CPR Classes For Friends & Family CPR Classes For Non Medical Providers CPR Training For Medical Professionals

Your Heart and Beer…Happy St. Patricks Day!

Alright so don’t think I am going all crazy with alcohol news, but I thought it appropriate to have a blog relating to beer for St. Patty’s Day.  I was wondering if there are differences between how red wine effects the heart vs. beer.  The ADA or the American Dietetic Association has quite a bit to say about the subject.  Here is a quote!

“Red wine enjoys a reputation for sophistication and health benefits, but as interest in artisan brewing gains momentum and emerging research reveals unique nutrition properties, beer is finding redemption not only as a classy libation with deep roots in many cultures, but as a beverage with benefits,” said registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Andrea Giancoli in a news release.”

I was intrigued!  There actually is very similar health benefits to beer as there is to wine.

Whether you prefer wine, beer or liquor, people who drink one to two alcoholic drinks of any kind are less likely to suffer from heart disease according to a 2008 Journal of the American Dietetic Association article. Experts believe alcohol improves heart health by making blood less sticky so it’s less likely to clot by increasing levels of “good” HDL cholesterol while lowering unhealthy LDL cholesterol.

So what are some suggestions?  First, limit your consumption; this is not a go-ahead to revisit your college days in hopes of gaining health; I assure you it will do just the opposite.  So stick with (assuming your Doctor agrees) one or two glasses a day…or night…once the kids are in bed.  The great thing is that you can have one beer and it be a treat at the end of a good eating, healthy portioned, veggie packed day.  If you get light beer it will only cost ya 100 calories!  Works for me!  Then to top it off its full of fiber; anywhere from .75 to 1.3 grams per 12 ounce bottle.  But wait…there is more!  Beer has also been tested to see if it could actually strengthen your bones.

 In a Tufts University study, men who drank between one to two beers a day had hip bone densities three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half times greater than teetotalers.

Last but not least, it is yummy!  Well not for everyone…in that case read on to my wine blog post!   Check out this video from fox news!

I am no Doctor, but there are quite a few options if a beer a day is not something you would like to commit to.  To be honest, me personally, this is something I could not do.  Pizza…yea, but everyday?!?  Chocolate, now that is something I could do everyday; portion control is my problem!  So here is an option, check with your Doctor first, but I have been looking into this:

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day, and drink only one or two GREEN beers!  



Have a heart healthy day!
Kristi Krouse

Reverse Heart Disease?!?

I recently found a video by Dr. Oz (one of my hero’s ..ahhh) on his show explaining how to REVERSE heart disease! What a concept, I thought! Is this possible? During his show and on the video Dr. Oz interviews Dr. Dean Ornish who claims that there is a life changing 4 step plan that can indeed reverse heart disease without surgery. That really the cure to heart disease is in your hands not your surgeons.

For over 32 years, Dr. Ornish has been an integral member of medicine’s clinical research community. He is a pioneer who demonstrated for the first time that lifestyle changes could reverse even severe coronary heart disease. If you have heart disease and are not in need of emergency surgery, such as bypass, angioplasty or stent placement, you can reverse your heart disease by eliminating the behaviors that have contributed to your condition, and picking up healthy new habits. You may need what Dr. Ornish calls a “pound of cure” (as opposed to an “ounce of prevention”). This means making big – and sustainable — changes to your diet, exercise routine and approach to stress management. Start getting better today with Dr. Ornish’s 4-step plan to reverse your heart disease. For those who don’t have heart disease, there is a wide spectrum of preventive choices you can make to live healthily.

I would honestly bet that you are already guessing at least 2 of these steps, but it is worth your time to check out what he has to say…if you love your heart at least :).


How amazing is that!

Here is someone it has worked for!

I love the idea of starting to reverse heart disease without surgery in a month!  Even more; knowing I can postpone heart issues for my children if I implement these steps into my whole family!  I love it!  Make healthy heart habits for my children now so they will carry them for the rest of their lives…and I will have a healthy heart so I can watch it all happen.  Love it!

Want…Need more details?

