The Best Low-Salt Pork Tenderloin Ever

Nice to see another man writing about low-salt recipes….

The Tao of Men’s Emotional Health and Childhood Education

Some great advice here…repressing your emotions can lead to eating disorders as you turn to food for the solace you can’t find in life…

David James Lees ~ Wu Wei Wisdom

Tao of Mens Emotional Health

A recent report commissioned by UK charities Relate and Men’s Health Forum highlighted how men are often ‘in the dark’ when it comes to emotional and relationship difficulties in their life, the factors which cause them, and how to effectively deal with them.

The report shows how this ignorance can lead to much worse outcomes for men in relationship and emotional matters, not only for them personally, but also for their partners and families, especially, if a relationship finally does break down.  Statistics within the report indicate that men are less likely to engage with, or benefit from, the support of a network of friends and family to help them through any emotional and relationship problems, and that men are also at greater risk of suicide in the aftermath of an emotional or relationship breakdown.

From my personal and professional experience I can wholly concur with these findings.

So why…

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Where can I find low-salt, no-salt food?

Finding low-salt and no-salt processed foods is a job, there’s no doubt about that. I wrote about it late last year when I was first beginning to create my new eating plans. Now, I’m constantly on the lookout for items I can buy and am discovering more and more to try.

As an example, I recently walked into a Menard’s near my home. Menard’s is a giant home center store, with locations across the Midwest. I normally go there for tools and home goods, not food even though it has a grocery section. So imagine my surprise when I walked in there recently and saw on the front-of-store food display no salt Hunt’s tomatoes!

My special find at Menard's
My special find at Menard’s

Hunt’s is a national brand in most mainstream supermarkets but in none of those had I seen Hunt’s no-salt tomatoes. Yet here they were at Menard’s and in large cans for $1.62. I’d paid that much at other places for cans half the volume. I filled my cart with eight of them and felt tears of joy fill my eyes. Here was something I had searched high and low for and paid exorbitant prices for, only to find them sitting right in the front of Menard’s.

A coworker tells me Walmart has low-salt items in its private label line, so I’m searching there next. Keep up the search and let me know if you find specials anywhere.

Making Dash Delicious

I applaud the effort here, but these suggestions still sound bland, or worse, to me…

Staying Healthy

By Jessica Goldman Foung


When these four letters come together, they can have a multitude of meanings. In the dictionary, the term “dashing” refers to something elegant in appearance. In cooking, a “dash” implies the addition of a flavor-enhancing ingredient. And yet, to those trying to control blood pressure and prevent kidney disease, DASH can be synonymous with lifestyle restrictions.

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Can You Find Pre-made Low-Salt Tomato Sauce?

Tomato sauce (or gravy as my Italian-American family called it) is one of the few sauces I can still eat since my angioplasty and being put on a no-salt, no-sugar, no-fat diet.

But making sauce from canned tomatoes can create a product with way too much salt, depending on the tomato brand and variety you buy.

Always check for salt in any canned tomato product you buy.
Always check for salt in any canned tomato product you buy.

But who has hours to spend making tomato sauce more than on a rare occasion? So I’ve also been searching for prepared tomato sauce with little or no salt. Standard brands in mainstream supermarkets have tons of salt in them. But I found this Muir Glen product that fits my needs in a pinch.

You can see on its nutrition label that it has only 10 mgs per serving or 70 mgs for the entire can. The can is enough for a meal for two, or two servings, in my estimation, not the seven servings the can indicates. But even then, half a can and 35 mgs or salt is several hundred mgs less than any mainstream brand. The sauce itself was a bit watery for my taste, but it worked well to use it for baking chicken in tomato sauce and giving some flavor to otherwise dry chicken breasts.

What Are Some Healthy Fish Recipes?

I’ve spoken with three different nutritionists since my angioplasty Aug. 13, 2012, about how to eat a healthier diet that will be low in salt, fat and sugar. Each had different opinions.

But one thing they all agree upon is that I can eat cold water fish such as salmon and lake trout. Cold water fish apparently have more omega 3 acids which are in vogue now as healthy.

I have no doubt that one day they will be out of favor, but hopefully I’ll be gone by then because I happen to like fish and so I’ve increased my weekly fish consumption from once or twice to two or three times to replace some of the red meat I no longer eat.

Trout, with mushrooms as a garnish.
Trout, with mushrooms as a garnish.

The problem has been finding ways to add flavors to the fish. In the past, I used marinades from Lowry’s and other companies that had high salt levels and, sometimes, high sugar content as well. One nutritionist suggested I now use Ms Dash salt-free marinades, but after visiting five different food stores in the northern suburbs of Chicago, I cannot find them anywhere. I eventually bought them online, six bottles at a time and have enjoyed them Continue reading “What Are Some Healthy Fish Recipes?”

