Update

As we all know, treatment for Minere’s disease is unpredictable and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. We felt incredibly grateful when a low sodium diet was helping Derrick manage the symptoms; but we knew it wasn’t a cure. After years of low sodium, the positive effects of that diet slowly waned. […]

New Camera!

Phone

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As you have been witness too, the images on this website are less than perfect. Thus, I just went through a mass effort to convert those hideous pictures into thumb-nail sized images on recipe cards. Not only do I think it makes the site cleaner, but it also hides the many flaws to the snapped […]

A Letter to Low-Sodium Newbies

My Dear Friend,

Firstly, I’m so sorry! I know that this is a very difficult time and that you feel as though nothing will ever be the same. I’ve been there – crying in the kitchen wondering what in the world I can make for dinner, in the grocery isles picking up item after item that is now inedible, and in the pantries and cupboards clearing out food that we can no longer eat. I’ve had that knot in my throat questioning how is the feeling of “full” going to exist again. I’ve been there with you, frustrated, hungry, tired and just wanting to order take-out.

But I want to offer you some hope. Though it has taken a bit of time, trust me when I say that you will overcome this. You will find new recipes, new meals and be all the healthier for it. I can assure you that you will get full and even have sodium to spare in the day. You will learn to budget your sodium where you can eat pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, bread, milk and your coveted mocha once more!

Yes, you have been presented with a challenge. I know that it feels like nobody understands and that they think it is non big deal; but you know what? It is a big deal and there ARE those who understand what you are going through. I know that it can be frustrating and that everything seems like a struggle, but you are strong. You will prevail.

Sometimes, God has a way of changing things in our lives for the better. And though you may not understand it now, I think you will find that there are silver linings to what you are going through. I know for us personally it has brought us closer through boning during a struggle, that it has kept us healthier and more active, and that it has forced me (who hates to cook) to learn something new. I don’t know what your silver lining is dear friend, but I’m sure there is one. You will find it. I just want to encourage you to keep your chin up, keep doing the right thing, and remind you that you are an overcomer which cannot be taken down! I’m so proud of you for facing adversity and rising above it. I’m so encouraged by your stories and to know there are others fighting and struggling along with us.

With Love,

   Heather

citrus lane

Some time ago I found out about these monthly boxes that you can get with all kinds of new and exciting things in them. They are of the same flare as Birch Box, but there are now all different kinds. They were originally brought to my attention, like so many new things, by Derrick who had signed up for a monthly clothing service with Five Four. I immediately began some Google research to see what else was out there that I could participate in.

Of course, I didn’t find anything. I’m not really into beauty products, and I have a very conservative (Old-Lady-ish) style that I didn’t want to chance with some flirty fashion box. BUT I did find some cool kiddo boxes which I decided to test out.

I signed Aidan up for two different ones that looked great. Most of them come with some great discount for your first month, so I took advantage of that and signed up for the Stork Stack box and the Citrus Lane box to get in one month. Then, I figured, I could easily compare the two options and keep the one that was the best.

The first to arrive was the Stork Stack. Sadly, I was super disappointed with it. The more expensive option of the two, only sent a few things and none of them dazzled me. I didn’t feel that I got my money’s worth at all, so I immediately cancelled, hoping that the Citrus Lane stuff would prove better.

And boy did it ever! I really enjoyed the box that I got from Citrus lane. They sent me a toddler granola bar (which I ate part of to ensure nutritional and taste bud satisfaction), an ABC board book which Aidan absolutely loved, and a few other things that were a big hit. I decided to keep the membership, and this month I was even happier (and I actually took some pictures).

In this box he got a paper-back book along with a digital 3-month subscription that I could load onto my ipad for access to a library of books, the cutest bath toy that I may have ever seen (you catch the bath bugs in the net), some organic potato chips and a wooden noise maker to add to his percussion instruments. It was very exciting indeed!

I always look forward to this box, and am thankful that Derrick got me hooked on the process. It is affordable too and I tuck away a few of the things each month for stocking stuffers, and Christmas gifts (bath toys this month) so that it lightens the load for Christmas. Highly recommended if you are looking for a monthly subscription to try some new things! First month is $10 off too if you follow this link. Boom.

 

 

Disneyland in Review

So, we went to Disneyland this spring. Funny, it was a completely unplanned venture over there on a lazy Tuesday during our vacation in Long Beach. We thought, ‘Hey, why don’t we go walk around at Downtown Disney and then grab some lunch?’

We walked around downtown Disney for awhile and were completely flabbergasted by the amazing Lego displays at the Lego store. I mean, look at this!!

The dragon, knight, and horse are all made from LEGOS. Do you see Derrick down there in front of the horse? Yup, it's massive.

