Last night my friends Kara and Jennika were over at my house to help me bake cookies to take to work, and we were chowing down on Chinese food while waiting for the cookie dough to chill. As I was adding soy sauce to my vegetable fried rice I asked, “If you had to only eat sweet or salty foods for the rest of your life, which would you choose?”
We all ended up agreeing that salty would win out, because while sweets are nice, they are just a finishing note to a meal (update: Kara just told me she couldn’t live without sweets). It makes me think about the foods that I desperately crave throughout the days, and they are always salty, savory foods that really speak to the taste receptors in my tongue that love the umami (Even though salty and umami are technically two different tastes that the human tongue can detect, I’m still lumping them together since they can oftentimes overlap).
My favorite salty/savory foods of all time are of course, incredibly high in sodium and are not the best health choices, but sometimes there’s nothing I desire more than Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar chips, or a hot carton of vegetable lo mein with extra soy sauce from Teapot. The trick with these super salty snacks and suppers are to either eat them in moderation, or to drink plenty of water too, because the salt will take its toll on your body.
Today I have a Chinese food hangover because I didn’t properly hydrate, and now I have the same dried out, headachy feeling as I do after a night of drinking and carousing. Sometimes I just get tired of the actual act of drinking, be it alcohol or water. It just gets to a point where it feels like my belly is sloshing to capacity with liquid like one of those blue oil-gel filled office paperweights that come from tacky gift shops at the beach.
(Photo via: Office Playground)
In addition to this salt hangover, the last bad one I can remember is from at least within the last four years since it definitely happened at our current house. For some reason I had stopped at a gas station and went inside to pick up a bag of the aforementioned Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar chips that I love so much. And I’m not talking about the size bag that equals a handful of chips once you open the bag and let the air out. No, this was one of the jumbo, full sized bag of chips that still results in a disappointing amount given the puffiness of the bag, but still more than any one person should consume in one sitting. But consume them all in one sitting, I did. I ate them one night when I was alone in the house, watching Netflix on my computer, mindlessly scarfing every last chip down, and even licking my fingers and sticking them in the corners of the bag to get every last morsel of flavor available. Of course, this isn’t just a story, it’s a parable with a lesson. The lesson is to not eat an entire bag of chips in one sitting ever. You’ll wake up the next day with swollen orange stained fingers, an inability to stop burping up sour cream and onion for the next day, not to mention the raging headache that comes from a body whose every last droplet of water has been soaked up by the sodium.
This is a pretty rambling story about a question, times I’ve overindulged on salt, and proper hydration. So to bring it full circle, I have two questions:
If you had to only eat sweet or salty foods for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Do you ever just get sick of ingesting liquids sometimes?