February makes us think of our sweethearts and what better time to think about the health of our hearts than right now?  Hypertension and  diabetes, both risk factors for heart disease, are the most common of diagnoses among our patients at the Clinic.   Heart disease,  including stroke, is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths is caused by heart disease.  That is a huge number that could largely be prevented.  The Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic is committed to helping our patients achieve optimum wellness by providing treatment and education about heart disease.

The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy.

What are the warning signs of a heart attack?

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms such as shortness of breath,nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you're not sure it's a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives, maybe your own. Don't wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number.

Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive, up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too.

Small steps can yield big results.    Please visit the American Heart Association website at  www.heart.org. for more information on what you can do to prevent and control heart disease.

This month's recipe comes from the American Heart Association Cookbook. You can enjoy treats in moderation, and with a few changes, eliminate the unhealthy saturated fats without sacrificing taste.

We at HMVMC wish you healthy hearts and happy Valentines Day!

Chocolate Pudding Cake


Rich and gooey, this easy-to-prepare pudding cake is intensely satisfying. It magically bakes into two distinct layers, one cakelike and the other a chocolate pudding sauce.


Cake Layer
1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 chopped pecans
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pudding Layer
1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Dust the bottom with 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.

For the cake layer, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, pecans, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add the evaporated milk, oil, and vanilla, stirring until well combined. Using a rubber scraper or the back of a large spoon, spread the batter in the pan. (The batter will be very thick.)

For the pudding layer, in another medium bowl, stir together the sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Whisk in the water and vanilla. Pour over the batter. Do not stir.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched lightly in the center. (A cake tester or wooden toothpick doesn’t work well for testing doneness here.) Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, spooning the pudding over the cake.

Nutritional Analysis
Per serving
Calories Per Serving 175
Total Fat 4.0g
Saturated Fat 0.5g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Carbohydrates 33mg
Fiber 1g
Sugar 23g
Protein 3g

Dietary Exchanges
2 carbohydrate, 1 fat