Baby steps

Pro tip: Fiber & protein are easier than you think to increase intake. Smoothies, pies, &  casseroles are all dishes you can easily add protein or fiber to without any fuss.

I can admit it. My numbers are pretty awesome. I keep referring to myself as the anti-kidney patient. I like to think it has to do with the control over my diet I’m exerting. When I say diet, I don’t mean that I’m being excessively restrictive. I mean I’ve made adjustments to my food intake to manipulate my blood work.

My first outpatient day in the dialysis center as when I first met my nutritionist. Armed with the results from my blood workup, she told me my numbers were surprisingly good. My phosphorus was so low, I was encouraged to add a glass of milk a day to my diet. My albumin wasn’t too bad and I was told to keep up the vitamin D intake. So, even on HD I was phenomenally lucky with my diet.

My healthcare team has been such a help. The best thing about having to be on dialysis is that I get to meet with a nutritionist once a month. If I’m finding it hard to work in more protein or less phosphorus, my nutritionist can help me figure out what to adjust to change my numbers. PD allows you to have a significantly less restricted diet than HD. Don’t forget, I’m kind of slacker too. My albumin is slipping. I blame myself, I’m fickle – I get cravings for different foods and go on long jags of eating certain foods. I can’t seem to balance out adding leafy greens and protein. I’ll make vegetarian lasagna and forget to have protein with it. This is why I tried adding whey protein powder to the sauce. I can’t have soy, so whey it is and you don’t notice it mixed into the sauce. I don’t consider it a full replacement, it’s just so that I’m actually getting in some additional protein with the lasagna.

Have I mentioned how much I love to cook? It’s a lot easier to monitor your intake of certain vitamins & minerals when you do the cooking. To simplify things, I make a large batch of something and freeze most of it in single serving portions so all I have to do is thaw and reheat if I’m too tired or busy to actually cook. It also works great for lunches at work. Right now I have a freezer full of roasted chicken, lasagna and collard greens. I also freeze raw meat in single serving size portions so I can use it to make whatever.

Sometimes it’s the illusion of control that helps you get through.