Tag Archives: cooking

Low Sodium Pineapple & Mango Curry Recipe

Did some experimenting over the weekend and liked the results. Here’s what you need for this recipe:

1 pineapple
1 package of chicken (I think I used a little over a pound), cut into chunks
1/2 red onion, chopped
curry powder (spice to taste)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 bag frozen mango chunks
Ginger (to taste)
1 can chickpeas (optional – these tend to have a high sodium content)

Dump everything in the crock pot and leave it for a while.

Come back when the chicken is done cooking and it will be this amazing stew type thing. You will not be disappointed. And it’s super healthy because the pineapple makes it sweet, so no added sugar, and it doesn’t need any salt at all because that’s not the point of it. I like to eat it just plain like that.

2012-04-23 19.41.14

It’s very tasty. I had planned to have it for the whole week, but then my roommate tried some and my downstairs neighbor tried some, and let’s just say I’m going to have to buy another pineapple later this week. 🙂

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Really Sick

A few days ago, a friend’s blog featured a guest post on body image – specifically in relation to dieting and discipline, and the idea of a child being put on a diet by their parents, and how early exposure to a culture of dieting sticks with us throughout our lives.

This week, I hit my lowest weight since high school, excepting one transient moment when I was seeing a trainer and got a bit lower – that lasted all of two weeks, and was in no way sustainable, as I was simply counteracting all the crap I ate at the time with seven or more hours a week at the gym. The second I stopped using a personal trainer, those pounds crept back on.

This week, on the other hand, is a totally different deal. I’ve lost eight pounds in three days. EIGHT POUNDS! SINCE LAST WEEK. Noticeably shrinking waist circumference!  All my skinny clothes will fit again! Which means some of my larger-sized dresses are going to be too big for me now! I can give them away to other curvy ladies in need of some plus-size fashion! This should be exciting, right? Because giving dresses away leads to BUYING NEW DRESSES. Or something.

Oh wait, except I’m sick sick sick and haven’t been out of bed in four days, my last square meal was on Wednesday last week, and I’m convinced the only thing that’s currently keeping me alive is the all-natural root beer that’s delivering sugar to my system, except that it also makes my heart pound, so today I’m switching it out for Lady Grey decaf with honey.

Also (cough hack hack cough) I think I dropped a bit of my lung over there, mind passing it back to me?

It doesn’t help that this whole “loose jeans resulting from being quite sick” is also throwing a spotlight onto how feminism plays into my own life. Can I be happy to have lost a few pounds, when it’s through illness? When I tweet that my jeans are loose and I’m not sure that I care why – and then a moment later confirm that actually, I realized I don’t care why, but I’m going to have to parse the implications of that vis a vis feminism – and a friend, normally more committed to these things than I, then follows up to my “my jeans are loose” comment with “rough life” – are she and I both playing into a mode of approach that we both struggle, on a daily basis, not to reinforce? Does the fact that we acknowledge the ickiness of the logic behind the feelings give us the ability/permission to express them, nonetheless?

Those eight pounds didn’t go anywhere because of any healthy decision I made. They got lost because I got sick. I have felt physically miserable for days. MISERABLE. (Does anyone else ever forget, so quickly, just how bad it feels to be sick? Because I swear I never think it’s as bad as all that until the disease is IN ME and I feel like THIS:

Me, for the last four days

So the minute I think, well, at least this is one positive thing this stupid illness has done that’s good, I also slam into a wall of the following logic:

“Don’t feel good about this. It isn’t healthy. Feel good about healthy things. Don’t feel good about being too sick to move, waking up in a cold sweat for four days just because at the end of the rainbow there’s a pair of loose jeans. This isn’t sustainable any more than having a trainer and working out seven hours a week was sustainable. This isn’t real weight loss, it’s not going to put your body in better condition, and you better be able to keep something down today because quite frankly writing while lightheaded is not fun at all.”

Sigh.

