Today I wanted to share how you can actually improve your health markers by prioritising your health and self-care.
A few months ago, a client got in touch with me, regarding her husband, Sam, who had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol. His doctor had advised that if there were no improvements, Sam would be prescribed medication, which he wanted to avoid taking.
High blood cholesterol, especially low-density lipoproteins (LDL) is considered a risk factor for heart disease as can cause plaque build-up in the arteries and affect the flow of blood in the body.
We actually need cholesterol for many functions, including for cell membranes, making vitamin D and sex hormones. Blood cholesterol has to be at a healthy level or else it can be harmful.
Cholesterol levels are affected not just by dietary cholesterol, as our own body creates cholesterol too. So your cholesterol levels are influenced by many factors including the food you eat and your lifestyle. For some, cholesterol may be high because it is genetic.
When Sam contacted me, his LDL was high at 4.98 mmol/l, so his doctor advised him to make changes.
Sam started my wellness program soon after his medical check and we focused on three aspects of wellness:
- Healthy diet, where he began to increase real whole foods and eat balanced meals including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, etc. He learnt portion sizes and included healthy proteins and fats. He reduced his sugar and processed foods gradually and replaced these with healthier choices, so as to be able to sustain it and not crave foods.
- Healthy lifestyle, Sam became more consistent with his activity and exercise, learning how to track what he was doing and making it part of his daily routine that fitted into his current lifestyle.
- Positive mindset, which is a key factor to success. Sam became clear on his “why” for improving his health and was motivated to keep going.
After 2.5 months at his next medical check up, his LDL had come down to 3.54 mmol/l.
His doctor was pleased as all his test results were good, including liver markers, blood sugar and also blood pressure. His doctor advised that he continue with what he was doing. And Sam was happy that he did not have to take medication and had done this naturally.
Most importantly, Sam is still continuing on his wellness journey to improve his health markers.
I hope this inspires you too, as we all have within us, the ability to make simple and practical changes to our diet, lifestyle and mindset, which can improve our health markers.
Sam found his healthy balance and did not have to stop eating his traditional meals or favourite foods. So, instead of quick fix restrictive diets, make practical changes and learn what to do, keeping it at a pace that you can sustain.
Your health should be a priority and at the top of your list. And, I know at times, it gets difficult knowing what to do as there is a lot of information and becomes overwhelming.