You Salty, huh?

saltyWe as humans are creatures of habit, we do what we’re used to and don’t even question it. This personally reigns true for me when I’m sitting at a dining table and sprinkle some table salt on my food when it doesn’t meet my flavor standards. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that this additional ingredient puts a toll on my well-being.

I generally eat pretty clean, so I had to pause for a minute and question why my seemingly harmless avocado toast was making me feel so bloated and sluggish. My thought process was that I’m better off adding salt and pepper to my food rather than a hefty sauce, butter, cheese, or dressing. Which is true in most senses, but becoming too dependent on salt only causes sluggishness, bloating and cravings for fatty foods.

I realized that once I stopped adding salt to my food I felt comfortably full, extremely energized and not bloated. Once I noticed this difference it made it easy for me to decide to give up table salt for the year. I found myself broadening my horizon to the healthy alternatives to salt and realizing how little sodium we actually need in our diet.

According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended that we consume 1,500 mg of sodium a day -which is less than the amount of salt found in a teaspoon. Despite your current health status, this is an easy initiative to limit your risk factors to cardiovascular disease.

If your preferred salt intake is that of a deer’s attraction to a salt lick, this might be a troubling thought to you. However, it is easier than you think to flavor your food without salt, here’s how.

 

  • Lemon: What we tend to love about salt is it’s slight tang. What better way to make up for this with a squeeze of some fresh and tangy lemon juice?
  • Pepper: I have always added pepper to my food, personally if it’s not spicy or flavorful I’m pretty bored with that food. So I always make sure to add Cayenne pepper, or black pepper.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar is a great alternative to salt. Balsamic vinegar can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels according to livestrong.com. Plus, a little bit goes a long way when it comes to vinegar.
  • Garlic: Adding garlic to food is the perfect zest for you non pepper eaters. Not only does it give food a satisfying, hearty taste but it helps speed up your metabolism and is a good source of iron according to whfoods.org.

 

February is just around the corner, which is American Heart month. What better time than now to make this simple change that can greatly improve your cardiovascular health? Broaden your palate horizon, limit your salt intake and indulge in an energized and healthy lifestyle.

“It’s a good day to have a good one.”

-Alena Purpero

There’s nothing to “wine” about: the benefits of wine

Now that I’m 21, I can finally purchase and experiment with different kinds of wine. I have been a waitress for a quarter of my life, and I’ve always been pretty knowledgeable about wine because I had to sell it, but I was curious to see what they tasted like.

Now that I’m an experienced wino, I more or less pretend to be an expert, and my pallet has taught me that I prefer dry red wines and sweeter white wines.

Having said this, I was recently curious to see how many calories were in wine.

According to a blogger on Sparkpeople.com, who is currently trying to lose weight, wine is the best choice of alcoholic beverages when it comes to calorie count.

Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Zinfandel® white wine, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot all contain 20 calories per ounce. That’s roughly 100 calories for a five ounce glass.

If you think 100 calories is a lot for a glass of wine, consider this: one ounce of Rye Whiskey, White Rum, Vodka or Tequila contains 69 calories. That’s 345 calories for a five ounce glass! Yikes!

If you aren’t a huge wine drinker, beer is the second best option. Beers, whether they are lagers, ales, ciders, etc., typically have around 150 calories per 12 ounce serving. Drinking “light” beers will drop the number of calories even lower.

Aside from the low calorie count, wine also has some surprising health benefits!

According to Food&Wine.com, drinking wine promotes longevity, reduces heart-attack risk, lowers risk of heart disease, lowers risk of heart disease, reduces risk of Type 2 diabetes, lowers risk of stroke, cuts risk of cataracts, cuts risk of colon cancer and slows brain decline.

It needs to be noted that these health benefits are configured based on “moderate” wine drinking, which is defined by the American Heart Association as one to two four-ounce glasses a day.

While wine is delicious and surprisingly beneficial to your health, it is important to remember to always drink responsibly. It is my experience that wine tastes the best when consumed to help wash down a mouth-watering meal or while staying in and watching a late-night movie. The point is to enjoy the flavor of the wine, not wake up with the worst hangover of your life!

Having said that, I advise you to go out and try a new kind of wine, you might surprise yourself!

For information about calorie count comparisons and serving sizes of wine, you can visit the University Health and Counseling Services website: http://www.uww.edu/uhcs/az/alcohol.html.

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~

Abbey :]