One of the frustrations of getting older is having to worry about blood pressure, cholesterol, and all those other health-related things. Recently it was brought home to me that my arteries are aging. The doctor was pretty blasé about it She said everyone’s arteries stiffen up with age, recommended a blood pressure pill, and to continue losing weight. Easy for her to say!
I went home determined to do this naturally by limiting salt, losing weight, and moving a bit more. I failed to move the dial. But honestly, it was hard and I was lazy. A friend of mine who also recently went on blood pressure medication encouraged me to give the medication a try, saying that the side effects had been minimal for her. So I did. Sure enough the side effects were minimal. But so was the effect. I went back to giving my diet and lifestyle the gimlet eye, while continuing the drug.
High blood pressure is like diabetes. It sounds minor on its own, but the side problems it causes will kill you. Or at least lead to a lot of misery before it does. Everything from dementia to heart disease and strokes to kidney disease and blindness can result from untreated hypertension. It’s a nasty thing, and now it’s all mine.
I’m taking my lifestyle a bit more seriously. I’ve joined a gym, hired a trainer, reduced salt in our food, and am now starting the Daily Dozen Challenge to help me add some of the best foods on the planet to my diet. We also had our genetics checked with 23&Me to see if we had any ticking time bombs in our genes. Nothing major for me. So the key is to stop being lazy and do what I know I need to do to conquer this.
Yesterday’s Daily Dozen was a bit of a disappointment. There are 24 boxes to be checked in my app. I managed 17 out of 24. I missed a serving of beans, a serving of fruit, a serving of cruciferous vegetables, and a serving of greens as well as flax seed, nuts and seeds, and a serving of whole grains.
Today I’m taking advantage of the power of muesli with flax seed and blueberries served with soy milk for breakfast, which gives me whole grains, berries, flax seeds, and nuts. With a cup of tea that’s 6 boxes checked. Plus, it’s delicious. I’m using Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Muesli. I let it soak up the soy milk to soften the grains.
Berries are one of the healthiest items you can add to your plate. They’re great for your arteries, for preventing macular degeneration, and they’re great for your brain. Studies mentioned by Dr. Greger say that just a cup of berries a day can improve memory and cognition in older adults. Berry, berry smart, that’s what I say.
Be well, friends!