After strolling around downtown, we started discussing what to do with the rest of the day. “Why don’t we just go to Disneyland?” asked Derrick. I immediately denied how amazing that sounded because, gosh, it was already midday and they don’t offer half-day passes, and we have a little 10 month old that isn’t going to remember it anyway, and we could do something else… And the list went on and on. It only took this from Derrick to convince me though, “Well, what are we going to do that would be more fun than Disneyland? I mean, it’s Disneyland and we won’t regret it.

So, we went to Disneyland! We had a blast and Aidan was beside himself. LOOK at this picture of pure joy on his little face!

He pretty much looked like this the whole time.

We strolled around, caught a few rides, met characters and got dinner. It really was one of the best afternoons that I can remember! We also had some pretty incredible service at the New Orleans restaurant where they sent out the chef prior to us sitting down to discuss Low Sodium options. Then he came out and took Derrick’s order specifically, cooked the meal, and then returned to the table to make sure Derrick liked the food. REALLY?!? That is the best service that we have EVER received or could have even imagined. They made a custom dish for him which he thoroughly enjoyed.

My favorite part was the fireworks display at the end of the day. I’ve been to Disneyland a few times, but never saw this. They had Tinkerbell flying around the castle, and a fireworks display that would put our city Fourth of July to shame. Here is a pick of Aidan watching the fireworks to finish up the night.

I can see the smile behind the binky LOL!

All in all, I’m very happy that Derrick talked me into it last minute. Aidan had a great time, and we are looking forward to taking him again when he is a little older.

A Few Things to Avoid on a Roadtrip

One of the biggest challenges (and I’m sure that all fellow low-sodium-ers would agree) is travel. And the bummer is that we love to travel. But that doesn’t mean we don’t go, nor does it mean that we starve. It’s just a challenge that we are excited to overcome!

The first trip was disaster. We cooked a bunch of chicken and brought rice (that was pretty much our menu for the first couple of weeks), but the cooler didn’t keep the chicken cool enough so the chicken started to stink up the place. Also, rice is not very good by itself. All the “snack” food that we brought became entrees and, needless to say, we ran out of food fast.

The second time we resolved to buy most of our food there and use the hotel’s microwave/refrigerator to keep our food. The problem with this is that we also bought frozen food (we found a couple of microwave burritos that are low sodium) but they defrosted themselves and were useless within the first day.

Needless to say, we have become “experts” at this travel situation through many trials and errors. We have gotten much better over the years at eating out and also bringing a few of the “staples” with us. If you want to avoid eating out on a trip, or if you are going on a long road-trip, here are a few things to consider avoiding based on our experience. I will post more travel tips as our blogging adventures continue, but these are some of our biggest mistakes that I wanted to share!

Yes, he did spill that Jamba Juice EVERYWHERE.

A couple of things to avoid Taking on a Road Trip:

1) Cooler with ice – what a mess! I recommend ice packs unless you want to have all your goodies floating around in some funky colored water. Plus, where do you dump it? In the hotel’s parking lot? Leave it in the car while the valet service parks it for you? In a couple of days you will be regretting leaving it in the car because that weird water will soon become a weird smell. No thanks! The trick? Used dry ice – what a wonderful invention! Or ice packs… but we prefer dry ice!

2) Cooked Meat that is not properly packaged and/or that you plan to eat within 2 days – the beauty (and I’m just realizing this) of processed meat is that it is packed wonderfully and is able to withstand long trips without turning out bad and/or smelling. These facts are not true for meat that you pull right off the BBQ or out of the skillet and into the car. I know this is obvious now that I’m writing it out, but we’ve made that mistake once – and frankly, that was one time too many.

3) Purchasing everything while you are there – it’s difficult to find where the stores are that you need. Plus, prices are much different depending on where you are going. I would recommend taking some of the things that your “staples” and then supplement with others when you get there. Of course, this depends on if you are flying/driving and what you classify as your “staples”, but I think you get the point. (:

4) Frozen foods – Unless you are going to have a full scale kitchen at the hotel, frozen foods shouldn’t come along. They will defrost and turn out, at best, not so good.

Low Sodium Camping Recipe 2: Bacon Breakfast Burritos

cooking

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You remember my rant about Boar’s Head Bacon? Well, here is where it will come in handy my friends! For our Yellowstone camping trip, I decided to make some breakfast burritos that we could cook/reheat over the fire that would be low sodium and oh so delicious! And they were! Something that I realized during […]

Low Sodium Camping Recipe 1: Dutch-Oven Pot Roast with Summer Vegetables

Derrick had an unfortunate “event” in his life that tainted him beyond what some might suspect. He was likely no older than eight when he and his family went camping. After a long day of many fun activities, they came back to a dinner they had been cooking in the Dutch oven buried under some […]