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How to Say Happy New Year in Chinese

新 Xīn  年 nián  快 kuài  乐 lè!

When is Chinese New Year 2022?  Tuesday, February 1

Chinese New Year 2022 falls on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022, and celebrations culminate with the Lantern Festival on February 15th, 2022.

How Long is Chinese New Year?  16 Days

Celebrations last up to 16 days, but only the first 7 days are considered a public holiday (January 31st–February 6th, 2022).

What is the 2022 Chinese Zodiac?  Water Tiger

Chinese New Year marks the transition between zodiac signs: 2022 is the year of the Water Tiger; 2021 the year of the Golden Ox.


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4 Factors That Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

First, the bad news: Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. for people of any gender.

The good news: It’s preventable.

What is heart disease?
The term “heart disease” covers many conditions that affect the heart. Most commonly, it refers to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. In this condition, you have plaque buildup in either the:

Coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart.
Peripheral arteries, which supply blood to your limbs and brain.
This buildup can lead to a heart attack or stroke. But you can take steps to prevent it.

Heart disease risk factors
According to a 2015 Annals of Internal Medicine study, about half the deaths from heart and vascular disease in the U.S. could be prevented. Reducing your risks for heart disease is the first step. These heart disease factors include:
Obesity: A body mass index (BMI) above 30 puts you at risk for developing heart disease. Body fat distribution matters, too.

High cholesterol and high blood pressure: Too much LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol can cause plaque to build up in your arteries, pinching off the flow of blood to your heart or brain. Hypertension (high blood pressure) also increases risk for heart disease.

Diabetes: Making sure that diabetes is well controlled helps prevent plaque buildup and atherosclerosis (when plaque clogs your arteries). Plaque buildup restricts blood flow to your heart and other organs, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Alcohol consumption:  Drinking too much alcohol increases the risk for heart disease.

How to prevent heart disease
To help prevent heart disease, Dr. Laffin recommends cultivating heart healthy habits in these four areas.

1. Nutrition
The Mediterranean diet continues to be the crème de la crème of the heart health world. It involves eating foods that are traditionally consumed in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This translates into a diet loaded with:

Whole grains.
Healthy fats, such as olive oil.
A 2018 New England Journal of Medicine study showed that this way of eating goes beyond improving your cholesterol and blood pressure. It also lowers your risk for stroke and heart attack

2. Physical activity
The heart is a muscle that needs exercise. Getting the heart rate in an aerobic training zone maintains that heart pumping, or systolic, function. But more importantly, regular physical activity can lead to lower blood pressure and weight stability.
3. Smoking
Smoking is a major cause of atherosclerosis. The longer you smoke, the higher your risk of heart attack. But it’s never too late to quit. You can experience the benefits within months.
4. Medication
It’s not just lifestyle factors that affect heart disease risk. Genetics can also tip the scales in (or out of) your favor.

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Sheet Pan Chickpea Chicken

 Healthy recipe that is Gluten & Dairy Free and Heart Healthy 

Sheet Pan Chickpea Chicken

This one-pan delight combines earthy chickpeas, sweet peppers, and spicy harissa sauce for a winning chicken dinner that’s full of flavor.

4 servings
25 mins
1 15.5-oz can chickpeas, rinsed
1 16-oz bag mini sweet peppers
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tbsp. harissa sauce
4 small skin-on chicken legs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
Chopped cilantro, for serving

Heat oven to 425°F. On large rimmed baking sheet, toss chickpeas and peppers with 1 Tbsp oil and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper. 
In small bowl, whisk together harissa and 1 Tbsp oil. Rub chicken with harissa mixture. Nestle among chickpeas and peppers and roast until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. 
Toss with cilantro before serving. 
Per serving: 630 calories, 42 g fat (10 g saturated), 39 g protein, 600 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber

Black History Month

Every February, nationally we celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month.

In 1915, in response to the lack of information on the accomplishments of Black people available to the public, historian Carter G. Woodson co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.

In 1926, the group declared the second week of February as “Negro History Week” to recognize the contributions of African Americans to U.S. history. Few people studied Black history and it wasn’t included in textbooks prior to the creation of Negro History Week.  This week was chosen because it includes the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist (someone who wanted to end the practice of enslaving people), and former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln led the United States during the Civil War, which was primarily fought over the enslavement of Black people in the country. Many schools and leaders began recognizing the week after its creation.  The week-long event officially became Black History Month in 1976 when U.S. president Gerald Ford extended the recognition to “honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Black History Month has been celebrated in the United States every February since.

Black History Month was created to focus attention on the contributions of African Americans to the United States. It honors all Black people from all periods of U.S. history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to African Americans living in the United States today.

Among the notable figures often spotlighted during Black History Month are Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who fought for equal rights for Blacks during the 1950s and ’60s; Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 1967;  Mae Jemison, who became the first female African-American astronaut to travel to space in 1992; and Barack Obama, who was elected the first-ever African-American president of the United States in 2008.

Since the first Negro History Week in 1926, other countries have joined the United States in celebrating Black people and their contribution to history and culture, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Today Black History Month continues the discussion of Black people and their contributions through activities such as museum exhibits and film screenings, and by encouraging the study of achievements by African Americans year-round.

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As always, Empowered Healing leads to Empowered Health, resulting in an Empowered YOU!