I’ve been working hard to lose weight for a long time. Primarily for health reasons, and I can say that honestly because the one thing that motivated me to *actually lose weight* was a health reason. So I shouldn’t feel guilty if I have a little twinge of glee, no matter what the cause, when I get a little closer to knowing what that “healthy weight” is going to feel like when I get there.

But I do. Do I ever.

Not only because I know I didn’t lose those eight pounds under anything that could possibly be interpreted as healthy circumstances, but also because those loose jeans tapped into just how ingrained and destructive my own weight (and weight-loss) expectations are.

Falling short of your own standards is never fun. Especially not when you’re sick.

Low Sodium Pernil – Reddit Recipe

Some time ago, I saw this recipe for pernil on reddit. Today, I’m giving it a try – with, of course, a low-sodium twist.

Year 2 Start – Low Sodium Living in NYC

Three years and over sixty pounds ago, I rocked up to New York City on the chilly, bright morning of January 14th. Over the course of the next three years I got a trainer, learned how to work out, and started my first successful campaign against an unhealthy body – my own Battle of the Bulge. But it’s been so much more than that, not the least of reasons for which is because of a series of health-related factors that have started to come into play.

 

Over a series of posts in this blog, I’ve detailed my progress over the last year; after hitting a low weight back in October on the heels of a two-week trip to New Zealand (it’s amazing, how not knowing what you can and can’t eat can lead to dropping weight like it’s going out of style) the number on the scale has crept slowly upwards throughout the holidays. It got so bad at one point in October that I stopped using the weight-tracking software I’d sworn by for three months; day after day of seeing the revised calculation for the day you’ll hit your “goal weight” become further and further in the future is not, even for a few months’ time, my idea of good motivational practice.

And so I arrived at the end of December having gained about 10 pounds since my adult-low back in October…and then I put on another 10 pounds over the final week of the year. I don’t know how I do it (well, I have some inkling, but that’s for another post) but I manage to weight on like nobody’s business the second I stop paying attention. I wasn’t too worried about it at the time. “I’ll do what I did last January,” I told my roommate, “and just be really serious for the first two weeks of the month about going to the gym and eating healthy and all that.”

Having reached the two-week mark today, on the same day as my three-year anniversary in the City, I’ve decided that I’m going to have to spend the rest of January and most of February being “really serious…about going to the gym and eating healthy and all that.” The weight’s going down, but in order to get back to that post-New-Zealand weight – and then go even lower – it’s going to take more work.

Thus begins year two. Book two, stage two, chapter two, whatever you want to call it. The goal is to emulate what I did right last year while at the same time learning from the mistakes and the weight-bubbles of the last 12 months. So I’m back to shopping carefully, checking the nutritional information on everything, putting thought and effort and planning into when and what I eat, exploring even more low sodium recipes and healthy cooking techniques, and dedicating myself to spending more time and effort on productive exercise.

Any tips?

 

Cookin’ up some low sodium wasabi salmon burgers…

Now that we’re nearing the end of the year, I’m once again taking stock of how things are going with my low sodium diet. I’m trying to branch out into tasty items that I can enjoy and still feel like I’m treating myself…so I was glad to find this ready-to-buy recipe for low sodium wasabi salmon burgers on Fresh Direct’s website.

Read the recipe and you’ll notice that it features no salt, just some reduced-sodium soy sauce. Now, if you’re like me and prefer to taste the actual fish rather than mostly soy sauce, you can actually cut this WAY down – or replace it with a small amount of honey with balsamic vinegar, which I’ve used in stir fry recipes to cut the sodium but retain a similar tang.

Note that I screwed up and threw the ginger in with the burgers – but I wouldn’t say it had any kind of ill effect on the final product, which I threw on a brioche roll from Trader Joe’s, lightly coated with some of the recipe’s wasabi mayonnaise (realizing later in the afternoon that I could have just bought wasabi mayo from TJ’s later on) and blanketed by a leaf of romaine lettuce.

