In the past month of coming back to a high-carb, low-fat vegan diet, I have been tripped up a few times by what I initially thought was a rational decision to keep some plain cooked rice in my otherwise fruity diet while I 'transitioned." The first couple of times I ate cooked rice, I ate it plain and was feeling ok with it. Slowly but surely, with each subsequent time I ate the rice, i added a bit of this and a bit of that--salty, spicy flavorings in order to get that taste sensation. I didn't really want the rice, per se, and i didn't really want any more fat. It's the SALT I'm struggling with!!
There is NO need for me to continue to keep cooked foods in my life. the only reason I would do so would be to feed my need for salt.
So, I'm here before all of you to admit my salt-aholism :-).
Mpw that I'm crystal clear on this, I can move forward knowing that i don't actually want--and therefore will choose to abstain from--aand all cooked carbs that only provide an excuse to indulge in puff-inducing poison!!!
you're right, HHD, that's not our site stance on salt :) We've found more folks find greater success with a quick change over of consumption rather than a more gradual transition.
But I congratulate you on your reduction in its consumption.
For the rest of us, it often comes down to a zero tolerance on the stuff. Even a few grains are detectable on the tongue and can bring past flavor memories back in full force.
Mango-sis, you might find the two links attached to our "salt" guideline here illuminating as you continue to gain insight in your food choices:
Hi Windlord, my lovely AZ friend!
Yeah, I know...best to leave salt in the ocean! *grin*
But I do have to maintain that even though many folks have a high success rate with a quick change-over, that isn't true for all of us. And unless I'm quite mistaken, we ALL face personal challenges in our lives that require gentle transition, whether it be food or not. What I gather is that for people like Mango or myself, salt is a bit of a buggar for us. = ) And when it comes to the things that are hard for us sentient beings, one has to honor the steps a person needs to take to arrive at their own process.
In my personal situation, salt is not a memory that haunts me because it's demon full of temptation, or some such thing. It's a reality that is becoming less and less of one each day. So my strength--like one's immunity---is being built over time. Going from a few teaspoons to a few grains to none at all will be my pace. And a few grains one day might be a few grains too many, and I won't even like it.
I might gently say that if flavor memories are enough to prove as someone's downfall, as opposed to an "uck!" reaction, then maybe there is some unfinished business there?
Just my thought, with much love!
Tania = )
You don't have a salt addiction. Everybody needs small amounts of salt (sodium) in order to survive and function optimally. Saying that you have a salt addiction would be like saying that you have a sugar addiction--of course it's not a problem, it's your body's way of telling you that you need to eat more essential nutrients. Salt "addiction" is only a problem if you satisfy your salt desires with refined, table salt, because refined table salt is missing many other essential minerals and this will lead to imbalances in the long run.
Practice satisfying your salt addictions with salty, raw, fruits and vegetables instead, like spinach, celery, cantaloupe, or coconut water. Also, realize that you will probably need at least 500 mg of sodium every day (I prefer closer to 1000 mg) to prevent salt cravings. Take this very seriously--sodium is essential to optimal mental and physical performance, from my experience.
This is something that I still struggle with. Salt has been my #1 issue for my past two years on this diet (and I suspect it is the same for many people here). For me, most cravings (if you are eating enough calories) can be traced back to salt deficiency. Here are some salt-related cravings that I have gone through on this diet--seaweed, hummus, potatoes, tabouleh, tomato soup (and other soups), artichoke, mushrooms, salsa, grean peas, vegan sushi, rice dishes, Indian food, Pho, Thai food, and Chipotle. Whenever I made it a point to eat more sodium again, ALL these cravings went away. And many of these foods are very low calorie, so it wouldn't make sense that I crave salsa for the sugar.
So why do most people not get enough sodium on HCRV, and crave so many of these unhealthy foods? For me, it's because it takes a long time to get enough sodium from raw foods. Sure, spinach is rich in sodium, but you need to eat 2.5 pounds to get 1000 mg and, even with blending, this takes time. For monkeys and chimpanzees, they don't have a choice, so they go munch on greens for 4-5 hours a day to satisfy their salt craving. For us, it's difficult because we are always tempted with the "cooked" alternative that can satisfy our daily salt craving in just a few bites. And especially when we have been slacking off with greens (e.g. 50-100 mg of sodium per day), this can be VERY tempting.
The solution, I think, is 1) to realize that most cravings are salt cravings that can be satisfied with salty raw foods, and 2) to prevent these cravings from getting to strong by always eating enough raw sodium-rich foods. I still have not perfected this though. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Good point, D.
That's something that most folks do, including those who should know better like nutritionist: confuse salt and sodium. Sodium absolutely is mandatory in our lives; we'd get seriously ill without it.
It sounds like you've done a lot of experimenting, and witnessed the benefits of allowing fresh veg to satisfy. Something I've found I enjoy quite a bit are big servings of what I call green porridge.
Ingredients often include spinach, tomatoes (the most important ingredient, preferably full of flavor), and cauliflower (this is a personal choice because I enjoy it; note that this plant doesn't agree with many folks, especially those new to this lifestyle); sweet bell peppers, and sometimes cilantro. Then I'll chop in some more veg for texture like maters, cukes, etc. What's amazing is that in my prior silly days, this would have tasted like pond scum (cause that's what it looks like! ;).
But now with my rejuvenated tastebuds, it's actually tasty, sometimes with a surprisingly salty kick.
Thank you, Danny, for your insights. I totally relate to the Thai, Chipotle, Indian food, salsa cravings.
In the end, I DO believe that salt is an addiction for me. This is my direct experience and I'm not conflicted about saying so. Once I begin to eat anything salty, I feel a surge within, like there won't be enough salt in the world to satisfy me. It's intense. It goes beyond just being my body's natural desire for enough sodium.
If your reaction is that profound, then it sure does sound like a sodium deficiency right off the bat.
After your morning water, why not try a large grape and spinach smoothie to kick off your morning? Maybe with celery too? If you try establishing your sodium intake at the start of the day, this could help. It's been noted that how we kick off the day (as in what we break our fast with) helps set the tone for the rest of the day. I've found it to be true. And in every equation, don't forget fresh water! = )
Interesting. So you think you have a tendency to over-eat sodium, once you start eating it? Do you "over-eat" salty raw foods like spinach and coconut water too?
Everybody definitely has an upper limit to sodium consumption though-- it's usually around 5000 mg per day. After a while, your body tells you to stop because otherwise, you will die. This study is fascinating... they analyzed 19,151 people across 33 countries, and nobody ate more than 4,900 mg of sodium per day.
The first time I gave my daughter salted food, at 15 months, she immediately threw it all up.
Danny, in answer to your question, no. I don't feel that way about spinach. The taste of spinach doesn't excite me at all. The taste of Chipotle, Thai food, indian food, salsa does.
Again, my experience. Thanks for your input.
I'm idly wondering why some people are questioning MY experience...it's a bit annoying.
Uh, it's MY experience. If it isn't/wasn't yours, that's great.
Thanks to those of you who are able to simply accept what I've said and respond to it helpfully.
I'm sorry that you felt somewhat put off by some responses. For my part, I'm sorry if anything I thought to say was better left unsaid. *hug*
Try to understand, though, that salt is a weighty subject!! Addictions and talking about addictions will inevitably stir things up a bit. There were many people who replied to this discussion, and many who didn't. Those of us who have replied have a personal interest in the subject, that's all. It's only natural for people to get involved at their own level.
When I wrote my first post ever on 30bad about being out of balance and lacking energy, I made it clear that I didn't want to go back to cooked foods. I was looking for support to stay raw. But because of my situation (nursing kids) it was suggested a few times that maybe I should go back to some cooked foods for a while. That definitely doesn't fall in the "stay raw support" category, but all the same people were taking their time and love and energy to respond and try to help a sister out. = )
Having said that, I affirm that I simply accept where you are and many blessings to you on your path!
Thanks for loving mangos!
Hey Mangosister, I'm sorry you felt that way too :(. I really did not want to annoy you at all. Salt is a very difficult topic for me and a lot of people on this website, and I was really happy to see that you started this thread so that I could discuss some of my ideas on the topic.
When I said that salt is not an "addiction," I did not mean to question your experience at all. I was just trying to suggest alternative ways of perceiving your experience that might help you be happier and more successful on HCRV in the future. The way you phrased your thread, it made it seem like you will continue to battle and resist your salt temptations in the future and, for me, I have found that this mentality is very difficult to maintain (just sharing my experience to try to help yours). I find it much easier to focus on what I can have (salty raw vegetables and fruits) than what I can't have (cooked food with added salt).
Part of the problem is that we are using the word "addiction" differently. You mean "addiction" as something that you feel is harmful that you can't stop doing. I mean addiction as a psychoactive substance that crosses the blood-brain barrier and creates an artificial need. Both definitions are correct.
I just wanted to start a thought provoking discussion that would help us both to deal with our salt issues in the future. Sorry if I caused any confusion or problems