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It's the Most Stressful Tme of Year...But Be of Good Cheer!!

Ok, it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of year, but many of us tend to go for perfection, which translates to the most stressful time of the year. Added to that, or maybe actually it’s because of that, it’s also the time of year for more heart attacks and strokes.

So what if we have to watch our blood pressure! The perfect gift for each person needs to be found, bought & wrapped, there’s all the get-togethers to plan and to attend, and let’s not forget all the goodies there are to enjoy!

As I write this, I know that I have to take the turkey out of the freezer for Thanksgiving and start baking some of the goodies for that special dinner. I’m late getting a birthday gift out, and my to-do list is probably not going to get smaller!

But I also remember what happened to me the evening after I totally stressed out because of a new bill from a nursing home that came a year and a half after my mother passed. I ended up at the hospital with signs of potential stroke.

Stress is a HUGE factor in holiday heart attacks and strokes. Just keep in mind, guys, that everything doesn’t have to be perfect to be enjoyed. In fact, others probably will think you’ve done a great job, and appreciate your efforts.

Making a list of what you need to do somehow alleviates some of the stress by letting you know that "to-do" item is on a list & you don’t have to remember it. Then, since you probably won’t get everything done, just look at the list and pick one thing you aren’t going to do. Cross it off. Focus on one thing at a time after that. Or better yet – delegate!

I want to touch on one other thing you do want to watch, and that’s the amount of sodium you eat. I’ll do another post on sodium in a couple of days, but just know that it directly affects your blood vessels and blood flow, which = blood pressure.
If you're cooking, try to buy some low-sodium foods. For example, the green beans for that popular green bean recipe - buying low sodium beans isn't going to taste a bit different + you have more control of how much sodium is in it. Also, wash the beans to get rid of as much sodium as possible before putting the dish together. The dish still has lots of sodium - but just have enough to know you enjoyed it at the holidays.
If you’re not sure how much sodium is in a food dish, just eat a small portion. Be sure to drink plenty of water also, since it helps move the sodium through your body.
Enjoy the holidays!

P.S.  One of the BEST foods for controlling high blood pressure is BEETS. You may or may not like beets tho, and they sure can be a pain to fix, right? I’ve found the easiest way to eat beets is this way.