Heart-Healthy Expo

You are invited to our fabulous Heart-Healthy Expo on Tuesday, February 21st from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Lolë (24 Hubert Street)!

Please join us for some red wine, dark chocolate, and other heart-healthy treats, as well as a cardio fitness demo by Rogue Female Fitness. You will also get a chance to shop Lolë’s collection (20% of your purchase will benefit HH!). See the flier for all details, and register here: http://www.roguefemalefitness.com/programs/giving-back.

Thanks to Rogue Female Fitness and Lolë for partnering with us for this exciting event.

We hope to see you there! ♥

Press

Eventful
Upcoming – Yahoo
NYC.com
Guest of a Guest
Yelp
Newyork.cities2night.com
NY Daily News
Zvents

Photo credit: Sunny Norton

http://www.flickr.com/photos/63317659@N03/sets/72157629112056640/show/

 

 

Valentine’s Day Charity Networking Event

 

If you are still looking for something to do on Valentine’s Day, embrace American Heart Month with Harboring Hearts and Charity Connector. The two organizations invite you to join them for a Charity Networking Party at The Ainsworth, (122 West 26th St) on February 14th. From 7-9 pm, experience a fun night of drinks and the sounds of a top NYC DJ, all for a good cause! A suggested $10 donation, sold online (http://harboringhearts.eventbrite.com/) or at the door, will entitle guests to $3 selected beer, $5 cocktails and $7 champagne. 100% of the ticket sales will benefit Harboring Hearts (http://www.harboringhearts.org)

Press:

Meatless Monday – Round 2

If you read my first post about Meatless Monday, the general theme of the day was HUNGER.  I couldn’t seem to eat enough to keep me going until the next meal.

After I posted my first Meatless Monday blog, I received amazing advice from Meatless Monday participants and my vegetarian friends.  This time around, I was better educated and better equipped to take on a meatless day!

Looking back on this past week, I had some interesting conversations with my friends regarding food choices for our health and for the environment.  One particular conversation about meat – well, fish to be exact – stood out to me.

I love fish from sushi grade tuna to baked salmon.  There have been numerous studies about the heart health benefits of eating fish such as reduced calories and omega-3s.  However, it has been difficult for me to find fish at grocery stores that have been raised in a sustainable environment. I can find other meat products that are raised using sustainable farming methods, so why not fish?

I discussed this conundrum with one of my friends and she later sent me a link to the Monterey Bay Aquarium – Seafood Watch site.  This site provided me with in-depth information to answer my question and educated me for my next shopping trip to the grocery store. I learned that many of the world’s fisheries are in a decline and face issues such as over fishing and habitat damage. Even the use of fish farms can have negative impacts on the environment.

Now, I’m not saying I will eliminate fish out of my diet.  I will still continue to eat fish and take advantage of the omega-3s to benefit my heart.  However, to ensure the longevity of the ocean’s ecosystem while enjoying my meal, I will learn about what fish to eat so I can simultaneously improve my health and the environment’s health!  Please check out the website and let me know your thoughts.

Also, many of you emailed, tweeted and Facebook messaged me about participating in Meatless Monday.  Tell me about your experiences, send me recipes (I like to cook and bake) and/or share restaurant suggestions.

If you live in NYC and want to eat out for Meatless Monday, Michelle Javian (Co-Founder of Harboring Hearts) ordered from Sacred Chow last night.  They serve delicious vegan foods!

This is what I ate yesterday (January 30th, 2012):

Breakfast:

  • Rice cakes with almond butter
  • Greek yogurt with honey, oats and blueberries

Lunch:

  • Sautéed asparagus and brussel sprouts
  • Mashed cauliflower (This is my favorite alternative to mashed potatoes.)
  • Tomato and lentil soup with rice
  • Blue Print Green Juice

Snack:

  • Rice crackers wrapped in Japanese nori
  • Baby carrots with hummus

Dinner:

  • Shashuka with gluten-free bread

Meet Adam Foldes

We want to take this opportunity to showcase key people who have been essential in the development of Harboring Hearts. Without the help of our amazing board members, volunteers and interns, we would not be where we are today.

