Another year and another year of dietary changes. 2014 was the year of gluten-free. I’m still learning but I feel like I’m still running on this high of feeling so amazing, I haven’t truly felt deprived. 2015 will be known as the year of low sodium, and where I feel like I’ve truly changed the way I eat.
3 years ago I would have just put whatever we felt like eating in the grocery cart. That usually meant at least 1 bag of cookies, 1 bag of frozen perogies, and at least 1 bag of chips. I never looked at the side of the box because I never felt like I needed to because I wasn’t overweight. Going gluten-free forced me to look at the box and find out what was truly in my food, and frankly it scared me. What the heck is sodium erythorbate or why is there corn syrup solids in lunch meat, were just a couple of the questions I had when I finally turned over the package. Although, this did force me to eat better and to think about where my food was coming from, I again had this attitude of I can still eat whatever I want as long as it’s gluten-free, because I’m not overweight. When my doctor wanted to see if I could go medication-free I was happy, and then scared. I’d actually have to clean up my diet for real.
Once I got scared I realized I was clueless, sure I know eat less sodium but I had a lot of questions, that I wasn’t sure I wanted to rely on Dr. Google for, so I contacted a dietitian. She helped me truly figure out what I need to be doing for optimal heart health. Here is what I’m trying(keyword here is trying! It’s only been a week and a half!) :
Keep track of my food intake
– Sodium levels are below 1500mg.
– Saturated fat should be limited to no more than 10 percent of your daily calorie intake.
– Cholesterol should be less than 300mg for the day. The lower the better.
– Eat foods rich in omega-3s such as halibut, salmon, almonds, flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds.
– Grain products should only be whole grain products- brown rice, corn, buckwheat and quinoa
Take an Omega-3 supplement along with Vitamin D
Use sodium-free or low sodium products if it’s in a can or box
– Lunch meats (even if they’re low sodium!)
– Caffeine and alcohol
– Use a pedometer, and up your steps each week until you’re consistently hitting 10,000.
– Yoga 2-3 days a week for relaxation, stretching and toning.
– Take the stairs when possible, get off a subway stop before you normally would and walk to your destination.
So far I’ve incorporated more foods with omega-3s including chia and flax seeds and walnuts and had my sodium and cholesterol levels consistently lower than the maximum amounts. I’m hoping to add in the rest slowly so that it’s a lasting change.
Have you made any health and nutrition changes for 2015?