In January I decided that I really needed to do a bit of a sugar detox. The holidays can be heavy on the candy and cookies and well, I was feeling it. My mid-section was a bit rounder and I was definitely feeling more sluggish than usual. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, to begin with, but the more you eat the more you want so I was craving sugar cookies, pie, and everything sweet following Christmas. I cut out sugar with no real problem in January and tracked it in my planner. I hate to deprive myself and I thin kit leads to failure, so if there was something I really wanted I ate it. I ended up only eating sugar 6 days out of the month and kept the sugar to a limited amount even on those days. WIN.
In February, I decided to take on a much more difficult task. I was still feeling pretty bloated and knew that not only did I need to drink more water, but I desperately needed to eat less salt. Not really having a sweet tooth means I have a serious salt tooth (is that a thing?). I did my best though and so far I've been pretty successful. Here is what I've been snacking on while trying to keep my sodium intake down:
1. Low-sodium Mozzarella String Cheese - specifically Sargento has a reduced sodium line that is still delicious. I love my cheese. Some other low-sodium cheeses include goat cheese, cream cheese (believe it or not!), and swiss.
2. Apple Slices - Costco sells these bags of bags of apple slices that I really love. For 1. they somehow last a long time and 2. they're a super easy, super healthy snack to grab and go.
3. Veggies with Peanut Butter - I didn't even realize bread had sodium in it, but it turns out it has a LOT. I love toast with peanut butter but I did my best to add peanut butter to apple slices or to celery or something this month to avoid the high salt content.
4. Air popped popcorn with other spices - popcorn is my crack. I love air popped popcorn, movie style popcorn, skinny pop, white cheddar popcorn, you name it, I love it. But it's obviously pretty high in salt most the time. This month I focused on air-popping my popcorn and then adding other spices instead of salt. I actually love it with just some black pepper but we have a cajun spice we love on it and there are a ton of good recipes out there for spiced popcorn too!
5. Edamame - I honestly just buy the frozen stuff, stick it in the microwave for a bit and then I used to top it with some salt but I've found other spices to use. This Garlic Edamame recipe is pretty on point if I do say so myself!
And there you have it, what I've been snacking on to keep my salt intake down in February. Do you have any low-sodium snacks you love? After doing a bit of research to sure up my knowledge, obviously salt can lead to high blood pressure, what I didn't realize is that especially in women, high blood pressure can lead to a deficit in Vitamin D which we are so desperately short on in the Northwest anyway. High blood pressure is, of course, a risk factor for heart disease which is the leading cause of death in women. And if you need additional reasoning to cut back on salt, it's been proven to increase the risk of stroke even if it isn't affecting your blood pressure.
So with all that reiterated in my mind... I think I'll try to stick to this lower-sodium diet!!