This is modified and added to from a persuasive speech I gave in Toastmasters. Continue reading
Several weeks ago, I did my fifth speech for Toastmasters. The project objective is about body language and facial expressions. I am a fitness enthusiast; I thought it the perfect opportunity to encourage my audience to move more and sit less. My entry today is a modification of my speech. Enjoy!
Did you know that sitting is nearly equal to smoking as a risk factor for heart disease? The effects are the 4th cause of death worldwide. The results of how little we move and what we eat have surpassed the death rate for infectious disease for the first time in history. Sure, things like our commute, and to some extent, our jobs, make it unavoidable as related to work. Right now, we have a choice.
Stand! Stretch your upper back.. March in place. Kick your legs around a bit. Stay standing while you read my blog entry. This is what I mean by “quit the sit and groove the move”. Frequent, short breaks of standing and moving are found to make a positive impact on our health as much or more so that a single, longer exercise session.
I advocate for both. For the last 9 years, I’ve been committed to daily fitness both before and during work. The result is that, at 54 years old, I feel better than I did when I was much younger, even with arthritis and a challenge to my heart. I have less sinus and back pain, and smaller clothing sizes. A hard truth, though, is that if I would sit for 3 consecutive hours, the overall benefit of the longer routine is cancelled. Luckily, I get too uncomfortable, so I’ve devised ways to relieve the ache, particularly during work.
The most realistic time suggestion I found is to replace 2 hours of sitting with standing and moving, broken up into frequent small intervals. We must find what works for each of us. I offer what has worked for me and what could work for you, too.
Let’s start with work. With the right equipment, and the right shoes, it is possible to stand and work at our desks. If you have a workstation that adjusts for height, take advantage. My surface doesn’t raise high enough for me. Instead, I use a laptop lap desk on top of a milk crate. I have my monitors permanently raised on stacked packages of paper. Ideally you want to stand and move every 30-60 minutes, but I stand for 30 minutes to an hour 2-3 times each day.
For a 15-minute break, you already know about walking and stairclimbing. Have you considered the stairwell landing? I have kicked, danced, stretched, and boxed through my short break. (I actually did each of these moves in my speech.) Boxing, by the way, works your core as well as your arms. The important thing is to break from sitting as often as possible. We could change things up into 3 breaks of 5 minutes.
I work at the St. Louis headquarters of Wells Fargo Advisors, a large complex that includes a corporate gym. I eat lunch at my desk and take a 30 minute fitness break later. I walk one day, and use the gym the next day. The gym? I have time for that? Yes, because I always wear comfortable slacks, and I switch to a short-sleeved work-appropriate shirt., shortly before my break. Later, I change back. I have 15 minutes on the elliptical to burn 160 calories and break a small sweat. Consider joining our gym. You could have a fitness specialist design a workout of even less duration.
Back at home, we can continue the mini-workout concept. Dance to any music on TV. Move or stand while watching. Let the commercial run or hit pause, then move. If you have an Amazon Echo, ask Alexa for a 7 minute workout after enabling the skill. She can set a timer to remind you to get up. The internet has plenty of youtube workouts. I highly recommend JessicaSmithTV.com. Jessica has many different routines, even as short as 8 minutes. I often do the 9 minute low impact high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout in my morning exercise.
A few years ago, after doing therapy exercises on the floor to strengthen my hip and knees, I found it easy to do sit-ups and other moves, while I was already on the floor. There are multiple options to keep moving.
In closing, let’s make 2017 the year that standing and moving become part of our lives. Let’s quit the sit and groove the move! See you in the stairwell. You may be seated
I drew on these: Facts on Sitting and Physical Inactivity
- Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality and is responsible for nearly one in 10 deaths in the U.S. alone.
- For the first time in history, our own lifestyle choices turn out to be more deadly than infectious diseases. What we eat and how much we move are the crucial factors that will determine both the quality and length of our lives.
- For employers, the cost associated with physically inactive employees is 15.3% more than those who are physically active.
- High-intensity physical activity doesn’t keep these effects from occurring. As one study concluded, “an hour of daily physical exercise cannot compensate the negative effects of inactivity on insulin level and plasma lipids if the rest of the day is spent sitting.”
- Sitting 6+ hours at work increases risks of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.
