After a long and overdue conversation with a good friend, I left our phone call happy and filled with nostalgia as we recalled some of the good times we shared at a place we once attended together. One of the subjects of our two-hour communication reunion was seasonings. You see, sometimes life gets in the way, and we are often busy, so the opportunity to speak to one another evades us. She shared a situation where she was at a catered event, and she cared little for the food because it lacked flavor. I thought it was interesting because most people in the catering business have a love affair with food. They enjoy cooking and go out of their way to serve a meal that is tasty and filling to encourage recommendations. I thought about growing up and learning to cook. I enjoyed it so much; I took classes throughout the time I was in school. I learned the basics from my Aunt Fannie and Grandmother Martha. They had gardens and grew common vegetables and herbs. How they prepared food later became the source of my cooking habits.
Salty and Sweet
I have a thing for sweet and salty. My situation is probably shared by many, but since I don’t have friends that can relate, I feel as though what I am about to share is something I do alone. I prefer chips (salt source), and certain candies (sugary source). I like the snacks separate; I rarely eat them together like the snack packs sold where there are chocolate and nuts together or something similar. My combination of sweet and salty is one or two pieces of something sweet and a long train ride into the bliss of chips, salted cashews, crackers, Chex Mix, and popcorn. Unfortunately, this method of snacking has landed me unsuspectingly in front of my doctor, a lovely woman who I have been a patient of for many years; during a routine check-up advising me of my blood pressure and the things I can do to overcome this challenge. I immediately thought, well, all I have to do is stop eating salty snacks for breakfast, throughout lunch, and for part of my dinner. Honestly, I am speaking facetiously; it is much more than the act of ending a thing.
Trade Old Habits for New Ones
When you enjoy eating certain kinds of food, it is tough to change those habits. Often, unfortunately, it takes a health challenge before some people take it seriously. I love my life and find something new to be grateful about every day even if it is for the moment my heart needs to deliver oxygen through my body allowing every cell to do something great in a mere sixty seconds. That beautiful organ pumps 83 gallons of blood an hour. I find it difficult drinking A gallon of water in the 14 to 16 hours I am awake in a day. I had to apologize to my heart and promise to do better because it deserves it; I deserve it. Initially, I was met with challenges because I enjoyed eating salty foods. After a long and considerable fight, I began experimenting with different flavors. There are many vegetables, herbs, and spices that can add whatever you need to any meal. While, in my opinion, there is no real substitution for what salt does to food, you could certainly cut back on your sodium intake without losing a step or the character of a meal. Needless to say, my doctor was pleased.
Yummy Foundations of Flavor
Depending on what you plan to prepare, you can start a foundation of flavor with onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. These four ingredients in many combinations can make any recipe come to life. There are different variations of the vegetables I mentioned that produce a mild or sharp taste according to what you are looking to get out of a food serving. You can add green, orange, yellow, or red peppers for a sweet, savory flavor or serrano, habanero, cayenne, or poblano peppers for a meal with a bite or one with a kick of spicy. You can use goto herbs like parsley, cilantro, thyme, basil, rosemary, and others that can complement your course or give something new. Consider mushrooms as well.
To You with Love
The things mentioned in this article are suggestions that can add to the conversation for overcoming the high blood pressure challenge. I did not say stop using salt but gave ideas you can incorporate with your regular cooking routine to help cut back on the salt you consume and that along with at least 30 minutes of exercise or activity a day can lower your blood pressure. You may avoid taking pills for the obstacle if you’re willing to do the work. I am grateful that my doctor prefers lifestyle change over prescriptions writing as a first measure. I am thankful that I changed my habits and add exercise to my schedule to help her avoid calling in a script of medication for me. I encourage you to start. Small changes make a difference and better than doing nothing. The requirement to fulfill the promise of taking better care of your heart is easier than you think.
♥ Cheers (Smoothies Up) to Your Whole Health ♥,