Make a Healthy Nutrition New Years Resolution You Will Keep Year Long!

Did you make a New Years Resolution yet? According to a recent study at the University of Bristol, approximately 88% of the resolutions people make each New Years fail, even when the participants were extremely confident they would succeed. Well make a resolution you can keep by following some simple guidelines outlined by Emory Women’s Heart Center cardiologist Farheen Shirazi, MD. Dr. Shirazi recommends that if you want to start eating a heart healthy diet and lose weight that you should start with small measurable goals instead of trying to make any dramatic changes right away.

For example, in order to change your diet, she recommends mapping out your menu for the month and only changing one or two things each week. This could be as simple as increasing the number of times each week you eat fish by one night and increasing your intake of a fruit by one a week. You can accomplish this by switching a carb snack for a fresh fruit one time a week. She highly recommends you write down your goals because you will be encouraged to progress.

Check out more healthy recipe and meal planning tips on this New Years heart healthy video -

Dr. Farheen ShiraziAbout Dr. Shirazi
Farheen Shirazi, MD is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Shirazi completed medical school at Morehouse School of Medicine before completing her internship at NYU, residency at Stanford University and fellowship at Emory University. She is passionate about teaching patients how to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke. Her practice encompasses the scope of general cardiology, with a focus on cardiovascular disease prevention and women’s health.

Dr. Shirazi has published in the arena of preventive cardiology and is currently working on literature in the field of women’s cardiovascular health.

Dr. Shirazi is board certified in Internal Medicine (2009) and Cardiology. She is a member of several professional organizations including the American Heart Association, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association and the American College of Cardiology.
Dr. Shirazi will see patients at Emory at East Cobb – Heart & Vascular as well as Emory Heart & Vascular Center at 1365 Clifton Road.

She enjoys drawing, painting and reading classical literature in her spare time.

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center
Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.
Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

Related Resources:

Get Healthy Holiday Recipe Tips from Dr. Lundberg!

Healthy Holiday RecipesThere are so many temptations during the holiday season that cause many people to gain weight and develop unhealthy eating habits. Luckily, there are ways to enjoy most of your favorite foods but also ensure you are heart healthy. Join us on Tuesday, December 10 for a live web chat on Eating Heart Healthy During the Holidays. Gina Lundberg, MD, the Director of the Emory Women’s Heart Center, along with Stacy Jaskwhich, Nurse Practitioner specializing in women and heart disease will be giving us advice on how to prepare our menus during this festive time of year to ensure they are delicious but also healthy for your body and your heart. During the interactive chat, you will be able to ask direct questions to the leading authorities on heart disease in women as well as get the best information on how to eat heart healthy!

As a sneak peak for the types of information we will go over here are a few tips:

  • Eat turkey, instead of ham because ham is higher in sodium which can increase your blood pressure.
  • If you enjoy alcohol, limit your consumption to 1 to 2 glasses. Overindulging in alcohol increases the calorie consumption and also makes your more hungry.
  • Instead of making vegetable dishes with heavy cream and butter, try sautéing them. You will decrease the calories and really get more of the nutrients of the food out. For example, instead of your traditional green bean casserole, prepare fresh green beans, sautéed in olive oil and add a little lemon zest.
  • Drink lots of water. Before going back for your second helping of dessert, that third beer or that glass of eggnog, drink a glass of water to see if it craves the temptation to overindulge. You may think you are hungry when you are really thirsty.

Healthy Recipes Chat Sign Up
Join us on December 10 for more helpful tips to help ensure you stay heart healthy! To register for the chat visit

About Gina Lundberg, MD

Dr. Gina LundbergGina Price Lundberg, MD FACC is the Director of the Heart Center for Women. She founded and directed The Women’s Heart Center, the first women’s cardiac prevention program in the state of Georgia in 1998.

She was named by Governor Sonny Perdue to the Advisory Board for Women’s Health, Georgia Department of Women’s Health, Department of Community Health for 2007-2008. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University and teaches cardiology fellows at Grady Hospital. She also teaches medical students from the Medical College of Georgia in preventive cardiology. She is a member of the American College of Cardiologist’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Committee.

She has been a Board Member of the American Heart Association for Atlanta since 2001. She has been involved with the Go Red for Women campaign since it launched in 2004. She has been on the Southeast Affiliate for the AHA’s Strategic Initiative Committee representing Go Red for Women. She is national speaker for the American Heart Association. She has also been working with the national organization, Sister to Sister Foundation from 2004 till the present with their Atlanta program.