- Low intensity, “non-exercise” activities like standing and walking are much more important than we realized. In fact, low-level activities play a crucial metabolic role and account for more of our daily energy expenditure than moderate- to high-intensity activity like running.
Another resource: http://www.juststand.org
Written around 1 pm today:
It is a beautiful, unusually warm, late October day. I sit in a chair outside, feeling both sorrowful that tomorrow we say goodbye to a beloved family member, and grateful to God that He has provided blessings within this time. Kiera, our black Labrador retriever, age 13, lays in the grass beside me. Her sister, Jasmine, is near. Kiera’s health noticeably declined over the past 10 days. We had discovered in January that she has a tumor in her liver. We had not known whether it was cancerous; it seems now that it was, and it spread to her lungs. In the last few days, the cancer got very aggressive. Tomorrow we will have our final hours with her before we take her back to the vet so she can cross over the Rainbow Bridge to a place without suffering.
Why am I grateful? I see God’s goodness in a heartbreaking situation. These are the blessings from God within this heartbreaking situation, from the current time backward:
*Blessing #1: The weather, the outdoors, and a lift in her spirit. After spending time indoors, laying on her side, looking so sick and miserable, Kiera wanted to come outside. She is laying upright, looking around. She has sniffed the grass. She begged food. Her ears are perked for the first time since Wednesday. She is interested in the activity of a neighbor. She has always loved the outdoors. She lacks the strength to take our stairs or to move around much, but she is able to enjoy the warmth of the sun and the feel of a gentle breeze.
**Blessing #2: General timing and the short duration of suffering.
Kiera’s symptoms began only the middle of the week before last. A little cough, or catch, when she was panting. Weight loss that recently became apparent even after months ago we had increased her food. She became uninterested in her regular food but would eventually eat it. She still seemed herself but did not want to walk beyond our yard. We attributed this to the arthritis in her knees. A week ago when we took her to the vet, a good vet but not her regular one in the practice, her lungs and heart sounded fine. Her gums had paled slightly. She’s had allergies before, so the cough was attributed to allergy. Home we went with an antihistamine and cough suppressant. We were to go back in 2 weeks.
We gave her higher calorie dog food but had to put broth on it or she refused it. We thought the dry food might be irritating her throat. This past Wednesday she began having diarrhea, so chicken and rice were on her menu.
On Wednesday I made an appointment for Friday evening for a “Golden Paws” checkup that includes bloodwork and an X-ray. Thursday she became so lethargic and weak we had to carry her outside to go to the bathroom. I slept downstairs with her and decided to take off work Friday, call the vet and see if we could move her appointment to earlier in the day. We were able to get in at 2:40 with her longtime vet, Dr. Hall. It was the only appointment available. Thank you, God!
While we certainly don’t want to worry about the convenience of a health crisis or death, decisions related to our work schedule can increase the stress of the situation. Having most of the weekend with Kiera without concern of having to take off the days in between to be home with her, prevents further concern (although my husband Mitch did have to work today).
***This leads to Blessing #3: Our son, Ross, had been informed a week or so ago about the potential for Kiera’s health. He said he would come home from Los Angeles to see her one last time when it became necessary. In his busy schedule, with meetings and presentations for his startup company, the weekend allowed him an opportunity to come home. The timing of the appointment allowed us to find a flight for him to be home at midnight on Friday, and then with the weekend, to not have meetings to cancel.
****Blessing #4: A wonderful vacation, a memory, just six weeks ago. God’s timing again allowed us to celebrate the 13th birthdays of Kiera and sister Jasmine while we were in Minnesota. The girls both have arthritis and some backside movement issues. I had been praying they would make it to our Minnesota trip.
The week starting with Labor Day, we took them tent-camping near Ely, MN. We stayed at Bearhead Lake State Park. We took short hikes. They got their paws a bit wet around the shore of a serene lake. They survived a thunderstorm, hunkered down in the tent. We took some great pictures. On our way there and back, we stayed at my parents’ house, so Mom and Dad were able to see Kiera a short time ago.
Blessing #5: 13 years of Kiera’s funny personality and ability to make us laugh and smile. Here is some classic Kiera, who we often call Kiki or K:
– Drama. We often say she is a drama queen. If she was not engaged in activity, she would look sad or extremely bored, sitting on the couch looking back over the top with her head arched over it, like, “oh, woe is me”.
