Do I Have to Give Up Salt?

The short answer is yes. Yes, you do have to give up salt. Not so long ago, I made the totally ignorant comment to my loved one that I will give up a LOT of things, but salt isn’t one of them. And then my medical results proved that there is a big need for getting my body right again, a need for better nutrition and a need to – wait for it – cut down on salt.

This won’t be easy. I am used to salting my food before I even take a bite. The more salt? The better the flavor. Imagine french fries without salt. Who eats any type of potatoes with no salt? I had a terrible habit of just pouring out a little pile of salt near the fries and dipping the fries in the salt, just like you might dip a fry into those little plastic square ketchup things that you get at Wendy’s. But my days of salt euphoria are over. When you are on a fast track to having your heart quit on you, you will cut down on salt. Sure, my food tastes kind of bland — well, it’s really just blahhhhh — but it surely beats the alternative, I guess.

If you’ve ever heard of Dr. Dean Ornish, or read any of his books that have been around for the last 30 years, you will know that he believes you can actually reverse heart disease by changing your diet to a plant-based source, along with regular exercise, yoga or meditation. Again, if you are headed toward a heart attack, you will do it. Trust me on that. One look into the tender eyes of my grandchild and I can tell you that I want to be around for quite a while just to see that kid grow up. Salt be damned.

Caffeine seems to be another culprit which is going to lessen my lifespan if I don’t give it up. So okay, happy doctor, I will try that. And honestly, drinking decaffeinated coffee is kind of like putting water on your breakfast cereal. I mean, it’s okay, and you aren’t going to die or anything, but there just isn’t any pizzazz to cereal with water instead of milk, and there isn’t any pizzazz to coffee without caffeine. However, after the 4th (or 5th) cup of the stuff, it’s still warm going down, and drinking it is kind of a soothing reminder of how much you still like the stuff. I suppose after several months or years or whatever, it will be like second nature. And the price? Why is decaffeinated coffee so much more expensive in the grocery store? You’ve taken all the good stuff out of it, so let’s make it cheaper, why don’t we?

Let’s take away something I abhor. My little high school in small town Gurley, Nebraska, pop. 230, served for lunch a lemon yellow jello with chopped raw carrots and celery in it, and it made me gag to the point of dry heaves. I’m sure that should be bad for your heart, all that convulsing just trying to remove it from your body. My teacher made me eat it – just a little bit – just a little bit too much. I’ll bet there is a picture in a very old Betty Crocker cookbook of a jello mold that looks like that awful wiggly thing they served. Ugh!

I can barely look at it.

They have fake salt in a blue shaker thing, which just reminds me of putting sand on your food. Great to smudge your toes down in it on the beach, but I surely don’t want it on my food. No flavor. Decaf’ coffee? Just “meh.” Decaf’ tea? Just more “meh.” But I’m going to do it. I’m going to put a pic of my sweet grandson on the inside of my cupboard door, the one that opens for the salt. It’s a minor inconvenience, isn’t it?

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