I spent most of yesterday in the kitchen.
These days I make most of the things we eat from scratch in an effort to consume less sodium and keep my kidneys stone free. It is amazing how objects less than a centimeter in diameter can change your life forever. It is also amazing how much sodium is in the food you buy at the grocery store.
This cooking without sodium can be an overwhelming undertaking so I’ve learned to break it down into small steps everyday. One day I cook mountains of pancakes from scratch to freeze for future breakfasts. Another day I’ll make granola. Occasionally while putting together something for dinner I make a second batch to freeze to have on hand for a hectic night in the future.
One thing I know for certain: there are always hectic nights looming in my future.
But yesterday everything in the kitchen seemed to run out at once. The cupboards were bare and the children walked around mournfully, clutching their bellies. So I made yogurt and homemade bread, I washed spinach leaves and chopped vegetables, I sauteed onions and cooked sausage. Then in between tasks I washed mountains and mountains of dishes.
In the midst of all of this, something amazing happened. Instead of feeling harried and stressed, I felt calm and capable. I wasn’t muttering curse words under my breath or shouting at children while shrieking “Why isn’t this working!” Cooking from scratch was no longer a herculean task.
A year ago when I was told to radically change my diet and eating habits I was completely overwhelmed. Sodium is in everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in the air we breathe. And the idea of cutting most of it out of my life seemed impossible.
I had no idea where to start, so I began slow. I looked at the foods we ate the most and learned to make those myself. Homemade bread has 1/10 the sodium that store bought bread has. Homemade yogurt has less than half than the stuff you buy at the grocery.
Gradually I learned more things and became better at what I was attempting. It didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen without set backs and growing pains, but it did happen.
This new year has seemed to bring new challenges to all of us. Right now so many of you are trying new things or making big changes. Some of you have a new baby or a new spouse or a new job. Others of you are changing your lifestyle or dealing with an illness. Many of you are going back to school or moving.
This year you will feel overwhelmed. You will feel incapable. You will feel like you’ll never be able to accomplish what you are supposed to do. And you will feel so small and insignificant.
But I am here to tell you, Gentle Reader, that you will ultimately succeed. With some hard work and enough time you will achieve your goals.
There might be some stumbles along the way, some lessons learned. The things you are choosing now might not be the things you choose next year. That is okay.
This year you will grow, which is never painless- but with new growth you will be closer to the person you want to be. The person I know you can be.
I believe in you, Gentle Reader. I really do. Now go get ’em tiger.