Giving up Smoking – Pádraic’s Story

Quitting smoking is the single best thing you could do for your health, but breaking the smoking habit is not easy and takes time. We spoke with Croí Programme Participant Pádraic Ó Corrduibh from Lochan Beag, Inverin, who shared his story on giving up smoking for good.

National No Smoking Day takes place on Ash Wednesday, which falls this year on February 26th. If you are a smoker, you can sign up to a quit plan here.

Make a healthier pancake this Shrove Tuesday!

This Tuesday, the frying pans won’t know what hit them with all the pancakes that will be made! Although a popular and tasty treat, pancakes and the toppings that come with them are often high in sugar and saturated fats.

This year, why not opt for the healthy choice and try Croí’s heart healthy pancakes, featuring soaked oats and banana. These delicious pancakes are full of heart-friendly ingredients, with the same great taste as traditional pancakes – the kids won’t even know the difference. Croí’s Lead Dietitian, Suzanne Seery, has also suggested some healthy toppings that just taste like more!

Check out the recipe below:

Ingredients: 

  • 150g soaked porridge oats
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 large, free-range eggs
  • 100ml skimmed milk
  • 2 tsp rapeseed oil

Suggested toppings:

  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower & Pumpkin seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Low-fat yogurt

Method:

  • Mix the porridge, flour, baking powder, banana, eggs and milk in a bowl.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add 2-3 tbsp of the mixture into the pan and cook on a medium heat until the underside is golden and bubbles are popping on the surface.
  • Flip over and cook for another few mins until cooked through. Repeat until you’ve used up all the batter.
  • Add your toppings and enjoy!

Croí’s Lead Dietitian, Suzanne Seery, breaks down the heart healthy ingredients used in our pancake recipe!

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Close to the heart – Mayo team to wear Croí’s message in upcoming Mayo vs Kerry game

On February 29th at the Allianz football league game between Mayo and Kerry, with thanks to the generous support of Mayo GAA main sponsors Intersport Elverys, the Mayo team will wear a special one-off jersey carrying Croí’s logo in an effort to put the spotlight on heart health for over 55’s across the county. The jersey will call on people to own their heart health and ‘Check it. Sort it.’

Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, will be on-site at An Sportlann and Elverys MacHale Park to share information about a new initiative, Croí Third Age Mayo. In Ireland and across the world, people are living longer – in fact County Mayo has one of the highest rates of people over the age of 55 compared to the rest of the country. Croí Third Age Mayo is specifically designed to promote and support the cardiovascular health and well-being of the over 55 population. Heart disease, stroke and diabetes are more common as we get older. If detected early, many heart conditions such as high blood pressure, heart valve disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat) can be treated so that people can have a longer and better quality of life.

Pre-match Panel

Croí’s recently announced partnership with Mayo GAA is helping to put the spotlight on heart health for over 55’s, with Croí hosting a panel discussion with key Mayo and Kerry former players ahead of the game on February 29th. Everyone is welcome to attend this special event at An Sportlann, Castlebar Mitchels, with Mayo and Kerry footballers to lead the discussion for an hour of chat and reminiscing from 5 – 6pm before the all-important match in Elverys MacHale Park.

Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020
Time: 5 – 6pm
Location: An Sportlann, Castlebar Mitchels

TJ Kilgallon, Andy Moran and Liam McHale will join the Mayo side of the panel, with Marc Ó Sé the first to be announced from the Kerry side. Kilgallon said, “I support any effort to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke… Mayo has one of the highest rates of heart disease in Ireland, and we need to start being more proactive about our health.” Dr. Jim Crowley, Consultant Cardiologist and Croí’s Medical Director will open the panel, with Ballinrobe native Liam Horan as the MC for the evening. Space is limited and seats are first come, first served – no pre-registration is needed.

Follow Mayo GAA (@OfficialMayoGAA) and Croí (@CroiHeartStroke) on Facebook for the latest information and more details on the panel line-up as it is announced.

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Go Red in aid of Croí at their Galway 2020 Ball

2020 is Galway’s year, and the team at Croí are building on this momentum to bring you the Galway 2020 Go Red Ball, supporting the heart and stroke charity.

The Galway 2020 Go Red Ball supporting Croí will take place on Friday, March 20, 2020 at the Galmont Hotel & Spa, Galway. This year’s event is sponsored by laya healthcare, who recently opened the Laya Health & Wellbeing Clinic in Briarhill, Galway. Guests are encouraged to Go Red for Croí by wearing something red – from as little as a splash of red to all red!

Croí’s long history is rooted in Galway, supporting the heart and stroke services across the West of Ireland. Established in 1985, Croí helped to transform cardiac care at Galway University Hospital and in some of the referring hospitals in the region. “We are so proud to say that our donors have helped us impact virtually every level of cardiac care, from prevention to post-hospital recovery, support and rehabilitation,” says Christine Flanagan, Fundraising Director.

