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Celebrate your low sodium success!

Published: 12:50 pm CDT, January 30, 2013

Low-Sodium Dinner Party

As you near the end of your Twenty-One Day Sodium-Swap Challenge there is one more obstacle to overcome: eating low-sodium, with others. For many, the most daunting task of a low-sodium diet is not the lack of salt, but the lack of company. Or at least the fear that no one will enjoy low-sodium food with you.

 But as you’ve discovered these past three weeks, low-sodium food can be flavorful. Really flavorful. And worth sharing with others. So it’s time to show off your new knowledge (and new favorite low-sodium dishes) with family and friends. Because the best thing you can do for your health and your low-sodium diet is invite others to join along. The more you educate the people around you — the chefs at your favorite restaurant, your neighbors, your best friends, your aunts and uncles — the better they’ll know how to feed you and the better you’ll eat. And who knows, they might just adjust their own diet too.

 So to celebrate your low-sodium successes this month, throw a dinner party with your nearest and dearest. Let them in on the salty-swap fun. Make it a game — like an Iron Chef No-Salt Battle — inviting everyone to bring their best low-sodium skills to the table.  And follow the steps below to host one tasty, thrilling, low-sodium dinner party. Hopefully, the first of many more to come.

 THE INVITATION

Tell your friends it’s time to party, because for the last twenty-one days you’ve managed to eat incredibly well while avoiding the saltiest items in the market. Tell them about some of your biggest flavor “AHA” moments (roasted tomatoes are so savory! beets are kind of salty! plum jam makes a great teriyaki substitute!). And invite them, for one night, to experience the world beyond salt with you.

 THE RULES

Like many of the food game shows on TV, you’ll give each of your guests a secret ingredient to make the star of the meal. Or in this case, a missing ingredient to make the star of the meal (you guessed it: salt). You can do this by either:

  • Telling guests to pick their favorite dish and to “salt-free” it with your help and instructions
  • Assigning each guest one of the natural “AHA” flavor boosters — outlined in this blog post (link to blog) — to use in their cooking
  • Giving guests different low-sodium dishes you’ve created with over the past twenty-one days
  • Or any other fabulous idea you come up with

 THE INSTRUCTIONS

In order to give your guests confidence in their low-sodium kitchen, help them understand which foods are high in sodium and which are not. Explain that the majority of the sodium in our diet comes from processed foods and that, in this low-sodium challenge, it is important to avoid the Salty Six as well as other prepared items high in sodium.

 From there, you can also ask guests to not use Soy Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, or other high-sodium ingredients you’ve decided to avoid. But remember, it’s also very important to include information on the low-sodium ingredients and savvy low-sodium swaps you like to use in order to encourage creativity. So be sure to also provide your own list of low-sodium favorites and flavor boosters as well as links to low-sodium online resources, blogs, and cooking sites.

 THE RESULTS

Once you’ve set up your low-sodium potluck, tell guests to dig in and taste all the flavors beyond the salt. And now, your posse of family and friends will have all the knowledge, know-how, and delicious recipes they need to cook low-sodium for you in the weeks and months to come.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Read more about Jessica’s journey to a low-sodium life by going to www.sodiumgirl.com.

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