Common Dietary Questions

If you're looking for some help with those pesky diet issues, Linda supplies us with the answers. Browse through to see if your question is here. 

Got a question? submit one below.

Many of you lovely people have been asking for help about eating for CKD when you have other health issues that impose further restrictions.

Here is what you can do.

Have your food lists at the ready for CKD.

Then, find food lists for your other health issues showing you what you can eat.

Now, go through and highlight, on the CKD sheets, all the foods that are acceptable for your other conditions. If something conflicts, cross it off.

Then take note of the highlighted foods in all the lower nutrient columns on the CKD sheets.

These will be your most frequently used foods to work with.

The highlighted foods in the moderate columns are ones you can work with occasionally.

The ones highlighted in the high columns; you will want to work with sparingly.

Basically, you are going to weed out what you can or cannot use, then zoom in on the best options 

When you are ready to learn how to start incorporating more of the higher nutrient items, jump into the Pro course and learn how to add variety and flip recipes to fit your needs!

If you are looking for extensive food lists that cover everything from fruits and veggies, to leaveners, gums & binders, you will find them in the Basics Essentials (Basics) section of the online program, in Book One: The Basic Essentials, or you can get the individual units on the foods you need most.

What's wrong with using recipes I find online?

Sadly, the truth is, most people are doing just this, and still getting it wrong, and are doing more damage than they know.

Unless you know for sure that recipe fits your specific needs, you can easily be under or over your daily allotment. Either way, it's causing more damage.

Look, because a recipe says it is kidney friendly, it never, ever means it fits your needs. Someone in stage 5 cannot eat the same as someone in stage 2, right?

Many people have food allergens or dislikes, right?

Many people have specific dietary needs/preferences, right?

So, how can those recipes work for everybody?

You must have recipes that fit your specific needs, your dietary preferences, that contain foods you like, AND that fit within your set nutritional window.

Don't you want to be certain instead of risking it?

I certainly did!

I wasn't willing to risk my hubby on an "I think so".

You ready to be certain? You ready to accept that those recipes online are nothing more than a suggestion? Learn how to set recipes up for your specific (and safe) needs. This information is found in the Pro section of the online program, Book Two: The Core Method, or the individual course on Adapting.

What foods are good, and what foods are bad for kidney disease?

Here’s the thing, no food is “good” or “bad” for CKD. 

You only need to know how to balance the ingredients and understand how much you can use alone or in combinations.

There is such a huge variety of foods out there that can be used!

My point is, I don’t want you believing that you are trapped into only using certain foods, or you have to give up your favorites. 

You don’t.

You only need to learn how to work with them and I want to help you do that. 

Think of it like this... take all the ingredients for your meal, place them on a scale with your nutritional window showing. If there's too much potassium, remove something, if the phosphorus is low, replace that item you removed with something phosphorus-y. Drop the salt down, and make sure any other nutrients you must track fall right in your limits. You are simply removing, adding, or adjusting ingredients until you hit your window.

It may sound confusing or intimidating, or heck, like too much work, but I promise, if you are show how to do this, it becomes second nature.

You can enjoy foods, variety, and eating with CKD. 

You can easily set up your nutritional window and balance those ingredients, to assure you are eating the maximum nutrition and enjoying your favorite foods.

Isn’t that what you want too?

If you are ready for the crazy amount of variety you can have, then Let's get you eating great again. Start with the numerous, extensive, categorized food lists (Basics), then move into the Adapting instructions (Core / Pro, or Adapting mini course) so you know how to safely incorporate them. 

I am never sure what products are okay to buy.

When shopping and looking at those labels, it is best to avoid products whose sodium content is 200mg or more per serving, with potassium and/or phosphorus ingredients listed midway or high in the list of ingredients, and those that have phosphorus amounts of 20% or more. 

Some products, like lower sodium soy sauce will not apply to the guideline above. But, yes, we can use them, just in small amounts.

It helps to know what to look for, and where to look for products. I can help!

If you are looking for the complete set of guidelines, what to look for on labels so you can gauge nutrition, and how to find the missing information you need, like phosphorus, you can get it all in the PRO section of the program, Book Two: The Core Method, or the Resources & Labels mini course.

How do I make CKD eating work?

I am here to tell you that you can successfully and confidently eat for CKD if you have the right information and processes within your toolkit. 

Cos, without them, you will continue to spin circles.

I know firsthand. I have lived through it, I understand it, and that’s why I am begging you to stop spinning your wheels.

Successful CKD eating starts with having dependable resources to find accurate and reliable nutritional information. Yep, I realized right away that I couldn’t be certain we were within my hubby’s restrictions if I didn’t even know what nutrients were in the foods we were using.

Next, you need acceptable food lists that contain much more than just common ingredients.

You may also need more information if you have food allergens, other health issues, or if you are gluten free, lower carb, vegan, etc. You need to know what is in the foods you use and how much you can safely use. 

Then, you need to determine your base guideline meal and snack numbers so you know what recipes and/or ingredients are acceptable for you. 

