Saturday, August 18, 2012
Doing a lot of experimenting here, and here's my take on the lower sodium options I've tried so far, some I plan to try soon, and some strategies I am learning. I will ask your forgiveness, though, for not listing the mg sodium/serving on each of these...I'd have to turn out my pantry to do it!
Bush's Lower Sodium Black Beans (and other beans) - this may be a lower sodium version than the original, but it still packs a whallop for those of us seriously trying to control the salt.
Blue Runner No Salt Added Creole Cream Style Navy Beans (also available with Red Beans) - this is extremely low sodium, and a good choice if you've figured out a lo- or no-salt seasoning blend you can use with it, because it tastes like absolutely nothing otherwise! bleh! I added onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, black pepper, thyme, parsley...and it was still extremely bland while burning my lips. Strange.
Crown Prince No Salt Added Sardines (100g package=1 serving) - not bad, a little fishy, but I like that. I mostly use this on a salad, rather than by itself. A bit bland, but it's okay since my salads usually have a sharp, vinegar taste.
Polar Kipper Snacks - 2 servings/can - I usually eat both servings at once - smoked & tasty, not too high on sodium. I'll eat these straight, or on a salad...haven't tried a sandwich, they're kinda drippy for that.
StarKist Selects Very Low Sodium Chunk White Albacore Tuna - nice option to add some protein to a salad, a sandwich, a snack. Pricey compared to "regular" tuna, though.
Ezekiel Bread - any variety. I haven't tried the Low Sodium (which actually has 0mg/serving!), but that's my next test. I'm told it's like eating cardboard. We'll see.
Sandwich Thins - several brands...I have to be careful though, some of the brands use sucralose (Splenda), and I can't have that at all. Nature's Own and Orowheat use stevia, which is great. It's not a low-sodium bread, but since the overall serving size is fairly small, so is the overall sodium.
Chick-Fil-A options - a small waffle fries has only 150mg sodium...try to beat that at any other fast food place! The side salad is a good filler bit, the only appreciable sodium is in the cheese. The Chargrilled & Garden Salad is great, and the Chargrilled & Fruit Salad is even better, only watch those dressings & toppings! The lowest sodium dressing option is the Spicy dressing, or you can just ask them for a couple wedges of lemon to squeeze on your salad. If you have the Chargrilled & Garden Salad with the sunflower seeds, the croutons and a whole package of dressing, you'll be pushing 1000mg (or more, depending on the dressing). Just be aware. For b'fast there, the multigrain oatmeal is fabulous! The roasted nut blend is salt free, and the dried fruit blend is too. Very nice and hearty, bursting with flavor. And fairly inexpensive!
Chili's options - The Caribbean Salad with Chicken, including the dressing, is quite low in sodium for a place like Chili's, especially if you only eat half (which is plenty, it's huge!). Their little guacamole side has almost no salt, and if you must (I did!), you can get the Roasted Guacamole & Salsa Appetizer with chips (ask them to serve the chips without salting them). The sodium is the most reasonable on these items of anything on the menu. Well...the cheesecake with strawberry puree is low in salt too. But, beware the desserts with chocolate!
I've almost cut out mayo, which is weird since I love it...but plain yellow mustard is lower in sodium than mayo. Go figure.
Boar's Head Deli Meats (if you can find a store that carries it) has a low sodium roast beef, a low sodium turkey, a low sodium lacy swiss, and I'm sure there are other varieties available, that's just what's available here.
Sam's Club carries a brand, CastleWood, I think, whose swiss is excellent on sodium.
We have a Cost+ store here, Mizer's Foods, and they carry Kretchsmar Deli Meats. While not specifically low sodium, the bacon-encrusted turkey isn't too bad if you have it now and then, and their Amish Pride Big Eye Swiss is only 70mg/oz serving...and honestly, if you have them slice it thin, each slice will be around 0.5 oz, and 35mg sodium. Kretschmar also has a new Garlic & Herb Chicken, but I haven't found the nutrition info on it yet. (These are the things I do on days when I know I can swing a little extra salt.)
I just bought a few bags of frozen beans, to begin making my own seasoned beans, so I don't have to worry about the sodium in canned stuff. Planning on doing the same with greens and other vegetables. (The frozen veggies are mostly so I can just grab and go for my work lunches...nuke 'em there.)
I just spent $6 on a loaf of Ezekiel Low Sodium bread, and I hope I can handle complete and utter salt-less-ness. If not, I'll eat it anyway (can't stand to waste food OR money!), and let folks know how I manage.
A huge thing that I've done that is really helping me manage the sodium and any resultant water retention, is to begin taking minerals, primarily magnesium (transdermal use - through the skin - is a very effective way to supplement magnesium without stomach issues). Also taking DE (diatomaceous earth) for the silica, taking potassium, boron & zinc, as well as a cacium-magnesium-D oral supplement. Be happy to fill anyone in on what I've learned on all this. Might even blog about it later.
Oh, and one last thing...White corn tortilla chips, if you limit yourself to the serving size of 9 chips, will not overwhelm your sodium measures for the day unless you are on a severely restricted diet.
Wow, this is really long!
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Okay...when you're planning to eat out, MAKE SURE you've recorded the correct nutrition figures for the items you're interested in. Made that mistake with Chili's today.
For the record, the Caribbean Salad with Grilled Chicken is awesome and has really good numbers, even with the dressing! Only, I recorded the numbers for the side of guacamole, not the full appetizer of guac, salsa & chips! Had a slight shock when I put it in the tracker.
