Ask the Experts at Free Croí Webinar

Watch back our past webinars below

Living Well with Atrial Fibrillation, June 9th, 2022

On Thursday the 9th of June, our Living Well with Cardiovascular Disease webinar series returned with an expert discussion on Living Well with Atrial Fibrillation.

Our expert panel for the evening included Dr Niamh Hannon, Consultant in Stroke and Geriatric Medicine, University Hospital Galway; Dr John Keaney, Consultant Cardiologist, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, and Honorary Clinical Lecturer, UCD School of Health Sciences; and Ed Cherry, who represented the patient voice by sharing his experience of AFib, from symptoms to diagnosis and treatment. The webinar was hosted by Trish Galvin, Advanced Practice Nurse – Stroke, University Hospital Galway.

Living Well with Heart Failure, May 26th, 2022

On Thursday, May 26th, our Living Well with Cardiovascular Disease webinar series returned with an expert discussion on Living Well with Heart Failure.

Our expert panel for the evening included Dr John Barton, Heart Failure Consultant, Galway University Hospitals; Emer Burke, Advanced Nurse Practitioner (Heart Failure Integrated Care), Galway University Hospitals; and Ian Burnett, who is living with heart failure and shared his patient perspective. The special guest moderator was Aistė Štaraitė, a heart failure patient and Chair of the Global Heart Hub Heart Failure Patient Council, of which Croí is a founding Affiliate.

Managing your High Blood Pressure, April 28, 2022

On Thursday, April 29th, our Living with Cardiovascular Disease webinar series returned with an expert discussion on Managing High Blood Pressure.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Watch back our webinar on high blood pressure and how to manage it with expert speakers Prof Andrew Murphy, GP & Professor of General Practice, NUI Galway; and Eoin Keating, Physiotherapist. 

Women's Heart Health and Menopause, March 31, 2021

On Thursday, March 31st, our Living with Cardiovascular Disease webinar series returned with an expert discussion on Women’s Heart Health and Menopause.

Our expert panel for the evening included: Dr Mary Ryan, Consultant Endocrinologist; Dr Eva Flynn, GP and Medical Educator; and Prof Catriona Jennings, Cardiovascular Specialist Research Nurse. Hosted by Annie Costelloe, Croí’s Patient & Community Engagement Manager.

Fingers on the Pulse for Stroke Awareness, October 28, 2021

On Thursday, Oct 28th, Croí hosted a special webinar to mark World Stroke Day. The webinar focused on risk factors stroke. Our expert panel for the evening included: Prof Rónán Collins, Geriatrician & Stroke Physician, Clinical Lead Irish – National Stroke Programme; Prof Jim Crowley, Consultant Cardiologist; Trish Galvin, ANP Stroke Care; Declan Fahy, Stroke Survivor; Edward Cherry, Living with Atrial Fibrillation.

This event was supported by Johnson & Johnson. To learn more about Atrial Fibrillation, visit getsmartaboutafib.com.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease and Stroke, September 30, 2021

On Thursday, Sept 30th, the Croí Health Team hosted a special webinar to mark World Heart Day. The webinar focused on risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Our expert panel for the evening included: Dr. Lisa Hynes, Health Psychologist and Croí’s Head of Health Programmes; Aisling Harris, Croí’s Cardiac and Weight Management Dietitian; Zoe McCrudden, Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist.

Heart Valve Disease, September 16, 2021

The Listen to Your Heart webinar (Sept 16, 2021) featured contributions from interventional cardiologist, Dr Samer Arnous, and James Penny, who is living with heart valve disease. MC on the evening was Lia Hynes, Journalist with the Irish Independent, author and podcast host. The webinar highlighted the signs and symptoms of heart valve disease and how it is detected and treated.

Minding Your Heart Health, August 12th, 2021

Croí’s Living with Cardiovascular Disease: Emotional Recovery webinar took place on Thursday, August 27th and featured an expert panel of speakers, including: Noelle O’Keeffe, Senior Counselling Psychologist and Professional Coach; Dr. Lisa Hynes, Health Psychologist and Head of Health Programmes, Croí; Maeve Frawley, Heartlink West Nurse, Croí and Jonathan Walsh, Living with heart disease.

Minding Your Heart Health, August 12th, 2021

On Thursday, August 12th, Croí hosted a special Minding Your Heart Health webinar for the community of Erris, Co. Mayo. We were delighted to be joined by three expert panelists: Prof. Jim Crowley, Consultant Cardiologist; Ailish Houlihan, Self-Management Support Co-ordinator for Long-term Health Conditions with Community Healthcare West; and Zoe McCrudden, Cardiovascular Nurse Specialist.

Living with Atrial Fibrillation, June 24th, 2021

Croí’s Living with Atrial Fibrillation webinar took place on June 24, 2021 and featured an expert panel of speakers, including: Paul Nolan, Chief II Cardiac Physiologist at Galway University Hospital; Dr. Jonathan Lyne, Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist at Blackrock Clinic; and Eileen Joyce, Psychotherapist, who was diagnosed with AFib last year and will share her experience from a patient’s perspective.

