Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Start weight: 218
End weight: 218
Weight lost: 0 lbs.
Weight lost since the beginning of the year: 39.5 lbs.
Total weight lost: 80 lbs.
It was my goal to lose 5 lbs. this month to bring me to my wedding weight of 213, which was almost 12 yrs. ago.
I didnít lose any weight.
I know this was a month with a lot of celebrations, for me not only Thanksgiving but a date night away and also a weekend away with family. I honestly can say that I did the best I could in these situations and Iím not going to beat myself up about not losing any weight this month. I was going to, believe me. But itís just not productive.
I've lost 80 lbs. and I think my body, and mind, need to reconcile that fact. I'm going to keep doing what feels good to me, what is working for me, and eventually the scale will reconcile that.
Iím also doing away with my ďGrade for the monthĒ as going by weight loss I would have to give myself an ďFĒ this month. But itís about more than that, isnít it? I mean, I did some pretty awesome things this month, including running two 5ks. Compare that to where I was at this time last year and itís just such an accomplishment and ďgradingĒ myself on just one area isnít really fair. Overall I am doing great, and I am on the path to a new me and we are all winners in this journey. After all, it isnít a race and as they say, itís about the journey, not the destination.
I ran the Hot Chocolate 5k and met some great spark friends, KITHKINCAID, JENNJESS48 and FARLEYGIRL even though my back was hurting me and I was nursing a cold.
I ran ANOTHER 5k this month Ė this time by myself! It was awesome. Cold, but awesome. 2 5ks in one month? Woot, woot!
I was told that I inspired two people to RUN!!! KITHKINCAID ran her first 5k at the Hot Chocolate 5k, and my best friend ran her first 5k with me at the Elvis run back in August and she has now run an 8k!!!
I saw my butt in the mirror and liked it.
More ab definition.
My husband said each day my butt gets tighter and tighter.
My comfy pregnancy camisoles now actually make me LOOK pregnant (when Iím not) whereas before they fit me just right Ė pregnant or not.
Iím having an affairÖwith my track.
I decided that Iím worth the cost of my health club membership!
I planned out a pizza dinner out by preparing for it by making healthy choices during the day, like instead of having a Nutrigrain bar for my afternoon snack at work I went to the baby carrots instead to save 140 calories.
My bras are getting too bigÖagainÖ
I ran in the rain and liked it.
I was able to buy oh, so CUTE pjs OFF THE RACK at a discount store. Unheard of in my life ďbeforeĒ.
I turned down Bakers Square French Silk pie and ate my Luna Bar instead.
A ring that hasnít fit me in forever finally fitsÖ.
...And then that same ring was too big in the same dayÖ.had to take it off to type!
I kept a food blog while in Michigan and also worked out every day there.
I prepared a healthy pie for Thanksgiving and gave my husband a Spark recipe to replace his usual butter-laden sweet potatoes.
THINGS I'VE LEARNED:
If I workout first thing in the morning, even for just 20 minutes it makes my day better and I have more energy. Combine that with a workout at night and itís like a fitness sandwich!
Low sodium soy sauce tastes the same as the high sodium stuff.
Homemade pad thai is much more filling, and less greasy, than the takeout version. And cheaper, too!
Friends are essential. Accountability buddies are priceless.
Goals are a chart to where you want to be and aiming high gets you there quicker. If not on time, eventually, rather than never.
Itís easy to fit in strength training with a band in the ladiesí room at work.
No one knows if I sleep in my work out clothes.
Itís not about the food.
I was overeating although I may have been in my calorie range.
Focusing on a certain weight to lose each month isnít working for me.
Beating myself up isnít working for me either.
Time to love myself.
Monday, November 29, 2010
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
~ Anais Nin
As you can imagine, running in place doesnít get you very far. Itís like being on a treadmill looking out of a tall glass window and the view is nice, but you never really get there. Youíre always inside, looking out.
