Greatest GIFT – Naomi Jeremiah

Faith, God's Wisdom, journey to healthy living, Life and dreams – Naomi Jeremiah


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Fruits for Breakfast!

I took a break from doing veggie and fruit smoothies and celery juicing for breakfast first week of July this year. I could feel my system needed a change. I’m completely off from any prescribed BP medication since last year and I feel good without those horrible side effects that came with BP med! My cardiologist couldn’t agree more. He was happy with my BP readings without the medication in my system, but instead it’s with the help of plant based eating daily.

Spring 2019 was dealing mostly with sinus allergy that seemed like forever. I thought the sneezing and runny nose would be my company for a while there. Even with smoothies and juicing, the sinus battle continued. I’ve ordered from Amazon anything Elderberry, Echinacea, Vicks Vaporub and inhaler and humidifier.

Spring was a struggle; but the Spring sun was a relief. I always enjoy the Spring sun, way too beautiful.

Since I stopped juicing and drinking homemade smoothies, which I have done mostly since 2016, I’ve decided to try eating fruits for breakfast this summer. There’s abundance of fruits in summertime so I am taking advantage of the many fruit choices. Although, Winter last year and Spring 2019, I was consuming citrus like oranges, pumelos, grapefruits aside from eating apples.

Oatmeal was my favorite morning warm ups. I kept up with veggie salads as sides for lunch. My BP readings stayed down and good. I’ve maintained my weight and kept myself busy with organizing and getting rid of dust collectors and clutters.

When I started fruits only for breakfast, my energy heightened much better than doing smoothies and celery juice. I’ve realized, too, that when I juiced fruits, it did not agree with my system as I’ve lost the fiber my body needs. However, when I eat whole fruits; three or four small servings of different kinds of fruits, I feel great! With veggie salads, all organic, like arugula, different varieties of cucumbers, romaine, tomatoes, avocados for lunch and a main daily homemade dish of small serving of either fish, or lean chicken or lean meat, I am set for the next hours of intermittent fasting daily. I’ve incorporated IF since 2016 and my sleeping patterns and circadian rhythms are at its best! Sleep has always been sweet. Unless, something is worrying me or there are exciting events the next day that would keep me tossing and turning, most of my sleeping hours are so satisfying. I found out that by the time I am ready for bed, all the food I’ve eaten have almost been fully digested by the time I hit the bed, so all my system has to do is repairing and healing what needs to be healed in my body while I’m asleep. Eating fruits in the morning has lowered my blood pressure naturally, much better readings than with smoothies and juicing.

There are some days I’d get off IF when travelling or eating out. If I get lucky, and I did not eat restaurants’ foods which cause heartburn, my sleep will still be okay. Sometimes, I need that break, but the next day, I’d go back to my eating schedules to maintain my weight. It’s not easy especially when I splurge on some sweet desserts and bread. But I need to focus for the sake of my blood pressure.

As we get older, blood pressure spikes especially if we are not eating right. I’ve learned that high blood pressure leads to so many illnesses. It’s an indicator when something is wrong in our body. It’s a signal of some future events that are detrimental to our health. I’ve learned of this after thorough research and personal experiences when I started getting aware of this silent killer. High blood pressure almost always show up as one of the contributing factors to illnesses when diagnosed with heart disease, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney disease, Adrenal and thyroid disorders, sleep apnea as one of the few known causes associated with high blood pressure.

So, organic fruits for breakfast to the rescue! So many fruit choices, including bananas, apples, cherries… I love summer!

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Bananas, my natural healer!

Cloudy days have been overstaying their welcome more this time of the year than the previous years in our woods. I have to find ways to combat SAD (seasonal affected disorder) for dark clouds affect my mood every year. From September to February, I feel sometimes, in a sad mood, not depressed but just a feeling of being under the clouds. It somehow triggers memories of years gone by, that easily make me emotional, though I’m able to manage it well, and I have to thank God for that.

It’s not as worse as when we used to live in California. In California, when it hit the month of September, there’s a gloomy touch in the air when Fall season arrives. It’s still sunny, but you can feel the dampness, especially the area where we used to live being close to the beach. I used to start getting sick in September without fail. My SAD got some relief when I was told at a health store that Gaba plus can help with SAD. And it did, but I cannot take it long term as it has a side effect.

When I’ve embraced eating plant based food, where I lost a lot of weight, I started to get familiarized with the benefits of each vegetable and fruit I’ve been eating. This year, the Celery juice has been giving me a lot of energy and it helps with SAD during this time of the year. I started taking calcium with Vitamin D3 and it’s been helping with SAD also. I’ve added more bananas in my fruit daily intake and I’ve discovered that it helps with SAD also! What do you know!

If You Think Bananas Are Just For Monkeys, Think Againbananas

These 25 ways to use and eat bananas will blow your mind!

1. Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin — the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.

2. Eat two bananas before a strenuous workout to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar.

3. Protect against muscle cramps during workouts and night time leg cramps by eating a banana.

4. Counteract calcium loss during urination and build strong bones by supplementing with a banana.

5. Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana, bananas5 which regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation.

6. Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6.

7. Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas.

8. High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.bananas3

9. Eating Bananas For Digestion
Rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body.

10. Bananas act as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. They also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.

11. Constipated? High fiber in bananas can help normalize bowel motility.

12. Got the runs? Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhea.

13. Bananas are a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD.

14. Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids.

For Natural Healing From A Simple Banana

15. Eating bananas will help prevent kidney cancer, protects the eyes against macular degeneration and builds strong bones by increasing calcium absorption.

16. Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.

17. Bananas are high in antioxidants, providing protection from free radicals and chronic disease.

18. Eating a banana between meals helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce nausea from morning sickness.

19. Rub a bug bite or hives with the inside of the banana peel to relieve itching and irritation.

20. Control blood sugar and avoid binging between meals by eating a banana.

21. Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or on a hot day.

22. The natural mood-enhancer tryptophan helps to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). bananas4

The list of fruits and vegetables with tryptophan is huge! It calls for another blog to enumerate them.

23. Quitting smoking? Bananas contain high levels of B-vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium to speed recovery from the effects of withdrawal.

24. Remove a wart by placing the inside of a piece of banana peel against the wart and taping it in place.

25. Rub the inside of a banana peel on your leather shoes or handbag and polish with a dry cloth for a quick shine.

Oh, and remember — bananas make great snacks and delicious smoothies.

from: https://www.foodmatters.com/article/25-powerful-reasons-to-eat-bananas?

Last, but not least, my close relationship with God has helped enormously with SAD for before I become a Bible believer Christian, my SAD was more of a depression than anything because it was throughout the year as far as I can remember and would get worse when Fall season starts.

Hopefully, March will bring more sunlight and beautiful days ahead. I always hope for brighter days and they are not far from sight! I can bet on that!


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January, a Recovery month with Celery Juice

I was texting one of my best friends today, and while chatting with her, I suddenly realized that January, with its pitfalls, is really a recovery period from a hectic and stressful December. january

I’ve always thought of January as dragging because of the winter weather. But it is actually a month to heal, to begin a new chapter, a clean slate to start the new year and start all over again. We can carry the good in the new year, and leave behind the bad in the old year.

One of the things I’m bringing with me from last year is what I’ve learned about the healing benefits of Celery Juice.

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I do not have so many health issues, thank goodness, but what it did to my body is a miracle by itself. I’ve realized it healed my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which did not miss a beat every November through February. Because of the energy level the juice gives, dragging days are the thing of the past. The juice has given me great sleep. My blood pressure has stabilized and has stayed normal.

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I’ve done green smoothies most of last year and the year before. The smoothies have given great benefits and with intermittent fasting that is part of my healthy regimen for years now, I’m on track. I gave up taking blood pressure medication which hurt my system and given me angina or chest pain because of the side effects that had made me reach for Nitrostat to aid and stop the chest pain. After so many months of side effects that had given me fatigue, body chills, feeling of passing out and lost of quality of life, stopping the medication was the right thing to do and replaced it with natural healers through plant based foods. Gone was the chest pain and back to feeling normal.

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With the addition of the Celery Juice, it’s totally a different ballgame. It’s diuretic which relieves and excrete water in my system, which helps stabilize the blood pressure. Phthalides a group of active compounds found in celery juice help to reduce blood pressure by relaxing the muscles in and around the walls of the arteries. This causes the vessels to dilate which creates more space for the blood to flow at a lower level of pressure.

“Another interesting nutrient in celery juice called phthalide relaxes smooth muscles inside your blood vessels, thus helping to reduce high blood pressure. The phthalide in celery is also believed to help lower LDL cholesterol for better heart health.

The Top 7 Reasons to Juice Celery
Reduce Inflammation in Your Body.
Lower Blood Pressure and Improved Cardiovascular Health.
Celery juice as a Cancer Fighter.
Cleansing and Detoxifying.
Skin Benefits of Celery Juice. Recovery Juice.

Sleep Enhancer
The aforementioned celery juice benefits for high blood pressure, reducing hypertension and lowering stress hormones, alongside its high levels of electrolytes are probably a big part of why it is often suggested for enhancing relaxation and sleep.
Celery juice also contains magnesium, known as the calming mineral. Magnesium deficiency can lead to many health problems, including difficulty relaxing and getting to sleep so make sure you get enough of it.

healthambition.com

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Too much sodium, especially table salt or processed salt in the body cause water retention as the body tries to dilute the salt with large amounts of water. According to the Medical Medium, Anthony William: “If you’re worried that the sodium in celery is a problem because you’ve heard that “salt is salt,” know that the sodium in celery is not just salt or the basic mineral sodium. Medical research and science have not yet discovered the different varieties of sodium in celery, nor how beneficial they are. Celery’s naturally occurring sodium actually helps stabilize blood pressure, bringing it down when it’s too high and up when it’s too low. Further, it won’t dehydrate your organs—instead, it clings to toxic, dangerous salts from poor-quality foods and helps draw them out of your body while replacing them with undiscovered cluster salts.” I take my blood pressure regularly, so I can tell that the sodium on Celery juice doesn’t create a problem with my blood pressure.

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“Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, and gout. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Its sticks also act as a diuretic, which helps remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort.” organicfacts.net

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The miracle of Celery Juice

Thanksgiving day 2018 came and gone and surprisingly, though I had an extra helping and went a little overboard with eats, my weight management did not suffer. I still do my intermittent fasting, my daily smoothies and veggie salads. With holidays, there are so many food temptations and I just can’t resist. Amazingly enough, I was able to maintain my weight, even with the extra calories from the Thanksgiving feast. I recently added Celery juicing because of the things I’ve read about it and the juicing benefits of celery.

