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SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (246,873)
Fitness Minutes: (41,351)
Posts: 26,780
4/27/14 4:01 A

Rather than using ham and other processed meats, substitute and use fresh meat.

Have you thought about sitting at a table preparing veges? I have often put a chair to the bench and done this. I don't peel much in veges, either - I cook and eat the entire thing - even pumpkin skin if I have baked it.

When you are feeling up to it, why not cook cook some casseroles and put chopped up veges into it, extending it. Use herbs rather than salt. I sometimes make an Apricot Chicken dish. I used the dried baking apricots. You can get away with no salt on that, quite easily. Containerize the meals into single serves and freeze. Then when you are tired, haven't got the time or not well, you have still got good nutritious meals (saves heaps of money, too, because you use one lot of power/gas and can save by bulk buying meat/veges :-)

Below is a link to the Mayo Clinic's Heart Healthy Recipes - they should be low sodium:

Good luck,

ALIUHOHS SparkPoints: (2,079)
Fitness Minutes: (2,450)
Posts: 56
4/26/14 4:29 P

ARTISTICJEN, if your insurance doesn't cover seeing a dietitian, check out some other resources in your area. For example, our YMCA has a dietitian who is a free resource to all Y members. If a person's income falls within a certain range, they can become a member for free as well. Our local chapter of the American Heart Association holds several free to the public sessions each year where they focus on heart healthy eating. Attendees of the sessions are given lots of information, including recipes for low sodium dishes. Even if a session isn't scheduled in your area, they may be able to refer you to someone who can help you.

I wish you all the best and hope you this becomes much easier for you!!!

4/26/14 9:01 A

Thanks for sharing more.
I am glad to learn that 1200 mg is working well for you.

Yes, you are going to have to do much more "scratch" cooking than the average person. But this is how you will keep control.

It may be easiest to split the 1200 mg into 3 meals and snacks.
That gives you about 300 mg for each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and 300 for your snacks.

Now start searching for entrée recipes that have about 250 or less mg of sodium in a serving. Test these recipes to see if you like them. If you like them then save them in your recipe box, recipe notebook, or on the computer, etc. You can then round out this entrée with fruits and veggies and a few other low sodium foods.

While you can search on-line, I also suggest visiting your local library for cookbooks that are to be low sodium. This can also help with new ideas and creativity.

Another good site would be the MRS. DASH site. This is a no-sodium flavoring and the recipes would easily fit your need.

This will help you to build your go-to meals.


4/25/14 9:26 P

Becky, yes, it's a level my doctor has prescribed. I was on it when I was in the hospital, it worked perfectly for me, so he wanted me to continue it at home.,I'm one of those people who does nothing without doc approval.

Unfortunately, my insurance won't cover a dietician visit. The best my doctor could do was he sent me to a 1 hour class for people who have high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. All that did was go over reading labels.

Like all things, this is a work in progress. It won't be solved in a day, more than likely it'll have to develop. In the meantime, I'll have to wing it.

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. I'm still looking over them.

Edited by: ARTISTICJEN at: 4/25/2014 (21:32)
4/25/14 3:26 P

1,200 milligrams of sodium or less daily is very restrictive.
Most low sodium meal plans are below 2,000 and some below 1, you can see that 1,200 is very, very restrictive. I assume this is the amount your doctor gave you???

You may want to check out recipes by the American Heart Association too.

And you may want to ask your doctor for a referral to see a Registered Dietitian in your area since your needs are much more restrictive than this site provides for our members.

Your SP Registered Dietitian

4/25/14 3:15 P

The Liver Foundation website has some recipes on it and may have other resources that you can use.

Here's an offer for a cookbook that may be helpful.

And this is a section of a forum on MD Junction where people can discuss things that have worked for them in managing certain illnesses. This may or may not be helpful, but it looks like it's full of people who would understand what you're going through.