Check out his book! Click on the pic and it will take you right to it!

reverse heart disease


Have a Heart Healthy Day!
Kristi Krouse

Drink yourself Heart Healthy?!?

red wine heart benefitsRed Wine Heart Benefits

So the question is:  Red Wine, is it good for your heart? The big answer: Mabe?!? Basically there are antioxidants called resveratrol and flavonoids naturally found in the wine.  So yes antioxidants are great for you, but why wine?  Is this just an excuse to drink wine, and if so, how much per day do you need to drink to benefit from the antioxidants? After researching myself, I basically found that yes all wine contains antioxidants.  Red wine has more antioxidants because it is fermented longer with the grape skins.  But, (yes there is a but) if you truly are drinking the wine for the antioxidants, you can simply eat grapes or drink grape juice.  There are many other foods that have antioxidants too!  Examples are:

red wine heart benefits  

My conclusion is; if you are drinking wine because you want a glass of wine, then you are adding to your daily list of antioxidants, enjoy!  Yay, two birds, one stone.  If you are drinking wine for the antioxidants it would be better to have a bowl of fruit salad.

So don’t drink for your health, drink to it!

Have a Heart Healthy Day!


Hear Ye, Hear Ye…CPR News!

cpr instructor certification

Alert the Press!

Heart Smart CPR is now a training site!

As of November 21st Heart Smart CPR is accepting new CPR instructors through our new CPR instructor certification.  This is a huge step forward for our company.  It has been quite a year and it all came together with this step in the right direction.  I plan to expand further in the future, but for now we will focus on training Heartsaver CPR and AED instructors and BLS for Healthcare providers instructors.  Austin CPR is vital to so many different fields, and there is so much room for the American Heart Association to spread life-saving knowledge; and I am so excited to be a part of the expansion.  If you have every considered becoming a CPR in Texas, give me a call and we can talk about if our CPR instructor certification is right for you!

Have a heart healthy day!

Kristi Krouse


Your Heart is as Healthy as the Food You Eat!

healthy heart dietMy mom always said “you are what you eat,” but is it true?  If so, how does it affect your heart?

The answer is KINDA?!?

Perhaps, “you feel how you eat” should be the new phrase?  (although when I eat a doughnut I feel like it is literally stuck to my back-end)

In order to have a healthy heart diet we need to take a look at the details of our diet.

You see, if you get down to the nitty gritty, food is fuel for the body.  Just like cars, if you give your car the best fuel, they run better and longer.  If we eat foods that cause our hearts to pump faster and work harder we damage our heart tissue and it gives out.

Have you ever eaten an unhealthy meal and even though it tasted delectable, you felt horrible afterwards?  Tired and sluggish?  I will be honest, I certainly have.  Basically when you eat, your body breaks down the food and absorbs it into the blood stream, which delivers the vitamins and minerals to your tissues.  If you eat a healthy heart diet, including healthy food with vitamins you are re-energized, but if you give your body fat and salt your body is left starving for energy.

Here are some links to some sites that I think would be worth a look!



Take the Fat and Salt Explorer test here.  Then check out the heart test below!  Happy testing!



Enjoy a healthy heart diet today!

CPR and AED liability

Good Samaritan Law

first rescuer cpr

I get a ton of questions in my CPR Austin Tx classes about liability when helping a person in cardiac arrest. It all boils down to the “Good Samaritan Laws“. Each state is different, so you may need to check your local laws to see how they apply to you. I personally teach Austin CPR classes, so I am going to go with good ole’ Texas.

What is the Good Samaritan Law?

In a nut shell, they were made to protect those who are helping others who are hurt or injured; and reduce hesitation for fear of being prosecuted or personally sued in cases of an accidental injury, poor treatment, or even worse, death of the patient.

Now, is there any exceptions? You bet ya! But to be honest, I totally agree with them all!

First, if the actions are willingly or intentionally done to hurt the person or if there is no true danger and the person attempts to “rescue” the other person. For example, say there was a fender bender, no one is hurt, and someone comes along to “rescue” an uninjured victim in one of the damaged cars, and in doing so the victim is injured. This would possibly be ruled as reckless and unnecessary.

