Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Demon Salt

Some smoked sea salt hubby got at a scratch 'n dent store.
I have never been one to add salt to my food. Not at the table, nor while I'm cooking, either. I learned from my mom growing up that salt was a thing not really necessary to add to food because most foods have naturally more than enough sodium to meet our daily intake requirements. So I never added salt to my boiling cream of wheat or my pasta or my soups (except on a very rare occasion). I didn't even add salt to my home-made french fries. I would substitute garlic powder. NOT garlic salt.

In my family, when I was growing up I noticed we didn't buy a lot of prepared foods, either. No canned goods, no boxed up meals, no TV dinners, nothing like that. (My mom wisely pointed out to me that it was cheaper to make your own from scratch then buy a boxed meal.) So my entire life has pretty much been avoiding salt. When I see people adding salt to their food (especially without even tasting it first), I shake my head and wonder how in the world they can do that. I see chefs on TV adding handfuls of salt to stuff, saying that it enhances the flavor of the food. No it doesn't. It makes the food taste salty.

Lately, though, we've been pretty broke. Damn economy, damn hubby's health problems. You know the drill. Anyhow, because of it, we have had to be much less choosy about what we cook. Family and friends have given us food (stuff from boxes of food they got at food giveaways and were things they didn't like), and we take their donations with a glad and thankful heart. We've even picked up an occasional food box ourselves. In addition, we have been shopping at scratch 'n dent stores like Grocery Outlet, Everyday Deals, and whatnot. They get all kinds of different foods for super cheap. The stuff found at these places are close to date, or the packaging is munched, or are overstocks. But you can find cheap stuff to feed your family and stretch the dollar. It's to the point that the boxed refined stuff is cheaper than the fresh healthy stuff for us.

While I try to buy stuff that is good for us and budget for fresh meat and vegetables, more boxed or canned goods have made their way into our kitchen. And my husband likes to cook (not that I'm complaining about that!) a lot. He likes the "gourmet" salts. He brought back some pink Hawaiian sea salt from Hawaii when he visited there a few years ago. A few months ago we found a package of specialty smoked salt flakes for $1 at one of those scratch n' dent stores and he snatched it up. And he adds salt to the food from time to time when he cooks. I discourage it, but he likes it. Though, I have to say his smoked salt is pretty tasty lightly sprinkled on corn on the cob.  Dammit.

Wow. Just wow. It is amazing to me how much salt makes a difference in my diet. Salt really seems to affect me these days. Last month, when I lost all that weight, I think much of it was water weight from too much salt intake. I had totally cut out as much salt/prepared foods as I possibly could, ate less and tried to eat better and dropped 10 pounds. This month, I still worked on portion control and being more active, but my weight has been all over the place. I realize that I've been eating more prepared foods and saltier foods this month. I notice after I have a particularly salty day, my ankles swell for a couple of days and I put on a few pounds of water weight. It's ridiculous.

So, note to self. I need to start cooking for myself more. Hubby may like to cook, but I can't eat what he prepares. He shouldn't eat what he prepares either, with his health problems, but that is another subject. Eating right is going to cost us a lot more. I just hope we can work it into our budget somehow.

No comments:

Post a Comment