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Organic celery is a staple in my fridge. I add it to my salads and cooking. There is this medical medium guru on Facebook that I follow and he faithfully promotes the healing benefits of celery juice. He said that celery has an incredible ability to create sweeping improvements for all kinds of health issues. He said that celery is truly the savior when it comes to chronic illness. He said it is most powerful to drink it alone. Aside from celery being an alkaline food, the health benefits are aplenty.celeryjuicebenefits2

In my case, it’s one of my food aids to naturally lower my blood pressure. It prevented constipation and amazingly aided with my weight. I see the difference in my weight scale.celeryjuicebenefits3

And yes, it helps with bloating. I don’t feel bloated like I feel water heavy, though I drink a lot of water each day. Celery contains Phthalides, phytonutrients that provides potential cardiovascular benefits. Celery phthalides can act as smooth muscle relaxants, most likely through their impact on the flow of calcium and potassium inside cells and related nervous system activity involved with muscle relaxation. Of course, relaxation of smooth muscles surrounding our blood vessels allows them to expand and the result is a lowering of blood pressure.

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I drink celery juice first thing in the morning, and I wait about 30 to 45 minutes before I eat my breakfast. I combine 3 to 4 celery stalks, chopped, with some coconut water to aid in extracting the juice and I use the new, updated NutriBullet.

celeryjuicebenefitsI have not taken any blood pressure medications for almost a year now because of the very bad side effects. But because of the veggies (plus smoothies and celery juice) and fruits I eat everyday, and supplements of Fish Oil, Cholestoff, grape seed extract and olive leaf extract, I am able to get good BP readings.

And one thing that help with lowering my blood pressure is when I stopped adding salt when cooking. I don’t use table salt either. I try to buy food and condiments with a label indicating fewer milligrams of sodium, which we need and an essential nutrient in our body; as long as it’s not too much and excessive. I’ve learned that if we consume too much sodium, it can cause water retention, and our body may respond by raising our blood pressure to push the excess fluid and salt out of our system. Our heart is working hard, which is not normal, when our blood pressure is high and chest pain can occur.

“Humans are genetically programmed to eat ten times less sodium than we do now. Many so-called low-salt diets can actually be considered high-salt diets. That’s why it’s critical to understand what the concept of ‘normal’ is when it comes to sodium. Having a ‘normal’ salt intake can lead to a ‘normal’ blood pressure, which can contribute to us dying from all the ‘normal’ causes, like heart attacks and strokes. The American Heart Association recommends everyone consume less than 1,500 mg of sodium daily— that’s about three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt. The average American adult consumes more than double that amount about 3,500 mg daily. Reducing sodium consumption by just 15 percent worldwide could save millions of lives every year.

If we could cut our salt intake by about a half teaspoon a day, which is achievable by avoiding salty foods and not adding salt to our food, we might prevent 22 percent of stroke deaths and 16 percent of fatal heart attacks. That’s potentially more lives saved than if we were able to successfully treat people with blood pressure pills. Simply put, reducing salt is an easy at home intervention that may be more powerful than filling a prescription from the pharmacy. Up to ninety-two thousand American lives could be saved each year simply by eating less salt.”

Excerpts from: How Not To Die – Michael Greger, M.D.

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Blood Pressure and Medications

 

systolicHigh blood pressure worries and frustrations in four years time had led me on a mission and a quest to find out about this notorious and scary hypertensive heart disease.

When I gained 35 extra pounds in a matter of five years of quitting my job and relocating, I’ve noticed I became very sluggish and I would feel tired even just after a shower.  I knew that I needed to do something about the changes I was feeling. For one thing, I did not even know that I gained so much weight. I’ve thrown caution to the wind, stopped weighing myself in the morning, enjoyed life and ate out a lot even if there was no special occasion. I’ve eaten sweet desserts way late in the evening, had some ice cream and junk snacks while enjoying internet browsing and watching movies. I was just having the greatest time of my life after working so long and hard in life. It was a time of junk foods that I did not even know were bad for me; and eating out and buying all kinds of processed foods, were part of finally arriving to a period and time that alarm clocks no longer ruled my life. I could be up almost all night, waking up late in the morning with no set sleep schedule. Hey, this was what life was all about after all!

Then came a warning sign. To compensate with bad eating habits, I would do my treadmill workout. At first I was able to still do high speed intensity and uphill workouts. But then one day, I had a bad fall while sort of running on our hallway to catch an important life event on video. It was a bad tumble on a hard concrete flooring, chest first. A few months later, when I felt okay to go back to exercising, I started feeling chest pains while tread milling. I would stop working out for days, and returned back when the pain was gone, but there was still the same nagging chest pains.

One night I woke up with this worse chest pain on my left side that my hubby had to take me to the emergency. Thank goodness, it was not a heart attack. However, the emergency doctor suggested that I see a cardiologist to be safe and sure that my heart is not weakening. The following day after seeing a cardiologist, he wrote me a prescription for Nitrostat to take as needed should I experience chest pains again. The cardio visit led to another visit as he wanted me to undergo some tests. I declined having one of them because of what was written about the possible bad reactions to the test. The doctor mentioned that my blood pressure was in a high range. He suggested that it might be the cause of my chest pains.

Knowing nothing about high blood pressure, I did not know where to start. But it led me to start researching about it. I’ve read that caffeine intake can elevate blood pressure. I stopped drinking tea and coffee, not even decaf, and the chest pains subsided. I read that I should buy a blood pressure monitor to help with knowing my blood pressure numbers at home. My first blood pressure monitor was giving me high systolic numbers but my diastolic numbers ever since was normal.

