Raw Chef Steph | Feeding the hungry heart

Stephanie Dodds
Special to the Sun
Raw Chef Steph stirs up love for heart healthy foods.
Courtesy Steve Rosenfield |

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — EDITOR’S NOTE: February is American Heart Month, a time to show yourself, and your heart, the love. Stephanie Dodds shares some heart-healthy diet tips for Sierra Sun readers.

I was watching the movie Food Matters the other night. It was saying that heart disease is the number one killer in America — yikes! The World Health Organization (WHO) statistics show that as much as 80 percent of heart disease can be prevented by adopting a healthful diet.

I consider myself a “super hero” of love, so taking care of my ticker is of high priority. In honor of a “Heart Healthy” month, I wanted to share with you some heart healthy foods that you will enjoy without missing a beat.

A heart healthy diet is defined as an anti-inflammatory diet, as well as alkalizing and soothing to the intestinal tract. We want to eat foods rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, meaning eat as many colors as possible! We want to eat these nutrient rich foods, as they help protect against free radicals in the body, which helps protect our cellular integrity and health.

Some healthy heart super hero foods:

Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil contains compounds that are potent free-radical scavengers and helps protect from oxidative damage.

Oatmeal: Great source of Omega-3’s (which are helpful for inflammation). Contains soluble fiber and essential nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin, and calcium.

Dark chocolate: Is full of antioxidants along with fiber, magnesium, and iron. It lowers blood pressure naturally and is truly a super food!

Flax seeds: One of my favorite foods, flax seeds are a valuable source of Omega-3 fats. These are great to eat in the whole seed form or ground up. They contain fiber and phytonutrients as well.

Walnuts: More healthy fat! Walnuts are a great source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids which is great for our brain health. And if you think about it, walnuts look like little brains! They are also rich in manganese, copper, and potassium.

Hemp seeds: Hulled hemps seeds are a wonderful food with all essential amino acids and both essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6. They are also easy for the body to digest and are a good source of protein.

Healthy Heart Super Hero Oatmeal

3 cups of water/almond milk

1 1/2 cups of quick oats (I like the certified gluten-free oats)

3 tbl. shredded coconut

1/3 cup walnut pieces

1 banana, sliced

2 dates, chopped

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbl. honey

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. flax seeds

1 tbsp. hemp seeds

Bring water or almond milk to a boil. Add all ingredients and cook on stove top for 5 min. or until desired consistency is met, stir frequently. This makes two hearty servings.

Stephanie Dodds, also known as Raw Chef Steph, is a holistic nutritionist and wellness coach in the Truckee/Tahoe area. Find out more at She does private chef work as well as one-on-one nutrition coaching.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.