What’s up Dizzy and Non-Dizzy Peeps?!?!
I hope the week is treating y’all well so far! This dizzy chick is hanging on tight for a busy one!
Speaking of busy, I just realized that I hadn’t stopped to eat today… or better yet, my tummy was screaming out in hunger! You know, that embarrassing moment when everyone in the waiting room of the ENT’s office could hear the gurgling ….and then they look at you like “get some food”! In that moment I realize that I did not pack a low sodium snack.. hands over face moment indeed! And anyone with Meniere’s Disease or simply cutting back their sodium intake knows how hard it is to find a snack or a meal of convenience that is low sodium. It’s like a wild goose chase when not prepared! And no one has time for chasing geese! My unpreparedness is what led me to my next blog post!
I am often asked “what exactly can you eat because everything contains salt?”. To answer: Fresh foods mostly, limited to no processed or genetically modified foods (the way we should all eat honestly). And the doctor has instructed me to keep my sodium intake under 2,000mg per day. It’s not convenient or easy. It sometimes requires creativity and research, but it does become second nature. Just like driving that good ole manual transmission! Once you get used to the feel of the clutch and shifting gears, it’s just apart of what you do! I have been fortunate in that my family, my boyfriend and his family have been extremely supportive when dining together. They always make an effort to be considerate of my dietary needs. My boyfriend often comes across low sodium finds and his excitement to share them with me makes me feel loved and supported. We both LOVE food therefore he understands my struggle, at that means everything to me. But for those outside of my close circle, it’s tough for people to fully understand or relate. And it’s not their fault if they are not aware. We have to educate as best we can and the purpose of my post is just that. To create awareness of the support Meniere’s sufferers need . And also to encourage family members of sufferers to take a little initiative in researching to better understand the disease and the impact it has on your loved one. And then you can show your support when needed. Trust me, it goes a looooong way! And while the focus is awareness, I’ve decided to share a few of my “go-to eats” from my cabinets. These are just a few, believe it or not there are many.. too many for this post. But by sharing a few, hopefully it will help you or your family in keeping with the low sodium theme!
I have basically researched and obsessed about what I will eat for days on end, but the knowledge gained is priceless. It’s funny how we’ll put in the time and research when you NEVER want to experience violent vertigo AGAIN! I may be a walking MyFitnessPal database, but hey, the result is less spins! So goal achieved! When I’m traveling, the “what will I eat” task becomes a little more daunting. But what I’ve learned when dining out is, YOU HAVE TO SPEAK UP!! You can’t be shy about asking for no salt or seasoning and/or no pre-marinated meat. Tell them upfront you need salt free, no seasoning or have them put seasoning on the side as many seasonings and marinades contain salt (MSG). I know that its tough and makes you feel awkward (trust me I’m there with you!!). You may think people are looking at you like you are high maintenance but so what! It’s okay to be high maintenance if you want to live vertigo free! And I’ve honestly found that dietary restrictions are way more common than we realize. You are just not aware of how common until it impacts you directly. Many times the wait staff have reassured me that I’m not alone. And I express my gratitude for that reassurance every time! Eating low sodium is DOABLE! It may not be as carefree as before, but as with life, all in moderation (yes, I hate that word too)…but it’s true!
Moving on to some of may favorite low sodium “go-to’s”…. I had forgotten “briefly” how much research is required and will confess that I momentarily thought: “what have I gotten myself into?”. BUT…. If it will keep at least one sufferer from spinning over “what to eat” then I’ve done my job. The less stress, the less inflammation. The less inflammation, the less spins. You know the drill! So with that, from seasonings, to snacks, to meals, I’ve listed a few of my “trusty Go-To’s”. These are in no particular order:
- Peanut Butter (it’s a food group right?!?!)
- Jif Natural Low Sodium Peanut Butter (2Tbsp) = 80MG Sodium (Ha ha!!) I guess I told a fib! There is “somewhat” of an order, PB being first priority always! Anyone that knows me knows that my addiction is REAL!
- Seasonings (there are many, these are just may favorites):
- Cavender’s Greek Seasoning – Salt Free (my new favorite!)
- Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning – Salt Free
- Honey & Fresh Lemons and Limes – Sodium Free
- Apples & Cinnamon – Sodium Free
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – Sodium Free
- Garlic Pepper – Sodium Free
- White and Apple Cider Vinegar – Sodium Free
- Snacks (Fruit, Veggies, Nuts and even POPCORN & CHIPS!):
- Banana = 1mg Sodium (with 1 tbsp peanut butter 41mg Sodium total using Jif Natural Low Sodium)
- Fuji Apple = 0mg Sodium (with 1tbsp peanut butter 40mg Sodium total using Jif Natural Low Sodium)
- Publix Carrot Sticks (3 oz) = 65mg Sodium
- Terra Real Vegetable Chips, Sweet Potato, No Salt Added (1oz, 17 chips) = 10mg Sodium
- Levant Falafel Chips, Original (1oz, 10 chips) = 70mg Sodium
- Skinny Pop (1 cup) = 20mg Sodium
- Larabar Blueberry Muffin (1 bar) = 5mg sodium
- Blue Diamond Oven Roasted Dark Chocolate Almonds (1oz, 24 nuts) = 35mg Sodium
- Archer Farms Roasted Jumbo Cashews Unsalted (1oz, 1/4 cup) = 0mg Sodium
- Archer Farms Unsalted Raw Almonds (1/4 cup) = 0mg Sodium
- Bamboon Lane Crunchy Rice Rollers (Costco -1 roller) = 5mg Sodium (add a little peanut butter!)
