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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Sugar, more than Salt, raises Blood Pressure

I’ve learned this the hard way this weekend. Sugar did raise my blood pressure. I take my blood pressure regularly so I know My BP level has been good, until I’ve made this Sweet and Sour Cucumber. It calls for regular white sugar and clear vinegar in the recipe. I heated them together to dissolve and mix the sugar with the vinegar. The end result was very good. I made it twice last week, the second one I prepared last Saturday as side dish. I added some thinly sliced onions and carrots for garnish. One of the best cucumber salads I made. I was happy with it and so did my household.

Then came this chest pain last Sunday. The pain subsided when I took an aspirin and I was able to have a good night and restful sleep. However, when I took my blood pressure this afternoon, my blood pressure was 148, 150 systolic. Before this, my BP level has not gone up since I’ve learned to control my eating habits, which is mostly a Mediterranean diet with lots of veggies and fruits. I can have some bread, or some crackers and even ice cream in some occasions and my blood pressure would not get affected.

“Carbohydrates cause the body to hold on to water. When the water volume increases in our blood, the pressure in our blood vessels increase.
The same can happen when we consume salt.
However, only one of these will cause chronically elevated blood pressure.

Again, too many refined carbohydrates increase water in the blood thus increasing blood pressure. Refined carbs have no nutrients. The nutrients are stripped out in the refining process. As we’ve seen the body must maintain sodium in the bloodstream or significant health problems will ensue. Consider that an intravenous solution of salt water is the first thing given to ER patients.You would be surprised just how many studies exist that shows no connection to salt and hypertension. So forget the studies. Study it in yourself. If you have hypertension, reduce your salt intake for two weeks and do nothing else (you’re probably already doing this). See if that brings down your blood pressure significantly. If not, eliminate all sugar intake in the form of refined sugar and refined carbs for two weeks. See what happens.”                                                       FearlessEating.net

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“One out of every three US adults has high blood pressure (hypertension).  If you’re among them, one of the first recommendations your physician probably gave you was to cut back on salt.
Yet, there’s far more to maintaining a healthy blood pressure than eating a low-salt diet – a strategy that works for some people and fails for others.
In fact, fewer than half of Americans with high blood pressure have their condition under control,  and perhaps this is because conventional physicians have been focused on the “wrong white crystals,” namely salt instead of sugar.
One of the primary underlying causes of high blood pressure is related to your body producing too much insulin and leptin in response to a high-carbohydrate (i.e. high sugar) and processed food diet.

New Study:   Sugar May be Worse for Your Blood Pressure Than Salt
You’ve probably heard of the DASH diet, which is claimed to be among the most effective for controlling hypertension. It consists largely of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and very low sodium content.
But it’s ALSO low in sugar/fructose. So, while people on DASH diets do tend to show reduced hypertension, the reason for this may not be solely the reduction in salt, but the reduction in sugar.
The same holds true for reducing your intake of processed foods, which are top sources of both heavily processed salt and sugar/fructose. In a new review in the journal Open Heart, the authors also argue that the high consumption of added sugars in the US diet may be more strongly and directly associated with high blood pressure than the consumption of sodium.

Story at-a-glance
Added sugars, particularly fructose, in the US diet may be more strongly related to high blood pressure than salt
Cutting processed foods from your diet may benefit high blood pressure not only because it reduces salt, but more likely because it reduces sugar
Excess sugar in your diet increases blood pressure and heart rate and contributes to inflammation, insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction.”

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/25/sugar-blood-pressure.aspx

MadhavaCoconutSugar

I have not used white sugar for quite sometime in any recipe that calls for white sugar, except last week. I thought, it would not affect me since I have not used it for months. What I have been using if I need to add sugar in my recipe or my oatmeal is Madhava Coconut Sugar. It does not affect my blood pressure. This proves to me that I cannot have simple, white sugar added to any of my foods. My fasting sugar when it was checked last year was normal. I want to keep it as normal as possible. Especially now that I know how sugar can affect my BP more than salt. I also stopped using table salt or processed salt as this type of salt can also raise up my blood pressure.

RealSalt

I have been using Redmond Ancient Fine Sea Salt. This all-natural sea salt comes from the underground salt deposit in Central Utah. The deposit was left there by a pristine ancient sea that covered much of North America millions of years ago. This sea salt has not raised up my blood pressure and I don’t use so much of it either. I’ve read that this type of salt is similar to the sodium content in our own blood. That’s why we cannot totally eliminate sodium in our diet as long as they come from good sources for our body.