– Playfulness. Kiera would ask Jasmine to play by waving a paw at her and barking, as she did just two weeks ago. With us, she would sit in front of us and bark until we played with her. Before her knees got bad, she would jump and put her paws on our chest as we sat on the couch.
She liked swimming in our pool. When we had a floating chair, she would crawl up in it and just float. To fetch, she never liked balls and preferred instead to chase a squeaky toy that she liked to toss in the air.
– Sassiness and the cutest expressions. When she perks her ears, they are floppy but fold in the cutest way. Add to this the expression in her bright, eager eyes, I would call this her “cute look”.
– Schedule-conscious. She always reminded us when it was dinnertime and MilkBone time. And time to walk. She would stare at us until we responded. Jasmine always relied on her for these reminders.
We know that our furry family members will not live forever, but we are never truly prepared. When the inevitable is happening, God is blessing my family with His mercy and grace. And for this I am grateful.
We will miss you, dear Kiera. Until we meet again in heaven.
I was excited to see that recently someone found a January 2014 post about my congestive heart failure, from dilated cardiomyopathy – and commented on it. I have not been posting for a long time, and it reminded me that I need to update about my health.
I was diagnosed with my heart disease two days after Christmas 2013. I was on medical leave from work for 8 weeks. I improved and felt stronger: I owe this to God, the right medications, a low sodium diet, and commitment to fitness. My improvement was evident when, in early April 2014, my echocardiogram showed that my ejection fraction (pumping strength) had increased from 15% to 32%. 55-60% is the normal range, and 45% or below is considered congestive heart failure. Still, I was referred to an electrophysiologist to address a delay in my circuitry. I have a “left bundle branch block”. In May 2014, an ICD (implanted cardioverter device) was implanted. This device is a defibrillator with a 3-lead biventricular pacemaker. It protects me and helps my ventricles beat in sync.
I will make a long story short; my echocardiogram in June (2015) revealed that my pumping strength/ejection fraction is at 53% (low normal)! I am amazed that it has come so far. God, exercise, watching my salt, my “bivent” pacemaker, and of course my medications, are responsible for my greatly improved heart health.
I understand that the ejection fraction can change, that I must continue taking the meds, that some shortness of breath that I still experience sometimes, mean that I continue to have congestive heart failure. I still have limitations.
Shortly after the good news, I bicycled 25 miles in Bike MS after training for several months. I also joined Toastmasters, and I plan to do a speech on heart health in early February.
I wish I had more time to write in this blog. I will try to write more often.
Thank you for visiting Julie’s Life Joy.
|I find the biggest challenge in living with heart disease is the sodium-restricted diet. Fortunately, I was already accustomed to watching my calories and fat, and bringing all my food to work. There’s no heart disease in my family. Sodium was previously too much to worry about. I normally eat Lean Cuisine and other low-cal frozen entrees for lunch, alternating with a salad. Now, I must eliminate some of the entrees unless I want to spend most of my sodium budget at lunch. Frozen entrees are listed at the bottom of the post.|