Thatís how Iíve felt since losing 80 lbs. Iíve come to a crossroads and Iím just running in place. Itís like there is an invisible fence that I canít cross and that fence is built out of fear. Itís not a palpable fear. Itís more like this fear that is buried deep within and it is almost a nameless fear. What could I possibly be afraid of? This is what I wanted, what Iíve worked for. Iím more than halfway to goal and I can admit it now. Iím scared out of my mind. And I donít know why.
Iíve never lost this much weight. Ever. Maybe itís a fear of the unknown. Maybe itís a fear that I wonít recognize myself in the mirror without all of these layers. Or, maybe, and I think this is closer to the truth, maybe Iím afraid of shedding these layers because theyíve protected me for so long.
Theyíve protected me from getting close to anyone, including my husband of almost 12 years. Theyíve protected me from being social and putting myself in situations where I could get rejected. Theyíve protected me from being hurt. I have a past, and Iíve been hurt. And I donít want to go there again. So now that Iím more than halfway along this journey I have to face this fear. And this fear is important, because it is what has caused me to get here, to this place of being 120 lbs. overweight, obese, in fact. I ate myself to death to comfort myself. Now I feel naked and exposed. Iíve been through some dark things that I wonít write about here. But dark enough that I wanted to turn off the light, pull the covers over my head and sleep my life away. To forget about life. No ďdo oversĒ for me, just a curtain call.
Until I woke up. And similar to someone suffocating under blankets, now I am fighting for air.
And I AM a fighter.
I need to come to terms with who I am on the inside, and that yes, I may get hurt. But isnít that worth it?
Part of it is that maybe I donít think I can. Maybe this is it for me, the most weight Iíll lose. Iím healthier, yes, but Iím still overweight. For me it isnít how I look but how I feel and I donít feel like Iím out of the woods yet. I still want to continue on this journey. Want to become the person I was meant to be.
Lately I'll find that I'll have a great day with food and exercise, and then I calculate in my head how many calories more I can have and still stay within my range. And then I almost always go over that. And to be honest, Iím not really hungry. I feel like Iím just sabotaging myself and it needs to stop.
A person very close to me, so close that I wonít reveal who it was, and this person didnít mean to be hurtful when they said this, well this person compared me to a person on TV, a person who was fat. They thought they were complimenting me, and saying I had a nice butt and hips, like this person. But this person was obese and I am no longer as big as this person was. So I got upset. I felt like it was a subtle insult. And this person who loves me told me ďCome on, youíre never going to be ďthatĒ woman, that thin sort of person. Youíre always going to be bigger, and thatís fine.Ē
I canít tell you that hearing this didnít bother me or hurt me. It did. I canít tell you that hearing this didnít stall me even further, because now I have that voice in my head and I keep hearing that. I look at myself in the mirror, naked, and pinch my fat. My belly fat is the worst. And I hear that voice saying that I will never be more, I will always have this. This person that is supposed to believe in me. This person that loves me no matter what, loves the fat and the curves. But who is anyone to tell me I canít be more? I know that I wonít ever be a size 6 super model, and I think thatís what this person was trying to tell me. I donít want to be that. But donít continue to put me in a box labeled ďfatĒ, because baby, Iím breaking out of that. Iím done with that. I am up to HERE with THAT.
I watched Bee Movie the other night and loved the quote in the beginning.
ďAccording to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway; because bees don't care what humans think is impossible.Ē
I am going to do what some of my loved ones may think is impossible. Starting NOW.
Iím done with the excuses of Thanksgiving, a date night out and a weekend away. So far in November Iíve broke even with my weight. Iím right back where I started and if things go like this I wonít have lost one lousy pound this month. I ran two 5ks this month, but I have nothing on the scale to show for it.
Iím going to eat mindfully. If Iím not hungry, Iím not going to eat. Iím going to stop playing games with my mind, body and scale of letís see how much I can eat and still lose weight. Iím DONE with a capital ďDĒ.