Adam Foldes is a long-time friend of Michelle Javian and when he began volunteering for Harboring Hearts you could tell that he was there not only to support his friend, but also because he was passionate and driven by our mission.

Adam has volunteered for us in numerous capacities and he played a significant role in our Winter Cocktail event at the Rubin Museum of Art last February 2011.  He helped us devise the overall concept of the event, headed sub-committee groups and even contributed his writing skills to draft sponsorship letters.

Thank you Adam for your support and for dedicating your time to Harboring Hearts!  Read below to learn more about Adam.

—————————————————————————————————–

Name: Adam Foldes

Current Occupation: Creator/Author of Ava’s Adventures in the World (www.avasadventures.com)

How and why did you get involved with Harboring Hearts?: Michelle Javian and I have been friends since our first years at Georgetown University. Though following very different paths, we always remained close before, during, and after Harboring Hearts came into being–and shared the hurdles and blessings that filled those years mentioned. I admired her willpower, vision, and dedication to the cause and families Harboring Hearts helped, and when I finally moved back to New York City in October 2010, it seemed a natural place to lend a hand in the capacities that I could. From there, it was easy to see that the people with whom Michelle had collaborated–Yuki Kotani, interns and general Harboring Hearts’ supporters–were an inspiring and motivating group of people to know and work with.

How do you balance your career and giving back so successfully?:  Balance? The difficult part of answering this question, is that sometimes I do not feel I achieve the balance that Harboring Hearts needs and deserves this year and always. I am always wishing I had 65 hour days; more time, and more time to offer. For the past several months, I have been developing Ava’s Adventures while concurrently working for another company as well–long days. At points, though, one must check back in and assess what is most important. Harboring Hearts is definitely a cause to which I will always be committed, despite how the tides of life may demand that I am further from that shoreline than I’d like to be. Even if it is just an hour a week, or 25 hours, it helps to be there–in a lot of ways. It is hard to believe that sometimes, and difficult to feel like you are really doing ‘enough’…but when Harboring Hearts, or other such organizations someone cares about, say they need help–they mean it. If 1,000 people gave 1 hour of help a week, it means the world to charities. Unfortunately, many of those 1,000 people (including me, at times) don’t know how true that is and allow feelings of guilt or inadequacy (of time availability) to skew the reality: Every hour counts, and makes a huge difference. When you remember that, an alarm goes off–and you find the hour, and balance just follows naturally after that.

Who or what have been your greatest inspirations in your life, your career, and your volunteer experience?:  I think loss, solitude, reading, friends, and my family have been the greatest inspiration in my career choices–and even deferrals–in life. Each of these areas present both challenges, and awareness, of who we are as people. For me, they each have been central, critical elements that have inspired my stepping back from the reality I am a part of to ask myself: “how do I want to be a part of that reality? Where do I fit, and what is it that I can offer?” Sometimes the obvious answer is not the right answer, so it is tiring; but you have to follow your heart and trust that your own experience and self-understanding will always be the only thing that stays with you forever: always growing with each step. Only you know that path before, for certain, so make sure to incorporate that into your choices so the path ahead is one of growth and awareness of that world around you on either side of the Road.

What are your favorite memories about Harboring Hearts?: My favorite memories about Harboring Hearts are the community events at NY-Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. They have been the few chances to see and hear the stories of families helped by Harboring Hearts, and also those families who are confronting the emotions, challenges, fears, and love they are feeling during their time of need.

Adam’s Favorites:

  • Favorite City – Paris and Athens
  • Favorite Food – Heart healthy, gluten-free, whole wheat crust pizza
  • Favorite Activity – Fitness
  • Favorite Music – Classical
  • Favorite Museum – Museo Botero (Bogota, Colombia) and the Tate Modern (London, UK)
  • Favorite Travel Destination – Greece, because I feel relaxed and at home and do not feel like I am traveling…yet come back completely rejuvenated and spiritually calm every time.
  • Favorite Book – Impossible to answer 🙂
  • Favorite Movie – Too many

My first “Meatless Monday” experience

Have you heard of “Meatless Monday”?

Meatless Monday is a NPO in association with John Hopkin’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Their mission is, “to help [us] reduce [our] meat consumption by 15% in order to improve [our] personal health and the health of the planet”.  They accomplish this initiative by encouraging others to remove meat from their diet for just one day a week.