YUM. And there are three more waiting in the fridge. The one thing that was aggravating was that they don’t stick together well, but then again, we don’t have a food processor so I was chopping everything quite fine with a knife. (I’m not one of those girls who owns everything in the kitchen, though if you feel like sending a gift certificate for Amazon I’m happy to check out their appliance section)…

Anyway – this may not be a low sodium pizza recipe handed down from my grandmother or a healthy nacho recipe discovered by me and my roommate, but it was the best salmon burger I’ve had in ages and could probably double nicely as fishcakes if you so desired. I plan to have tomorrow’s salmon burger protein-style wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Again, I say – YUM.

 

Eight Months Down The Low Sodium Line #lowsodium

One of my friends is expecting an addition to her family soon. Since she found out about her pregnancy, our conversations have turned to topics around the changes her body is going through as it creates a new life. On a different scale, my body’s been working on its own transformation since January, as my low sodium diet has become more ingrained. (She says, on an afternoon when she split some excellent hamburgers and fries at work.) A few weeks ago, my doctor agreed that I’d made enough progress that the medication I’d been taking on a daily basis could be retired from my daily schedule.

What does that mean? It means I’m now making another transition; I had gotten lax in my habits because my health had improved, and now I have to get strict again. I’ve got to reboot and re-motivate, and make sure that I stay on track going forward.

How far have I come? Not as far as I’d have liked. I’ve lost about 26 pounds since January, but I’ve also gained five or six of them back. I got very disciplined for a while about what kinds of food I kept in the house, and what I ate for every meal – but as the points on my blood pressure monitor went down, I’ve loosened up a bit, and now they’re creeping back up. All the habits that I thought I had under control have proven harder to maintain than I originally thought they would be.

Sometimes following the same routine – the careful regimen that I established in support of all those healthy habits – becomes difficult or impossible, because the demands of life take over. What I’m trying to do now is search for new, innovative ways to make sticking with my healthier habits fit my lifestyle. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments – do you know any tips or tricks for packing a super-low-sodium lunch? Or is there a restaurant in Manhattan that you’ve found is especially friendly to those of us who want our meals prepared without salt? Let me know if you do, ’cause every little bit helps!

It’s not going to be easy, but I’ve definitely learned how to do healthier cooking healthier nachos and adapted my grandparents’ awesome pizza into a Low Sodium Pizza Recipe, so if I can keep exploring those options (and find a way to go back to eating more fish, since I seem to have let that slip recently) things should be okay.

Fingers crossed!

Healthy No Salt Added Nacho Recipe #cooking #sodium

Between what me and my roommate could scrape together, tonight’s menu was nachos crafted from:

Trader Joe’s no-salt tortilla chips – taste like the ones you get in mexican restaurants, but without the salt (dur).
Organic New Zealand cheddar I picked up at TJ’s the other day.
Some Tesco’s mozzarella from my roommate
An assortment of onions and peppers, chopped up
Some lime juice

We laid it out in layers: tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, peppers, onions and lime juice, another layer of chips, some salsa, and some mozzarella cheese on top.

Then we whacked the whole thing in the oven at about 375F, for maybe 20 minutes (until the cheese melted). The nice thing is that because most of what we used was all natural/low salt/etc (the cheese and salsa, not so much, but otherwise yes), the nachos didn’t get greasy.

They were delicious.

Now I’m not going to pretend this is a low-sodium recipe – the cheeses and store-made salsa pretty much kill that idea – but for a cheat-style recipe, it’s REALLY satisfying and nowhere near as much damage as you might do yourself by pigging out on a whole pizza from the pizza place across the street…erm…not that I did that over the weekend, at all. In fact, for a nice spin on the basic healthy take on an old twist that makes my low sodium pizza recipe so popular, tonight’s meal has satisfied my craving for mexcan food…for a while, at least.

For a nacho photo, check out my twitter.