Speaking of base guideline meal numbers, you know those days, especially weekends and holidays, where you are going to be faced with a family gathering or maybe going to a restaurant? That scared us to death at first, and we did a lot of declining of invitations too, but then we figured out how to manage this with a simple shift of our base guideline meal and snack numbers. No more declining invitations and no more stress about keeping within restrictions either! Isn't that what you want too?

From there, you need to learn how to choose recipes and adapt them to your needs. Once you have your personal meal and snack number, you can make your meal plan, calculate your daily totals, and be done tracking for the week.

Adapting recipes can be a lot of fun and gets your creativity flowing. When you are woken to the vast number of products and foods you can have, so many options open to you. I love experimenting with new foods and flavors and the hubby appreciates having something beyond the same old foods just rearranged in a different form.

But it doesn’t stop there! You need to know what to look for on labels, which ones to avoid, where to find products, how to shop effectively so you aren't spending so much time shopping, and it helps to know how to do some pre-investigating for items you need.

I cannot tell you the number of hours we have spent pouring over labels. Once I figured out the guidelines for the nutrition amounts and ingredients to keep an eye out for, it turned into a simple glance at the label, and I knew if it was going in my cart or not. Plus, those pesky percentages are no longer an issue. When that little box toward the bottom says 15% potassium, you need to know what that translates into milligrams.

To add a cherry to the top, you also need to understand the tricks to cooking (like seasoning!) that will bring about great flavors and textures. Since we can’t use much salt, we must use different techniques to bring about flavor. 

How you cook something and to what temp you cook it, makes an enormous difference. You can eat a properly cooked chicken breast, and use that dry, tough, overcooked one as a baseball.


You need to learn the process, and this process starts your journey of compiling recipes that you have adjusted to your needs. You can even incorporate your family's needs too, and with repeated use, it gets to be very easy.

I know it may seem like a lot and too much to do, but if you have someone show you exactly how to do it, it doesn't seem so overwhelming and scary, does it?

Now, you can absolutely run to a dietician or nutritionist that specializes in kidney disease and have them create that meal plan for you. Then continue with all the follow up visits, and theeeeen, if something changes, you can start that process all over again.

OR..... you can learn how easy it is to create that meal plan yourself. It sounds hard, but that's only cos you haven't learned the simplified steps to do so.

One small step will start you on your way to successfully eating for CKD. But, you can’t get there if you don’t start now. 

Make things easy, save yer kidneys! 

Enroll Right Now or purchase the Books.

I hate that I cannot use salt. I need flavor.

My #1 tip: Make sure you are using the coarse grain (kosher or sea) salt. teaspoon for teaspoon, it contains less sodium than regular table salt.

My #2 tip: (this is in my program) reduce your salt to 1/8 tsp and bump all other seasonings up by half.

This way, you don't need to struggle to figure out what seasoning to use.

If your recipe doesn't have additional seasonings, then you can start a google search to find what is compatible.

If you are looking for complete lists showing you the best seasonings to use with ingredients, find it in the Basics section, Book One: The Basic Essentials, or the mini course: Condiments & Spices.

If you want my Chef expertise on how to use those seasonings to create amazing flavors in your dish, you will get that, and all my culinary tips in the PRO section of the program, Book Two: The Core Method, or the Culinary mini course.

Math ah!! Scary for some, a breeze for others. Me… scary!

When we started, I vividly remember how soy sauce tried to be my friend but clearly was my enemy.

We used it in so many recipes and now, even the lower sodium stuff seemed way too high.

But we found we could use it, just not in the amounts we previously had.

So, now I had to figure out precisely how much sodium I was dealing with when using 2 tsp, but the label said the serving was 1 tbsp. Um... How do you figure it out?

This is what I heard... 

I have 5 apples, and I have 3 grapes, but I need to know how many purple bananas fit into 1 mile when 12 cars going 35 mph have run over 17 of them and I only have until dawn on Tuesday before the train traveling at 60 mph from Memphis to Chicago passes through here, how do I do that?"

Anything that suggests math, that's what my brain faces.

Math is an unavoidable piece of the CKD process and it's imperative to know the right calculations to arrive at those crucial numbers you need.

Math doesn’t have to be scary, and it doesn’t have to involve purple bananas or trains!

 Here's a tip: If that lower sodium soy sauce says a serving is 1 tbsp but you can only use 2 tsp, then take the amount in the 1 tbsp, divide it by 3 (cos that's how many tsp are in 1 tbsp). Now take the amount per tsp and double it.

480 (in 1 tbsp) / 3 (# of tsp in one tbsp) = 160.

160 is the amount per tsp.

We need 2 tsp, right? 160 x 2 = 320.

Those 2 tsp of soy sauce will add 320mg of sodium to your dish.

Happy Mathing!

If you are looking for all the step-by-step calculations needed for successful CKD eating, plus all the cheats you need to know, you can get them in the PRO section of the program, Book Two: The Core Method, or the Math Help mini course.