Salt Junkie

I seem to have made a pretty easy transition into a plant-based diet. I feel quite comfortable with it. I’m enjoying the heck out of my meals and navigating the restaurant circuit with little difficulty.  So now comes the tweaking.

I had my yearly physical last week, and Yay! I’m still alive! I even spoke with my doctor about recently going Vegan and she was thrilled with that decision.  Awesome.  However, when I first arrived they took my blood pressure. The nurse told me that my blood pressure (which is historically very healthy) was just a little high. What!?
Truth be told, I’m always expecting to hear that from them… why? Because I am a salt fiend.
Now, my doctor came in and checked my blood pressure at the end of my visit, and it was just fine—in a healthy range.
So, I don’t have high blood pressure… but the in the moments when I thought I did… I was a little panicked. The scary part is that I wasn’t panicking over my poor health diagnosis… I was panicking thinking about being told to give up salt!?
That’s messed up. And that feels a bit like an addiction.

Even more like an addiction, is the fact that I left there… resolving to lower my sodium intake… and had a V8 juice (like liquid salt), potatoes which I added salt to, and baked beans (salt and sugar).  I can tell that this is going to be a beast of a thing to break!

I made a beautiful Farmer’s Pie (think Shepherd’s Pie, but all veggies) and I deliberately cooked it without any added salt. I served it up and thought it was so bland! But it couldn’t be truly bland… this dish was made with so many beautiful vegetables with flavors of their own! It was full of herbs and seasonings and cooked in a veggie broth. My mouth was just like, HEY GIMME SALT. SALT MAKES THIS MAGIC.  Some people have a real addiction to sugar. Mine is definitely to salt!
I do feel like I need to cut back a bit. Because, I won’t be blessed with low blood pressure forever if I continue to overuse salt.  Also, I’m buying, preparing, and eating flavorful foods, I should be able to taste and appreciate their flavor without amping it up like crazy with salt.

I’m not even sure where to start now, with cutting back.  I think maybe I’ll just commit to cooking without salt, and then allow myself to salt the dish before eating.  This would at least cut the salt in half, because I am always salting before, during, and after cooking!  No more salting the water when making pasta or potatoes and using low-sodium versions of foods. I started that by buying low-sodium soy sauce, soup and broth, and no-salt added canned beans and corn.

Am I alone in this? Anybody else have a salt-addiction? Any advice on lowering my intake?

2 Responses to “Salt Junkie”

  1. Jess

    I scaled back the salt when Chris and I moved in together, in part because of my fears surrounding his potential hereditary heart issues, in part because I simply knew I was overdoing it. Lessening the salt I add when cooking and switching to the low-sodium versions of things seemed abhorrent at first, but it didn’t take long to adjust. Things that used to taste perfect often seem too salty (like those bag soups!). Of course, it’s also easy to ramp up the saltiness again, but I’m not afraid of cutting it anymore, because I know I’ll recalibrate!

    • SweatyGirl

      Thank you!! I remember cutting salt out almost entirely when I was younger. My Dad was told by his doctor to cut it, so the whole family did. I do remember adjusting quickly and without much trouble. So, I hope I can do so now too! Funny though, when its for someone else’s health, I have no problem, but for me, its hard! :-) Salty so tasty.


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