As the holidays draw ever nearer (and my list of things to do seems to get longer) food is constantly on my mind! What to cook, when to cook, how much to cook and of course trying to make everyone happy. And I don’t even have to worry about a renal diet! So to make life seem more manageable I try to make lists and do some of the food prep in advance. While it’s never quite as smooth as I would like, I am always very happy when I am able to pull a quick meal out of the freezer or have all of my ingredients at hand!
The holidays can be challenging on a renal diet, especially when you’re eating at someone else’s home and aren’t always certain what’s in the food you’re being served. Here are a few strategies you can use to make the holidays a bit more smooth.
- make a list (check it twice) of the meals you’ll be cooking and the ingredients you will need; this can save time and money
- offer to bring something and plan on a dish that is kidney-friendly that you know you enjoy
- ask about the menu in advance; if there’s something you aren’t sure about you can ask your dietitian before you go
- make it a “recipe potluck”; suggest everyone brings enough copies of the recipes for the items they bring to share. Everyone gets to take home new recipes (a great memento of a holiday get-together) and you get to scan all the recipes to make sure you know what you’re eating!
- watch your portions; keep servings small and avoid going back for seconds – eat slowly and join in the conversation!
- don’t be too polite; don’t feel you need to clean your plate or try some of everything, especially if the food doesn’t fit well into your kidney diet
- avoid the “extras”; condiments and sauces such as, gravies, pickles, olives, cheese, nuts etc – all of these “extras” can be sources of salt, phosphorus, or potassium
- avoid skipping meals; if you’re starving you will be much more likely to overeat!
Condiments, gravies and sauces are often a source of potassium and sodium. Check out this recipe from Spice It Up! for a fabulous apple and onion chutney. You can make this ahead and serve it alongside your turkey and it’s terrific on sandwiches. And your house will smell amazing while it’s cooking.
Apple and onion chutney: www.myspiceitup.ca/recipes/recipe39.pdf
Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday and a wonderful 2015!