Sodium is something I am aware of but not something I pay attention to as much as I probably should. I am more conscious of sugar intake than I am salt. I try not to take in large amounts of sugar, but I’m definitely not afraid to indulge sometimes, as you can see here, here and here. Other times I go for slightly healthier sweet indulgences, which you can see here and here. Personally I believe in the balance philosophy, and although there are no perfect set of rules (thank goodness!) I think a lot of the time we are aware somewhere down in there when we are over-doing it or need improvement in certain areas.
One of my favorite Michael Pollan philosophies is that if you are going to eat junk food you should make it yourself, not that I always follow it but I really like it! This crosses my mind when I decide whether or not to indulge in something. Do I want it bad enough that I am actually willing to make it myself? Many times the answer is no, and that helps me to move on.
What surprised me about the show is that sometimes seemingly healthy foods can be loaded with salt. One example on the show was cottage cheese – a food we usually hear about as a healthy snack. Another example I did not realize contained a lot of salt is pudding, who knew? When trying new foods I often look at the sodium content, but what about old favorites? The show taught me that maybe I need to go back and re-evaluate some of the foods I buy regularly and no longer look at the nutrition label.
When I need a quick meal for a busy weeknight one of my favorite go to things is soup. Some soups have a lot of sodium, which made me realize there is really no reason I can’t make more of it myself, even in large batches to freeze half. Here is the thing; soup is for my busy nights. A quick dose of vegetables, legumes, and maybe a slice of bread and you’re good to go! So how do I make soup work for busy nights when I know I’m not going to have a lot of time to cook? My Crockpot of course! J
Just throw everything in the night before and you are all set for the next night’s meal. Make a large batch and put half in the freezer for the un-planned busy or tired nights. This way you can control how much sodium you take in. It is a great way to use up extra vegetables that have been sitting around waiting to get eaten, or pantry items you may have forgotten about.
Last week I made soup in my Crockpot ahead of time for my husband to use on boot camp nights.
Added a can of pinto beans, and 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix.
Next I covered the mixture generously with water, and added a few random spices (seriously random, I’m not afraid to get crazy in the kitchen! :-P).
Set the Crockpot to Low and the timer for 10 hours.
Sometimes my soup creations come out a little bland, in which case Hubby and I think hot sauce can go a long way to kick it up a notch while still keeping it healthy, and the kids don’t seem to mind when it is bland at this stage. Another great addition to boost the flavor is sprinkling parmesan cheese to the top of the bowl!
Too much salt is hard on our system, and can work against us when trying to maintain a healthy weight. Thanks to The Doctors show I am going to be a little more conscious of my salt intake too, especially in old favorites I had previously written off as healthy. Did you know some drinks have a crazy amount of salt in them as well?
Here’s to living well!
Are there any common foods you know are high in salt? Please share your fantastic knowledge in the comments.
*Disclaimer – I am not a registered dietitian (RD), this post is based on my own personal knowledge and opinions.