Second, if you are helping because you expect to be financially reimbursed. This is intended to protect patients in caregiver scenarios. For example, if you are in a hospital and the Doctor gives care that injures you, then the Doctor is not protected under the Law.

Third, it does not protect the person that “caused” the injuries in the first place. So, if you were at fault, you may not be protected. For example, if you intentionally shoot someone, and then turn around and try to provide care, you may not be legally safe if you accidentally break their neck.

One more thing i think should be noted.

If you begin giving aid to an injured person you can’t leave the scene unless:
– You need to call 911
– Another rescuer of equal or higher medical training takes your place
– Or, giving aid has become dangerous for you.

So, to summarize, a rescuer is not legally liable for any injuries and even death of the victim as long as the rescuer acts rationally, was trying to help, and according to their training.

Have a Heart Healthy Day!

CPR has gone mobile (mobile phone that is!)

CPR appI recently stumbled across a few CPR apps on my Droid phone that really caught my attention. I found a CPR app that shows a quick and easy (30 seconds or less) video that teaches the basics of CPR and AED use! I was stunned! This is great news, I thought! How great would it be if everyone had this on their phone and occasionally reminded themselves of the steps of CPR. Don’t get me wrong, it is very important to take a CPR class (especially if you need the Austin CPR certification), but lets be real, not everyone takes a class. So, I really love; and have to admit being a bit bias; the American Heart Association app. The drawback, it costs $2.99 to add to your many wonderful Droid app choices. So, I went looking for other free CPR apps, that as of now, are teaching the correct/current way of doing AHA CPR. I found one very quickly!
Let me introduce Pocket First Aid & CPR!
It is very simple to use, includes great easy to understand videos, and (drum roll please…it’s FREE!)
CPR mobileThis is the screen of the app, basically proving my point about it being user friendly. From what i saw, the app is using the latest version of American Heart Association CPR and choking for all ages. If you are interested in knowing CPR for your personal use, and unable to take a class at this time, then download an app! Who knows when you may need it!
Then I was thinking about how great it was to have apps on phones…but are there interactive sites as well?
Yes-sir-ey! Here is a picture of the site:

This is a site that teaches hands-only CPR…in a fun way!
Please understand, this site teaches hands only, not the C-A-B method of doing CPR and does not offer a certification. But, in an emergency situation, you don’t have time to schedule a class.  It was made by the American Heart Association and can be found here.
So, does hands only CPR work? You bet! In the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, hands only CPR is just as effective as mouth to mouth CPR…in most situations. Special situations would include drowning victims, children, and infants, and adults that you did not see fall. If you think about it though, if all you knew how to do was hands only CPR, then do it! Some CPR is so much better than no CPR!
My conclusion, and best suggestion, on all the information I have found:
– First, take a class, especially if you need BLS Austin CPR! There is so much more than just pounding on someones chest.
– Second, pick a CPR app and download it! Then review it often so that when an emergency happens, you are well reviewed.
– Third, pass along the app or AHA CPR hands only site, your friends will love you for it; and perhaps save your life.
I hope you have a Heart Healthy Day!
Kristi Krouse

Does your teacher know CPR?

Time to go school clothes shopping again!
This is the perfect time to ask your teacher if she/he is CPR certified. I have 3 kids, and I feel much safer knowing that their teachers are ready if something ever happened to my child in an emergency. The American Heart Association CPR classes that we teach here at Heart Smart CPR will get your teachers ready. We will go over CPR, use of an AED, and severe choking. We are conveniently located in North Austin and have classes running a few times per week. I would love to teach you, your teacher, and even your child how to do CPR, use an AED, and even first aid. Have a Heart Healthy day!

CPR training for someone you may never know.

first aid cpr trainingLately, Heart Smart CPR has seen a rise in the number of people wanting to take first aid CPR training just for the ability to help a stranger in need should the situation ever arise. I am impressed by this so much that I want to give a big shout-out to all of these people and say way to go, or kudos, even…thank you…for the life you save could be mine.

