We already made it to the halfway mark and I have some exciting news to share!!! For the first 16 days of the diet, I did feel that I had increased energy levels and more clarity in thinking but there really wasn’t anything measurable except how I felt. I did not notice a change in my blood pressure levels at all. However, on Day 17… my blood pressure taken throughout the day was 128/84, 109/79, 123/80, 108/72! (My lowest reading was 103/69 on Day 19!)
For just a little bit of background, with my first child, I had preeclampsia during pregnancy and was sent for emergency C-section because my blood pressure levels were through the roof. The doctors told me that after my daughter’s birth, my blood pressure levels should return to normal levels within about 6 months… but I have been on medication ever since.
Before my second pregnancy, I was weaning off my medication, but after pregnancy, my blood pressure levels started going back up and my doctor increased my dosage twice! The second time she increased it, I did not take the increased dosage and was determined to do something drastic in my lifestyle to try and reverse it! Some of my blood pressure readings while on medication were: 148/99, 146/104, 135/95! I still refused to increase my dosage and this was my main motivation to try the Daniel Plan Detox!
Although I am still on medication, I am SO excited to be able to SEE real measurable change as a result of our lifestyle change! Now, my blood pressure levels are in the normal range and hopefully, the longer we keep up with this lifestyle, the lower they will go and I will be able to wean off my medication completely!!!
Some people asked me if I knew which food group was the culprit of my high blood pressure and I really don’t think it was any one thing. I don’t think I have food sensitivity issues (I could be wrong, but this is just my own diagnosis) and in reflecting on our new lifestyle, I think it was a number of different things that worked together to reduce it. Here are some of my thoughts:
- God is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals!!!
- I think that because I eliminated gluten, I didn’t have fillers at our meals like pasta or bread and this forced me to fill up on other more wholesome things like vegetables and protein.
- Also, since we learned about portions and servings, we were eating more often throughout the day and this probably regulated my blood sugar levels and in turn helped restore balance to the rest of my body. I have heard the blood sugar can be related to blood pressure too and I was also diagnosed with gestational diabetes in both my pregnancies.
- Eliminating dairy helped eliminate salt from cheese and butter, which is detrimental to blood pressure.
- I started focusing on fitness activities in Days 11-20 and walked to my mailbox twice, did some baby aerobics, worked in the garden, and took a walk with my family while pushing my babies in a stroller.
- I tried out a healing drink from Trim Healthy Mama called the Singing Canary and it had turmeric as one of the main ingredients which is one of the natural remedies to high blood pressure that I discovered in the article below.
- I read this article about Natural Remedies to reduce High Blood Pressure and found that I’ve already been having 5 out of 6 things on that list!!! (all except for cacao)
- I read a few pages from a book on the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and many of the food they recommend to add are ON my detox meal plan! Some foods listed were dark green vegetables, raw nuts, olives, coconut, good oils, and also a variety of herbs and spices.
- We cut out anything with MSG or sugar and that cut out almost all processed or prepackaged foods and we were eating almost everything made from scratch, including dressings and marinades!
If we’re ONLY putting good things into our body, how can we not expect to see results! I am really excited to continue the second half of our detox and am praying that through our lifestyle change and also through a dependency on God for strength to continue, we will be able to reverse the effects of our previous bad habits!
A few highlights on what we ate…
Recipe: Homemade no-bake Protein Bars
Recipe: Protein Pancakes
Image: Malaysian sampan
Reflection for Days #11-20…
It has been getting easier to figure out what to make. I’m starting to understand the science behind the makeup of our meals on the meal plan and I’m able to adapt it to personalize it or to work with whatever ingredients I have in the house.
It has not come without challenges. The hardest parts are when we are with friends. We had a church Fellowship Meal and it was laden with delicious desserts and casseroles, all homemade! It was hard to sit at a table with others who were enjoying their sweet treats! It has also been a challenge when we are off our routine. For example, when we’re out shopping or when we are visiting with friends, when I’m tired, or when the babies are sick, it is harder to stick to the plan. But praising the Lord, that so far, we have stuck to it almost 100% (except for the times where we made mistakes!).
And now after seeing my blood pressure numbers come down, I have renewed motivation to finish the second half strong!