Blood pressure how is yours? As a doctor anti-hypertensive drugs are probably the medicines that most patients are on that and statins that we covered the last couple of days. However, one drug often doesn’t do the job and this becomes the start of the poly-pharmacy that we see so frequently when documenting what drugs patients are on. Recent studies have shown that the number one risk factor for death is high blood pressure or hypertension as it is known in medical jargon and this is because it contributes to death from a wide variety of causes such as aneurysms, heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure and stroke. Increased blood pressure puts a strain on the heart and can damage the small and sensitve vessels in your eyes and kidneys and can cause ballooning of vessels (aneurysms) causing them to rupture. Studies over the years have shown that the 2 main dietary risks for high blood pressure and its effects may be not eating enough fruit and eating too much salt.
Salt – salt is a compound of which apx 40 % is sodium now sodium is an essential nutrient and it naturally occurs in vegetables and other natural foods. But when you add additional salt that is more than your body needs – it responds by water retention and this can cause your body to increase your blood pressure to push the excess salt out. Most people consume double the amount of salt that they need and estimates for what you actually need is…..3/4 tsp! That is all – I know on the rare occasions I have chips I def have more than that. What about you? So action plan – just stop adding salt in, also look at the labels if you eat processed food and be aware of the salt content. Interestingly, I was looking at the tins of baked beans I had a month back and I realised that the organic baked beans had significantly more salt in them than a well-known brand so I’ve now swapped as I feel the low salt content out-weighs the lack of organic certification of the beans as I eat baked beans almost daily.
So if the key to BP management is to cut out salt as mentioned (your taste buds will adjust in just a few short weeks) what foods can you add in to help? Whole grains – 3 portions of whole grains a day can significantly reduce BP – whole as in not refined so oats, whole wheat and brown rice – refined grains can actually increase your risk. Ground flaxseeds (linseed) has one of the best anti-hypertensive effects a few tablespoons a day can have a powerful reduction but introduce it slowly if you are on meds as you find it reduces it too much too soon. Eating more vegetables – raw appears to be slightly more protective. Legumes – all those beans, lentils chickpeas help a bit – I don’t have high blood pressure I didn’t before going vegan and now with my daily baked bean habit I definitely don’t. Hibiscus Tea – studies showed that 2 strong cups of this floral tea every morning is as effective as a starting dose of a leading anti-hypertensive. Keeping the vessels healthy is also vital for normalising BP and eating lots of fruit and veg you flood your body with anti-oxidants which eliminate the free radicals and boost your body’s production of nitric oxide (which signals your arteries to relax and therefore increase blood flow) and by increasing your consumption of nitrate rich food (beetroot, Swiss chard, coriander, rhubarb, rocket to name a few) that your body can then convert into nitric oxide you improve blood flow further – great for athletes, heart disease, patients with erectile dysfunction. So there is some food for thought… How do those foods feature on your shopping list? Remember prevention is always better than cure.
Wow where did October go? I haven’t had much chance to write as life has been chaotic BUT super exciting!
A long held plan that was often talked about was setting up a healing centre with my friend Andraya well a few weeks ago she messaged to say she had found a venue and was I in! Abso fucking lutely – and we’ve not stopped since then! Ideas back and forth over flooring, paint scheme, pictures – unicorns definitely feature hahaha and we’d both like a ride on one but we may need to save some pennies for that first!
What has been the most incredible thing and the real indicator that we are aligned more than we even thought is that constantly we are messaging about something the other is about to message. We have both “seen” the same colour scheme in the rooms, the same choice of flooring – you name it. A true sign that when things are meant to be the Universe makes sure everything is aligned.
Please check us out on FB & IG and like our pages – we’ll be sharing lots of content and some of our services will also be available remotely as well as in person at our healing centre.
The theme for this month as The Healthful Doctor is wellness and delaying and preventing age-related dis-ease – the cornerstone of many being cardiovascular disease get that sorted and many other disease processes will be given the heave ho.