|Over the last 6 weeks of noting sodium from the backs of packaged food products and looking up information on websites, I have created a reference chart. At first, having to look at and consider all of this drove me insane. Eating was such a challenge. Over time I have learned, and I have a better handle on eating. Whew. Most of the foods include only those that I have eaten or might eat. I have also included some items I don’t eat but I think are useful for you to know as having surprisingly high content.|
|This is not all-inclusive. I did not include frozen or canned vegetables. Too many products. Look for frozen veggies without seasoning or sauces. Canned often come in lower sodium versions.|
|For complete nutritional data, Google is useful if you search by name + sodium. I have some links listed under my Links section.|
|Bacon – low-sodium||2 pieces||190|
|Bacon – regular||1 piece||200|
|Cereal, Frosted Mini Wheats||1 cup||zero|
|Cereal, Kashi Go-Lean||1 cup||90|
|Cereal, Kashi Tr Bry Crunch||3/4 cup||125|
|Cereal, Raisin Bran||1 cup||210|
|Egg Btrs Egg Whites||3 TBSP||75|
|Egg Btrs Original||3 TBSP||125|
|Oatmeal, instant – Quaker||½ cup||160-200|
|Pancake mix – buttermilk – Aunt Jemima||1/4 cup dry||480|
|Pancake syrup – Hungry Jack||¼ cup (4 TBSP)||180 for all, or 45/TB|
|Pork sausage||1 patty||400|
|Waffles – frozen Eggo||2 waffles||390|
|Applesauce – Musselman’s||freebie!||zero|
|Beans, black, reg. – Ranch Style||1/2 cup||400|
|Beans, chili – Brooks Mild||1/2 cup||370|
|Beans, chili – Chili Magic||1/2 cup||790|
|Beans, kidney – organic||1/2 cup||100|
|Black beans, Bush, Low sodium||½ cup (1/3 of can)||240|
|Bread, Italian||1 slice||240|
|Bread, wheat, light SaraLee||1 slice||90|
|Butter spread, (I Can’t Believe….)||1 TBSP||85|
|Cheese – Kr Mild Cheddar||per oz. (1/8 of block)||180|
|Cheese, American||1 slice||468 !!|
|Cheese, feta||¼ cup||340 !!|
|Cheese, Mexican shredded||¼ cup||220|
|Cheese, shredded||¼ cup||180|
|Cheese, swiss deli BoarsHead Lacey swiss cheese (swiss is the lowest)||1 oz||35|
|Chili seas – 30% less sdm McCorm||1 TB||240|
|Cottage cheese – 1% milkfat||4 oz.||459 !!|
|Crackers, Wheat Thins – Hint of Salt||16 crackers||55|
|Crackers, Wheat Thins red. Fat||16||230|
|Deli meat, BoarsHead Oven Rst Tky Br Lwr Sodium||2 oz.||340|
|Deli meat, BoarsHead OvenGold Rst Chicken Lwr Sodium||2 oz.||350|
|Enchilada sauce||1/2 cup||280 mild gr chile, 360 reg.|
|Marinade – Lawry Hrb Garl||1 TB||340!!|
|Nutella (choc hazelnut spr) (compare to peanut butter)||2 TBSP||15 **|
|Parmesan cheese||2 tsp||90|
|Pasta (no salt in water)||0|
|Peanut butter reg. / Jif natural||2 TBSP||140 / 80|
|Potatoes, mashed – Potato Buds. Reduce salt by half, 240 mg||1/2 c||400|
|Snack bar – Nutri-Grain – range||per piece||110 to 125|
|Spaghetti sauce Muir Glen Ital Herb||½ cup||280|
|Taco seasoning Low sdm -Old El Paso||1/6 envelope (1 TB)||260|
|Taco shells hard – La Tiara||1||0|
|Tomatoes, chili – Brooks mild||1/2 cup||320|
|Tomatoes, diced – no salt add- Hunts||1/2 cup||15|
|Tomatoes, diced – no salt add -(Ital seas)||1/2 cup||50|
|Tomatoes,reg. canned – diced Mkt Pntry nat. / other||1/2 cup||180 (nat.)/ 330-380 (other)|
|Tortilla – Flour – compare!||1||300-340!!|
|Tortillas – compare! Corn||1||20|
|Yogurt – Activia.regular||per unit||65|
|Yogurt – Greek – Oikos||per unit||45|
|Yogurt – Yoplait light||per unit||80|
|MEAT (not breakfast) – Raw unless noted otherwise|
|Beef – extra lean gr beef/ top sirloin (raw)||3 oz.||60 / 56|
|Beef – top sirloin raw||6 oz.||90|
|Bratwurst – Johnsonville orig||1||810|
|Chicken – drumstick (raw)||1.5 oz||42|
|Chicken – wing (fried)||per wing||157|
|Chicken breasts raw- research viewing packages at Walmart:|
|– Frozen bagged: Forester Farms /Tyson||4 oz.||130 / 180|
|-Fresh Tyson *Natural* Tenderloins / other||4 oz.||110 / 220|
|Fish – salmon / halibut||3 oz||60|
|Fish- canned – tuna / salmon||3 oz||320 / 471|
|Ham, sm honey / roasted / ctr cut cntry style lean||4 oz.||1021/1345/3056|