And if you know anything about me, I hate it when people try to tell me that Iím not something, or I canít do something. I will break this plateau and I will get to the weight Iím meant to be and Iím not going to let anyone tell me different.
My WIN Wish is to reach Onederland by New Yearís Eve. Now that is looking bleak, but Iím still going to go for it, and eventually I will get there.
Itís fun proving people wrong, isnít it?
"if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come."
Become what you already are,
find Him who is already yours,
listen to Him who never ceases speaking to you,
own Him who already owns youí.
~ St Gregory of Sinai (13th Century)
Monday, November 22, 2010
So, my plan was to stay on track this weekend at the cottage and Iím happy to report I did just that!
Hereís what I said I was going to do:
Run/walk along the Kal-Haven trail Ė DONE!
Use resistance bands and strength train Ė DONE!
Backup Leslie Sansone mini miles DVD Ė DIDNíT NEED TO USE, GOT SO MANY WORKOUTS IN!
Eat healthy cereal for breakfast, eat healthy snacks like grapes, carrots, unsalted sunflower seeds and granola. Ė DONE!
Buy a water bottle and refill it often Ė DONE!
I'm only going to allow myself ONE glass of wine per day. Ė DONE Ė ALMOST!
I am not going to eat ANY crackers, chips, or cheese. One just leads to another. Ė 98% DONE!
I will bring my vitamins and eat them. Ė DONE!
NO fast food. Period. DONE!
Here's a run down of my weekend.
Thatís how the afternoon started. I left my yummy red grapes in my desk fridge at work. Oh well, I would have to continue without them. Then at the store all of the cute water bottles were gone, all that was left was a plain white or blue one. Ok, I went for blue. Then I went home and made a yummy veggie burger. No batteries in the camera yet or I would have taken a picture; I also packed my bag.
Morning Star Bacon
Goddess dressing one tb
Car ride snacks:
Half gingerbread latte w/ non-fat milk (70 cal)
Half of a brown rice krispy treat
Sunflower seeds unsalted two tb
Once into Michigan, my husband wanted to get McDonalds at the Wal Mart, but I told him my mom had made some heathy Chicken Tettrizini and it was waiting at the cottage.
Hereís what else was waiting at the cottage:
Yogurt covered pretzels
Keebler Fudge stipe cookies
Did I say wine?
I had 1 glass of wine, and then drank my water.
Then I had 5 yogurt pretzels.
Then I had another glass of wine. Now I put a stop to it, I went over my limit but I could stop it now.
I had ĺ laughing cow cheese wedge
I had 1 serving terra chips (yes, I broke my own rule wonít happen again)
1 cup of the low-fat chicken tettrazini. A second dinner, but we were up late, well past midnight.
Also at the cottage my sister, Kris (Stemmefatale) pointed out that I AM a runner because who else wears running shoes for casual wear? I looked down and it was true, I was wearing the Asics that I had bought but my feet like NB better for running, so I wore them casually now.
Picture Kris took with her cell phone.
TOTAL CALORIES FOR THE DAY: 1,941. (About 300 calories over my range.)
TOTAL CALORIES BURNED: 41
I woke up feeling good. It was 6:30 a.m. Chicago time and I'm up. Jim had taken the girls to Wal-Mart as the rest of the house was sleeping. I wanted to take advantage of this ďno kidsĒ time.
Time to run!
There was a mist over the lake. I thought it would be nice to take a walk. I got my gear on and after walking for 5 minutes I wanted to run. So I ran about 2 miles around the lake, then walked the last 5 minutes home. It was 20 min. running and 10 minutes walking for warming up and cooling down, about 2 miles total. It felt great. I burned 320 calories.
I get back for breakfast, and here's a bit of conversation from breakfast:
ďSomethingís burning.Ē (One of my sisterís boyfriends)
ďOh, thatís just the grease on the burner.Ē (My dad)
A true conversation. I love my family to death, but do you see what Iím dealing with here? LOL.
