Thanks guys! I SO appreciate all these great suggestions. Here are some of my own tips from what I've learned so far:
- The thing I've figured out since this diagnosis is that if I make a smoothie for breakfast every morning, that's at least one meal I don't have to figure out.
- In addition to a squeeze of lemon on top of some of my foods, I find fresh herbs really brighten the meals. I add them to salads stews and hummus sandwiches. So far I've used cilantro and basil but I'm planning to branch out to dill and parsley soon. I would include mint but it gives me acid reflux so I try to avoid it.
- When making a big batch of low sodium food, make extra and freeze the leftovers. I'm wishing I'd done this with the yellow split pea dal I've got in the refrigerator.
-- Vary the veggies I buy for snacking on. I'm tired of baby carrots and cauliflower, so I think I'm going to get some radishes and sugar snap peas next week. Why not? They can be thinly diced and dipped in a little low sodium hummus.
-- Speaking of hummus, the lowest sodium brand I was able to find at Whole Foods was Cedar's Zesty Lemon flavor Hummus. It's 85 mg of Sodium in a 28g (around 2 Tbsp, I think) serving. Not as good as making my own from scratch, but better than a lot of the store-bought alternatives.
-- Silver Palate makes a low sodium marinara sauce in a jar that has just 115 mg of sodium in a 1/2 cup. That's pretty great when you consider most pasta doesn't contain any sodium.
-- I'm still looking for a low sodium salsa that tastes good. I tried Green Mountain and it just tasted like vinegar with a little tomato to me. If anyone has suggestions on this front, I'd welcome them.
-- I found a recipe for a white bean dip with garlic, olive oil and fresh rosemary. I plan to try to make that one soon, sans salt or maybe with only a little salt. I plan to use Eden beans since they are low sodium, and to rinse them, though I did this even before my doctor told me to cut down the sodium.
-- I read a good suggestion online for dining at restaurants. Order your meal without salt, and with the sauce on the side. Then dip the tines of your fork in the sauce as you eat so you will taste a little without taking most of it in. This also works with salads and salad dressing, though at home I stick to the lowest sodium dressing I can find and put less of it on my salad.
-- My find of today: I love Miyoko's Kitchen vegan cheeses (we only buy them on rare occasions because they aren't cheap). I wrote to the company to find out the sodium content of their cheeses, and they told me I could find on this page
by clicking on the pictures of each cheese. Their cream cheese is entirely sodium free and some of the others aren't too bad. According to this article
, dairy cheeses count as low sodium if under 140 mg an ounce. Obviously it's not a food to indulge in a lot, but vegan cheeses like Miyoko's Classic Double Cream Chive, French Style Winter Truffle, and my favorite, Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leaf, are all either 100 mg an ounce or less. Which means I can still have a little here and there on special occasions, as long as I keep it in moderation.
-- Moral of the story above: Email the company about their product's sodium content if that information isn't readily available to you! I'm thinking of checking in with Whole Foods about their bakery's breads next.
-- I've also decided to start seeing a dietitian. It's expensive and I wish my insurance covered it, but I think my health is worth this expense.
Please keep the suggestions coming! And mention any tasty low sodium dips, sauces, condiments, etc. that you come across.