Posts Tagged ‘American Heart Association’

Jane Fonda’s New Look for Earth Day, Every Day

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

I didn’t watch the Oscars Sunday night, but I did see this photo of Jane Fonda with her new, natural hairdo that I love, on my computer and applaud her announcement that she will not be buying any new clothes as her “contribution” to climate change. PEOPLE Magazine attributes her change of heart (in February yet, American Heart Month!) to Greta Thunberg, the climate change activist who has been in the news. Jane said that Greta made her think about consumerism and all the effort that goes into being a consumer. Fonda said, “We don’t need more stuff,’ I have to walk the talk. So I’m not buying any more clothes.”


Sarah Berman’s Closet


Last year on Mother’s Day I went to see the Sarah Berman’s Closet exhibit at the American Jewish History Museum in Philadelphia. This older woman scaled down her lifestyle, with everything in the reproduced closet in the exhibit was white: clothes, shoes, linens, etc. I made a decision that in 2020 I would buy clothes that are sustainably produced, focusing on organic cotton whenever possible. Additionally, I am slowly recycling clothing that I no longer need or wear and buying as little as possible, since I have more than I already need. This is part of my personal de-cluttering campaign to streamline everything in our apartment, based on the book I read by Gretchen Rubin: Outer Order/Inner Calm.



More about Cotton:

If you go to this website:  you will find out more about the impact of pesticides on fabrics, especially cotton.
Here is a direct quote from the site:

Your t-shirt is tainted with chemicals:

More chemical pesticides are used for cotton than for any other crop. Cotton accounts for 16 percent of global insecticide releases. 60 percent of the world’s cotton is used for clothing and another 35 percent for home furnishing.

Based on that information, which I actually learned about some years ago, plus the impact of Sarah Berman’s Closet Exhibit, plus Jane Fonda’s announcement, tells me I am not in the minority, and even if I am, I like being in that minority with Jane Fonda. We have one other thing in common. I was born on December 2nd, 1937 and Jane Fonda was born Dec. 22, 1937. So we are basically the same age. And I have a similar haircut. And her wearing her red coat is another kudo for reminding us of the GO RED FOR WOMEN campaign from The American Heart Association, also mentioned above.


So I applaud Jane Fonda for stepping up to the plate and wearing a dress that, heaven forbid!,
she already wore before. BRAVA!

February is Heart Health Month. The Topic is Hypertension: Part One

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

♥IMPORTANT: The purpose of this three-part article embraces the quote below about  prevention with education and action.  However, please note that the information here is not meant to replace your doctor’s advice nor is it meant as a diagnosis. It is information for your edification and understanding, and perhaps something you can share with your doctor about your concerns. I am not a doctor. Rather, I am a nutrition educator with a passion to learn about and share the links between food & lifestyle and health.

Background Info:

February is  ♥Heart Health Month♥ and this Friday, Feb. 3rd, is Go Red for Women Day, and also National Wear Red Day, the day to wear Red in support of healthy hearts for womenHere is a quote from

Why Go Red? Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. Fortunately, we have the power to change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.


“Elevated blood pressure is a major risk factor for a heart attack or stroke. In fact, it is generally regarded as the greatest of the risk factors for a stroke.” (Source: Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D.)

So when my friend Krista* called me the other day to tell me that when she went to a new dentist, who took an extensive health history and also her vital signs, she was told she had high blood pressure. Later that day I took all my health resource books from my shelf and started to gather facts that might help her while she made an appointment with her family doctor.

*Krista shared with me that she was in the beginning stages of menopause, or peri-menopause, so I searched for a tie between higher blood pressure and menopause. In an article from the Mayo Clinic+, it seems there is a connection. Google the questions or go directly to the website for the article. If you are peri-menopause, you may want to read it before you read the rest of my posting.

