September 27, 2011

My Plant Based Diet Cured My Hypertension

I'm writing this post as follow-up to a post I wrote earlier this year singing praises to plant based diets.  And now, I decided that I would "testify" (keeping with the tradition of the Black Church).  As a result of my change in lifestyle, from a Western, meat based diet to an Eastern plant based diet, I am completely bp medicine free!

This is not a gimmick.  I am not advertising for any group, doctor, or pharmaceutical company (LOL!).  I am hoping to change a few lives - lives of people who, like me, want to take their health in their own hands and free themselves from the escalating bondage of prescription drugs.  Let the church say, "Amen!" 

While taking blood pressure meds (for the past 10 years), my sistolic ranged anywhere from 125 to 130.  My diastolic lingered around 80 to 90.  All of you who are hypertensive or pre-hypertensive know that these numbers are considered borderline.  No matter how much I exercised, even when I was running 6 miles/day, I still "needed" the meds to maintain a 120/80 reading (and 120/80 is no longer considered normal).  For someone who was at the pinnacle of fitness and already taking blood pressure medicine, these were scary numbers.  These are numbers that make physicians grab the prescription pad.  And of course, one new medicine necessitates another new medicine to manage the side-effects of the first medicine and so on and so on.  Then, pretty soon, you wake up in the morning to a cocktail of medicines to "manage" your "condition."  I decided that I was too young and too smart to let this thing beat me.  As I explained in the previous post, my doctor not only supported this effort, it was her idea.

Now, my sistolic ranges anywhere from 105 to 117, and diastolic from 56 to 64.  I know what you are thinking.  No, I really don't exercise much.  Yes, I should.  And, yes, I need to.  But, between work and family, I (like you) have little time to be a slave to the gym or a weekend warrior.  I run about 2 miles every other week.  This miraculous cure that I have experienced lies solely in what I eat, or what I don't eat (depends on how you choose to perceive it).  Most days, I am a vegan.  This means, I eat no dairy products (and of course no meat).  Dairy consists of eggs, butter, dairy cheese, and dairy milk.  No, I don't deprive myself of these things.  I simply eat plant-based versions of them.  I drink coconut milk (yum!), and I eat vegan butter and soy or rice cheese.  Other days (when I am eating at restaurants without a vegan menu), I am a vegetarian.  This means, I am eating food cooked with eggs and garnished with dairy cheese.  However, I never consume animal flesh (yes, that means fish too).  I stay away from junk food.  I do eat too many potato chips even though they are usually organic and vegan.

I never feel deprived or hungry.  Quite the contrary, I feel satisfied and happy.   I changed my thinking and my grocery list, and I learned how to cook all over again.  And, no, I do not miss steak, hamburgers, chicken, pork chops, or fish.  For me, eating meat would be nothing short of suicidal.  Some may consider this dramatic (in true "tree hugger" form).  But what I have experienced is dramatic.

Ultimately, my doctor did not do this for me.  I did this for myself.  And so can you.