Our intern, Pareesha, brought “Meatless Monday” to my attention last week and asked if I would go meatless for one day.  The answer was immediately, “Yes”.  As a co-founder of a heart organization and an avid heart health advocate on behalf of my organization and the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women, I believe that I should practice what I advocate.

Well, yesterday was Monday, January 23, 2012 and I went meatless.

Before I get into my meatless experience, let me tell you a little about myself and my eating habits.  I am an omnivore, but I eat fairly healthy and I am very aware of the foods that I put in my body.  I continually educate myself on how to eat healthy and I am always on the hunt for healthy alternatives.

However, going meatless for a day was harder than I imagined. Maybe it was because I did not prepare my food before work and I had to find meatless yet filling dishes at restaurants.  I say filling because finding meatless options was not the challenge.  The challenge was finding food options that would keep my energy level up until the next meal.

I started the day with 2 rice cakes with peanut butter.  By 10:30am, I was starving!  I ate the baby carrots I packed for my mid-afternoon snack. By noon, I was starving again.  Trying to think on an empty stomach proved to be difficult but I was determined to find a meatless option that was not a salad.  I ended up ordering a delicious Mediterranean Shakshuka (a tomato, onion, pepper stew) at a nearby restaurant.  Yay, success!  By 3:00pm, I was starving…again!  I cursed myself for not ordering a side of rice with my lunch.  Well, next time I’ll do better.  I scrounged around my bag and found a KIND bar (a fruit and nut bar) and I devoured it. I then ran downstairs to a health food store and ordered a raw veggie juice to increase my vegetable intake for the day.

I thought dinner was going to be a challenge because I had made plans to grab dinner with friends I have not seen in awhile.  Luckily, the menu was diverse and I ate a boston bibb salad and a butternut squash pasta dish.

So, my first attempt at “Meatless Monday” was quite an adventure and a learning experience.  I know I will need to educate myself on meatless options for next week but I think it was a successful day.  I was able to engage in dialogue with my friends about what going meatless meant to me and I was able to sign up a few more people to join the movement!

So what does going meatless mean for me?

Going meatless, even just once a week, can reduce my risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.  By not eating meat, I increased my fiber and vegetable intake in just one day.

What I learned through my experience is that reducing my risk of life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease just requires small and minor adjustments to my lifestyle.

Replace chicken with tofu.  Replace red meat with beans.  My fellow Go Red For Women sister, Gail Mates says it perfectly. “It’s about small simple changes that can save your life”.

The health benefits to reducing your meat intake are the most obvious reasons to participate in “Meatless Monday” but were you aware of the benefits to the environment?  Well, I was not aware that by cutting out meat, we can reduce our carbon footprint, minimize water usage and even reduce fossil fuel dependence.

I recognize that just one person reducing their meat intake will not affect our environment, but imagine if every single one of us cut out meat for just one day.  How would that affect your body?  How would that affect Earth?  How would that affect future generations?

I hope you would consider joining me and participate in “Meatless Monday”.  Tell me about your experiences!

Save the Date – May 22nd, 2012

Harboring Hearts invites you to our Spring Gala at the Rubin Museum of Art on May 22nd, 2012. We hope you can join us!

If you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities for this event, please call 212-888-7003.

 

Formal invitation to follow.

 

Food Blog: A New Year, A New Start to Your Day!

With the holidays in full swing, everyone has a lot on their plates. But as Christmas quickly turns into the New Year, there might be one more thing we all need to add to our plates: a heart healthy breakfast. It is the time of the year for making resolutions, after all.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about new beginnings. With New Year’s come fresh goals and plans to make 2012 even better than 2011. After Harboring Hearts started this food blog, I’ve had a goal to become more conscious of my eating habits. I know that living a healthy lifestyle can help me do that. This year I’m focusing on eating less refined sugars and more fresh fruits and whole grains for breakfast. Also, when I think of the passing of my own father from a heart-related disease, it inspires me to help even more people through Harboring Hearts Housing. I’m finding motivation for change and improvement all around me—and I’m sure you can think of some in your own life.