She has been interviewed on the subject of Heart Disease in Women in Glamour Magazine, MD News, the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and other magazines. She has been interviewed on numerous local news shows and many radio programs over the years. Dr. Lundberg has published articles in several medical journals and contributed to several text books.

Dr. Lundberg has lived most of her life in Atlanta, GA. She attended the Medical College of Georgia and trained in Internal Medicine at Atlanta Medical Center (Georgia Baptist). Her cardiology fellowship was at Rush University in Chicago. She has been in private practice in Atlanta since 1994. She is Board Certified in Cardiology and Internal Medicine and re-certified in both in 2002. She has two children and considers motherhood her first and foremost career.
About Stacy Jaskwhich, NP-C
Stacy Jaskwhich is a certified Nurse Practitioner with 20 years of medical experience, primarily in Cardiology. After graduating with her BSN from the University of South Carolina, she found her career and passion for cardiology while caring for patients in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care unit. After obtaining her Masters degree as a nurse practitioner from Clemson University, she expanded her career while practicing in the emergency room setting both in Greenville South Carolina as well as Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.

Stacy is currently the Clinical Coordinator of Saint Joseph’s Heart Center for Women where she personally evaluates women through early screening and education. She also promotes research and community awareness of women and heart disease. Her favorite aspect of care is education, which is crucial in cardiac prevention. She also enjoys motivating women to make healthy life style changes. She is a Nurse Practitioner for The Emory Clinic as well and sees patients at the East Cobb location. She is a member of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nursing Association, the American College of Cardiology and is involved in many other local Advanced Provider Associations. She was a finalist in the 2012 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award. Favorite pastimes include running, biking, shopping, and being outside and of course, spending time with family and friends.

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center
Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

Related Resources:

Heart-Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes to Spice Up Your Summer Cooking!

healthy salad dressing recipesSo your cardiologist told you to eat more olive oil…

An important component of a heart healthy diet is lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). One way to combine these is in salads. With summer upon us there is an abundance of vegetables to fill your bowl with! Add nuts, avocado and beans to your salads for added heart healthy benefits.

The essentials of creating a vinaigrette are using about a 3:1 mixture of EVOO and vinegar. Then you can add mustard, honey, agave, roasted tomatoes, shallots etc to taste. Experiment and see what works best for you and your tastes! For flavored oils and vinegars I recommend “Oli and Ve” with locations in Roswell and Buckhead.

Standard Healthy Vinaigrette Recipe (one serving):

  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

Wisk components in a cup and pour over salad.  (Add one teaspoon honey/agave nectar) if you like it a little sweeter)

Healthy Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette Recipe (two servings)

(Recipe requires a food processor of some sort. I use a handheld blender)

  • 2 tablespoon EVOO
  • 6 roasted tomato halves (in oil)
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or agave nectar)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste

Blend components with handheld mixer and serve over salad. If dressing is too thick add a little more EVOO and blend again.

Healthy Shallot Vinaigrette (two servings)

  • 1 shallot – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste

Wisk components together and pour over salad.

Salad Recipe Ideas

  • Arugula with basil, steamed beets, walnuts, goat cheese. Dress with blood orange EVOO and cranberry pear white balsamic vinegar (3:1 ratio with a touch of salt and pepper).
  • Spinach with grapefruit, pecans, parmesan cheese. Dress with standard vinaigrette.
  • Mixed baby field greens, strawberries, walnuts and goat cheese. Dress with basil EVOO and strawberry balsamic vinegar (3:1 ratio with a touch of salt and pepper).
  • Steamed green beans:
    • Steam a cup of green beans and while warm, dress with a tablespoon of EVOO and 1-2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Toss ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Dr. Alexis Cutchins

About Alexis Cutchins, MD
Dr. Cutchins recently completed her cardiology fellowship at the University of Virginia Medical Center and specializes in general cardiology, heart disease prevention and has a passion for caring for women with heart disease. She sees patients at Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Perimeter – 875 Johnson Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA, 30342, 404-778-6070 as well as at Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Midtown, 550 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-686-7878.