However, what went right was the sodium. My friend and I split everything, and managed to keep the sodium reasonable. Even with that as only one of my meals, I still barely topped 1500mg for the day.
Note to self: if someone brings an unexpected birthday cake to Bible study (had no idea anyone was having a bday), and you haven't updated your tracker yet for the evening, skip the cake. ('twas another mistake today, with both errors bringing me nearly 1000 cal over budget. )
I can't stay up long enough to exercise off those calories today, so I'll have to chalk it up to a lesson learned, and keep plugging away.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
This has been another day when I just can't get myself even to the bottom of my calorie range, even though I had half a blueberry cake donut this afternoon. It's strange...
I tried something new today, fixing up a can of Blue Runner No Salt Added Creole Cream Style Navy Beans. Really looking for ways to cut out the salt, and have quick-fix, protein-rich "lunches" to bring to work, that won't kill me on sodium.
Anyway...added that to brown rice and made a meal. Well, technically, I made 2 1/2 meals. I took one with me to work, and it was filling. That's about the best I can say for it, even though I doctored it up with garlic, onion, cumin, parsley, cayenne...... No salt...ugh.
Then, I get home and my roommates have cooked. Guess what they cooked? Cream-style Navy Beans! I'm sorry, but I don't want beans twice in one day (and my roommates don't want me to, either!). Plus, I was way over-balance on the carb side from my lunch. For dinner, I ended up eating 3oz of deli meat (not too terribly bad on sodium), chased by a 1/4 cup of raw cashews and a couple squares of Lindt Excellence chocolate. The only reason I ate the nuts & chocolate was to get more calories in, wasn't really in the mood for it, so I didn't relish it.
I still am nearly 200 calories shy of the bottom of my range, and I'm just done. My carbs are near the top of the range, I'm smack dab in the middle of my fat range, but I'm only about 60% of my protein range. I feel icky. No energy, draggy. Each time I've done the higher carb (to fit the SP range), I don't feel well. I do much better with keeping my protein in range and allowing my fats to go over range (I use coconut oil, olive oil, mainly), while letting my carbs be whatever they're going to be.
So, my protein is low, my calories are low, but my carbs are in range and I feel just, wrong. My salt's excellent today, though! hehe
Now...Wednesday's going to be tough...it'll be a crazy work schedule and I won't be able to prepare my foods like usual. Will have to eat out at least one meal. Hope we'll be somewhere close to a Chick-Fil-A.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
I just want to express a pet peeve of mine: the height-weight charts doctors use to tell you if you're "normal", "overweight", "obese"... (And don't get me started on the use of "obese"...)
At my height, just shy of 5'4", I'm told by doctors that I should be 115 pounds. I'm sorry, that's laughable, as I'd be a skeleton at that weight. As an adult, I was healthiest at 145, looked great, and felt wonderful. I got seriously ill when I tried to lose more. The reason I tried was because the docs said I should be 30 pounds lighter. At that time, a lot of my weight was muscle, as I was very active, walking to work, biking 10+ miles/day just to run errands, and using the gym regularly for weight work. I think perhaps I had lost to the point that cutting further calories caused me to start burning muscle, hence getting ill. Not sure on that, it's only a theory.
Some docs still tell me I should be 115, but thankfully, there are other charts now being used by some (apparently, not all). Here's one: http://www.healthchecksystems.com/heightwe
According to this one, if I'm a medium frame, I should be between 124-138, which is a little more realistic, though I can't see me getting that low. After following their frame-measurement directions, I'm on the upper end of a medium frame, perhaps am even a large frame. If so, then my ideal weight range would be 134-151, which fits reality a bit better.
Either way, I'm in this for my health. I'll never be a stick, I'm not built for it, nor do I want to be. I like having some girly curves...especially now that I'm seeing them again! Health is my main goal. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Well, my weigh-in was good...exactly, even with decimals, 2 pounds down from last week. Given my strange week, I'm very happy with that.
Lunch was a long time coming today after church, and I wanted something with a lot of veggies, but didn't want to cook. So, knowing I'd be paying the sodium piper later, I splurged on a large side of mixed veggies (ate half) and a single serving of a yummy beef entree. I also got an order of veggie spring rolls. (Shhh) Anyway, when all was said and done, the calorie count wasn't very high, but my salt is sky-high. So, I'll be paying for that (see the nod to the piper above).
So...after all that, I went with some friends to the local shooting range to get in some pistol practice, to hone my trigger control. We were out there, in the heat, for over an hour and a half, and I had a really good time, and wore my trigger finger out. Did you know that an hour of target shooting uses nearly 100 calories/hour (at my age, height, weight)? That's pretty awesome! Plus, today was REALLY hot, and I think I dropped about 5 pounds in water!
Anyway...I felt like a treat, and was going to get a daiquiri, but ended up at Sonic instead, and got a mini Blast. When I tracked it on SP, I was a little shocked at the calories. Knew it would be high, but thought no more than 400-450...it's 520. And, nearly another 300 mg sodium!!!! Oy!
So, while I still have 100-450 calories left, I'm over-budget on salt. Dinner's gonna be interesting. If I finish the Chinese veggies, that adds yet another 540 mg sodium. I will likely just do a huge green salad with some no salt-added sardines, or a boiled egg or something. At this point, I'm considering not eating anything else, but I know I won't make it to bedtime without something, unless I go to bed like NOW...which I'm considering.
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