvantaged youth in my community,” Barnett said. “It’s important to contribute to health awareness by talking about experiences in education, nutrition and exercise. I’ve had so many guys who hadn’t had their blood pressure checked in a year and aren’t going to the doctor. You should check it two or three times a month.”

Darrell Barnett, wearing No. 22, with members of the Austin-area basketball league.

Darrell Barnett, wearing No. 22, with members of the Austin-area basketball league.

Barnett, who plans to start a women’s volleyball league, said the basketball league is working.

“They want a better quality of life. These guys want to change the culture,” he said, adding that many people are so busy and exhausted with work that the drive-through — with high-fat, high-sodium options — often becomes the answer for dinner.

Carl Britton started eating better when he joined the league and found out his blood pressure was high. He also started getting more sleep and managing his stress.

“As African-American men, we are at a higher risk,” said Britton, 42, an analyst for the City of Austin EMS division and a licensed barber. “Just because you feel good doesn’t mean that you don’t have any health problems.”

Photo courtesy of Darrell Barnett


Celebrating from the Heart ~ The Heart Ball Raises Record-Breaking $840,000

Picture - InSociety - Heart Ball - Heart Ball Table Decor 1

Ann Jerome & Gayle Stallings

Ann Jerome & Gayle Stallings

“The Hunt Against Heart Disease” was the theme of the 18th Annual Heart Ball of Austin on May 9 at the JW Marriott. Presented by St. David’s HealthCare, this event is the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual black tie gala and fundraiser. Guests participated in an exciting silent and live auction and were entertained by the music of country music star Lee Ann Womack.

Dr. David Kessler & Survivor, Abby Moss

Dr. David Kessler & Survivor, Abby Moss

Marcie Wilson & Michelle Covarubbias

Marcie Wilson & Michelle Covarubbias

David Shimp & Kendall

David Shimp & Kendall

Led by Event Chair Russell Rehmann, President of Dynamic Systems, Inc., the Heart Ball raised a record-breaking amount of $840,000 to help the AHA fight cardiovascular disease and stroke. Shannon Wolfson of KXAN News emceed the event that had 82 guests learn the life-saving skill of CPR.

Russell Rehmann, Lee Ann Womack & Tamera Rehmann

Russell Rehmann, Lee Ann Womack & Tamera Rehmann

Denise Bradley, Dr. Stanley Wang, Abbi Miller

Denise Bradley, Dr. Stanley Wang, Abbi Miller

A true celebration of the progress that the AHA and its volunteers have made through education, awareness and research, the Heart Ball of Austin was a night of festivity with a profound purpose that will create a lasting impact on the Austin community.

Heart Ball of Austin Raises Funds to Fight Heart Disease and Stroke

When an Austin freshman at The University of Texas (UT) was diagnosed with the same genetic heart disorder that took her sister’s life just month’s earlier, she learned she was no longer able to run for her university’s track team. Abby Moss is relieved that doctors detected her condition and that it was treated before anything happened to her. She can now live a long life – one that her sister should have had as well.

With her condition clearly genetic, Abby’s physician urged her parents and brother to also get tested. As a result, Abby’s mother Janet was diagnosed with Long QT syndrome, with both mother and daughter going into surgery to have pacemakers and defibrillators implanted. Less than a year since the procedure, there is no doubt that their lives have been saved by the educational and surgical advances made possible by American Heart Association-funded research.

The Moss’ will tell their story at the 18th Annual Heart Ball of Austin, taking place on Saturday, May 9, at the JW Marriot, 110 E. 2nd Street.

The Heart Ball brings together Austin’s most influential leaders from the corporate, philanthropic and medical communities to raise funds and celebrate the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association.  The 2015 black-tie gala will include dinner, an exciting silent and live auction, and live entertainment by Lee Ann Womack, presented by St. David’s HealthCare.

The funds generated at the Heart Ball support American Heart Association-funded cardiovascular disease research and educational programs to improve the lives of women, children and families in our community.

“I am honored and thrilled to serve as the 18th Annual Austin Heart Ball Chairman,” said Russell Rehmann, president, Dynamic Systems, Inc. “Our community’s support for the Heart Ball helps fund lifesaving research, prevention and education programs, all of which are critical to saving lives from heart disease and stroke.”

For more information about Heart Ball of Austin, call 512-338-2400 or visit The 2015 Heart Ball is presented by St. David’s HealthCare, and sponsored by Dynamic Systems, Inc. Media sponsors include AW Media, KXAN, Spirit 105.9, Austin Business Journal, Univision Communications, InFluential Magazine and TODO Austin.

Join InFluential Magazine on the Hunt Against Heart Disease

Join us on the Hunt against Heart Disease.

The 18th Annual Heart Ball of Austin is one of the premier American Heart Association fundraising events both locally and across the nation.
Individual Tickets are $500, click here to purchase.
To view sponsorship opportunities: click here.

Our evening celebrates: our work and mission; our donors and volunteers; and — most importantly — the lives saved and improved because of everyone’s effort. 

Funds raised through the 18th Annual Heart Ball of Austin help build programs in AHA’s mission-inspired programs. By
supporting Heart Ball, you are helping our community.

 We hope that you will join us in making a difference at the American Heart Association!

Join us on the Hunt Against Heart Disease!

Lee Ann Womack

Lee Ann Womack

The American Heart Association (AHA) is committed to helping our community live stronger, healthier lives through education, research and public policies that effect where we live, learn and play. The Austin Heart Ball is an event that focuses on celebrating all of the local successes of the AHA while raising funds for research and initiatives preventing heart disease and stroke in Central Texas.

The 18th Annual Heart Ball will be held on May 9, 2015 and continues to raise critical funds for life-saving research and community education programs in the Austin-area. The 2015 event will include live and silent auctions, special guest speakers and live entertainment by Lee Ann Womack!

Austin Heart Ball
Saturday, May 9, 2015

JW Marriot Austin
110 East 2nd Street
Austin, TX 78701

The AHA’s mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. That single purpose drives all we do. The need for our work is beyond question. Visit to learn more about the American Heart Association.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact:

Anika Kleingartner