An important part of maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle is in the diet that we keep. While the summer can bring many delicious fruits and vegetables that are only available during the warmer months of the year, it can be very easy for many of us to reach for unhealthy options like processed meats, fried foods or sugary treats. These foods can be fine in moderation, but often there are healthier options that can be just as delicious.

As we approach the upcoming August long weekend, we encourage you and your family to try some of these heart healthy foods at the cottage.

Heart Healthy Foods To Have At The Cottage


Looking for a red meat substitute to throw on the grill? Try fresh salmon. Salmon and other oily fish like sardines, tuna, herring and mackerel are rich in omega 3, which helps to reduce blood pressure and clotting.


Avocados are great for providing you with good fats and lots of fiber, which can help to reduce your cholesterol. The best part about avocados is that they’re very versatile! Add them to a salad, a burger, really anything that you think will go great with this delicious fruit.

Nuts (Almonds and Walnuts)

Instead of opting for a big bag of chips go to the local grocery store and opt for some nuts. Most nuts are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease. We recommend getting some walnuts or almonds to snack on, as they’re not only a handy treat but also a great to have with in salads and desserts.


Asparagus is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients which reduces the risk of heart disease. Asparagus is great to have over the BBQ grill with olive oil and a little salt and pepper.

Pomegranate Juice

Not only is pomegranate juice delicious, it’s also packed with antioxidants and is antihypertensive. Have it on it’s own or add it in with some other fruit juices, seltzer or cocktails.


Before heading up to the cottage many families tend to plan out their meals in advance. The traffic at the local stores can be overwhelming, so it can sometimes be better to avoid them for the first few days and just plan ahead. Looking for some summer heart healthy recipes that you can use this weekend? Don’t worry we have a bunch that you can use.

For more heart healthy recipes, check out the heart-healthy living section of our site.


We’re happy to announce that another life was recently saved thanks to a MIKEY defibrillator. They were saved thanks to the efforts of the Meaford Fire Department whom we donated a MIKEY to a short while ago.
It’s exciting that we found out about this save, through the new “Report a Save” button on the Mikey website. If you know of any saves with a MIKEY defibrillator, please reach out to us. 

We often get questions about our MIKEYs – who should use them, when they should be used, how they work, and more. Last week, we received a wonderful photo of a student checking a MIKEY defibrillator at the University of Waterloo, which made us think that we should share a list of things everyone should know about using a MIKEY AED.

Below is a list of questions and answers that we often get about our MIKEY defibrillators as well as some tools on how to properly check and test them.

MIKEY Tips and Tools

How Often Should I Check To Make Sure my Mikey Defibrillator is Working?

You should be checking to make sure that your MIKEY defibrillator is working at least once a month. This is essential to ensure that your MIKEY is in working order and is ready to save a life if the need should arise.

To check if it is, use our monthly check up manual available in the link below.

 The Mikey Network Monthly Maintenance Manual

Who Can Use a MIKEY?

Anyone can use a MIKEY. Yes, even you. You don’t have to be a medical professional to use a MIKEY and save a life! Just follow along to the instructions. It’s safe and easy for anyone to use.

When should I use a MIKEY in an Emergency?

When someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in a public place, the most critical actions a bystander can take are to call 9-1-1, and deliver cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to provide blood flow to the heart and brain. One person can do this while another runs to look for a nearby MIKEY (AED).  Once they return with an AED, you can start preparing to operate a charge.

Does an AED Always Deliver a Shock?

The MIKEY automatically assesses the situation and diagnoses if there are potentially life-threatening heart rhythms. If, and only if, the AED detects a problem that may respond positively to an electric shock, it permits a shock to be delivered to restore a normal heart rhythm.

What If I don’t Know the Steps to Use an AED?

The MIKEY gives simple audio instructions designed for ordinary people.  You just open the case and follow the instructions that are delivered through voice prompts. Some MIKEYs automatically provide a shock and some require you to push a button. The MIKEY will tell you when and if you should push the button to deliver a shock.

Can I be Sued if Something Goes Wrong?

Did you know it’s impossible to be sued for using a MIKEY to help someone? Every province has legislation protecting bystanders from lawsuits when they are only trying their best to help someone in an emergency – even if something goes wrong.

