May 25, 2010

You are what you eat

So I'm on my way to getting healthy. I cant believe it took getting sick to realize just how important even the littlest things like reading labels is to our health. After my consult with the dietitian at the Liver Clinic, I came home and read the labels of everything. I am so beyond shocked at what I found.

Ive decided to give myself some time to adjust into things. Its quite hard for me because we are living with my In Laws and I don't do the majority of the cooking. And what is served isn't always the best choice for me. And I cant ask that my mother in law cater to my new diet, even if we could all benefit from it. So its going to take some planning ahead for me. But its what I have to do, so its going to get done. The hard part for me is that I love food. Ill try just about anything. Although there isn't much I haven't eaten already. Growing up, my father was the one cooking. He refused to buy us sodas and junk food. We didn't have table salt, only Hawaiian rock salt. And we hardly ever ate fried foods. Of course once I was out of the house that changed. Working long hours made take out and prepared foods a favorite. Processed food is the devil. It's time for a change.

The main goals for me are...

Sticking to a low sodium diet. To much sodium causes the body to retain excess fluid that can collect in your legs, belly and even in your lungs. That means less than 2000mg. One tea spoon of salt contains 2000-2400mg of sodium. The typical American diet averages 6000-8000. So if I were to have 2 Hot pockets and a soda for lunch, I'm pretty much done for the day.

The second goal is to watch the amount of protein I eat. To much protein means my liver will have to work overtime to process it. My dietitian said that I should not be eating more that 6 ounces of cooked red meat a week.  That's 1 or 2 meals depending on what it is exactly.  Have I mentioned that I'm a steak and potatoes kinda girl?  When I asked what to do when we have steaks for dinner and Ive already had my red meat for the week...she suggested I have a boiled egg or 2.  I about fell out of my chair.  But hey, what do I know? 

And of course the other thing, that is to be expected is exercise.  Which is maybe harder than a diet.  Because of my liver, its hard to do most just about anything that strains my core.  All my doctors suggested walking or swimming.  Walking is a tough one, because as much as I would love to do it, the pain that hits me afterwards is killer.  And I'm not a big fan of the swollen ankles that come along with it.  So swimming it is.  But I need to find a suit first.  No better excuse to shop than for good health right :)

How much sodium do you eat a day?  Do you have a salt shaker on the table?  Anyone have any tips to lowering your sodium?  Id love to hear them.  Until then, here's to a healthier me.  And you :)

1 comment :

  1. I know what a pain this is. I've been told that I have celiac disease, and a gluten free diet is really no fun. Especially when you're hooked on bread and your husband eats nothing but pasta. The boiled egg thing is good though. I love those things, especially when I'm hungry but nothing sounds very appealing (which is often). They're easier on the stomach than a lot of things. Also, if you don't automatically add salt to your food and taste it first, you'll often find it doesn't need much if any at all and you'll find yourself not liking too much salt after a bit. It's tough when you don't feel good and you can't use those convenience foods cause they're loaded with sodium. Cooking in large batches, freezing things, planning meals ahead will all help. :)