A Little bit about me...
When my husband first received his Stage 3 diagnosis, the first two things the doctor said when entering the room were about preparing for needing dialysis, and how long it would be before needing to be put on the donor list for a transplant.
Then we talked with a dietician to learn the importance of managing not just sodium, but also other nutrients that needed to be restricted based on his labs and progression. Not much help there. She gave us three recipes, one of them (some kind of wet, chopped herb mix) we had never heard of and when we asked her what it was, she said to use that instead of salt. um... no.
My husband was instantly scared to eat anything. After dropping a pants size within two weeks, we realized that it was imperative to quickly learn about foods, how to adapt our cooking, where to shop, how to read labels, and even how to eat.
We first tried kidney friendly recipes we found online, but so many were terrible, we lost the joy of preparing food together and having a meal. There was no flavor, and the portions were so small.
We then tried to recreate our favorite meals on our own.
"What can we swap out that is lower in specific nutrients?
How much can we use?
Now what can we safely add in so there are bigger portions?
What can I do to create more flavor without salt?
Will these meals still be within restrictions?
It was a challenging and confusing thing to deal with each and every day. The conflicting information created further difficulties and frustrations, the lack of accurate nutritional information increased our difficulties.
After a month of struggling and spiraling, I decided things had to change. We needed to stop the progression and avoid the approaching necessity of dialysis. We needed clarity and truth so we could enjoy eating once more.
That’s when I made my “No Plan B Commitment” to myself and my husband, and decided to invest all my time and energy into unlocking the truths, busting the myths, and prove that kidney friendly eating can be simple and delicious.
Giving up was not an option.
Ignoring it was not an option.
Relying on others was not an option.
I was all in.
I enrolled in culinary school, then more for nutrition. I became a certified kidney health coach, and was brought on as a culinary consultant for American Kidney Fund®.
My commitment and tenacity paid off. This was the turning point.
I noticed patterns and processes occurring and began to note everything. I discovered precisely where to find accurate nutritional info, how to easily combine our favorite foods yet ensure the restricted nutrients amounts were adhered to, I learned the simple process of creating and adding flavor without using salt, and I even discovered the crazy easy way to increase the bulk in the meals, so our tummies were full.
We believe carefully managed eating has been the key to keeping my husband's kidney function stable all these years.
The way I pull my clients out of their torturous spiraling and end their repeated defeats is by supplying them updated, comprehensive information, and guiding them through the fresh, innovative process we live and swear by.
Living with an enjoyable, easy, stress-free CKD diet is second nature now, and I am committed to making sure others can do the same.
I have been in your shoes. Whether getting the diagnosis, or struggling to eat for CKD, I have been through it.
The CKD community is my inspiration and is why I have taken on this continuing labor of love.
So, thank YOU!
For the love of kidneys,