Pour some sodium on me! | PostIndependent.com

Pour some sodium on me!

Fried Rice
Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“No more … Mr. Sausage!” I sang out loud to my own version of the old Alice Cooper tune as I tossed the summer sausage and other items out of the refrigerator over my right shoulder. “No more … Mr. chee-eee-eeezzz curds!”

Along with those items, out went the frozen pepperoni pizzas, ham cubes, a carton of eggs and a pair of New York strip steaks.

Because husband-head and I are now on a low-fat, low-sodium diet, I was purging the fridge of all the evil, good-tasting food that we will … sob … never be eating again.

“Good-bye Brie,” I said, caressing the little round wheel. “I hope some day we’ll meet again in the future where fat calories don’t count. But for now, I have to huck you.”

Then I slammed the little sucker against the wall.

When I got through the obviously unhealthy, fatty items, I started to look at the labels on everything in the fridge and in the pantry to see what the sodium contents were.

“Pour some sodium on me!” I continued to sing, changing the words to the old Def Leppard song from the late 1980s.

We were told not to have more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day. But if you’ve ever looked, it turns out that almost everything under the sun has sodium in it ” except maybe oatmeal and water. And after much research, I’m pretty sure a person will exceed their sodium limit by simply sucking their thumb.

Enter an altered version of the Westlife song, “We had joy, we had fun, we had sodium in the sun …”

And perhaps a sodium-free lifestyle is OK with those who live in a monastery or a convent, but I, personally, would rather be dead than live a life so healthy it was void of evil things such as pizza, beer and sex.

Actually, none of the information we were given specified whether beer or sex had sodium in it, but we just figured if it was fun, it was off limits.

But in the name of good health, I have become an avid label watcher to see how much sodium, cholesterol and fat each item carries.

“Wow,” I said to husband-head as I put a bowl of a supposedly “healthy” can of chicken and rice soup in front of him. “This soup says it’s ‘healthy’ but it has more than a thousand milligrams of sodium in it altogether! By the way … how much is your life insurance policy worth?”

And as I researched my refrigerator, even stupid stuff seemed off limits.

“No barbecue sauce, steak sauce, soy sauce, mayonnaise or mustard,” I screamed as I threw the items out. “It’s pretty much fish and water from now on. But hey, you could be famous if you grow your hair long, wear sandals and make stuff like bread and wine feed the entire town. And if you can walk on water … well, they’ll write a whole big book about you …”

Husband-head didn’t seem all that interested.

But changing to a low-fat, low-sodium diet means making a whole change in your lifestyle ” at least it did for us.

I’d always thought we ate pretty healthy ” lots of vegetables, lean meat and rice or pasta. We weren’t really big fruit eaters, though.

Now, it’s melons, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, pears, broccoli, eggplant, cauliflower, cucumber and carrots.

“I’m definitely not eating THAT,” husband-head said as he watched in horror while I put the purple eggplant in the cart.

Ha-ha! Little did he know I’d already put it on his whole wheat crust pizza a few nights before.

A few days later, one of my girlfriends called to ask me out to lunch with some of our other friends.

“Sure!” I agreed. “Where do you want to go?”

She suggested a nearby restaurant that served all kinds of chicken wings, french fries and all the fat-laden favorites a person could want.

“Yessssss!” I thought silently to myself. “Deep fried stuff dripping in oil!”

However, I felt like I was cheating on husband-head.

And actually, in the end it didn’t taste as good as I thought it would.

“Remember when we used to have doughnuts and coffee for breakfast, Big Macs and french fries for lunch and drugs and alcohol for dinner?” I asked husband-head when I got home.

“Yeah,” he acknowledged. “Amazing that we’re still here, isn’t it?”

“It sure is,” I agreed. “You want a fat-free grilled cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread and some prune juice?”

Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her website at http://www.heidirice.com.

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