Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another new year of resolutions

Of course mine is always the same....lose weight. I tried to not make that mine this year, but at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 30th, it just came out of my mouth. So, this year I'm serious. The weight will come off or else...

Heatlhy cooking and exercise are going to be the keys of my new lifestyle. I'm going to start with the cooking, because it's easier, more fun and I'm hungry. Out with the old bad food, tasty as it may be, and in with the new, more veggies, fish and organic.

I'm going to really read the labels this year. There is so much information on the package that can really help us understand what we are eating and what the consequences are if we digest that food. For example, sodium. Knowing how much is o.k. for us and how much is too much, leads to bloating, high blood pressure, and digestive issues. If I remember correctly from my basic nutrition classes, the body requires 250 to 500 milligrams (mg) each day for basic physiologic functions.

Salt transports nutrients, transmits nerve impulses, and contracts muscles, including your heart. But when sodium levels are too high, the kidneys release more water, increasing blood volume. With more blood flowing through the body, pressure increases. Over time, a sustained pressure increase causes the heart to work harder to pump blood and threatens the stability of blood vessels, which raises the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Salt hides in many prepared and packaged foods. The best way to know for sure how much sodium is in the food you are eating,check the label. The easiest way to avoid consuming too much sodium is to choose fresh, whole foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.

Try replacing some of the salt you use on a regular basis, with a salt free substitue, like Mrs. Dash, or Penzey's has a great salt free alterative called Mural of Flavor. Also, use lots of fresh herbs and peppers (black, cayenne, chili, etc) to spice up and flavor your dished without adding extra sodium.

I will work very hard this year to present recipes on this site that have low sodium levels.