Benefits of Journal Writing

Benefits of Journaling Journaling has many benefits.

  • Free Expression

Journal writing allows you to express yourself without being judged, regardless of age, sex, race or creed. You’re able to write your thoughts and feelings and “get things off your chest” without restrictions and fear of criticism.

  • Stress Relief

The act of free expression brings with it relief, calm and relaxation.

  • Healing

Journal writing heals. It acts as your self-help psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, neurologist, or medical practitioner without the stark cost.

  • Problem Solving

Identify hidden sources of stress in your life

  • Positive Mindset

Keeping a journal helps develop a fresh perspective of your situation. As you read through your past entries, you get a broader view of your life.  You reflect on yourself, gain a better perspective, and act more maturely when faced with similar situations.

  • Memory Aid

Your journal refreshes your memory when it fails you. You’ll be amazed at how much you forget. Reviewing your journals could easily bring back lost memory.

  • Receptable (Memento)

While cleaning up in preparation for our transfer to a new home, I saw a bunch of my kids’ works including art works, letters, cards and school assignments. I had collected them over a period of eight years and to me, they form a priceless part of my journals. They brought back memories of those precious innocent years when they expressed their feelings more. I saw in those mementoes what I meant to them. Sadly, I also saw my shortcomings; but, I guess, it’s never too late.

  • Inspiration

 

  • Road Map

Tells you what to do. Provides advice on paths to take.

  • Action

1) Power (and freedom) to be who you are
– speak out without fear of ridicule, shame, embarassment, isolation
– when in an emotional relationship like first love for teens, divorce, infidelity, transfer of
affection
– Who cares? It’s your private space, haven, refuge, kingdom.
– You are the master and king or queen.
– You control whatever you write in.

– Beware to keep it in a safe place.

– strip yourself naked

Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while. ~Author Unknown

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took
to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

 

2) Therapy to maintain good mental health

– relieve stress
– ventilate
– learn to deal with
– heal yourself – you cry and experience catharsis (calm after the storm)
– learn the values of forgiveness, gratitude and compassion

– have something to turn to in difficult times

– anxiety
– depression
– problems

KEYWORDS:
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One of the most healing things you can do is recognize where in your life you are your own poison.
~Steve Maraboli

Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease. ~Hippocrates

In West Africa, when a person in the village becomes sick, the Healer will ask them, “When was the
last time you sang? When was the last time that you danced? When was the last time that you shared
a story?” ~Harvey Cox

 

3) Self-discovery – self-development – self-improvement — Discover yourself through the years

One day to collect the scattered fragments of myself, and give them symmetry, and wholeness, and
use. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

– See who you were years ago
– dreams, aspirations, goals
– past experiences
– how you dealt with it
– growth
– ebb and tide patterns

4) Learn — valuable lessons
– become level headed
– achieve maturity
To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the
only solution. ~Jo Coudert, Advice From A Failure (Thanks, Elizabeth!)

5) Clarity

In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own. ~Alice Walker

In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty. ~Imbesi’s Conservation
of Filth Law

Tips
1) Buy a journal you love and makes you happy and inspired
– you don’t want to write in notebooks or lined
– something you’re inspired with
– moleskine – classic, ruled
– relieve what’s in your head; clarity

2) Write whatever is on your mind.

– ignore other people’s judgment

look back and see growth and patterns and past experiences

3) Don’t worry about how your writing sounds
– just let it go, let it flow

Keeping a Dream Journal to Unlock Your Inner Wisdom

Dream Journal

The Importance of Keeping a Dream Journal

Keeping a dream journal is important to many, young and old alike.

Why?

You dream every day of your life, several times per sleep with each one lasting 5 to 20 minutes.

Keeping a Dream JournalBut guess what?

Dreams are elusive. They go away as soon as you step out of bed, or are alerted by your alarm clock.

You need to capture your dreams.

Journaling is the best way to nail down your dreams, recall details of each, and make sense of their meaning in your life.

Why People Keep Dream Journals

People keeping dream journals usually do so for the following reasons:

  • Recall dreams – They tend to forget their dreams. It disturbs them to not remember them or to try recalling them and not be able to.
  • Decipher messages in dreams – They get dreams that are good, bad or who knows? Whether pleasant or not, these dreams to them are chock-full of symbols, images, colors, puzzles or cryptic messages that they want or need to understand.
  • Understand self better – They get to have a better perspective and regard of themselves. They get insights of themselves in terms of their motivations, attitudes, behaviors, emotions and thoughts.
  • Act on messages in dreams – Dreams are a great vehicle for messages that may be urgent or provide enlightenment and guidance for things in the future.

If that sounds boring, well, get this:

Your dream journal may let you win the lottery!

A close kin won over half a quarter million dollars by keeping tab of his dreams. Through the years, he has kept a journal of numbers – daily expenses, monthly bills, paycheck, payables, pension, cash on hand, bank account information – including his dreams of lottery numbers.

