We all know we need to eat more healthy, especially the older we get. But have you really sat down and asked yourself the question on how to eat healthy? I’m mean really thought through it. Did you just join a diet program or throw yourself at the gym thinking that someone else would tell you everything you needed to know and bless you with the focus and determination you would need? Well, that wasn’t enough for me.
I will make this quick but I was a year around athlete through high school and into my first year of college. Remember the days long ago when you could eat anything you wanted and never count a calorie?
Then the activity started to slow down and no one ever set me down and said “Hey! You do know you have to start eating less, right?” That’s when the pounds slowly started finding their way onto everything around me. Of course not on to me, but everything else. RIGHT!
Fast forward, oh about 30 years, and WHAM! I’m literally on the floor with a stroke. I can’t communicate with my wife, my kids are terrified and then the neighborhood lights up like Christmas at 4am. Not a fun time.
So, here I am today, 5 years after my stroke, and you would think that I have it all under control. Not true. I have learned a lot and I am slowly turning the titanic around but a lifetime of unhealthy eating is hard to change overnight.
Help Me to Get Started
The “Help Me” is for you and me.
I agree that hooking up with someone or a business that understands people, food, and health issues is a good thing. I have done it myself and a lot of what I know today has come from research and joining those programs. Here are a few programs I have joined or learned from:
- Weight Watchers
- Steelman Weight Loss Clinic
- Body for Life
- Gold’s Gym
- Local nutritionist
All of these programs, business and/or people can help you succeed. Everyone should begin educating themselves on health issues with examples like these.
I am currently a member of Weight Watchers and Gold’s Gym and I actively search the internet for information relating to stroke prevention nutrition and exercise.
One word of caution is that I am not in the heath care field. I am just a stroke survivor who is working hard to reduce my risk of another stroke.
So let’s go a little deeper into the food.
I am not a nutritionist so please do your own research after reading this.
The first thing you want to do is eat foods that will help lower your blood pressure. The following list is from Healthline.
- Leafy greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Collard greens, etc.
- Red Beets
- Skim Milk and Yogurt
- Salmon (fish with Omega-3)
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Squash seeds
- Garlic & Herbs
- Dark Chocolate
- Olive Oil
You should also do your best to reduce your fat intake, and reduce the amount of sodium in your diet and alcohol you consume.
Here are some foods to include in your day that may help lower your cholesterol from Harvard Medical School:
- Barley and Whole Grains
- Eggplant and Okra
- Vegetable Oils
- Apples, Grapes, Strawberries, and Citrus Fruits
- Foods Fortified with Sterols and Stanols
- Fatty Fish (with Omega-3)
- Fiber Supplements
You also need to limit saturated fats and trans fats.
Putting It All Together
Much of what I write here at Stroke Prevention Nutrition is based on personal experience I or a family member has gone through but I liked the way that Harvard Health Publishing wrote “Putting It All Together“.
My Final Thoughts
I would like to go into each food above in more detail to help you but this article would grow to three times it’s size. Plus there are many experts and organizations that have the detailed information that I just touched on. Take the time to research these foods.
The best path forward, in my opinion, is for you to introduce a few foods at a time. There is not a single person I know who has been “permanently” successful changing their entire diet overnight. Those that have the most success take one step at a time, and one food at a time.
Make it easy on yourself and start with some simple things you already like and then also find a weight loss program or dietary guide that will help you with the rest of your journey.
My journey started four years ago, and I don’t think it will end for at least 20 or 30 years.
Develop a mindset with a hopeful attitude, looking to the future for a vibrant, healthy life.
The road to a better life starts today.