Erika Tallan and Taryn Vanderford Take BetterU Challenge

By: Erika Tallan Email
By: Erika Tallan Email

Sign up for the free, online BetterU makeover at

Heart Disease is the number one killer of women.
This means mothers, sisters and friends are dying at the rate of one per minute because they don't know that heart disease kills or sometimes they don't even know they have heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Association is taking action. It's Go Red for Women movement is kicking off this year's Go Red makeover program BetterU.

To get you motivated, Taryn Vanderford and Erika Tallan are taking the 12-week challenge.

The first step, Taryn and Erika had to get pricked.

"There's certain tests that are diagnostic for certain diseases for cardiac, such as fasting glucose for diabetes, lipid panel for high cholesterol, your LDL your good cholesterol which could be a sign of cardiac disease or sclerosis," said Nebraska Heart Institute Lab Director, Ryan Storz.

Step one of the BetterU challenge is to get your blood drawn.
At the Nebraska Heart Institute, Taryn Vanderford and Erika Tallan braved the needle and their empty stomachs.Before the blood test they had to fast for a minimum of 8 to 12 hours.

"If you don't fast you could have a falsely elevated cholesterol or falsely elevated glucose and we want everybody to have a true level baseline. Anytime you eat anything your insulin and your blood sugar will spike and it will drop and usually after you've eaten, your cholesterol will fluctuate. Traditionally studies have shown that after 8 hours things will go to your normal levels," said Storz.

And be careful what you eat the night before your tests. Some foods high in fat can throw off results too.

"We've had examples where people will have a couple bratwurst the night before and then have come in and their triglycerides or their bad cholesterol is falsely elevated. So that's why we always recommend in addition to the fasting for 8 hours that you eat a healthy meal the night before," said Storz.

Getting your blood tested takes less than 10 minutes of your life and it could add years to it.

Then after those 12 weeks you get our blood drawn again to see the improvements. In past years, participants have seen drastic improvements in blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

The 12-week BetterU program kicks off August 29th.
Taryn and Erika invite you to join them and make it your mission to help fight heart disease in women.

Go Red BetterU is a free 12-week online nutrition and fitness program that can makeover your heart.

Each week will focus on a different area of your health and provide step-by-step guidance.

You'll have access to everything from daily expert tips and an online journal to a down-loadable better-me coaching tool.

They have heart healthy recipes like: braised beef steaks with zesty sauce, lemon green beans with parsley and almonds, broiled orange roughy parmesan, glazed sweet potato cubes, and Tex Mex chili pie!

You'll also get insider advice.

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