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Well, we’re 30+ days into the new year and I’ve already been reading articles here and there about people whose New Year’s resolutions are falling by the wayside. I think this is probably part of the reason I don’t set any. If I want to change something, the most logical way to do this is to just begin…”just do it, now”. New Year’s resolutions simply seem to make change more of an event than it should be. It seems to put more pressure on one. At least to me.

This seems especially true in the area of health. I just calculated that we have 300+ days to go till the next new year. That sounds overwhelming when faced with a resolution and just makes me want to crawl under the covers.

For example, back in December, I noticed I was drinking less and less water which isn’t good for many reasons. As a result I wound up practically inhaling one to two glasses by 4 or 5 p.m. So I made a mental note that whenever I was near the bathroom to stop in and drink half a glass of water. The glass in there holds 12 ounces so this meant I was consuming about 5 to 6 ounces each time.

Over the course of a day, and I’m just “ball-parking” it here, I wind up adding at least six 8 ounce glasses of water to my consumption.

Last week I found something interesting on just how much water you really need based on your weight. On The Lemon Bowl blog I found this post in which Liz notes that your daily requirement for hydration “should be half your weight in ounces”. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you need 80 ounces of water a day which is ten cups.

My other to just do, is keeping the amount of sodium I consume down to 1,200 mg per day. Having recently heard that the government will not only be cracking down on the tons of sugar in everyday products, I read that salt was also going to fall under scrutiny. This makes me quite happy because the amount of sodium in store-bought products is astronomical.

I’ve noticed more and more food blogs as well as recipe sites are including nutritional info on their recipes which I think is great. One problem. Do these bloggers and sites know just how much that is for assorted people? For myself, I’ve set the max at 1,200 mg. per day.

A recent example I found was a dish billed as healthy. It’s a nice six ounce white fish with homemade salsa topping which, of course sounds delicious, but the salsa bumps the dish up to 1131 mg sodium per serving! That would leave me with 69 mg. Sorry, but I’m just not willing to eat only six ounces of fish and call it a day. Why do people dream up recipes with such high sodium scores?

Who knew February was American Heart Month? I didn’t. This post is a total coincidence which started as thoughts about New Year’s resolutions.

BTW, here’s another interesting info graphic. Sorry, couldn’t figure out how to copy it to fit on the page. Here is a link for anyone interested in low sodium cookbooks. And here is a link to 60 recipes from “goredforwomen.org”. Here you’ll find the mg. of sodium per serving for many popular canned soups and the names on the labels can be very misleading like Campbell’s Healthy Request soups. Yikes.

The CDC recommends less than 2,300mg for the average person, 1,500 for people over 51 (or about half the the U.S. population). But in reality, the current intake averages more like 3,300 mg! See the info here from the CDC and this is from 2010. There’s an infographic showing a very conservative breakfast, lunch and dinner plan here. Total for the day? 3,160! No wonder so many people have high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

I also found it interesting to find that “salt” and “sodium” do not mean the same thing, but they are often used interchangeably. Salt, also known by its chemical name sodium chloride, is a crystal-like compound that is abundant in nature and is used to flavor and preserve food. Sodium is one of the chemical elements found in salt.

More info, courtesy of the FDA:

“USE THE PERCENT DAILY VALUE (%DV) TO COMPARE PRODUCTS

The %DV tells you whether a food contributes a little or a lot to your total daily diet.

  • 5%DV (120 mg) or less of sodium per serving is low
  • 20%DV (480 mg) or more of sodium per serving is high

I also liked learning the meanings behind the labels on packaging:

“You can also check the front of the food package to quickly identify foods that may contain less sodium. For example, look for foods with claims such as:

    • Salt/Sodium-Free → Less than 5 mg of sodium per serving
    • Very Low Sodium → 35 mg of sodium or less per serving
    • Low Sodium → 140 mg of sodium or less per serving
    • Reduced Sodium → At least 25% less sodium than in the original product
    • Light in Sodium or Lightly Salted → At least 50% less sodium than the regular product
    • No-Salt-Added or Unsalted → No salt is added during processing, but not necessarily sodium-free. Check the Nutrition Facts Label to be sure!”

Courtesy of:  http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm315393.htm

Well, now that I’ve bored you to tears I’ll leave you with a wee bit of inspiration 🙂

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