Hi again, Sodium!

Yes, it’s been a while since my last post but I’m still here, I promise! Here’s a novel to explain where I’ve been during the last 10 days:

The thing is, “cutting back on my sodium” gets really frustrating when I go off the deep end and EVERYTHING starts seeming like a “bad sodium choice” because it has sodium in it. Any sodium at all.  Let’s just say it culminated in a sad incident at Whole Foods wherein I was already very hungry, tired, and stressed when I walked up to the prepared foods section and sheepishly inquired about the sodium content of their offerings. The nice man behind the counter ever so gently informed me that gee, he really wished there was something for me, but everything is seasoned with salt and pepper so he can’t be sure if anything is ‘low sodium’ and so he’s very sorry, but Does Not Have Anything For Me.

I naturally translated that in my head as, “You can never merrily break bread with friends and family because you are not allowed to eat normal food that everybody else enjoys in a carefree manner.”  In my already weakened state, I thanked him anyway and began wandering the aisles as my eyes welled up with tears, at which point I made a beeline back to my car where I burst out crying and drove home like a crazy person wailing behind the wheel. I called my poor sister [I know, bawling AND talking on a cell phone while driving. Don’t hate.] who listened to me sob my sad story to her about how I would never eat anything again without dying homeless and alone. She obviously talked me down and by the time I got home I was sane enough to make egg in a bowl, my favorite breakfast recipe ever, which also happens to be low sodium when you use Trader Joe’s no-sodium wheat bread! Thanks, Heather!

egg in a bowl, in all its gooey glory

Ever since that incident, I have been kind of saying f*ck it, I Will Eat What I Want and Not Sweat the Sodium.

A week later, when I was comparing Meniere’s notes with my dad, he put things into perspective for me. He told me that 2,000mg per day basically means 3 meals with a 600 mg allowance, which still leaves 200 mg for snacks. (that seems completely obvious, I know, but apparently it took my father pointing it out to me for that to sink in.)

That crazy low-sodium cookbook I got is all about MINIMIZING SODIUM AT ALL COSTS which is really not necessary in my case, at all! Thank goodness! I was really driving myself batty trying to scrutinize every food and only eat it if it was REALLY low in sodium. I mean, it’s great to find foods I like that happen to be low is sodium (like frosted mini-wheats) but if have cheerios instead and I take in 200mg of sodium for breakfast, IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL!!

I guess that’s just typical me, seeing everything in black and white…. sigh!

Anyway so here I am in the gray area of aiming for a “moderate” sodium intake. 2,000 mg per day. Not 500 mg per day. By the way, my doctor messaged me back confirming that it’s really not necessary to aim for less than 2,000 mg per day. As long as it’s not consistently over 2,000 mg per day, I’m all good.

So here I go again, learning how to eat. Let me check out how I did today so far: (look, I’m listing out my foods in proper fit/food-bloggin’ fashion!)

1/2 Cup Kodiak Cakes Pancake mix: about 320 mg
Maple Syrup and OJ: not enough sodium to count

Gigantic (I mean gigantic) Slice of Bacci’s Pepperoni Pizza outside of Wrigley Field:  hmmm, I’ll guess about 650 mg??
Pepsi and Peanuts at the Park (yay alliteration): Probably totaling around 300 mg?

Whole Wheat Pasta and Homemade Low-Sodium Pasta Sauce: Maybe 60 mg?
Rice Milk Ice Cream: Another 60 mg or so

Approximate total for the day:  1390 mg?!

See, if I had eaten all this 2 weeks ago I’d be freaking out that I did HORRIBLY and we would clearly all die homeless and alone because I ate Pepperoni Pizza and everybody knows Pepperoni has sodium in it. But now I can be [slightly] more rational and see that we’ll all die but maybe not alone and definitely not homeless. I’m the picture of mental health! I swear!

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One response to “Hi again, Sodium!

  1. This too is all about balance – just like the weightloss journey, the fitness journey, and pretty much everything else in life.

    It’s about cutting the unnecessary, but allowing yourself a little spluge. (How do you NOT eat peanuts at a ballgame?!)

    I would say hold onto the cookbook and keep trying recipes from it. Find the ones you really love, and keep them as your secret weapons for those days where you do indulge with a high sodium meal.

    Keep highlighting great low-sodium finds in things you’re already eating too!

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