About the Emory Women’s Heart Program
Emory Women’s Heart Program provides cardiac risk assessment, diagnosis and heart disease care through a women-focused approach to cardiovascular care. Our goal is to help women prevent heart disease and improve cardiovascular outcomes through the highest quality patient and family-centered care, research and education. For more information visit the Emory Women’s Heart Program website.

Related Resources:

And the 2013 Best Diet Winner according to U.S. New & World Report is…

Diet weight loss rankingsFor a meaningful start to a healthy new year, today U.S. News & World Report released its Best Diets of 2013 rankings, featuring a variety of weight loss programs and options.

The 2013 list of best diets provides a look at 29 diets, ranging from the Traditional Asian Diet to Weight Watchers. Diets were ranked based on ratings from an independent panel of 20 experts. The experts rated each diet in categories such as ease of compliance, diabetes control and management, heart health, weight loss, safety, and nutritional completeness.

“Many Americans struggle with maintaining a healthy diet, and especially around the first of the year tend to become interested in trying a new one,” said Brian Kelly, Editor and Chief Content Officer of U.S. News. “Diets are serious business, so we’ve assembled the experts to provide the best and most current information for consumers.” Emory Heart & Vascular Center physician Laurence Sperling, MD was one of the 16 nationally recognized experts who judged the diets.

The 2013 best diet rankings also include expanded coverage over previous years, including rankings of new plant-based diets. Increasingly popular in health and wellness circles, plant-based diets have gained attention as a potential antidote to the obesity epidemic in this country. In addition to weight loss, research suggests these diets help protect against diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions. U.S. News evaluated 11 plant-based diets, including the Anti-Inflammatory Diet, Engine 2 Diet, and Flexitarian Diet.

Check the winners of the 2013 Best Diet rankings below and visit the U.S. News Website in the Related Resources area for details.

Best Diet Overall
The DASH Diet ranked No. 1 overall. The TLC Diet came in at a close second, while the Mediterranean Diet, Mayo Clinic Diet, and Weight Watchers tied for third place.

Best Weight-Loss Diet
Weight Watchers ranked first place in weight loss. Tied for second place were Jenny Craig, the Biggest Loser Diet, and the raw food diet.

Best Diabetes Diet
The DASH Diet tied with the Biggest Loser Diet for the top diet for preventing or managing diabetes. Close behind it was a five-way tie among the Mayo Clinic Diet, the Ornish Diet, the vegan diet, Engine 2 Diet, and Flexitarian Diet.

Best Plant-Based Diets
The Mediterranean Diet took first place in the survey’s newest category. It was followed closely by Dawn Jackson Blatner’s Flexitarian Diet, a flexible approach to vegetarianism, and then Dean Ornish’s Diet, a low-fat, heart-healthy eating regimen bolstered by exercise, social support and stress management techniques.

Bonus Recipe: Mediterranean Salmon Recipe from Emory’s Dr. Cutchins

Best Heart-Healthy Diets
The Ornish Diet ranked No. 1 for heart health. The TLC Diet, a government-designed eating plan that stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, took second place. Another government-developed diet, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), came in third.

Best Commercial Diet Plans
Some dieters may seek the structure and social support provided by many brand-name programs, so U.S. News also examined 12 commercial diet plans, from Dukan to Slim-Fast. Weight Watchers ranked No. 1, followed by Jenny Craig at No. 2, and the Biggest Loser Diet in third place.

Best Diet for Healthy Eating
Considered the gold standard by our panelists, the DASH diet claimed first place for healthfulness. Scoring second place was the TLC Diet, with the Mediterranean diet placing third.

Easiest Diet to Follow
With its extensive guidance and support, Weight Watchers ranked No. 1 among the easiest diets to follow. Jenny Craig followed close behind in second place. A tie for third went to the Mediterranean Diet and Flexitarian Diet.

Among other things, an in-depth profile for each diet explains how the diet works, evaluates its claims, and reveals what it’s like to live on the diet. For more information, please visit

Related Resources:

Eat Heart Healthy! Mediterranean Salmon Recipe via Dr. Cutchins!

