Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Salt be gone!

So I've been doing a little experiment these last 3 days.  Basically, I've stopped eating salt, in all it's forms, yes, that includes my beloved Himalayan pink salt.
And this is what happened, I lost 2 kilos.
I've always known salt to be the number one culprit in fluid retention but 2 kilos worth, wow!  Now I know why body builders and models stay away from it before a major event, gee whiz!
I used to think that I didn't eat that much salt but when I really think about it, I always add it to my dressings, somehow they just taste a bit bland without it right?
And hey, don't we need salt for our cells to function?

First thing first, yes it's true that things taste bland without salt, that is because salt actually dampens the ability of our taste buds to sense the range of flavours (sweet, sour, bitter). This is why we load our foods with it!  A vicious cycle.  
If we want to wean ourselves off salt, we must make a commitment to complete abstinence and if we do this, I'm told that the cravings for salt will abate in a couple of weeks.  This also means that your tastes will change, and yes, people may find your new salt-free food bland, but hey, you have to start somewhere, and with more practice, you'll be able to turn tasteless dressings into delicious and nutritious accompaniments to your kick-ass salads.

But what about the importance of salt for cell functioning?  Firstly, extracted sodium chloride (salt) is very different to the sodium and other vital minerals that our cells need.  The former is toxic whilst the latter occurs naturally in whole plant foods.  Eating a variety of vegetables such as tomato and celery, contain the right balance of natural salts and minerals that our cells need to function at optimal levels.

So, the moral of the story is, if you are trying to give up salt, do it now, just stop!
If you wan't to cut down, make it a point to have salt free days, and beware of packaged foods if  you eat those  because they are PACKED with salt and other bad stuff.
If you must eat salt, I still believe that Himalayan pink salt is the way to go as it hasn't been processed to hell and back.

Now I don't want to leave you empty handed in a saltless world so here is a salad dressing that requires no salt but packs a flavour punch.  

Mexican Salad with Spicy Jalapeño Dressing
Serves 1

1 head of cos lettuce (romaine)
1 tomato diced
1 corn cob, kernels removed
1/4 cup red capsicum (peppers)
1/4 cup yellow capsicum
1/4 of a small red onion, sliced thinly
1 small mango, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
2 handfuls of baby spinach
small bunch of coriander (cilantro) or to taste

2 kiwifruit
1/2 medium cucumber
2 stalks of celery
1 small lemon (juiced)
Jalapeño chilli to taste 

Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl.
Blend all dressing ingredients until desired consistency  I like mine smooth.

Pour dressing over salad and enjoy the yumminess!
This is completely raw vegan and a good example of what a typical 80/10/10 meal looks like.  However, if you are eating cooked foods, you could cook the corn although I highly recommend trying it raw, just so sweet!
You could also add some red kidney beans or black beans.

So, try to eliminate the salts and see if it makes a difference to how you feel, I have a feeling it will.

Peas, love and mungbeans