My hubby was close to it. While at university ages ago, he dreamt of two sets of numbers. They didn’t make sense to him but recorded them anyway. That week, there was a draw to a numbers contest and the winning number corresponded to some simple calculations he made up using the first set of numbers.

Coincidence?

Well, he applied the same formula to the second set of numbers and… surprise, surprise! He ended up with the winning number for the next draw.

Bummer of bummers – he didn’t bet on it.

That would have easily been $100 cash to his pocket, which was handsome money at that time.

Your dream may be an omen.

It may be good, like:

  • getting a job offer for a lucrative position in a prestigious company
  • court case settlement working at your favor
  • winning a trip to Europe.

It may also be bad, like:

  • cheating by spouse or business partner
  • accidents or deaths
  • upcoming environmental turbulence or disasters.

 

What Do Dreams Really Mean?

Dreams are your key to the unknown.

To Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist well-known in the 20th century for his interpretations of dreams,

Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.

They are like movements or motions in the mind – a shoutout by your subconscious – to try to grab your attention, point you to important messages, and let you act on them.

Dreams have helped people solve problems, get out of messy situations, or simply see light on ongoing issues.

This connection between dreams and the subconscious has been speculated on for centuries. Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, theorized that there is a definite connection between dreams, emotional needs and waking experiences.

Your dream journal is therefore an antidote to your failure to recall dreams.

However, for you to take full advantage of your dreams, you need to record them in as much detail as you can remember.

Our memory has no guarantees at all, and yet we bow more often than is objectively justified to the compulsion to believe what it says. ~Sigmund Freud

Tomorrow, watch out for this post:

A Guide to Keeping a Dream Journal.

7 Smart Journaling Tips

7 Smart Journaling Tips

There are many ways that you can do your journal writing. 

Whoever does journaling can teach you a tip or two about how to sharpen your practice a bit more.

7 Smart Journaling Tips

 

Here are seven smart tips that you could learn from:

 

1. Get a journal that inspires you.

Your journal doesn't have to be fancy.

It can simply be a lined notebook oftentimes used at ​school.

It can be from recycled or recyclable paper that you buy or bind.

Use your computer, if you wish.​

Whatever it is, let it be something you would spend long hours with (or, perhaps, most of your life).

It should inspire you to keep journaling even when you don't feel like. 

 

2. Keep things simple. 

Keep your journal log simple and short.

You don't have to write kilometric paragraphs or error-free sentences.

Journals are supposed to be relaxing and liberating.

The more you keep things simple, the more you get out of it.

As such...

​Forget about rules.

Even your own.

Take things easy. ​

Focus on opening up and being mindful of ​your thoughts and feelings.

Do that and you'll be fine.​

 

 3. Write freely. 

Your journal is your kingdom. 

As ruler, do as ​you please.

Nobody can tell on you.

Don't hold back.

Don't make your handwriting lovely.​

Don't even correct mistakes.

If you have the urge to end each sentence with a stop, question mark or exclamation, stop!​

Write freely - whatever and however.

Cry, sulk, laugh.

Be happy. 

 

 4. Focus on your feelings. 

Smart Tips on Journaling

The most important person in your journal is you.

Focus on you - most specially your feelings that affect your thoughts and behavior.

Being mindful of how you feel could liberate internal blocks or bolster positive energy.

If you are stumped about what to write, begin with the phrase, “I feel…”

This will unblock you and let your thoughts and emotions flow freely.

Soon, you're better able to journal your thoughts and feelings.

 

5. Use prompts.

If you’re struggling with what to write, use prompts to get your juices flowing.

Journaling prompts are idea starters that can aid and boost your journal writing. 

They do wonders specially when you don't know how to start, what to write, or how to keep going. 

Examples of prompts are:

  • Think about a horrible experience in your childhood that transformed you into the person you are today.
  • Describe your perfect career and the reasons it would fulfill you.
  • Who is the person who influenced you to seriously pursue a profitable hobby or business?
  • If you were to start all over in your relationship with your significant other, what would you do differently?
  • What are your greatest regrets in life and why?

 

 6. Make sense of your journal. 

Smart Tips on Journaling

Take time to review your filled-up journals.

You would understand yourself more if you do so.

Over time, you will see clear patterns of how you think, feel and behave.

Be open to possibilities while being as objective as possible.

Don’t judge, beat or belittle yourself.

Accept everything in it - good or bad, tasteful or distasteful, delightful or horrible.

Think - How can your discoveries improve your circumstances? How can they help you grow?

Focus of them.

Proceed from there.​

7. Keep writing. 

Let journal writing be second nature to you. 

Write daily.

Write when you feel like.

Write even when you're under the weather.​

Write for as long as you like or as briefly.

Write about anything.