A Simple Side Dish: Peas and Onions

One of my favorite side dishes when I was growing up was peas and onions, something my mother made quite regularly. I tried making it when I was first out of college but could never get it to taste like my mother’s (no surprise there I suppose).

Given my new diet, which is supposed to be heavy on usually boring-tasting vegetables, I decided to give it another shot. This time, rather than just boil peas and slices of onion, I first coated the bottom of the pan with a fat-free cooking spray product (PAM or a store brand version) with a small amount of olive oil and then fried my onion slices in that pan until they were translucent.

Peas and onions; mine looked a little better than these.
Peas and onions; mine looked a little better than these.

This heightened the flavor of the onions. I then tossed in frozen peas but didn’t add more water, assuming the moisture as the peas defrosted and heated would be enough and so keep the whole thing from getting soggy. I think it all worked out well.

They aren’t quite my mother’s yet, but I’m getting closer. I think adding some garlic next time will help as well. My wife isn’t an onion fan so she didn’t eat this dish but I feel like anything I can do to add some flavor depth to peas, which I consider the most bland of vegetables, has to help.

How Lean Can Lean Beef Be?

My trio of nutritionist don’t agree on eating beef on my restricted diet. The first told me straight out to eat vegetarian, which I do not want to do. The other two were more understanding and suggested limiting beef intake to six ounces a week and finding the leanest beef possible.

For me, six ounces is one serving, even though for nutritionists, it’s two. So I’ve bought some six-ounce fillets as a weekly treat.

But I also love hamburgers and wanted a way to continue eating those. Hamburgers you eat out can range from 75 percent to 80 percent lean, which means they’re 25 to 20 percent fat. That’s not doable for me, so I’ve cut out McDonald’s, Wendy’s and White Castle burgers.

A lean burger, along with peppers and asparagus.
A lean burger, along with peppers and asparagus.

At home, I had been buying 90 percent lean ground beef, thinking it was the leanest available. But as I’ve scouted my local stores with the new eyes of someone on a no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar diet, I discovered that one Chicago supermarket, Jewel, sells a leaner ground beef, 96% lean in fact.

It’s the most expensive of course, as healthy items invariably are, but I’m paying the price to keep hamburgers in my life.

I buy packages a bit over a pound to make four burgers and freeze them for future use. My first nutritionist, the nutrition nazi as I call her, said the only type of hamburger bun I can eat is something called an Ezekiel bread bun, available frozen only at Whole Foods in my area. Continue reading “How Lean Can Lean Beef Be?”

Is All Ground Turkey Lean? Think Again

White meat turkey is on my approved meat list, but white meat turkey can be drier than paper to eat, as I found out when I was in the hospital last August and ate what passed for a meal of turkey there.

Turkey burgers present the opportunity to use ketchup to flavor them up a bit. But my nutrition nazi had a warning about buying ground turkey or pre-made turkey burgers. Pre-made turkey burgers, such as the ones in restaurants or sold pre-made in supermarkets, contain turkey skin to give them some moisture so their fat content can be as high as that of some red meats.

Not all ground turkey is the same. There's lean and there's extra lean.
Not all ground turkey is the same. There’s lean and there’s extra lean.

I’ve found a corollary to that warning in my shopping, namely that not all ground turkey is the same leanness either. Continue reading “Is All Ground Turkey Lean? Think Again”

Can You Eat Healthy at a Bowling Alley?

I found myself last October wondering if I would be able to get anything I can eat in my restricted diet at a bowling alley. I had bowled on an office team last spring that won our league championship and the team was planning a reunion night out of bowling. We were going to a different place than we had bowled at previously, so I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to eat anything there.

While I looked forward to seeing the team together again, I was worried I’d be watching everyone else drink beer and eat pizza. But luckily, the place we were going, Chicago’s Diversey River Bowl, was big enough to have put its restaurant menu on its Web site, so I checked ahead of time to see what I would settle for, imagining a dull salad or maybe yet another chicken breast.

A night at the bowling alley
A night at the bowling alley

So imagine my surprise to find a bison burger on the menu! Bison is much leaner than beef. The menu did have the expected chicken breast sandwich and some salads that didn’t sound all that dull, assuming I brought my own oil and vinegar instead of using the dressings suggested.

I gladly ordered the buffalo burger. It arrived with mayo which I scraped off, a reminder to be very specific when ordering anything. Other than that, I loved it. At eight ounces it was two ounces over my daily six-ounce red meat limit but I didn’t care in this case, it was too good of a surprise to pass up.

I did pass on the beer, but had what’s become for me a rare diet soda, so I was just as happy with that. Continue reading “Can You Eat Healthy at a Bowling Alley?”

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