I had the following for breakfast:
2 cups coffee
1 mini blueberry muffin
ĺ cup Kashi Sunshine Puffs
ľ cup milk
Then, as promised, I had brought my resistance bands and plenty to share Ė and I did Leslie Sansoneís 30 min. firming video with my sister Missy and our kids.
Then all the girls went into town for crafts show and shopping. We ate at Clementineís and I had a healthy spinach salad with apples, walnuts, a little bit of brie and a light raspberry vinaigrette. We did order a stack of onion rings, and I wasnít going to have any but I did have 1 Ĺ
The girls at Clementine's.
Back at the cottage I had:
.5 oz. cheese its
Some terra chips
1 bowl of Smart Popcorn.
1 glass of low alcohol white wine.
Dinner: chili w/ bacon bits, .25 cup shredded cheese, Ĺ tsp. ranch dressing, a handful of oyster crackers.
After dinner I got a little stressed with a family situation involving my daughter, Lucy. Usually I would have poured a glass of wine, eaten some snacks. But this time was different. I just wanted to get out and so I put on my running shoes and took a walk with my sister, Kris. We walked for about 30 minutes, probably 2 miles. She listened to me and gave me good advice and also reaffirmed that I am a good mother. When we got back I felt so much better and I didnít eat anything else for the night other than water. I also read some verses from my bible for times of trouble. Much better than food!
TOTAL CALORIES IN FOR THE DAY: 1,666 (only 40 calories over my range)
TOTAL CALORIES BURNED: 495
I made scrambled eggs with light laughing cow cheese and a handful of bacon bits. I made enough for 6 people and had 1 serving.
I had 1 cup of coffee.
1 mini blueberry muffin
Then I went on a walk with my sister Kara, the same path I ran the morning before. It was cold and hazy out, but a perfect day for a walk. We came back feeling invigorated and she was happy she had gotten some exercise in, too.
That served as my warm-up for Zumba! My sister Kris took a class to be an instructor and she brought her DVDs. We did the cardio party and it was a blast! The kids got into it too! I only made it 35 minutes through. But I burned 250 calories, not too bad.
For lunch I had the vegetarian version of my Dadís chili, so it was a little healthier. I did add one hot dog and .25 cup of mac and cheese to it. Plus a handful of oyster crackers.
We also celebrated my sister Missy announcing she was going to have another baby, her third, and so we chilled some sparkling juice and I had a cup of that to toast.
Later we played Yahtzee and I had a glass of low alcohol wine.
Then we went walking on the Kal-Haven trail. I walked and didnít run it, but I had my daughter w/ me and we had a great time. My husband trailed us with Marlo in the car. It was nice, we walked maybe 1 mile.
Lucy running the trail.
Me and Lucy
Then we were on the road back home to Chicago. We stopped at Wendyís but I didnít order anything, instead I snacked on a Clementine orange, a cup of grapes and a Fiber One bar. I also kept drinking my water.
Do you know what itís like to sit in a car full of the smell of burgers, fries and grease? It is pure torture. But I survived, and I didnít have one fry.
On the way home we passed a billboard that said ďGet Used to MoreĒ. It was for a car.
(This is the car, but I couldn't find the actual ad and the car was moving too fast to get a pic).
I am not the sort of person who wants more, at least not with materialistic things (or at least I try not to). But I canít help but think that last year at this time, I was wanting more. More of LIFE. And my lifeÖwellÖit didnít feel worth living. I was going through the motions, and not just because of my weight, or what it held me back from, limited me to, but moreover, how it made me FEEL. I didnít feel full of life, didnít feel positive, and didnít feel like I had anything to offer anyone. I wasnít in a good place.
In this past year I have transformed.