|Hot dogs – the lower fat dogs have less sodium. According to a couple different sites, the Best-Tasting is Hebrew at 370 mg, BoarsHead (skinless) 97% fat free 270, Applegate Farms uncured beef 330.|
|Meatballs, frozen – Rosina||6||530|
|Pork chop / roast||3 oz.||51 /40|
|Tuna, canned||3 oz.||320|
|Turkey – dark mt / lt meat||3 oz||66/54|
|Hot chocolate fat-free sug fr Nestle||2 TB dry||130|
|Juice, apple||8 oz||25|
|Juice, orange||8 oz.||zero|
|Milk 2% (other are similar)||1 cup||120|
|Milk, soy – Silk light||1 cup||135 (67.5 for 1/2)|
|Soda, Diet Pepsi||per 12 oz can||35|
|Tea, Citrus green – light||per bottle||150|
|Ketchup (Heinz)||1 TBSP||160|
|Salad – Dressing – Newman – lt country french**||2 TBSP||240|
|Salad – Dressing – Newmans Rasp Wal light||2 TBSP||120|
|Salad – Dressing – Italian||2 TBSP||350!!|
|Salsa – fresh (Jack’s mild)||2 TBSP||105|
|Soy sauce – low sodium||1 TB||533|
|Soy sauce – reg||1 TB||920!!|
|Steak sauce – A1 / Heinz 57||1 TB||280 / 150|
|Stir fry sauce, orig La Choy||1 TB||170|
|Taco sauce||1 TBSP||90|
|Brownies, dark fudge, mix, baked – Betty Cr||1 of 20||100|
|Cake, angelfood||1 of 12||210|
|Cake, white, baked, no frosting||1/12th of round||288|
|Cake mix, baked – various choc.||1/10th||360-420|
|Cake frosting, vanilla – Betty Cr||2 TB||65|
|Cookies, animal crackers||16 crackers||105|
|Cookies, general||1||less than 70|
|**Graham cracker||8 (2 sheets) or 4 (1 sheet)||160 or 80|
|Ice Cream – general – avg mg||1/2 c||50|
|Jello – gelatin||½ cup||55|
|Pudding – instant||½ cup||340 !!|
|Pudding cup – Snack Pack||per unit||140|
|I could not copy from the website, and there are too many listings. This is a great website that ranks frozen entrees highest to lowest.|
|Healthy Choice Sweet Ginger Chicken||280|
|Lean Pocket Whl Grn Tky Broc Ched||410|
|Lean Cuisine Glazed Chicken||450|
|WW Sm One Cranbry Turkey Med.||460|
|Kashi Chicken Pasta Pomodoro||470|
|Healthy Choice Gen Tso Sp Chk||500|
|Lean Cuisine Rosemary Chicken||510|
|Healthy Choice Gld Rst Tky Brst||520|
|Lean Cuisine Salis Stk w Mac n Chs||540|
|Lean Cuisine Herb Roasted Chicken||540|
|Lean Cuisine Szechuan Stir Fry w Shrimp||550|
|Lesn Cuisine Chicken in Peanut Sauce||550|
|HC Classic Meat Loaf||
|Kashi Chicken Florentine||550|
|WW Sm One Sweet & Sour Chicken||560|
|WW Sm One Lasagna Florentine||
|HC Chicken Parm||580|
|WW Homestyle Beef Pot Roast||590|
|LC Meatloaf w Masted Potatoes||590|
|LC Salmon with Basil||590|
|HC Four Cheese Manicotti||590|
First, note that February 7 is Wear Red for Women Day! I only have a plain red T-shirt. I guess I will wear it over long sleeves to hang out at home (medical leave). I am going to http://www.shopheart.org to find a couple things to wear any time, and I’ll be ready for future February’s. Maybe I’ll buy a St. Louis Cardinals red shirt, and that will cover everything. This is the first year that wearing red truly has personal meaning.
The world outside my window is beautiful – blanketed with snow. I wish I could walk my dogs in the cold weather. For 5 1/2 years, I rarely let the cold and snow stop us, pulling on snow bibs and boots and getting out there in zero degree weather in the early morning before work. I did it for my two black Labrador retrievers, Kiera and Jasmine, and for me, as it made me feel like I had overcome something. I can’t wait until the weather warms up to 45 F or so, and on a non-windy day, I can walk the girls again. Extreme temperature is the preventative for those of us with congestive heart failure (whatever the cause).
I love the snow, until I must drive on it and endure a slower go on the 35 miles to my workplace in St. Louis. I am on medical leave right now, tentatively going back on March 3rd, so I love it even more. Hopefully this winter will lose some harshness before I go back.
