I’m not going to say I think cardiologists know what they’re talking about, but in the matter of no sodium/extremely low sodium in the diet I believe they’re correct in spite of the fact they said it. I’d always thought if a person didn’t eat canned goods and didn’t salt his food he was on a low sodium diet. But when I left the hospital they handed me a sheet of paper and took the trouble to read it to me as though I couldn’t read it for myself.
2000 mg. 2 grams of sodium per day these people were unsmilingly demanding I confine myself to. And they sent along a list of food items in one column and how much salt each contained per one-measure-or-another.
I could see with one eye these ivory tower quacks didn’t know what they were talking about. Heck, I’m betting there’s never been a day of my life when I wasn’t fasting when I didn’t consume more than two grams of salt.
So when I arrived back at Jeanne’s I slouched toward low sodium, waved the bloody flag at it, but was completely reasonable. Non-fanatic, not any sort of no-salt extremist anyone need fear. And noticed a rapid decline in my physical capabilities concurrently.
You all know by now I enjoy messing around cooking and experimenting with food preparation in sometimes bizarre ways. And since I was losing my ability to walk any distance, I figured what the hell? Jeanne got me a couple of books from the library on no salt and lowest sodium cooking, and I began concocting all manner of experimental food with no salt, or so little salt as to pass for none. 2 grams? Ha! I spit on 2 grams! 1 gram until I get this down pat.
Cilantro! Onion powder! Tomato powder! Lime juice powder! Molasses. Garlic. Dill. These are the soldiers, the legions of the war against salt.
Began making chips from steamed sticky rice rolled down thin and baked. Made the best catsup I’ve ever eaten in my life from tomato powder, lime juice powder, molasses and rice vinegar. Made an absolute jewel of guacamole with garlic, green onion, jalapeno, avocado, tofu, and cilantro. Deeeeelicious!
Made a soy sauce alternative from black strap molasses and vinegar, along with a few other spices.
And after a couple of days of less than two grams, yesterday I walked to the end of the block and back, one-way being an uphill grade. Didn’t get knocked to my knees by my top-kick drill instructor, either.
So I doubt those cardiologists know what the hell they’re talking about, but sometimes even a blind hog finds an acorn. A person doesn’t have to know what he’s talking about to be correct.
More than 25 years ago, I father had to cut out all sodium. We found Mrs. Dash (seasoning in multiple levels of taste and flavorings). I hadn’t considered alternatives after Mrs, Dash. They have so many flavors now, but YOUR ‘recipe hints’ at flavoring drive me to distraction. 🙂
Hi Tess: Mr and Mrs Dash are still around, still offering up a range of salt-free flavorings. Not bad stuff insofar as the ones I’ve tried. But mine are definitely more innovative, imaginative and worthy of the human taste-bud. Gracias, J
Glad to hear you know your way around a kitchen to please your taste buds. 🙂
Home-made rather than ‘factory-made’ is more wholesome.
Hi Rich. Good seeing you here. Jack
Red pepper flakes, black pepper, assorted herbs and spices and in a month you won’t miss the salt. In fact, you may not like it anymore. Experience speaking
Hi Tim: I’m looking forward to the day. There’s good stuff to be had out there under all that salt if a person can dig down to where it is. Gracias, J
Good to have you back on line 🙂
Thankee gayleenv. J
Glad to see you back, salt or no…
Hi Trapper. Thanks and Likewise. Jack
Sorry to hear about your health problems, but I see you have taken the bull by the horns. That diet, if it don’t kill you first, will make you feel much better. Glad it is working for you.
Hi DizzyDick: I came by the health problems honest, earned them and I’d be shirking to complain about getting my pay for the life I’ve lived. I’m grateful, though, there appear to be some modes of existence allowing a person to slip through cracks of consequence a while longer. Gracias, J
Healthier food choices will probably keep you around a while longer, and that is what we all want.
Hi Bev: Thanks. Probably tofu’s a bad enough punishment for the kind of living I did so’s the Coincidence Coordinators can allow me to suffer it in good conscience a while. Gracias, J
Good to have you back Old Jules
Thank you Simon. J
Look at you GO! You’re making a lot of people happy by just showing up.
Everyone should be so lucky as to have a Jeanne in their lives. I will keep my eyes peeled for salt alternatives and pass along anything interesting.
Thanks, elroyjones. The sneaky thing about all this is the natural sodium in some foods… like an egg has 65 mg. all by itself (it’s all in the white) and that tomato powder has 38 mg. per half cup. Milk, no matter what degree of fat, has around 100 mg per cup, but pure cream has none. It boggles the mind. Luckily, fats are not a problem, only sodium.
