My name is Shadron Ruffin
PressureHaus was born out of necessity. For years, I knew nothing and it lead to struggling with health for a very long time. Even to this day, remnants of the way I lived for so long still cause problems. In order to live a longer life, to be healthy and free of disease, free of pain and constant worry, I needed to learn and to keep learning indefinitely.
This is my health & wellness journal that I’m sharing with you. Health, wellness, diet and fitness information are in a constant state of flux, and without dedicated research, it’s extremely difficult to keep up. I worry about friends and family who are misinformed about diets and treatments that seldom work or have lasting effects. I worry when people don’t care about what they’re eating or where it came from. I worry about fads and information that does more harm than good.
I love to research and experiment, whether it’s with food or fitness. It makes me happy that I can be the guinea pig for those who may have the same or similar health struggles. Over the years, health has slowly become one of the things I cherish and care about the most, not only for myself but for those suffering through ailments caused by living a life not knowing or being told the truth about what our bodies need.
I not claiming to be a certified dietitian, nutritionist or health professional. I don’t have training or a doctorate. I’m just someone who’s developed the desire to dig deeper. A lot of what we learned about nutrition coming up was either bad science or purposeful misinformation, and into adulthood many of us are paying the price.
The truth is, the way you live your life can heal you or break you. Your body is an incredible machine and it’s constantly doing everything it can to heal the damage we’re doing daily. My hope is that the research and information here will give you the tools to work with your body to live a longer, healthier life.
When I was 16 years old, I decided to try out for the high school basketball team. I was overweight for my age, a little over 200lbs at 5’8 but I was still pretty active. Lived close to school so I’d walk home a lot, I walked the dog fairly often and I loved playing basketball with friends, or with my older brother when the old-heads would actually let me play. Hell, I could even dunk if I had enough momentum. But before tryouts, a few things had to happen. We had to make it through conditioning — which was tough but I always pushed through — and everyone was required to take a physical exam and bring proof that we were “well” enough to play. I wasn’t scared of needles or anything so I never really worried about having to go to the doctor’s office. It was mostly just an inconvenience, like everything else to a teenage kid.
The day of the physical was a day I remember well. It was a small private practice in Kennedy Heights, OH and everything seemed to be fine. It wasn’t until the doctor pulled my mom into the office afterwards, strapped me back up the the blood pressure cuff and told her, “I’m a little concerned about his blood pressure. It’s elevated.” 148/86 is what it read. Honestly, I didn’t even know what it meant, but my mom did. Her and my dad both had a history of blood pressure issues. I remember playing with the blood pressure machines in grocery stores after my dad used it and my arm being too small to even measure. But I never thought it was important, it just looked fun.
Once they sat me down and explained what it was, the fear set in. This stuff ran deep in my family. In my ancestry as a black man. Then I understood and started piecing together things from my life that told the story of what was happening to myself and my loved ones. I understood why my grandpa had a stroke when I was 10. Why I would constantly get headaches, and why I’d always get light-headed when standing. Why my pulse would suddenly rise and fall throughout the day. One of the scariest memories of this time was of standing on the sideline after being subbed out of a game during tryouts, and for the first time consciously noticing how hard and fast my heart was beating. I could feel the pounding everywhere, and it felt like my heart wanted to burst through my chest. It wasn’t normal.
Shortly after, I decided that year would be a year of learning and for a whole year, no matter what, every night before bed I would learn one health fact. Some seemed true, some seemed far-fetched and others seemed absolutely absurd. That year showed me the harsh reality of the state of health in our country and how little attention many of us pay to what we eat. One of the most harmful things for your health is misinformation and one of the best things anyone can do for themselves is research.
Healthy is our natural state. It should be easy, and my mission is to take complicated information and distill it in a way that is easily digestible for anyone.