I have been given the gift of encouragement and many Spark friends have told me that I inspire them to change, too. This is nothing short of a miracle. I thank God for this day and for the spirit inside of me to keep on moving, keep on changing, and keep on trusting. I have truly been blessed, especially in this past year. With Thanksgiving coming up this week I canít help but thinking of all that I have. And I want to pass it on, spared it around, and also take in what others here have inspired me to do.
My sister, Kris (STEMMEFATALE) inspired me to run. Kristina (KARVY09) taught me that I could be a runner and amazed me with her own running feats, the most recent running 1/2 marathon. The C25K team inspired me to train to run a 5k. Jenn (KITHKINCAID) inspired me to try Zumba. My friend Kimmah (FITNESSMISTRESS) inspired me to strength train. My faith based teams inspire me to BE more. The co-leaders of the "Women Wanting to Follow the Lord" team, Leah (PEPPERLEAH), Jewell (WCATAP) and Judith (JUDITH316) support me with encouraging others and also support me with their encouragement and friendship. Fellow members of that team, especially Paula (PAULACOLLINS) AND Deb (COLT2008). The leaders on the ďCanít Do This on my OwnĒ team; Shelly (GLITTERGIRL69) and Missy (YATMAMA) inspire me to put Jesus first. ALL of the strong, supportive women on the Sunny Gals team on the WIN Challenge spark team inspire me to push myself. The DONE girls have inspired me to be myself and love this journey and to laugh along the way. Leona (MOMFAN) inspired me with her own 100+ weight loss. The team "Christians with 100 lbs. to Lose" helps me with its seasonal challenges. And I have so many more friends that cheer me on that aren't named here. If you are one of my spark friends, you are one of those people and I thank you so very much. In my life, I have so much to be thankful for.
At home I had a snack of pita chips from Trader Joeís (110 cal) and 1 tbsp. cream cheese (40 cal), while we waited for the pizza to cook. I was starving!
For dinner we had frozen Ginoís East stuffed pizza Ė 290 cal. per slice. Then a side salad and TJís goddess dressing (60 cal) and 1 cup of 1% milk.
After the kids went to bed my husband made popcorn and I would like to tell you that I resisted. But I didnít. I didnít add any salt, however, and only had 1 serving.
TOTAL CALORIES IN: 2,175 (over by 555)
TOTAL CALORIES BURNED: 430
Iíd say I did pretty darn good this weekend. I feel that I maybe inspired some of my family to also work out during our vacation, and I shared my healthy food with anyone who wanted some. And no matter what happens on the scale, whether itís maintain, loss, or God forbid, a gain, I know that eventually the scale will show my great work this weekend.
This morning when I stepped on the scale it showed a 2 lb. gain. But you know what? I donít care. I know I did the best I could this weekend. I couldnít control the amount of sodium in the chili or the tetrazzini, I had already brought my prepared foods for breakfasts and snacks, I wasnít about to bring a cooler worth of food and not share meals with my family. I did the best with what I could. Yes, I could have said ďnoĒ to that onion ring and Ĺ. Yes, I could have only had 1 glass of wine on Friday. I could have avoided all chips. After inputting my nutrition into the tracker I realized that two of the three days I went over my calories by 300 Ė 500, despite not eating out at fast food joints, etc. This was disappointing, but also a learning experience.
Last year at this time I would have had at least 4 glasses of wine. Would have had more than 3 servings of chips. Would have eaten many slices of cheese. And I wouldnít have exercised or tracked my food all weekend. I'm learning, and even reading over my notes from the weekend I realize I could have done things a little differently, perhaps added more veggies.
But Iíd say I did my body GOOD, like the old milk ads used to say.
And I know this gain is just water weight and water retention from the sodium. It will be released when I step on the scale ďfor realĒ.
One funny and cool thing that happened this weekend was that my daughter Lucy is picking up on my habits. She was so excited to run along the Kal-Haven trail. And she saw me taking pictures of my food for my blog posts, and how I was trying to make good choices. So she came up to me on Sunday with a meal she had assembled just for me.
