I've been horrified by how much sodium is in everything! My mother and her fiancÚ had precooked ham the a couple nights ago. 1110 mg of sodium in THREE OUNCES! I had to take a pass on that one. If I'm going to eat ham, it's going to be freshly prepared ham, baked in the oven. That tastes better AND is better for me. 1330 mg of sodium in a can of Goya dark red kidney beans! I asked my mother to buy me some DRIED kidney and black beans next time she goes grocery shopping, and I'll prepare those instead.
Some days my sodium has been almost 7000 mg in a day! My great uncle, who I was named after, died from a salty-snackfood-induced heart attack shortly before I was born. I don't want to go the same route!
So I've been trying to replace one meal a day with salad, with a little protein and fat to keep me satisfied. It's cutting down on my sodium AND my cholesterol, and it's easy to prepare. Put a slice of whole wheat bread in the toaster, which takes 10 seconds, until it's hard. Meanwhile, chop up a head of Romaine lettuce: 30 seconds. Half a cucumber: 20 seconds. A cup of fresh, sliced mushrooms: 10 seconds. A quarter cup of sliced red onion: 60 seconds. A bell pepper: 60 seconds. Chop up the toast for croutons: 30 seconds. Two tablespoons each of extra virgin olive oil, and cider or red wine vinegar: 60 seconds. Half a cup of part-skim ricotta or a cup of fat-free yogurt: 15 seconds. Add 120 seconds to organize the ingredients and the bowl, and 120 seconds to clean the cutting board, knife, and measuring utensils. It's about a nine minute prep time, and it's delicious and filling. (It might stuff you until you puke
if you're not a 5'11", broad-framed man with a hearty appetite like me, but it's just as easy to have half of it and put the other half in the refrigerator for the next day.)
I want to do well enough on my diet, sodium and cholesterol included, that when Easter arrives, I can cheat on my diet a bit, without having to worry about ruining it. And I think I can do it!