And what better way to start off a new year than thinking about the start of each day—with breakfast? When I was growing up, my mom made sure my brother and I ate breakfast every single morning, and I’m glad I obeyed—it really is the most important meal of the day! Breakfast is especially important for children, whose growing bodies and brains rely on the regular intake of food. Children are also proven to perform better in school if they eat something first thing in the morning. For adults, skipping breakfast can actually make weight control more difficult. In fact, studies have shown eating breakfast actually makes it easier to lose weight. So when I started thinking about New Year’s, new beginnings, and what I would write for this food blog, breakfast was the first thing that came to mind.

Even though I love breakfast, I also know that finding that perfect, heart-healthy recipe can sometimes be a challenge, so I turned to my friend Sophia Brittan for help. Sophia is the creator and chef of the charming Victory Garden found in NYC’s West Village, home to goat’s-milk ice cream and other delightful foods such as sandwiches and cakes—most of which are of Sophia’s own creation. In a word (or two), Sophia is a recipe genius. She’s also a healthy breakfast enthusiast herself, and makes sure to serve health-conscious breakfasts at Victory Garden. I asked Sophia to share with me a delicious, heart-healthy recipe for starting off the New Year right and, of course, she did not fail me. In fact, she was generous enough to share not one, but two recipes!

The first recipe is for an Alpine Red Berry breakfast. This recipe calls for strawberries and raspberries, both of which are full of anti-inflammatories that reduce the risk of heart disease. This breakfast also contains pumpkin and poppy seeds, which are great sources of protein, iron, and fiber.

Alpine Red Berry Breakfast

2/3 cup Swiss- style yogurt (Emmi brand is perfect)

3 T creme fraiche

1 T sugar (or, if you want to avoid sugar, try 1 T of coconut sugar which has a low glycemic index!)

1 cup strawberries and raspberries

1 T rolled oats (you can also use spelt flakes)

1 T pumpkin seeds

1  tsp. poppy seeds

  1. Rinse the berries and dry them well.
  2. Slice the stems off the tops of the strawberries and cut them into quarters.
  3. Place the raspberries in a bowl and use a fork to mush them up a little bit, so that they are bruised slightly, and their juices are released.
  4. Mix in the strawberries and sugar. Let them macerate for an hour if you have time.
  5. Combine the creme fraiche and the yogurt in a bowl.
  6. In the serving dish, place the berries with a little bit of juice on the bottom, covered with a nice even layer of the yogurt cream.
  7. Toast the rolled oats and pumpkin seeds lightly, and let them cool off.
  8. Decorate the top of the desserts with the oats, pumpkin seeds, and poppy seeds for a delightful texture.

Serves two.

The next recipe is for Sophia’s Chocolate Quinoa. This quinoa contains dark chocolate, which is high in anti-oxidants. Also, quinoa has more calcium than milk and is a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorous, B vitamins, and Vitamin E.

Sophia’s Chocolate Quinoa

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 cups water

Pinch of salt

About 1 T of dark baking chocolate powder, like Droste or Valhrona brand (but any dark baking chocolate powder will do)

Agave nectar or honey to taste

  1. Bring the water, quinoa, and salt to a boil.
  2. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked through.
  3. Stir in the chocolate powder and agave.

Yields two – three servings.

Spotlighting Our Super Volunteers!

We have been so fortunate to be able to work with such compassionate people. We know we have said this multiple times before, but we really mean it!  Without the help and support from our amazing volunteers, we would not be where we are today.  Thank you!

Read about four of our Super Volunteers: Jessica Melore, Liz Pugatch, Megan Sterrett Sullivan, and Sara Anderson.

Name – Jessica Melore

Current Occupation – Senior Education & Programs Manager, NJ Organ and Tissue Sharing Network; Board of Directors – Harboring Hearts

How and why did you get involved with Harboring Hearts? – Michelle Javian and I met through mutual friends and realized that we had a lot in common–that her father and I had both received heart transplants–and she told me about how she was in the process of starting Harboring Hearts with Yuki. I understood from a patient perspective that having loved ones there for you makes a huge difference in your mentality and healing–my parents slept every night in my hospital room. I’d met so many other families in need, so I was very excited about Harboring Hearts’ mission and helping Michelle and Yuki grow it.