Getting frustrated and stressed out with worries about the high blood pressure, I finally saw a general practitioner who suggested that I start taking blood pressure medication. The first medication prescribed was Lisinopril. When I went back for 3 months check up, I told my doctor that I was experiencing bad night coughing. He then took me out of that and prescribed Benicar, but I had a bad sore throat and itching from taking it that I had to go back to my GP and he changed the BP prescription to Losartan. I stayed with Losartan for a while. This time I started with a Blood Pressure Log to keep track of my daily BP systolic and diastolic numbers and heart rates. And I bought a better and reliable BP monitor. My numbers were good and stayed in good range.

I make it a habit to take three months worth of BP log sheets each time I see my doctors. I have a white coat hypertension syndrome where my blood pressure systolic reading is higher at the doctor’s office. I used to wonder why, but I know now the reason. Everything is rush-rush in the doctors office. Taking blood pressure measurement should be done after 5 to 10 minutes of rest sitting down doing nothing.  Your upper left arm is at the same height as your heart, placing it on a table. The clinic assistant should not do anything or not talk to you or touch you to take your heart rate etc., while taking the measurement. These are not adhered at the doctors office. They don’t give you a chance to breathe if ever. You’re already stressed out being there and if they call your name right away while filling some paperwork for updates, your heart is already racing. Of course, in turn, your blood pressure reading undoubtedly has skyrocketed. This is what I tell them now after they take my measurement and my reading was high; and I show them my BP log sheets. I am right away vindicated. I don’t give them a chance to tell me to up my BP med dose just because.

Many people find that their blood pressure increases because of subconscious stress from confrontation with medical institutions and the staff working there. This is usually called “white coat hypertension”, that is, elevated blood pressure levels from just seeing the white lab coats doctors wear.
This is a common problem: a full 10-15% of people diagnosed with high blood pressure after measurements taken at a hospital or medical facility, later find that measurements taken in their own home or averaged over 24 hours are normal.

If you’re one of the people with “white coat hypertension”, you have approximately the same risk of heart disease as other people with normal blood pressure. People with “white coat hypertension” don’t need blood pressure-lowering medication – but they often get it unnecessarily! ***DietDoctor.com

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This time around I started on my plant based diet, reducing simple sugar carbs and saturated fats, started with calorie counting and lost a significant amount of weight. My BMI went down to normal. I also started with intermittent fasting. Anyway with BP med intake it seemed like I finally achieved successful control of my blood pressure, or so I thought.

But then after a few months of taking Losartan daily, I started feeling backaches, cold sweats especially at night and the worse chills like I could hardly breathe at night and would wake me up in the middle of the night. Suffice to say, I had so many sleepless nights. I would have chest pains on top of it that my GP referred me to another cardiologist who is more reliable than the previous one I was referred to at the Emergency Hospital. This time I finally agreed to have a cardiogram test and a nuclear test. My nuclear test had a good result. I do not have any blockage and my heart condition is good and so did my cardiogram result.

But I was still being pestered with back pains and all the side effects that came with taking Losartan. I had a little argument at my next visit with my GP. He was getting annoyed that I was complaining about side effects. And asked me point blank why should he prescribe me another BP med when I seemed to complain about side effects all the time. I told him you’re my doctor, you’re supposed to help me. But looking back at it now, I guess he probably would want me to stop taking them period. Both of us frustrated, he prescribed Norvasc or Amlodipine. At this point, I was just about as stressed out with BP meds.

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I then researched on what veggies and fruits and whole grains and other plant based foods that can naturally lower my blood pressure. I’ve adjusted my daily prepared meal to be as close as the Mediterranean diet focusing on lots of veggies and fruits.

After taking the Amlodipine for three months, side effects followed.

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I had the worst lower and upper back pains. I could barely sit down for a few minutes because I would have chest pains and back pains. I started getting very tired and fatigue at the end of the day that I had to stop taking it because I can hardly get a good sleep. This time I did not call my GP. I felt good through all the summer last year after quitting Amlodipine. The back pains were going away. I was able to get goodnight sleep again. Without the BP med, I found out that with adding plant based foods and losing weight, my blood pressure numbers are not bad at all. My energy was optimal.

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But I decided to give Amlodipine another try early this year to make sure that I was just not imagining the side effects. Just three weeks into taking it everyday, my lower and upper back started to bother me again. I started getting dizzy and feeling faint like I would pass out. My legs were starting to swell and ache like I was having a blood clot on both legs. I started sneezing really bad everyday, I could barely function. I lost my energy. I was able to prepare my smoothies and eat plant based foods, but I was so fatigued toward the end of the day that I felt like I was so depressed and feeling run down. I told myself that this is not the way to live a full life! I was having a restless sleep. I’ve prayed so hard and asked God for discernment and wisdom on how I could deal with these trials I was going through with my health.  I was exhausted and tired and sneezing continuously most days that once and for all, I’ve got to stop taking the BP med.

 

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Lowering blood pressure helps prevent getting angina, heart attacks and strokes. BP medications can surely lower your BP, but with the side effects that come with taking these meds long term, a person will die of side effects, not of the high blood pressure. And would possibly die of heart attacks anyway. These drugs are awful! I’ve learned to be vigilant with all these drugs doctors prescribe to be used long term and daily. Check out the side effects! Most likely, you will experience those side effects. These conventional drugs will take over your life and lose it in the process. My chest pains were actually caused by these BP drugs!

After a week of quitting the BP med,  I felt better. I’ve been taking Gaba Plus for years, so I started taking them again. I stopped taking my supplements because of fear that they might badly interact with my BP med.  I started taking Fish Oil and Co Q-10 and Vitamin D and calcium again. In my research, I found out that taking Gaba Plus and Fish Oil will lower my blood pressure.