Write about nonsensical or extraordinary things.

However, do it regularly and don't stop.​

Soon, it would become effortless and involuntary.

You shall have developed a great habit!

How to Journal

Journal Writing

How Should You Journal?

How you journal is really up to you.

If writing long entries is what you enjoy or find helpful, do so.

Even the format is up to you.

You may jot down a few bullets or lines to serve as your memory aid.

However you do it, find a medium that’s comfortable.

 

4 Main Journaling Styles

As guide, you may adopt any of four journal writing styles: 

 

1 - Freestyle Journal Writing

​Freestyle journal writing is a no holds barred kind of writing.

It is done your way -  unrestricted, non-restrictive, not time bound, unadulterated, uncensored, unstructured, non-directed, and uncontrolled. 

It may be random, though not always and not as a general rule. ​

You write without strict consideration (or serious thought) of the following:​

  • what to write (topic or theme)
  • why write (goal)
  • ​how long to write (duration)
  • how often to write (frequency)
  • how fast you write (speed)
  • what order or guide to follow (structure)
  • where to write (place)
  • what to write on or with (material)
  • how to write (format or presentation)
  • when to write (time)
  • how much to write (length)
  • how to write (tone).

The bottomline is, you journal on your own terms. 

Art Journaling

 

2 - Guided​ Journaling

As the term implies, guided journaling follows a guide, model or blueprint.

You get directions by way of:

  • prompts
  • instructions
  • guidelines
  • structure
  • topics
  • themes
  • templates​
  • questions
  • patterns
  • examples
  • quotes
  • spaces
  • dots
  • timing
  • reminders
  • ticklers.

​Here's an example.

For a 30-day gratitude journal, you get leads on what to write about on each day of journaling. 

​You are usually asked to list 3-5 things that you are thankful for.

What concrete ways or specific actions you would do to express gratitude. 

For inspiration, you find quotations on top or below a number of lined pages. 

Blank spaces are provided for doodles or drawings. ​

In general, you follow a guide for each day of journaling. ​

 

3 - Art Journaling

How to Journal

Journals are great to express creativity, whether done through free journal writing or guided writing. 

However, there's a third way that has grown in popularity among artists and non-artists alike.

It is art journaling.

Art journaling is keeping a visual or graphic journal or diary using art, imagery and text.

Graphic art like what you see in an art journal is touching, moving and powerful.

An art journal is usually peppered with words or phrases, drawings, doodles, sketches, paintings, charts, cut-outs, photos, shapes, stickers, symbols, quotes, conversations, poems, songs, stories, patterns, graphic marks, and whatever feels good to be on the journal pages. 

Artistic or flat?​

Colored or plain? 

​Clean or messy?

Planned or random?​

Comprehensible or not?​

​They are immaterial. 

What counts is expressing (or making sense of) what you think and feel in graphic and visual form.

 

4 - Bullet Journaling

Bullet journaling is a way of keeping track of things you want and need to do using a notebook.

A bullet journal has seven parts:

Part 1 - Key

​The first page of your bullet journal is your key, which shows the codes you use for your bullet entries.

Here are the traditional codes that you may adopt, modify or add to: ​

Traditional Bullet Journalling Codes

? (Dot) Task

X Completed Task

> Migrated Task

? Appointment

? Completed Appointment

? Migrated Appointment

- Notes

Part 2 - Index

Your next two to four pages are for indexing. The index will let you quickly find any collection, or get to a particular month.

Title each page as an index page and move on to the next section.​

Part 3 - Future Log

​This two-page spread records the coming 6 months. It is great for recording events or planned activities such as birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays.

For convenience, you may use the traditional yearly calendar for this.

Be sure to add or note the page number and record your future log in your index.

Part 4 - Monthly log

​Each month, do a monthly log where you record appointments and due dates. You may use a grid layout, or one line for each day of the month.

While the monthly log isn’t where you’ll track most of your tasks, it comes in handy when you need to take note of a doctor's appointment or scheduled school meeting. 

Part 5 - Daily Log​

​This is where you’ll spend most of your journaling time.

Here's what you do:

  • Each day, start a new section.
  • Create your to-do list including things you need done, reminders, concerns, and anything you find important.
  • Cross off each item when done or taken care of.
  • Move the items to the monthly or future log, or migrate them to a different day, as needed.

Part 6 - Migrating Tasks

This part is done at the end of the day or first thing in the morning.

The goal here is dealing with each entry from your daily list by ensuring that they are done, recorded as done, crossed out if already irrelevant, and migrated to the next day's list.

Here are the steps for this:

  • Review your list of tasks set for the day past
  • Complete those that you still can
  • Cross out tasks already done or no longer needed
  • Migrate tasks that were not checked off or done.

Part 7 - Collections​

This is a thematical list or collection of things of interest to you, whether personal or professional.

