In a day and age where our stars & celebrities are often classified as selfish & arrogant, she’s breaking the status quo by using her newly earned platform to address matters that affect all of our hearts – literally. Her name is Ashley Hebert, better known by many in the Pelican State as Miss Black Louisiana 2012, and she’s on a mission to eradicate heart disease in Louisiana & across the United States.
As Miss Black Louisiana USA 2012, Hebert is the voice of The Heart Truth campaign of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Tasty25 Magazine was recently able to catch up with the Lafayette native at the Whole Foods Towne Center market in Baton Rouge, LA, ask her a few questions about what she’s doing to advocate for healthier hearts across America, and how we at Tasty25 can help. Almost immediately, we could tell that there was more than “meets the eye” when it came to this 27 year-old pageant queen. Her humble mannerisms and coy smile quickly gave way to an unbelievable confidence in her knowledge about the issue, and a determination to make her voice be heard.
From the beginning of our conversation, Hebert made it clear that “America needs to understand heart disease is no longer “a man’s disease”.” She continued, saying, “An astonishing 80% of women ages 40-60 have one or more risk factors for heart disease, and while 1 in 30 women die of breast cancer annually, 1 in 4 women in the US die of heart disease.” Statistically, minorities have higher rates of some risk factors for heart disease, and are disproportionately affected in comparison to white women. “Weight plays a HUGE role, and is something that is rarely discussed openly in minority communities,” says Hebert. “More than 80 percent of mid-life African American women are overweight, more than 52% have hypertension, and 14% have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Hebert continued talking about the severity of heart disease in America, making it clear to us at Tasty25 that a healthy diet is a major player in the war against heart disease. “To me,” says Hebert, “Your health is about the JOURNEY, not the DESTINATION.” “I propose taking the necessary steps to change your lifestyle, with the first step becoming aware of your own personal risk for heart disease.” She went on to say that a healthy & balanced diet works with you in lowering your risks of heart disease, and you should look for ways to improve your diet such as:
A diet low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat.
Focusing on fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
Increase your whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts.
Cut out sweets, added sugars, sugary beverages, and excessive red meat consumption.
Tasty25 Magazine is a great place to start when looking to craft a healthy eating routine; the recipes are easy, affordable, are good for your heart & body, and taste great! – Ashley Hebert, Miss Black Louisiana 2012
When we asked what drives her to do what she does, Hebert passionately replied, “This is so much more than simply wearing a Red Dress pin or celebrating National Wear Red Day.” “Being the voice of The Heart Truth means taking a personal interest in eradicating heart disease and getting on a personal level with every man & woman I meet, and tell them that their heart matters and I want it to be healthy!” “The Miss Black Louisiana USA and Miss Black USA organizations strive to disseminate accurate heart health information to all, and take part in heart healthy events nationwide.”We told her that Tasty25 Magazine definitely wanted to help out, and she said, “Please join my team for the Capital Area Heart Walk in Baton Rouge, LA on March 24th!” “All proceeds from our official team t-shirt will be donated to the BR American Heart Association.” “In this fight, every dollar counts towards ensuring adequate medical treatment and services for men & women across the state and nationwide.” (Buy your T-shirt and support heart health HERE!)
As our conversation came to a close, we asked her one last question: When will Miss Black Louisiana submit a Tasty25 culinary creation for us? She laughed warmly, saying enthusiastically, “As soon as possible!” “There are so many fun and healthy recipes to try, and I can’t wait to try every one of them out and put my own spin on a few!” After hugs and goodbyes, we parted ways knowing that Miss Black Louisiana 2012 Ashley Hebert will continue leading the fight against heart disease, and that we at Tasty25 Magazine have a job to do as well: Showcasing more healthy & delicious recipes in order for people in Louisiana, in the US, and around the world to start taking care of their hearts, right where they are.
Tasty25 Magazine would like to salute Ashley Hebert for her efforts in helping our Tasty25 communities at home & abroad to recognize the importance of heart health through a healthy diet, and for her outstanding job as Miss Black Louisiana! Ms. Ashley Hebert is currently on her journey to the crown, and will compete for the title of Miss Black USA 2012 in August of 2012. To support her financially, click the link:http://goo.gl/KiSpeMore can be taken from her website, www.missblacklouisianausa.org
Special thanks to the Whole Foods Towne Center Market for allowing Tasty25 Magazine access to their location. For fresh whole and organic products to use in your Tasty25 recipes, go to www.wholefoodsmarket.com to find a store closest to you!