About 75 million Americans are the victims; they may not have died yet, but none the less 75 Million Americans.
This silent killer is called high blood pressure. ?According to the CDC, that?s about 1 out of every 3.
Now look to your left, then look to your right?One of you has or will have high blood pressure.
That?s a scary stat, well it?s scary if you understand that, 7 out of 10 people that have a heart attack have high blood pressure, or that 8 out of 10 people that have a stroke also have high blood pressure.
That makes it scary.
WHAT CAUSED ME TO THINK
Sometimes we never stop to think about our health until you?re forced to do so.
A few years ago, I had to schedule an appointment to the doctor’s office. ?I was getting horrible pulsating migraines, they were awful. But anyways I went to the doctor, and she told me my blood pressure was elevated and that I was dehydrated. ?At the time, I was only 24 or 25 years old, and I saw how quickly they were ready to throw me on blood pressure pills.
That was not what I was looking for.
The doctor scheduled a follow-up appointment to see if I could get my blood pressure down, but she gave me some pretty simple advice on food. ?I gave it a try for the next two weeks and followed it to the ?T.”
Per Doc?s words,
Limit my intake of beef, lamb, and pork.
Fish, chicken, and turkey were okay to eat. But make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. And drink water.
I?m happy to say two weeks later the blood pressure was down! And I?ve been able to keep it down too.
That was the start of my quest to learn to eat better.
My Food & Fitness Philosophy
Food is complicated, and I really want to simplify it so that we can make the best food choices every day.
From that appointment to the doctor?s office and the improved BP after two weeks, I realized that I really needed to focus on what I ate. ?At the time I was working out consistently, up to 4 or 5 times a week, and my blood pressure was still elevated.
That let me know right then and there that no matter what kinda workout you do, you can not overcome a bad diet.
I don?t know how this thought process stacks up with the fitness professionals and gurus of the world, but I?ve decided that food is the foundation for good health. ?If you can get your eating habits in order, the fitness side is really easy.
Get Your Eating Habits in Order
I understand what I just said is easier said than done. Food plays such a role in our lives that it almost becomes the centerpiece of all that we do.
Think about it….
The taste of food can change your mood.
We meet up and spend time with family over “food.”
We have dates with your significant other over “food.”
Life kicks you down, and sometimes all it takes is a good meal to pick you up.
The reason food is such a tough nut to crack, is because we have an actual relationship with food. Therefore the only way that I can handle food and our relationship is to have simple rules to live by.
Rules That I Eat By:
1.) I can’t eat what I don’t buy. If you didn’t know, I’m addicted to candy and any kind of sweet you can think of. There’s no such thing as moderation for me, no matter how much or how big the bag of candy, I’m going to eat until it’s gone. So my first rule that I eat by is, I can’t eat what I don’t buy. If I shouldn’t eat it, then I simply won’t buy it.
2.) Only eat turkey, chicken, and fish. With that said, I decided not to eat pork anymore– too many people I know have high blood pressure, and every cook that cooks pork BBQ claims they don’t use any (fill in the blank), so theirs is not bad for you….Sounds good, but is that really true? I doubt it.
3.) Let me add onto #2… No packaged sandwich meat. Sandwich meat is typically high in sodium. On top of that if you buy sandwich meat, then most likely will need to have to bread to make a sandwich. If you don’t know about bread watch this video I posted about carbs.
4.) Eat fruits and vegetables with every meal. I try to have a 2:1 ratio of vegetables to meat when I eat. That’s two vegetables and one meat on my plate when I eat. After that, I typically add fruit.
5.) Drink water. ?No sweet tea’s, no soda, no fruit juice, and no sports drinks (unless you find one with no sugar). I drink black coffee, with no sugar and no cream. But I do think that tea is okay as long as you don’t drink the sweet tea or add sugar. ?I’m thinking along the lines of the herbal teas.
Special note about #1. When I do shop, I only buy in the outer portions of the grocery store. That’s where the fresh fruit and vegetable are located, then the meats are typically located on the back wall. The rest is packaged processed foods.
Special note about #2. I’m about to implement another rule about beef, I love steak, I eat way too much of it. I’m thinking maybe one serving a week. I have a tendency to go overboard with red meat, I could eat red meat every day.
I have other rules, but these are the one’s I have incorporated successfully. I’m still studying and improving upon these laws, but this is my foundation. If I can follow these, I tend to eat rather healthy. But what’s important is, this is what works for me, and you need to find out what works for you.
I was on twitter this morning, and I read a tweet that said,
?stop reading “how to” guides, and create your own life manual of what works for you.?
Of course, I?m paraphrasing that tweet, but it makes sense.
Do you have any rules that you have in your life that help you live a healthier life?