Yesterday, my blood pressure systolic was 127 and my diastolic was 64 and heart rate is 62. I’ve been getting good BP readings even without the conventional BP med. The chest pain is gone and yesterday, I returned to doing a moderate treadmill walk. When I’ve first embarked on changing my eating habits and lost a lot of weight and doing intermittent fasting, I was in the middle or period of taking the BP med. So whatever benefits and nutrients I was getting was helping me somehow,  but the side effects of the BP med were so overwhelming that daily dose of this medication was giving me a poor quality of life.

In a recent 6 month’s visit last week at my cardiologist office, I told the nurse practitioner that was assigned to me that I stopped taking the BP med. I showed her my BP log sheets and told her the side effects I experienced. She was concerned about the BP reading that was taken by the clinic assistant because my systolic reading was high. I told her what I’ve learned about the right ways to take BP measurement. I was surprised she didn’t know. She let me rested for about 5 to 15 minutes and took another blood pressure measurement. It was 135/70 with 64 heart rate.

Blood pressure readings varies each time in a day, it can be lower, in the middle, higher or extremely high depending on how our heart and brain react on things around us. I found out that it is normal. The medical concern really is if our systolic or diastolic number remain high, especially the systolic number and does not change even when we are at rest before doing the measurements.

One of the best websites about hypertension or high blood pressure I’ve read was DietDoctor.com ( https://www.dietdoctor.com/blood-pressure )

An ideal, healthy blood pressure is not over 120/80. This is what young, healthy and lean people have…

Values between 140/90 and 160/100 are considered as slightly elevated blood pressure.
Over 160/100 is said to be moderately elevated.
Over 180/110 is a severely elevated blood pressure.

If your blood pressure is severely elevated (over 160 systolic or over 100 in diastolic), medication is wise. If you have other risk factors for heart disease (like smoking, diabetes or obesity), medication may be recommended even for a slight elevation in blood pressure (over 140/90).

Up until recently there was no evidence that medication improves the health of otherwise healthy people with mildly elevated blood pressure (140-159 systolic and/or 90-99 diastolic). This meant it was unclear whether it was worth risking the side effects of the medication if all you have is a slight elevation.

After losing a lot of weight and eating plant based foods, my daily blood pressure readings are in the mid 120s and low and mid 130s at the most. The Fish Oil and Gaba plus have added extra help in lowering my blood pressure steadily without BP medication. Hopefully, I am at the time now that I have reached the level where my blood pressure is finally well controlled. I’ve thanked God and grateful to Him that He has given me understanding and wisdom in overcoming the maladies concerning high blood pressure. God once again opened my eyes!

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Intermittent Fasting is my way of life

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I’ve been on intermittent fasting for almost two years now and I’d say I’ve never felt better in my whole entire life. I’m so used to doing it that my body has well adapted to this daily fasting regimen that I don’t feel deprived. Drinking 8 glasses of water after eating only within a certain ‘window’ of time each day, has helped curve any hunger. On my daily eating window, I make sure to eat wholesome plant based foods which keep me full and would carry me during my fasting hours.

New study from the University of Florida proposes that intermittent fasting works because it causes repeated “flipping of the metabolic switch.” After you have fasted for about 12 hours, you start to lose body fat because your body is forced to change temporarily from its main energy source, glucose (sugar) to fat from the fat stored in your body, and using these fatty acids that are converted to energy to produce ketones that are also used for energy. The “metabolic switch” is defined as the shift from using glucose to using fatty acids and fatty-acid-derived ketones for energy, and then shifting back to glucose when eating is resumed. This leads to weight loss and a variety of other metabolic benefits including lowered blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels. Most of the studies reviewed in this new article show that intermittent fasting caused weight loss primarily through loss of body fat, not loss of muscle.  **DrMirkin.com

My recent blood test has confirmed to me that my daily intermittent fasting has greatly improved my numbers. My fasting blood glucose level has gone from 92 in 2015 to 85 in 2018.BloodSugarglucose

Blood sugar testing measures how much glucose is in the bloodstream. No matter what is eaten, from a small snack to a large meal, blood glucose values rise in response to any carbohydrates that are digested.

In a healthy person, the pancreas reacts to the higher blood glucose by releasing insulin, a hormone that converts blood sugar into usable energy.
In addition to carbohydrates, other body processes also raise blood sugar levels.  When a person fasts, which is defined medically as not eating or drinking anything aside from water for at least eight hours, the release of glucagon is triggered in the body. Glucagon instructs the liver to metabolize reserve supplies of glycogen, which are then circulated into the bloodstream as sugars. Accordingly, the amount of plasma glucose goes up. This is how the body creates energy even while fasting.

In sum, when diabetes is not present the body responds to all blood sugars by manufacturing insulin in proportion with the glucose level. When it comes to fasting blood sugars, insulin lowers and stabilizes the levels so that they remain in a normal, healthy range. Yet when any form of diabetes is present, either pre-diabetes, Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, the whole physiological process doesn’t work correctly, and blood sugars are often considerably higher than normal. The fasting blood sugar test (FBS) is commonly used to detect the existence of diabetes. **BloodSugarEasy.com

I have cut down considerably, from my daily lifestyle diet, the ingestion of simple sugar and processed foods. Most processed foods have added sugar that our body does not need. I reduced intake of sweet carb desserts like cake, pastries, cookies, crackers, chocolates, ice cream; you name it, I cut it down and lost my sugar addiction in the process. bloodsugarlevel

I have added more organic fruits like apples, pears, most berries, bananas, kiwi, mangoes and other seasonal fruits. I alternate eating them and when they are available, but there’s always fruits in my daily eats.

