Tuesday, June 26, 2012

High Blood Pressure...yikes!




The past couple of weeks I haven't been feeling so good. Mainly queasiness that I attributed to the high heat of summer. I went online to see if it could possibly be related to (gasp!) perimenopause. One article said it could be, but wasn't common. Another caught my eye, suggesting that it could be due to high blood pressure. Hmmm...
I went on my queasy way making a mental note to check my BP soon. One evening after looking for a BP machine at our local Walgreens and not finding one, I asked DH if he would show me how to use his at home monitor. The reading? 170/115! DH immediately made me take one of his blood pressure meds. (I know it's not recommended to take others prescription drugs but...) I went through shock and disbelief for a while but made an appointment with my doctor the next day, last friday.
Blood draws, an ekg (of which wasn't normal, but the last few I've had have shown abnormalities), a urine sample, a prescription for BP meds and a referral to a cardiologist for a nuclear stress test. (I'd been through the stress test the first time a doctor found my ekg readings weren't right). So begins that process. In the meantime, I began research into what I could immediately do to help bring the readings down.
I began walking on our treadmill for 30 minutes, with a goal to add one minute each day for thirty days so I will be walking an hour a day in a month.
I began drinking teas with hibiscus as one of the main ingredients as that has been found to help bring BP numbers down. I also am getting back to drinking more tea in general for the antioxidants.
I have been faithful to take my supplements daily, which for a long while was hit or miss with me.
I have also began drinking 8 oz. of pomegranate juice daily, having read that it helps with cardiovascular health. (Drinking Pom Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice) I'm also trying to get in at least one green or fruit smoothie a day.
My diet will be the challenge. I love to eat. I love all the "bad" stuff. I don't have one sweet tooth, I have many. But I had already stopped eating meat about a month ago, I have begun to drink only decaf coffee and will do my best, taking it one meal/snack choice at a time, to eat more healthfully.
Oh...and I am trying to lasso that salt shaker.
I'm already beginning to feel MUCH better! And the numbers are down!
I say this all the time but, I STILL plan to live to be 144!!!
Let's ALL do something today, even if it's just ONE thing, to care for our hearts!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Walk in the Park

We like to explore nearby, woodsy parks when we have a little time spare.
But don't let all the shade & stuff fool you.
It's HOT out there!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Love My Breadmaker! Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I so love being able to dump all my ingredients in, set it and forget it!
If I am feeling really ambitious, or have more time, I might do the dough cycle only and transfer the dough to a bread pan (love my Pampered Chef one!) and bake it off in the oven. Usually 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees works.

Homemaking made easy!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Spahhh...On a Budget

When I want to feel like a million bucks, I find I can do so without sticker shock.
I found packets of Village Naturals Therapy mineral bath saok at my neighborhood Kroger store for only a dollar a piece. Wonderfully fragrant but I can duplicate the same by just using plain epsom salts from the drugstore and adding a few drops of deliciously scented essential oil(s) to the tub. Push the button for some jacuzzi action, lie back and close my eyes and I am on a mini vacation!
And I just couldn't resist these single foot, hand and facial masks that I found at Forever 21! For less than $2 each, why would I?
How do you like to pamper yourself?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

17 Candles


Well, only two but she's still seventeen today! Happy birthday lil' mama!!!
(Where does the time go?!)
{she partied with the best of 'em}

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vegetarian Yumminess!

After watching Food Inc. a couple of weeks ago, DD & I decided: no more meat. Since then, I've been trying to hunt down delicious, filling vegetarian recipes. While I've made a couple of clunkers, this one does NOT fall into the clunker pile. This one is definitely a keeper!
I found it in my Good Housekeeping magazine and it will be safely filed away in my new "veggie meals" recipe folder.
I doubled the recipe and instead of using canned beans, I took a 16 oz. bag of black beans and threw them in the pressure cooker for a few (cooked with a steady stream of steam for about 7 minutes, turned of the fire and let them release pressure on their own. Less than thirty minutes for a more frugal bunch o' beans.) I substituted frozen corn kernels and made a guesstimate on the amount. I also substituted heart healthy EV olive oil for the canola.
Hope you are having a wonderful start to your summer!!
~TJ

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