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Beef and the Heart: A family of strong hearts

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Posted by: on February 6, 2012

I’m excited to feature a guest blog post featuring beef and the heart each Monday throughout February (Heart Month). This post, written by Team Beef runner and busy mom Tara Cassidy, is one we can all relate to and really appreciate. Beef keeps her heart healthy to raise four children and to continue running daily, but it also serves as the center of the Cassidy family mealtime, allowing love to affect their hearts and love for one another.

As the mom of four incredible children and wife to a hard-working husband, having a healthy heart is pretty important to me. The kids depend on me to pack their lunches, wash their clothes, tuck them in at night, and guide them through life as they grow. Like most moms and wives, I am really busy with all of my own activities and theirs, but it is important that I take the time to feed my family nutritious meals that taste good. Knowing that I am an example to my children, it is equally important that I take good care of myself physically and mentally – both reasons that I run.

Currently, I’m training to run my eighth and ninth half marathons in March and April. I also run my own business, play taxi to the kids for their variety of activities and somewhere in there I try to educate and feed my very active children. With 29 cuts of lean beef to choose from, it is easy to prepare a nutrient-dense, filling and heart-healthy meal, which is why beef hits our dinner table many nights each week.

Lean beef aides my own body in recovery after a tough track speed workout or a race. It fuels my (almost) 13-year-old son before football and basketball games. It also gives my 10-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son a healthy caloric boost and lots of natural vitamins and minerals to keep them going during their weekly boot camp classes. Not immune to the power of protein is my 3-year-old daughter, who spends much of her time pedaling, swimming and climbing jungle gyms each day. It makes me feel good as a mom to know that what I put on the table benefits us all and helps us to lead such active lives. All of my children will readily discuss how lean beef is part of our healthy diet, gives them energy and keeps their hearts strong.

Running several days each week and fueling my body with healthy cuts of beef as part of my diet helps to keep my heart strong, cholesterol in normal ranges, and reduces my risk of developing Type II diabetes. The latter reason strikes home especially as a 2-time insulin dependent gestational diabetic. Lean beef helps keep me fueled for my long and short runs and helps my muscles to repair quickly afterwards. Running is mentally relaxing, which is a quality that makes me both a better mom and wife. Broken down, the equation is actually quite simple: Lean beef + Running + Healthy Heart = Happy Mom and Wife.

A recipe my family loves!

Spending a lot of time in the kitchen doesn’t usually work out well for me, so I am a fan of slow cooker meals that are family friendly and healthy at the same time. When I asked my kids what recipe I should offer in this blog post their answer was clear. They all wanted, “That stuff you put on top of the crunchy cabbage.”

Asian-style Beef and Cabbage

  • 2.5 lbs chuck roast trimmed or other roast
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¾  tsp ginger
  • ¾  tsp all spice
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 3T honey
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1tsp dried garlic powder
  • 1 head of cabbage cut into shreds

Put everything except the cabbage into a slow cooker on low for 8 hours or until beef shreds easily. Shred beef. Serve over large bed of fresh cabbage shreds.

Find more healthy beef recipes and Team Beef recipes at

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