I know, my blog is usually about swapping and/or listia, but I’m pregnant and I’m just sharing some pieces (actually, it’s a large chunk) of my current life at the moment.
My doctor advised me to go “no-salt.” That to me, is impossible since 95% of our food has salt, even (naturally) fruits and vegetables! I started reading labels at the grocery store- what an eye-opener! I’ve found that salad dressings, ethnic foods especially asian dishes, frozen foods, and tons of processed foods are the worst offenders. I also started researching nutritional information online for popular restaurants. The guideline for those watching their sodium intake is 1200 mg. The guideline for regular eaters is 1500 mg (but the average person probably has 4x that amount daily). I searched for low-sodium recipes online (I can’t tell you how many normal recipes call for salt or salted ingredients) . I’ve been shopping at Trader Joe’s for the past three weekends. I’ve been making my own food (lunch and dinner), experimenting, half-relying on the recipes I found, and using my preference, of course (I like medium-spicy foods). The result is a Happy Medium. I’ve always incorporated having fruits and vegetables in my diet, before I trekked on this low-sodium quest. But now, I’m buying other things (spinach, sweet potatoes, zucchini), so as to expand my food horizons. It’s a good variety for my diet, since I might as well try to enjoy it. Trust me, I’ve had my trials (learned I don’t like steamed squash because my gagging reflex kicked in, so then I knew I had to toss the rest). Imagine my glee when I found no-salt added ketchup at Albertson’s for $3.89 for the bottle. (At Albertson’s, I also saw the whole Mrs. Dash line for $3.99 per seasoning bottle- there are at least a handful of different seasoning combinations. I’m going to try other stores to see if I can find it for less than that. I’ve also got to visit Whole Foods and Fresh & Easy for other options, for that matter. I’m having a hard time finding no-salt beans.) I really wanted ketchup though, so I bought it. Yes, it costs a little more, but think of it as a long-term investment in your health. The experiments I’m finding, has been good for me. This whole situation, though challenging, has forced a creative side in my cooking ventures (it’s been stagnant, heavily relying on frozen meals to make it a non-thinking event with virtually no prep time). In essence, it’s been rewarding. My last reading was many points below the previous reading (SCORE!). And let’s not forget why this is all so important right now, I’m pregnant, and my baby’s healthy is my top priority.
So far, I’ve made turkey meatballs (not bad, but not great, either; need to experiment further) with orzo, orzo with vegetables and chicken tenders (this was better), chicken taquitos (very good, but I could add more heat, not greasy either), veggie taquitos, taco salad (missing salad dressing, I need to find a low-sodium solution), salsa guacamole (ninja recipe), strawberry-banana smoothie (also, a ninja recipe). If I make a couple things during the week, I can have it several times, so this will cut down on prepping and cooking time. I guess I could also freeze them if I had some containers on hand. I’m going to make potstickers, mango salsa, and ice cream (ok, on a roll here, more ninja recipes, surprise, surprise) over the weekend.