Hey peeps, it’s Olga, your favorite barista of blogs. Today I have a bit of a more serious topic for you; heart health. During the month of February, Everything ORGO is donating 10% of every ORGO sold to the American Heart Association's Life Is Why We Give Campaign.

So today, I’m sharing my interview with Ashley Lucchese, a heart disease survivor and American Heart Association volunteer from Massachusetts. Her story is worth the read.

Olga: We like to have fun here at Everything ORGO, but heart health is no joking matter. How has heart disease impacted your life?

Ashley: Last year while I was at work, I began to feel dizzy and within seconds my heart stopped beating. I was in cardiac arrest. A coworker performed CPR on me until the paramedics arrived. My life was saved that day due to my coworker’s quick action. I now live with a defibrillator in my chest that will save me should I go into cardiac arrest again.

The events that took place last year have made me more aware of how precious life truly is and to never take anything for granted. My perspective of what is important and how to tackle life has completely changed. I also now work with the American Heart Association to raise awareness about heart disease and the importance of CPR training.

Olga: I may pretend I wake up this fabulous, but let’s be honest, it’s hard work. How do you stay in shape and take care of your body?

Ashley: I have always been an avid athlete and I love the gym. I work out five days a week and try to push myself to try new workouts. Typically, I run a few miles a day, lift light weights, and take at least one yoga class a week. I make sure to have fruits and vegetables at every meal and make smart decisions when it comes to food, but still enjoy things I love in moderation (like pizza!)

Olga: What is the best piece of advice you can offer Olga’s Army about taking care of their hearts?

Ashley: Respect your body and listen to it. Taking care of your body is a huge part of keeping your heart healthy. Sometimes we can’t prevent the things that happen to us (like my cardiac arrest), but if you are healthy, your chance of survival and quick recovery is so much higher. When your body is telling you something is wrong, visit your doctor, be honest, and push for answers!

Olga: Ashley, thanks for this important advice. To my squad, I hope you’ll listen to Ashley’s advice and be proactive about heart health. Remember, your ORGO can also travel to the gym.