Sodium overload

Over the past few weeks, I’ve become a sodium addict. It’s really strange because I am definitely a sweets kind of girl (and that hasn’t changed of course!) but I got this jar of garlic pickles and I’ve become reliant on having at least one every day. Yesterday as I was making breakfast, I opened the fridge to get some milk for my coffee and here it was, the pickle jar staring at me. I actually considered grabbing one. Um, Houston, we have a problem!

I resisted the urge to start my morning with a delicious garlic pickle but the craving did not go away and I finally surrendered mid-afternoon. This pickle addiction opened my eyes to other high-sodium things I’ve been craving (and consuming) lately. I think yesterday was the worst of it. I need to get my act together asap since high sodium consumption increases blood pressure and has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. I eat such a small amount of processed foods – I should not be worried about sodium but here we are. πŸ˜•


Food for Life english muffin with Barney Butter, 1/2 banana and cherry preserves + coffee



Yummy breakfast. Stayed clear of pickles! Phew.


1T almond butter + baby carrots


Such a filling combo! I love this unsalted/unsweetened almond butter with carrots. :)


Kick-ass salad – that’s what’s for lunch!


Mixed greens, shredded carrots, steamed brussels sprouts, TJ’s baked teriyaki tofu (amazing!!!!), goat cheese, hot pepper rings + 1T Jenna’s sesame sauce


While making my salad, I finally had a large pickle (60% of daily sodium recommendation based on a 2,000 calorie diet). The hot pepper rings have also become a new favorite. My mouth was on fire and I was loving every second of it. The hot pepper rings are another 20% of the daily sodium recommendation.


I just realized that the tofu has another 25% of sodium + of course some of the dressing/sauce has sodium as well but I can’t really count that right now. Let’s just say that by lunch time, I already consumed 105%+ of sodium. Eek 😳


Lunch was crazy delicious and very filling but I still wanted dessert. I decided to go to Paradise Bakery for a cookie after work (once I was less full) but was getting impatient waiting for 5pm. I considered hitting up the vending machine for some peanut M&Ms but then remembered that I had a serving of TJ’s Nutty American trek mix stashed in my drawer. This was not a cookie but it did satisfy my chocolate + nut craving. πŸ˜€



Have I had enough sodium yet? Apparently not! For a Friday night dinner, Adam and I decided to make a homemade pizza. I had 1/2 with buffalo chicken and 1/2 with mushrooms.


I’m sure the sauce, dough and cheese have some sodium but the most obvious source was the buffalo sauce. I always remember that (bottled) buffalo sauce is extremely low calorie (5 cals/tablespoon) and fat-free. This time I looked at the label to find the sodium content (I was getting paranoid… and for a reason) and saw a whopping 20% of daily allowance in a serving. I had at least 2 tablespoons if not more. Total so far: 145%!!!!


My half of the pizza is on the right. It was sodium laden but SO good!!


A little dessert after dinner? Sure, why not!

Godiva truffles I got from Adam for Valentine’s day. I forgot I had them so it was fun to re-discover them. :mrgreen:



Adam joined me in the tasting and we ate all four. The box said 4 were a serving! πŸ˜‰




After dinner we changed and hopped on the T to meet our friends at Grendel’s Den in Harvard Square.


My sodium craving kicked in once again and I just decided to go with the flow and ordered a bloody Mary (I’ll do better tomorrow – have you heard that before? hmm).

Flash or no flash – both pics suck for different reasons, huh?

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Grendel’s Den was packed. I was happy we were able to get a table on a Friday night!

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Hmm, my friends are not looking too happy here. Hopefully a little more drinking will solve that problem πŸ˜†


I wanted my blood Mary to be more-tomato-ey but it was kind of watered down. Oh well – I’m sure my heart was thanking the bartender for that one. Maybe he knew I had one too many pickles already πŸ˜‰

For my second drink I ordered a 10oz Hefeweizen


I love me some wheat beer… so creamy! But how sad does my 10oz pour look compared to Adam’s 1/2 liter? It looked like such a baby.


I drank about 3/4 of it so I guess it was the right amount for me after all.


11pm munchies kicked in and I knew just the right salty snack. Double hummus with tahini, vegetable crudites and pita wedges



Or no flash?



Grendel’s Den’s food is cheap but kind of gross (I’ve been there before and all I have to say… you get what you paid for). With that said, I thought it was hard to screw up hummus. Apparently, it’s possible. This had waaaaay too much tahini and was almost bitter. The veggies seemed pretty fresh though. I had a few scoops of hummus with cauliflower and a pita wedge and munched on some carrot sticks. The rest of the table devoured it. πŸ˜‰   

Total sodium intake – over 200% of daily allowance. Certainly eye opening – I better get my act together. Do you track your sodium intake? Ever worried about over-consumption?

