I have a bit of a challenge lately, having had my blood pressure up to pre-hypertensive level consistently for the past week. I never really monitored my blood pressure level before, but I wasn’t feeling well at the start of last week, and they checked and found out that my BP was a bit on the high side. Indeed, I have the genetic pre-disposition to hypertension, but it was as if there was a switch that turned on when I reached 30. Last November my BP also already went up. Seems like I really have to do something actively about it now.
Thus the real challenge: what should I eat? I know that I should avoid fatty and salty foods, and thus fastfood, most processed foods and instant foods should be avoided. Therefore I have to prepare my own food five days a week at the condo, and I only have a microwave and an oven toaster to make do with. I have to be a little bit creative.
Armed with a little research, I made my way through the supermarket earlier with a revised grocery list. I got back to my place after, and removed the instant noodles and canned meat from my pantry. I have to avoid them at all cost now.
For dinner, I prepared grilled chicken in the oven toaster and put together a simple salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar as dressing. I took pains to marinade the chicken in everything except salt – I put calamansi (a local lime), olive oil, and some spices. It tasted ok so far, but i’ll probably still add some more spices next time.
I got a lot of grains for brekkie – rolled oats, wholegrain cereals, muesli. I also got high-calcium low-fat milk to match. That should keep my tummy entertained in the mornings for the next few weeks.
For snacks I got fresh fruits, unsalted mixed nuts, and low fat yogurt. I also got wholegrain loaf for whatever – for sandwiches, for pizza bread, or just as a match to anything for meals.
Let’s see in the next few days how things work out. Hopefully there will be enough variety, enough flavor, as well as reduced salt and fat in everything I eat.I’m also hoping that I’ll be hsppy with the food I prepare so it will be sustainable. Once I have my blood pressure under control without the need for medication, I may be able to throw in the occasional fatty and/or salty treat.