I would rather not have my heart condition; I would rather be bundling up, driving, and feeling normal. Based on my past experience and that of many Christians I know, and the experiences of godly people in the Bible, I know that God has plans for us that take us beyond “normal”, plans that ultimately good. Often these plans are accomplished through challenges, difficulties and suffering.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
***Now to the main topic. a handy-dandy sodium chart to help us when dining out. I gathered information from fast-food restaurants, plus some general tips about dining out in general. I put them into a table that I created in Word, as I did not think that copy-pasting from Excel would work. You will find some formatting inconsistencies, as I could not determine how to delete columns.
At some point, I was frustrated with the comparison websites leaving out information, and I got tired of going to individual sites. It was taking too much time by the time I got to pizza, so there’s less detail there. I hope you will find the chart useful. My purpose was to create something I can print and cut out into a reference to carry in a purse, as well as having a useful quick reference for readers, so the font is reduced., **When viewing it online, you should be able to enlarge by pressing the keys Shift and +.
**My chart primarily lists the foods that are less than 1000 mg sodium. For myself, I do not dine out often, and I would not eat the foods over 700 mg unless it was dinner. Some establishments are listed as eye-openers.
Also know that I will have a separate chart and post for the foods we might eat at home.
For charts specific to each restaurant, with full nutrition information on various places from a one-stop, go to the following website. Click on the restaurant. To see the nutrition chart that enables you to see all the numbers in one screen, click on the Nutrition Chart button on the main page for the restaurant. Plan for plenty of scrolling…and shock.
**My chart is better, so please check it out first before you get distracted in the website.
|FAST FOOD RESTAURANT||SODIUM MG||Notes or recommended exclusions.|
|Grilled Chicken Classic||820|
|Snack wrap w grilled chicken||650-670|
|Salad Southwest chicken w grilled chicken||650||The nutrition chart shows 340 for the Southwest dressing. It is not clear if this is already part of the 650 mg.|
|French fries – small||160|
|Egg McMuffin||780- ( 800white only)|
|Chicken tenders – 3 pcs.||770|
|Cheeseburger – double||820|
|Roast Beef – Regular||850|
|Cheeseburger – small||710|
|Hamburger – small||480|
|French fries – kids nat cut||450 (included to show the high content for the smallest serving)|
|Side salad, no dressing||160 (must be for croutons)|
|Cinnamon Raisin Biscuit||680 (300 cals and 15 g fat)|
|Pancakes (3)||830 (300 cals, 5 fat)|
|Hash Rounds -Small||360 (250 cals and 16 fat)|
|Grilled chicken sandwich||860|
|Ultimate Chicken Grill||880|
|Chicken, crispy go-wrap||910|
|Chicken, grilled go-wrap||740|
|ARBY’S||Sauces add from 160 (horsey to 720 (buffalo dipping sauce for chicken tenders)|
|I usually include only the items that are below 900. I almost excluded Arby’s from the chart but decided to include it as more of a warning. I love(d) this place. Now it is on my “forget it” list. Bummer.|
|Salad dressings add 230 (Hon Must) to 750 (Lt Ital)|
|Curly fries are the highest in sodium among the mg on fries at various restaurants.|
|Roast Beef Classic||970|
|Chopped Farmhouse Salad w Turkey||780|
|Snack n Save Jr. Roast Beef||530|
|Other Jr. Size||over 800|
|Breakfast sandwiches are all off the charts.|
|SUBWAY||Many variables depending on toppings. If you add mayonnaise, pickles, etc., the numbers will increase.|
|Oven Roasted Chicken 6”||610 via Subway’s website using Calculate Yours, customized at right.||Flatbread or 9-grain Wheat, Swiss cheese (the lowest sodium chs); olive oil blend, lettuce, tomato, green peppers|
|Turkey Breast 6”||670 (same all)|
|Harvest Chicken Salad –*Small Only* -with my own (Newmans Rasp Vin Light) dressing –||480 Salad only (starts with honey-dijon chk salad…perhaps ask for plain??)|
|Acai vin dressing 320|
|Chili – small||550|
