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To get the most benefit, Williams chooses bars whose labels show they contain at least 70 percent cocoa. Some research on the cardiovascular benefits of dark chocolate puts that limit at 50 grams a day, or just under 2 ounces. Remember that chocolate has calories in it. Health Home Wellness and Prevention. Here are the ABCs of this heart-healthy eating plan: A.

A. Avoid unhealthy fats, and choose healthy fats.

Avoid unhealthy fats, and choose healthy fats. Buy beans, fish and other lean proteins. Choose carbs carefully. Drink with deliberation. Three common culprits: Alcohol. The recommended amount of alcohol is one drink per day for a woman, or two drinks for a man. Soda pop. A typical ounce can of soda has calories and roughly 9 teaspoons of sugar.

The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans which will be released in March call for no more than 12 teaspoons of sugar per day from any source.

Eating The Alphabet

Juice and other sugary drinks. Along with soda, fruit juice and other sugary drinks account for much of the excess sugar Americans consume. Eat a wide-variety of foods—especially from plants. A heart-smart diet tends to be a varied one. These standout foods are often under-consumed: Dark-green leafy vegetables.

Walnuts have more omega-3 fatty acids—which reduce bad cholesterol levels—than other nuts. Edamame, a soy dish, is a good substitute for animal protein that also reduces total cholesterol levels. Half a cup of shelled edamame provides 8 grams of protein. B is for binge.

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Reasons not to binge: It makes me feel gross. I hate myself when I binge. It makes me gain weight. Hurts my fitness.

Initial Thoughts

Throat hurts. It makes me sad. It makes me feel alienated from others. B is also for bath. The warm water will curb your appetite and make you sleepy. You can nap until dinner. B is also for bradycardia. Bradycardia is when the heart beats slower in order to conserve energy. A side effect is hypotension where the heart muscle shrinks due to starvation. In cases of severe bradycardia less than 40 beats per minute , the patient is at serious risk for heart attack.

B is also for beats. October 12, F is for fight. It was Thanksgiving my freshman year of college when Mom and Dad told us that the Wyoming ranch sold. I had been fasting all day, trying not to ruin my appetite before the big dinner. Just as I was about to break the Thanksgiving tradition and get a snack, Mom and Dad called us into the family room for a talk.

Dad was quiet, and Mom was crying. I thought they were about to tell us they were getting a divorce. And that we will never go back to Wyoming again. We were silent.

I think my siblings were looking for me to show them what to do. How could you let this happen? We talked in circles, and when there was nothing left to say, we all went to our own rooms. I sat on my bed crying, and soon, it was dinnertime—Thanksgiving dinner time. I felt the pain of the ranch, and I felt out of control. There was no way to save Wyoming and no way to help my family.

I often look back at this moment. And every time I do, I wish I could remember what it was like to live and eat and think and act the way I used to… before making that decision. F is also for Frozen.

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I lie sideways on the hospital cot with my gown open in the front. It takes about an hour, so get comfortable, but try not to fall asleep. I had wanted to see Frozen … maybe with my siblings or little cousins. F is also for far. I track my weight on my phone. Sometimes I even add notes.

March 23, : pounds- great job! Still not enough though. Goal for summer is pounds. G is for my sister, Gretta.

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She asks me what my first year of college was like, but I change the subject because I know what I need to say. Gretta cries, and I cry too. She walks back into the house for a tissue. I chug both of our smoothies. H is for hike. She stays with me and makes everyone go ahead.

Do you need to go to the hospital? We sit for a while, and finally, we walk very slowly down the mountain. The car is a few miles down the road, and I need to conserve calories, so Mom walks to get it and I wait in the diner.

H is also for hungry. I used to aspire never to feel hunger again, but now it scares me. I feel empty. H is also for help. I think I was just stressed this weekend. I change the subject, we talk a little more and then hang up. My voice shakes when I tell them. Will they be surprised?