Sinéad Proos, Head of Health & Wellbeing at laya healthcare added: “We’re proud to support the invaluable work of Croí in the Galway region particularly as we’re now firmly rooted in the community with our Laya Health & Wellbeing Clinic in Briarhill where members can avail of heart screening services”

The Go Red Ball promises to be a night filled with great food, fun and entertainment – all in support of the fight against heart disease and stroke. The evening will begin with a red cocktail reception, followed by dinner and entertainment with top Irish impressionist, RTE’s Oliver Callan of ‘Callan’s Kicks’. Dancing follows to the sounds of Ireland’s Ultimate Noughties Band, Hollaback and DJ to the early hours.

Don’t miss Galway’s longest-running and largest charity ball! See www.croi.ie/ball for more information, or to reserve tickets contact Christine Flanagan at 091-544062.

Mayo GAA Creates Healthy Partnerships for 2020

Mayo GAA has joined forces with both Mindspace Mayo and Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, as its official health partners for 2020.

Mayo GAA will work with both partners throughout 2020 to raise awareness of the services both Mindspace Mayo and Croí can offer to supporters to ensure they can stay on top of their mental and physical health. One of the highlights of this partnership will be a special one off Mayo jersey carrying the Croí logo on the front of it for the upcoming Allianz football league game between Mayo and Kerry in Elverys MacHale Park on February 29th. We also thank our main sponsors Intersport Elverys for allowing us to produce this one off jersey for this game.

Commenting on the initiative Mayo GAA chairperson Liam Moffat said, “The mental health and wellbeing of everyone involved in our game is a growing focus for us, and we are proud to partner with Mindspace to encourage our players and supporters to stay connected and ask for help if they’re struggling. Mental health is an issue affecting so many workplaces, families and sporting organisations. We shouldn’t shy away from it and I encourage anyone who needs support to reach out.”

“Likewise Croí offer vital services to people all over the country and in particular the West of Ireland on raising awareness about the risk factors for heart disease and stroke. In particular, the launch of Croí Third Age Mayo is putting the spotlight on heart health for the over 55’s across the county. We look forward to working with both organisations aswell as engaging with our clubs and supporters on how they can look after themselves both on and off the pitch in 2020”.

Mindspace Mayo’s Project Manager Peadar Gardiner praised Mayo GAA’s holistic approach to youth mental health as a positive step in the right direction. “We are delighted to partner with Mayo GAA. It’s encouraging to see important community organisations such as the Mayo GAA elevate mental health by recognising it as an essential aspect in the lives of their players, members and the broader community.Mayo GAA’s decision to truly commit to the outcomes of the partnership by encompassing club, community engagement, education and fundraising across the Mindspace service will make this partnership a game-changer.”

Croí CEO Neil Johnson added: “This great partnership allows us to highlight the importance of healthy and active ageing across County Mayo. In Ireland and across the world people are living longer, and Mayo has one of the highest rates of people over the age of 55 compared to the rest of the country. As we age, heart disease and stroke become more prevalent. Croí Third Age Mayo promotes and supports the heart health and well-being of the over 55 population in the county. We are excited to share more at the upcoming Mayo and Kerry game on February 29th. We’re very grateful to Mayo GAA for supporting us in putting a spotlight on heart health for over 55’s.”

Take Valentine’s Day to Heart!

BY CROÍ'S LEAD DIETITIAN, SUZANNE SEERY

As Valentine’s Day is approaching, it’s time to get creative! How about spending quality time with that special someone by preparing a heart healthy meal together? You can spice things up in the kitchen by using a range of herbs and spices to boost the senses and add plenty of flavour while avoiding added salt.

The colour red is often associated with love, passion and desire, so the recipes chosen feature red fruit and vegetables! Fruit and vegetables come in lots of different colours which represents the variety of antioxidants in these foods. Antioxidants are known to help keep our immune system strong, protect our body’s cells from damage and reduce the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Red fruit and vegetables get their colour from Lycopene which is known to have antioxidant properties that may help to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Lycopene is more easily absorbed in the body when it’s cooked such as in the homemade tomato and basil soup recipe included in your Valentines dinner menu!

Not only will you have fun cooking together, you will also spend a lot less as this three course meal can be prepared for less than €20 (see recipes below)!

3 Course Valentine’s Dinner Menu:

This delicious soup costs less than €5 and takes only half an hour to make! It also contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which contribute to strong hair, skin and nails, enzyme regulation and the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 bulb garlic cloves
  • 1 kg of vine / regular fresh tomatoes
  • 4 semi-sundried tomatoes

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400F/Gas Mark 6.  Place the tomatoes on the vine and garlic in a large roasting pan, drizzle with 2 tablespoon olive oil and roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until the tomatoes have burst. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
  2. Squeeze the roasted garlic from its skin and remove the vine from the tomatoes.
  3. Place the garlic flesh and roasted tomatoes into a large pan, add the sundried tomatoes, basil (reserving a few leaves for garnish), and 3 tbsp olive oil. Blitz with a handheld blender until smooth, then add enough liquid to reach the desired consistency.
  4. Serve warm with a few leaves of basil torn, and some wholemeal brown bread.