I’m slowly developing my website to incorporate my Canine stuff with massage therapy and cani-cross training and cani-hiking see the Who Pawa Wins tab for more info.
More recipes to follow – my main issue why they are slow to post is that I never write measurements down! Years of cooking I simply write ingredients and so every single recipe needs to be made and measurements noted before I can post! hahah that will teach me.
As always let me know if there is anything you want me to cover
I’ve had a lovely weekend at the World Energy Conference in Manchester – it was inaugural event and sister to the Animal Energy World Conference that I regularly attend. So many amazing speakers which I aim to put “pen to paper” about but the first one that I have really come to love is The Emotion Code developed by Dr Bradley Nelson- which is a powerful and yet simple way to rid yourself of unseen baggage. Dr Brad as he is known gave a wonderful demonstration on its use and also spoke about the more advance Body Code as well which he has developed. Releasing trapped emotions often results in the sudden disappearance of physical problems, self-sabotage, and recurring relationship difficulties. Both the Emotion Code and Body Code use muscle testing to answer yes and no questions to get to the crux of the issue where emotions can be released and therefore healing begins.
It was lovely to catch up with Dr Brad again and his lovely wife Jean and fill them in on the results my dog Mazar has had following his first session in May 2018 at the Animal Energy World Conference. I was fortunate to have first hand experience of this amazing modality when Dr Brad used my doggy Maz as a demo. Don’t let the pic fool you it is for humans as well as animals. Dr Brad used his wife Jean as a surrogate for the testing as you can see she has her hand placed on my dogs body so is taking on board his energy.
Maz hates travelling in my car or campervan no doubt due to emotions concerning his being run over in Afghanistan and having to fend for himself damaged and broken for 2 years. See @mazardog on FB and IG for more info . I can honestly say the difference afterwards was incredible there were no issues for several weeks and he really was a different dog travelling. I’ve had further session since to clear further blockages and once again absolutely blown away with the results despite my left brain conventional doctor side of me being hugely sceptical beforehand. Further sessions have been with certified Emotion Code and Body Code practitioner Deborah Sutton who I heartedly recommend https://deborahjanesutton.com I’m adding stuff to the website all the time so please keep checking back and if you would like to be on my mailing list please see the free e-book link. Happy Health Helene x
So I probably should have posted this at the beginning of the month but the post is more about the whole thing rather than specifics and in all honesty one of my challenges is about organisation and so I needed to get organised for FB and IG posting daily and so that kind of took priority.
It is said it takes 21 days for changes to be habit forming, for it to be part of your life without effort. Change is good, it is great to shake things up and see what develops. It is so easy to get into a rut with our lives that encompasses our mind, body and spirit. So often people lack fulfillment but don’t know why, sometimes it is hard to see the wood for the trees, that’s why it is great to step out of your comfort zone and see what happens. Get out of going with the flow, start turning away from the tide and see where life leads. I absolutely love this quote from Wayne Dyer and what a massive difference it makes when you start viewing everything differently, the doors that won’t open are merely nudges for getting on a new path, the realisation that someone’s thoughts are their problem not yours, the lack of finances , the opportunity to readdress what is really needed in your life so many things can be viewed more positively for you if you just change how you see them.
For October I’ve done a 30 day challenge of things to try to improve the health of your mind, body and spirit, the aim is to try new things maybe for just 1 day, maybe for a week or maybe for the whole month. See what resonates with you mentally and physically, see how you feel by stepping out of your comfort zone.
The 30 tips are posted daily on Instagram and Facebook so follow along and let me know how you get on. There is a great variety of different tips with the aim of pushing you off your normal path, I’m practicing what I preach and whilst many are things I do anyway but will take to another level there are also challenges for me to “face the fear” and to “get organised” and I will share how that goes either on this blog or on IG and FB.