“Water, sea salt, and potassium together regulate the water content of the body. Our daily food contains potassium from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables, but not table salt (sodium chloride). That’s why we need to supplement our daily diet with sea salt.”

https://nutburgers.com/table-salt-vs-sea-salt-knowledge-is-power/

Definitely, knowledge and research is power!


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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

insomniarelief

 

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.

celeryjuice

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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The Healing Process

After that big toe injury I suffered last month, I thought everything was fine because the stabbed wound on my big toe healed properly. Well, so I thought.

Early this month, I woke up in the middle of the night with pain on the right foot where I injured my big toe. I thought I might have twisted or overextended my foot. Turning to the other side made me able to fall back to sleep. But when I woke up the next morning, there was a slight pain that got worse through the day and through the night.Parts Of The Foot Diagram for Human Anatomy Diagram: Ligaments Muscles Foot Anatomy Human Image on Techvi.Com Pics

I applied some sports med crème to ease up the pain concentrated on the muscle or tendon on the middle of the foot, but it did not help some until I took some Tylenol and it reduced the pain. However the foot started to swell and remained swollen for days.

ToeBones

It started to concern me so I saw my primary doctor the next day. He did not see any indication of infection, but confirmed that the right foot was swollen. He prescribed a topical cream and some pills that would reduce the swelling and pain. He ordered blood tests and X-ray for the right foot. I told him about my injured big toe, that it might have something to do with it, but he was more concerned that I might have gout, which is impossible because I am not a constant red meat eater and told him most of my meals consist of veggies and fruits and fish. But to play safe, he said it’s good to cover all the bases. He was also thinking of tendonitis.    ToeBones3

The Foot X-ray came in. There was no bone fracture and no dislocation, but found some bone spurs.  Bone spurs are bony projections that develop along bone edges. Bone spurs (osteophytes) often form where bones meet each other — in the joints. Treatment
If  bone spurs cause pain,  doctor might recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), in my case, my doctor prescribed Meloxicam to take one daily.

The medications helped reduced the swelling and the pain. My doctor niece who is in Wales advised me to only take the pills for 5 days at the most, as they are notorious in causing stomach pain on long term use.

To this writing, there’s a little tenderness in the middle muscle of the foot, but most times, the foot is back to normal.

The blood tests came normal, my uric acid levels are normal, which when high and untreated can cause gout.

A high uric acid level, or hyperuricemia, is an excess of uric acid in your blood. Uric acid is produced during the breakdown of purines, which are found in certain foods and are also formed by your body. Once produced, uric acid is carried in your blood and passes through your kidneys, where most of it is filtered out into the urine.

About one in five people has a high uric acid level. It may be related to attacks of gout or the development of kidney stones. But most people with high uric acid levels don’t have any symptoms or related problems.

The other blood test was for the inflammation and there was no inflammation.

These blood tests confirmed to me that my daily diet of vegetables and fruits which are mostly organic, has helped tremendously in my system. ToeBones4

The big toe injury most likely hit my Tendon which created some pain inside. The injury might have affected the Tendon of flexor up to the Flexor hallucis (see diagram above) and the Lumbrical muscles. My husband has told me that even though the wound had healed on the surface of the skin, the inside parts of the foot that got affected by that injury is still healing slowly and my doctor niece said that it takes a little while for the inside parts of the body to heal.

That was a freak accident that happened with my big toe. An experience I will never forget; and that particular knife is now out of my sight. LOL! I’ve had some finger cuts using that same knife. It’s a beautiful looking knife, maybe the reason I’ve liked using it in the kitchen, but it’s dangerous! *laughing*

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The day I went to see my doctor when my right foot was swollen.


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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

IntermittentFasting

 

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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Telomeres

Have you ever heard about Telomere? [ˈtēləˌmi(ə)r, ˈtelə-] Do you have any idea what it is? I didn’t. However, I was amazed at finding out about this very important part of our beings living within us and determines the longevity of our lives.

X chromosome, red in the center, the concept of infection

I’ve been hearing about Telomeres for about 2 years now, but I could not comprehend how they work in our body. Until I bought the book: How Not To Die. In this book it tackled in parts this amazing compound structure.

“In each of your cells, you have forty-six strands of DNA coiled in chromosomes. At the tip of each chromosome, there’s a tiny cap called a telomere, which keeps your DNA from unraveling and fraying. Think of it as the plastic tips on the end of your shoelaces. Every time your cells divide, however, a bit of that cap is lost. And when the telomere is completely gone, your cells can die. Though this is an oversimplification, telomeres have been thought of as your life “fuse”: They can start shortening as soon as you’re born, and when they’re gone, you’re gone. “telomere shortening aging

“The consumption of fruits, vegetables, and other antioxidant-rich foods has been associated with longer protective telomeres, In contrast, the consumption of refined grains, soda, meat (including fish) and dairy has been linked to shortened telomeres.”

