2023 search for a fast-food salad — Wendy’s offers one option

With salads off the menu at Chicago-area McDonald’s in 2023, I’ve started looking elsewhere for a fast-food salad that’s not high in fat, salt and sugar. My first stop is Wendy’s, which offers four different salads.

Two of them include main ingredients I don’t eat — the southwest avocado salad (avocado does terrible things to my stomach) and the apple pecan salad (no nuts for me either.) There’s a taco salad too, but beans also don’t do it for me and that one just seems like too much fat and salt from cheese to even consider.

So I tried the fourth, the parmesan Caesar salad which comes with a grilled chicken breast much like McDonald’s once served on its pre-Pandemic salads.

If you order it as described, it has 790 mgs of sodium in the salad itself and another 320 mgs in the dressing. That’s half a day’s sodium consumption for the average person and about all I try to eat because of my heart issues.

So I skipped the dressing, bringing my own oil and vinegar, and I omit the parmesan chips. That gets the sodium down to 650 mgs.

The Wendy’s app does show you real-time nutrition information as you change what you want on your salad, a handy feature.

Continue reading “2023 search for a fast-food salad — Wendy’s offers one option”

Check FlavCity — lots of recipes but no salt-free choices

I’m always on the lookout for new recipe sites, so I’ve been asking friends where they find their recipe ideas. One suggested a site called FlavCity, so I checked it out.

FlavCity is a massive site, so much so that it sells some of its own products such as cookware and cookbooks.

FlavCity’s home page

And it has a very large recipe section. You can search recipes by main ingredient or by diet/eating preference. But, alas, there’s no way I could find to search for no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar recipes. Or even to search for low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar ones.

There is a clean-eating category but those aren’t necessarily what we’d need to find. I also didn’t see nutritional information for the recipes I reviewed.

So while this site is a great source of recipe ideas, you’ll have to modify them to take out the salt, fat and sugar. In the meantime, find low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar recipes on our recipe page.

McDonald salads 2023 — gone, gone, gone

Bye, bye McDonald’s salads. Bye, bye McDonald’s.

My most-read post last year was about McDonald’s bringing back salads in some locations after killing them during the pandemic. But it looks like the return of McDonald’s salads is over. A search through the Northern suburbs of Chicago the past two weeks (via the McDonald’s app) shows no outlets with salads on their menus in 2023.

I sent a note to McDonald’s customer service and got back a form reply saying salads are no longer part of the national menu and it’s now up to individual franchise holders whether they offer them. I find only a little truth in that since suppliers have to be found for them and I don’t see corporate letting individual outlets go rogue on finding suppliers. Corporate has decided to walk away from any pretense of having a healthy menu option.

That means there is now nothing even remotely healthy on McDonald’s menu and I can no longer frequent them. My favorite McDonald’s in the suburb of Winnetka was like my away-from-home office since I retired in 2015.

I’d go there twice a week and everyone on staff knew me and treated me wonderfully. I will miss them tremendously, but sadly McDonald’s now, just like Trader Joe’s, too is dead to me if I want to keep to my heart-healthy diet.

I’m going to test a Wendy’s salad to see how they measure up but looking at their nutritional information, they mostly seem loaded with salt. The same is true for Panera salads. I’ve had salads at Culver’s but found them bland in the past, it might be time to test them again as well.

A new year, a new diet approach — make money from weight loss?

January is traditionally the biggest diet month of the year as people who stuffed themselves during the year-end holidays resolve to drop some pounds. I’m in that group this year and I found a new incentive to help — making some money.

Toward the end of last year, I received a press release from a website that runs weight-loss contests with cash prizes. I’d never heard of such a thing, so I immediately checked it out, it’s called HealthyWage.com.

HealthyWage offered $5,000 in prizes for a special free contest; the goal is to drop at least 6% of your weight by March 13.

I downloaded the app and did an official weigh-in which included having to photograph myself in a full-length mirror, not a pleasant task.

Continue reading “A new year, a new diet approach — make money from weight loss?”

No salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal tops 88,000 views in 2022

This blog, the No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal, recorded a record 88,398 views in 2022, blowing past the record set in 2021 of 80,127. The number of visitors also set a record in 2023 with 57,344 people coming to our site, well above the 43,64 who visited in 2022.

“Last year was an amazing one for us, people are finding us and, in the process, hopefully they’re cutting the salt, fat and sugar in their diets,” says blog founder and editor John N. Frank.

Our reporting on the partial return of McDonald salads brought thousands of visitors to our site in 2022.

The most popular post last year had to do with the spotty return of salads at McDonald’s, First look: McDonald’s 2022 salads – a shadow of what they used to be. That post attracted 16,319 views.