Day 5 was over 2 days and was a Social Media Free weekend and as I write this on Sunday night I can honestly say its been great. I’ve had more free time to do other stuff, felt more focussed and definitely less procrastination. I’ve just got back from a weekend away competing in a cani-cross event and want to share pics and catch up with folk but that will wait. In the meantime I am just revelling in the fun I had, muddy fun running with the doggies – I got a 2nd place in the 2 dog event which I’m super chuffed with as it was hard going running in boggy conditions and in the second event my blind dog Seren is gaining in confidence all the time and it is great to see (to follow the adventures of my dogs see FB & IG pages @mazardog and @whopawswins). But not only that but I got to spend time with friends, chat, dog walk, have fun all those things that are so essential for mind, body and spirit health. Last night we watched The Hangover for the umpteenth time but belly laughs all round amd made plans for some more fun definitely not inspired by The Hangover.
So why not step out of your comfort zone and see where it takes you. Follow @thehealthfuldoctor for daily tips and don’t forget free e-book available see menu.
Ageless ageing needs to incorporate a mind, body and soul approach there is no reason our health span can’t match our life span.
Staying active is vital for good health into old age both physically and mentally now that doesn’t mean you have to be trail running or a yoga expert (but no reason why you can’t) but rather you maintain a lifestyle that incorporates constant and moderate physical activity. Incorporate that into your daily lifestyle – a daily walk of about 30 minutes outside in the elements will do wonders for both your physical and mental health. Taking part in a class or group activity will also help you with motivation and the camaraderie that it entails will also be good for your mental health too. We live in a society where loneliness is common and more and more as we age and by making the effort to join in social activities you will help offset this aspect.
Our brain atrophies as it ages – if you compare the CT scan of an 18 year old and one of a 60 year old you can see vast differences – the older image will have more space in the skull as the brain has shrunk but there is no reason why brain function has to decline. The famed author Louise Hay who died 2 years ago aged 90 was always learning new things and taking part in classes and was as active physically and mentally as she was when she was younger, Louise firmly believed in making the aging process a positive, vibrant , healthy experience and embracing her inner child whatever the age. Keeping your brain engaged is vital to prevent cognitive decline – activities involving the brain stimulate new connections between nerve cells and may even cause new cells to generate developing neuro plasticity and therefore helps prevent against future loss. Anything that is mentally stimulating will help build your brain – take course, do maths, or crosswords, try crafts that also involved manuel dexterity as well such as knitting or painting. I have my mum knitting jumpers for my disabled dogs! Also strong social networks have also been associated with a lower risk of dementia as well as lower BP and longer life expectancy.
Its really easy to get stuck in a rut as we get older and there is always an inherent reluctance to change, change is scary but why not throw caution to the wind? Don’t judge the woman out for a meal alone – embrace the fact that she is not scared to eat alone. Want to do something but no one to do it with? Do it anyway. . Our level of happiness and positivity is massively affected by how we view the world around us and whether issues cause us stress. The study of epigenetics is fascinating – the environment we live in plays a far greater role than our actual genes. So if you live within a family environment of negativity and illness then you are likely to experience that. So don’t buy into that, choose how you react to issues, choose how you treat your health, make those changes regardless of what those around you think. No amount of being miserable will make someone else’s happiness improve, all you can do is you walk your own path and lead by example. Everyone has their own lessons to learn and whilst it may be frustrating for you watching them it is unfortunately part of their life plan. Just concentrate on finding your own happiness and sometimes that may mean moving on from those who just don’t resonate with you anymore. ut if you want to have good health then you need to release that which weighs you down and causes you stress.
Changing the habits of a lifetime can be hard but isn’t it harder when those habits become detrimental to your life time? Challenging ourselves is good, it keeps us mentally engaged, it keeps pushing us to grow and develop and however old we are doesn’t matter. Just because things have been a certain way does not mean than change cannot occur, it doesn’t mean that things won’t improve, it doesn’t mean that some of your ambitions can’t manifest. Kicking habits is tough, embracing new habits is tough but the key is the why! What is your motivation for it? Make it real, make it solid, keep focussed on the end result. Think how you will feel when you achieve it?
And I have a 30 day challenge coming up in October so stay tuned. Don’t forget the free e-book available see link in menu.
