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September 19, 2023

Your Lifestyle Choices Can Help Prevent Hypertension

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Your Lifestyle Choices Can Help Prevent Hypertension

Let Food Be Thy Medicine. Socrates.

Lately my blood pressure has started to creep up again. But unlike most people, I know why this is happening. You see when I was first diagnosed I was very scrupulous about everything I ate and drank. I stayed away from everything that I knew would increase my blood pressure. I kept a log of my blood pressure and ensured that I increased my activity. My average blood pressure was 120/60.

But there came a point where I became lazy. I went back to my old lifestyle and quit doing what was best for my health. So my life has become an experiment. Many people, with good intentions, told me I did not need to be so strict with myself. I listened to the naysayers who said a vegan lifestyle wasn’t healthy, that salt was healthy, that there was no evidence to support that indulging in animal products would lead to heart disease, poor health, and high blood pressure. And yet by going back to the old life style, I have also ended up with blocked ateries and stent placment. So now I am going back to being vegan and combining with intermittent fasting.

Back To Medication?

My doctor has not put me back medication yet, but he will if I do not take this seriously again. When dealing with high blood pressure there is no room for being lazy. A soldier in a combat situation must be vigilant at all times. If he should let down his guard for a moment well the chances of him being taken out by the enemy increases fourfold. Imagine his loved ones receiving a letter stating he was killed because he was not vigilant. How sad that would be.

Those of us with hypertension must be vigilant. It is the only way we can prevent becoming a statistic of the silent killer and it does kill. In America, according to the CDC, 647,000 people die yearly from high blood pressure and cardiac related diseases. That is about 1722 people every day or 72 people every hour. From high blood pressure! I for one do not want to become 1 of the 647,000. High blood pressure is serious and we who have it should take it seriously also.

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It was 170/110, this morning it was 120/80

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I do not believe for one minute that those of us with this problem wish to die before our time. But a great many of us shrug it off. “It is really not such a big deal,” I hear some people say. But it is. It is a very big deal. So what can we do if we have fallen off the wagon and become slack is our lifestyle? We begin again. We resolve not to be fooled by those who tell us we can let loose and live a little. I am sorry but I would rather reign in this stampeding horse and live a lot more. More healthy, more lively, more energetic, and more for myself and my family.

The Food Industry

Now I know that there will be detractors there always are. Please though, find a way that is healthy for you to get it under control. Not everyone is able to follow this lifestyle. My bookshelf is filled with books by top cardiologists and nutrition physicians that basically point out the same thing.

It is reiterated in top medical journals, over and over again. So for me, it is a no brainer. If the studies are funded by the egg industry, the beef industry, the dairy industry and the like, those studies go in the trash. There tainted because these industries have a vested interest in studies that cast them in a positive light. That is just how the industry works.

For example, The United States Department of Agriculture is supposed to help set the guidelines for health and nutrition in the United States. But every-time there is a change coming that would hurt the industry guess what happens? The board who has the final say rejects those recommendations. And who is on that board? The majority are former members of the meat, dairy and egg industry who have financial ties to those sectors. Not surprising though is it.

So what can you do? Get serious about what you put in your body. Do your homework. Knowledge is a weapon. The more knowledgeable we are the better choices we can make. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or heart disease or both here are a few simple rules to follow.

Here’s what Dr. Ellsworth Wareham has to say about keeping a Vegan diet: He passed away a few years back at the age of 104.

Keep It Simple: Foods To Avoid

1. Don’t eat anything with a face or a mother.

This includes meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Yes you may say that arginine and omega-3 fatty acids are great for a healthy heart and it is plentiful in fish. But did you know that it can be found in plants also?

2. Dairy Products

This means butter, cheese, cream, ice cream, yogurt, and milk-even skim milk.


Avoid all processed oils This would include: virgin olive oil, coconut oil and canola oil

4. Refined Grains

These, unlike whole grains, have been stripped of much of their fiber and nutrients. You want to avoid white rice, and enriched flour products, which are found in many kinds of pasta, breads, bagels, and baked goods.

5. Nuts

I know what you are thinking, “But nuts are healthy” and you would be right to a degree, but those with heart disease should avoid nuts at least for the first 6 weeks.

Keep It simple: Foods To Indulge In


Enjoy as many vegetables as you like. It can be hard at first. We always picture the guy eating carrot sticks and celery, while people at the table are eating meat and potatoes. Get creative. Buy a few cookbooks that center and vegetable dishes. You would be surprised at the variety of veggies and the ways you can cook them. If you have high cholesterol avoid avocados for the time being.

2. Legumes

Beans, peas, and lentils galore. There are so many different types of legumes to enjoy and not get bored with them. My wife and I enjoy adding lentils or garbanzo beans to our salad. I also made a wonderful lentil loaf with carrots and onions.

