Its a Matter of the Heart

Heidi Martell





Here I am sitting, trying to decide how to start this journey with you; this journey to better health. Let me start with where mine began over eight years ago. My oldest, Nicholas had just turned seven and in all his sweet innocent boyness bounced on the bed where I was laying. He laid his head on my stomach and said, “Mum, I love your big squishy stomach!” As hard as he squeezed me I felt deflated. I was caught off guard. When did I decide that I wasn’t important enough to stay healthy. I had always been small framed but each time I entered the hospital to deliver my boys I weighed 200 lbs.  I didn’t lose the weight.

The next day I checked out an Anytime Fitness gym and decided to join. I was lost and didn’t know where to begin and I couldn’t afford a personal trainer. I started looking into study materials to research what I could do to learn how to correctly exercise and lose weight. For me the ACE program was the best choice. During the next few years I started out with small changes, studied for the ACE test and changed my diet. I also got back into my Bible studies.

Being healthy to me is not just about the outer appearance but it’s also about the soul. It’s a matter of the heart. Change the inside of a person and the outside just naturally follows. Isn’t it funny how we can tell our neighbors how much God loves them but we find it so hard to believe he loves us. He knows our secrets. People we love leave, miscarriages happen and life kicks us in the butt. It almost took me out. I’ve always had a relationship with God since I was a child but somewhere along the way I got lost. I was involved in church but my soul was wounded and I chose to walk in the world. I forgot who I was and who I belong to. That’s where God met me.

God is a good father and full of grace. He loves you and your precious in his sight. He will pick you up right where you are, pull you in his lap and hold you tight.  That’s just who God is, full of love and grace.

Today I’m happy and healthy. My soul is not broken and I’m really, really ready for what God has in store. I’m excited about where God is leading me and my future that he’s intentionally molding. Hopefully, you will decide to take this journey with me biweekly as I share my knowledge of exercises, healthy meals and a little soul health. This first article in keeping with my title, let’s discuss ways to keep the heart healthy.

Cardio, is one of the best things you can do for yourself and it won’t cost you a thing. No excuses. Not having a gym membership will not get out of this one. The American Heart Association recommends you get thirty minutes each day, five times a week.  If you can’t manage thirty minutes at one time, break up the thirty minutes to three ten minutes’ bouts per day. Cardio is anything that while in motion increases your heart rate. Different types of activities that you can participate in are walking, biking, hiking, tennis, swimming, (floating does not count) etc. Get your kids involved and go outside and play football.  If you really want to ramp up your cardio, climb stairs or get out on the roads and run.  If you’re bound to a chair or not as mobile, put some music on and throw those arms up in the air and wave them like nobody cares!

Oatmeal is one of the best things you can do food wise for your heart.  Medical daily, list concerning the benefits of oatmeal are booting energy, soothes irritated skin, supports weight loss, prevents diabetes, boost heart health, and reduces colon cancer. Oatmeal also lowers cholesterol and is naturally low in fat.  It’s the good carb.  Don’t like oatmeal? Grind it up to flour and add it to your shake. Blueberries high in antioxidants, cinnamon a natural metabolism booster and pecans in healthy fats are great choices to add to oatmeal.

Toasted pecans

Bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for eight to nine minutes. Cool on a dish towel and store in an airtight container.     Save for upcoming recipes.


1/3 cup of whole old fashion oats

¼ cup frozen blueberries

½ cup water

2 tablespoon of heaping toasted pecans

A couple of dashes of cinnamon

Place in the microwave for 1 ½ minutes.  If you need a sweetener, try some of our local honey here in Alma, Ga.. Jerry McDaniel, my brother in law swears his allergies have calmed down since he’s added 1 Tablespoon of local honey to his breakfast every morning.


Remember, it takes thirty days to make a habit! Grab a support buddy. Someone that’s cheering for you. Not everybody that calls you friend is your friend.  Sometimes the real friends will tell you the truth even if it cost them a friendship. Those are the ones you want in your tribe. Let’s do this together, check in daily after you finish your thirty! Nothing happens overnight, so plan on stay in it for the long haul. Follow my facebook page, Heidi Nichols Martell, for videos and pictures that go along with articles and check in daily for accountability.   Next issues begins series on full body workouts.  See you next edition with new fitness and wellness tips!


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