Healthy Hollywood: Fab Food Friday – Monica Potter’s Heart-Healthy Tips!

“The importance of heart health became very real for me when my father died of heart disease seven years ago,” reveals the star of NBC’s “Parenthood” to Healthy Hollywood. Monica adds, “having experienced the loss first hand, I am inspired to do everything I can to break the cycle and prevent families from losing loved ones to this preventable disease.”

To educate others about heart disease (especially women), Monica joined forces with Campbell’s “AdDress Your Heart” campaign. “Most women do not realize that heart disease is the #1 killer of American women.”

Monica, 39, reveals the tragic loss of her father was a wake-up call to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle for her and her three kids.

“I’m taking better care of myself by eating healthy, exercising and doing my best to keep my stress level down as well as role modeling good habits for my kids.” It’s also important to take baby steps and not overhaul your entire lifestyle at once, suggests Monica. “I have started by adding more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to every meal and try to go on a walk everyday – whether it be in the morning by myself or with my kids after dinner.”

Just like most moms, Monica tries to keep healthy foods on hand, so her kids aren’t tempted to eat junk food. Whenever the family hits the road, she makes sure to pack snacks in the car, like nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Plus, she knows it’s important to set a good example and always tries to eat well, even when she’s crazy busy shooting “Parenthood.” Her favorite go-to food is Campbell’s Healthy Request soups. “I often keep them in my trailer and have them for lunch with a salad or I’ll use them as a sauce for chicken breasts or fish and serve them to my kids with a side of vegetables.”

Inspired to take better care of yourself and your family? Here are a few tips to keep your ticker healthy.

Campbell’s Heart-Healthy Tips:

1. Celebrate with a checkup
Let each birthday remind you that it’s time for your yearly physical and a talk with your doctor about how you can reduce your risk for heart disease.

2. Get off the couch
Work up to at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week, for a total of 150 minutes per week. Step, march, jog in place – you can even do it while watching TV.

3. Quit smoking in four steps
Can’t go “cold turkey”? Cut the number of cigarettes you smoke each day in half; then cut that number in half; cut it in half again; finally, cut down to zero!

4. Drop a pound or two
By cutting out 500 to 1,000 calories a day you can lose up to two pounds per week, and gradually bring yourself closer to a heart-healthy weight.

5. Become a salt detective
Check out the Nutrition Facts panel on packaged foods to see how much sodium (salt) they contain. Aim for a total intake of no more than 2,300 milligrams (about a teaspoon of salt) per day.

Check out for more heart-healthy tips. Plus, be sure to tune in to “Parenthood” Tuesdays at 10pm on NBC.

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