Between all the goodies and all the stress, the holidays can be hazardous to one’s heart. Here are some tips from the experts for protecting yours:
• Watch portion sizes. Large, fatty meals will draw blood to the intestines for digestion and away from the heart, potentially deadly for people with blockages or other coronary artery damage.
• Limit alcohol intake. Too much imbibing can irritate the upper chambers of the heart and trigger abnormal rhythms.
• Reduce stress. Don’t pack your schedule too full, walk away from unpleasant social situations and build relaxing activities into each day.
• Exercise, but carefully. Don’t overdo it, especially in cold weather.
• Don’t ignore symptoms. Chest pain that extends to the shoulder, arm, back or jaw is the classic sign of a heart attack, but others include abdominal pain, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, vomiting and fatigue. Don’t write it off to indigestion – get help.
» Find more health and fitness tips in Tuesday’s Today section.
Seasonal feasting also can take its toll on your kitchen’s plumbing.
ServiceMagic recommends keeping the following out of your garbage disposal: fibrous foods, coffee grounds, eggshells, bones, glass, rubber or metal, potato skins and grease.
Don’t overfill the disposal, or use chemical drain cleaners to unclog it; they likely won’t work and will just leave the sink full of toxic liquids.
And, according to the advice of one plumber who witnessed it: “Never use your garbage disposal to grind tree limbs.”
» Look for more home and garden ideas in Sunday’s Today section.
In Italy, it’s traditional to eat seafood on Christmas Eve. But any night is a good time for Fisherman’s Spaghetti, with shrimp and clams in a tomato-wine sauce.
For the recipe, see page C5.
» Find more recipes and restaurant news in Wednesday’s Food section.
Here’s what’s on the schedule for this week:
On CD (Tuesday)
Jamie Foxx, “Best Night Of My Life”
Keri Hilson, “No Boys Allowed”
Keyshia Cole, “Calling All Hearts”
Thomas Hampson, “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”
On DVD (Tuesday)
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”
“Step Up 3”
“Little Fockers ” (comedy, Wednesday)
“True Grit” (Western, Wednesday)
“Gulliver’s Travels” (adventure comedy, Saturday)
“A Home for the Holidays”: Ricky Martin, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 raise their voices, along with awareness about adoption. (Wednesday, 8 p.m., CBS)
“Psych”: One serial killer is set free to help catch another in the Season 5 finale. (Wednesday, 10 p.m., USA)
“A Christmas Story” 24-hour marathon: You’ll (almost) shoot your eye out, over and over again. (Friday, 8 p.m., TBS)
“Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade”: Mariah Carey, Selena Gomez and the Mick himself strut their stuff. (Saturday, noon, ABC)
Clarion Brass, “This is What Christmas Sounds Like”: Tuesday-Wednesday, St. John’s Cathedral
Julia Keefe: Tuesday, Spokane Club
Northwest Sacred Music Chorale: Wednesday, Kroc Center, Coeur d’Alene
Fantasy Cruises to the North Pole: Daily through Jan. 2, Coeur d’Alene Resort
Campbell House Holidays: Wednesday-Friday, Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
» Find a full arts and entertainment roundup in the Thursday and Friday Today sections.