Foam plastic has 35 mg of sodium, Jeanne, so I’m tossing this stuff the stew meat came in. Besides, it tastes exactly like tofu. Jack
Hi Jeanne, I drive my husband nuts at the grocery store because I read the labels, of course, I don’t retain what I’ve read and if it’s something I don’t often buy I read the label every time. Eating requires diligence…go figure!
Hi elroyjones: I’d be in a pickle at the moment if Jeanne wasn’t here and someone else lived in this place, caught me hanging out chopping up veggies on their cutting boards, cooking things up in their stewpots, blending jalapeno and avocado in their blender. Sifting clumps out of their cat litter box. Likely they’d call the law and I’d get hauled off in irons to wheresomeever Jeanne was. Or to the slammer if they thought these herbs I’m using might be capable of making a person feel better. I’d be obliged if you come up with some tasteful alternatives to pizza with anchovies, for instance. Gracias, Jack
I’ll see what I can find out. You make me laugh, glad you’re feeling better.
I wonder how you might like seaweed? When I was a kid growing up on the Atlantic coast we used to chew on dulce, which had a great salty flavor but has much less sodium than practically anything else I can think of. I imagine it would add good flavor to most anything you put it in. Let me know if it’s a safe possibility for you and I’ll hunt some down. I was in the health food store yesterday discussing your quandary and it hit me like a brick- seaweed! If this won’t work I’ll keep looking. I’m pretty sure I have Jeanne’s address somewhere around here. Another thing that might help you out is to eat more crunchy foods, different textures to fool your taste buds.
Never mind seaweed is low in a bunch of other things but naturally high in sodium, back to the drawing board.
My first intro to low sodium cooking was my step-mom’s Thai dishes, made without the usual MSG. Molasses, peppers and various herbs made for some tasty, fancy meals.
Thankee swabby. Jack
Sounds like you are getting a good handle on the diet. Heck, you’ll be kicking up your heels in no time. Glad you are better.
Momlady: I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’ve always had a lot to learn and managed to survive it. Gracias, Jack
So good to come here and see that you’ve posted. Puts smiles on our faces.
Brenda: Thanks. Jack
Glad the low salt is making you feel better. About 9 years ago I had an episode that appeared to be my heart. In the ER they gave me potassium tabs and NaCl IV solution. After the heart monitor for two days and all kinds of nothing from the doc I went to a specialist that I knew (class he lectured to us one day in & was a family member’s heart doc) who finally answered my question of what I could do to keep it from happening. After hemming and hawing a while he finally told me to eat some salt on my food. I had used a low salt diet since my first pregnancy some nearly 40 years earlier , apparently when I should not have. He did say I was a rare exception. I can tell when I need salt because I get real weak and nothing but some salt with a glass of water will help. It is kind of like the electrolysis of colloidal silver, some salt in the water (blood in humans) makes the electrical current do it’s job and I was to low on the salt.
So follow the doc’s advice since you have found it works in your situation so we can have the pleasure of your writing and wit for longer. You put a smile on our faces and sometimes a good hard belly laugh. Blessings, Mary
Hi Mary: I’m thinking sodium salt got into trouble trying to be all things to all people, picked up bad cess and bad press along the way. Interesting anecdote about your low sodium saga. Gracias, J
You might want to consider reading the book or watching the CD of Forks over Knives. We adapted this eating plan almost two years ago and have found that it has helped our health tremendously. The title of the book refers to forks winning over surgeon’s scalpels (the knives). The best of luck to you.
Nan and John: Thanks. I’ll definitely consider watching the CD of Forks over Knives. Seen so many about guns over knives and bows and arrows over knives it would be refreshing to see some change. Gracias, J
I found this http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/is-seaweed-good-for-you I don’t know if the information is reliable enough to take a chance on.
elroyjones: thankee. I love seaweed and would eat a lot of it when it’s readily available, or once did. Nowadays I’ve got a suspicion Pacific seaweed would be a good place to pick up whatever measure of gamma radiation a person might feel he needs. Lately I’ve been trying to cut down on my gamma radiation ingestion though I’ve got nothing against it as a genre, and certainly am not anti-Japanese gamma radiation. In fact, when I’m in the mood for gamma radiation I go out of my way to buy fish and other ocean products saturated by Japanese nuclear power plant radiation. I’m just not in the mood for it lately. Jack
Thank you for the low-sodium recipe ideas. I’ve been looking for a soy sauce/teriyaki sauce substitute for a while now and you post really helped!
Bethers: glad you found it useful. Gracias, J