Diets rich in fruits and vegetables help to reduce the chance of obesity, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and other health issues. While fruit juices and applesauce aren’t necessarily something you have to avoid when planning your meals around diabetes, these snacks have had their fiber removed and as such lack much of the nutrition found in whole fruits while hosting a higher sugar content. Fruit has been identified in American diets as one of the most under-consumed foods, with the standing recommendation being to consume at least 2 cups of fruit in a daily diet of 2000 calories. Consuming a well-rounded nutrient profile while minimizing foods that can lead to spikes in blood sugar is essential for diabetics to function at their best.

Vegetables became my main food ingredients in my daily meal. Most days, my breakfast consists of green smoothies. They consist of different types of organic kale, spinach, carrots and broccoli. My lunch I always make veggie salads which can be with cucumber, tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, romaine, radicchio, all organic. My plate is an abundance of veggies with small share of lean meat, chicken or seafood, with small portion of brown rice and quinoa.  I cook daily and I seldom eat out.

I was able to maintain my weight and I can say intermittent fasting has helped me with that and more. There are more great results I’ve got from my recent blood test that I will cover next time I blog.

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Peak Fasting

I finally broke the plateau hurdle in my weight loss journey! Aside from losing the two pound gain from the 2017 Christmas holidays, which got me back to 105 pounds. I maintained this weight since late 2015 when I started losing weight and plateaued at 105 lbs.

It’s very true, the last 5 pounds are the hardest to lose. Either I was not mentally ready to get lower than 105 or my mind is playing games with me.

wp-1507945080633..jpgThis is me at 105 lbs. last year before the holidays. It looks like I look okay. My BMI was 21.2 which is considered a normal weight. What makes me get rattled is when I go to my primary doctor and my cardiologist for my checkup, I seemed to gain an additional 5 or 6 lbs. each time they weigh me in! So for them, I am 110 or 111 lbs. which is ridiculous. I still am considered normal weight for my height, but it seems unfair. Whatever the weight that registered at the doctor’s office scale is what they go by and record on their office chart. And they don’t pay attention when I say my weight is lower than that! One assistant said: “you must have eaten a lot before you got here.” No lady, it’s all the clothes I’m wearing! No sympathy I’m telling you! LOL

On the positive side of things, I am so thrilled that I am 2.6 pounds away from my goal of 100 pounds! My BMI is 20.7. The less weight I can lose, my BP will go down more and my heart would not work as hard.

What really helped me to get past the diet plateau, was the peak fasting or intermittent fasting. When I started my weight loss journey, I did not know anything about peak fasting. I was losing weight by counting calories then, which tremendously helped a lot. Weighing the food we eat had educated me and my husband and reality sets in as to why people gain weight. The bad carbs are the greatest culprit of all. Anything with sugar triple your chance of gaining unwanted weight. And so does saturated and trans fat. Anything heavy in weight, like sweet potatoes to grapefruit to meat ribs with bones, we would remove the parts that will not be eaten when we use the food scale. Or else they will add up to the gram count!  152 grams of half of a medium size grapefruit is 64 calories already.  Sweet potatoes at 51 grams is 77 calories.

 

 

They seem small in calorie numbers, but when we add the other foods to the list, they add up to the daily food budget. I’ve learned to truly lose weight, and still able to consume variety of foods good for me is to weigh my food. To maintain my weight is to learn how to eyeball the amount of my daily food intake and learn to adjust when I gain an ounce or two or a pound based on what the food scale has taught me.

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This was my lunch one day at 353 calories. I can eat tons of veggies without hurting my food budget.

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This is 465 calories. Sweet Potatoes and the pork ribs provided the most calories on one lunch this week.

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I had a bowl of organic popping corn to the lunch mix. My lunch for today, Sunday was 284 calories including the popcorn. Bowl of popcorn is 69 calories at 19 grams. Panseared seabass was so delicious with tomatoes, red peppers and red onions. My sides were organic garbanzo beans and pearled couscous. I can only have 21 grams of pearl couscous which is not very much in a very small serving cup. And it’s already 75 calories taken away from my daily calorie budget. We did not know couscous would steal the calorie show. They are as bad in calorie count as white rice!  The lunch was so good though! Mediterranean diet at its best! And the kitchen still smells so good!

Most of my daily breakfast consists of veggie and fruit smoothies which always meet my daily fiber requirements together with veggie salads. This week I’ve added some organic apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter. 20180128_193850.jpg

Today, for my morning snack, I had this delicious crispy noodle and nut mix. For a very small cup of this to die for snack, it cost me 131 calories! I cheated on this one and I added a little more so it was more than 131 calories. But I just had to have it.

I do moderate treadmill walking most days which helps reduce the calorie budget. I drink 8 glasses of water everyday. My last meal is always lunch, then I start with my peak fasting.

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2016/04/29/peak-fasting.aspx

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Bad Cholesterol is pretty scary!

“LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called bad cholesterol because it can build up in the walls of your arteries and form plaque, which can narrow and reduce the flow of blood through your arteries (arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart). This plaque buildup can lead to a condition called atherosclerosis —also known as ‘the hardening of the arteries.’”  Source: https://www.repatha.com/high-ldl-causes-treatment/?WT.srch=1

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Recently I heard news from a close friend of mine that her husband had an emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder full of gallstones. Gallstones may form when there is too much cholesterol in the bile. …
High levels of bilirubin can lead to formation of gallstones. …
In case the gallbladder is not able to empty often enough or if it is unable to empty completely, there may be a concentration of bile. …

I was not familiar with gallbladder which I thought was the same as the bladder that stores urine. They are two different body organs.

Gallbladder is a pear-shaped sac which is made up of a mucous membrane, a fibromuscular coat, and a serous layer. It lies in a depression of the posterior surface of the liver.

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Urinary bladder is a part of the urinary system that stores urine produced by kidneys until urination takes place. It is found anterior and inferior to the pelvic cavity and posterior to the symphysis pubis. Bladder receives urine through ureters, the small tubes connecting two kidneys and the urinary bladder.

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“Cholecystectomy is the medical procedure that surgically removes the gallbladder. Around 60% of the patients that undergo this procedure experience an improvement in their digestion, but for the 40% patients, they experience side effects and other discomforts. Diarrhea is a common side effect of removing gallbladder. Heartburn can also be experienced by people who have undergone cholecystectomy.
Unexplainable discomfort is usually felt by the patients a few days after the surgery. Bloating is the result of carbon dioxide pumped inside the body and remains there.
Difficulty in breathing. It is important that after surgery, deep breathing is now practiced. Heartburn is the result of improper digestion. Since there is not enough bile in the system, some of the fatty foods remain undigested and these fatty acids and gastric acids will try to regurgitate back to the esophagus, causing pain in the chest, neck, throat, etc.. “ Source: http://www.tandurust.com/digestive-problems/dangers-of-removing-gallbladder.html

Hopefully, my friend’s husband is one of the 60% patients that improve their digestion when the gallbladder is removed.

Anyway, I never realized that too much cholesterol in the body cannot only affect the walls of our arteries, but can cause problems on the other parts of our organs. Pretty scary!High-Cholesterol-Foods

How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally
These are the 7 steps you can take to lower cholesterol naturally. And if you follow all of them, you can count on a very high success ratio.

Eat a healthy cholesterol lowering diet. Some fats help lower cholesterol, while others can raise it. So get your fats right.

Reduce overall fat intake, avoid trans fats, limit saturated fats and replace “bad” fats with “good” fats, such as olive oil and those found in whole grains and omega 3 fish.

High fiber foods also help lower cholesterol naturally. They decrease “bad” LDL and increase “good” HDL cholesterol.

Do regular healthy physical activity. At least 30 minutes of exercise a day has been shown to decrease total cholesterol and improve “good” HDL cholesterol levels, while lack of regular physical activity can raise “bad” LDL cholesterol levels as well as lead to weight gain.

Reach and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can decrease “good” HDL levels and increase “bad” LDL and total cholesterol levels.

Eliminate sweets and refined foods. Few realize that eating sweets and other high glycemic foods increase triglycerides and cholesterol production. These foods are also addictive. Once you eliminate them, you’ll find that fruits, vegetables and whole grains actually taste sweet.

Cut out caffeine and alcohol – drink water. Both caffeine and alcohol have been shown to elevate cholesterol. So it’s best to switch to pure water and, at the very least, follow the “no more than one a day” rule.

Don’t smoke or use tobacco in any form. Smoking damages blood vessels, contributes to hardening of the arteries and is a major health risk for heart disease, stroke and other degenerative diseases.

Practice good healthy stress management. Just like cholesterol, a certain amount of stress is healthy – such as with exercise. But the link between excess stress and high cholesterol production is well established. So take time to relax, let go, meditate, enjoy yourself or do whatever it takes to keep your stress level under control.

Use the 7 steps to lower cholesterol naturally to reach optimum levels of:
Triglycerides less than 150 mg/dl.
Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dl.
HDL “good” cholesterol over 40 mg/dl.
LDL “bad” cholesterol less than 100 mg/dl.

You can greatly reduce your all-around risk of both heart disease and stroke, the #1 and #3 causes of premature death in the U.S. by simply following these guidelines on how to lower cholesterol naturally.   Source: http://commonsensehealth.com/how-to-lower-cholesterol-naturally-in-7-steps/

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List of Foods that Lower Cholesterol Naturally.  

Below is a list of foods that lower cholesterol naturally. You can use this list of cholesterol reducing foods as a guide when eating and should consider having a majority of these foods that lower cholesterol in your home.

– Oat cereal

– Cereals containing flaxseed or psyllium

– Whole grain cereals

– Pecan nuts, walnuts, olives, soy nuts

– Dried or canned beans, peas and lentils

– Corn, fresh, frozen or canned

– Soybean products

– Whole wheat bread

All types of fruits, especially currants, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, citrus fruits, apples.

– Canola and olive oils and margarines made from these oils.

All vegetables, especially onion, watercress, leeks, spinach, carrots, artichokes, avocado, broccoli, kale Brussels sprouts and cauliflower

A variety of flavorings, herbs and spices, especially fresh garlic.

– Lean meats and chicken.