Here's a picture of it:
I burst out laughing. I think the dirty whale did it. But it shows that she's grasping the concepts of healthy living and eating. And that's awesome.
Also it served as a good reminder to laugh along this journey as well.
Now I'm looking forward to the challenge of Thanksgiving. And yes, there will be pictures of that, too.
Friday, November 19, 2010
A weekend plan of attack for my weekend in Michigan? Free.
Accountability buddies to keep me on track? Free.
An actual weight loss over a weekend away and 15 lbs. gone by the New Year? PRICELESS.
A week ago I was seeing fellow Sunny Gals and their great plans to lose weight by the New Year. They each had an accountability partner and a goal gift. Some had jewelry, others tattoos. A light bulb turned on in my head, and I thought - I want that. I want an accountability partner. Lately with my back injury and the colder weather I felt laziness oozing over my body and I wanted to rebel and shout, NO!
So I asked my Sunny Gals, the best team EVER, who else didn't have an accountability partner that wanted one. Tabi (TABIKATZZ) stepped up to the plate. She is an amazing woman, and just recently set up home in her new residence ONEderland, a place I want to move to come the New Year. I knew she would inspire me. Also, we both love books. I'd say it was a perfect joining together for a great accountability team!
We came up with the goal of losing 15 lbs. by January 1st. We knew that for both of us this would be a stretch, but what's a goal if it's easily attained? That's just the future. This needed to be a goal we both worked hard to achieve. My goal would put me into Onederland, and her goal would bring her that much closer to her goal weight.
We each bought a book we really wanted and wrapped it up as a visual reminder. We can only open this gift once we lose the 15 lbs. The book she chose was "Eat, Pray, Love" and the book I chose was a parallel version of the Bible that has comparisons of four major translations, all on the page next to each other. This would prove invaluable in my bible study, and I thought would be a perfect book because I want to start using it NOW.
I'm really excited about this, and I also found out that my good friend Jenn (KITHKINCAID), also wants to lose about the same amount of weight before her trip to Germany. So now I have not one, but two accountability partners!! I am set, and together we will all reach our goals.
Now onto my plan of attack for the weekend. I'm going to Michigan with my entire family and that means fattening foods galore. I'm talking eggs cooked in bacon grease, crackers everywhere and eaten all day long, popcorn, pizza, and wine just to name a few things. I don't want to see a gain from this weekend, or even maintain. I want to see a LOSS on that scale, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner.
So, here's what I'm going to do.
I've already packed my workout bag with my running shoes, HRM and thermal wicking t shirt. I have my hat, gloves and a plan to run the Kal-Haven trail and bring along as many of my family members as I can round up.
I am bringing a Leslie Sansone mini miles DVD to do in the morning or at night, and get my dad and sister to do it, too.
I'm bringing resistance bands.
I'm packing healthy cereal to eat at breakfast, bringing healthy snacks like grapes, carrots, unsalted sunflower seeds and granola.
I am going to stop on my way home and purchase a cute water bottle. I'm a sucker for beverage containers, especially cute ones, and my old water bottle somehow lost its straw. So I'm going to buy a cute water bottle and fill it OFTEN. This will keep me away from the wine and soft drinks.
I'm only going to allow myself ONE glass of wine per day.
I am not going to eat ANY crackers, chips, or cheese. One just leads to another.
I will bring my vitamins and eat them.
NO fast food. Period. If I am forced to go through a drive-through I will order a salad with healthy dressing or a grilled chicken sandwich. But I am making my dinner tonight so that I can eat while driving and not stop through a drive-through.
That is all.
I will also post a blog report on Monday on how I did, AND weigh myself Monday morning as an added kick-in the butt.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
This week our WIN challenge calls for a blog about sodium. It was a goal to track our sodium this week and also share our thoughts.
