Tuesday, September 09, 2008

For such a time as this

With the breadmaker going, the homeschool books waiting and Ponytails on her way out the door, I still have a couple of minutes to make some observations. The past week has been very educational, especially about SODIUM and particularly about the cramp that any special diet puts in your style these days. Even if you don't eat out much.

However: I think we're very lucky. Blessed. Whatever.

A great deal of what I learned earlier this year about gluten-free diets, particular ingredients and brands (such as the Bob's Red Mill line of grains), reading labels on EVERYTHING, using the breadmaker, using the most current library cookbooks available, and people "not getting it" applies right back to Mr. Fixit's current low sodium needs. Almost eerily, in fact.

Low-sodium cooking is a lot easier in some ways (than gluten-free). There's no issue of cross-contamination. Yeast baking is actually pretty easy if you follow the recipes. I haven't yet been able to locate low-sodium baking powder and baking soda (yes, they do exist) locally, but I know they're available online and I'm still looking.

But the problems of not being able to use many prepared foods, and of not being able to find anything decent to eat at a restaurant beyond plain meat and baked potato (and the places we go tend to be slice-of-pizza, not meat-and-potato)--those are things common to GF diets, low-sodium, and, I assume, other diets that haven't even crept into our radar like diabetic needs. There's more emotional stuff than you'd think tied into a bottle of ketchup. Or, in our case, being able to throw chicken or sausage into the crockpot on top of some sauerkraut. These transitions are never easy. [Additional observation: one of the other difficulties that is closer to a diabetic diet than to GF is the issue of portion control; with GF you are "only" trying to avoid gluten, but otherwise you can eat as much of everything as you like; when you are limited to 2000 mg of sodium a day (or less, for some people), you can only eat a certain amount of even low-sodium food without going over the limit.)

But having already had what seems like a prep-course in doing things differently, even though it ended up seeming an unnecessary effort then--I can only figure that it came along at the right time.

(I did buy a bottle of no-sugar no-salt ketchup yesterday. Mr. Fixit says it's acceptable.)


Meredith@MerchantShips said...


Even though I learned how to cook for diabetes, I was completely and utterly unprepared for the emotional side of giving things up.

The hidden blessing of this gestational diabetes is that I have developed a much deeper sense of empathy and motivation for my husband's meals.

Not everyone can cook like this--much less on a budget and with a cheerful countenance--so hats off to you!

Stephanie in AR said...

To true! Try avoiding soy & all its hidden names. Like sugar & sodium it is everywhere.

Birdie said...

Since I am diabetic and allergic to sugar and corn syrup, I can REALLY relate. When pregnant, I have also had to follow a low-sodium diet. Our family pretty much kissed pre-prepared foods and condiments goodbye a few months ago when we discovered that two of the children share my corn-syrup allergy. That's how our little Pioneer Diet Experiment got started. I feel very blessed that Eaglewood and the children have adapted to it and even seem to be enjoying it now.

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