Examples of this are places to visit, people to work with, courses to attend, books to write, among others.

To build your collections, follow these steps:

  • Start each list on a blank page.
  • Label or create a title for each one.
  • Write down the content for each collection.
  • Note down the page you’re on and add the collection to your index page.

​ 

Which Is the Better One

​Between the four, which is the better style?

Who knows?

Noone can tell but you.

There's no right or wrong way.​

The most important part is starting your journal and keeping at it for as long as you can. 

For tips on how to journal, read this post here











Why Journal

Benefits of Journaling

Why Journal

​Why do you journal?

Why is it important to keep one?

What happens when you journal?

What do you get out of journaling?​

​How does journaling work?

Keeping a journal will absolutely change your life in ways you’ve never imagined. ~Oprah Winfrey

 

7 ​Benefits of Journaling

​If you've been keeping a journal, you can tell a thing or two about this.

​To many, the benefits of journaling are immediate.

People report fast relief of headache, positive shift in mood, improved memory, or finding a solution to a problem.

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. ~Norbet Platt

Here are a number of benefits from keeping a journal:

  1 - Solitude and freedom

  2 - Relief from Stress and Anxiety

  3 - Creativity 

  4 - Clarity

  5 - Self-esteem and confidence

  6 - Positive mindset and energy 

  7 - Memory recall

  8 - Healing

  9 - Data, insights and applied learning

How about you?

What benefits have you gotten from journaling?

Please share your first-hand experience on ​keeping a journal.

What Is Journaling

Journal writing

What Is Journaling?

Journaling is the act of putting pen to paper to write, express, illustrate or record just about anything you want, need to or feel like.

It can be done using a simple lined College notebook, blank book, traditional diary or fancy journal.

Even a loose sheet of paper, tissue paper, receipt, ticket, torn paper, or card may be used for journaling

For those always online, you may also use your computer for journaling.

You call it blogging.​

 

What Is a Journal?

Where you do journal writing is a journal.

A journal is a written, personal account, expression, creation, illustration, log, record, monitor, chart, chronicle, doodle, presentation, documentation, organization or diary of what's going on within you.

Journal Writing

It is a mirror of you, eventhough you may train your thoughts on the outside world.

Write anything in your journal however you describe it.

Journal writing

Your journal is yours.

You own it.

You decide what goes in, what comes out of it and where it takes you.

Here are more on journaling​.

  Why Journal

  How to Journal

  Journal Prompts

Korean Bibimbap: Our Natural Recipe to Lower Blood Pressure (Day 3)

Korean Bibimbap to Lower Blood Pressure

Quest for a Way to Lower Blood Pressure

Hitting the Brick Wall

After two failed trials at finding a sustainable way to lower blood pressure, we were back to square one.

We know that the solution is not far in sight and giving up was out of the question.

Again, what were we missing?

  Day 1 - How We Stumbled on a Natural Way to Lower BP

 

  Day 2 - Blow to Our Quest for Best Way to Lower BP

We scoured the internet and meticulously weeded through available information.

There were plenty. 

Among them was a clear step-by-step video on how to prepare Korean Bibimbap. Maangchi, a popular Korean author, cook and blogger, shared it in her website.

​According to Maangchi, Bibimbap has three essential ingredients:

  • soy bean sprouts
  • ​spinach
  • carrots and/or red bell pepper.

To make a simple Bibimbap, just add egg, gochujang and sesame oil.

In her procedure, we noticed something important:

  • ​Instead of sesame oil, she used vegetable cooking oil to saute the vegetables. 
  • With each preparation, she added a generous amount of garlic and sesame oil (aside from salt).

​At first we thought that sesame oil, which was used in a number of international studies, was the secret ingredient to lowering hypertension.

Relevant studies that we read include:

  1. US StudyEffect of Sesame Oil on Diuretics or ß-blockers in the Modulation of Blood Pressure, Anthropometry, Lipid Profile, and Redox Status
  2. Thai Study - Health Benefit of Sesamin
  3. Japanese Study - Better than Olive Oil? Try Heart-Healthy Sesame and Rice Bran Oils

​After watching the video, we finally found the missing piece - garlic!

Garlic is a proven ingredient for hypertension. My husband had used it in the past to lower his hypertension.

However, here's the thing.

It is not garlic alone nor sesame oil alone.

It is both.

Then there's also the vegetables.

How everything interacts and affect each other is the key. 

That's what we thought.

Call it our hypothesis.​

Trial #3 - Things Are Looking Up

Caveat

It is important to note that in the morning before the third trial, my husband's blood pressure shoot up significantly. 

That's when we knew that ​the second trial was a disaster. 

