4 Tips to Packing Healthy Road Trip Snacks
This weekend we are escaping the AZ heat and our AZ exhaustion. With about 6 hours behind the dashboard, we’ll be in San Diego once again. This is a little vacation that the two of us need quite badly. We can see it in our apartment cleanliness and in our work motivation.
I am on summer break, but my days are spent at work or at the hospital I volunteer at. Hours of my summer break are spent blending and topping acai bowls for the many customers who want a sweet, cold treat on these sunny days. Or my hours are spent at the hospital completing tasks the Med Surg floor needs me to do to assist the staff with their responsibilities. Thus, majority of my summer activities aren’t cliff jumping, pool swimming, friend hanging, or road tripping.
Ash has been crawling towards the finish line of my AmeriCorps VISTA service, and is working full-time to teach health literacy classes to the community and more specifically, the adult probation population. The job is rewarding as it is challenging, and she says it never feels as though there is enough hours in the day to complete her class reports and her cubicle duties.
But you know what? All of that is just fine.
Have you heard of Hypertension?
Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure. Having hypertension means an individual has a blood pressure reading that is 140/90 or higher which can lead to heart complications and strokes. Sadly, high blood pressure is pretty common in the United States, so most of us may know someone who has high blood pressure. For us, this hits close to home as our momma has hypertension.
Luckily, there is a lot of scientific research out there on blood pressure that highlights a few best ways to control and lower your blood pressure. Some of those ways are to quit smoking (if you do smoke), eating less salt, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight that is right for your body, and eating well. If lifestyle changes need a little assistance, there are also blood pressure medications available which is a conversation to have with your doctor to help determine what may be right for you. AND! It’s important to follow your doctor’s directions – our momma gave us quite a scare a couple of weeks ago. She called me and casually said, “Oh, so the doctor freaked out today about how high my blood pressure was. He wanted to put me in the hospital for it.” Now, our mom always seems to have herself under control and she never wants to be a bother to her children with her needs, but in this situation I was like, “WHAT. MOM. WHY. OGAASFHK. Are you okay?!” She said that she “forgot” to take her medication the past couple of days because she didn’t feel like it. I had the chance to give my mom a loving (and stern) lecture on why it’s important for her to follow her doctor’s orders.
Have you heard of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also called acid reflux, is a chronic condition where liquid from the stomach backs up (refluxes) into the esophagus, which is a hollow tube that connects the throat to the stomach (your food tube!). GERD is prevalent all over the world, and about 18-28% of the United States population have GERD.
There are a few factors that can contribute to GERD such as lower esophageal sphincter abnormalities. The sphincter is a muscular ring that acts like a dam between the esophagus and the stomach. It opens up when you swallow to allow food into the stomach and then it’s squeezed tight to prevent food and acid in the stomach from backing up into the esophagus. When stomach acid does make it’s way back into the esophagus it can cause burning and inflammation. Another factor can be hiatal hernias. When there is an internal body part that pushes into a place that it doesn’t belong, that’s called a hernia. A hiatal hernia is when the stomach pushes up into the diaphragm which can lead to heartburn.