This unique main course will bring your senses on a whole new adventure as you explore various Mediterranean spices. Not only will you be pleasantly surprised, you will also be doing your heart a favour. This lean-protein dish uses heart healthy olive oil or rapeseed oil, which are unsaturated fats. It also contains 3 servings of vegetables per portion and is high in vitamin C and fibre!

Ingredients:

  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 124g lean turkey breast mince (< 8% fat)
  • ½ small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves grated
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3-4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 low-salt chicken stock cube
  • 2-3 teaspoons of  dried oregano
  • 60g low-fat mozzarella, grated
  • 150g green vegetables to serve.

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Halve the peppers length-ways, then remove the seeds and core but keep the stalks on. Rub the peppers with a drizzle of olive oil and season well. Put on a baking tray and roast for 15 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Fry the mince for 2-3 mins, stirring to break up the chunks, then tip onto a plate.
  3. Wipe out your pan, then heat the rest of the oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, stir-fry for 2-3 mins, then add the cumin and mushrooms and cook for 2-3 mins more.
  4. Tip the mince back into the pan and add the chopped tomatoes and tomato purée. Crumble in the stock cube and cook for 3-4 mins, then add the oregano and season. Remove the peppers from the oven and fill them with as much of the mince as you can. (Don’t worry if some spills out it – it will go satisfyingly crisp in the oven.) Top with the cheese and return to the oven for 10-15 mins until the cheese starts to turn golden.

Enjoy and feel guilt free in building your own fruit bowl! This activity is fun, rewarding and will allow you to show your great creative self.

Choose a mixture of berries such as strawberries, raspberries and seasonal fruits.

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Aurivo raises €40,000 for heart and stroke charity

A cheque to the value of €40,000 has been presented by Aurivo representatives to the heart and stroke charity ‘Croí’.

According to a statement issued by Aurivo today, Friday, February 7, the company’s employees organised numerous fundraising events for the charity as part of the co-op’s ‘Charity of the Year’ programme.

Commenting on the announcement, Donal Tierney, Aurivo’s CEO, said: “Aurivo is delighted to give back to the local community and support Croí and their work. We take great pride in our Charity of the Year programme and it is an important part of our Corporate Social Responsibility and Origin Green Sustainability Strategy.”

The funds raised by Aurivo staff and matched by the co-op will be used to refurbish Croí’s three self-contained apartments that are open 365 days a year and have been used by people from all over Ireland.

Speaking about the partnership with Aurivo, Croí CEO Neil Johnson said: “This generous support by Aurivo will allow Croí to continue to provide much-needed accommodation for people at a time when they need to be as close as possible to a loved one who is receiving cardiac or stroke care in Galway University Hospital. We were delighted to engage with Aurivo throughout the year in support of their fundraising efforts and our community nurses have been involved in health-check programmes for Aurivo staff and at local marts.”

Concluding, Pat Duffy, Aurivo chairman, said: “Our dedicated staff have put in huge effort to host fundraising events throughout 2019.

“The Charity of the Year Programme allows our staff, members and customers to work alongside one another in the local community to raise vital funds for our charity partners.”

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Kavanagh Group support Croí’s life-saving work in Mayo

Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, is delighted to have been chosen as Kavanagh Group’s 2020 Charity of the Year, and the two organisations have lots of great events planned to help raise awareness of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke across County Mayo.

On Friday, February 7, the Croí Health Team visited four of the Kavanagh Group stores, including Westport, Castlebar, Kiltimagh and Claremorris, delivering free heart health checks to customers and to celebrate the launch of this great new partnership.

“We are so delighted to have been chosen by the Kavanagh Group as Charity of the Year. Our work in Mayo is so important – we want to raise awareness of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke as so many of these cases are preventable! The support of Kavanagh Group allows us to continue our life-saving work and support the people of Mayo,” says Christine Flanagan, Croí Director of Fundraising.

The Kavanagh Group employs over 1,100 people across Ireland and the UK and is one of Ireland’s largest independent retailing companies, operating 14 supermarkets along with a number of other businesses, including the Wyatt Hotel, O’Cee’s Coffee Shop, and SuperValu Homewares Store. “We are very excited to join forces with Croí in the fight against heart disease and stroke. We want to promote good health and well-being with our employees and customers, and Croí’s work in Mayo is so important for the community,” says Noel Kavanagh Jnr, Managing Director.

The Kavanagh Group have lots of exciting events planned for 2020 in support of Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity. Keep an eye on their social media pages @kavanaghgroup.ie and @croiheartstroke. For heart health information, please visit www.croi.ie for expert advice from the Croí Health Team.