Here's a reading of his BP in the morning:


Blood Pressure Chart​ #1

July 17 (Monday AM)

Time

BP

Remarks

5:30 AM

152/113

First reading 

8:30 AM

152/101

Reading at work 

9:30 AM

136/98

Reading at work

12:10 PM

129/92

After lunch of tofu with maple syrup


Relevant information you may want to know are:

  • His medicines consist of Nifedipine and aspirin that he regularly take at 7:00 AM. ​
  • Before the experiment, he had been taking these and his BP were usually above his current BP readings. 
  • His diet of soft tofu with sago and/or maple syrup help maintain a healthy blood pressure level but not on a sustainable basis. He also drinks osterized fruits on a regular basis.

Third Trial Begins - Yahoo!

Now armed with new information and a broader perspective, we proceeded with the third trial. 

The third trial started in the evening of July 17 right after work. 

The ingredients and procedure are as follows:

  Ingredients

  Procedure

Results

​We recorded my husband's BP including the surrounding circumstances as diligently as we could.

There were times that we missed, as you may see in the chart below. ​


Blood Pressure Chart​ #2

July 17-19, 2017

Time

BP Reading

Remarks

Stress Level

 

July 17 (Mon)

6:20 PM

 

Dinner (new recipe)

 Moderate

6:50 PM 

112/84          

Watch TV

 Low

7:17 PM

109/83

Watch TV

 Low

7:29 PM

122/84

Watch TV

 Low

7:51 PM

122/85

Watch TV

 Low

9:07 PM

115/84

Watch TV

 Low

10:15 PM

125/85

Watch TV

 Low

 

July 18 (Tue)

5:40 AM

128/88

First reading before breakfast

 Low

6:39 AM

128/90

After cooking and right after eating

Moderate

6:53 AM

120/84

Watching TV, no meds yet

 Low

7:04 AM

124/88

After bath

 Low

12:30 PM

118/80

Lunch break, after eating tofu

 Low

8:27 PM

121/84

After long travel and physical activity

High

8:57 PM

120/85

Some kitchen work, after tofu and juice

Moderate

9:30 PM

109/80

Watch TV

 Low

9:53 PM

112/72

Before bed

 Low

 

July 19 (Wed)

6:40 AM

136/92

First reading before breakfast

 Low

7:23 AM

127/89

After breakfast, assembly of piano

High

12:23 PM

136/88

Lunch break, stress from work

High

12:55 PM

124/89

BP reading after 12 minutes of sleep

 Low

6:16 PM

121/84

After dinner

​Moderate


The data gathered helped us establish some patterns and guide us on our actions. ​

Observations

  • Blood pressure was pretty stable within the recording period.
  • ​Although the Bibimbap-inspired recipe was eaten only once in the day, blood pressure levels over a long period of time were inspiring.
  • Even in those few instances that stress level was high, the readings were relatively low.
  • Stress levels are very high at work between the hours of 8:00AM and 12:00 noon as well as 1:00-4:30 PM. Results of the trial indicate that the mixed vegetable recipe was able to keep blood pressure down or maintain it at low levels in those periods.
  • His instake of soft tofu (either with sago and/or maple syrup) did help bring down his blood pressure. However, he had been doing this prior to the trials and the results were short-lived.
  • Note: The smell of garlic can be overpowering. It's best to drink lots of water, brush teeth properly after meal, chew gum, use a peppermint spray, or have something that could neutralize the smell.

Insights

Achieving our goal of finding a natural way to lower blood pressure proved to be a challenging but rewarding experience. 

Tracking my husband's health has been much easier with my journal.  

Due to my blog posts on the Korean Bibimbap experience, it dawned on me that for a long time, I have been using journaling as a tool to monitor and take care of my family's health.

My journals have been my constant companion and have served me well in so many ways. 

Next Steps

​Our search for natural ways to lower blood pressure doesn't end here.

My husband will continue to use and test our recipe on a regular basis.

I might even try it myself even if I'm not hypertensive. ​After all, everything in it are natural and healthy.

Also, I''ll keep on journaling to record every bit of relevant information and report back, if needed.

I enjoyed this journaling experience tremendously.

It is my hope that you learn from it.

Please help enrich this topic by sharing your personal experience.

If you haven't yet read my previous posts, you'll find them here:

Day #1 - How We Stumbled Upon a Natural Way to Lower Blood Pressure

Day #2 - Setback to Quest for a Way to Lower Blood Pressure ​

​I would love to know what you think. 

If my journal posts inspired you in any way, please let me know below. 

Please share this post also to your family and friends - specially those with hypertension problems - so they may discover an alternative way to lower blood pressure.


Disclaimer: This post is my journal of a personal quest to find natural ways to lower blood pressure. What you read is by no means a medical or dietary prescription. Please consult your doctor or nutritionist for changes to your diet that could impact your health.​​

Caution: Please check for allergies to ingredients posted.

 

 

Korean Bibimbap: Blow to Our Quest for Best Way to Lower Blood Pressure (Day 2)

Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

​The Bibimbap Thingamajig

Remember our roller coaster ride to lower blood pressure?

