Today is World Vegan Day and that although it’s not necessary to adopt a vegan diet for a heart healthy lifestyle, it can certainly be beneficial to follow it in some ways. Doctors often will recommend having a healthy amount of vegetables and fruits in your diet, especially in cases where you have high cholesterol, as a plant based diet can decrease plaque in the blood vessels.

The good news for anyone who is an avid meat eater is that you don’t have to completely quit eating meat to reap the benefits of a plant based diet. Simply reducing the amount of animal products in your diet lowers your risk of high blood pressure.

Below are just some of the ways that having a plant based diet can improve your heart health.

Plants have less saturated fat

Saturated fats, or fats that are saturated with hydrogen, are typically solid at room temperature and are found in meat and animal products like beef, lamb, butter, cheese and high fat dairy products. According to the American Heart Association, eating saturated fats increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood, which in turn raises your risk for heart disease.

Plants Increase Fiber in Your Diet

A well-rounded, plant based diet should also increase the amount of fiber you get. And increasing fiber is one way to reduce the bad cholesterol circulating in your body.

Fiber interacts with the bad cholesterol in your digestive tract and helps remove it more quickly from your body. Some rich fiber foods include beans, lentils, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

Fruits and Veggies Lower Blood Pressure

A well known and often recommended diet to people with hypertension is the DASH diet, which has a focus on reducing the intake of sodium, but it also helps to reduce the amount of meat regularly eaten. With a focus on eating more fruits and vegetables, and to only eat 5 ounces of protein based foods daily it’s a great option for your heart health.

Plants Enrich Your Diet With Omega-3s

Studies have suggested that eating omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and it can also help to lower your cholesterol. Fish like salmon sardines and tuna are rich with these acids. If you’re looking for alternatives to these though, we recommend plant based foods like pumpkin seeds, canola oil, soybeans, walnuts, and flaxseeds.

Beneficial Nutrients

Along with helping to reduce risks of heart disease by cutting down the plaque build up made up from bad cholesterol, fruits and vegetables are chocked full of antioxidants, plant sterols, and potassium, which are all thought to reduce the risk of heart disease. Potassium helps to reduce the effects of sodium, which is known to raise blood pressure in the body.

If you’re looking for some great recipes to help maintain a heart healthy diet, just go to our recipes section here.

Last week was World Restart a Heart day which aimed to bring attention to CPR training and how to use a defibrillator in an emergency situation. When using either of these techniques the odds of a life being saved are greatly increased, which is why it’s so important for people around the world to know how to use and operate an AED and how to properly perform CPR.

Along with knowing how to use a defibrillator, it’s also hugely important that you know how to maintain and check if it’s working.

It is easy to make sure a defibrillator like our MIKEY’s are properly maintained and ready to save a life should the need arise.

We’ve made some short videos showing you how to check and where to find the expiration dates on MIKEY defibrillators.

We have also prepared a checklist and manual with detailed illustrations, that you should follow every month to make sure your MIKEY remains in working order.

Please download the manual and checklist here

Monthly maintenance check for Philips FRx MIKEY Defibrillator



Monthly maintenance check for your MIKEY Philips HeartStart defibrillator



Monthly maintenance for Physio-control (formerly Medtronic) MIKEY Defibrillator



For your convenience, here are the manufacturer manuals as well.

Phillips HeartStart OnSite Defibrillator

When a low battery is detected, the unit will start chirping and the status indicator will change from the ready for use state.

Download Self-Tests and Troubleshooting

Download Owner’s Manual


Physio-Control Lifepak CRPlus Defibrillator

The device monitors itself, including the battery system, and indicates its status on the readiness display. Periodically, you should look at the readiness display and confirm that OK is displayed, which means the device is ready to use.

Download Operating Instructions

Download LIFEPAK CR Plus Defibrillator User’s Checklist

Contact Information if replacement parts are indicated:

Contact: The Mikey Network
Phone #: 416-494-2230

Battery: Part # M5070A $135.00
SMART PadsII Cartridge: Part # 989803139261 $62.00
Infant/Child Key: Part # 989803139311 $98.00

HeartStart OnSite
Battery: Part # M5070A $135.00
Adult SMART Pads Cartridge: Part # M5071A $58.00
Infant/Child Smart Pads Cartridge: Part # M5072A $95.00


Physio-Control (formerly Medtronic)
Contact: Workplace Medical Corp. First Aid Training
Toll Free: 1-800-205-3278

Lifepak CRPlus 
Adult Charge-Pak/2 Electrodes: Part # 11403-000001 $115.00
Infant/Child Reduced Energy Electrodes: Part # 11101-000016 $110.00

Major credit cards accepted. Please advise the distributor that you are a member of The Mikey Network for special pricing.
The product will be shipped directly to you.

Please be aware a Mikey Ambassador may request to visit your location & inspect the MIKEY unit. Our Mikey Ambassadors are volunteers who donate their time to ensure our units are always ready in case of an emergency.