- Emerald Cinnamon Roast Almonds (1oz, 1/4 cup) = 45mg Sodium
- Wild Roots Coastal Berry Blend (Costco, 1/4 cup) = 60mg Sodium
- Dannon Light & Fit Greek Vanilla Yogurt (1 container) = 50mg Sodium
- Sabra Hummus Classic (2tbsp) = 130mg Sodium
- Newman’s Own Salsa Medium (2tbsp) = 65mg Sodium
- Bread (Note: Breads are loaded in sodium, I choose to only eat one slice a day IF that)
- Ezekiel Sprouted 100% Grain Bread, Cinnamon Raisin (one slice) = 60mg Sodium
- Deli Meats (Note: Deli Meats are also loaded in sodium, make sure to read labels to understand what you are eating):
- Boars Head No Salt Added Oven Roasted Turkey Breast (2oz) = 55mg Sodium (I add Cavender’s Seasoning to flavor)
- Boars Head Deluxe Low Sodium Oven Roasted Beef Cap-Off Top Round (2oz) = 80mg Sodium (So much natural flavor no seasoning needed!!)
- Main Dishes & Sides:
- Chicken Breast No Salt, No Seasoning (4oz) = 50mg Sodium
- Butterball Ground Turkey (4oz) = 95mg Sodium
- Filet Mignon No Salt, No Seasoning (4oz) = 64mg Sodium
- Kirkland’s Tilapia Loins (Frozen 4oz) = 25mg Sodium
- Salmon Filet No Salt, No Seasoning (4oz) = 69mg Sodium
- Kirkland’s Oven-Dried Organic Roma Tomatoes in Olive Oil (1tbsp) = 30mg Sodium (very good heated and topped on chicken, beef, pork or fish)
- Spaghetti Squash Baked (1 cup) = 17mg Sodium (I used this in substitution for spaghetti noodles)
- Sweet Potatoes (1 Medium) = 72mg Sodium
- Asparagus (4 spears) = 8mg Sodium
- Eat Smart Broccoli Florets (3oz) = 25mg Sodium (we usually roast in olive oil and garlic powder or Cavender’s)
- Mariani Blanched Slivered Almonds No Salt (1/4 cup) = 0mg Sodium (my boyfriend uses these with honey on top of the Salmon Filet, super yummy!)
- Uncle Ben’s Brown Basmati Rice (1 cup) – 0mg Sodium (you can add a little Cavender’s or unsalted butter for flavor)
- Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa (1/4 cup dry) = 10mg Sodium
- Avocado Slices (1/2 cup Slices) = 5.1mg Sodium (mash them up for some yummy guac!)
- Breakfast Options:
- Egg Whites (2 whites) = 110mg Sodium
- Ezekiel Sprouted 100% Grain Bread, Cinnamon Raisin (one slice) = 60mg Sodium
- Kashi Whole Wheat Blueberry Waffles (1 waffle) = 170mg Sodium
- Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Original Flavor (1 pack) = 75mg Sodium (I add peanut butter to warm oatmeal and fruit, usually banana, strawberries, blackberries or blueberries
- Dairy (I really don’t do a lot of dairy, but there are some alternatives):
- Silk Pure Almond Milk – Unsweetened Vanilla (1 Cup) = 160mg Sodium
- Swiss Cheese (1 Slice – 1oz) = 53.8mg Sodium
- Fage Greek Yogurt (1 Cup) = 85mg Sodium
- Candy (be careful with sugar as it also promotes inflammation, beware…baked goods are loaded in sodium):
- Ghiradelli 72% or 86% Dark Chocolate Squares (1 square) = 0mg Sodium
- Protein Powder:
- ProtiZyme Peanut Butter Cookie (1 Scoop) = 49mg Sodium
You will likely find that my list is more convenience based. That is purely based on my busy, jet-setting lifestyle. Much of the above can be made on your own with a food dehydrator and a little creativity! Also to reiterate, the common theme above is eating clean…. the less processed and genetically modified, the less inflammation and ultimately….less spins!
Good luck to all my brothers and sisters out there in search of low sodium foods and recipes! When in doubt, there is always PINTEREST!!! (Hallelujer Y’all!)
Please note, I’m not perfect so you may find slight differences in sodium content by brand. I pulled my data from the package labels themselves and/or http://www.myfitnesspal.com.
Here’s to a healthier, dizzy-free year peeps!
Spin Ya’ Later Y’all!