|CAPTAIN D’s||NOTES: Exclude fried items. Skip or reduce cocktail and tartar sauce. Watch the sides (below)! Do not eat the rice.|
|Grilled shrimp skewers||344|
|Wild salmon salad||539|
|Watch the sides! Baked potato = 539, Green beans = 627, Seasoned rice that comes with grilled items automatically = 500+|
|Corn on the cob (before butter)||0|
|Breadstick||149||Just eat half!|
|TACO BELL||Go very light on the taco sauce, Perhaps ask for cheese on the side.|
|<<This is true of dining out at other Mexican restaurants.|
|The only option is a SOFT TACO: Supreme 350 / Chicken 480/ Beef 570 / Steak 630|
|The 3 Chicken Wraps range from 710 (crispy flamethrower) to 760 (grilled)||Calories range 290 and 15 fat (grilled) to crispy flamethrower (370 and 22).|
|Original Cheeseburger||930||380 calories, 19 g fat|
|(reduce by asking for no cheese (200 mg diff.) and condiments on side.||The mushroom swissburger is slightly lower|
|Hot Dog, regular||750|
|Ice cream treats|
|Cones, not dipped||Range from 70 (kid-size) to 200 (large)||Calories range from 70 to 130.|
|Dip them, and add 20.|
|Sundae, hot fudge, range by size||135-280||Calories 300-610|
|Blizzard, mini, lowest is Hawaiian to highest Oreo Cookie||125 to 280||Cals 300 to 380|
|Dilly Bar||75||220 cal|
|(Italian Cuisine fast food)|
|Lite Baked Spaghetti||500|
|Chicken Mshrm Alf Bake||1100||I’d only consider for dinner…|
|**PIZZA***||1) A key factor for pizza is the crust.|
|2) Generally, the more meat and cheese, the thicker the crust, the higher on sodium (and fat and calories).|
|Our usual pizza source for pick-up (it’s take and bake)||All are Large, based on 1/10th of the pizza. **Except where noted, these are cheese pizzas.|
|My family’s favorite.|
|Pepperoni (De-Lites crust)||300||Compare to Original crust at 706|
|Cowboy (pep, ssg, blk olv mushrm) (De-Lites crust)||409||Compare to Original Crust at 851 mg|
|** REMAINING PIZZA PLACES, READ ACROSS – Comparison of 14” CHEESE THIN / REGULAR (Hand-Tossed) Crust 1/10th of a pizza** (shown Thin / Regular) For more details – http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/pizza-least-salt-sodium.php|
|Domino’s: 194 / 509||Little Caesars||Pizza Hut 594 / 631|
|218 / 404|
|Papa Johns: 461 / 678||Papa Murphys|
|202 / 565|
|TYPE OF CUISINE||BEST CHOICES||***HIGH SODIUM CHOICES*** Stay Away!|
|GENERAL – Dining out||(Appetizers)||-Soup|
|(or at home)||-Fresh fruit and vegetables||-Crackers|
|-Unsalted nuts||-Cheese dips|
|-Dried fruits or banana chips||-Cocktail sauce|
|-Swiss or goat cheese||-Meatballs|
|-Feta, brie, and most other cheeses|
|Dressings||-Vinaigrette, or oil and vinegar||-Creamy (ranch, french)|
|Toppings||Veggies, egg||Bacon bits, croutons|
|Grilled fish or chicken||Cheesy dishes, like enchiladas and quesadillas|
|Request sauces on the side||Beef or chicken tacos or tostadas||Burritos|
|Ask that cheese not be added to your meal||Corn tortillas||Beans and rice|
|Substitute corn tortillas for flour||Fresh salsa or pico de gallo||Chorizo (Mexican sausage)|
|ITALIAN||Pastas with marinara sauce||Antipasto platters|
|Pasta/fagoli or marsala dishes||Cheese or cream sauces|
|Primavera||Adding grated cheese|
|Piccata (hold the capers)||Breads and rolls|
|Oil and vinegar dressing|
|ASIAN||-Steamed rice||-Lo mein or chow mein|
|– Steamed or stir-fried dishes with vegetables|
|Leave sauce on the plate||-Bean curd or tofu items||-Deep fried or battered dishes (tempura)|
|-Sweet and sour,|
|Ask for no MSG||chili, or garlic sauces (although still high these have the lowest amounts)||-Black bean, hoisin, plum, fish and oyster sauces|
The First Challenge at Home – Eating
I came home from the hospital on January 2, 2014. The first week home was quite challenging. An oral thrush infection had begun in the hospital, I guess my bacterial balance was off due to the antibiotics. My tongue was starting to hurt, avoiding sugar and bread are recommended to prevent the thrush, a yeast, from getting worse. Canker sores appeared on my lower lip. It hurt to eat Raisin Bran. I got a prescription of Nylastatin, I popped some garlic and acidophilus pills, and I ate yogurt. On January 14, I was able to say that my mouth felt fine. Thank you, God!
