Way back over Christmas break, I had a problem with my foot and wound up at the local emergency room. The doctors took care of my foot problem, and though I’m still not 100% what caused it (and that’s a story I don’t think we want to get too in depth with here), they discovered my blood pressure rate was running exceptionally high.
I’ve always had varying degrees of high blood pressure, but I’m not sure it had ever been as high as it was that day. I spent several extra hours in the emergency room as they gave me medication to bring my blood pressure down, and was told to see my doctor as soon as possible. Because this was the holidays, it was a few days before I could get a doctor’s appointment, but I was able to get in and see him. I’ve dealt with weight and blood pressure issues for a while, and so most of what he said I’d heard before, and even if I didn’t do it well enough, I did understand.
The only major bit of news was that he wanted me to severely cut back on sodium. In fact, what he said was ‘No salt’, which I meant to mean ‘No Sodium’. While I knew it wouldn’t be easy, I was shocked when I started reading labels. So in addition to getting on some medication for my blood pressure, I started reading labels very carefully and realized that if I wasn’t going to have any sodium, there would be VERY little food I could eat. Heck, even an 8 oz glass of milk had about 60 mg of sodium in it.
So I do start watching my sodium, more oatmeal for breakfast instead of bagels or toast (my bagels had over 1000 mg of salt per bagel, and I frequently ate two for breakfast). Then two weeks later I went back to the doctor to check the blood pressure, and to have a talk about the sodium situation. He understood my frustrations, but apparently I had misunderstood, and when he said ‘No salt’ he meant not to add salt to my food, and asked that I try to keep my sodium intake to about 2000 mg per day.
So since then, I’ve been trying to keep the sodium down, and I’m usually pretty good about keeping it between 1500 and 2500 mg per day. I’ve picked up some seasoning mixes that don’t include salt. My favorite is probably McCormick’s Hot Shot, a combination of chili pepper and black pepper. I rarely pick up the salt shaker when cooking, or at the table. The only foods where I’ve found I can’t quite give up the sprinkle of salt is steaks and corn on the cob.
While there’s still much to be done, I do think I’ve done well, and am trying to keep my eyes out for new ways to cut back. Do you have any recipes or products to recommend that would help in my quest?
Peace, Love, and Bacon Grease!