I have had many friends and family members diagnosed with various maladies and never really gave it much thought. I was always able to justify things by saying “he’s much older than me,” or “he’s carrying a lot more weight than I am.” The list of rationalizations for not working to improve my health was long.

When my brother recently had a blood pressure scare, something changed. It could be that I am heavier than him. It may be that he is too close in age for comfort. It could be that I couldn’t even write it off as different genetics. The bottom line is we are very close in terms of everything that matter.

To that end, I headed over to the grocery story to stick my arm in the pressure cuff and get the bad news – OUCH! Looks like it is time to change some habits or sign up for blood pressure medicine. First, I stocked up on some healthier food choices. I am writing this after just finishing off a great meal of baked salmon – who knew eating healthy could taste so good?

In addition to some fish, I picked up some of my favorite fruit – apples and oranges – as snacks, and one of the few vegetables I find palatable – celery.

I know that a ‘cold turkey’ approach to lifestyle change is tough, if not impossible, but I think that if I can make gradual modifications to both diet and exercise, I can be successful.

Wish me luck.