If you have questions about your defibrillator please feel free to reach out to our team and we will work with you to answer your questions.

Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is a strong contributor to a long life. The habit of smoking, however, has been proven to cause heart disease and many cancers in Canadians, severely reducing one’s chances of longevity.

Smoking does this with the chemicals in the tobacco which can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can ultimately lead to a heart attack. When it comes to heart disease prevention, no amount of smoking is safe.

Fortunately, smoking as a habit has greatly decreased in the past few decades among the Canadian population as it has been proven to cause many of the ailments we just mentioned. On the rise though is the habit of vaping, which like smoking, can allow users to inhale nicotine.

The Canadian Cancer Society has said the following about e-cigarettes, “Although e-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes, they are harmful. Studies on the long-term risks of e-cigarettes have not yet been done, though evidence of the toxicity from inhalation of e-cigarette vapour continues to mount.”

This is a cause of concern for many health practitioners as there has recently been a proposal put forward by the Ontario government to have e-cigarettes and vaping supplies available in convenience stores across the province. This is a big issue as it takes them from the back behind the counter to the front in a display that can easily be seen by youth.

The Canadian Cancer Society reported that in 2016/17, nearly 10% of youth in grade 10-12 (9.9%) were past 30-day e-cigarette users, a 46% increase from 2014/15.

A further cause of concern is the upcoming legalization of marijuana in Canada. Youth having access to a “vaporizer” that can be used for nicotine as well as marijuana, which can affect their brains development, is very concerning.

To help you understand the further risks of vaping and smoking, and ways that you can reduce these habits, we have provided the following helpful resources:

  • Canadian Cancer Society: They’re a helpful resource in understanding what e-cigarettes are and ways that you can reduce smoking in all its forms. Additionally, here is some information on their thoughts around cannabis.
  • Smokers Helpline: A site that is dedicated to helping smokers understand the benefits and negatives that can be attributed to smoking. It also has community forums for those who are in the process of quitting and resources to begin your first steps.
  • The Government of Canada: The government has created a site that allows you to connect with an organization in your province that provides resources on how to quit. They also have a toll free line that you can use to ask questions and talk to someone about quitting.
  • Break it off: Is a free mobile app that is dedicated to helping younger people quit smoking.
  • Leave the pack behind: Is a free resource from the Government of Ontario that offers young adults information on how to quit and personalized support.

If you found these resources to be helpful for you, or you have other helpful resources to suggest, please let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


An important part of maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle is in the diet that we keep. With the cooler temperatures that Fall brings we tend to gravitate towards meals that are generally very hearty and tend to warm us up from the cold. These meals are usually very good for us, as they are often made up of many vegetables like soups, which provide us with essential nutrients.

Below are some heart-healthy recipes that we will regularly use during the fall months that our registered dietitian, Marsha Rosen, created for us. We hope that you enjoy each of them as much as we have.

Apple Cranberry Crisp

Meal in a Bowl Soup

Miso Chicken

Tart Apple Buttermilk Cake

Warm Winter Fruit

Chicken Chili

Minestrone Soup

Zucchini Soup

Oven-Fried Sweet Potatoes

Corn, Potato and Shrimp Chowder

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

The first official day of fall has just past and with it comes a number of changes in our daily activities. The largest and most obvious change being the weather. It’s colder, which means that many of us begin to slow down and do fewer activities outdoors. Although this is the case there are still many things that we can do to help to keep our heart’s active.

Below are some recommendations of heart healthy activities that you can during the fall season.

Heart Healthy Fall Activities

Plan Seasonal Outings

Fall can be one of the most beautiful times during the year to go out and explore. The leaves are changing colour and it can create a really nice atmosphere to go exploring. Plan a day out with your family for a nice walk through some of your local walking trails or something more seasonal like an afternoon at the corn maze or pumpkin patch.

Make Fall Fun Crafts Outdoors

Fall weather can be a tad chilly but generally still nice, so crafting can be the perfect middle-ground endeavor: an indoor activity with lots of outdoor involvement. Plus, with so much nature to use, it’s economical too.

Visit your favorite park, take a walk in the woods or explore your own backyard to scavenge for colorful leaves, pinecones and other interesting bits of nature.

Exercise Outdoors

Although the temperature begins to dip beginning in October it doesn’t mean that you need to stop doing all of your regular activities. Many of our followers have shared with us that they like to continue riding a bike during fall, or even fishing to keep up there healthy activities. Find something that will be easy to do every week until you have to move your exercises indoors. Here is a list of some of our favorites.

Make A Family Meal

During the colder months of the year, nothing hits the spot quite like a nice warm meal. A nice stew or soup can really be a relatively easy, heart-healthy meal to have. When cooking try to involve your family, as so much of how they learn heart healthy habits comes from their elders. It’ll also help speed up the process of cooking if you assign them tasks like making mashed potatoes or cutting up the vegetables. Take some inspiration out of some of our heart healthy meals.