After years of skipping my annual physical, I finally made an appointment to go this past March. I couldn’t call myself a self-care coach if I hadn’t gotten a full medical work up since my son was born in 2008. That just doesn’t work.
Upon my visit, most of my tests were great — except my blood pressure was sky-high. I was only 30 so my doctor was a little concerned. She put me on a low-sodium diet (no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day) for two weeks and we scheduled a follow-up appointment.
Once I left the office armed with information, I was confident it would be no problem until I actually began looking at nutrition labels and keeping track of my sodium intake. My favorite shrimp creole recipe? 2,200 milligrams of sodium. My favorite Chinese food takeout? 3,400 milligrams. One cheesecake slice had 700 milligrams. The numbers were adding up fast and I was stunned. What is safe to eat? I wondered.
Up until that point, I had only looked at fat, calories and sugar on my labels. I thought I was doing a great job! But as I told my doctor at my two week check-up (when my blood pressure was lower!), now that I know how much sodium is in every day foods, I can’t “unknow” it!