So continuing my blog on foods to have daily in your diet
Onions – Smash or pass? Does it depend on colour? Well anything colourful from the plant kingdom is actually more beneficial so choose red onions which in my opinion are also more flavoursome. Onions plus garlic, leeks and chives are all hugely beneficial for the cardio-vascular and immune system and can help lower cholesterol. Lots of evidence shows too that they are cancer protective especially for colorectal, laryngeal and ovarian cancer. They are nutrient dense with an abundances of vitamins and minerals (Vitamin A, B6, C & E and sodium, manganese,potassium and Iron) plus fibre. They are also great source of folic acid. Pretty much any savoury dish is enhanced with the humble onion or garlic -personally I am not so keen on leeks but I do like a nice leek and potato soup – recipe to follow. I love red onion in a sandwich with avocado and some vegan cheese mmmmmmmmm
Mushrooms – I love mushrooms what about you? Mushrooms have a high content of a particular anti-oxidant called ergothioneine which works on protecting the cells and because of this they have great immune and anti-cancer benefits. Mushrooms should actually be cooked as there is a toxin contained in them which is destroyed by cooking – I just boil for a few mins and as such can be added to all meals including salads. Now mushrooms are great sources of vitamin D which is essential for health and especially so as we get older. We make our own Vitamin D when we are in sunlight but with daily working inside this can be limited. By putting your mushrooms upside down out in sunlight for an hour or two beween 10am and 3pm can boost their Vitamin D levels significantly. That really is a more pleasant way of boosting your vitamin D levels that taking tablets that are unpalatable and to be honest have very little compliance with patients for that reason.
Berries – Who doesn’t like berries? If green veg is The Veg, then berries must be The Fruit. These are little powerhouses of anti-oxidants and phyto-nutrients helping to boost the immune system and protect against cancer, they guard the liver and the brain and are cardio-protective too. And are great for the collagen in skin. Aim to eat at least 1 portion a day and that is ½ cup of fresh or frozen. Now interestingly unlike many other fruits and veg – frozen doesn’t matter as the freezing process actually means more of the essential phytonutrients are actually released from the berry and so you actually get more benefit. Blueberries especially have shown to be especially good for eyesight and eye related conditions especially macular degeneration. They are extremely palatable so however you eat them just eat them, I especially love them on my overnight oats recipe, or in smoothies. But mixed with live yoghurt is also pretty good too.
Seeds – In studies it was showed that vegans who did not eat seeds did not live as long as those who incorporate them into their daily diet. So why are they so important? Very good sources of protein and fibre but also other essential benefits. Flaxseeds especially are fantastic in lowering high blood -pressure which is a huge problem today with so many people on anti-hypertensive agents that have a lot of side effects and often not just one drug is needed leading to a poly-pharmacy approach. A couple of tablespoons a day of ground flax seed (must be ground otherwise they pass right through and not pre-milled buy a little spice grinder and I blend a jam jars worth at a time which lasts about a week for me as my dogs have them too) is actually over twice as powerful as popular blood pressure medication with only good side effects! They are also effective in lowering cholesterol, blood sugar levels and inflammation. Really easy to incorporate into your food as well, sprinkled on oats, in a smoothie in recipes they make a great thickener and as an egg replacer in cakes and other baked goods. Chia seeds and flax seeds are both good sources of omega 3 which is essential for brain health – more about that later and just takes a tablespoon a day which is incredibly easy to do. More to come in some recipes!
G-BOMBS how easy is that to remember – focus on adding into your diet rather than swapping or eliminating other things will make it so much easier for you to get into the habit of eating for health.
Ageless September is all about prevention and treating common symptoms that occur as we age. Please don’t be put off if you are in your 20s or less – we all age and changes now can make a vast difference to the future, plus it can help you maybe plant the seed in your parent’s health to improve any issues they may have. I know that has been the case with mine, many of the tips I will share this month I have enticed my parents to embrace and although they are still a work in progress 🙂 small changes can definitely make huge steps.