How do you balance your career and giving back so successfully? – For me, it’s a matter of making what I’m passionate about a priority in my life. Fortunately in my career I can promote organ and tissue donation on a daily basis, but helping others cope with the effects of heart disease and promoting prevention is also very important to me. I dedicate certain evenings and time during the weekends for Harboring Hearts and my other advocacy work, and schedule calls on my morning commute. Aside from that, charity events also offer a great opportunity to get together with friends and support a great cause at the same time.

Who or what have been your greatest inspirations in your life, your career, and your volunteer experience? – My parents are the reason I’m here today. I think watching someone go through a traumatic event is much harder than experiencing it yourself, and their strength is unimaginable. I was so grateful that they were there to support me and encourage me to continue pursuing my ambitions, even in midst of uncertainty as I waited for a heart transplant. There are so many other patients out there dependent on that kind of support, so many family members sleeping on hard hospital chairs night after night. Through Harboring Hearts, I want to ensure that loved ones can be there for patients when they need them most.

What are your favorite memories about Harboring Hearts? – My favorite memories are always our events with the families–especially when we did a fundraiser for Johan and Tariq Lopez, 4 year-old heart transplant recipients with a mother who was struggling to get by. It was also very meaningful to be at the NY Presbyterian hospital event and have a chance to connect with the families there in need of our help. I hope that in seeing Michelle and Yuki from a care-giver perspective and me from a patient perspective, it would inspire them to know that they can make it through.

Your Favorites:

  • Favorite city : New York
  • Favorite food : Pecan Pie sundae at Buttermilk Channel
  • Favorite activity: A tie between restaurants and concerts
  • Favorite music: Arcade Fire
  • Favorite museum: Dali Museum in Figueres
  • Favorite travel destination: Costa Rica
  • Favorite book: Anything involving David Sedaris
  • Favorite movie: Amelie

 

Name – Liz Pugatch

Current Occupation – Event Planner at DS Consulting Group

How and why did you get involved with Harboring Hearts? – I got involved originally to help Yuki, a great friend of mine from UVa, but I quickly came to realize that it’s not only Yuki I was helping, but all of the patients and families that Harboring Hearts has helped and will continue to help for years to come. Yuki and Michelle are so dedicated to this amazing cause, and I am proud to be able to help in any way that I can.

How do you balance your career and giving back so successfully? – My career is about giving back.  As a non-profit event planner, I work with these organizations to plan their annual galas and ensure that they reach their fundraising goals so that they can continue to help those who depend on them.

Who or what have been your greatest inspirations in your life, your career, and your volunteer experience? – My parents, absolutely.  All my life they have both been so dedicated to non-profit work and I have seen how their efforts have benefited so many.  It really made me want to get involved and give my time to organizations that I care about, and being able to see Harboring Hearts grow as a charity and help more and more families has been extremely rewarding.

What are your favorite memories about Harboring Hearts? – This might sound crazy, but one of my favorite Harboring Hearts moments was one of the very first meetings we ever had as an organization. We met at Whole Foods; and with our notepads and pens, we talked about how to get this charity off the ground and get the mission out to those in need. We were all so optimistic and excited about the challenge, and I when I look back at that meeting, and how far Michelle and Yuki and the entire Harboring Hearts team have taken this organization, I am honored to be able to say that I am a part of it!

Your Favorites:

  • Favorite city – NYC!
  • Favorite food – super fresh sushi
  • Favorite activity – movie marathons with friends, cooking, skiing, and shopping
  • Favorite music – Christmas Music 🙂
  • Favorite museum – MoMA
  • Favorite travel destination – I love to ski in Aspen
  • Favorite book – It’s a tie between The Help and Water for Elephants
  • Favorite movie – Wow, tough one…Love Actually, Top Gun, Under the Tuscan Sun, Little Women, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Father of the Bride (I and II) and so many more!

 

Name – Megan Sterrett Sullivan

Current Occupation – Principal at Doshi Capital Partners / Heritage Capital India; an Investment Management Firm; Board of Director – Harboring Hearts

How and why did you get involved with Harboring Hearts? – I got involved with Harboring Hearts to help spread the word about heart disease and help the many families in need.

