I'm thrilled to have my fabulous guest, Tristi Pinkston, visiting my blog today. Tristi is a multi-talented author and all-around fantastic person. She amazes me with all she accomplishes and now, on top of writing her fun, cozy Secret Sisters mysteries she has created a cookbook filled with delicious, low-sodium recipes. I admit, I've never worried much about sodium. My blood pressure is low and I don't eat fast food very often. But, as Tristi points out, some of the foods we commonly have in our homes can have high sodium content. And, high sodium is not good for our hearts.
Tristi has tested each of these recipes and is now offering her new cookbook for a great price.
Here's my interview:
Why should we worry about sodium?
Sodium puts pressure on the heart and it causes the kidneys to work extra hard. We need a certain amount in our diets – at least 400 mg. – but when we are getting too much of it, we’re hurting our bodies. It’s recommended that you try for no more than 1,000 mg. per day.
I don't use table salt so I'm safe from too much sodium, right?
Sorry to say, nope. A lot of foods contain sodium naturally, and if you’re eating a lot of prepackaged or boxed foods, you’re eating the sodium that’s been used to preserve the food. You can live a very high-sodium lifestyle without ever reaching for the salt shaker.
What kinds of food have high sodium content?
Fast food is one of the biggest culprits. When you get a combo, you’re eating about 1200 mg. One taco has over 400 mg, and who can get full eating just one taco? I know I don’t. But then there are foods that we commonly have around the house. Cottage cheese, while being touted as a great healthy food, actually has 400 mg. in one serving. Salad dressings, ham and bacon, cheese, canned soups – if you take time to go through your kitchen and read labels, you’ll be pretty surprised.
How does too much sodium affect our hearts?
First, it causes the arteries to harden. Second, it increases your blood volume. Third, it increases your blood pressure. Imagine you have a really old, brittle garden hose, and you turn on a whole lot of water all at once. The high pressure of that much water pouring through the hose would make it break because it's brittle, and the same thing can happen to your heart, and does, for a lot of people.
What made you decide to write a cookbook with low-sodium recipes?
When I first tried to live the low-sodium diet, I was completely overwhelmed. I actually went hungry for two days because I couldn’t figure out what to eat and subsisted on carrots until I snapped out of it. Then I went into project mode. I always think better when I’m in project mode. I hit the Internet and started collecting recipes, and then I realized that they were all really labor-intensive and took a long time to make. I can’t live my life that way, so I took matters into my own hands and started making my own recipes. There’s nothing in my cookbook that takes more than a few minutes of preparation, and it’s all affordable and family friendly.
Which recipe is your favorite?
Wow. This is a hard question. I like them all—if I didn’t like how a recipe turned out, it didn’t make it into the cookbook. But I do have a few special favorites. The carrot cake is a definite. I really like the chicken carbonara, the Bavarian pot roast, the fruit salad with poppy seed dressing. I also really like the blue cheese and ranch salad dressings, and the taco seasoning. Those are must-haves for keeping your sodium low and still eating delicious food. Oh, and there’s the pepper beef stroganoff. And …
This book is currently on a pre-order special. Order between June 25th and July 10th and receive not only the first copies off the press, but as a bonus, I will send you a sneak peek - the first chapter of my new Secret Sisters novel, Hang 'em High, being released this August. In addition, get 10% off the cover price!
Title: Bless Your Heart
Cost: $9.99 Now: $8.99
Shipping and Handling: $3.50
To order, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address, and number of copies you'd like ordered. Tell me if you would like your book signed or not, and who you would like it signed to. I can accept check or PayPal.
Your book will be shipped as soon as I receive it from the printer, roughly 4 weeks. Spread the word, share the love ... and let's get our hearts healthy!
To learn more about the amazing Tristi Pinkston visit her website.