Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Back and Better Than Ever??

Apparently, I am always going on hiatus.  In this case, the causes were many: we moved, we lost internet access, and I had a computer virus.  Luckily for all of you, at least two of the three issues were corrected (we're still working on internet connectivity to some degree).  I'd like to thank the good folks at Carolinas Medical Center for allowing me use of their network in order to download the anti-virus software I needed. 

So how's the low-sodium diet going?  Well, I'm glad you asked!  It's not going all that well.  Salt is in everything.  If I go to Olive Garden, I can have one (one!) breadstick OR half of a salad OR marinara dipping sauce.  But no dipping sauce with the breadstick.  I wasn't frequenting Olive Garden anyway, but now I have a real reason not to go there.  I don't always have the wherewithal to cook at home, so most of the time I just take my chances when we eat out.  Showmar's has some great salads, although I can't eat the taco bowl.  I can have burgers and chicken tenders at Steak 'n' Shake, so that's our most common go-to.  I did cheat and have Chipotle the other night, and it was worth a little "water weight gain".  I have to do all of my cheating now.  I've been told that, once I get my defibrillator implanted, the doctors will be able to tell how much sodium I'm eating.  Eeeek!

In my quest to (sometimes) eat less sodium and stay on track, I found two guides to assist me.  What to Eat When You're Eating Out was my first attempt at navigating the salted waters of the restaurant world.  And those salted waters turned out to be scarier than I imagined.  900+ milligrams of sodium in a 6" tuna sub at Subway??  I'm allowed 600mg per meal.  1700+ milligrams in one of the angus burgers at McD's.  Huh--death by angus burger.  The most surprising thing for me was finding out that the majority of the sodium is in the bread/bun.  I didn't get a strange look when I ordered the Filet O' Fish sans bun (and cheese). 

What to Eat When You're Eating Out is not the type of book that you take with you.  Unless you want to trade heart problems for back problems.  I needed something a little more portable.  Then I ran across Pocket Posh Complete Calorie Counter at a local bookstore.  Not only does it provide a limited section on restaurant foods, but the majority of the book is dedicated to grocery store items.  Yes, you can just look at the label on a package of Oreos, but you can also know what's in store for you before you ever leave home.  The best part?  There are two actually:  it's small enough to fit into a purse or bag, and the cover has a cute design on it so no one will know you're carting around a nutrition guide.  I carry mine in my purse.  Then again, I could survive the apocalypse (or zombie attack) with everything in my purse. 

The good news is that most restaurants have their nutrition information available online.  Since I have internet access on my phone, I can look up the best items for me when I arrive at the restaurant.  Or say to hell with it and get whatever I want.  No more cheating after April 14th!