My Journey to Better Health | The Beginning

I don't know if you noticed on my social media posts but I've been drastically changing my overall lifestyle. What I'll be discussing here is more about the changes in my diet. Please take note though that this post is here to inspire you but it would be better for you to visit your health care provider first before trying any of the things I'm doing.


I was recently diagnosed with hypertension and high bad cholesterol level (LDL). My health suffered from the series of bad decisions that I've been making the past year that ended up with me taking blood pressure maintenance meds and something to control my cholesterol level.

Emotionally, I was pretty much beat the past year and I ate my feelings, always ready to give an excuse why I deserved an extra bite, the extra upsize and the extra dessert. I gave in beause that was the only that made me feel good. 

The scary thing was had I not asked my cousin one evening to check my blood pressure, I would never have know I was hypertensive! High blood pressure usually have symptoms of dizziness, pain/pressure at the back of the neck. But not everyone who would experience this would immediately think he or she is hypertensive. Especially if they are only in their 30's. Only to find out that I had blood pressure that goes up to 150/110. If you're unfamiliar with the normal blood pressure, it should only be 120/80. The 110 Diastolic as it is is very alarming. Anything above 80 is bad. My cousin was worried that he suggested that I see a doctor immediately.

I cried that same night, holding my little girl. I felt so betrayed by my body. I got so depressed that I refused to see a doctor. I was in denial, thinking that a change in lifestyle is all I needed. I was dead wrong.

For first 2 weeks, I started taking Yoga classes at Yoga+. I was pushed to see a doctor to be tested thoroughly for hypertensiton but I was in denial. I couldn't accept that I may have it.. so I just begun changing the way live. It wasn't enough. How did I find out?

When my energetic talented intelligent 30-year old cousin was rushed to the hospital because she started to lose her feelings all over her body, that served as a wake up call. My cousin who never got sick  a day in her life suddenly couldn't move her body, what's the chance for the rest of us who are already sick? It was unnerving and so I rushed myself to a cardiologist the next day.

It was dreadful to wait for your turn at the doctor's office. Scared to find out you're sick. It wasn't surprising that my BP then was 140/110 and my doctor immediately prescribed me to take BP medication. He also ordered a lot of tests to be done to determine if my hypertension has affected my heart.

That week was probably the longest week of my life. From that first day at the clinic, to the tests til  the reading of the results The doctor did not minced his words and he showed me the reality of being hypertensive. I could only be grateful that my heart, kidneys and liver were okay. God really is telling me something and I need to listen!

How can one year be different from the years before? Did I really manage to screw up my body just like that? But I did and I'm not alone. Apprarently, in my circle there are a few of us who  are dealing with some kind of illness! It was unnerving to know that we are in that stage of our lives. Wasn't it just last week that we partied all night?

It was the mother of all wake-up call. I could really die! From aneurysm or heart attack... who can tell? But it could most definitely happen! And I'm only 33!!!

It was time for a change. A complete life-changing decisions need to be made if I want more years with my family. And I'm glad I had something to start with. 

I went back to the ways I was familiar with. I went back to a diet I knew helped me in terms of health and losing weight, I did again Nadine Tengco's Before the Bid Day program. Not entirely to a T but basically eradicated all the bad things in my diet and introduced healthier ones.

What I don't eat (as often) now

1. Junk food - no more chips. no sugary treats.
2. Dairy - since dairy contains lots of bad things (animal hormones that can affect my own)
3. Carbohydrates - this inluded ride, bread, pasta etc.
4. Sugar - the hardest of them all.
5. Processed food - anything canned (except for tuna and sardines) and anything in sachet or powdered food.  
6. Less Caffeine - I didn't realize how hard it was to give up caffeine. But I get to treat myself once in a while to Starbucks. As long as it is brewed, it's okay.
7. No more smoking - a little harder than I thought since most of my friends are smokers, too.
8. Less on pork - since pork is bad for my cholesterol, I also reduced eating this.
9. Minimal Fried food - almost everything in the Philippines is fried and how convenient it is to prepare. I had to relearn how to cook my food because we relied on this type of cooking for a long time. 

What I did different...

1. Vegetable juicing - this I have proven time and again to be effective in helping me lose weight and overall give the nutrients my body immediately needs. I drink about 2-3 bottles out of the required 6 every single day. Also my anti-bloat juices helped me shed off my water weight! All 7-8 pounds of it. I am currently 129 Lbs. from 136 two months ago.

