Heart Health Living Tips

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

mama on

Heart Health

Howdy — Still trying to figure this new game plan out for Good and Good for You. Please forgive me for sending two emails. This week’s recipe is a Heart Healthy Sheet Pan Supper: Seed Crusted Salmon with Asparagus and Grape Tomatoes, sponsored by Swanson Health. You can find it HERE.

But, I didn’t want to leave you hanging and not share this week’s Best Life Living Tip, Self Care Technique, as well as Info and Inspiration from an expert you can trust. So, I’ve split it into two emails with a promise that I’ll try to streamline things better….

The focus for health is so often on weight loss when it should be on HEALTH GAIN. One of the most important areas of health is heart health.

According to the National Institute of Health, “Heart-healthy living involves understanding your risks, making healthy choices, and taking steps to reduce your chances of getting heart disease, including coronary heart disease, the most common type. By taking preventive measures, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease that could lead to a heart attack.”

SO, read on for this week’s best life-living tip that’s all about getting outdoors — and the self-care scenario that’s very hard for many women to talk about…

Heart Healthy Sheet Pan Supper: Seed-Crusted Salmon with Asparagus and Grape Tomatoes on

Best Life Living Tip

I sure felt like I was living my best life when I caught that King salmon.

Fishing has long been a favorite pastime. Mama tells me the first time I caught a fish I was so young and excited that I jumped out of my diaper. You can stay in your britches, but fishing is tied to a lower risk of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Is fishing not your thing? You can still boost your mood, by doing other activities outside.

According to Harvard TH Chan School of Public Healthbiophilia”—our innate human instinct to connect with nature—may be why being outdoors helps us feel better. Being outside is good for heart-health, too according to UC Davis. “Studies have also shown that being in nature has a positive effect on our bodies by reducing cortisol levels, muscle tension, and demands on our cardiovascular systems.

UC Davis also reports, “Regular access to green spaces has been linked to lower risks of depression and improved concentration and attention.” This means taking your favorite activities outside could have a positive impact on your well-being.

If you love to read, write, paint, nap, sing, dance, or listen to music do what you love outside!

It’s one thing to put this on your to-do list. Get out there and do it.

financial self-care on

Self-Care Techniques

84% of Americans feel financial stress according to the American Heart Association. And, stress is not good for heart-healthy living.

There are 8 main areas of self-care: physical, psychological, emotional, social, professional, environmental, spiritual, and financial. We don’t always think about all of these — and it’s not easy to coordinate firing on all cylinders at once.

One of the hardest areas for many women is financial health. Have you got money goals for you? Your business? Your family? Women’s Health calls good financial health a “tonic for the mind.”  

Undoubtedly, control of your finances is good for your physical and mental health. The trouble is, it’s easy to “ostrich” and put your head in the sand.

Growing up, women weren’t always taught to talk about money. I’ve certainly made some less-than-perfect financial choices. One of the most challenging areas of my self-care has been cleaning up my financial house.

NPR has a great piece on Five Ways to Start a Financial Self-Care Routine. It’s never too late to improve your habits. And the way I look at it, there’s no need to waste time wishing for a better past. Instead, I need to spend that energy on financial self-care.

heart healthy recipes on

Ideas and Inspiration from Experts

Low and reduced sodium diets are good for heart health, but why? Why is it important to consume Good and Good for You ingredients as seen in the photo above — tomatoes, garlic, salmon, hemp seed, flax seed, EVOO, and nuts?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a low-sodium diet decreases strain on the heart. Where sodium goes, water follows. As you eat more salt, you’ll retain more water and increase the volume of blood in your system. An increased volume of blood also increases your blood pressure, which in turn means the heart must work harder with every beat.

Low sodium doesn’t mean low flavor! When my mother needed to make changes in her sodium intake, we bought a lot of cookbooks for inspiration. The one she turns to the most is not sexy with full-color photos,  it’s not by a famous blogger, and it’s not by a celebrity chef.

We love 500 Low Sodium Recipes: Lose the Salt, Not the Flavor in Meals the Whole Family Will Love by Dick Logue. They are real-life recipes written by someone diagnosed with congestive heart failure and you can’t get much more authentic than that!

Check out my IG Reel Heart Healthy Sheet Pan Supper: Seed-Crusted Salmon with Asparagus and Grape Tomatoes

And, click here for the full recipe for Heart Healthy Sheet Pan Supper: Seed-Crusted Salmon with Asparagus and Grape Tomatoes!

Bon Appétit Y’all!

Virginia Willis

PS — Mama is hiding b/c she doesn’t have on makeup. LOL.

Lighten Up, Y’all

WOW! The reception for the release of Lighten Up, Y’all in paperback has been amazing.

Here’s what Chef Hugh Acheson had to say…

“With Lighten Up, Y’all, Virginia Willis opens the door to a new way of cooking, which focuses on the bountiful fresh fruits and vegetables that are the true staples of the Southern larder. She writes recipes that will make you feel good cooking in the kitchen, and feel even better eating the results.”

— Hugh Acheson, James Beard Award-winning chef and author of A New Turn in the South

Click here to buy your copy! 



Let’s cook something up! If you are interested in hosting me for a speaking engagement, event, cooking class, or a book signing, let me know! Send an email to and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.

I am not a doctor, RD, or health professional. I am simply sharing what works for me. My blog is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals.


Note that this post may contain affiliate links and I may make a commission if you use my affiliate link to buy the product.


Please be nice. Unauthorized use and/or duplication is prohibited. All photos and content are copyright protected. If you wish to republish this recipe, please link back to this recipe on Thanks so much!

Virginia Willis cookbooks

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained chef Virginia Willis has foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and executed the food styling for a Super Bowl commercial seen by over 160 million people. Virginia is a Beard award-winning cookbook author, chef, content creator, and motivational speaker. She has lost 65# and kept it off for more than 3 years. Because of her own health journey, she is a cheerleader for others seeking to make lifestyle changes to feel healthier and happier. Her experience inspired her to launch “Good and Good for You” a lifestyle brand rooted in culinary that shares health and wellness content through digital channels; public speaking; and print media. Fans love her approachable spirit and friendly down-to-earth style. For more information visit

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Lori McLain

    This month I read stress in everyone it seems! This is such great , smart heart-healthy stuff we need! Thank you Virginia!!!❤️🥰🙏

Leave a Reply