Before our Puglia trip, a nurse at mum’s hospital told her: ‘Go on holiday. Don’t worry about your blood pressure. Eat whatever you want’ We all hoped she was right. Mum had a fantastic time eating carefree (gelato, rum babas, pasta, panini, salty prosciutto, potatoes cooked in dripping etc). But the moment we got home to the UK and mum took her blood pressure, it was through the roof (over 210 for the systolic) and her ankles had started to swell with edema. Evidently diet matters. Two weeks of sun, sea and relaxation just weren’t enough to reverse her escalating health issues. Mum was hugely disappointed.
So starting on Monday, we resorted to our usual anti-hypertension routine – diet and a few alternative tricks. First mum cut out all sugar (except fruit) and pulled back on eating white carbs (which convert to sugar in the body). So potatoes only once a week, organic wholewheat pitta bread (rather than other breads), brown short grain rice (instead of white rice) and minimal other grains (less porridge for breakfast and occasional eggs or yoghurt instead). Also more beans, lentils, nuts, veggies and some homemade treats like hazelnut muffins (hazelnut flour, raisins, coconut oil, bananas and eggs). We also went on daily country walks. Mum’s legally partially blind (since her stroke 2 years ago), so she walks quite slowly now and needs help navigating rough ground. When it rained we got out the exercise bike for 15 minutes of freewheeling instead.
And today, after 20 minutes using the Resperate machine (a deep breathing device, which lowers blood pressure more effectively and safely than any drugs) mum’s blood pressure was an impressive 129 (systolic) over 74 (diastolic). Success..!! Well almost. This is just the start.