Managing blood pressure can be easy

Question: What should I eat to get my blood pressure under control?

Answer: What to eat for good blood pressure is easy. More troublesome are all the foods and food ingredients one should avoid. We inherently know we should eat more veggies and fruit, drink more water and make some lifestyle changes. But, when not faced with imminent danger, we continue to do the same things from 25 years ago when the high blood pressure was first diagnosed.

The initial fear prompted a promise of change, but, well, the medicine seems to be working, and the fear subsides.
When we feed the body, we are essentially feeding our mind, heart, lungs joints and our future. The foods we eat create the building blocks used to nourish, heal, repair, and rebuild the body which houses the person we are inside. That person inside only has this one body to live in for a whole lifetime.

Connecting to the true meaning and value of food leads us to the end of the excuses we use to tickle our taste buds with unhealthy, unclean, foods of unknown origins.

So, what to eat?
Lots of fresh veggies, 10 to 12 servings a day, and five servings of fresh fruit daily, local, in season, and non-GMO, if possible.
Daily drink clean, filtered water, one half your weight in ounces.
Whole grains, unprocessed or only lightly processed, such as wheat, rice, corn, grits, oats. Add lots of beans, lentils, potatoes. Add white and sweet to your eating program with olives, tree nuts, green teas and herbal teas. Real food.

Some beneficial lifestyle changes include:
• An early stretching program before breakfast, and the first glass of water.
• Walking. Consider a walking meditation outside in the fresh air.
• Meditation, which can be as simple as a few moments of concentrating on your breath.
• Massage: foot, back, scalp or body, especially during stressful times.
• Movement. Don’t sit for long periods, especially at work. Get up, stretch, and re-focus your eyes.
• Find a place to recharge in nature, the beach, the woods, or the park at least once a week.
• Learn something new.
• Make new plans. Read for fun, do a get-away, even try dancing.
• Get to bed early, by 10 p.m.

High blood pressure is worth managing by lifestyle and dietary changes because not doing so leads to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, diabetes and more.
Earlier this year I challenged readers to drink water only for one month. So many people took the dare and reported wonderful results.

I was flabbergasted, not by the results, but by the number of respondents. Some reported: weight loss (20 pounds), clearer skin, more focus, better attitude and positive outlook; relief of stomach and digestive problems, relief of chest pain and congestion, better circulation, swelling in ankles resolved, relief of restless legs and diabetic neuropathy, cleared kidney infection, need to reduce sliding scale insulin because of lowered blood sugar, and even lowered blood pressure.
All this just from drinking water exclusively for one month. One reader stated that with the dramatic improvement in his body and life “why would I go back to killing myself slowly” with the lifestyle he was living before. He went on to say “you’ve made a believer out of me.” This made me very happy. One reader at a time.

For the what to avoid list, consider monitoring how much packaged and processed foods you are eating. Most folks think “well not that much,” but if you look at what you are eating, and where it came from, you’ll know. Write it down. You will see the truth.
Is it wrapped in cellophane? Did it come in a box?

Does it have a label, microwave instructions, ingredients list?
Did you read the ingredients?
What color, and what preservatives? Was it drive thru?
Food in a box or package is not real food.
What are your drinking, and what’s in it? Know the difference between real food and industrial food-like products.
If you challenge yourself to change, be sure to check for how you feel.
If you are on meds, check your blood pressure and blood sugar more often so that you do not overmedicate.
These simple changes will alter your chemistry. Keep a journal to chart changes and progress as you go. And, of course you may email me anytime.

Being healthy is simply a matter of choice. When we decide that this one body is sacred, we make the choice to feed it well.
Before we come to that decision, we’re asleep. Is this your wake-up call? Let me know.

Carolyn Guilford is a 2008 Project LEAD Cancer Scholar, nutrition consultant, health and wellness advocate, author and workshop organizer. If you have a question you’d like answered in Toward True Health please send it to ‘Like’ us on Facebook and get new health tips at or write to Health Restoration Consulting P.O. Box 2814, Savannah, GA 31402 or call 912-236-8987.