About Rick & My Stroke

Rick Belden

Strokes run in my family but I never thought it would happen to me.

My Early Years

I grew up living in the Cascade Mountains in Oregon and Washington. Our family was always outdoors working on our land or going camping nearby. I lived for sports in high school, playing year around. I was able to eat anything in any amount and nothing seemed to ever stick to my body except muscle. Of course that all changed after college as I moved into my career as a transportation engineer designing highways. That line of work involved a lot of sitting, designing and attending meetings. The weight started adding up while the physical activity became nearly nonexistent.


I knew several people in my family had strokes, including my Mother. I cannot recall how many light strokes she had but there were several of them. One stroke my Mother had when she was pregnant with my little brother, caused here to go into convulsions. My brother died during the convulsions and my Mother lost about half of the use of her right arm.

Many years went by and everything was fine with my Mother and myself but then the strokes hit my Mother again and myself for the first time.

My First and Only Stroke to Date

One day in January 2012 I had been working many late nights on a highway project. I had about three nights or more of very little sleep or none at all. It was easier to do that when I was younger. We made our submittal on the project and I took a sigh of relief and went off to bed. There was nothing to worry about and I could rest easy now that everything was finished.

I’m not sure if was partially to do with my family history of strokes, the stress of the job or not eating well during that time or if it was the extra weight I had gained. It may have been all the above. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling numbness in my right arm but it must have been me sleeping wrong on my right side. I rolled over and tried to stretch out my arm to grab the nightstand to just re-position my arm to get the tingling to stop but the next thing I knew I was rolling over on to the floor. I tried to push myself up but nothing was working right. My wife realized something was wrong and asked me if I was ok but the words in my mind came out all garbled and I couldn’t get my mouth to work right.

What a scare that was for me and my family. My children had never been so scared. The firemen and the paramedics came and the next thing I knew I was having a nice vacation in the hospital for about three days. The doctor had to relay most everything to my wife because even though I was listening and nodding my head, most of the information was leaving my mind as quickly as it arrived.

It took my about two months before the numbness in my right arm, right leg and right side of my face went away and physically, everything returned to normal. It took about six months before I could sit down for long periods of time again and concentrate on my work as I was able to do before. Fifteen minutes was about the longest length of time I could focus on work before having to get up and clear my head.

You would think that light stroke was all I would need and I would completely clean up my life to reduce any future stroke risks but that wouldn not be the truth.


I want to help people reduce the risk of having a stroke for personal reasons. I have seen what happens firsthand to people with even a light stroke but now I have seen my Father have to take care of my Mother 24/7 since she had a severe stroke in 2010. This is partly a path I want to take to help myself and keep my immediate family from having to care for me if I ever have a severe stroke. I didn’t realize that anyone who has had a stroke has about a 10 times increased likelihood of having another stroke.

It became obvious to me, even after a short time of stroke research, that proper diet, weight loss and increased physical activity were some of the most important things anyone can do to reduce the risk of a stroke.


My goal here at Stroke Prevention Nutrition is to help people who have had a stroke or are potential stroke victims to follow along with me as we discover together how to reduce our stroke risks. I have to warn you in advance though that I am against medicine to reduce the risk of stroke. I understand that many people need to take proper medication but I truly believe that there are lifestyle changes and natural remedies that can help most of us in this journey we are on.


I hope you walk with me through this for yourself and for your loved ones. I believe I will have great things to share with you, not only in ways to reduce stroke risks but also in my personal success story of making changes based on what we find here together.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

Here’s to a Brighter Future,



Click on the image below to see a YouTube video of my stroke story.

My stroke story