Wednesday, August 29, 2012

See ya, Sodium. Hello, Jell-o

--> The biggest take-away from the Cleanse was that we should be more aware of what we put into our bodies. We’re generally healthy eaters, but everyone’s eating habits have room for improvement. After the cleanse, we really wanted to focus on sodium intake, portion control, and overall freshness of the food we're buying.

Our initial reason for wanting to cut down on sodium was for the bloating aspect. Too much salt causes the body to retain water, which causes thirst, which causes bloating. No girl wants to be or feel bloated. Chris also heard on the Today Show that grabbing for a salty snack will leave you craving more, even when you're not hungry anymore, whereas a sweet snack will satisfy that hunger. 

Upon further research, I learned that a diet high in sodium packs a heavier punch than I realized. Too much salt in your diet can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke…way more serious than being bloated!

On our next few grocery store trips, we really started looking at labels and taking notice of how much sodium our regular purchases contain. For example, as you know, we buy a lot of beans, especially black beans and red beans. For a few extra cents, we can save hundreds of milligrams of sodium. Then, we can just add salt to taste. Check out these labels!

With all of our new healthy perspectives in mind, we decided to make a little gf pasta salad. It’s sort of our own recipe, adapted from the Avocado Chicken Salad we all know and love. It’s chock full of fresh deliciousness with a tangy bite.

Avocado + Lime Pasta
4 tbsps. olive oil
4 tbsps. Fresh lime juice
A dash kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
11/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large can reduced sodium whole kernel corn
2 ripe avocados, peeled and chopped

  1. Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain well, set aside to cool.
  2. Combine olive oil and lime juice.

  1. Peel and chop the avocado and remove the pit. Chop the cilantro. 
  1. Transfer the mixture to a medium sized bowl. Add corn. Lastly, add cooked pasta and toss well. 

The meal was light and tasty, and made for awesome leftovers. That dash of salt was all it needed! We really want to be more aware of the nutrition facts and serving sizes before we start eating, and this recipe was a good start.

In other news, my brother celebrated his 21st Birthday a few weeks ago! It’s hard to believe he’s a bar-going adult. We had an awesome party for him complete with capes and Jell-O shots. I’d never made Jell-O shots before (weird, I know), and I was surprised at how easy they were to make.

Whitney made some great ones at their 4th of July party, so I got her advice. Ours were a big hit, so here’s what we did:

Mi favorita Margarita
1 box Lime flavored Jell-O
1-cup water
1-cup tequila

Berry Girly:
1 box Berry flavored Jell-O
1-cup water
1 cup white rum

Tequila Sunrise:
1 box orange Jell-O
1-cup water
1-cup tequila

Strawb Daq:
1 box Strawberry flavored Jell-O
1-cup water
1 cup white rum

So obviously, we did each flavor one at a time. Start by boiling the water. 

Once the water is boiling, slowly pour in the Jell-O powder and remove from heat. 

Stir the Jell-O until it’s totally dissolved. Pour the respective liquor and stir. Then, we poured it all into a glass measuring cup. Fill mini paper (or plastic) cups up about half way. Refrigerate about 6 hours.

We served them on platters throughout the evening, and everyone seemed to enjoy all of the flavors. I know I did! We’ll definitely be making them again. Happy Birthday, Brother!

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