Hi, I’m Soleil! Looking at this blog’s title, you may be asking yourself what exactly kidney foods are. Kidney beans? Cranberries? Something bizarre like a dragon fruit?
I’m asking these questions too. There’s so much contradictory information about what is good for our kidneys, what is bad, what you should eat everyday, and what you should absolutely avoid. Some online articles contradict others, and then there becomes the question of whether or not certain foods are healthy for people with damaged kidneys. The certainty in reliable resources just isn’t there, and it’s frustrating to deal with.
My dad has a history of kidney problems. He’s had kidney stones for years, but we thought those instances were attributed to bad luck or poor diet. After months of trying to figure out out what was wrong, my family and I discovered that among his numerous other medical problems, his kidneys were now failing. This caused quite a scare in our household, reasonably so, but we eventually had to get over the fear and learn to adjust. It really changed our lives at home, as you can imagine.
We needed to take better care of him, but we didn’t know how. It’s difficult to change your lifestyle out of the blue, kind of like curbing an addiction. The hardest part wasn’t the frequent hospital visits or the increase in my dad’s medication, which were tough in themselves, but the shift in diet. No one wakes up one day and decides, “Hey, I’m going to cut out a significant amount of protein, potassium, and sodium from everything I eat!” but that’s really what we had to do. It’s been a really confusing, complicated problem that now consume’s my father’s life, and it shouldn’t have to be that way.
I remember doing research on why my dad couldn’t eat more than two egg’s worth of protein a day or why his kidneys couldn’t just fix themselves. I would search sift through pages and pages of Google searches, extensively looking up recipes that would cater to his prescribed diet. I found out that there really weren’t that many options, and my dad was left to eating what became a staple in his daily lunch routine: a piece of lettuce slathered with a generous amount of mayonnaise and sprinkled with pepper. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
This blog is being created for him and everyone else out there who has also struggled with finding recipes that are healthy, low in protein/sodium/potassium, but still taste good.
I’ve been looking at how I want to structure this blog, and research has led me to exploring lots of different styles. I really liked an article by Seth Brady Tucker called “The Long Distances Between Food and Mouth” which talked about sustainability and the philosophy behind food. He was able to incorporate research while keeping it engaging, which is what I hope to do with something that is based in such hard research. (And maybe I’ll be able to eloquently drop a few f-bombs like he did.)
Along the way, I also hope to educate more people about what Kidney Disease is, explore the role of our bodies as they relate to what we eat, and offer my own tips on what ‘healthy living’ really means. Stay tuned!