Although we have the means and health to live longer and health span is not matching our lifespan and I see daily in my work as an ED doctor people who would be considered elderly in their 40s and 50s. My mother who is 79 (don’t tell her I told you) remarked the other day that a trip they went on everyone was very elderly at over 80! I pointed out her age and she retorted that she didn’t feel her age at all – and that really is the best attitude to have, I come from a family with a young mindset and my grandpa was climbing ladders well into his 80s. And my best friend was 30 years older than me til she passed away aged 81 but she was never old to me, had a wicked sense of humour and was every bit as much fun as people decades younger than her. Age really is a mindset and if you are dreading various age milestones or “physical decline” maybe I will be able to alleviate some of that.
Over the course of the month, I’ll look at ways you can help yourself energetically in mind, body and spirit . This will deal with nutrition and what to add in and swap out and possibly eliminate all in all. I’ll also address how to ensure your mental and cognitive health stays is optimized and also look at various energetic ways to also address issues.
Now you may be thinking well that is all very well but I come from a family who all have high-cholesterol, have died young with heart attacks and everyone has diabetes – its in the genes! Well not quite epigenetics shows us that we are more a product of our environment and our beliefs rather than our DNA. Epigenetics is the study of how genes express themselves and it shows that the external factors influence the gene expression as opposed to the genes themselves. The Bruce Lipton Book I’ve mentioned in Things I like is a great read to explain this in more detail –The Biology of Belief
Simply put if you live in a family with bad health and follow their daily lifestyle practices – bad diet, smoking, drinking etc then you will encompass that in your own health. But if you alter your actions and beliefs then you can change that or maybe at the very least mitigate it. With some of the inherited characteristics say breast cancer only 5% of this cancer is through an inherited cause that means the other 95 people out of 100 had non-inherited factors. And although the gene may make you more disposed to an illness it doesn’t guarantee you will be affected and modification of lifestyle factors that also contribute to the expression of a dis-ease will still play a huge role. So start by looking at you lifestyle practices – most of the time people know what is detrimental without any outside help and acknowledge them, write them down and see what you can do to change them. Feel free to get in touch if you would like any help in pursuing this further.
Don’t forget to check out the Plant Fit Summit more info on link or under Thing’s I like – Events there is some great advice on ageing and I just listened to an excellent interview with Victoria Moran in vibrant at any age who definitely looks at least 20 years younger than her 69 years!
So Skinful August was all about getting and keeping your skin in tip top condition. We ingest and put so many toxins in and on the body it is hardly surprising we have so many issue.
My top 10 for skincare
Drink 2.5L of water a day – to keep you and your skin hydrated and to flush out those toxins
Stop using harsh laundry detergents and conditioners -anything that claims to get your clothes bright white will have optical brightners in and enzymes that can cause your skin to be dry and cause or worsen eczema – chose natural products like soap nuts, eco-friendly detergents or good old bicarbonate of soda.
Fill your diet with fresh fruit – berries in particular are full of anti-oxidants and great for
Think about what products you are using on your skin -the humble extra virgin coconut oil is a great moisturiser and good for wound care and especially good for chapped skin like nappy rash and eczema
Cutting out refined sugar and oil from your diet can also eliminate acne flare ups to name just one benefit – you are what you eat so nourish your skin from the inside out.
Sleep well, we need sleep to let our body rejuvenate and that goes for your skin as well – compare how awful your skin looks after a couple of hours sleep to a proper restful 7 hours. There is a glow and a plumpness to it that sleep deprived skin will not have.
Facial massage and dermal rollers are are a great way to improve your skin naturally without harsh toxins being injected the true side effects will only be really known about in years to come.
Eat well, wholefood plant based has so many benefits – for more information from experts such as medical doctors and olympic athletes check out the plant fit summit
Smile, have fun with friends can give your immune system a huge boost by raising those endorphins.
For more info on any of these points check out my Facebook and Instagram Posts for complete info.
Please get in touch if there is anything in particular you would like me to cover or any comments in general and I will do my best to obliges.