We're still in it...

And the ride gets even bumpier with each high and low and twist and turn.

Moving on.

When we finally confirmed that it was Bibimbap sans Gochujang that was lowering my husband's blood pressure, our witch-hunting turned to the proverbial search for a needle at the haystack.

What was that thingy in the Korean Bibimbap?

A scrutiny of the image that I took (plus my husband's account of what he ate) at the Korean restaurant helped us identify the ingredients.

Korean Bibimbap to Lower Blood Pressure

They included:

  • Carrots
  • Mushroom
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Bean sprouts
  • Onion
  • Minced beef
  • Sesame seeds
  • Rice
  • Egg.

He has eaten all of them in the past - either separately, altogether or mixed with others. 

However, he didn't get the same effect like he did in three specific instances after eating at the Korean restaurant. 

Could it be the interaction of the vegetable juices?

Perhaps.

Let's see.

Trial #1: Failure​

Anyway...​

On July 15 (Saturday), my husband set out on a journey to mimick the blood pressure lowering effect of the Bibimbap.​

First, he did some extensive research on heart-healthy vegetables.

Second, he bought vegetables per the menu of the Korean restaurant. Though optional, he included other heart-healthy vegetables, such as:

  • ​Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Red bell pepper
  • Alfalfa with garlic sprouts
  • Black and white sesame seeds.

Third, he cooked the ingredients in the kitchen using sesame as the base followed with all the vegetables.

Before that, I cautioned him against using high heat on the sesame oil. I dunno. I thought I read somewhere in the past that doing so would alter the chemical make-up of the oil that could cause some adverse health effects.

Well, my husband did otherwise.

He has a mind of his own (and I wasn't sure about my suggestion, anyway).

So be it!

After consuming all his mixed vegetable (without the egg), he took a reading of his BP.

​His blood pressure lowered slightly but nothing as dramatic as his previous results.

Conclusion: The trial was a failure. ​

A review of his cooking procedure showed that:

  • sesame oil was used as base​ and considerable heat was applied;
  • ​the vegetables were not as tender or cooked. 

​The juices may not have interacted enough.

So we thought...

but who knows?

​Trial #2: Happy Dance Plus a Shocker

​The setback didn't crush my husband's spirit. 

We're almost there and success is just around the bend.

A few tweaks may just do the trick. ​

​On July 16 (Sunday), he experimented again using a modified procedure:

​First, heat up the sesame oil.

Second, saute the garlic and onion.

Third, ​together with the garlic and onion, saute the broccoli for a minute until tender.

Fourth, mix the remaining vegetables and saute until the spinach looks wilted.

Fifth, pour the cooked vegetable on a plate, spray sesame ​oil and sprinkle black sesame seeds on top.

​Sixth, bon appetit!

Here's ​the chart that shows the BP reading taken every 30 minutes:


Blood Pressure Chart​

July 16, 2017 (Sunday)

Time

BP - Right

BP - Left

Remarks

5:00 PM

6:10 PM

138/87

 

Base reading

Dinner

6:40 PM

116/81

Excellent

7:10 PM

115/80

Excellent

7:40 PM

113/86

Good

8:10 PM

120/79

112/79

Excellent

8:40 PM

127/82

128/91

Fair

9:10 PM

116/90

128/95

Fair

9:40 PM

118/95

132/96

Poor

10:10 PM

135/92

134/96

Poor

10:40 PM

113/93

125/97

Fair


​For two hours, we were rejoicing! 

It was working. ​

But...

Uh-oh.

After two hours, something unexpected was unfolding.

We were uneasy and worried.

The BP reading - specially the diastolic (lower) - was going up.

Conclusion: Success was short-lived with the worst yet to come!

The following day, my husband woke up with a blood pressure of 152/113! 

He brought his sphygmo to work despite that.

His BP didn't look any better. He had to take time off from work that morning to rest and bring it down to a comfortable level. 

At lunch, he only had soft tofu with sago and maple syrup.

That pushed his BP down to 129/92.

Facing a Blank Wall​

​This time around, we were not sure on how to proceed.

What was happening?

Why was it happening?

What were we missing?

Must we abort our mission?

Should we resign our fate to just eating out at the Korean restaurant ​as needed?

​What do we do next?

Tomorrow, you'll learn how our quest for a solution to lower blood pressure has turned out.

Did we just give up?

Clue - We didn't! ​

Did we succeed?​

Are we succeedding?

Clue: Roses are red.

Plus - Tomorrow's read is a delightful one!

Do follow my journal to find out more.

Day #3 - Korean Bibimbap: Our Natural Recipe to Lower Blood Pressure​

Day #1Korean Bibimbap: How We Stumbled Upon a Natural Way to Lower Blood Pressure

If this post inspired you in any way, please leave a remark or question below. That would surely make my succeeding journal posts even more exciting.