“In a study funded by in part by the U.S. Department of Defense, they found that three months of whole food, plant based nutrition and other healthy changes could significantly boost telomerase enzyme activity, the only intervention ever shown to do so. FruitsVeggies2

The study was published in one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world. The accompanying editorial concluded that this landmark study “should encourage people to adopt a heathy lifestyle in order to avoid or combat cancer and age related diseases.”

from: How Not To Die/Michael Greger

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“Telomerase is an enzyme that lengthens telomeres and keeps them from wearing out too fast or too early. But with constant cell division, telomerase levels are depleted, enabling telomeres to shorten. It stands to reason that if science found a way to increase telomerase production, telomeres would remain long, lengthening life spans and possibly reducing the risk of some diseases.”

“Foods high in vitamins are believed to protect cells and their telomeres from oxidative damage. A diet high in antioxidant foods, like berries and artichokes, can slow down aging and help prevent or reduce cell damage.”

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Seven of the best known ways science knows of now to slow down telomere shortening to live longer:

Don’t ever smoke. Smoking is not only hazardous to your lungs and cardiovascular health, but is also found to increase rate of telomere shortening, which can lead to dysfunction and instability of chromosomes.
De-stress your life. The more stress you have in your life, the greater risk of increasing the rate of telomere shortening and aging more quickly. How to slow it down? As simple as it might sound, the key is to always have a positive outlook on life. Plus, enjoy a vacation once in a while, enjoy friends and social activities, receive plenty of sleep every night, and try meditation.
Exercise regularly. By increasing amounts of physical activity, especially intense physical activity, research shows you could keep your telomeres long and healthy, even buffering the effects of chronic stress.
Get your antioxidants daily. When high amounts of free radicals attack cells (causing oxidative stress), they leave no stone unturned making chromosomes and their telomeres vulnerable to shortening. You can best protect yourself by getting plenty of antioxidants in your diet from eating fruits and vegetables daily and supplements.

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Never go without fish oil. Fish oil contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that are well-known for being healthy to the heart, but recent evidence has shown that increasing amounts in the diet is associated also with slowing telomere shortening over time. You can get enough by eating fish a couple of times per week and by supplementing with long-chain omega-3s daily.
Get enough of the “sunshine vitamin. Several discoveries have made vitamin D the most popular nutrient of the decade because of its many benefits including an association with longer telomere length. You can make sure you’re getting enough by practicing safe sun exposure and supplementing with vitamin D daily.

Practice safe weight loss. Maintaining a healthy weight is important to keep telomeres long.

from: http://www.isagenixhealth.net/seven-ways-to-slow-telomere-shortening/

 

Lose Weight
 “Obesity has an adverse effect on health, causes pre-mature aging, and reduces life expectancy,” says John Morton, MD, Chief of Bariatric Surgery at Stanford University Medial Center. “If your telomeres get longer, you’re likely to reverse the effects of aging.”

While this study was conducted on surgical weight loss, we’re hoping future research will be able to replicate it with diet and exercise in humans.

Stand Up
  •  Stand up for anti-aging! We don’t mean take a stand–we mean actually get out of your chair and stand up to protect your telomeres, according to research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. There is growing concern that not only low physical activity but probably also sitting and sedentary behavior is an important and new health hazard of our time.

The researchers found that the less time spent sitting, the longer his or her telomeres. In fact, in this study, time spent standing was even more important than exercise for telomere protection. This is great news because most things you do sitting down (watching TV, checking email, calling a friend), you can do standing up.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11073662/How-standing-might-be-the-best-anti-ageing-technique.html

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Intermittent Fasting, weight loss and Christmas holidays

Ahhhhh, the holidays are finally over! A month of holiday celebration was somehow a hurdle with losing or maintaining weight; but thankfully, I only gained two pounds total since yesterday, New Year’s Day!

I got so used in doing intermittent fasting and it helps on days before and after Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year; the reason why I was able to control my weight. The calorie counting I incorporated during those times that I have to lose 20 pounds when I started changing my lifestyle habits, has given me the heads up when I was facing with all those glorious holiday foods. I knew that if I ate more than the calories that I have been used to, I will gain the following day. But I’ve learned also that if I ate less the next day of gaining some ounces or a pound, without being hungry as I fast, the following day, I would lose the calories I gained. That’s how I was able to maintain my weight. FB_IMG_1513610750289.jpg

I’ve learned that our body system can adapt to changes in eating habits, so if I feed my body less, it would be happy and content. The lessons I’ve learned as I am realizing it now is if I trained my system to eat less processed sugar, like cakes, cookies, chocolates, ice cream, pies; my system will adapt and would not anymore clamor for those types of food. The biggest dilemma for me is if I start tasting them again on holidays, and they are so attractive during the holidays, my digestion process seems to want to betray me and dislike the taste of the natural sweetness of the whole foods such as fruits. It doesn’t help, too, that most of the best fruits are not in abundance during the winter season of holidays galore.

