Blood pressure. Blood pressure. Blood pressure.
I'm not trying to raise your blood pressure. I just want to talk about it and give you some tips because it's such an important topic.
We are 70% water.
We don't want our inner waters to be pressurized. We want them to be flowing with ease through our body. The quality of our blood and our cardiovascular system is affected by what we eat. When we pay attention and make sure we're putting in good fuel, just like we put good fuel in our cars, it’s important to acknowledge where the fuel goes first.
Once food leaves our digestive tract it goes into our bloodstream. There's a big connection between what we eat, and our cardiovascular health. Things like high blood sugar, insulin resistance, diabetes, any kind of kidney disorder, stress, too much salt, and too much sugar, all have an affect on our blood pressure.
It’s important to understand this, and the best way to get a handle on this and make changes is to look at and identify our food cravings for processed foods.
We want to identify our sugar intake and our cravings for simple refined carbohydrates. This includes salty snacks like chips or crackers, even if they're gluten free. All of those choices are still going to turn into sugar quickly.
The chocolate in the afternoon habit, candy, or cookies, or whatever foods you love and know are not serving you. It’s important to pay attention to those sources because they're all entering into the bloodstream and can raise blood pressure over time. High blood pressure is a symptom that's showing us that things aren't working well, and we want to lower that risk factor in the body.
What if we can eliminate those cravings?
We know we shouldn't be eating the sugar or having the cake, we know we shouldn't be drinking the soda or whatever it is that we're doing or buying. A bag of chips in the afternoon because we have a craving that gets the better of us. We know not to do it, but it's hard to resist the temptation.
One thing we can do though, is to set ourselves up for success.
We can set ourselves up for success first thing in the morning, at the beginning of the day, by having a good breakfast that includes protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
The Standard American breakfast, in my humble nutritional opinion, often ends up resembling dessert. Cereals, sweet coffee drinks, pastries, breads, pancakes, etc. Even a sweet smoothie can be too much sugar for some people.
My simple motto is dinner for breakfast. Go savory, not sweet.
Emphasize the protein, fat and fiber. I’ll share more videos where I’ll talk more about what that looks like. But for now, I just want to say, set yourself up for success by starting your day off with a savory breakfast.
When you have a sweet breakfast, your blood sugar will rise and then fall. That all happens in your bloodstream, in your cardiovascular system. That's where the connection between blood pressure and sugar and carb intake really shows itself.
A breakfast with adequate protein helps you set the foundation for the day, by stabilizing blood sugar. The more you set the foundation, the less cravings you're going to have.
When you start your day with dessert, your body responds by wanting more sugar. A sweet breakfast will raise blood sugar, then it will quickly fall, and you’ll crave more, which is the opposite of setting yourself up for success.
If you’ve been intermittent fasting and it's working well for you and you're not having a lot of cravings later in the day, great. If you're intermittent fasting and it's not really working for you and you're having a lot of cravings later on in the day, bring breakfast back. You can always end your fast earlier in the late afternoon or early evening after dinner, and you can still get a good fast, which is good for your metabolism. But if you’re struggling, bring breakfast back, and see what happens. It might not be an overnight fix, but over time you're going to stabilize your blood sugar and your cravings because of how you started your day.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle
Build that habit of a good savory breakfast, watch your cravings settle down, and see how that affects your physiology. And honestly, that is also a ticket to a good night's sleep, which also lowers blood pressure.
I have a good friend who's an Ayurvedic practitioner, she heard me talk about this once, and she changed up her breakfast. She told me that ever since she started having a more savory breakfast, (she was having a smoothie before that) she doesn’t crave chips in the afternoon. She's healthy and a practitioner, but she was still craving and giving into chips. She didn’t want to be eating chips, but her cravings were stronger than her.
Bring back breakfast if you need to and make it savory. Think dinner for breakfast.
Stay tuned for more about what that looks like and what that means, and make that a part of your healthy diet.
I hope this helps. Let me know in the comments some of your favorite breakfast or anything else you'd like to hear me talk about, and we'll continue the conversation. Have a great day.