Edited by: CALLMECARRIE at: 4/25/2014 (15:17)
NIRERIN Posts: 14,247
4/25/14 1:47 P

when you do decide to step back in, use the
see today's full report
button at the bottom of the tracker. this will let you see which ingredients have the most sodium all on one page instead of having to click each ingredient separately. once you know the biggest sodium culprits you should be able to adjust fairly easily. because you won't have to create a whole recipe, just find another x that has less sodium in it. so if broth is called for, using 1/4 or 1/3 or 1/2 the broth called for and using plain water for the rest of the liquid can cut the sodium dramatically without difficulty. if your recipe calls for beans, cook your own from dried. a cup canned is about 370 sodium a cup cooked from dried is like 30. i'm not as good with meat, but if you bought fresh pork instead of cured pork you could use that in your recipe and not have to worry. generic fresh pork bits seem to have under 300 sodium per pound, which seems like it would be workable. if you can't do the work yourself, ask where you buy. i know my local grocery store will cook any of the raw meats and fishes for a small fee [steaming seafood is like $1 or something like that] and you'd have to add sales tax as well. i know my local butcher would cook it for you, especially if you were a regular and they knew you had issues. and on that note, my local butcher will also make any of their sausages salt free. all you have to do is call in advance and tell them how much you want, and they'll take out that portion of the sausage for you before they season it and then season it with everything but salt.

Edited by: NIRERIN at: 4/25/2014 (13:52)
4/25/14 1:15 P

I'm just going to take a step back from it right now. I've wasted so many hours on this the last 2 days, I'm so frustrated. I need to do something else one come back to this later.

I've deleted the 2 recipes that used ham, but that now leaves me short a meal those days.

My Sierra Mist addiction isn't helping me any. emoticon Never realized how much sodium was in it until I started tracking it on SP. Heck, never realized exactly how much of it I drank (108 ounces) compared to water (0).

I don't own a salt shaker, no salt in the house. I've noticed most food doesn't need it.

Here I go again, beginning to obsess about it.

Walking away. Time to go meditate, refocus my energy.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
4/25/14 12:56 P

It's ok.

Can you give examples of the food in the recipes that cause the sodium spikes? What are the foods that are causing the problem?

Like chicken's normally off the charts sodium wise, but they do have a low sodium version, but even better - is homemade, which is easy peasy to make!

I don't know what the foods are for you, but I use a lot of spices in my cooking - I avoid canned veggies, use salt butter, I make my own sauces, dressings, etc, which helps a lot, too.

4/25/14 12:53 P

LuAnn, that's what I've been trying to do, but it just doesn't seem to help. I need to keep my salt around 1200mg, but I'm always 400-600mg over every day.

I hate being sick. I have non alcoholic cirrhosis amongst other things. So I have to keep the salt down as I tend to gain fluid, which means a trip to the hospital.

Thanks guys. It's just so frustrating.

4/25/14 12:50 P

Thanks Eelpie. Some of those will work. Unfortunately a lot of them are over my protein limits. It's just so hard.

I know the type of diet I'm supposed to be on, but it more and more looks like I'll be stuck eating the same meals over and over again... the rest of my life emoticon

Add in the fact that I can't stand for very long, which hampers cooking.

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 25,994
4/25/14 12:39 P

"When I do, the sodium is way over my limit."

You should be able to identify the specific items that are high sodium (with your food tracker here on Spark).
Avoid those!

4/25/14 12:35 P

I too encourage limiting the amount of salt used in recipes; and substituting no-sodium flavoring options such as herbs, spices, Mrs. Dash type products, vinegars, lemon juice, fruit juice, etc

Your SP Registered Dietitian

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
4/25/14 12:27 P

Are the recipes calling for ingredients that contain a lot of sodium?

I've never seen their recipes, so I don't know what kinds of ingredients they call for.

Can they be substituted?

I keep my sodium at about 1500 (lol, on a good day) - which is not too hard, because I eat non-processed foods only.

Have you looked for recipes online from the Dash diet? This is an overview of it:

And here are some recipes I found with a quick google search:

Edited by: EELPIE at: 4/25/2014 (12:36)
4/25/14 12:16 P

I'm hoping someone can help with this. Love the recipes here on SP, but I can't use most of them. Ug.

I have very specific nutritional needs. I can meet my protein, fat and carbohydrate limits. When I do, the sodium is way over my limit.

I've spent hours trying to adjust recipes, but it didn't help. And I'm just not someone who can create a recipe off the top of my head, lol. And when I do, ALL limits are way over. emoticon

I'm hoping someone can help or at least point me in the right direction.

Thank you so much in advance.


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