Managing your High Blood Pressure, May 20th, 2021

Croí’s Managing your High Blood Pressure webinar took place on May 20, 2021 and featured an expert panel of speakers, including: Prof. Bill McEvoy, Consultant Cardiologist, University Hospital Galway; Dr. Barry McDonnell, Cardiovascular Physiologist, Cardiff Metropolitan University; and Dr. Gerry Molloy, Health Psychologist, NUI Galway.

Living well with cardiovascular disease, April 29th 2021

Croí’s Living well with cardiovascular disease webinar took place on April 29, 2021 and featured an expert panel of speakers, including: Prof. Jim Crowley, Consultant Cardiologist; Dr. Cathy McHugh, Consultant Endocrinologist; Aisling Harris, Croí’s Cardiac & Weight Management Dietitian.

The MySláinte programme is funded by the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019, under Grant Agreement Number 121 to support the delivery of services which focus on prevention, community care and integration of care across all health and social care settings.

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Top tips for Mindful Eating this Christmas

While Christmas is an enjoyable time, there’s no doubt that food is a central component. This can make it a challenging time if you struggle around food or have a difficult relationship with foods. Learning to eat more mindfully and intuitively can help you feel more in control around food, feel less guilt about food choices and is a valuable skill to practice throughout the year, not just at Christmas. Learning to eat mindfully takes time, however, here are our top tips for getting started:

  1. Eat foods that make you feel good – physically and mentally. For some people, this could be a creamy hot chocolate while watching your favourite Christmas movie or a mince pie with a friend. These foods might nourish our mind and our mood. Other times you might crave a piece of fruit, an extra helping of veg with your dinner or an alcohol-free day because you feel like your body is craving this. There are no ‘good or bad’ foods, just food. Same as we are not ‘good or bad’ depending on the foods we eat. Removing feelings of shame or guilt around food gives us so much more freedom and ultimately, we are more likely to choose a balanced diet.
  2. Check in with your hunger and fullness signals. Sometimes we can become out of touch with our hunger and fullness signals and not trust ourselves to know when we are hungry or full. This can often be a result of years of dieting, following restrictive meal plans and being told exactly what and when to eat. No wonder we can be scared to trust ourselves. However, we can learn to connect with these signals again. You can do this by regularly using the hunger scale (right). Ideally you would like to be around a 4 before a meal and 6 after a meal. Look out for hunger signals like stomach grumbling, constant thoughts about food, low energy levels, feeling faint or irritable. It’s also important to check in with your fullness signals, particularly at Christmas when we tend to be surrounded by endless supplies of food. We can override the feeling of fullness and intentionally eat more, sometimes to the point of feeling uncomfortably full. Check in with yourself while you are eating and if you’re starting to feel satisfied, stop. You an always come back and finish the meal later if you are still hungry.
  3. Check in with your mood. If you are craving something to eat, but you don’t actually feel hungry, check to see if this is more of an emotional hunger rather than a physical hunger. Often, we crave certain foods in response to emotions such as stress, boredom, loneliness, tiredness etc. Ask yourself ‘What emotion am I feeding?’. Over time this helps us to separate physical and emotional hunger and can help us to learn other ways of coping with our emotions. Some things that can help would be to include some gentle movement of exercise, getting stuck into your favourite hobby or taking 10 minutes to practice some mindfulness.
  4. Ditch the weighing scales. Your value is not measured by a number on the scales. Your health cannot be measured by a number on the scales. If, like a lot of people I work with, you find the scales can affect your mood and your behaviours then get rid of it. Focus on measuring your progress in other ways – are you noticing an improvement in your mood, energy levels, sleep, fitness? Do you feel like you are developing a better routine and healthier habits? Have you noticed improvements in your blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes control? These are the ways you should measure your progress, not by a number on a weighing scales.
  5. Don’t plan to start a diet in January. You may be familiar with the cycle – restrict in November, go all out in December, and then come January 1st clear out the cupboards and go cold turkey. Only to eventually fall back into old habits after a few weeks. This approach doesn’t work long term. Finding a way of eating and exercising that is sustainable, that doesn’t restrict foods and doesn’t make us feel guilty or ashamed when we inevitably go ‘off plan’ is a much healthier and more effective approach. Why not try set goals that are realistic and achievable? For example, aim to start eating 3 meals per day and not skipping lunch, try to get one less takeaway per week and aim to go for at least 3 half hour walks each week. These are much more realistic goals than ones like saying you will cut out all sweets, chocolate, takeaways, cook all meals from scratch and exercise every day for the next year. Don’t set yourself up to fail.

Written by Aisling Harris, Croí Cardiac
and Weight Management Dietitian