Worse than the thrush problem was the realization that, permanently, I must now follow a low-sodium diet. I have always watched calories and fat, I am not one to be heavy on the salt-shaker, and my blood pressure is always well below the 120 on the top number, even without the medications I was prescribed. Do I really need to stay under 2000 mg? What the heck can I eat? This is a new ballgame.
I lost my appetite for awhile and added Boost to the short list of things I consumed. The first week I saw the scale drop 12 pounds, due additionally to diuretics like Lasix and spironolactone, and to loss of muscle mass.
I learned quickly the impact of restricting my sodium. I normally have a hard-boiled egg as part of my breakfast, for a little protein, with a little salt and pepper. Salt from the shaker is a no-no. Not that I use a teaspoon of it at one time, but a teaspoon of salt contains more than the day’s limit of sodium. That tells me I should not use it, period. An egg without salt is incredibly bland.
I had often alternated Egg Beaters with the hard-boiled eggs. Less fat and calories. Of course, it has sodium. The original variety has 90 per 3 TBSP. Egg whites have 75 per 3 TBSP. I have been mixing one real egg with the one serving of Egg Beaters, and sprinkling Mrs. Dash Table Blend. Not too bad. It is okay on an hard-boiled egg as well. I have read on forums that sage, thyme, garlic, and hot sauce are tasty alternatives on scrambled eggs. Note that hot sauce has its own sodium.
**Check out my links on the home page, currently on the right margin. I added a few links regarding sodium, and I plan to keep adding sites about sodium and dilated cardiomyopathy.
DINING OUT – FAST FOOD
On January 16, when I decided to get out of the house and accompany my husband to the veterinarian (30-minute drive) for a 6 pm appointment, I knew we had to grab dinner at a fast-food restaurant. I looked up the content for various establishments. I found a website with links to multiple places; I cannot find that site now. I scribbled down the lowest items.
The information useful for that first dinner experience allowed me to choose between McDonalds and Arbys. Having counted my sodium all day, I still had 1000 mg available on a 2000 maximum. McDonald’s offered: Fish filet at 590, grilled chicken classic at 820, a hamburger (the small one) at 480 or cheeseburger at 680 mg. Wow, the cheese makes a 200 mg difference. A yogurt parfait, which I usually substitute for fries anyway, has only 70 mg. Since the only item at Arby’s* that looked filling enough for dinner was the Roast Beef Classic at 970 mg, we went to McDonald’s. I ordered a hamburger with no toppings*, I used just a little of a ketchup packet, and enjoyed a yogurt parfait.
*Pickles are high in salt, so it helps to exclude them. Mayonnaise (110 mg/2 TB), ketchup, and mustard add sodium, too. I don’t like pickles anyway, and the other condiments I like to keep light as well. Not much of a sacrifice. I do like Arby’s, so I am bummed out about their lack of options. Their lowest sodium salad (Chopped Farmhouse with Roasted Turkey) was at 780 and I did not feel like eating salad as you don’t know how much meat they include. Maybe if I took my own salad dressing it would’ve been do-able. Arby’s lowest salad dressing is at 230 (honey mustard).
The plan for some posts in the near-future:
I am working on charts to list the lower sodium options for some fast-food restaurants, general tips about dining out, and sodium content I’ve noted for eating at home. I want to have something neat to put in my purse as reference when I dine out. I love to share helpful information with others, so I will be posting the charts when I am finished. I hope it helps someone like me; I have not found one website that has everything, and I won’t bother with the higher sodium foods. I will have one post for the dining out information and another for eating at home. It may be more broken out that that, as I don’t want something super long that requires lots of scrolling.
I love the Bible and there are so many verses that I try to apply to my life and which comfort me, remind me of God’s love, faithfulness, and goodness and keep my worry level to a minimum. Today I have started signing off with Scripture, so here it is for today:
..but those who hope in the Lord renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.(Isaiah 40:31)