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.
We became scared of food and had to learn how to cook all over again, how 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?
Will it be “safe” and not cause any more burden to his kidneys?"
It was a challenging and confusing thing to deal with each and every day.
After a month of struggling, I decided things had to change. We needed to stop the progression and avoid the need for dialysis. We needed to enjoy foods again.
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 learning how to eat for CKD.
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 learned where to find nutritional info, how to combine foods in a way that keeps any restricted nutrients in line, and tricks for making recipes we could enjoy again. I added flavor without using salt and increased the bulk in the meals, so our tummies were full!
We believe carefully managed eating has been a big part of why, since that diagnosis, my husband's numbers have remained stable!
The way I help my clients overcome this is by teaching them the process we use.
Ever since I discovered the tricks and tools to end the frustration and confusion of CKD eating, I have been 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,