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˜•

BREAKFAST

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

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Yummy breakfast. Stayed clear of pickles! Phew.

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

1T almond butter + baby carrots

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

LUNCH

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

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

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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.

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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 😳

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

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˜€

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DINNER

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.

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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%!!!!

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

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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:

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

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Yum!!!!

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

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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˜†

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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

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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.

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

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

Flash?

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Or no flash?

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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!
    Gosh.
    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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