Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A different kind of "made by Jenny"

First of all, let me say THANK YOU so much for all of the love about my hexie pillow!  All of your comments put a smile on my face for a good long time, and for that, I am very appreciative!  It's been quilted, but I've been debating back and forth about whether to do a zipper or a pocket closure, so it isn't finished yet.
Anyway, onto my "different" made by Jenny.  What does that even mean?  Well, I haven't been doing much sewing this week.  Or crocheting, or any other craftiness.  But I've been making things!  Oh, yes, I've been making things.
About a year ago, my husband was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease.  This disorder causes debilitating chronic vertigo.  He cannot work, drive a car, do anything, when he's having what we call a "vertigo attack".  Medication doesn't really work for this.  The best course of action is to keep the attacks from happening, and to do that, he's been put on a very low sodium diet (around 1500mg per day, most people eat about 6000mg).
This presented a HUGE challenge to us.  Neither of us are really cooks, and this sodium restriction has basically ruled out anything in a can, box, bottle, freezer package, or restaurant.  What would we eat?!?  Well, after seeing a nutritionist, and doing some research to find an amazing cookbook, we pretty much make EVERYTHING from scratch.
Homemade sesame seed buns.  Minus the sodium. =)
I mentioned in my last post that school is about to start.  After spending all day with my Kindergarteners, I am tired.  I often don't feel like cooking, especially since I don't really know how to make a lot of stuff. Which means right now I need to fill my freezer, before school starts.  We can't have traditional convenience food, so why not make Keith's low-sodium food convenient?  Plus, I DO like to bake, so it has actually kind of been fun.  In the past week, I have made:

*enchiladas with sauce from scratch
*stuffed shells (2 pans, in the freezer)
*sloppy joe mix for the crockpot
*taco meat
*ranch dressing
*Italian dressing
*salsa verde
*barbeque sauce (this is simmering on the stove right now, it smells amazing!)
*2 batches sesame seed sandwich buns
*chicken parmesan meatloaf
*baked donuts
*nutella-oat and chocolate chip cookies
*soy sauce substitute
*our various dinners for the night

And I'm not done.  I plan to make several marinades to freeze with meat, and probably more breads/buns/bagels to freeze.  Keith has devoured almost the whole first batch of bagels.  When I told him I had a recipe for bagels he could eat (store-bought ones usually are around 300-400mg of sodium per bagel), he exclaimed, "What???  Why have you been holding out on me!"  Haha, oops.
I'm also going blueberry picking with my mom tomorrow, so I'll make some jam and baked goods to freeze for convenient breakfasts during the work week.  As we find more recipes that we love, I will make bigger batches for freezing as well.  I have a rule that I won't freeze anything unless I know we like it.  It has taken us a LONG time to get used to this new way of life, but we're slowly getting there.  The food I make actually tastes really good, it feels so much healthier (well, it is), and I'm better able to adapt non-sodium friendly recipes to work for us.  Plus, the biggest benefit is that Keith is able to keep the vertigo at bay, and lead a somewhat normal life!

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