Low Sodium Challenge

I went to the doctor on Tuesday because I thought I had an umbilical hernia – turns out, I was correct, and that means surgery. Not happy about that,
but I can deal with it, as I’ve had two successful C-Sections. The really¬†really bad news was that my BP, which is normally incredibly low (we’re talking 110/55 here), has spiked to 142/96. Now, it’s true that I have been more stressed in the past five months since I was at the doctor than ever before. But it’s also true that I have been eating more fast food and processed food than ever before in my entire life. I used to be a 2-3x a week fast/processed food eater, and before this week I’d gotten up to every day, at least one if not two meals per day. Thinking about it, and actually writing it out, makes me feel so gross. I’ve also gained six pounds in the past five months, which is not good at all.

heartSo my doctor told me for the next month, until my appointment on December 28th, I am to follow the DASH Diet. I am tracking my food intake on My Fitness Pal, and I am posting daily photos of my meals to my Facebook in order to hold myself accountable.

Thus far it hasn’t been too bad, 2313mg yesterday on my first try. I’m aiming for 1500mg. I think that once I get all the regular/high sodium foods out of the house, combined with giving up fast foods, I won’t have a problem staying under 2000mg at least. Today is going to be a bad day because I finished up some deli ham and guacamole for breakfast! But as I said on my Facebook post, I’m not going to beat myself up because I feel that giving up fast/processed foods is the biggest key to lowering my BP.

Follow me on My Fitness Pal: Rock_Kowgurl

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Easy Weeknight Pasta Meal

I had an abundance of fresh produce that was about to turn, so I decided to use it all up in one meal. I went with pasta, as it lends itself to many different flavors and textures, and is very simple to make.

wpid-collage_20150923183418149.jpgFirst, I cooked the pasta and set it aside. I used radiatori so that the ridges on the noodles would catch all the tasty goodness of the vegetables. Next, I chopped up tomatoes, red peppers, and banana peppers, and then I added a heaping spoonful of minced garlic. I tossed those into the pot I used for boiling the pasta, added a little salt, pepper, and olive oil, and sauteed until the tomatoes were just starting to break down. At this point I added some sliced black olives and a green onion. I didn’t want those to get cooked too much, which is why I added them near the end. Finally I put the pasta back into the pot and stirred everything together for a few minutes, until the pasta was heated through. I served it with a huge hunk of crusty garlic bread and a sprinkling of parmesan. Even JI, Mr. Picky, enjoyed the meal!

You can add chicken to the dish if you’re into that kind of thing, or you can eliminate the cheese if you want to make it vegan. There are tons of options for this dish!