Well, I promised myself that today, I’m starting to nip it in the bud, start to eat less and less simple sugar again, replace them with smoothies and more veggie salads, which get my energy in a better level, and control my hunger pangs and to get back to working out.FB_IMG_1513610843289.jpg

How sight and smell relate to digestion

 

“At first glance — or sniff — the digestive link between your eyes, nose, and stomach sounds a tad weird. But think about it: How many times has the sight or scent of something yummy like a simmering stew or baking bread set your tummy rumbling?

The sight of an appetizing dish or the aroma (actually scent molecules bouncing against the nasal tissues) sends signals to your brain: “Good stuff on the way.” As a result, your brain — the quintessential message center — shoots out impulses that

 

  • Make your mouth water.

 

  • Make your stomach contract (hunger pangs).

 

  • Make intestinal glands start leaking digestive chemicals.

All that from a little look and sniff. Imagine what happens when you actually take a bite!

Tasting and chewing in the digestion process

You know that small bag of potato chips you have stashed way at the back of your desk drawer? Well, dig it out and take a chip.

As the chip hits your tongue, your mouth acts as though someone had thrown the “on” switch in a fun house.

 

  • Your teeth chew, breaking the chip into small manageable pieces.

 

  • Your salivary glands release a watery liquid (saliva) to compact the chip into a mushy bundle (a bolus in digestive-geek speak) that can slide easily down your throat on a stream of saliva.

 

  • Enzymes (which you can think of as digestive catalysts in this case) in the saliva begin to digest carbohydrates in the chip.

 

  • Your tongue lifts to push the whole ball of wax . . . no, bolus, back toward the pharynx, the opening from your mouth to your esophagus, and then through a muscular valve called the upper esophageal sphincter, which opens to allow the food through. In other words, you’re about to swallow.”

source: http://www.dummies.com/education/science/biology/the-human-digestion-process-or-what-happens-after-you-eat-food/

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Just One Bad Meal Can Mess with Your Health

Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Super Size Me was one of the first to vividly demonstrate the consequences of trying to sustain yourself on a diet of fast food. After just four weeks, Spurlock’s health had deteriorated to the point that his physician warned him he was putting his life in serious jeopardy if he continued the experiment.
But as the featured study showed, it doesn’t take a virtual month to experience the health effects of a poor diet. In fact, the changes happen after just one meal, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

When you eat a meal high in unhealthy fats and sugar, the sugar causes a large spike in your blood-sugar levels called “post-prandial hyperglycemia.” In the long term this can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, but there are short-term effects as well, such as:

Your tissue becomes inflamed (as occurs when it is infected)
Your blood vessels constrict
Damaging free radicals are generated
Your blood pressure may rise higher than normal
A surge and drop in insulin may leave you feeling hungry soon after your meal

The good news is that eating a healthy meal helps your body return to its normal, optimal state, even after just one. Study author James O’Keefe of the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri told TIME:

“Your health and vigor, at a very basic level, are as good as your last meal.”

source: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/04/29/junk-food-metabolism.aspx

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I experienced this poor diet effect when I ate a meal high in unhealthy fats and sodium, one night when we went to see a movie last month before Christmas week in a theatre, where they serve food inside the auditorium. I thought to myself, it was only for one night, it would not hurt me, but it did. I felt so restless in bed and I had chest pains. I lost the calories I gained from it two days after I got back to eating my healthy homemade meals, but it surely proved that foods served in restaurants are not the best quality foods that your body definitely does not need. I can even tell now which restaurants we would go to and their foods will give me heartburn. Of course, after going twice, and it’s still doing the same result after I ate their food, there is something in their ingredients that do not agree with the human body’s digestion. For one thing, to gain profits, they serve you with the cheapest ingredients combine with trans fats and high in salt and hidden sugar, it’s a stomach catastrophe waiting to happen. Overtime, when you keep eating fast foods, you will develop all kinds of  maladies:  illness · sickness · disease · infection · ailment · disorder · complaint · indisposition · affliction · infirmity · syndrome · bug · virus – you name it!wp-1508636809959..jpg