And one more thing, please share this post to your friends - specially those with hypertension problems - so they may discover an alternative way to lower blood pressure.

 


Disclaimer: This post is my journal on a personal quest to find natural ways to lower blood pressure. What you read is by no means a medical or dietary prescription. Please consult your doctor or nutritionist for changes to your diet that may impact your health.​

 

 

Korean Bibimbap: How We Stumbled on a Natural Way to Lower Blood Pressure (Day 1)

Lower Blood Pressure with Bibimbap Style Food

Search for Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

Lower Blood Pressure with Bibimbap Style Food

Finding solutions to a problem could be a roller coaster ride. Breakthroughs thrill you. 

However, frustrations can kill you.

Just when you thought you had it, lightning hits as you realize that you actually did not.

Then, you have to iterate or start all over.

For years, my husband and I have been searching for a remedy to hypertension a.k.a. high blood pressure.

It's his problem... but it's also mine.

So, we ventured to find natural ways to lower blood pressure.

Having been into this for years, we already know that there are.

But we want more.

  • Is there a natural way to lower high blood pressure with dramatic results?
  • How sustainable are the results?
  • How soon do they take effect?
  • How long do the positive effects last?

We have tried a number of natural ways to lower blood pressure just so my husband could escape the pill.

Some three years ago, he did succumb to blood pressure medication after a thorough discussion with our family doctor. 

There were times though when he missed - a simple sign of graceful aging. 

Recently, he was diagnosed with a rare health condition known as Celiac Axis Artery Dissection. Even the attending hospital physicians were uncertain on how to deal with it. They had to consult a vascular specialist over the phone for each action they had to take. They, too, were learning. 

Hypertension is considered as the most probable cause for his condition. Not genetics.

That time he had a severe abdominal pain - when he had to rush to the hospital because the pain was too much to bear - that was when he missed his pill. 

To prevent the worst from happening, he has to keep his blood pressure at bay. Period.

Careful of Headaches: They May Be Something Worse

Twelve years ago, he experienced episodes of migraine.

I almost always remedied it with massage. The headaches did subside and that was that until he consulted a doctor.

The doctor ordered him to check in at the hospital quickly. No buts. No ifs.

His blood pressure was 201/155!

He could have easily gotten a stroke, at the least.

The hypertension is pretty much controlled now but with his health condition, we can't take chances. He keeps his sphygmomanometer close at hand as such. 

Korean Bibimbap: Whatta Surprise!

Our exciting journey started three weeks ago as we explored various Thai, Japanese, Korean, and Mexican restaurants.

We've been into these types of restaurants before but lately, we've become more active at satisfying our palate.

Last July 4, we ate out at our local Korean restaurant.

I always order their beef Bulgogi. It's yum and I'm good with that.

My husband is the more adventurous among us. That time though, he ordered Bibimbap. That was his first order in the same restaurant; however, he forgot that it was.

Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

"Bibimbap is a large bowl of rice topped with an array of individually prepared vegetables and beef, and served with seasoned red chili pepper paste (gochujang). Bibim means mixing, and bap means rice. The mixing usually happens at the table right before eating." ~Korean Bapsang

When we reached home a few hours later, he checked his blood pressure.

Surprise, surprise.

His BP was a remarkable 117/74.

He never had a BP reading that low. NEVER.

We can't believe it.

What caused it?​

There were only two candidates in our mind - the chocolate soya pudding with maple syrup that I made him for lunch and the Bibimbap.

I made him a serving of pudding the following day. 

Zero.

It must be the Bibimbap then.

Bibimbap: Gotcha!

On July 6, we headed back to the Korean restaurant for lunch. You could guess by know what we ordered.

It was a long way home that day. We had to do our grocery at Victoria, which was an hour drive back and forth. We dropped off a van load of donation to a charity organization, too. Then, there was at least one more place we visited.

It's summer here and was particularly hot that day.

By the time we were home, we were toast; more so my husband who drove all the way through.

When he read his BP, it was pretty close to 120/80!

Not shabby, aye?

Nope. It was unbelievable!

As he had nothing except Bibimbap, we concluded that, yes, it was Bibimbap that was lowering his blood pressure.

But what in the Bibimbap?

Could it be gochujang, the red chili paste that you mix with the rice and vegetables?

Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

How about the miso soup and Kimchi that went with the meal?

Gochujang: Out of the Picture

"Okay, let's head back to the restaurant," my husband suggested.

On July 15, we were there for dinner.

Doing a process of elimination, my husband skipped the miso soup, kimchi and gochujang!

I took images of the menu to capture the ingredients.

To be as thorough as possible, we asked the Korean staff all sorts of questions:

  • What ingredients went into the Bibimbap?
  • How was it cooked?
  • How was gochujang prepared?
  • Did they make the gochujang themselves or bought it pre-made?