Heart Healthy Salmon RecipeWe are proud to welcome a new female cardiologist, Alexis Cutchins, MD, to the Emory Heart & Vascular Center. Dr. Cutchins has provided a great recipe for us to use to eat healthier for our heart! This light, low calorie meal fits well into a Mediterranean diet which highlights the use of olive oil, lots of vegetables, legumes, fresh fruits, unrefined cereals, moderate consumption of dairy (mostly cheese and yogurt), moderate fish, and low amounts of chicken and red meat. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to improve cholesterol levels and contribute to weight loss when combined with daily physical activity. Dr. Cutchins often recommends the Mediterranean diet to her patients with obesity, the metabolic syndrome, and elevated blood pressure and cholesterol.

Salmon with Tomato, Capers and Feta (approx. 450 calories per serving)

Ingredients (for two people):

  • 10 oz of salmon filet (with or without skin, can be divided in two portions before or after cooking)
  • ½ pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • One shallot (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tablespoon capers
  • Crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Feta cheese (approx. 2 oz)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Dice tomatoes and place in a bowl with garlic, shallots and capers. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, mix thoroughly. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil and allow enough foil hanging over the sides to wrap the salmon up after preparing. Drizzle the olive oil on top of the foil at the bottom of the pan and place the salmon in the center. Season the salmon with some freshly ground black pepper then add the tomato mixture to the top of the salmon. Either crumble feta or use slices of feta on top of tomato mixture. Package salmon and tomato mixture up in the foil and place in oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve with a side of baby arugula salad with strawberries, walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette (1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2/3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste).

Dr. Alexis Cutchins

Dr. Alexis Cutchins


About Dr. Cutchins
Dr. Cutchins recently completed her cardiology fellowship at the University of Virginia Medical Center and specializes in general cardiology, heart disease prevention and has a passion for caring for women with heart disease. She sees patients at Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Perimeter – 875 Johnson Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA, 30342, 404-778-6070 as well as at Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Midtown, 550 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-686-7878.


Related Resources:

Heart Healthy Cornbread for Your Spring Picnic!

Heart Healthy Cornbread RecipeUse this yummy “Good for you Cornbread” recipe to add a heart healthy option to your spring picnic basket.  It will not only taste great but also provides a heart healthy carbohydrate option.


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup low-fat (1%) buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup soft tub margarine
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (to grease pan)


Preheat oven to 350 OF. Mix together cornmeal, flour, sugar, and baking powder. In another bowl, combine buttermilk and egg. Beat lightly. Slowly add buttermilk and egg mixture to dry ingredients. Add margarine and mix by hand or with mixer for 1 minute. Bake for 20-25 minutes in an 8- by 8-inch, greased baking dish. Cool. Cut into 10 squares.

Yield: 10 servings

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 square)

  • Calories: 178
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Cholesterol: 22 milligrams
  • Sodium: 94 milligrams

Source: National Institutes of Health – Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes

Enjoy this recipes and find other heart healthy recipes at  Emory Healthcare’s Recipe’s for Wellness site.

Emory Healthcare is a proud partner of the American Heart Association in the My Heart. My Life campaign that helps consumers learn the 7 simple steps to a healthy lifestyle.

An Easy Heart Healthy Recipe for the Holidays

No Bake Breakfast Bar RecipeDuring the hectic holiday season take time to eat a healthy breakfast by preparing these heart healthy No Bake Breakfast Bars. You can find more information on these recipes and other weight management and heart healthy recipes from Emory Healthcare by visiting:

Recipe developed by Meagan Mohammadione, RD, LD, and is courtesy of the Emory Bariatric Center.

No Bake Breakfast Bar Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter such as almond or cashew butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or your favorite dried fruit, diced)
  • 5 cups high fiber cereal (we used Kashi Go Lean! Crisp cereal)

Recipe Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, pour in honey, vanilla and salt. Heat in the microwave until mixture is thin and watery, about 60 seconds. Add peanut butter and stir until it melts. Add dried fruit and cereal and combine until cereal is well coated. Line a baking dish with wax paper and spread cereal mixture evenly into pan and press firmly to set. Leave to cool overnight or place in refrigerator. When bars are hard, cut into squares.

Yield: 24, 2x1x1 inch bars

Nutritional Information Per Serving

  • Calories: 167
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
  • Sodium: 179 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrate: 27 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.4 grams
  • Sugars: 18 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams

For other heart healthy recipes, visit Emory Healthcare’s Recipes for Wellness at We have recipes for appetizers, entrees, side dishes, soups and salads as well as desserts to keep your diet heart healthy during the holidays!

Related Resources: