Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DASH of Something

Last night's dinner was a disappointment for me, as have been many of my meals over the past year.  This is yet another obstacle, albeit a minor one, that I've recently had to tackle.

The Huz came home from work one day last year and said, "I met with my Dr. today, and he said that because of my high blood pressure, I have to follow the DASH diet".  He said this like it was no biggie.  Aside from having to worry about his health, I gained an immediate challenge.

The Dash Diet is essentially a high fruit/vegetable, low sodium, low fat, low flavour diet that incorporates none of the things I've ever made in the kitchen.  Let me further add that cooking has proven to be the bain of my existence ever since I entered the realm of motherhood.  Before I had kids, cooking was a relaxing thing that I did after work in anticipation of a nice meal with my man.  Now that time has become what I have heard referred to as the 'Arsenic Hours'.

This is not a fun time of day.  Homework has to be done, two meals have to be made, dogs have to be fed, (and encouraged to eat, if you can believe that), interruptions are guaranteed, and the general noise level is enough to put me in a foul mood.  Then I learned that the DASH Diet meant that I had to learn to cook all over again.

I won't say that I actually followed that diet perfectly, since lowering the sodium intake seemed to be the only issue.  Lowering fat is of course desirable, but the Huz is not overweight.  He's actually in better shape than most men his age, so we just focused on the sodium.  (See how I incorporated a back-door compliment here?) The first thing that I learned was that bread was a killer.  So now I bake my own fucking bread.  I am not the kind of person that bakes bread.  I'm really only into baking cookies, and that's based on not having to share them with anyone.

There have been a lot of shitty meals served around here with new recipes and experiments.  With flavour being the goal, I've tried a lot of things that just didn't work, at least not for us.  Last night's disappointing meal was an example of what happens when I take a perfectly good recipe and replace the broth with a zero sodium version.  Not all meals translate well, no matter what you try to replace the salt with.

The good news is that the Huz has what he calls 'lumberjack mentality' when it comes to eating.  Apparently, lumberjacks are terrible cooks, and none of them wants to take on the job of cooking.  That is why they will eat anything without complaining, even if manure is a known ingredient.

He's a keeper, right?

So here we are, six months later, and my efforts have proven to be fruitless.  The Huz is not salt sensitive since his BP is a genetic thing, so he is now taking meds to deal with this.

Well that was fun.


  1. At least his health isn't on you anymore.

    I try to cook things that are large quantity and freeze well so I don't have to cook all the time. Soups, chilis, casseroles, etc. We've gone low cal and low fat and ramped up the other seasonings/fresh herbs. I'd have a hell of a time going low sodium, though. I think I was a deer in a previous life. I guess I'm fortunate in that my pressure is low. Which helps you all not at all.

    Here's a thought: convince him that cooking is relaxing and if he does the cooking it will help lower his blood pressure. Yeah! That's the ticket.

  2. wish I could offer up some good recipes- but we love our Mauldon sea salt around here.
    But we don't use a lot of it.
    I occasionally use "Spike" seasoning and I've noticed some new salt alternatives at the health food store and in the organic section of Loblaws.
    good luck.

    oh and you have to encourage your dogs to eat. really?!
    it's the opposite here, she eats so fast I have to stick a tennis ball in her bowl or ration it out.
    nothing worse than puppy with indigestion..