– Salmon, swordfish, tuna and trout

Source:  http://www.all-about-lowering-cholesterol.com/foods-that-lower-cholesterol.html

Another method of healing I found on line is Ginger Garlic Apple Cider Vinegar Mix:

1 piece of grated ginger, 1 glove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Liquefy with the use of Nutri Bullet blender. Consume 1 tablespoon of the mixture before breakfast and another before lunch or dinner.  This mixture lowers blood pressure and cholesterol naturally according to the website. Screenshot_20171030-091257.jpg

 


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Food Shopping for health and wellness

Ever since I’ve modified my eating habits for the past few years, I’m always conscious of what to buy at the grocery stores.  I have gained knowledge into the type of foods that  would either make me healthy or will eventually cause diseases to propagate in my precious body. I’ve learned so much about organic foods and GMO laden produce and food products. It’s scary when you think about what’s out there bad to eat.

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When it comes to my health, I don’t want anymore to let food commercials dictate what I should eat. I was commercially sublimated during my younger years of busy and stress loaded life. When you’re young, you don’t think of food in terms of your health, but what would make you feel stuffed, glutted or engorged regardless of the bad consequences and that would satisfy your hunger pangs. Looking back, I had eaten quite loads of fast foods. They were delicious, for Pete’s sake! Ate in many restaurants, hole in the wall types, and some elegant ones. I let the chefs’ or cooks’ concoctions to rule my eating habits. It was fun while it lasted. As luck would have it, I was into workouts to save my life! Yes! You should see my collections of VHS and DVD workout tapes! I have tons! And I still have them, but now contemplating in donating them.

I lost some weights, maintained the weight loss, but eventually succumbed to gaining extra pounds. That’s when health problems surfaced. My blood pressure went up and I was not feeling so good anymore. This led me to research about the causes of high blood pressure and how to manage it naturally. I went through different types of high blood pressure meds and most had bad side effects. It was frustrating. My salvation: plant based foods! They are miracle foods. But then I’ve learned that not all plant based foods are created equal.

DirtyDozens

Most grocery stores carry food produce that are laden with dangerous pesticides. Even the ones on the grocery shelves.DirtyDozens2 To top it off, most are GMO or genetically modified foods. They are foods genetically altered to look attractive to our eyes and genetically enhanced to have longer shelf life!GMO2

“The rise in autoimmune diseases, infertility, gastrointestinal problems and chronic diseases may be associated with the introduction of GM foods. In a position paper by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the authors ask all physicians to consider the role of GM foods in the nation’s health crisis, and advise their patients to avoid all GM foods whenever possible. The Academy also recommends a moratorium on GM seeds and calls for immediate independent safety testing and the labeling of all food items containing genetically modified products. As of 2010, the U.S. does not require food manufacturers to identify foodstuffs produced with genetically modified crops.”

How To Avoid GMOs
“The best way to avoid GMOs is to cook at home using certified organic ingredients. Organic foods, by law, are non-GMO. When buying produce such as corn, look for the PLU code on the label — if it begins with 9, it is organic.GMO4 If you use packaged or prepared foods, look for “USDA Certified Organic” on the label. Packaged foods that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients are not permitted to contain GMOs. Assume that all restaurants are serving GMOs. The vast majority of non-organic products sold in a conventional supermarket, including pet foods and baby foods, contain some form of GMO corn, soy or other ingredients.”

Source: https://www.livestrong.com/article/216714-dangers-of-gmo-foods/

I only have one body to live on and one life to live. But I have capabilities to control what I will eat. Screenshot_20171022-111922.jpgThis day and age, there are tremendous information at my beck and call to help gain knowledge on protecting my health.

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Today’s breakfast – organic cereal with 11 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein with some blackberries

I’m thankful and grateful for stores that are popping up and carrying organic and non GMO foods. Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and now Aldi. Groceries near us are carrying organic produce and non GMO products. On the side of our world, we have HEB and Kroger and even 99 Ranch that dedicate organic food sections, or organic and non GMO products spread all over their food shelves. You just have to hunt and look for them. And because of the increase demands for organic and non-GMO products, the overall costs are moderately going down. Now that Amazon owns Whole Foods, I’ve seen organic pricing getting to the level, in some degree, with their conventional counterparts.

Screenshot_20171022-111733.jpgIt cost me such a lot of hours of research to get where I am with my health now. I am, more than ever, pays attention subsequently to what I require for myself to be able to give the necessary defense, to protect my body from the radical changes that poor eating habits entail. I promised myself to succeed.

 

 

 


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Too much cholesterol

foods-high-cholesterolAccording to WEBMD, our body through our liver produces 75 percent of cholesterol that circulate in our blood. A normal level of cholesterol plays an important part in helping our cells do their proper jobs in our body system. 25 percent of cholesterol comes from our food. Therefore, when we eat foods high in cholesterol more than our body needs; and we eat them everyday, it can cause damage deep within our body. We don’t feel any symptoms when our body carries too much cholesterol, but over our life span, it can lead to a build up of plaque inside the arteries and narrows the space available for blood flow and can trigger heart disease. It’s pretty scary!

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But there are ways to lower our body’s  cholesterol, thank goodness! First stop is to have our cholesterol level tested via blood testing at the doctor’s office. The results would show the levels of bad (LDL), good (HDL) and triglycerides.

 

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Since I started this blog and has kept my weight down with the help of plant based eating, I have lowered my blood pressure and my last cholesterol test showed a low level because of the plant based foods I’ve become accustomed to. My intake of meat, poultry and seafood becomes my side dishes. I’m still into smoothies, apples, oranges, grapefruit which I eat in the morning after drinking a glass of water. I still drink eight glasses of water. Most especially, I still keep track and weigh myself daily before I start my day. If I gain a pound or maybe two, I eat more plant based and lesser simple carbs and less protein and I still do intermittent fasting.  If I am mindful of what I eat daily, keeping the weight down is easier nowadays.

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