How do you balance your career and giving back so successfully? – When you really care for something you make time. With my career I have a busy travel schedule; Harboring Hearts give me something to look forward to when away.

Who or what have been your greatest inspirations in your life, your career, and your volunteer experience? – My family has been my greatest inspiration. They are always pushing for me to work as hard as I can.  Good things come to those with persistence.

What are your favorite memories about Harboring Hearts? – Seeing the benefits that Harboring Hearts has on families and seeing how happy families get when we are able to help.

Your Favorites:

  • Favorite US City – San Francisco
  • Favorite food  – Pizza
  • Favorite activity – Cooking, Running, Reading
  • Favorite music – Cold Play, Mumford and Sons, Adele, Sting
  • Favorite museum – The Whitney & the Frick
  • Favorite travel destination – St. Barths
  • Favorite book – Pride & Prejudice and Decision Points
  • Favorite movie – Pretty Woman

 

Name – Sara Anderson

Current Occupation – Graduate Student, Masters of Architecture, University of Michigan

How and why did you get involved with Harboring Hearts? – As a friend of Yuki’s from University of Virginia, I became aware of Harboring Heart’s mission. I was interested in supporting both the cause and my friend’s effort. I volunteered to make myself useful to Harboring Hearts in any way that I could.

How do you balance your career and giving back so successfully? – I stay involved with activities that I really care about so that I am dedicated to making the time for them. I feel very lucky for what I have in life, so I am happy to make time to help others.

Who or what have been your greatest inspirations in your life, your career, and your volunteer experience? – My family has always been a great inspiration in all of these areas. My parents set an example of volunteering their time for the community. They have also always supported and encouraged me in everything I have done.

What are your favorite memories about Harboring Hearts? – Meeting some the children that Harboring Hearts has helped face to face is a great memory. It’s nice to be able to see what the results of Harboring Heart’s efforts. I have also met a lot of wonderful people who also volunteer their time to Harboring Hearts.

Your Favorites:

  • Favorite city – Boston
  • Favorite food – Anything Italian
  • Favorite activity – Cooking
  • Favorite music – Anything, not too picky
  • Favorite museum – Musee D’Orsay
  • Favorite travel destination – Italy
  • Favorite book – Pride and Prejudice
  • Favorite movie – The Shawshank Redemption

Thank you for your support and Happy Holidays!

Here is the link to the newsletter!

Greetings!

As the holiday season hits full swing and 2011 comes to a close, we look back and see what an extraordinary year it has been for Harboring Hearts. Many exciting things happened this year and we are so thankful for the generosity of our supporters. Thank you for believing in us and supporting our vision of helping heart patients and their families.

We threw a series of great benefits this year, starting with the Winter Cocktail event during Heart Month (February) at the Rubin Museum of Art, our Summer Fete in the Hamptons and ending with an Oktoberfest celebration in Long Island. These events, in addition to smaller fundraisers and hospital events continue to increase awareness about heart disease and raise funds to assist heart patients and their families with living expenses while undergoing heart surgery.

Our memorable experiences this year involved the amazing people we met and with whom we worked. We hosted an arts & crafts event for pediatric heart patients at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at New York-Presbyterian.

We met a mother whose son underwent a dangerous but life-saving surgery. We were able to provide a room at a hotel by the hospital for her and her son during the duration of the surgery and recovery period. We are so thankful that he is fully recovered.

These are just a couple of events that were unforgettable occasions for our board members, donors, beneficiaries, friends and family. We are continually reminded of how far Harboring Hearts has come and how lucky we are to be working toward a common goal. We could not have done any of this without the support of our partners, board members, advisors and volunteers.

Harboring Hearts has grown tremendously this year but we are always looking forward into the future. There is still much work to be done to ensure that families have a place to stay while their loved ones undergo heart surgery. We will continue to strengthen our mission and expand our reach to help as many heart patients and families as possible.

As we all gather with family and friends and make resolutions for the New Year, please consider contributing to Harboring Hearts. Your donation will allow us to greatly impact the recovery process for cardiac patients.

Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year.

Happy Holidays!

Yuki and Michelle

Here is the link to the newsletter!