The American Heart Association offers a class for friends and family that consists of just this; a class for people willing to learn a skill that could save someone else with no need for a certification. This is different than a BLS for healthcare providers, or CPR AED class for non-medical providers. It is a very relaxed and enjoyable class that takes about an hour. First aid can also be added to the class which would add about 30 minutes.

People just like you are typically the first to respond to an emergency, it is only wise to be ready. Give us a call and we can make you a hero-in-waiting!

Have a heart healthy day!
Kristi Krouse

Ah, New Years Resolutions…

healty life May I first start by saying happy New Year! I hope your year is filled with blessings and happiness.

>> Insert 2014! Blog update! Can you believe 2014 is coming up Austin? Especially in Austin, many austinites have started making their new years list yet once again. So did you accomplish your 2011, 2012 & 2013 New Years goals? Did they include getting fit or getting certified? If so, then you are among 90% of those that do have a fitness related goal on their resolutions list. I mentioned certification because we have been getting more interest for general First Aid classes in Austin. Pick up the phone and call and I assure you I will help you check that off your list so that we are not working on your list again next year with the same goals! Call me today to get started and we can share our upcoming 2014 health, first aid or any other goals you just want to put out there.

>> End of blog update, and back to our old 2011 New Years blog post:)

So, are you sick of making new years resolutions that you never stick to? Making that vow to organize your house…and keep it that way. Or, loose those extra pounds that crept up on you over the past…few…years. Perhaps we are all going about this new year’s resolution thing all wrong. Just maybe if we make day resolutions instead of year resolutions we will find ourselves successful. So, then we must decide what our “list” of resolutions must be. As you may have guessed, I have some ideas.

Item number 1, get that cholesterol checked!

There are two types of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), this is the bad cholesterol that causes arteries to fill with plaque; and HDL, or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), this is the good cholesterol that seems to protect the heart from hardening arteries. It is important to know both numbers. First resolution, make that appointment, next…GO! This is a simple blood test; no biggie; and then you can check one off your “list!” Have your doctor educate you about your numbers and what you may need to do to protect your heart. Then, add it to your daily list! We are on a roll here!

Item number 2, the big E…EXERCISE!

I know, I know, but this is part of your resolution every year, and I said this year is different…ugh. Well, it is; after you have checked with your doctor (at that cholesterol appointment) and you are free to exercise; get movin! It is recommended to have 30 minutes of ACCUMULATED exercise 5 days per week. Why have I made “accumulated” stand out? Simple, because you can add 10 minute exercise bouts throughout the day to equal your 30 minutes of activity. How easy is that! Park further away, go down the grocery store isles – even though you don’t need anything on it, go for a walk…you get the idea. Keep it simple, you don’t have to join an expensive gym, just think outside the box!

Item number 3…eat healthy.

This is when the idea of daily resolutions really comes into play. This is good news, and bad news. The good…every meal and every snack is a chance to re-resolution, if you may. In other words, if you ate 3 helpings of mac-and-cheese at lunch, you have a chance to redeem yourself at dinner. Bad news, this is probably the most difficult resolution to keep, at least in my personal opinion. Back to that first resolution, talk to your doctor about healthy eating specifically for you. Then stick to it! There are all kinds of sites with heart healthy recipes, check them out, and try something new; this could be fun ya’ll!

Last, but definatly not least. For some of you, this is easy, and already done; ya! For others, this may be the most difficult thing you have ever done in your life.

Item number 4…stop smoking.

Some heart disease risk factors are genetic, but smoking is not. This is such an important issue; I think you should hear it right from the American Heart Association. So check out the American Heart Association website! I know smoking is hard to quit, but you are worth the effort, and so is extra time with your family and friends.

Item number 5…take a CPR class.

Be ready to help friends and family in an emergency situation!

I hope you find yourself successful each and every day of the coming year. I am sure you have some resolution ideas of your own, and I would love to hear of them!

Have a heart healthy day!
Kristi Krouse