Hi there! Danna here. Despite my decades of healthy living to include almost daily exercise, I have a moderate to high cardiovascular risk mostly due to genetics. And…I am not alone. Simply being post-menopausal puts all of us at higher risk. Do you know your risk?

As a former RN and a veteran health coach, I’m passionate and committed to living a healthy, but not fanatical lifestyle. I eat a very healthy (not perfect) diet. I drink wine in moderation and manage stress quite well. However, since turning 70, I’ve become more concerned about being even more proactive so I can minimize my risk of heart attack and stroke. Please note: I am not giving you medical advice. I lean heavily toward a natural approach and do a lot of research before agreeing to take pharmaceutical remedies. No matter your health philosophy, I hope you will find several of these practices helpful in your quest to live a long and vibrant life!

10 Things I’m Doing to Lower My Cardiovascular Risk:

#1: Taking my blood pressure several times per week. When it occasionally goes higher than the ideal of less than 120/80, I take a natural supplement called HTN that works very well. 

#2: Taking Red Yeast Rice instead of statin drugs

I’m not willing to take statins, but I do take Red Yeast Rice  instead. Read this interesting study reported by Dr. Stengler about the efficacy and risk of statins.

#3: Drinking Hibiscus Tea

When I read about the many benefits of this tea such as  lowering blood pressure, increasing immunity, detoxifying the liver, improving weight loss and boosting immunity, I decided to commit to drinking at least one cup a day of this very pleasant tea with a deep purple color! Here’s the one I purchased on AMAZON.

#4 Eating lots of Berries, Deep Greens, Tree Nuts, and Cruciferous Veggies

According to my naturopath, Dr Mark Stengler, diet is not a huge contributing factor when genetics is the main underlying cause. Now despite this, I’m not eating tons of butter and other saturated fats, but I do consume small amounts occasionally and focus on lots of plant based nutrition and definitely less red meat than I did in years past. More important than taking things out, I’m more intentional about putting super nutrient dense foods into my daily diet.

#5 Taking CoQ10 – an important supplement no matter what your risk.

#6 Taking Double+ Doses of Omega 3 Fish Oil.

My Go To Supplement for over 20 years has been Coromega which is also recommended by the renowned brain expert, Dr. Amen. Of course omega 3 fats are essential for internal health, but I’m convinced it has helped me have way less facial wrinkles for my age (70). Now, that is a great bonus!

#7  Managing Stress with biblical meditation, healthy thinking, and deep breathing.

Science has finally caught up with what God has been telling us all along – what we think and how we respond to the challenges of life matter. Jesus told us in Luke 12: “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?” However, living with a sense of peace  “that transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4) is easier said than done. This kind of peaceful inner life takes a lot of “training”. With that in mind, I hope you are taking time each Monday to enjoy our weekly devotional. You can find them all posted on our website each Monday at: www.LeanHealthyAgeless.com.

#8  Using my Sauna Space near infra-red sauna 3-4 x week.   

Many studies show this health practice decreases cardio vascular risk over 50%. After a lot of research and because I highly respect Dr. Mercola and watched his video, I chose the Sauna Space product which is very space efficient. I’ll be sharing more about this in a future post. A huge added benefit is that the near infra red is transforming  my sun damaged skin on my hands, legs, and chest. For now, you can LEARN MORE HERE.

#9  Eating oatmeal with raw pecans 3-5 times per week to lower LDL (using monk fruit to sweeten)

While diet may make only a small difference, there are enough studies to support that oatmeal can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol). So, I’m giving this a real test for the next three months to see if it makes a difference when I retest my lipids.

Note: If you follow our Eat Live Thrive Diet, you know that we strive to help mature women discover which grains work for them (after a short elimination) and also determine their personal carbohydrate threshold. Since most women eat way too many grains and don’t know which are holding them back from weight loss and vibrant health, I share this with a caveat: Before you add oatmeal into your diet most days, eliminate all grains for 7+ days and then add them in one at a time to see how your body responds. As an example, my co-author, Robyn feels like she’s in a stupor when she eats oatmeal. Also, some women simply cannot eat more than 30 grams of carbohydrate at any given meal without gaining weight.

#10 Increasing my Nitric Oxide Levels

Nitric Oxide is a molecule that has many cardiovascular benefits as well as anti-aging properties as noted below from expert, Dr. Hellman. I’ve been practicing the Nitric Oxide Workout 1-3 times per day for the last couple years to improve my natural nitric oxide output, but when I used test strips to check my levels, I realized I wasn’t consistent enough so I added this N.O. supplement pictured below.


According to Dr. Josh Hellman:

Nitric oxide (NO) is a signaling molecule that plays a crucial role in regulating many physiological functions in the human body, including blood pressure and circulation. It has recently been discovered to play a key role in healthy aging, as well. NO is a gas produced by certain cells in the body, including endothelial cells which line our arteries and veins. It acts as an important signaling molecule between cells, and its levels can be affected by several factors, including diet and exercise.

One of the most important benefits of nitric oxide is its ability to relax the muscles in the walls of blood vessels, allowing them to widen and improve circulation throughout the body. This helps improve oxygen supply to organs and tissues, resulting in increased energy and a stronger immune system.

In addition to its beneficial effects on circulation and inflammation, nitric oxide has also been shown to promote healthy skin and hair. NO is known to activate collagen production, which helps maintain skin elasticity and youthfulness. It also helps to protect skin cells from damage caused by UV radiation, further protecting against the signs of aging. Finally, NO can act as an antioxidant and scavenge free radicals that cause oxidative stress, promoting healthy aging.