Jouney to a Healthier Me – Sodium

Health consciousness leads to many benefits, one being a life with more vitality. This is something I have personally experienced when actively applying the healthier lifestyle practices. The thing is, we already know what to do. Many of us even know how to do. The problem lies in finding the motivation to do!

Last month you followed me on my water adventure. I’m proud to say that since that blog I’ve only missed a few days of drinking 64 oz of water. In fact most days my intake is higher! My motivation was and still is the desire to have more energy and to be an overall healthy individual. Where I was too aggressive though, is in thinking I could tackle one new thing a week. NOT! I quickly assessed that was too much for me with my current limitations and packed schedule. So let’s try monthly.

This month I’m working on sodium intake. This is fitting considering water follows sodium, even on the cellular level. So you can drink all the water you want but if your sodium intake is excessive, instead of flushing your system you may still end up with edema (swelling), hypertension, and heart disease. Those are the things we are trying to avoid. So, what is the recommended amount of sodium for the average adult? The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg a day and moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. So for my personal goal I will be attempting stay within those numbers.

The best way I have found to track this is by means of the MyFitnessPal app. I was originally introduced to this app a few years back. I downloaded it and was happy that the part I needed was free. At the time though, I couldn’t wrap my head around logging my every meal, snack, even water! Being older & wiser, I now see the benefits. I began actively using the app in 2017 when attempting to lose weight for a big vacation. I was shocked to see how foods I thought were healthy, were loaded in sodium and sugar. I made adjustments to meals based off the feedback I was given from the app. Within 2 months I lost over 10 lbs! No fad diets, just making diet adjustments and exercising regularly. So back to the app I go. This time I have better goals in mind. The paid version of course breaks it down in more detail. However, since we are focusing on Sodium intake, this version is sufficient.

Search for the item you ate, add to your meal, and the app basically calculates the caloric content and nutritional facts. Lay’s Salt & Vinegar Stax are my ALL TIME FAVORITE. Depicted is my entry. If the food item entered is high in sodium, MyFitnessPal will warn you saying, “This food is high in sodium”. Yes, they throw a flag on the play. This is good since this alerts you to foods you need to avoid eating on a regular basis. Based on my weight-loss goals, the app allows for me to have 2300 mg of Sodium however my goal is to stay below. For the next few days I will merely track my daily sodium intake then based on the findings, I will make adjustments.

Sincerest apologies for taking so long to get this blog out to you but I hope you join me on the new journey to a healthier me.