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How To Avoid The ER This Holiday Season

Family enjoying Christmas mealMerry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Vascular Specialists!

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The holidays can be a time of “cheats” – eating what you want, taking a pass on exercise, and imbibing just a little too much than is good for you. Add to that a generous dose of stress, brought on by gift-giving decisions, out-of-town guests or political discussions, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Vascular Specialists is here to remind you how to avoid an unwanted holiday surprise – a stroke. Make sure you’re spending Christmas Day doing whatever it is you love best, and not staying the hospital.

Avoid salt.

Holiday tables are usually spread with pretzels, chips and nuts. Skip the pretzels and chips altogether. Not only will you cut salt, you’ll cut processed carbs, which will help control your weight. Substitute unsalted or lightly salted nuts as a healthier choice.

Enjoy leaner, natural meats. 

Salmon and shrimp are fantastic choices, while being holiday favorites. Dig into the turkey and ignore the sausage. Dine on lean filet of beef and skip the meatballs. Avoiding processed meats has an added benefit; you’ll reduce your salt intake too.

Eat more fresh foods. 

Raid the produce department at your grocery store and load your buffet table with fresh, crispy vegetables like green, red and yellow pepper strips, celery, broccoli and cauliflower. Enjoy the natural sweetness of tomatoes. Indulge in the healthy fat of avocados or the zip of hummus for dips. Experiment with jicama!

Cut the processed carbs. 

Stay away from white bread, muffins, donuts, white pastas and white rice. Look for breads with grains you can see, hearty and full of seeds. Switch your pasta to whole wheat varieties. Branch out into quinoa, barley or farro to replace white rice. You’ll find these options a great deal tastier too.

Get moving. 

It’s easy to lay on the couch and watch holiday movies in your pajamas all day, but it’s much better for you to move! Get at least 30 minutes a day of activity each day during the holidays. Added benefit; it will improve your mood and reduce stress too.

Quit smoking. 

Please. Quitting smoking is the very best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones this holiday season.

If you have questions about avoiding stroke at any time of year, just call our office. We are always happy to help!

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