An earlier post, among the first to report the return of the salads which were eliminated during the Pandemic, McDonald’s salads are sneaking back onto menus, attracted 5,225 views.

“Salads are the only almost-healthy item on McDonald’s menus. There is obviously interest in them. LEt’s hope the burger chain does more to make them healthier, and tastier than what they offer now,” says Frank.

For Indian food lovers — two recipes from Spicemode, tested by my Indian-food-loving daughter

I recently received some free samples of Indian spices from Spicemode which I passed on to my Indian-food-loving daughter for her evaluation.

She tells me she tried two recipes from Spicemode’s website: Madras Sweet Potato + Spinach and Mattar Paneer. Her verdict was they turned out well, although not as flavorful as she was expecting. Using the prepared mixes was easier than creating the dishes from scratch, she notes, so that’s the tradeoff. When you cook from scratch you can adjust the flavor to any extreme you like.

That considered, she called the Spicemode spices and ingredients “pretty good” and an easier way to make the dishes than starting from scratch.

Here’s a picture of how hers turned out. She mentions that she didn’t have the marsala sauce called for in one recipe and so substituted vindaloo sauce. Indian food aficionados will understand what that means, I hope.

My wife, who studied Indian cooking in London years before I met her, also kept some of the Spciemode offerings. When she creates a recipe with those, we’ll post about it too.

Say hello to Multo

I started this blog in 2013 because of heart health issues that began in 2012 when I almost died from a blocked artery.

The upshot was that I had to completely change how I ate, finding recipes with no salt, no fat and no sugar. As part of my road since then, I started a local chapter of Mended Hearts, a national support group for heart patients.

At our latest online meeting, we had a demonstration of a new cooking appliance, the Multo Intelligent Cooking System. It’s designed to replace a lot of tools you already have in your kitchen and bring some high-tech to your cooking. And it can create heart-healthy recipes which use little to no salt, fat or sugar.

Cookingpal, the Hong Kong company that markets Multo, was kind enough to send me one to try out in my kitchen. I’ll be doing that in the coming days.

It comes equipped with its own smart pad that has recipes you can make with the Multo. Or you can go into manual mode to create your own. The Multo can steam and saute. It can also create dressings, something I may start with.

In our Mended Hearts demo, Multo Chef Jamie Foy from Hong Kong made us salmon with asparagus, a breakfast smoothie and a pomegranate salad.

You can see the salmon and asparagus, along with some cauliflower also made in the Multo, here.

As I become more adept at using it, I’ll be posting other recipes I try from its recipe library as well as my own creations.

My thanks to Multo for allowing me the opportunity and for bringing Chef Foy to our Mended Hearts online meeting in December.

If you want to learn more about Multo, or buy one, just click here.

No Salt, No Fat No Sugar Journal breaks annual views record — and there’s still one month to go in 2022!

This blog, the No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal, has attracted more than 80,970 views as of November 29, surpassing the 80,127 views it had in all of 2021. With December still to come, the blog will likely top 85,000 views for the year, predicted site creator John N. Frank.

“we’ve attracted more than 52,000 visitors this year, another record,” says Frank. “This blog started out of the necessity of learning how to eat after heart surgery but it has turned into much more than that.”

Frank, a retired business journalist, started the blog in late 2013 and had only 4,389 views that first year.

Worried about holiday eating? Try this AARP quiz

The end-of-year holidays are tumbling at us now, one after the other. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, they all mean lots of eating, and difficulty staying on a low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet.

Worried you have no tools to eat healthy this time of year? Try this AARP quiz to see what you know and don’t know about healthy holiday eating.

It’s eight questions and they’re harder than you think. I only got three right, and I write about eating all the time!

One tip — I try to start holiday meals with a large salad option for everyone, the one pictured here was my Thanksgiving salad. Happy Holidays!

A classic use for Thanksgiving left-overs — low-sodium turkey soup

I always hate throwing away my turkey skeleton after Thanksgiving because I would think about using it for soup. This year, I took the extra effort and made the soup, low-sodium of course.

I started with a recipe I found online, but then generally winged it, adding what I needed to give it flavor in the absence of salt.

I had two boxes of low-sodium chicken broth (see photos here) in my fridge, having opened them to use for basting my turkey on Thanksgiving. What was left went into a soup pot after I had sauteed some celery and onion bits. I was lucky enough to get those already cut at a local supermarket that was selling big boxes of celery and onions for only a dollar after Thanksgiving. They were packaged for making stuffing.

Continue reading “A classic use for Thanksgiving left-overs — low-sodium turkey soup”

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