Thanks to Helen Frost, Australia’s Leading Nutrition Educator and Energy Expert in Perth for these great tips:

Real Cheap RedHOT Gift suggestions:

To give your enemy, give forgiveness
To a friend, give your heart
To an opponent, give tolerance
To a customer, give service
To every child, give a good example
To all, give charity
To a stranger, give a smile
To your family, give love
To yourself, give respect

WHAT?!  Christmas can increase your Heart Attack Risk!
If you have heart, cholesterol or blood pressure issues it may be time to rethink your eating strategies? It seems this time of the year is a stressful and potentially life threatening time.
When researchers looked at cardiac deaths over a year, they found a third more in December and January than mid-year.
The peak was put down to the emotional and stressful lead up and overindulgence in food and alcohol across the Christmas and New Year period.
Keep your heart beating for another 12 months with these HOT HEART HEALTH TIPS!

1. Sock down the salads: If you overfill your plate you are more likely to eat a much larger portion than usual. So go easy at buffets. It is not “eat like a pig time”…unless you want to  end up as fat as a pig. Pile your plate high with salad firstly, then add a little of the other bits. then eat the salad first. You will be amazed at how easy it is to not over eat doing it this way. Fill up on the low calorie and nutient dense foods and the others will look after themselves.

2. Go Bananas: One banana has 422mg – about 12 percent of your recommended daily dose of potassium. Research show that potassium can lower blood pressure. Other good sources include sweet potatoes (694mg for one medium,), non fat yogurt (579mg for 1 cup) and spinach (419mg for 1/2 cup , cooked.)

3. Eat the right fats and oils: Trim the FAT off all meats so it doesn’t end up blocking your arteries or stored on your GUT. Reduce saturated fats (eg. animal fat, butter and cheese) and replace with plant-based sources of good fats and oils like avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds all help lower blood cholesterol. Avoid the processed transfats in processed fats like margarine and hydrogenated fats in fried and packaged foods. These oils have been processed at high heat which has made them toxic and very damaging to arteries.

4. Eat more fish: Especially “oily” kinds, such as salmon, tuna, sardines which are rich in the omega-3 fatty acids that protect the heart and help lower cholesterol.

5. Shell out for nuts: Nuts and seeds tend to be very high in good fat and calories, but the fat is the heart-healthy polyunsaturated or monounsaturated kind. Some varieties, like macadamia nuts, are also high in saturated fat so don’t eat too many. All nuts are high energy foods so if you eat too many and don’t exercise to use the energy they will store as fat. Make sure you eat them natural, NOT roasted and salted.

6. Be a sodium/salt sleuth: Check the labels. You want foods that have less than 120mg of sodium per 100gm as excess salt can harden your arteries. Use a good quality sea salt rather than the regular processed table salt as a light sprinkle not snow on your food. Watch out for high-sodium foods when eating out. Sneaky sodium sources include anything that’s pickled, smoked or served with sodium and of course the savoury packet snacks and fried chips are loaded.

7. Be a fruit fanatic: A cup of fruit juice is high in sugar and offers very little nutrition due to the processing. If you’re watching your weight, whole fruits are smarter choices. They contain more fibre, which helps slow the sugar release, and fewer calories eg. a medium orange has 62 calories and 3 grams of fibre, wheras a glass of OJ has about 120 calories and no fibre.

Whip up a fruit platter or fresh fruit salad – A hot Christmas day in Australia makes this most appealing and good the the HEART and WAISTLINE!

8. Get merry with berries:  Berries have amazing heart protection antioxidants along with vitamins and minerals that are essential for heart health.  Add them to breakfast, desserts and as snacks.

9.  Curse the crusts:  Leave behind the crust of desserts like cheesecake and flans so they are not LEFT BEHIND ON YOUR GUT AND BUTT!

10.  Go easy or avoid wine, beer or spirits:  You know it’s bad for you so drink lots of water and eat fruits and vegetables with every meal to help protect your heart from the alcohol attack

Sorry, Helen Frost is not the good news fairy but these HOT tips can help save your life.

Of course, Barry and I are strictly vegans, so some of the above is not a worry for us and other vegans.

Only 4 days to go till the big day.  Yeh!  You are on the down hill run.  Breath deeply, drive carefully and be kind…for tomorrow you could be dead.  Keep that smile on your face and be thankful for just being alive and vow to make someone happy today.

Have a RedHOT day.

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