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14 comments to Sodium overload

  • I find myself really sensitive to sodium lately…I get ridiculously thirsty if I have too much and feel almost nauseated. For that reason, I’ve been limiting my intake…I used to eat pickles a lot but have stopped, I don’t eat a lot of processed foods but I do eat canned beans (try to rinse them thoroughly) and soups which can have a lot of sodium. I never add salt to cooking or food though, and have tried to switch from soy sauce to Braggs sauce.

  • I only sort of ‘watch myself’ if I’ve had soy sauce, or canned soup that day or something like that. I know that my high sodium days are pretty few and far between, so for that reason, I try to ignore it – truthfully, I really don’t need *another* nutrient stat to be worried and obsessive about!

  • I don’t worry about it really. I don’t eat processed foods and have extremely low blood pressure. So a little salt wouldn’t hurt I guess πŸ˜‰

  • My dad had my entire family switch to a low-sodium diet several years ago. It was really hard at first (I was the type of kid who was swipe my finger at the bottom of a bowl of homemade popcorn to get the last bit of salt), but then my tastebuds got used to it and now whenever I eat out or eat any kind of regular snack (ie: regular potato chips, McD French fries), it tastes way too salty. I have to go with the “low sodium” variety or ask for the food to be made with less salt.

  • Tiffany

    I don’t think we look unhappy. Maybe we were just in a lull moment? Last night was fun.

    I love salty foods, but I eat them in severe moderation. I don’t add salt to anything I cook (for the most part-I always put a little pinch in boiling water when making pasta), and I never add salt to anything I order in a restaurant because the salt content is already an unknown factor to begin with. I do enjoy a good garlic pickle though, and I have to be careful with the soy sauce when I get wontons :)

    Good luck tomorrow! I hope the weather doesn’t lessen the fun!

  • You know I don’t think I’ve ever kept track of my sodium, but probably not a bad idea. I always thought of it as one of those things I’d worry about when I’m older…but I guess that’s not too far away anymore. I’ve definitely cut back on my adding salt to meals at the table over teh years thought! I could see how a large pickle would pack a sodium punch! but tastes so good :)

  • banana

    i was actually so concerned with the amount of salt i was craving that i went to see a doctor expecting him to give me the “CONTROL YOURSELF” speech but instead he told me to go ahead and use a lot of salt because i drunk tons of water and eat a lot of moisture filled food and he said that my sodium was actually on the low side !!!! So don’t worry so much about it πŸ˜‰ be happy!!!

  • Funny, I am a total salts girl and lately I have been all about the sweets! Can’t get enough chocolate and peanut butter!

  • You know I finally realized that I start to really crave sodium when I am not getting enough because I’m sweating so much…any chance that is happening?

    Looks like lots of fun with friends!

  • Interesting post on your Sodium Intake. This is something I rarely pay attention to because I have low blood pressure and just don’t think of it as a problem, however, I should be more aware! I LOVE pickles and eat too many of them when I have a jar in the house too.

  • Wow – IΒ΄m impressed!
    Over 200% of your sodium intake?
    And you donΒ΄t even use sea salt!
    But, hey… Amazing eats πŸ˜‰
    Have a great week, Elina!

  • Elina

    Run Sarah – what’s Bragg’s sauce?

    Alice – I’m totally with you… I don’t really want to start watching another micro-nutrient. It was just one day that I noticed a bad trend so I’ll be on the lookout for it next time so I don’t go crazy overboard.

    Dominique – it makes sense that your taste buds got used to less salt. I use very little salt in my cooking but I do add it a bit to enhance the natural flavor of food. It’s the already salted stuff (like pickles) that clearly adds up. I’m going to wait a few weeks until I allow myself another jar of those pickles. Need to lay off that sauce for a bit πŸ˜‰

    Bridget – oh yeah… tastes SO good! πŸ˜€

    banana – wow, really? I need to see you doctor! πŸ˜†

    Jenna – oh I’m still craving chocolate. That has not changed. πŸ˜€

    RunToTheFinish – It really makes sense, Amanda, but I think those pickles are just so darn addictive, they’re making me crave everything else pickle-like. I’m now aware of their power and will not succumb to it. haha

  • I don’t think you have to worry about it unless it becomes a habit. Sometimes when your body is craving something it means that you are lacking a nutrient or mineral in your diet, and your body wants it! It may be interesting to research that and see if there is anything lacking?

  • Whenever I eat Chinese food I can practically feel my body retaining water to make up for all the sodium! I’m sure most Americans eat far to much sodium because it’s in everything but I guess I just try never to eat packaged food unless I’m eating out and I only use sea salt at home which is better for your body.


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