2. More greens - the necessary vegatable and fruits needed to be taken daily is 2-4 cups daily. With juicing alone, I get at least a cup of it. Half of it I get from ordering salads instead of the usual porkchops or bacon. It was a hard switch but it was doable. I relied on the good people of Juju Eats because they really make good good Thai Chicken and Catfish Salads. I also order mostly salads now when I'm out.

3. Exercise - not the rigorous kind but enough that I to stretch my body everyday. Yoga is looove! I will talk about this more on my upcoming posts.

4. Omega 3 Rich foods that's good for my heart - Fish to be precise. I love eating these easy-to-prepare food. Century Tun is an accessible food I prepare most of the time but I splurge on tuna, salmon and tanigue also. I like cooking it sous-vide as it absords the flavor better. Broiling, pan-grilled and sautee are my go-to cooking techniques.

5. Smoothies to ease the cravings for sweets

I get my daily dose of fruits from these smoothies and I'm glad that it's easy to make and oh so yummy, too! i'll be sharing my recipes here one by one so watch out for that!

6. Detoxifying Drinks - I make drinks rich in ingredients that help the body flush out toxins. They don't always taste great but you'll feel the effects instantly!

7. Making a Switch to Healthier Options - Losing weight or restarting your body is 80% food so I re-learned and learned so many alternatives to  the things I was so used to drinking and eating. Since I often can't compromise the things I got used to, I just use healthier ingredients in lieu of the bad ones that I used to eat.

Almond, Soy or Rice milk instead of regular cow's milk or powdered milk.
Coconut, Canola, or Olive Oil in exchange to regular cooking oil.
Fish, chicken or beef instead of pork
Coco Sugar or Stevia instead of regular refined sugar
Organic coffee or brewed instead of instant coffee
Coco chips instead of potato chips
and more...

The Bumpssss....

About a month and half in, I was falling back to my old habits. I was ordering McDonald's and ate about 2 Krispy Kreme donuts. Right now as I write this, I am enjoying a bowl of Sunrise Buckets Black Pepper rubbed fries and a glass of coke.

Tara mentioned learning that craving for sweets meant that the body is lacking in pottasium so I started to have a banana a day by way of this recipe from To avoid getting constipated, I drink papaya smoothie every other day, a smoothie recipe I learned from Nadine Tengco during my Before the Big Day Program.

Right now, I really can't afford to slack off because my health depends on it. I have until May to change because my next check-up will be another blood test to see if there's changes in my LDL (bad cholesterol). So at this point, it's really a matter of strength to stay focused on this journey.

The Results... so far.

I lost at least 8 pounds. I lost my water weight and I could wear shorts that were too tight on me a couple of months ago. I feel lighter and i feel less bloated. My usual PMS didn't surface. No abdominal craps, heaviness or bloated feel. My skin also looks nicer. I would still get acne here and there but it's easily healed. I noticed that small scratches and wounds heal faster as well. My bowels are a lot more regular and better looking (if you can say that about poop). The more greens I eat, the better I feel.

I feel totally different, in a good way! It's been awhile since I truly felt this way! I know I still have a long way to go but I'm glad to see results as early as 2 months. People also noticed this and I'm glad I get to encourage them to take this journey with me, too! 

The road paved for me is harder and tougher. I am pretty stubborn and good at making excuses so this journey scares me. I can't do this alone and I'm glad I have the best support there is - my husband - who helps me in this journey. I hope you will have one like him in your life, too.

I want to live! That's the major goal.

I remember Frances Sales telling me before that I'd be scared of dying if I had children and she was right. I didn't care to much if I die early before I had Claud. I just really want to be there, even if just enough time to see that she can take care of herself. I also can't imagine not to share so many milestones in her life. And I know how hard it will be for her if I die... I know because that was my life. I just want to give her a better one. A mother who would walk down the aisle with her. A mother she can ask for help about her baby. A mother she can run to even if she's old already. I want to give her husband/partner a little bit of a tough time, too. LOL.

I just want to live. God, I want to live. 

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  1. Beautiful article Shen. Though I would go easy on the tuna & sardines too because they have high sodium content. All the best on your health journey!

  2. Hi, Shen. I am glad to read something new in your blog. I became inspired with this post and would want to take the journey with you. I think I'm in this 'denial' thing din. I don't want to know my BP and cholesterol level kasi I know that there is really something wrong. After giving birth it really changed my lifestyle. More kain and tamad moments ako lage. I hope you will write more about your journey to a healthy you to inspire more moms like us.



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