+Is there a connection between menopause and high blood pressure?Answers from Shannon K. Laughlin-Tommaso, M.D.,

Terms and Numbers:

The top number in the reading is called the systolic pressure and that is the higher number. Between the heartbeats, the heart relaxes, so the blood pressure drops. This diastolic pressure is the lower number. Both these terms give you your blood pressure reading, which means the resistance produced each time your heart beats, sending blood through your arteries.

According to an excellent article In Life Extension Magazine, the numbers used by the medical establishment for normal blood pressure may be too high: Here are some figures:

Direct Quote: The medical establishment disagreed and said that blood pressure up to 139/89 mmHg was not a problem. A huge study released in 2015 exposed the lethality of this position. In the group whose target goal systolic blood pressure was below 120 there was a:1

  • 38% lower relative risk of heart failure;
  • 43% lower relative risk of cardiovascular death;
  • 27% lower relative risk of mortality overall.

(I believe this article is so important that I am posting the link here as well as at the end of the two-part article that I think it bears reading now!)

All my resources overlapped in recommendations, but the above-mentioned encyclopedia divided the factors into two parts: lifestyle factors and dietary factors, because both are related to hypertension.

Below are two lists that I created from information on the encyclopedia and the other resources. (See Bibliography at the end)

Lifestyle Risk Factors                                            Dietary Risk Factors

Smoking                                                            High to low sodium/potassium ratio

Alcohol consumption+                                  Low fiber diet

Lack of exercise                                               High sugar and high saturated fat

Stress                                                                 Low calcium and magnesium

Too much salt                                                   Low vitamin C

Too much caffeine (Some research suggests caffeine is helpful, others still cautious. notes that medical studies still connect caffeine with dangerously elevated blood pressure and suggests brewing your own decaf.) I would recommend organic decaf because of the chemicals used in commercial decaf processing.

+ In, moderate drinking is now encouraged. For women, that means only 1.5 oz. of spirits or 5 oz. of wine, or 12 oz.of beer at one sitting) See Bibliography at the end.

Many of the recommendations are similar to those given for other ailments, so if you follow the advice of the research and your health practitioner, you might find relief from other ailments not as serious as hypertension, but nevertheless, any positive “by-products” of changing your lifestyle habits and dietary habits seem to be steps in the right direction. My suggestion is to introduce new foods gradually so that you don’t become overwhelmed with all the changes the doctor suggests.

In Dr. Christiane Northrup’s excellent book, The Wisdom of Menopause, she says it best on page 190 in the summary of Chapter 6 on Foods & Supplements to Support Change. Direct quote:

Start Somewhere! Don’t let all these choices overwhelm you or become another heavy list of “should.” The wisdom of nature is user-friendly, and you have a lot within you already. To tap into it, just pick the herb, the formula, or the foods that seem to jump out at you and say, “Try me.” Because all of the foods and herbs I’ve mentioned contain phytohormones of some kind and virtually have no side effects, feel free to experiment.”

I would add: Check with your doctor or health practitioner first! es


Bibliography: I am posting the Bibliography in both parts of the article, in case you want to follow up on some of the information before Part 2.



Balch, James M.D. and Balch, Phyllis, C.N.C. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing Group, New York.

Kamen, Betty. 1,001 Health Secrets, Nutrition Encounter, Novato, Calif.

Murray, N.D. and Pizzorno, N.D. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA. (2nd edition)

Northrup, Christiane, The Wisdom of Menopause. bantam Books, New York, 2001.

Segala, Melanie, Ed. Life Extension: Disease Prevention and Treatment, Expanded Fourth Edition

Internet Sources: (My sources are older, so I checked the Internet, as well.) “8 Naturally Effective Ways to Lower Blood Pressure,” By: Emily Lockhart on Tuesday, March 10th

Life Extension: (The first is one of the best resources I found for this topic. es) Is there a connection between menopause and high blood pressure? By: Shannon K. Laughlin-Tommaso, M.D., 


Part Two later this week: List of Recommendations, including Nutritional Suggestions/Recipe, and Bibliography Reprinted 

Part Three: Heart Healthy Recipes – endof week or over the week-end