I have a pretty solid line of heart disease in my family history. I monitor my health regularly, and thankfully, all screenings have shown me in the clear for any cardiac issues that could possibly be found and addressed.
Let me share something personal: My dad had a double-bypass when he was 46 years old. I was 12 years old at the time, and the surgery, along with the life changes my dad was forced to make, changed my own life. Counting fat grams became a way of life for my parents, and it definitely transferred to me! I find myself being hyper-aware of the fat and cholesterol contents of pretty much any food that goes into my mouth. It doesn't mean that I'm always careful with what I eat, but it does mean that I am always cognizant of pretty much every fat gram that I consume.
While watching fat and cholesterol is definitely important from a heart disease prevention standpoint, sodium is definitely an issue for me. I find that a lot of food lacks flavor, and I use salt liberally to make food taste better. When Mom Central reached out to me ask me to share my experiences throughout 2011 in reducing sodium, I knew it was something I really needed to do. Reducing my own salt intake is obviously important, but it's more important now that I have a family to care for. I'm well aware that my own habits are rubbing off onto my kids, and I'm also the one who prepares most of the meals in our home. If anyone is going to reduce the sodium intake for our whole family, it's going to be me!
Mom Central and Mrs. Dash sent me fourteen different varieties of Mrs. Dash seasonings to help replace the salt that I find myself adding to nearly everything I cook. When my dad had his heart surgery nearly 19 years ago, Mrs. Dash was very new to us, and there was only one blend available. I didn't care for it at the time, and I've never looked for the brand since then. When I received the box with fourteen bottles of seasonings, I was amazed! I had no idea the Mrs. Dash brand had morphed into seasonings for nearly every type of meal we usually eat! Really, here's what I received:
- Mrs. Dash Original Blend
- Mrs. Dash Table Blend
- Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb
- Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper
- Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy
- Mrs. Dash Grilling Blends for Hamburger
- Mrs. Dash Grilling Blends for Steak
- Mrs. Dash Tomato, Basil, Garlic
- Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle
- Mrs. Dash Chicken Grilling Blend
- Mrs. Dash Caribbean Citrus
- Mrs. Dash Italian Medley
- Mrs Dash Onions & Herb
- Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime
I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed when I opened the box with all of those bottles inside, I was a bit overwhelmed! I didn't do much cooking over the holidays, but I've had a bit of time to browse the recipes and find a few that look especially fantastic!
Low-sodium 5-Star Chili :: I seem to dump a lot of salt into my own chili, so I'm definitely looking forward to using Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy blend to add some heat and flavor while laying off the salt!
Fresh Tomatoes & Mozzarella Cheese :: Caprese salad is one of my all-time favorite foods, but I have to salt the heck out of the cheese to get it to the flavor I like. I love the idea of using the Mrs. Dash Tomato, Basil, Garlic seasoning blend!
Baked Eggs Florentine :: Eggs are another dish I salt a lot, and the Mrs. Dash original blend would enhance the flavors in this dish nicely. I can't wait to pick up some spinach and try this recipe!
I'm really looking forward to incorporating all of these Mrs. Dash flavors into our menu plan, and I'm loving that it's going to reduce our sodium intake at the same time! I'll be posting more about Mrs. Dash throughout the year, so stay tuned as I find more recipes to try out and love!