Iíve stayed within my range all week. Here are my numbers from the past 5 days. The range is to have less than 2,300 mgs:
2,126 (This is high because I added SALT to my popcorn)
Iíve actually stayed within my range since really revamping my diet. A few months ago I started the Flat Belly Diet (FBD), but with viewing it as more of an eating ďplanĒ and not a ďdietĒ. I agree with those that think the word ďdietĒ is truly a 4-letter word.
I used to always go over my sodium limit and my Spark tracker would show me this. I would Google tips on how to reduce my sodium, how to get it under control, but I always failed. I thought it was impossible.
Well once I started the FBD my sodium naturally went down to an acceptable level. I learned that the FBD is really just a way of eating more ďcleanĒ and avoiding all of those processed foods I ate before. I have since learned that the FBD is a good introduction to eating clean in general and a great starting point for beginners, like me, who relied on frozen Lean Cuisine meals to get me through lunch, or snacked on the ďlow-fatĒ Pringles, thinking I was doing a healthy thing. With this new way of eating, I was eating way more fruits and vegetables and hardly any processed foods. So I think if you do just ONE thing, it's to stop eating processed foods.
I was counting calories, sure, but the weight was barely coming off. Once I got my sodium under control I lost inches in my waistline and the scale finally started moving.
Sodium is one of those things that we need Ė but in moderation. So itís tricky. Did you know that just one teaspoon of table salt has 2,325 milligrams of sodium?? Thatís more than the daily required allowance. A pinch here and a pinch there really can add up. And it's not just added table salt that is the enemy here. Many processed and prepared foods contain LOTS of sodium.
According to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Dietary Department, on average, Americans digest more than three pounds of sodium annually, mostly through salt. (Salt and sodium are not the same. Salt is made up of both sodium and chloride.) Foods we eat may contain low traces of salt but still contain sodium.
Sodium does have its good points. Sodium:
Helps maintain the right balance of fluids in your body
Helps transmit nerve impulses
Influences the contraction and relaxation of muscles
Controls blood pressure.
Keeps a level of positive and negative charged particles in fluids and tissues.
Keeps calcium and other minerals dissolvable in the blood stream and sodium aids against sunstroke.
Our bodies only need so much. According to The Vitamins and Nutrition Center Web site we only need 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day, or a single teaspoon of table salt. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Dietary Department states that the human body only NEEDS 500 milligrams of sodium each day. However, the body can safely handle as much as 3,300 milligrams daily.
So what if you have too much? Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure or swelling in the feet, ankles, and legs. An overabundance of sodium also can cause osteoporosis because sodium enhances calcium loss. Too little sodium can lead to dehydration.
When we use less sodium and salt our liking for salty foods decreases over time. To cut down on sodium we can:
Read labels to find food with less sodium.
Taste foods before adding salt and then add less salt during cooking and at the table.
Use spices for flavoring instead of salt.
Use garlic or onion powder instead flavored salts like garlic salt or onion salt.
Eat more fresh foods and fewer processed foods.
Opt for low-sodium products. If you do buy processed foods, choose those that are labeled "low sodium."
Remove salt from recipes whenever possible.
Use herbs, spices and other flavorings to enhance foods.
Stay away from condiments. One tablespoon (15 milliliters) of soy sauce, for example, has about 1,000 mg of sodium.
So how much do YOU need?
According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:
Don't exceed 2,300 mg of sodium a day if you're a healthy adult.
Don't exceed 1,500 mg of sodium a day if you have high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes; you are black; or you're middle-aged or older.
Taste alone may not tell you which foods are high in sodium. For example, you may not think a bagel tastes salty, but a typical 4-inch oat-bran bagel has about 532 mg of sodium.
The bottom line? Avoid products with more than 200 mg of sodium per serving.
Your taste for salt is acquired, so you can learn to enjoy less. Decrease your use of salt gradually and your taste buds will adjust. After a few weeks of cutting back on salt, you probably won't miss it.
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