More on Food & Supplements

Having just come from a scrumptious dinner at a Mexican restaurant with my chosen sister, food is on my mind.  I was incredibly pleased that I could find a small portion meal, identify all the ingredients and total up the calories without a problem.  You’ve been reading my ideas about how to handle such restaurant visits, but I always feel just a wee bit vindicated when they work.

If you’d rather use the internet to count units, calories and elements of food, AAKP has a nutrition counter on their website.  It gives the portion size, sodium, potassium, phosphorous, protein and calorie count of a myriad of foods.  There are alphabetical radio buttons at the top of the page so you need not scroll through the alphabet to find a specific food.  Some popular restaurants, such as IHOP, also have nutritional information on their website, but it’s not common to find sodium, potassium or phosphorous listed there.

I’m pretty happy with a handful of this or a handful of that. By this, I mean I measure my servings but don’t necessarily mix them to cook.  For example, I’ll grab 1/3 cup of carrots rather than cook up a whole meal, or I’ll put a turkey burger in the toaster oven, slap a potato bread bun around it and call it dinner.  That’s two starch units and two of the five ounces of protein.  Eating this way, sometimes I’m hard-put to include all three servings of vegetables, three of fruit, five ounces of protein and six starches, not to mention fats and dairy during a single day.

I was assured I’d memorize this stuff easily.  I didn’t believe it.  That involved numbers.  I was sure I couldn’t memorize numbers.  But I did, somewhat.  Not only can I now eyeball the servings of each category and keep a list of how many servings of each category I’ve eaten that day, but some of the calorie counts have stuck with me, too.  I’m surprised and delighted that after two years, I don’t need to constantly pull out my permissible foods and serving size bible or the calorie counter.  I also strictly measured portions for the first two years.

I need to amend something. I thought I could eyeball amounts per serving, but now I’m beginning to wonder.  There’s that unexplained weight gain despite the exercising and counting calories.  Ohhhh, sometimes it hurts to be so brutally honest with yourself, but I’d prefer that pain to curtailing my life by being dishonest with myself.

The different renal diets seem to agree that protein, sodium, phosphorus and potassium need to be limited. I find it easier to remember them if I refer to them as “the three peas with salt.”  I know it’s silly, but it works for me. Apparently, your limits may be different from mine or any other patient’s.  In other words, it’s personalized.  Based on my lab results, my potassium limits were raised, so it looks like your limits have a great deal to do with your lab results. Weight is another factor that has to be taken into account.  Someone who weighs more than I do (I’m sure such people exist, really), would probably have higher limits than I do.

Although your renal diet is somewhat the same as every other CKD patient’s, there are variations. They have to do with the results of your last blood test [hence, the adjustment for low potassium in mine], age, body mass, gender, lifestyle, eating habits and food preferences which your nutritionist will be asking about at your initial meeting, and your general health outside of your CKD.

Again, based on my particular body, I am taking cranberry, calcium and iron supplements.  They work for me.  They may not work for you.  For example, I had been taking 500 mg. of calcium three times a day.  Then a teeny, little kidney stone was uncovered.  I had no effects from it and was unaware of its existence until it showed up on a sonogram that was ordered for another problem.  Calcium supplements could contribute to kidney stones, so now I take the 500 mg. only twice a day.

Oh, it’s Friday, maybe even time to go out for dinner so I’ll leave you to it. Have a wonderful weekend and keep loving your life!

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Published in: on December 10, 2010 at 4:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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