Let’s begin with the facts and the numbers, because that’s always a very good place to start:
- The recommended daily sodium intake for a healthy American is 2,300mg, which equals 1 teaspoon of salt
- The recommended daily sodium intake for over 50% of adults (due to health problems, age, and other needs) is 1,500mg, which equals just over 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Nine out of 10 Americans (that’s 90%) eat almost double the recommended daily intake, averaging over 3,500mg per day (and if you really consider the soy-sauced sushi, chorizo burrito, and milk swamped cereal…that number climbs even higher and adds up quickly)
- More than 800,000 people die each year from heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases, which cost the nation $273 billion health care dollars in 2010
- Over 75% of the high sodium consumption comes from processed foods
- Most products, from bread to balsamic vinegar to tomato soup to even raw pork and poultry can range in sodium content due to ingredients used in preserving and processing
- Many low-sodium and no-salt added products (pickles to potato chips) already exist and sit on major grocery store shelves (thank you, Whole Foods) ready for your snacking pleasure
- Almost any recipe, sauce, or favorite dish can be made from scratch, approximated at home, with creative substitutions and no salt
- And today, a kick-ass group of Virtual Tastemakers have kicked the shaker to the side to make a bounty of low-sodium dishes just for you
For a third year in a row, all these statistics and numbers add up to one thing: the LOVE YOUR HEART RECIPE RALLY. A day when a group of salt-loving bloggers offer up their valuable web pages and agree to take on one of the greatest challenges for a cook: cut back on the salt. All were tasked with taking a favorite dish and transforming it into something low-sodium, without sacrificing look, flavor, or enjoyment. Giving all those other flavor-makers, from a squeeze of citrus to a sprinkling of spice, a chance to shine. And proving that low-sodium food needs no apologies, just second helpings.
But why did these healthy individuals take on such a challenge?
This month is Heart Health Month and today is the official release date of Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook. And while low-sodium diets definitely benefit those with health needs, remember: the average daily sodium intake for Americans age two years and older is more than DOUBLE the recommended level. So everyone can stand to cut back.
Plus, eating less sodium all boils to down to eating less processed foods. And that means eating whole foods and eating well. It means understanding what you’re putting in your mouth, stomach, and body. Taking time to look at labels. Showing your pepper and sweet potato respect by roasting them. Swapping convenience for cherished time at the stove. Inviting others to experiment and enjoy with you. And not being afraid to take an old recipe, twist it, and make it personal. On top of all that, low-sodium food, fueled by creativity, can be way more than just healthy food. It can be jaw-dropping delicious, inventive, and crave-worthy food that doesn’t just stand up to its salty counterparts, but potentially, outshines them.
That’s what the Love Your Heart Recipe Rally is all about. A group of amazing bloggers inspiring people to eat well and to feel well, one recipe at a time. Aren’t you excited?
But wait, it gets better. Because beyond these dishes, there is something else exciting. A chance to win your very own Vitamix — the sports car of blenders.
Why Vitamix? Because with its different blades and endless recipe ideas, you can create everything from salt-free soups to dips to spreads to breads in your home. It is a powerful tool of creativity and creation. And it not only allows you to take your low-sodium meals to the next level, but it makes cooking low-sodium food as easy as one, two, three, dishwasher. And you know this is something I adore.
So after you read all the salt-free recipes and you get motivated to make your own salt-free makeovers at home, be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your very own blender of inspiration (aka Vitamix). The giveaway begins today, Tuesday, February 12th at 9:00AM PST. So when the clock strikes 9:00, simply follow instructions on the Rafflecopter Widget below to get started. There is a mandatory entry action which, once complete, will unlock EVEN MORE optional entry actions, each gaining you MORE chances to win. The giveaway will close on Monday February 18th, 2013 at 12:00AM PST. Winner be notified by email and announced on this blog and the Rafflecopter widget on Friday February 22nd. All rules and regulations can be found at the end of this post.
Now that we have all that covered, help me welcome this year’s Recipe Rally Participants. Show them some love with Tweets, Pins, Facebook messages, or just an old fashioned clap. They truly deserve it.
And with that…ready, set, RALLY!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Winner must be a US resident in order to win. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email to claim prize before another winner is chosen. The name of the winner will be announced on SodiumGirl.com and the Rafflecopter Widget once the giveaway has closed. In the event the Sponsor (Vitamix) fails to send the prize, the Host (SodiumGirl.com) and all Participating Hosts (Participating Bloggers) will not to be held responsible or liable in any way. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Twitter or Facebook. Complete terms and conditions can be found within Rafflecopter Giveaway Widge above and here.
Giveaway and photos provided by Vitamix. I, Sodium Girl, was provided a Vitamix product as part of the giveaway promotion, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.