December 23, 2011

Twenty-Nine Candles

Birthday Presents

Birthdays used to be about ponies.

With that blow of the candles, I’d wish for rainbows. The ability to fly. And ponies, of course.

So when exactly did we stop asking for the impossible?

Today, I’m 29. One year below that sexy 30 marker with eight years more than I’d thought I’d see.

Since 2004, birthdays began to mean more than just cake and presents. Birthdays were badges of using 365 days to their fullest. And I have to think that my wishes have gotten better with age.

At 21, I wished to survive. At 22, I wished to live a real life. By 26, I wished to complete my fifth race. And by 28, I wished to travel to faraway lands for an unreasonably long amount of time.

Of course every year also comes with challenges. New symptoms. Countless doctors appointments. Results that could feel like disappointments.

But it is my focus on a limitless low-sodium life that keeps me wishing and aiming for the impossible.

So here are 29 wishes for the next year. Who knows what will come true, but it’s always worth putting out there. Because in trying to make the impossible happen, you never know the outcome. But you know you’ll have fun trying.

1. Grill a low-sodium hot dog on a grill

2. Speak at BlogHer Food 2012

3. Make salt-free Korean noodles by hand

4. Take at least four new cooking classes

5. Teach at least four new salt-free cooking classes

6. Get a nod from James Beard, perhaps a nomination too

7. Charm a local pizza joint into make salt-free pizza

8. Conquer salt-free “shrimp n’ grits”

9. Upload more salt-free pictures to my salt-free Flickr

10. Lecture at five major hospitals or health centers outside of the Bay Area

11. Fake a crab cake

12. Amass a killer list of twenty bloggers for February’s “Love Your Heart Recipe Rally”

13. Judge a salt-free challenge on Top Chef

14. Convince Terra Chips to start making their low-sodium BBQ chips again

15. Continue the journey in salt-free cheese making

16. Work with a local deli to make a salt-free sandwich

17. Open a one-day-only salt-free food truck in San Francisco

18. Use Twitter to tell you about my favorite low-sodium tips

19. Use Facebook to tell you about new no-salt products and to answer burning low-sodium questions

20. Cut my hair

21. Help makeover the DASH guide or create a new one for doctor offices

22. Scavenge for pretty plates, dishes, and surfaces for eye-pleasing pictures

23. Add at least fifteen new restaurants to the low-sodium-friendly Yelp! list

24. Keep my salt-free sourdough starter alive

25. Don’t get mad at myself if I kill my sourdough starter, again

26. Make salt-free spanakopita

27. Work with local pastry chef to overcome my fear of salt-free baking

28. Learn how to break down whole fish, ducks, and a pig

29. Tell you all as often as I can how much you motivate me. (You motivate me).

Happy holidays this weekend. And look for a special salt-free egg nog post tomorrow for your holiday feastings this weekend.

Chow on.

Cupcake December 23, 2011 at 11:57 am

Here’s to you, SG. Happy Birthday!!!!! Life got so much better when you entered my life and I look forward to decades more sodium-free fun with you. I am sending you 29 cyber kisses. I love you.

Carol December 23, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Jessica,
Thanks for the lovely post. You are an inspiration in your creativity, enthusiasm and good humor. Happy holidays to you, too!

Pat December 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Happy Birthday! May you be blessed with a wonderful year!

Karsha December 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Happy Birthday, Jess! Hope all 29 wishes come through for you!!!

Ann December 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Thank you for all you do to help those of us who have been told we need to reduce sodium and have no idea how to do it! My colleague, Dr. Quick gave me the suggestion to view your site, and I am grateful to both of you. Happy Holidays!

Nadia Harakh December 24, 2011 at 5:59 am

Happy Belated Birthday!! Looking forward to your post for salt free egg nog.

Gabrielle December 24, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Happy bday! Hope wish 13 comes true soon. Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, etc etc. 🙂

Christy December 27, 2011 at 10:15 am

Forgive me for being late to the party.. Happy Birthday, Jess! Hope it was wonderful!! May you conquer your wish list & more. 🙂

Alisa January 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Happy Belated Birthday SG! I wish you the best of health this 2012, you’re my supergirl and my family thanks you for your wonderful recipes! Cheers to 29 🙂

Scotia January 2, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Happiest of bdays my dear. I would love to help with the one day food cart event and that DASH diet makeover. Let me know if you need support. I am here!

jessg23 January 5, 2012 at 10:47 am

Great! Do you have a blog?

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