Our interest may have stirred their imagination but they were very kind and gentle to answer our questions.

We wanted to narrow down to "the thing" in Bibimbap that lowers blood pressure.

Again, my husband read his BP.

You guessed it.

His blood pressure that night was a record low in comparison to the previous days.

And yes, it wasn't gochujang.

Our conclusion: The magic ingredient was in the mixed rice itself.

But which one or ones?

That's the mystery that we sought to unravel. 

We were almost there... but not quite.​

Tomorrow, follow my journal to find out what happens next.

Day #2 - Korean Bibimbap: Blow to Our Quest for Best Way to Lower Blood Pressure​

I promise it's an exciting one.

If this post inspired you in any way, please leave a remark or question below. That would surely make my succeeding journal posts even more exciting. 

And one more thing, please share this post to your friends - specially those with hypertension problems - so they may discover an alternative way to lower blood pressure.


Disclaimer: This post is my journal on a personal quest to find natural ways to lower blood pressure. What you read is by no means a medical or dietary prescription. Please consult your doctor or nutritionist for changes to your diet that may impact your health.

Journaling: Possibilities with Journals Are Endless

Journaling: What’s a Journal?

Journaling is the act of putting pen to paper to write or illustrate just about anything that you want to, need to, or feel like.

A journal is where you do your journal writing. It is an account, log, record, chronicle, illustration, doodle, chronicle, presentation, documetation, or diary of your thoughts, insights, feelings, events, experiences, analysis, observations, information, plans, among other countless things.

Keeping a journal is an experience whose benefits may not come instantly or at that moment. To many, the positive effects such as stress relief are instantaneous.

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. ~Norbet Platt

Engineering Your Personal Journal

It’s easy to unleash your thoughts and emotions into journaling.

You may record significant events in your life like mountain climbing with your best buddies, fly fishing by yourself, backpacking or camping by the lake with family, nursing a pregnancy, raising your first-born, doing an art exhibit, or launching your first business venture.

Capture your dreams on paper to decipher recurring symbols or see patterns in your life.

You may keep a journal to express gratitude for all your blessings, or turn your life around with prayers and affirmations.

Chronicle just about any commonplace or humdrum thing in your life. You decide.

Design your own journal. Engineer it.

The possibilities with journaling – big or smal – are endless. The rewards are tremendous.

Journaling Is All about You

I have been keeping journals for years. Journaling is a big part of me.

My journals are mostly the lined and spiral notebooks, the ones you use for school. Not fancier ones nor the diary type.

In them, I wrote everything under the sun, like:

  • ideas
  • insights
  • feelings, good and bad, happy and sad, shareable and not
  • plans, goals and activities
  • accomplishments and failures, which were many
  • events and celebrations
  • children’s stories that I created myself and those in playful partnership with my kids
  • dreams
  • inspirational and motivations quotes and affirmations
  • poems
  • prayers
  • recipes
  • magical rituals and formulas that I copied from books I read
  • contact information
  • account numbers for banking and government transactions
  • outlines for books to write
  • compositions for past school assignments and start-ups for books to write
  • doodles
  • conversations with my growing kids including jokes, stories, games
  • facts and figures of topics or themes to develop
  • analysis of my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • an account of children in those time that I was away on travel
  • my hubby’s endearing expressions
  • and more.

Passing on the Cudgels of Journaling

journal writing, keeping a journal, writing journalsMy 15-year old daughter is into journalingherself. She loves it. Keeping a journal is her respite and refuge for things that happen in her life that she wants to keep to herself.

Over five years, she has collected a huge amount of journals. Not a day passes without her sketching, doodling, drawing story-filled comics, and writing personal accounts. These all go into her journal.

Her journals – her constant companion, friend and ally – keep her company. Someday, she would look back at everything she put in her journals and be amazed.

I haven’t read any of my daughter’s journals. I respect and uphold her privacy always.

Isn’t that what journals are for?

Anyone who journals should rest assured that whatever is in there remains safe.

Journaling into the Future

I reviewed my journals. Oh, boy! I’m sitting on a pot of gold.

You know,

  • life plans to execute;
  • children’s stories to publish;
  • books to write and publish
  • quotations to organize
  • children’s art works to clean up at Photoshop as well and their handwriting to develop as fonts.

The inputs I need for these are all in my journals. I just need to sit down and focus to transform them into something more awesome!

Yes, they are a bunch and they keep multiplying with each entry I make in my journals.

journaling, keeping a journal, journal writingI revisit my journals every once in a while and would do so in many more years to come.

The rewards of writing journals are plenty. The great thing is, you get to decide what those rewards are and how much you want.

How about you?

Do you keep a journal?

Is it the generic type of journal where you write anything or the more focused one?

What benefits have you experienced from keeping a journal?

What new world of possibilities do you see with journaling?