Need to find a MIKEY? We have placed over 2000 MIKEY’s all over the world, see where the nearest one is to you. 

With the rising temperatures across Canada, government agencies have been sending out warnings to citizens about the risk of extreme heat.

This heat has largely affected the areas of Southern Ontario, Quebec and the East Coast.  With 15 deaths in Quebec already this summer, now more than ever is a good time to know how to prepare yourself against the extreme heat.

Most Canadians think that extreme heat can only affect the elderly, but often it can affect people who are suffering from illnesses, and those with heart conditions. We’ve created a list of criteria to follow that you can use to prepare yourself and your loved ones for the heat of the summer.

How to prepare for the extreme heat

Preparing for a heat wave

  • Find areas or ways to keep cool in your home when it’s hot out. This can be as simple as setting up your home with air conditioning or fans.
  • Plan out your day, and know about places that are cool. Most public buildings, malls, and offices offer air conditioning during the day.
  • Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for wherever you spend time – home, work and school – and prepare for the possibility of power outages.
  • Make sure to have a plan for your pets as well as your family and make sure that their needs are met. Depending on how shaggy your pets are, they can get pretty hot on summer days.
  • Get trained in first aid, so that you’re able to recognize and respond to emergencies in the heat. The Mikey Young at Heart app is a great tool on the basics of first aid, and how to use an AED, but if you want a full accreditation we recommend reaching out to your local municipality or St.John’s ambulance.

During a Heat Wave

  • Drink plenty of cool fluids. It’s important to keep drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day as you want to remain hydrated throughout.
  • If you can, aim to avoid being outside at the hotter portions of the day. If you can’t, make sure to take regular breaks in a shaded area.
  • Know the humidex rating – it combines the temperature and humidity to indicate how hot the weather feels to the average person.
  • Dress for the heat and for your activity level. Wear light, loose clothing to let air circulate and heat escape.
  • Always wear a hat and apply sunscreen before going outside.
  • Slow down your activities as it gets hotter. Don’t work, exercise, or play outside for an extended period of time. Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors to let your body cool off.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol because they can cause dehydration, which stops your body from controlling its temperature properly.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • Extreme thirst
  • Decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine
  • Changes of behaviour in children

Things that you can do to help others

  • Bring extra supplies with you that you can give away to friends or to someone in need, like a bottle of water. This is extremely helpful when you’re planning to go out for a day at the park or another public area.
  • Check in on neighbours, family members, and friends who you know don’t have air conditioning, are older, or have illnesses. Bring them a care package of water, and spend time with them to make sure that they’re alright.
  • Share on social media or other online platforms the location of cooldown centres, or water stations in your area.

For this list, we referenced an advisory from the Red Cross. If you need more advice on heat waves or an understanding of how to respond to different emergencies, we recommend using their site as it has many great resources. 


With the summer season upon us, it means that many Canadians will be taking full advantage of the outdoors. Summer allows us to enjoy activities that we wouldn’t normally have the ability to do the rest of the year as the environment is often too cold.

For these reasons, Canadians tend to gravitate towards BBQing and eating outdoors as primary summer activities.

The change in climate doesn’t always provide you with the best benefits though, as foods that you reserve for summer can also bring a lot of risk to your diet. Many of us are prone to gravitating towards less healthy choices that might be higher in fat, such as burgers and hot dogs.

With it being the Canada Day long weekend, we wanted to provide alternatives to the normal summertime food fare, so we reached out to our registered dietitian, Marsha Rosen, to share some of her favourite summertime heart-healthy meals.

Heart Healthy Meals

Tilapia and Vegetables

Grilled Corn Salsa

Piri Piri Chicken

Bulgur Wheat Salad

Peachy Chicken Salad

Summer Fruit Smoothie Ice Pops

Vanilla Lemon Berry Parfaits

Tart Apple Buttermilk Cake


Recipes From Our Resident Expert, Marsha Rosen, RD
Here are some heart-healthy recipes provided by Marsha Rosen, RD (Registered Dietitian). Marsha is 
Mike Salem’s sister and in addition to offering private nutrition counselling, Marsha provides group lectures, seminars and cooking demonstrations.

If you have a nutrition question for our dietitian, you can email Marsha here…

Do you have a heart-healthy recipe that you would like to share? Send your recipes to