3. Whole grains

There are a variety of whole grains that you can enjoy. The list is vast so I would recommend that you “Google” whole grains. I purchased mine at a whole food store. Such things as quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, millet, spelt, and whole oats.

4. Fruit

Every week I do my shopping at the local farmers market. I find the fruit from the market, as well as the vegetables, are much more fresh and tasty. We also try to eat our fruit according to the season. A word of caution on fruit. Because of the sugar content of fruit, and yes it is healthy, we should try to limit our fruit intake to 3-4 servings a day. If you are diabetic the recommendation is 3 servings of fruit a day.

5. Beverages

Such things as seltzer water, water, oat milk, and herbal teas. My physician recommended that I cut out all caffeine. I have also found that diet sodas trigger my atrial fibrillation if I drink them. Some of you may be asking about soy milk. This is a gray area and a choice you will have to decide for yourself. For myself, I refrain due to the phyto-estrogens in soy products.

Becoming healthy comes with a price. It means that we have to take responsibility for our health, something I have become lax in the last few months. This is something that is my fault. Discussing this with my family doctor it is a matter of me becoming more aggressive with my approach. I have a great family physician. He has always told me to begin with my lifestyle choices.

“Food,” he said is the first place I can begin to change things. He isn’t quick to change medications or add medications. He always lets me try first on my own and adds recommendations. He also sent me to a great nutritionist who has helped me formulate a plan. Now the rest is up to me. I would also say listen to your body. The body is amazing and it will tell you what makes it feel good and what doesn’t. Do what is right for you, for your health, and family.

When I was kept a vegan lifestyle I was much healthier. My brain wasn’t so foggy, I was at a good weight. And I generally felt and looked much better. So as we say, “Back to the drawing board.” I am beginning to realize that what I put in my mouth can create health or disease. Our choices do directly impact our health. Maybe not tomorrow, but from my experience it will. The choice is ours to make.

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13 Replies to “Your Lifestyle Choices Can Help Prevent Hypertension”

  1. This is a great post and could not come at a better time for me! I’ve always had borderline high blood pressure but was never on medication. I’m young (29 years old) and I eat nutritious food. However, over the past couple months I was more lax in the foods I’ve eaten (again not bad but things I’ve avoided up to this point). My pressures were high even for me and after battling a while trying to lower it myself, he decided it may be a good time to go on blood pressure medicine. I agreed and made a renewed commitment to myself to use Resperate every day and watch everything I eat at all times. Thanks for your encouraging article!

    1. Thank you, I wasn’t sure how people would respond. But I wanted to share the battle I was going through and what it would take to get back my health again. I think sometimes you just have to be personal and honest with people about what you are going through. I am glad I could help.

      1. Dear Ben-Yehuda,
        I have ordered Resperate because of you and your newsletters. I especially like your recipes and common sense articles. Thank U. I’m sad to hear that you needed stents. Was that recently or in the past? While I am a vegetarian I do enjoy an egg and a cheese Pizza once in awhile. Its hard for me to give it up totally but I have reduced it. I was wondering if there was a type of olive oil that you do use? What about fish oil supplements?
        I appreciate all your hard work and I wish you a speedy recovery and please keep us updated.

  2. Well said! As I believe Dr. Esselytyn says, moderation kills. I am finally off my blood pressure medication (3 in total), and it was a battle but frankly it is all about lifestyle. The lifestyle is great, once you get by the “deprivations” of going off the standard American Diet (sad).

    1. Thank you, I wanted to share the struggles I was going through and hopefully encourage others to renew the fight.

  3. I agree that the “foods to indulge in” you have listed are heart-healthy and can help with managing blood pressure. However, I find it conflicting that you are advocating for a strictly vegan diet, while two articles that I received from Resparate within the past week indicate that meat and animal products can be part of a healthy diet.

    1. Dear James, I understand and agree. But I do not have the final say in all the articles. Because I am surrounded by meat eaters and because not everyone will want to go vegan, I have been advised by the board to mix up the recipes.

  4. I have high blood pressure! Thank you for all the great information! I’m trying to come up with the money to buy your course. Please keep the e-mails and information coming.
    Thank You,
    Mike Joyce

  5. You’ve summarized the allowable foods nicely. 10 years ago my blood pressure increased at 47 years old. My cholesterol was perfect fortunately and I didn’t have any heart disease but switched to the plant based diet and the hypertension has been gone ever since.

  6. Thank you for sharing your experience. Just curious if you were being given cholesterol medication prior to the stent placement. My father had multiple angioplasties and open heart surgery but has been much better since being on statin medication.

  7. You just reinforced what I’ve been thinking. Recently my blood pressure has gone back up. I need to get back on track. After reading this- I’m going to pay better attention to what I eat.
    Thank you.

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