Friday, 10 January 2020

Cracking Down ...

... on myself, that is.

For months now, my systolic blood pressure has been steadily creeping upwards. My energy levels are disappointing and I've had episodes of unwarranted anxiety. Coincidentally - OR NOT -- I've been indulging in salty snacks and sugary, buttery treats.

So I've decided to experiment. For two weeks I will consume only foods that are plant-based, unprocessed and with no added salt or sugar. Also, I'm going to exercise for at least half an hour a day, be it on my elliptical exercise machine or shovelling snow, hiking or swimming at my favourite public pool in Ottawa.

I'm not even going to touch my blood pressure monitoring machine until the two weeks are up. Then, all will be revealed. If the results are as I expect, my new life style change will be a keeper!

*  *  *  *  *

For two mornings in a row, I just happened to be looking out of my kitchen window to witness a screech owl being routed by jays from it's hideout in a big, bushy spruce tree. The fleeing little owl bolted into the roost box for cover. It got me thinking about those jays and their roll as birdy neighbourhood watch. I've also noticed that very often, smaller birds don't even appear at my feeders until the bluejays arrive first. The jays are definitely bossy and even at times bullies but they also provide a kind of security service as first responders to hawk or owl dangers. And they even wear blue uniforms.

This blue jay has driven a fugitive to ground.

Under house arrest!

The blue uniform seems appropriate.


  1. So beautiful, you could write a whole story around the bird and the owl. Even the bees all in their safe house for the winter could be involved, sentry lookouts? Love those blue feathers.

  2. That is funny. 'blue uniforms'
    Good for you for making changes. I think it's so difficult with climate change. I can't go snowshoeing, or do the regular things I do.

  3. I really think you will be pleased with the changes. I know when I screw up and hit the salty snacks, I pay.
    Love it about the Jays. You have given me a whole new perspective on the bossy Blue Jay. Thanks.

  4. FLorence you are on a similar path to me...trying to eliminate the salt and sweet and keep the body in motion. Perhaps because of my background, I crave salt more than sugar. But these things are hiding everywhere. Good luck...more science is backing this for adding good health to our years.
    Meanwhile, how cute to think of the birds in blue being on duty...I know they led me to the owl last year - they were making a racket and that time, certainly served as a warning to the smaller birds.

  5. So how is your BP?
    Mine is up, with the stress around here. I can feel it in my chest, with some pressure. I know what it is, and I have to remember to breathe.

    1. Well Jenn, I'm disappointed to report that the exclusively plant-based diet did not significantly lower my blood pressure. So, it's back on the meds for me. As my data (I know you love data) shows, shovelling snow and elliptical machine exercise isn't nearly as beneficial as long relaxing walks back the lane to our wood lot. I suppose that if someone was overweight the whole foods only diet would be more helpful. I have never had a weight issue. Oh well, I did give it a try. Thanks for asking.

  6. Those blue jays are bossy beggers!


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