Sunday, 28 June 2009

Going salt-free

I admit the title for this post is a bit alarmist and exagerrated (and not the most interesting either) 'Drop the salt and come out out of the bulding with your hands on your head!'. No, I am not going to go on a salt-free diet, I am however, going to seriously cut down. I think health and nutrition-wise people fall into 3 main types; those whose bodies are temples and live healthily whether or not they've been told that they should, those who start to make healthy-living measures once they get some kind of warning (from the doctor, a blood test, their scales or otherwise) that their health is not A1, and those who regardless of what they can see happening with their bodies. do not really make any changes. I think I fit into the second category (don't most people?); the past year has given me a few wake up calls regarding my health and though I've been living a slightly healthier lifestyle for a few months now, I feel the next step is to cut down on salt. Well, I'm 2 days in and it's sooo hard! Salt is everywhere, and 75% of it is hidden in processed food. I bemoaned the lack of convenience food in Spain a few posts ago, but with hind sight I thank the Corte Inglés for this scarcity. The other difficulty is eating out (another thing I love about life here), food tends to be quite salty and I don't think restaurants would do special salt-free versions of the dishes on their menus just for my pleasure. Part of the fun of eating out here is the sharing aspect (which usually involves sharing a myriad of delicious salty dishes - huevos estrellados, cecina de León... mmm), and in the past I've been secretly irritated by going out for raciones and then being told I can't order any of my favourite meat dishes because we have a vegetarian in tow (sorry veggie friends ;-)) so we'd end up with plates full of cheese, which I don't like but felt I couldn't protest against as I have no moral or religious reason for my feelings against this dairy product. Well, I'm about to become one of those 'finnicky eaters' 'Sorry, no olives for me - too salty', 'No, no jamon either', 'Clams? No, I believe they're very high in salt'.. God, I'm going to be intensly irritating, but on a more serious note, this does make me realise what nightmare eating out must be for those who are an a restricted diet for some reason.

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